Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 08/02/12

The win-loss records improved across the system for the most part and several of the top prospects in the organization continue to play well. A couple of players made their organizational debut and several additions were made with the trades at the big league level.

Dillon Maples made his pro debut on Sunday and Pierce Johnson made his first appearance for the AZL Cubs on Wednesday. Dan Vogelbach launched his first homer in a Hawks’ uniform while Javier Baez just keeps on hitting.

Daytona kept on winning and added newly acquired Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva to their roster Tuesday. Junior Lake and Matt Szczur hit the ball when weather permitted but things are not so good in Iowa. The I-Cubs had a miserable road trip and have lost 12 of their last 13 games and are just 4-17 since the All-Star break.

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

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (18-27)
Boise beat Tri-City 1-0 for the second day in a row on Sunday. Gioskar Amaya (2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and a stolen base) was responsible for the Hawks’ lone run. Amaya cranked his fifth homer of the season in the third inning.

Dan Vogelbach (0-for-3 with a walk) went hitless in the win while Rock Shoulders (2-for-4 with a double) doubled in four trips to the plate.

Ian Dickson had an excellent night. Dickson pitched five innings of shutout ball, struck out four and walked two in route to his third win of the season. Hunter Ackerman picked up his first save after tossing four innings of one-hit scoreless ball. Ackerman struck out six and did not issue a free pass.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Monday was an off-day for the Boise Hawks.

The Hawks posted their fourth win in a row on Tuesday. Boise beat Spokane 10-9 in a slugfest. The two teams scored a combined 19 runs on 25 hits with four errors … only one miscue by the Hawks.

Jeimer Candelario (3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored) drove in the game winner with a double in the bottom of the ninth that plated Stephen Bruno.

Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) launched his first Single-A homer on Tuesday night, a three-run shot in the third inning. Stephen Bruno (3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored), Dong-Yub Kim (2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored) and Trey Martin (2-for-4 with a double) each had huge games while Marco Hernandez (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) hit his third longball, a two-run homer in the fourth.

The Hawks’ pitching staff struggled Tuesday night, especially non-drafted free agent Matt Iannazzo. Justin Amlung started the game and tossed two innings of scoreless ball. Felix Pena surrendered two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in the five innings following Amlung. Iannazzo allowed six runs, five earned, on four hits with a walk in a third of an inning. Eduardo Orozco allowed two of Iannazzo’s runs to score, was hung with the blown save but ended up with his second win of the year.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (50-56)
Peoria beat Beloit 10-6 in a slugfest on Sunday afternoon. The two teams pounded out 20 hits and the Chiefs took advantage of six errors from the Snappers.

Yao-Lin Wang had a decent start (two runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in four innings) but it was Justin Berg that allowed Beloit to get back into the game. Berg gave up four runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Larry Suarez picked up the win after tossing 1 2/3 scoreless frames.

Javier Baez (1-for-3 with two RBI, a walk and a run scored) had another good game while Pin-Chieh Chen (3-for-3 with two RBI, two walks and a run scored) reached base in all five of his plate appearances. Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and four RBI) drove in four and hit his 11th longball of the season.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Peoria dropped Monday’s game to Beloit 5-3 after the Snappers scored three runs in the eighth off Sheldon McDonald. The Chiefs took a 3-2 lead into the eighth. After a leadoff double by Adam Peterson and a bunt single by Nate Roberts, Peterson scored on an error by Zeke DeVoss. Austin Reed replaced McDonald and gave up the game-tying hit to Miguel Sano. A sac bunt by Drew Leachman advanced both runners up ninety feet. Reed intentionally walked Kennys Vargas. Reed could not get a double play ball and the Snappers took the lead for good on a sac fly off the bat of Matthew Koch.

Pin-Chieh Chen led the way for the offense with a 4-for-5 night that included a RBI. Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a double) and Zeke DeVoss (2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored) also contributed early before the bullpen blew the game late.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Chief dropped Tuesday’s opener to Quad Cities 5-1. Peoria managed only one run on five hits. Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a double) combined for four of the Chiefs’ five hits.

Michael Jensen could not post his tenth win of the season. Jensen allowed two runs on three hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts in five innings. Jeffry Antigua tossed two innings of scoreless ball but Pete Levitt struggled again. Levitt allowed three runs on three hits with two walks, a wild pitch and two strikeouts in an inning of work.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (47-60)
Daytona took the series finale with Bradenton 12-7 on Sunday afternoon. The D-Cubs pounded out 14 hits and committed only one error. Ronald Torreyes (3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored) stayed hot and so did Elieser Bonne (3-for-3 with a double, a RBI, a walk and a run scored). Eight of the starting nine collected at least one hit and Rafael Lopez (2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) hit his second round-tripper of the season in the ninth inning.

