Zych, Baez Named to Rising Stars Roster … and Other Cubs News and Notes

Rosters for Saturday’s AFL Rising Stars Game were released on Wednesday night. Two of the Cubs’ prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League were named to the East Division team, but only one has a chance to play in the annual event. Tony Zych and Javier Baez made the East squad after solid starts to the fall league. Baez will not be able to participate due to breaking his thumb last Saturday but Zych should pitch out of the pen. Zych is 1-0 with a save in eight appearances with four strikeouts, a walk and two runs allowed on 10 hits in eight innings of work (2.25 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP).

The MLB Network will televise the game with Mike Ferrin calling the game on MLB Network Radio. First pitch is slated for 7:00pm CDT from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Logan Watkins replaced the injured Javier Baez on the Mesa Solar Sox’s roster. Watkins had an excellent season and earned Cubs’ Minor League Player of the Year honors. Watkins hit .281/.383/.422/.805 with 20 doubles, 11 triples and nine home runs in 133 games for Double-A Tennessee.

Brett Jackson
The Cubs are building the 2013 Opening Day roster without Brett Jackson according to a report from Patrick Mooney. One of the holes the Cubs are looking to fill this winter is in the outfield, either right field or centerfield, so Brett Jackson can gain more experience in Triple-A. Theo Epstein explained that Brett Jackson was brought up to the majors in August for specific reasons. The Cubs recognized that Jackson’s swing was not ready to compete at the big league level. Dale Sveum wanted to work with Jackson and the front office felt that Jackson needed to see certain things in order to help with his development.

Brett Jackson said at the end of the year that he was not proud of his season. Jackson acknowledged that he pressed early on and fell into bad habits that he was not able to work his way out of as the season progressed.

AFL Rising Stars Game
Eighteen of the game’s top 100 prospects will participate in the AFL Rising Stars Game on Saturday night. The Cubs will have only one representative due to the injury to Javier Baez. Tony Zych has had a good fall and should receive a non-roster invite to big league camp in the spring.

Jarred Cosart, Austin Romine, Anthony Rendon, Jonathan Schoop, Jonathan Singleton, Gary Brown, Nick Castellanos, George Springer, Kyle Gibson, Hak-Ju Lee, Kolten Wong, Billy Hamilton, Rymer Lirano and Christian Yelich are among the top prospects participating in the game.

This is must see TV for those that follow the Minor Leagues.

Full AFL Rising Stars Rosters

News and Notes
The Cubs’ new Minor League Pitching Coordinator considered himself a Cubs’ fan growing up and that was part of the appeal for Derek Johnson leaving Vanderbilt to join the Cubs’ organization. Johnson discussed the move and the process behind his decision to leave Vanderbilt … and it all started with a phone call from David Macias.

During an interview on the Score, Steve Stone suggested strongly that Eric Karros will join Len Kasper in the Cubs’ booth next season.

Paul Kinzer was fired from the Wasserman Media Group on Wednesday night. Kinzer failed to file Francisco Rodriguez’s no-trade list in 2011 and Rodriguez ended up being traded to Milwaukee from the Mets as a result of Kinzer’s mistake. Rodriguez received a $2 million settlement and Kinzer was fired. Starlin Castro is one of Kinzer’s clients and it is unclear at this time what will happen to Kinzer’s client roster.

Joe Mather was outrighted off the 40-man roster and assigned to Triple-A Iowa last week. According to Cubs.com, Joe Mather has elected free agency.

Off-Season Calendar


  • 2 – Free Agents may sign contracts with new teams
  • 6 – 9 – General Managers Meetings – Palm Springs, CA
  • 8 – Silver Slugger Awards announced – MLB Network – 4:00pm CDT
  • 8 – Last Date for Players to Accept Arbitration from Current Club
  • 10 – End of Waiver period
  • 11 – Beginning of New Waiver period – waivers secured on or after November 11, 2012 remains in effect until February 15, 2013, exception: outright waivers
  • 20 – Deadline for clubs to file reserve lists for Major League club and all Minor League Levels (Rule 5 Draft protection)
  • 30 – Last Date to Tender Contracts to Arbitration Eligible Players

BBWAA Awards – All Award winners announced at 3:00pm CDT on MLB Network

  • 12 – NL and AL Rookie of the Year
  • 13 – NL and AL Manager of the Year
  • 14 – NL and AL Cy Young Awards
  • 15 – NL and AL Most Valuable Player Awards


  • 1 – Last date to request outright waivers to assign player prior to Rule 5 Draft
  • 5 – Last date to outright a player prior to the Rule 5 Draft (5:00pm ET)
  • 3 – 6 – Baseball’s Winter Meetings – Nashville, TN
  • 4 – Balloting Results announced for Ford C. Frick Award
  • 6 – Rule 5 Draft



  • 5 – 15 – Salary arbitration filing period
  • 13 – 15 – 27th Annual Cubs Convention
  • 18 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures
  • 18 – 20 – 28th Annual Cubs Convention


  • 1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
  • 15 – End of Waiver Period
  • 16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
  • 23 – Cubs Cactus League Opener **Note, this is a tentative date


  • 2 – 6 – World Baseball Classic, First Round – Pool A
  • 2 – 5 – World Baseball Classic, First Round – Pool B
  • 7 – 10 – World Baseball Classic, First Round – Pool C
  • 7 – 10 – World Baseball Classic, First Round – Pool D
  • 8 – 10 – World Baseball Classic, Second Round – Pool 1
  • 17 – 19 – World Baseball Classic, Championship Round – AT & T Park, San Francisco
  • 8 – Single-Game Tickets for the 81 home games of the Cubs 2013 schedule go on sale
  • 31 – All Clubs must reduce active roster to 25 players
  • 31 – Opening Day for MLB


  • 1 – Opening Day for Chicago Cubs – Cubs vs. Pirates at PNC Park

Will Update Off-Season Calendar throughout winter

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Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein