Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/19/12

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard, as a number of player movements have changed the faces of some of the lower minor league teams.

Boise has seen outfielder Bijan Rademacher move to Peoria, and have Northwest League player-of-the Week Trey Martin more than replace his offense. Rademacher will try to help improve the Chiefs’ firepower, as Javier Baez was voted Midwest League player-of-the Week. Tim Saunders was moved all the way to Daytona from the Rookie League. The D-Cubs won two out of three behind the pitching of Robert Whitenack and Matt Loosen. However, Tennessee and Iowa have struggled, except for the 16-game hitting streak by Josh Vitters.

Including recaps of the Arizona Rookie League and the Dominican Summer League, enjoy this edition of the CCO’s Down on the Farm Report on the day Jorge Soler is set to make his pro debut …

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

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (12-20)
Once again, the Boise bullpen failed to hold a lead on Sunday, as they lost 5-4 to Vancouver. In his second start, Felix Pena actually looked pretty good. Pena struck out five and allowed three earned runs in five innings. However, the coaching staff must be scratching their heads over Willengton Cruz. Cruz is a very talented pitcher, but he’s having a poor season, first being demoted from Peoria and now he is out of the rotation. In a relief stint, Cruz gave up two earned runs and struck out two over three innings. Roderik Pichardo pitched the ninth and struck out two in a scoreless inning. Stephen Bruno was the only Hawk to record a multi-hit game, as he was 2-for-4.

Boise added three runs in the final their final two innings on Monday to survive a late charge from Yakima to win 6-5. Bijan Rademacher was the player of the game, as he went 3-for-4 with three doubles. Joining him with three hits was Stephen Bruno, who was 3-for-5 with a double of his own. Marco Hernandez was 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI, while Xavier Batista drove in two as he was 1-for-3. Jeimer Candelario (1-for-5) cracked his fifth homer of the season, a walk-off in the ninth to win the game.

Jose Arias gave what is becoming his staple, a dependable but unspectacular performance, as he tossed five innings, struck out four, and allowed three runs (two earned). Undrafted free agent Matt Iannazzo got his first taste of Single-A ball, giving up two unearned runs and striking out two in two innings. Eduardo Orozco was practically perfect, allowing a free pass in two scoreless innings.

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Everything was clicking right for Boise on Tuesday, as they made it two in a row with a 5-0 victory over Yakima. James Pugliese tied a professional high with five strikeouts in five scoreless innings. Michael Heesch remained unscored upon since his promotion. Heesch tossed two scoreless innings. Pete Levitt is beginning to come back around after a rough start to the season, as he shut out the Bears for the final two innings.

Trey Martin is emerging into a force, as the already stellar defender has been swinging a hot bat. Martin went 3-for-3 with his third homer in seven games. Batting right behind Martin, Marco Hernandez was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Willson Contreras was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Rock Shoulders was 2-for-3.

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Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (45-48)
While Peoria had nine hits on Sunday, they just didn’t seem to get them when they needed them as they lost 4-2 to Bowling Green. Javier Baez led the Chiefs as he was 3-for-4, including a double and a triple. Oliver Zapata added a 2-for-4 performance. Starter Zach Cates continues to struggle with his command, and he allowed two earned runs while walking four and giving up four hits over 4.2 innings. Jeffry Antigua relieved and let in another two runs (one earned) in 2.1 innings. Larry Suarez finished things off and was perfect in his two innings, allowing no runs and striking out two batters.

Monday was a “get away” day for Bowling Green, so in a matinee the Chiefs made them think about it on the long bus ride as they won 8-3. Starling Peralta is becoming Peoria’s second most dependable pitcher (behind Michael Jensen) as he struck out five through five scoreless innings. After a shaky debut, Justin Berg was a little better, allowing an earned run over 2.2 innings with two strikeouts. Hunter Cervenka hasn’t had some of the same magic as he had earlier, as he gave up two earned runs as well as striking out two in 1.1 innings.

Pin-Chieh Chen had a whale of a game, as he was 3-for-4 with three stolen bases, three runs scored, and an RBI. Paul Hoilman drove him home with a 3-for-4 effort that included with two doubles and three RBI. Javier Baez drove in two as he was 1-for-3, while Chadd Krist and Oliver Zapata were each 2-for-4.