Matt Loosen had a rough outing by his standards but still picked up his 10th win of the season. Loosen allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings. Scott Weismann gave up a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings and A.J. Morris picked up his third save with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The D-Cubs beat Fort Myers in Monday’s opener 8-4. Daytona scored seven of their eight runs in the first three innings while Fort Meyers did not get on the board until the ninth.

Daytona pounded out 14 hits with Ronald Torreyes (2-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored), Rubi Silva (3-for-5 with a RBI), Rafael Lopez (2-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored), Elieser Bonne (2-for-5 with a double) and Matt Cerda (2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) leading the way. John Andreoli swiped his 41st base of the season and Ronald Torreyes stole his 13th bag.

P.J. Francescon improved to 2-5 with six innings of shutout ball. Francescon allowed only three hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Frank Del Valle struck out four and walked two in two scoreless frames. Ryan Searle continues to struggle and allowed all four runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in the ninth.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The D-Cubs collected 14 hits for the second night in a row and hung on to beat Fort Meyers 5-4 on Tuesday night. Daytona plated all five of their runs in the third and fourth innings.

Ronald Torreyes continues to pound the baseball. After a miserable start to the season, Torreyes has his average up to .271 with a .332 OBP. Torreyes went 2-for-5 with a double and two more RBI in Tuesday night’s win. Rubi Silva (2-for-4), Matt Cerda (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI), John Andreoli (2-for-5 with a triple, a RBI and a run scored) stayed hot as well. Tim Saunders added three hits in four trips to the plate. Saunders doubled and drove in a run.

Austin Kirk improved to 6-3 with a questionable five-inning performance. Kirk gave up four runs on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Hunter Cervenka continues putting up zeros. Cervenka tossed two scoreless frames. AJ Morris picked up his fourth save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (53-55)
The Smokies spent Sunday making their way from Jacksonville back to Tennessee and prepared to host Pensacola for a five-game series that began with a doubleheader on Monday.

The Smokies won both ends of a doubleheader on Monday over Billy Hamilton and the Pensacola BlueWahoos. Eric Jokisch picked up the win in game one (6-3) with a complete-game seven inning performance. Jokisch allowed three runs on five hits without a walk and two strikeouts. Jokisch improved to 7-2 on the season.

The Smokies scored five of their six runs in the first inning. Matt Szczur went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored while Junior Lake (2-for-3 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) continued mashing the ball. Greg Rohan cranked his fifth homer, a three run shot in the first inning, his only hit of the game. The Smokies pounded out 12 this and did not commit an error.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Smokies hung on in game two and picked up a 3-2 victory over Pensacola. Tennessee took advantage of two errors in the fifth that allowed two runs to score.

Casey Weathers got the win after pitching a scoreless fifth inning. Casey Harman started the game and did not allow a run over the first four innings. Tony Zych surrendered a run over 1 1/3 innings and Frank Batista picked up his 19th save.

Matt Szczur drove in his first run at the Double-A level and scored another. Junior Lake had a rare 0-for night but did work a walk.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Smokies ended up winning Tuesday’s game against Pensacola on Wednesday. Tuesday’s game was suspended due to weather and unplayable field conditions in the bottom of the fourth with Tennessee up 2-1. The Smokies ended up winning the game 4-2 with Trey McNutt picking up the victory.

Matt Szczur stole his first base in a Smokies’ uniform and scored a run in three trips to the plate. Junior Lake walked a scored a run while Justin Bour (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in a run.

Something weird can always happen when a game is suspended. Greg Rohan started Tuesday’s game at third base for the Smokies and went 1-for-2 with a double. Rohan was promoted to Iowa on Wednesday and hit two home runs in his Triple-A debut. With Tuesday’s game becoming official on Wednesday, Rohan doubled and homered with two different teams at two different levels in the “same day“.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (42-69)
Iowa took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning of Sunday night’s game against New Orleans only to lose it 6-3 in 10. Rodrigo Lopez had a decent start and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings. Ryan Rowland-Smith and Esmailin Caridad did their jobs and turned the game over to Michael Bowden. Bowden had a bad night and ended up walking in the tying run and blowing his second save. Jay Jackson took the hill in the tenth. Jackson gave up a leadoff double to Chris Aguila then struck out Cole Armstrong. Jackson walked Chase Lambin to put two on with one down in the tenth. Rob Brantly launched a bomb over the wall in right to end the game.

James Adduci (3-for-5) notched three hits and Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two RBI) hit his sixth homer of the season in the loss. Adrian Cardenas (1-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Josh Vitters (1-for-5) added a single while playing first base. Brett Jackson (0-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base) stole his 24th base of the season.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Chris Rusin suffered his eighth defeat of the season in Iowa’s 5-3 loss to New Orleans on Monday. Rusin allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Alberto Cabrera struck out four over the last 2 1/3 innings without allowing any runs.

