Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/25/13

The Cubs moved into a new era in their minor leagues as first round pick Kris Bryant joined many of his 2013 draftees in Boise. The Cubs also added pitchers Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards, along with infielder Mike Olt in the trade for Matt Garza … and more players should be added to the Cubs’ system over the next six days.

Iowa, Tennessee, and Daytona battled to keep their playoff hopes alive while Kane County looked for any kind of positives this week.

Along with updates from the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues, see what’s inside of this version of the Down on the Farm Report.

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

Short-Season A – Boise Hawks (1-0) (22-17)

It was all Boise on Sunday night as the Hawks dominated Everett 7-0. Starter James Pugliese had an outing that earned him Northwest League Pitcher of the Week, as he struck out three through five innings. Tyler Skulina was also impressive as he picked up five strikeouts over two no hit innings. Michael Wagner finished the game by striking out a pair in two innings.

The Hawks loaded the bases in the first after singles by Lance Rymel (2-for-4) and Rony Rodriguez (1-for-5) were sandwiched around a walk to Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with a RBI). Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-3 with a RBI) was hit by a pitch to force in Rymel. Balaguert scored on a sacrifice fly. In the second, Jordan Hankins (3-for-4) singled and was sacrificed to second. A base hit by Shawon Dunston Jr. (4-for-5 with two RBI) plated Hankins. Dunston was out on a force by Rymel, but a double by Balaguert scored Rymel. Brockmeyer led off the third with a triple and scored on a single by David Bote (2-for-3 with three RBI). The same combination clicked again in the fourth after Brockmeyer singled, Bote doubled and plated Brockmeyer. Boise added a run in the seventh when Hankins singled and scored on a base hit by Dunston.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Boise Hawks finished the first half of the season in style as they blew out Everett 10-0 on Monday. It was the “two inning roll” for the Hawks again as four pitchers each tossed two scoreless innings. Rob Zastryzny started and struck out a batter and in his two frames. Sam Wilson followed and fanned four of the Aqua Sox and was credited with the win. Zack Godley had two strikeouts, as did Scott Frazier. Tyler Bremer mopped up in the ninth.

The Hawks kept the pressure up all evening as Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5 with a RBI) reached on a two out single in the first and scored on a double by Jacob Rogers (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). Jordan Hankins (2-for-5 with a RBI) led off the second with a double and scored on a base hit from Trevor Gretzky (1-for-4 with a RBI). A single by Lance Rymel (2-for-5 with a RBI) plated Gretzky. Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with two RBI) was hit by a pitch with one out in the third and scored on triple from Jose Dore (1-for-4 with a RBI). Carlos Penalver started the fourth with a single, went to second on an errant pick-off attempt and scored on a single by Danny Lockhart (2-for-5 with a RBI). In the seventh, Rogers hit a one out solo home run. Brockmeyer restarted things with a single, moved to second on an error, and scored on a base hit from Hankins. Two singles by Penalver and Lockhart and a fielding error that allowed Rymel to reach loaded the bases in the eighth. Another fielding error allowed Penalver and Lockhart to score. Rymel scored on a force out.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Boise began the second half the way they ended the first. The Hawks defeated Eugene 6-0 and picked up their third straight shutout. Dillon Maples started the game and put together his best out of the year. Maples struck out seven over five scoreless innings. Corbin Hoffner continued his fine season. Hoffner struck out two batters over three scoreless frames. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino closed the game by striking out the side in the ninth.