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High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (42-52)
Daytona needed some late inning heroics on Sunday to produce a 4-3 win over Charlotte. Little by little, Robert Whitenack seems to be scraping off the rust, as he struck out three and allowed two earned runs through 4.2 innings. Veteran relievers Ryan Searle and AJ Morris then came in and did their jobs, as they held the Stone Crabs scoreless for a combined 3.1 innings. However, Scott Weismann had to be bailed out by the offense as he gave up the tying run in the ninth.

The top of the order came through in the bottom of the frame as John Andreoli (1-for-3, RBI, stolen base) walked and went to third on a double by Ronald Torreyes (2-for-5, RBI). A sacrifice fly by Rubi Silva allowed Andreoli to walk in with the game winner. Elieser Bonne and Micah Gibbs were also 2-for-4.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

On Monday, Charlotte proved to be too much for Daytona, as their 12 hits contributed to a 5-3 loss for the D-Cubs. Kyler Burke was the starter and allowed four earned runs but struck out three batters. Matt Spencer pitched to one batter for an out then was relieved by Frank Del Valle, who finished the last 2.2 innings while giving up an earned run. Both Matt Szczur and Rebel Ridling were 2-for-4 with a double, with Szczur stealing two bases.

The D-Cubs were able to use great pitching and timely hitting on Tuesday to throttle Charlotte 6-1. Starter Matt Loosen was in top form, striking out six of the Stone Crabs and allowing an earned run through 7.1 innings. Jeffrey Lorick would be the only other pitcher Daytona needed. Lorick surrendered only one hit in 1.2 scoreless innings.

The top of the order was at it again, as lead-off hitter Matt Szczur went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Ronald Torreyes (2-for-4) also drove in a run and stole a base. Elieser Bonne joined Torreyes with a 2-for-4 performance.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (47-48)
The offense couldn’t make more than one run out of nine hits, while the bullpen collapsed again on Sunday in the Smokies 6-1 loss to Jackson. After coming up with a couple of wins, Dallas Beeler returned to being a tough-luck pitcher as he gave up only one earned run through six innings. Continuing to scuffle, Kevin Rhoderick allowed two earned runs with four strikeouts in two innings. Casey Harman then served up two home runs, good for three earned runs in the ninth. Logan Watkins and Michael Brenly were each 2-for-4, while Justin Bour drove in Junior Lake for Tennessee’s only run.

The Smokies made a valiant effort for a “bullpen day“, but fell short as they lost to Jackson on Monday 10-8. Long reliever Ty’Relle Harris was given the start and was thrashed for six runs (five earned) in 2.2 innings. Zach Rosscup wasn’t much better, as he struck out five but allowed two earned runs in two innings. Trey McNutt also gave up two earned runs to go along with three strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Marcus Hatley was the only Tennessee pitcher not scored upon, as he tossed the final two innings. The comeback attempt was led by Jae-Hoon Ha, who was 3-for-5 with a triple, home run, and two RBI. Logan Watkins went 3-for-6 with a double, and Justin Bour (3-for-5) drove in a run. Greg Rohan was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Nate Samson was 2-for-5.

Make it three in a row as things went bad quickly on Tuesday as Tennessee lost to Jackson 9-2. Nick Struck was rocked for four runs in the third inning, as he ended his night by allowing six runs (five earned) and struck out two in five innings. Casey Harman then gave up three earned runs in an inning of work, while Frank Batista halted the Generals by striking out two in two scoreless innings. Tony Zych then finished up with an uneventful ninth. Logan Watkins was the lone Smokie with multi-hits, as he was 2-for-5 with a triple. Watkins and Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-4) would score runs as Justin Bour (1-for-4) and Greg Rohan (1-for-4, double) had a RBI apiece.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (40-57)
It was a fine Sunday for both Iowa’s hitters and pitchers, as they brought home a 9-1 laugher over Omaha. Starter Chris Rusin was looking for impressive outing to bolster a claim for a promotion, and he may have got it as he struck out three and allowed an earned run through five innings. Esmailin Caridad began things for the bullpen by shutting down the Storm Chasers for two innings while striking out two batters. Jeff Beliveau also struck out two, as he worked a scoreless inning. Jay Jackson struggled a bit, but held Omaha off the board in the ninth.