James Adduci (2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBI) is making the most of his promotion while Alfredo Amezaga (3-for-4) added another multi-hit game. Josh Vitters (0-for-5) went hitless in the loss. Dave Sappelt has really picked it up of late. Sappelt added a pair of hits and a walk in four plate appearances.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

With all of the changes at the big league level, Tuesday turned into a bullpen day and another loss for the I-Cubs. New Orleans pounded out 10 hits in route to a 5-3 victory over Iowa.

Frankie De La Cruz got the start and took the loss after allowing three runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts in four innings. Ryan Rowland-Smith continued to struggle while Jairo Asencio pitched a scoreless frame in his I-Cubs debut.

Brett Jackson went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a RBI hitting out of the top spot of the lineup. Josh Vitters started at first and went hitless for the second game in a row. Dave Sappelt was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Arizona Rookie League
Even with the constant roster changes, the AZL Cubs keep winning ballgames. The Cubs are now 22-10 on the season and hold a one game lead over the rookie league Athletics. Dillon Maples made his pro debut Sunday night and allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout in an inning of work. Paul Blackburn picked up his first win and is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in four games, two starts.

Jorge Soler is hitting .250/.294/.469/.763 in eight games with a double and two home runs. Albert Almora went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored on Wednesday night and after seven game has a .269/.269/.462/.731 line with two doubles and a home run. Shawon Dunston Jr., who is determined to finish the season on a positive note, is hitting .254/.306/.403/.709 with three doubles, two triples and a home run in 15 games. Over the last 10 games, the Shawon-Jr-O-Meter is sitting at .268/.333/.439/.772.

News and Notes
The Iowa Cubs added OF Jeff Frazier to the active roster. INF Matt Cerda was promoted to Double-A Tennessee. RHP Ty’Relle Harris, C Juan Apodaca and INF Greg Rohan were promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Jairo Asencio accepted his assignment and reported to Triple-A Iowa.

RHP Jaye Chapman was assigned to Triple-A Iowa. RHP Kyle Hendricks and INF Christian Villanueva were assigned to High-A Daytona. The Smokies sent INF Dustin Harrington to Daytona. Daytona added INF Vladimir Frias to the roster from the Gateway Grizzlies (Independent League).

RHP Jacob Brigham was assigned to Double-A Tennessee.

The Cubs recalled Adrian Cardenas, Chris Volstad, Welington Castillo and Alberto Cabrera from Triple-A Iowa and optioned Casey Coleman to Triple-A Iowa.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
Share on Fancred
  • J Daniel

    Cubtex has been lobbying for Vitters for quite some time now and I think he will get his wish very soon.

    I think they have handled the Rizzo situation perfectly although he may have been a beast all year. But he gained a tremendous amount of confidence and is well on his way.

    Unlike past regimes, Rizzo has been put in a spot and left alone. His production obviously have helped but he isn’t in and out or in a different spot in the order everyday.

    I hope they do the same with Vitters and BJax – put them in a spot in the lineup and then leave them alone.

    Not sure what the best lineup spot is for them but I do like Castro and Rizzo at the 2/3 spot. Maybe they are 6/7? Whatever it is I think they will be there and stay there.

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

      I love that Rizzo has stayed in the 3 spot. Dusty ruined Corey Patterson with the constant moving around in the lineup, messed with his confidence, made him question himself. Vitters will take time to adjust, he always needs that time at each level. I dont mind him getting the call as i think its exciting when prospects get called up. But with the time thats left in the season will he begin to make those adjustments before its over? Would it benefit him more to just stay down and then start fresh here next year and allow for more time to adjust? I think if he starts off not so well here that could mess with him going into next year. Its a tough decision on what to do with him based on his track record.

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

      as far as where in the order would Vitters and Bjax go, i say what the hell put them 5/6 behind Castro Rizzo Soriano, If Soriano is moved in a waiver deal then i might consider vitters at 3 since hes supposed to be the best pure hitter and gettin on base in front of Rizzo would be great. Bjax down at 5th then. Wish we had a leadoff hitter a bit closer. Szczur and Torreyes would prob be our best options but are both prob still 2 years away. Though I could see with Szczurs work ethic, him breaking camp next spring with the big club. A top of the order next year that looks like this could be fun to watch, even with the growing pains they will endure.

      1 Szczur
      2 Castro
      3 Vitters
      4 Rizzo
      5 Bjax

    • cubtex

      3 more his for Vitters tonight.