The Hawks welcomed first round pick Kris Bryant to the line-up, but Monday also marked the return of third round pick Jacob Hannemann (2-for-4). Carlos Penalver led off the third inning with a walk and a single by Hannemann moved him to second. Danny Lockhart (1-for-3 with two RBI) and Jacob Rogers (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) walked to force in Penalver. A passed ball scored Hannemann. David Bote (1-for-3) began the fourth with a double and stole third. Hannemann walked, then stole second and both runners scored on a single by Lockhart. Rogers belted a solo homer in the fifth. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4) doubled to start the seventh, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (7-22) (37–58)

On Sunday, Kane County was able to match Lansing run per run until they came out on top 6-5 in ten innings. After spotting the Lugnuts a run in the first, hot-hitting Gioskar Amaya (4-for-4) led off with a single and stole second. A triple by Albert Almora (3-for-5 with a RBI) scored Amaya, and a single from Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with two RBI) plated Almora. Reggie Golden (2-for-5 with a home run) clubbed his fourth home run of the season in the second inning. Down by two runs in the seventh, the Cougars tied it up on consecutive doubles by Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4) and Rock Shoulders (1-for-5 with a RBI). Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-4) singled to put runners on second and third and a sacrifice fly scored Shoulders. Golden led off the tenth with a double and scored on a single by Vogelbach.

Tayler Scott came off the disabled list and went six innings. Scott allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out a batter. Matt Iannazzo made his first appearance back from Boise, and was roughed up for two earned runs in 0.1 innings. Armando Rivero has settled down of late. Rivero went 1.2 innings and kept Lansing off the board as he struck out two batters. Michael Hamann tossed two scoreless innings and picked up his first victory for the Cougars.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Kane County never led on Monday as they lost 5-2 to Lansing. Juan Carlos Paniagua made his second start and didn’t fare much better than in his first outing. Paniagua allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out four in 3.1 innings. Sheldon McDonald also recorded four strikeouts as he surrendered an earned run in 1.2 innings. Justin Amlung pitched a scoreless inning, while Andrew McKirahan gave up an earned run in an inning of work. Nathan Dorris and Steve Perakslis each held the Lugnuts scoreless for an inning. The Cougars scored all their runs in the second inning after Willson Contreras (1-for-2) was hit by a pitch with two outs and was aboard when Reggie Golden (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) hit his second home run in as many days.

High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (16-12) (51-43)

Daytona waited for three hours to start Sunday’s game due to rain, and then dropped a see-saw affair 7-5 to St. Lucie. The delay seemed to affect Ben Wells, who was not as effective with his sinkerball as he has been of late. Wells allowed three runs and struck out three in four innings. Yao-Lin Wang followed and gave up three earned runs in three innings while striking out two batters. Freshly promoted Lendy Castillo notched four strikeouts, but surrendered an earned run in the final two innings. The D-Cubs were aggressive early. Zeke DeVoss (2-for-3) walked and stole second. After a free pass to Wes Darvill (1-for-4), both DeVoss and Darvill pulled off a double steal. A sacrifice fly scored DeVoss, and a single by Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Darvill. Daytona took the lead in the fifth after consecutive one out singles by DeVoss and Darvill. Elliot Soto (1-for-3 with two RBI) singled in DeVoss. A passed ball brought in Darvill. The D-Cubs pulled within one in the seventh after Soto was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a RBI).

As is usually the case, a rainout on Monday meant a doubleheader on Tuesday. It was practically over before it began in game one as Daytona lost 5-3 to St. Lucie. Zach Cates hit the first batter, and didn’t record his first out until four batters later. In all, Cates allowed all five runs in 0.2 innings. Austin Reed tried to pick up the pieces by tossing 4.1 scoreless innings. Chang-Yong Lim held the Mets the rest of the way and struck out three in two innings. The D-Cubs inched closer in the first after Zeke DeVoss walked to start the inning and advanced to third on a single from Elliot Soto (1-for-3) and a throwing error. DeVoss then scored on a double play. In the fourth, Anthony Giansanti walked and advanced to second on a single by Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3). Both runners scored on a double by Wes Darvill (3-for-3 with two RBI).