The big stick for the I-Cubs was Adrian Cardenas, who went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Alfredo Amezaga also drove in three as he was 2-for-5, while Blake Lalli went 3-for-4 with a double. James Adduci (2-for-4 with an RBI) also doubled and Welington Castillo chipped in with a 2-for-5 effort.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Iowa handed the home fans a real stinker on Monday night, as four hits and poor veteran pitching produced a 6-1 loss to New Orleans. Rodrigo Lopez surrendered 12 hits and four earned runs, as he went five innings and struck out three batters. Ryan Rowland-Smith also had three strikeouts giving up two earned runs in 2.2 innings. However, Alberto Cabrera deserves part of that, as he let a run that would be charged to Rowland-Smith come in after he allowed a runner to steal second and score on a double. Michael Bowden had a perfect ninth. Brett Jackson had the lone offensive highlight, as he hit a triple and scored the only run. Josh Vitters extended his hitting streak to 15 games, with Blake Lalli and James Adduci also getting hits.

The difference on Tuesday night between Iowa and New Orleans was pitching, and the Zephyrs’ pitchers limited Iowa’s nine hits to two runs, as the I-Cubs lost 7-2. Allowing all seven runs (six earned) was major league vet Chris Volstad, who struck out two in 5.2 innings. Frankie De La Cruz was next as he held New Orleans scoreless for 1.1 innings, while Esmailin Caridad struck out two in two scoreless innings. Alfredo Amezaga and Brett Jackson were each 2-for-5, with Jackson hitting a double and stealing a base. A 16-game hitting streak is what Josh Vitters has, as both he and Dave Sappelt went 2-for-4. Vitters drove in a run and Sappelt notched a double and an RBI.

Arizona Rookie League
Despite a flurry of roster moves, the AZL Cubs actually increased their East Conference lead to 1.5 games. After hitting .493 with three homers and 17 RBI, Tim Saunders was promoted all the way up to the Daytona Cubs. Dan Vogelbach is mashing the ball, with seven home runs along with 30 RBI and a .360 average. Vogelbach even stole a base! Not to be outdone, Jacob Rogers is now hitting .455 with two home runs and 11 RBI, while Dan Lockhart improved to .309 and 10 RBI. Left hander Hunter Ackerman earned a ticket to Boise by going 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 10 innings. David Henrie raised his record to 4-0 with 19 strikeouts and a 4.50 ERA in 20 innings. Cuban national Carlos Martinez-Pumarino has gone 3-0 while posting a 1.65 ERA while striking out 16 in 16 innings.

Dominican Summer League
As both Cubs’ teams have now established a winning record, the next objective is moving toward first place.

The Cubs-1 team is now two games out if first place in the Baseball City division at 20-18. Outfielder Roberto Caro was returned to C-1 from C-2 and has taken over the leadoff spot, batting .328 with 16 RBI and 10 stolen bases. Infielder Jenner Emeterio remained the hitting leader, going .358 with two home runs while driving in 14 runs. First baseman Roney Alcala is now ninth in the league in batting, with a .352 average and leading the team with 26 RBI. Right-hander Carlos A. Rodriguez is fifth in the league with 46 strikeouts, with an ERA of 1.79 and a 0.84 WHIP.

The Cubs-2 team still has a long way to go at five games out of first place, but their 22-16 record is third in the Boca Chica South division. Catcher-first baseman Jhonny Pena’s average has come down to .354, but that is still good enough to lead the team. Outfielder Shamil Ubiera has moved into the top 20 in the league by hitting .340 with 23 RBI. Infielder Bryant Flete has come around lately, now hitting .315 and driving in 10 runs. Right-hander Daury Torres is third in the league with a 0.74 WHIP and his ERA of 1.01 is fifth, along with a 5-1 record. Eighteen-year old righty Alexander Santana has improved his record to 1-2 and ERA to 2.80 in 35.1 innings.