      • cubtex

        Hits

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

    MLB.coms updated minor league rankings slides Vilanueva in at 6 for us and Hendricks in at 17. I guess Hendricks is a prospect. Either that or it speaks to the lack of quality in our farm or abundance of quality in Texas’. I believe I said the other day that though he was 48th in Texas he would prob be top 20 in ours. Guess others agree. I will maintain that the Dempster trade is a good one for us, better then Delgado would have been. Vilanueva will end up at 2nd when all is said and done, as his power numbers translate better there and his athleticism would allow for that switch. Should be interesting to see him and Torreyes battle that out over the coming years. Barney though good with the glove just doesnt have the stick that both these kids have. He will be moved, but that may be a year or two from now.

    • DWalker

      Both! Texas is really good and we just didn’t have much.

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

        Yeah thats basically what I thought too. A deal like that really points out the glaring deficiencies of the previous regime.

    • cubtex

      You think Villanueva and Hendricks is a better return than Delgado? A 22 year old starting pitcher already in the majors who is looked at as a #3 is not as good as an organizational starter 87-89 and a positional 3rd base prospect. I think even Theo wouldn’t admit this.

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

        I guess only time will tell, but im optimistic unlike you.

        • cubtex

          I’m curious Mr Optimist. What do you do for a living? I have time to blog since I have my own business and have motivated and trained a successful sales team to be one of the most productive in the industry…..so I get my sales team started in the morning and have some down time. What do you do?

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

            what exactly does that have to do with anything? Because you have to get a sales team going each morning it causes you to be a pessimist?

          • cubtex

            So what do you do?

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

            Well since you are soo interested I work for Walgreens while im in school full time. I have had more time to blog here recently because I hurt my back at work. A few years back I was on here quite often under another SN as I was out of work dealing with 3 back surgeries. After recovering from my first set of surgeries I moved and started over with going back to school.

            In dealing with these back problems ive had, and maybe facing more surgeries to come, i have needed to be optimistic. And honestly being a Cubs fan my entire life is the reason I was. At the end of the year saying “wait till next year,”and believing it, instilled optimism in me.
            Now i may not be the success that you are. But im not sure that that means a damn thing when posting our thoughts about the team we love.

          • cubtex

            Education is good. Stay positive! You have your whole life ahead of you.

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

            I completely agree! Dont get used to me sayin that lol.

          • cubtex

            I am not trying to embarrass you. If you are this optimistic about other things(not Cubs) and you are looking for a sales job……I am always looking for self motivated, optimistic go getters. You can telecommute. Don’t know what you are making and you don’t need to share…..but you can make over $30 an hour working for me if you are ALWAYS optimistic and work hard. We can exchange emails thru Neil if you are interested.

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

            I can sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.

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

            You can message me on FB under my name, or email at Hoosierboy3423@yahoo.com if youd like. I have had jobs in sales before. Experience in phone sales, though not a fan. But sure, id be interested in hearing about this. The way my backs been treating me, telecommuting doesnt sound like a bad idea.

          • cubtex

            It is phone sales. We work all over the country. I thought I would throw that out there to you. If you don’t like phone sales….I understand. It is a different animal. You have to be super competitive,positive and hard working. It isn’t easy…..but it can be lucrative for the right personality. You need to have a never give up attitude. It is straight commission. I will email you the info if you are interested. No hard feelings either way. I am always looking for more salespeople and I respect your optimism. Take care of your back

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

            Yeah, email me the info. The phone sales I did before was for a rather shady company that the FCC eventually shut down, lol. Besides that, the leads were not the best, good leads are pertinent with phone sales. Id definitely be interested in looking into it though. Cant hurt anything to see what its all about.

            Definitely no hard feelings and thank you, I will!

          • John G

            So you’re one of those guys that calls at dinner time? Tell me, how do you guys get around the “do not call list”? Or just don’t you care since the government doesn’t enforce it anyway?

          • cubtex

            If that was directed to me….it is business to business. no homeowners

          • Rational Logic

            Just wanna say – reading this convo was the best part of my day thus far. Other than free ice cream at work. Love free ice cream.

          • John G

            So it IS Amway, huh??

          • John G

            Amway??

          • cubtex

            hahahaha. that’s funny.

      • daverj

        If Demp was dealt for Delgado then I imagine that Maholm and Johnson would have been dealt elsewhere for a return less than Vizcaino. I think in all likelihood, Maholm and Johnson would have returned a couple marginal prospects like Hendricks and Chapman. It seems the Braves were the only team willing to deal top dollar in prospects for a starting pitcher like Dempster of Maholm.

        Thus, I think the real question is would the preference be (1) Vizcaino, Villanueva, Hendricks, and Chapman or (2) Delgado, a Hendricks type player and a Chapman type player.

        I prefer the Delgado scenario but I think it’s close as Villanueva could be a nice piece and I don’t think we would have obtained a solid prospect like him for Maholm/Johnson.

        • cubtex

          The big question is if Vizcaino can still be a starting pitcher. Kevin Goldstein and others don’t believe so. No sense in talking coulda whoulda shoulda. Demp screwed that up.