It was all Daytona in game two as they righted the ship and beat St. Lucie 7-0. Pierce Johnson had his good stuff going and he held the Mets scoreless for five innings. Johnson struck out three batters. Frank Del Valle took the D-Cubs that rest of the way and picked up two strikeouts in two innings. Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3) and Dustin Geiger drew two out walks in the first and scored on a triple by Wes Darvill (2-for-3 with three RBI). A single by Taiwan Easterling (1-for-3 with a RBI) plated Darvill. Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-2 with a home run) launched his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Daytona added three more in the fifth after Giansanti reached on a force and moved to second on a throwing error. Geiger walked, and a double from Darvill scored Giansanti. A single by Yaniel Cabezas (1-for-2 with two RBI) scored both Geiger and Darvill.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (18-12) (52-47)

It just wasn’t Tennessee’s day on Sunday as six errors contributed to an 8-1 loss to Jacksonville. A.J. Morris was pounded for ten hits and five runs (two earned) in four innings. Hunter Cervenka struck out two in two scoreless innings. Kevin Rhoderick followed and gave up three earned runs in an inning. Tony Zych tossed a scoreless inning, while infielder Nate Samson worked around two hits as he mopped up in the ninth. The Smokies scored their run in the sixth after Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4) reached on an error, moved to third on a double by Javier Baez (1-for-4), and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Tennessee appeared to have the game in hand on Monday, but defense and relief pitching failed them and the Smokies lost 5-4 to Jacksonville. Kyle Hendricks was his usual dominant self as he held the Suns scoreless for six innings. Two errors by Christian Villanueva opened the floodgates on Hendricks, who allowed two unearned runs and struck out six in seven innings. Zac Rosscup then served up a three-run homer in his 0.2 innings of work. P.J. Francescon struck out three as he went 1.1 scoreless innings. The Smokies scored first after John Andreoli (2-for-3) doubled with two outs in the third and scored on a single by Rafael Lopez (2-for-4 with three RBI). Justin Bour (2-for-4 with a home run) made it 2-0 when he led off the fourth with his tenth homer of the season. Singles by Villanueva, Rubi Silva (2-for-4), and Andreoli loaded the bases. A double by Lopez scored Villanueva and Silva.

Make it three losses in a row as Tennessee fell to Huntsville 6-4 on Tuesday. Eric Jokisch did not have his best stuff. Jokisch allowed six earned runs in six innings while striking out four batters. Marcos Mateo and Frank Batista each tossed a scoreless inning. Jokisch did contribute to his own case as he walked to lead off the sixth and later scored on a sacrifice fly. Matt Szczur (1-for-4) singled and scored on a home run from Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). In the seventh, doubles by Christian Villanueva (1-for-4) and John Andreoli (1-for-4, RBI) plated another run.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (50-54)

Iowa managed only four hits on Sunday as they lost 3-0 to Round Rock. Barret Loux was sharp against his former team. Loux struck out five over five scoreless innings. Alberto Cabrera returned to the I-Cubs and picked up two strikeouts as he held the Express scoreless for two innings. Usually reliable Brian Schlitter was hit hard. Schlitter allowed three earned runs in the eighth and took the loss. Logan Watkins was 2-for-4, while Donnie Murphy was 1-for-4 with a double and Josh Vitters went 1-for-2.

The I-Cubs were walloped by New Orleans 9-2 in a rain shortened seven inning game on Monday. Nick Struck pulled emergency duty as scheduled starter Chris Rusin was called up to the big club. Struck allowed seven earned runs and struck out four in five innings. Jeffry Antigua gave up another two runs (one earned) as he picked up three strikeouts in two innings. Donnie Murphy (1-for-4 with a home run) got Iowa on the board in the third with his 12th home run of the season. Back-to-back doubles by Brad Nelson (2-for-3) and Edgar Gonzalez (1-for-3 with a RBI) scored another run in the fourth inning.