News and Notes
The Iowa Cubs placed RHP Randy Wells on the 7-Day disabled list, retroactive to July15. The Tennessee Smokies assigned IF Elliot Soto to the Daytona Cubs. The Daytona Cubs assigned IF Dustin Harrington to the Tennessee Smokies; placed IF Arismendy Alcantara and LHP Matt Spencer on the 7-Day disabled list. The Peoria Chiefs assigned LHP Hunter Cervenka to the Daytona Cubs; assigned OF Yasiel Balaguert to the AZL Cubs. The Boise Hawks assigned OF Bijan Rademacher and RHP Bryce Shafer to the Peoria Chiefs. The AZL Cubs assigned IF Tim Saunders and RHP Anthony York to the Daytona Cubs; assigned LHP Hunter Ackerman, RHP Matt Iannazzo, and OF Izaac Garsez to the Boise Hawks.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

    Tom, Brooks Raley, someone mentioned him in the in game thread tonite. Looks like hes pitching pretty well. Do you have a scouting report on him you could give us? Could he be in line for a call up if we move Demp and Garza?

    • cubtex

      I know you asked Tom……but he started a game I saw him pitch against Round Rock and had a quality start. Works in the high 80’s…..will touch 90 occasionally. Keeps the ball down. Decent breaking stuff. Very slight build..6’2……maybe 180. Doesn’t have a high ceiling but he knows how to pitch. Had a good college career at Texas A & M.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        so hes a Glavinesque lefty, not overpowering but hits his spots and keeps it down. Nice, dont always have to be overpowering to be effective.

    • Tom U

      Mike, cubtex is on target. Here are some of the particulars:

      Drafted in the 6th round in 2009 out of Texas A&M, Raley has an arsenal of fastball, slider change. Has a curve, but not one of his better pitches. Fastball sits in the high 80’s and will touch in the low 90’s at times. Slider has a slurve type of break. Best pitch is his change, which he uses to set up the other stuff. Continues to work on his command. Is considered a plus athlete, who projected also as an outfielder coming into the draft.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        Thank you both, hes not someone ive ever heard much about yet appears to be having some success in his minor league career. Could he be a candidate for a call up should others be moved or would Rusin be the likely candidate?

      • Aaron

        He was also a two-way standout at A&M, playing the OF on days he wasn’t pitching

  • cubtex

    Tom, I read that 2 Cubs minor leaguers from the Dominican Summer league were suspended 50 games for PED’s. Do you know which players and if they are decent prospects?

    • DWalker

      Chicago Cubs minor-league right-handers Juancito De La Cruz and Antonio Encarnacion have been suspended 50 games each for violating baseball’s minor league drug program.

      • cubtex

        Thank you

    • Tom U

      Juancito De La Cruz is a 19 year old righty who pitched 20 innings for C-1 with a 6.30 ERA. Pitched for C-1 last year and was 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA
      http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=606201

      I had a hard time finding Antonio Encarnacion, but found out he has been with the organization since 2009. The 20 year old right hander has a career record of 0-6 and ERA of 5.72.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=encarn001ant

      Both tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.

      As you can probably see, neither one is considered a top prospect.

      • cubtex

        Thanks bud!

  • cubtex

    This is in response to TH who insists that LaHair was untradeable earlier in the year. I disagree 100%. Remember…..LaHair was coming off PCL MVP. Yes he is older for a rookie but he could have been moved. You asked for some examples of players moved with a short sample size. Lets look at 3 Cub deals……Kevin Hart rhp. Remember him? He only had 4 starts in 2009 and Hendry was able to move him for Gorzo and Grabow……Bobby Hill 2b. Another great deal. Moved to Pit with less than 200 AB’s as part of the ARam deal. And the infamous Hee Seop Choi. 50 AB’s as a September callup in 2002 and was traded after only 202 AB’s in 2003 for Derek Lee. Bryan LaHair had 59 AB’s last year and now has 246 AB’s this year. As you can plainly see…….he could have been and should have already been dealt!

    • Zonk

      I think opposing GMs knew what LaHair was all along. He was lucky in April, and anyone could see that.
      Is he a AAA player? No, he isn’t, the Cubs did get something for nothing with LaHair, so that is commendable. He has legit power, and can maul RH pitching when he is on.
      But he isn’t an All Star. He probably isn’t a full-time ML starter. He’s probably a platoon/bench bat. Think Jay Gibbons or Aubrey Huff territory.