          • daverj

            I would tend to agree that Vizcaino is more likely to end up in the pen, but the jury is still out on that. If he’s in the pen, he has the potential to be one of the top closers in the league. Not as valuable as an ace starter, but we could sure use a lockdown closer.

          • cubtex

            I hope he can be a starter but many people are doubting it. I just went out to lunch and someone asked on mlb radio if Cabrera could possibly start and then Vizcaino’s name came up and both Duquette and Ferrin believe Vizcaino will be a bullpen guy. They said if they deal Garza……It is imperative that they get back 2 potential starters for him. Delgado would have been a huge pickup. They both believe Shark is a mid rotation guy and we know Travis Wood is a back end guy…..so it will be tough.

          • triple

            Yeah, I think there’s a big grey area there about Vizcaino’s future. I think the Cubs would be very smart to go slow and cautiously with him in 2013. Maybe use him in relief and then stretch him out a little over the last couple months and see how he responds to it. If their willing to take that risk on him, and from the way our system looks, I think it’s safe to say that we can wait at least 2 years to really know if he can start and stay healthy doing it.

          • cubtex

            I haven’t seen any tape on him but from what I have read……he has a pretty violent delivery.

          • cubtex

            What would be ideal is if Carlos Marmol pitches lights out for the last 2 months and they can deal Marmol for a starting pitching prospect during the offseason. That way you have Vizcaino who can step in and close and we get a starting pitcher for Marmol. Of course…..that depends on Marmol :)

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

      btw, Hendricks size now is 6’3 190, appears he has grown and Baseball Reference hasnt updated it yet. Those numbers I just gave are per MLB.com

      • cubtex

        Well that is much better. The Perfect Game Showcase website had him at 6′ 155. BTW. Kevin Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus believes that Vizcaino will have to a bullpen guy because of his short frame…..violent delivery….and injury background. He still is a good risk regardless but this is why I was hoping for Delgado. Delgado is a clear cut starting pitcher….whereas there are big questions about what Vizcaino will be.

        • J Daniel

          Couldn’t agree more but Demp screwed that up, not team Theo. They made a great trade and I think salvaged a chance at a good trade.

          At least they were not held hostage and probably did the best they could.

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

      Don’t count Barney out. He’s a leader, gets timely hits, hustles, plays solid defense and has a high baseball IQ. Just what you want from any 2nd baseman not named Sandberg.

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

        yeah definitely not counting Barney out, if he can continue to progress then great. But I definitely see him being pushed by torreyes and probably Vilanueva, Both have plus gloves and are better offensively then Barney. Its good to have that threat in the minors pushing you to keep improving though, and barney defensively has been night and day from last year.

        Depth and competition in the system is good to have, and oh so new. Im kinda like a kid in a candy store with some of the additions that have been made this year and with last years draft. I know its rough for some but im excited for the next 2-3 years, losing 100 games or not, just to see some of these kids come up and see what they got.

    • Rational Logic

      Also – Soler wasn’t in there. He should be top 5 don’t forget.

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

        Yeah no Soler or Almora on the list. It will be interesting to see where the system ranks next season. I think weve gotten significantly better over 1 year. And I will give credit to last years draft class helping with that as well, full knowing it wasnt our current FO that brought them here.

  • paulcatanese

    Liked the idea of Soler stealing home after a pickoff attempt to first base. Don’t think it would work too often in the bigs, but refreshing to hear. Soler must be adventurous.

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

      didnt Harper do that his first week or two up. Hustle will get u far, and thats good to see from Soler.

      • triple

        Yeah, he did that later in the game the Hamels gave him his “welcome to the big leagues” beaning. Retribution!

      • paulcatanese

        OK Mike, I had thought that Harper did that on a double steal, but not sure. I guess you and Triple are correct, thanks for the info.

  • Larry Schwimmer

    Can anyone explain to me why a deal to trade Soriano has not been done. If the Cubs are willing to assume almost ALL of his contract and it is clear that he can still hit 30 HR + 90 RBIs…there has to be some other reason? I think the reason is that THEO is not going to give him away so that a team gets a 30 HR player in return for paying the CUBS $1 mil per year! If that is all he’s worth…I say KEEP HIM!

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Larry, plus I think Theo indicated the return was not good enough in players (Detroit). And I certainly agree with Theo on that. Soriono is one home run away from the elite club of five years in a row with 20 home runs or more.

    • Zonk

      He’d be gone if he only had this year left on his contract. The problem is that nobody knows if he can maintain this pace, or completely fall apart the next two years. Who knows?
      That contract was still a disaster for us, but as it happens, the next two years figure to be rebuilding anyway, so we don’t really need the money to sign other FAs. Not yet.