The only run scored on Tuesday happened to be in the bottom of the ninth with two out, as Iowa beat New Orleans 1-0. Donnie Murphy (1-for-4) reached on an infield single to lead off the ninth, and a base hit by Darnell McDonald (1-for-4) moved him to third. A single by newly reinstated Edwin Maysonet (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Murphy with the game winner. Guillermo Moscoso had his strikeout pitch going as he punched out nine in five innings. Henry Rodriguez saw his first action for the I-Cubs and tossed an inning. Casey Coleman held the Zephyrs scoreless for two innings, while Brian Schlitter picked up the victory with a scoreless inning.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Rookie League – AZL Cubs (13-13)

Kris Bryant made his professional debut on Sunday but rehabbing players David DeJesus and Greg Rohan were part of the story as well in the Cubs 10-9 loss to the Dodgers. Bryant went 0-for-3 with three errors, while DeJesus and Rohan each went 1-for-4. DeJesus hit a double and Rohan drove in a run. Anthony Prieto allowed five runs (two earned) and struck out three in 3.1 innings.

An intense game came down to David DeJesus and Krist Bryant as the Cubs defeated the Royals 2-1 on Monday. DeJesus scored all the runs by going 2-for-4 with a double, while Bryant drove him in as Bryant went 1-for 3 with two RBI. Josh Davis tossed 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his second win, while Trevor Graham picked up his first save by striking out a batter in two scoreless innings.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Thanks to a six run seventh inning, the Cubs were able to pull off a 7-2 victory on Tuesday. Rehabbing pitchers Jose Arias and Starling Peralta were the big news, with Arias striking out two in two scoreless innings while Peralta allowed two runs (one earned) in 3.1 innings. Six different Cubs picked up a RBI, with Kelvin Freeman went 1-for-4 with two runs scored.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Dominican Summer League

The DSL Cubs increased their lead in the Boca Chica South Division to five games as their record now stands at 29-13 after going 3-2 over the past week. Second baseman Dalfis Otiz moved into tenth in the league with a .329 average that includes a home run, 22 RBI, and 14 stolen bases.  Third baseman Adonis Paula is now tied for tenth in the league with 26 RBI to go along with a .239 average and two home runs.  Outfielder Jenner Emeterio remains in second place in the DSL with 25 stolen bases but saw his average drop to .202 with a home run and 11 RBI. The Cubs improved to fourth in the DSL in team ERA, however, none of their pitchers qualified to be among the league leaders. Jose Zapata remains the staff leader with a 0.87 WHIP to go along with a 1.45 ERA and a 2-0 record that includes 28 strikeouts in 31 innings. Reliever Gilberto Abreu is tenth in the league with five saves. Abreu has a 1-0 record with a 0.93 ERA and 0.88 WHIP that includes 14 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.

Venezuelan Summer League

The VSL Cubs pushed their record to 30-27 by going 4-3 over the past week but remain in second place, 11.5 games out of first place. Infielder/outfielder Roney Alcala moved to fifth in the league in hitting. Alcala is batting .332 with six homers, while his 36 RBI rank him third in the league. Outfielder Delbis Arcila is fifth in the league with seven home runs, eighth with 30 RBI, and seventh with a .315 average. Outfielder Arnaldo Calero is now tenth in the league with 28 RBI, as he is hitting .268 with five home runs and 11 stolen bases. Shortstop/second baseman Bryant Flete remained in fourth place with 17 stolen bases, and is hitting .292 while driving in 21 runs. Right-hander Adbert Alzolay remains the league leader with a 1.34 ERA and is second with a 0.93 WHIP. Alzolay has a 4-3 record and 48 strikeouts, good for fourth in the league. Francisco Carrillo has an 8-3 record and is now third in the league with 51 strikeouts. Carrillo is fifth with a 0.99 WHIP and a 2.22 ERA.

News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Justin Grimm to the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP C.J. Edwards to the Daytona Cubs; assigned OF Anthony Giansanti to the Daytona Cubs from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Lendy Castillo to the Daytona Cubs from the Kane County Cougars; assigned IF Kris Bryant and OF Jacob Hannemann to the Boise Hawks from the AZL Cubs.