      • mutantbeast

        Ageed-LaHair cannot lay off low breaking pitches or offspeed pitches. Right now, hes a LH Soriano.

    • Zonk

      PS: Is that praise for Jim Hendry I am hearing? :)
      I liked what Hendry did early in his tenure, including all those moves. He got off the rails when he overspent in effort to win, and the farm system deteriorated.

      • cubtex

        I keep hearing how much smarter our current gm is. My point is if a slug like Hendry could move Choi,Hart,Hill with such a small sample size regardless of production……why couldn’t Theo have moved a 29 year old PCL MVP…ML All Star who was amongst league leaders the first 2 months of year? I’ll tell you why…….He wasn’t shopping him.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

          for good reason, he was wainting on Rizzo to be ready. And unfortunately in that time Lahair has done nothing to improve his stock which as a 29 year old career AAAA player wasnt high to begin with.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

      all those players were significantly younger then Lahiar also i do believe. And that is part of Tonys argument that Lahair being 29 with his small sample size in the pros lessened his value.

      • cubtex

        29 is not 39. Theo could have and should have already moved him. He blew it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

          i guess you just need to have something to compain about, do your thing.

          • cubtex

            Pointing out that team theo blew one of the few trade pieces he has. If you want to put a blind eye to it…..have at it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            The fact that you consider Lahair a trade piece is the problem. Hes a AAAA a guy, he is what he is. If we can get anything with upside for him we are coming out gravy. Lahair served his purpose in holding down 1b till Rizzo was ready. Anyone who expected him to be more then holding down the fort was overvaluing him. He got an all star nod by pure fluke as others deserved it much more. And most reporters slammed him upon his selection. Geo Soto is a bigger trade piece then Lahair ever was as he has shown that he can be a very effective hitter every other year or so. And we are shocked anyone has interest in Soto, why would we not be shocked there is little interest in Lahair.

          • cubtex

            Thats exactly what he started out to be. I emphasize….started. He performed way better than anyone ever thought. Hence….he became a trade chip. With Rizzo crushing in AAA it was obvious he was ready but they wanted the extra year of control so they kept him down. They could have played Baker or Clevenger or whoever for a month. Who cares? They aren’t going anywhere this year. Instead they didn’t shop him because they wanted LaHair there until Rizzo was brought up. Again…who cares? They had a surprise in LaHair and like Paul said….the ship sailed and his flaws were exposed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            and so youre saying there was no evidence to his inability to hit lefties prior to him being exposed this year. Is that not a reason why it took him till this age to get a shot. If he was successfull hitting lefties in the minors as well as hitting righties he wouldnt have been considered a AAAA guy to begin with. When a guy puts up the numbers he does in AAA and wins mvp of his league other GMs take notice and if they thought he had value there would still be a market for him now. The fact is the market was never there for him.

          • cubtex

            Theo doesn’t believe in AAAA guys. Lol

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            what does that have to do with how other GMs perceive Lahair? Nothing!

          • triple

            So you’re saying there is a GM out there who in April or May, after spending all offseason shopping around and preparing the 25 man roster as well as making sure he’s got some depth in his system in case an injury happens is gonna hit the panic button and trade a good young prospect for LaHair? That’s is laughable! Do you understand that the guys that do those jobs are professionals and know alot more about the entire league than any of us?

          • cubtex

            and do you understand that teams made trades were made in May and June. Laughable

          • triple

            I don’t even know what your trying to communicate w/ that last trainwreck sentence. But please enlighten me about any deal that happened in April or May (and somehow you’re adding june as if that is early in the season when LaHair supposedly had value) where a team received a valuable prospect that turned into an an everyday player for a player with less then 1 full season of MLB experience? Hell, just enlighten me about any early season trade where any player of value has ever been traded?

        • gary3411

          It’s not that people can’t produce past the age of 29, it’s that the good part of his prime is past and he spent it in the minor leagues. There must be a reason for that, and all the GM’s know it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            thanks exactly the point!

    • gary3411

      None were 29, or even close. They were all top prospects outside maybe hart.