  • Zonk

    I noticed Lendy Castillo is doing pretty well on his extended “rehab” assignment. That was a pretty bad “injury”. I’m not a doctor, but I bet he’ll get a clean bill of health right around September 1, when the rosters expand. How lucky for us!

    Seriously, we must really like Lendy to play these games this year…………

    • Tony_Hall

      He will actually have to be activated prior to Sept 1st. I don’t have the exact date, but it was in August.

  • daverj

    The “funny” thing about the Dempster scenario is that he likely hurt himself more than the Cubs. The difference between pitching in Atlanta vs Texas may cost him millions.

    It sounds like Dempster really thought that LA would pay the price for him, probably insisting that would be the case until the waning moments when Theo let him listen in on the negotiations with the Dodgers. It seems Dempster made a bad assessment of the situation and it cost both him and the Cubs organization.

    • cubtex

      If you heard Hoyer talk about it and even Theo using the word defecate(classic) they were clearly frustrated with Dempster holding out for LA. Dempster finally said OK to the Rangers and Yankees the last day. I agree that Dempster would probably prefer Atlanta when it is all said in done but he painted himself in a corner the way he did it.

      • paulcatanese

        Cubtex; not only did he paint himself into a corner,
        its a corner that will be closely monitered by Nolan Ryan, who knows a little about pitching and is very critical about performance.
        Dempster will now have to perform, not as a big fish in a little pond, but a little fish in a big pond. and with an extra hitter in the lineup against him, I think the Cubs made the most of what Dempster left them in a deal.
        IMO I think he will struggle in the AL.

        • Coolpdxcubsfan

          Agree Paul,
          Rights or no rights he is a jerk millionaire that couldn’t be inconvenienced for a couple of months for the good of the Cubs and keep his word. I can’t believe that a multimillionaire couldn’t figure things out to his satisfaction for a couple of months.
          Also in my humble opinion, Delgado was the best deal. The Braves made a huge mistake by offering him and they did not repeat that later. I won’t forget this. I hope the Cubs don’t either, although it sounds like they are already rose coloring him.

          • DWalker

            the art of the buisness, you don’t tar and feather a former player publicly if you can help it. It looks unproffessional and it doesn’t accomplish anything except hurt feelings. Dempster went about excercising the rights he was entitled to in a poor way, but there is no reason for management to raise a stink on a done issue publicly, especially as popular as he was before this. Privatly, it may have killed any future dealings with the club, but they will not come out and say it.

          • triple

            I think Theo and Co. handled the Demp situation with grace and made the best most could’ve made out of that situation and still got a good return in their trades. I mentioned it the other day. Just think if Demp had accepted the trade to Atlanta. The Rangers would’ve had no choice but to take a chance on Garza as he would’ve been the best pitcher available and would just need another week to be safe before he pitches again. Garza sure should be appealing to any AL team who considers they may face the Yankees in the playoffs. And I mention this about the Rangers because I think it was the GM who said they had high interest in Garza, but chose Demp because he was less of a health concern.

  • jw

    With Dempster Maholm and ???Garza gone the Cubs should be well on their way to a very high draft choice next spring.
    I hope the two guys they got from Texas are a better bet than a sandwich pick in next year”s draft. I do think Dempster got off easy and he doesn’t have to hear the fans boo him even from the visitor’s dugout
    Too dispell and idylic notions about him he is plainly a liar as to the circumstances of the botched trade, not a team player evidenced by his reaction to being pulled from his last game, and just plain stupid, rejecting a trade to the Braves reduced the Cubs leverage but also his virtually assuring that neither the Cubs or himself would get the type of package back to make a trade; in the end he ended up with no extension from the Rangers who were not his one or two…smart!!!

  • cc002600

    have a curiousity question for our minor league experts.

    when I see our best prospects talked about I don’t see anyone really mention Logan Watkins too much, but I look at his numbers at AA, and they ain’t too shabby, especially after he got off to bad start, if I remember correctly.

    Seems like he gives you everything you would look for in a 2B: Speed, good contact (low K’s), good avg, high OBP. Not sure about his glove, but I assume its decent. Seems like the prototypical scrappy little second baseman that every team needs.

    But I don’t ever see much chatter on him, unless I am missing it. Is he not considered much of a prospect ? plus, he is only 23, so its not like he is too old for AA.

    anyone with thoughts on why no Logan Watkins love ?

    • Tony_Hall

      Just my 2 cents…

      I was thinking he would be the 1st guy to push Barney for the 2B job, but Barney has secured 2B for awhile, IMO.
      I agree with you and don’t understand why he doesn’t get a little more pub myself. I am sure at the major league level, he is more likely a utility guy, but that is what a lot of thought about Barney.

      • cubtex

        Please say No to Derek Lowe!

    • cubtex

      He is being thought of as a future utility guy. He has played 2B, SS and 14 games in the OF as well. That will probably be his best shot to make it. It is not easy being a 20th round draft choice.

  • cubtex

    Nice to see both Dillon Maples and Pierce Johnson getting baptized in pro ball! I am sure both were extremely nervous.

    Maples 1 IP 2 BB and 1 HBP. I am sure this was the most nervous he has ever been on the mound.

    Pierce Johnson 1 IP 2 hits 0BB and 0K.

    Hopefully we will see these 2 guys start to progress thru the system quickly.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Anthony Rizzo was named NL Rookie of the Month for July after leading NL rookies with 32 hits, 7 HR, 17 RBI and 55 total bases.

  • Aaron

    Lots of varying opinions on the 5 (possibly 6 guys if we get the PTBNL from the Rangers instead of the cash option) guys the Cubs got in trades: Vizcaino, Chapman, Hendricks, Villanueva, and Brigham.

    Here’s my take on it…While all of the players obtained have their pluses, they all come with pretty significant warts, and here’s my description of them:

    Vizcaino-potential upside as a 1-2 starter, or a closer, but the bust factor is equally as high. He’ll either make it as a top end starter or closer, or he’ll be released in a few years. Has a mid-90’s fastball, coupled with a plus slider, but below average changeup. He also comes with injury risk.
    *in this case, where it was essentially Maholm who was playing out of his mind as the Cubs’ #4 starter for Vizcaino, the Cubs clearly won. While Maholm might be having a good year right now, he still averages about 6 IP per start, and no more than that. Why? Because in a vast majority of his starts, he’ll have nearly equal balls and strikes. For instance, in his final start with the Cubs, he had about 60 strikes vs 50 balls. That’s a LOT of 2-2 and 3-2 counts on guys. He relies on nibbling, and when he hangs around the zone, he gets obliterated.
    **********************ADVANTAGE: Cubs******************************

    Chapman-potential upside as a Shawn Camp-esque reliever with high 80’s to 91 mph fastball. He’s got decent numbers, but he just has average potential.
    *in this case, it was essentially Johnson for Chapman. You can’t argue that it was a solid move, though I believe the Cubs could have received better for him alone than an average reliever. Still, Johnson had no future with the team as a 36 year old, so this was a solid pick-up for the future
    **********************ADVANTAGE: Cubs******************************

    Hendricks-potential upside as a Coleman type, but with more control. Features low 90’s fastball, and mixes speeds well, but he is NOT a solid pick-up for Dempster, considering the Cubs had Delgado PLUS another prospect on the table for him. His calling card is control, and while his stuff compares well to Coleman in the minors, he has more K’s, and even better control, so I will reserve judgement a bit, even though he’s a bit older at 22 in high-A (turns 23 in December). I want to see how he finishes this year.

    and…

    Villanueva-if you look at his minor league numbers, it seems his numbers match up well with Adrian Beltre….only AT THE MLB level. But if you look at Beltre’s numbers in the minors, they’re FAR superior. In other words, Villanueva doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell at being an above average MLB 3B…possibly a decent utility guy with pop, but that’s about all.
    *the main problem was Dempster blocking the Braves deal, because the Cubs won that deal hands down. They wouldn’t have ended up with Vizcaino who at least has an outside shot at being a high end starter. Yet, it still has to be incredibly disappointing for Team Theo to get 2 A-ball guys with about average potential, while the Rangers get a potential difference-maker for the stretch run (as long as he’s not facing Pujols….lol)
    *************************ADVANTAGE: Rangers***********************

    Brigham-pitches mid-90’s, high K totals, but little else, and poor results thus far. I’m shocked at how little the team got for Soto
    *I would have thought the Cubs would get at least 2 mid-level prospects for him, with the acquiring team betting he’d produce better on a winning team
    ************************ADVANTAGE: Rangers….unless the PTBNL is any good, then advantage Cubs because of arbitration cost***********************************************************

    You have to feel bad for the Cubs because of the Dempster situation, and the Garza injury as well. It was just a raw deal they got. You have to think that if Garza was healthy and performing like last year, they very well might’ve ended up with a Teixeira-esque haul. I would assume they would’ve engaged the Jays heavily and might’ve landed Syndergaard, Sanchez, and Marisnick, or even the injured D’Arnaud….I just hope he gets back on track, and they deal him to the Jays this offseason

    • DWalker

      The soto trade is very interesting. I have to wonder if the PTBNL is based on certain agreed to targets. As much as we all wish Soto was worth more, the cubs were in a horrible position. He has had a poor year, but is improving, is going to be costly enough he wasn’t going to be brought back anyway, and he was blocking two prospects. There was just no leverage for the cubs in that deal, and every other GM knew it, especially the handful that were going to be interested in him. Its a shame he never lived up to his rookie performance, but he just wasn’t that player.