The Iowa Cubs activated IF Edwin Maysonet from the 7-Day disabled list. The Daytona Cubs placed RHP Ben Wells and C Taylor Davis on the 7-Day disabled list. The Kane County Cougars activated RHP Tayler Scott from the 7-Day disabled list. The Boise Hawks placed C Rony Rodriguez on the 7-Day disabled list

The Cubs minor league updates will be posted next week but I will be with the family as vacation time has rolled around again. I will remain in touch on Twitter @TheCCO_Minors with updates, and I’ll see you again on August 5.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

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"Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice." - Bob Proctor
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  • Ripsnorter1

    Have a great vacation, Tom. And while you are at it, get Brett Jackson back on his horse in AAA.

    • Tom U

      Thank you Rip. The closest I’ll be getting to Iowa are the Quad Cities. I’ll see what I can do from there.

      • paulcatanese

        Have a good vacation Tom, and leave the computer at home, just relax, and have some great down time, it will all be there when you get back.
        Don’t know how you guy’s (Neil and the rest) do it all the time.

        • Tom U

          Thank you, Paul

  • Roe Skidmore

    When will Vitters be ready for the call up? Valbueno is a utility player & we need to see what Vitters can do once again at 3B.

    • Tony_Hall

      Vitters is playing LF (or 1B) and Olt is playing 3B for Iowa. The question is when will Olt be ready.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Thanks again. So if Soriano goes soon in a trade, the question will be when Vitters and Olt are ready to bring up and see what we have in LF and at 3B?

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree. I would like to see Vitters, Olt, BJAX and Watkins all get playing time in August/September.

      • Dorasaga

        When, would you say? I’m guessing very soon, as soon as now. The only thing between him and restarting as a regular on the Big is really not talent or his learning curve, but service time (contract control, for the benefit of the club) and his health risk. The latter solved, the rest will come in time.

    • Tom U

      Roe, Vitters will need a lot of reps in the outfield before being ready. He has not played there since the Arizona Fall League in 2011.

      • 07GreyDigger

        They just brought up Lake to play CF and he didn’t play there a lot. Right?

        • Tom U

          Lake has had a lot more outfield experience, just not in center.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I see. I just hope Vitters gets another chance. I have an affinity for those great hitters with no real power (Boggs, Grace, Murton, etc)

          • J Daniel

            Yes, but I don’t think Vitters will be a great hitter.

          • 07GreyDigger

            One can dream. OK?!

          • J Daniel

            Yes they can … I dream of good looking women from Austin Texas … :)

          • cubtex

            and there are plenty of them! That’s one thing about the summers here….no need to put on alot of clothes.

          • Denver Mike

            Haha, I love how you slip Murton in there

          • Tony_Hall

            When and where? He only has 6 games of OF experience in the minors.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, Lake played center and right in winter ball and in spring training

          • Tony_Hall

            That’s still not much. He will obviously make mistakes still, but he looks pretty natural out there.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            He looks fine, couple of strange routes but not a big deal. He will learn. Much different in the big leagues than in winter ball and spring training.

          • Tony_Hall

            These later game times haven’t matched up with my schedule this week. Haven’t had a chance to catch much of the games, just highlights.

    • cubtex

      I am so ready for the Valbuena show to be over with once and for all.

      • 07GreyDigger

        If only I could vote that one up ten times!

      • J Daniel

        Should be soon, I would think. Olt has to be soon so they can find out what he can do. I assume Bryant will not be that far along.

      • Tony_Hall

        Soon enough he will be in the role he is more suited, utility infielder.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    How about a list of of the Top 25 Cubs minor league pitchers and list of top 25 Cubs minor league hitters?

    • Tom U

      If you would like my opinion on the top Cub prospects, I can give you a list. I have a different perspective on lists than most. I feel that evaluations are fluid, and can change in as little of a span as hourly.