      • cubtex

        So what? The return would have been less? Choi hit .180 and. 218 and Hendry moved him for Lee. Everyone on here is enamored with Team Theo…..he couldn’t have moved a productive 29 year all star with the same amount of at bats as Choi? Lets be real.

        • gary3411

          Of course he could have moved him, for nothing. And yes it plays a huge difference his age the return would have been exponentially less than anything Hee Seop could net.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

          The difference is Choi many though was still going to develop plus he had a pretty good glove at first if i remember correctly. Lahairs defense is acceptable at best, and already had the stigma that at most he was a AAAA type player regardless of his successes to begin the season and in the minors the season before. Perception is everything.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, earlier would have been much better. If they were to try and move him now the return would be minimal, the horse has left the barn.

      • cubtex

        Exactly Paul. Boy Wonder held too long.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

          he held on till Rizzo was ready, if thats too long i can accept that. Rizzo is producing and the time in the minors helped him. Lahairs value is minimal at best. I really hope we can get from the dodgers what they offered for Clee since houston was gonna pay his salary. Lahair for Gould would be more then adequate compensation.

          • cubtex

            Agreed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            glad we can agree on something lol

    • Tony_Hall

      Sure seems like you don’t have anyone that understands your point of view on this one.

      Your examples are not similar.

      Kevin Hart was traded on July 30th, 2009 at the trade deadline, not in April or early May when trades very, very rarely happen.

      Bobby Hill was traded August 15, 2003, also in a time period when trades happen.

      Hee Seop Choi was traded November 23, 2003, also a time of year when trades happen.

      Just because Lahair’s sell high value was in April or early May, doesn’t mean any team was willing to trade their assets to acquire him.

      Just because he wasn’t traded doesn’t mean that Theo and Jed, didn’t have conversations about him with other teams.

      You really need to move on from trying to make this look like they made a mistake on this one….

  • Zonk

    Tom, how is Dan Vogelsbach’s performance at the plate so far this year? By that I don’t mean home plate, I mean the dinner plate……I know the Cubs wanted him to lose some weight.
    Where is he, in better shape, or pushing Cecil Fielder territory?

    • Tom U

      With no video coverage down in Mesa, that’s kind of hard to tell.

      • paulcatanese

        Maybe they don’t have a wide angle lens down there:)
        Couldn’t let that one pass:)
        On the other side of the coin Tom, appears you are going to be busy with following Soler, a lot of people are going to want to know about him.
        Thats the trickle down effect from Cespedes I would think.

    • mutantbeast

      Zonk-I live down in the Phoenix area. Vogel-boom is crushing the ball, hitting in the low 400s with 7HR so far. Hes about 250 right now, if he can drop about 10-15 more lbs he,ll be either at Boise or Peoria. Not all that bad as a fielder , either, has slow feet, but good hands. Power galore , even to the opposite field. Has double digit doubles also. Kid looks like the real deal, Cant wait to see Soler.

      • Tom U

        Thanks mutantbeast

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Roster Move – RHP Pete Levitt promoted to Class A Peoria Chiefs after last night’s game

  • Zonk

    Tom, what is the latest on our “top pitching prospect” Trey McNutt? After a disappointing 2011, 2012 looks like a repeat, with no progress at all. I wonder if he’s not a prospect anymore, like Jay Jackson. Thoughts?

    • Aaron

      I know you asked Tom, but McNutt is now a reliever, and yes, he’s NOT a prospect, just like Jay Jackson.

      I am now vindicated for my opinion when the Cubs wouldn’t include him in the Garza deal in favor of Archer

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        It’s official! You’re vindicated. So is anyone who ever suspected you were arrogant…

      • gary3411

        I don’t think it was ever said the Rays wanted McNutt but settled for Archer.

        A reporter, probably Levine I believe, came out afterward and just said the Cubs are a little higher on McNutt. This may or may not have been true. Could have been Levine talking to the custodian or the Cubs just trying to save face through the media for the trade. Don’t assume.

    • Tom U

      Zonk, sorry to get back to you so late, but I’m just back from work.

      As of right now, who the Cubs best pitching prospect would be considered a matter of taste.

      If “stuff” is what you like, then Rafael Dolis and Alberto Cabrera are tops.