      In fact, the cubs only dealt once in a position of leverage, and that was the Maholm deal, and they got a decent return on that package. I also question how hard they really tried to move garza, but even there they weren’t dealing in a strong position.

    • J Daniel

      Aaron,
      Thanks for the assessment. I asked for it when the deal was made. I agree with you but can’t blame the team for not getting Delgado. They made a great trade there and Dempster screwed it up. Maybe the timing with it was wrong and had it come down at the deadline it would have gone. Or maybe it allowed the deal to the Rangers, which was just ok, because he woke up to the fact he wasn’t going to the Dodgers.

      I give them a lot of credit for not caving in and sending him to LA for a terrible deal. To me this is a great sign for the future.

  • http://twitter.com/SirGladiator Frankie Newton

    I love the future of these guys we traded for. My first question is, why on earth is Hendricks in Single A right now? He has DOMINATED there all year, he should’ve been sent to Double A to finish the year. This guy is our next Greg Maddux, no sense wasting any time getting him on the path to the bigs. Coleman I like seeing him close for our AAA team, I’d like to see him given that job at the big league level soon, let’s see if he can get it done, if he cant then I agree he’s more like a Camp, but right now I’m optimistic he can be our closer for the long haul. Obviously Vizcaino is gonna be our Ace, and Vizcaino and Hendricks are going to be our new Woody-Prior. I like that 3B guy too, but I agree with keeping him at single A, his numbers just arent impressive enough to warrant a promotion yet, although they’re close. Gotta like our minor league system right now, we’re ready to really start churnin out the Superstars!

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

      Love the optimism…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Christian Villanueva has homered in his first two D-Cubs at bats tonight.

    • paulcatanese

      Wow!!

  • paulcatanese

    Congratulations to Rizzo for rookie of the month. And havent the Cubs led both leagues in home runs for the first base position?
    Between LaHair, Rizzo, and Baker,and anyone else when they played over there for the year, should add up to quite a few, and
    ahead of Prince and Pujols.

  • RMercer69

    Dempster and Soto are the battery for the Rangers tonight. Demp gave up 2 in the first, including a HR to Trumbo.

    • John G

      But he’s in unfamiliar territory with a 4-2 lead.

      • John G

        Now 6-2. The Rangers actually put runs on the board. Dempster’s not used to that.

      • paulcatanese

        8 earned runs in 4.2 innings, who dat? MLB won’t let it go.

  • Ripsnorter1

    RACKED!

    Dempster has given up 7 ER in 4 IP in his first Texas start.

    The Scouts were saying….
    #1 He pitched into luck all year, and
    #2 Texas’ hitter friendly park isn’t particularly suited to his style of pitching.

    • paulcatanese

      Harold Baines on Dempster, “he needs to start a new era”
      15.43 era, not the same league.
      This is going to be tough for Dempster over there.

      • Ripsnorter1

        This should suit him fine. He didn’t want to go to Atlanta….let him eat cake in Texas.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Congrats to Reed Johnson, 3 for his first 6 in Atlanta.

  • Aaron

    Zonk mentioned Lendy Castillo, and others have recently.

    I can’t help but think they are grooming him mid-season to come up as a starter. With Cabrera up, Chapman and others at AAA, they don’t need any relievers. But with awful pitching coming from Coleman, Volstad, and recently Travis Wood, the Cubs need to at least stay somewhat competitive. They need to find out what they have in Castillo the rest of the year as a starter.

    The Cubs only have Garza and Samardzija they can count on right now. If you look at the future, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would believe Volstad, Travis Wood, or Coleman will be in future plans. At AA, I guess you could make the case for Jokisch needing a call-up, but nobody else is really deserving.

    Next year, you just hope guys like Whitenack, Kirk, Loosen, Burke, Jensen, Peralta, and even Rosario can step forward, or the Cubs can deal Garza for multiple pitching prospects like Sanchez and Syndergaard….it’s just going to get ugly.

    Looking towards free agency, the only starters they should consider going after would be: Liriano, Bedard (on the cheap), Edwin Jackson, and Anibal Sanchez.

    If they lose out on any of those guys, then next season is going to be even worse than this year.

    The only guys left on the team that might bring back a decent starter (that you might consider trading, as I’m obviously not including Rizzo or Castro, etc.) are:
    Soriano-maybe mid-level
    Russell-Marshall-esque return most likely (hopefully not)
    Marmol-maybe mid-level
    Barney-maybe mid-level
    DeJesus-maybe low-level
    Garza-multiple top prospects

    See why they absolutely must trade Garza AND be aggressive in FA?

    • ChadAudio

      I think you left Dempster off the FA list. I’m guessing he’ll come cheaper then most of the FA pitchers you mentioned there.