      If production is what floats your boat (no pun, boatrider), then Eric Jokisch and Frank Batista are the best.

      For my money, the two pitchers that have some of each quality should be ranked highest, Austin Kirk and Tony Zych.

      A deep sleeper is Daury Torrez. In any other organization, this 19 year old would be probably be pitching at Single A by now.

  • triple

    Wait a minute!!! There’s people in here complaining that the Cubs missed the boat on trading LaHair. And I believe some of these are the same people who were complaining about how bad the Cubs looked and its unacceptable to field a team that loses this much in such a big market. Wasn’t LaHair the Cubs most productive hitter (and probably consistent hitter) all the way up to the week that Rizzo was brought up and LaHair moved to RF? If Theo traded away LaHair at the end of May, all the Theo bashers would’ve been up in arms about trading one of the only contributers and further making this team’s results even worse! Maybe at this point it may be worth getting Reed Johnson more playing time, but the people who are upset also want to see Campana play more. If LaHair was traded and Campana was playing everday, his BA would be down to .220 by now and you guys who were clamoring for him would all be upset that he’s playing and the Cubs are still losing.

    Edit to add one more thought: How do you guys know that Theo & Jed’s phones were blowing up from all the MLB GM’s calling them asking what it’s gonna take to get LaHair on their team? What trade value does a 29 yr old career minor leaguer who’s played 144 games on the major league level between 2008 and 2012 have when trying to rebuild and fill your farm system with better prospects? Very little, in fact his only value is what he can offer to the team that’s trying to rebuild – a stop gap until a better prospect (Rizzo) arrives. Do you really think Theo was calling all the GM’s around the league and asking for top prospects for LaHair? Yeah, that will help him get more for LaHair.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

      Amen!

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        I think they are upset that we arent going to reach 100 loses this year like they thought. So now they have to nitpick at things that got us wins this year, Like waiting too long to trade Lahair while he was valuable to all these other teams while the other piece thats helped us get wins recently was spending valuable time in AAA. Nothing will make these people happy, its very apparent.

        • triple

          I ended up posting it below in reply to Cubtex, but basically: What kind of GM hits the panic button in April or May and trades a good prospect for a 29 yr old career minor leaguer w/ 144 games played in the major leagues from 2008-2012 after preparing his 25 man roster and farm system all offseason? My guess is the kind that won’t have his job at the end of the season.

    • cubtex

      What???? You made my point. What little trade value he had is now less. Exactly what I am saying.

      • triple

        very poor reading comprehension there tex. I was pointing out that he never really had any trade value. And if he did let us know what team needed LaHair so badly that they’d give up a prospect that would help the Cubs in a future? And who would that prospect be?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

    Per Jayson Stark, Boston out on Dempster in on Garza.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Any chance that Baez will be bumped up a level soon? It seems like he is just mashing everything thrown his way…

  • Tom U

    boatrider, never say never, but the vibe is no. Baez has been a hitting machine, but there are still questions about his maturity, as well as major questions concerning position.

    It may have been telling that a spot open at Daytona was filled by Tim Saunders rather than Baez.

  • Zonk

    I remember reading that Baez has a real attitude and sense of entitlement, and that might hinder his development. Can you shed more light on this?
    Attitude certainly plays a role, because Szczur, for example, gets very high marks for attitude and work ethic, and is being moved up as quick as he can.

  • Tom U

    Baez has been involved in two ugly incidents so far. The first was the now famous “I can do anything I want” game in EXT. After hitting a towering homer, Baez stood and watched and was yelled at by the opposing manager to “run the bases”. While going around, Baez kept screaming
    “I can do anything I want”, which almost caused a riot. After touching home, Baez ran and hid behind Rock Shoulders.

    Later, at Kane County, Baez hit two mammoth blasts. Working a 3-0 count next time up, Baez then swung at ball four. This prompted a 10 second conference on the mound, and Baez was plunked on the next pitch. Baez was then booed unmercifully for the rest of the series, and his name is still a dirty word in parts of Geneva, IL.

    There are other rumors about him and his agent, but nothing I can substantiate at this time.

  • paulcatanese

    Agree Tom, and it will be interesting to watch his ego when the pitching gets better that he faces.