      Here then is my snapshot of the Cubs’ top prospects:

      1. Albert Almora, OF(A) – has been the most consistent minor league performer this season.

      2. Kyle Hendricks, RHP(AA) – same evaluation as Almora.

      3. Arismendy Alcantara, IF(AA) – If he changed his name to Javier Baez, he be tops on most others lists.

      4. Pierce Johnson, RHP(A+) – Running a close second to Hendricks.

      5. Javier Baez, IF(AA) – If you’re going to criticize Alcantara’s defense, you have to hold Baez to the same standard

      6. Dan Vogelbach, 1B(A) – On the verge of being promoted

      7. Paul Blackburn, RHP(A-) – Looks to have dominant “stuff”

      8. Rob Zastryzny, LHP(A-) – Could be the fastest riser of the 2013 class

      9. Shawon Dunston Jr., OF(A-) – Tapping into his vast potential

      10. Dustin Geiger, 1B(A+) – Only myopic observers will claim he “came out of nowhere”

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Vogelbach is a guy that raise questions, good ones, when his time arrives……if he hits like Price Fielder, do we keep him?…….or trade him?……No Soler on your list……very interesting.

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

          I believe at this point Vigelbach is a good insurance policy for Rizzo. I believe in “Fats,” and think he will develop into an all-star caliber 1st baseman, but in case Vogelbach is in the wings. Good to have him there to push Rizzo as well. Remind him that he isn’t replaceable.

        • Roe Skidmore

          Vogelbach seems to be well liked. Good eye at the plate. Heard he is pretty good around the bag at first. Don’t let his body fool you, Fielder & Ruth turned out OK, ha. We had a pitcher named Rick Reuschel that was one heck of a fielder and athlete.

        • Tom U

          Soler is injured. Like I said, this is a snapshot of right now.

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

        Where would you put Arrieta Tom? And Loux?

        • cubtex

          Arrieta isn’t considered a prospect. He has 358 IP in the major leagues. He has started 63 games and has a career 5.46 ERA.

          • Roe Skidmore

            How about Loux?

          • cubtex

            As Tom mentioned….they are really being careful with Loux. He seems to be on a very limited pitch count. They skipped him in the rotation for almost a month earlier this summer and he will almost never go more than 4 or 5 innings in any start.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Glad to see Maples finally had agood outing!

    • daverj

      My lists are below. Very hard to rank as you go further down the lists as some guys are closer to the majors, other have more upside and others have lower floors.

      HITTERS
      1. Baez
      2. Bryant
      3. Almora
      4. Soler
      5. Olt
      6. Alcantara
      7. Lake (to the extent he should still be on the list)
      8. Villanueva
      9. Jimenez (very tough to decide where to put him)
      10. Candelaria
      11. Brett Jackson (he probably still belongs here, but not for much longer)
      12. Vitters (another guy who may fall off the list soon)
      13. Amaya
      14. Szczur
      15. Torres
      16. Ha
      17. Watkins
      18. Hannemann
      19. Dunston

      PITCHERS
      1. Vizcaino
      2. Johnson
      3. Edwards
      4. Zastryzny
      5. Grimm
      6. Blackburn
      7. Hendricks
      8. Underwood
      9. Maples
      10. Paniagua

      11. A Cabrera

      • DWalker

        no Vogelbach?

        • cubtex

          ha. just said the same thing

        • daverj

          My bad … I thought I included him. That’s what I get for throwing a quick list out there without checking over the rosters to make sure I didn’t miss anyone.

          I would put Vogelbach 7th.

        • Roe Skidmore

          Got a feeling about Vogelbach, hope it’s correct.

      • cubtex

        No Vogelbach? I think he should be in top 10

        • daverj

          Agreed. Mistake on my part. I’d put him 7th.

          Editing my post now …

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I think Hannemann should go much higher….somewhere 9-12 range……Bryant maybe need to move down a notch or two……the pitching rating looks okay for now……but I think the guy who will be here quickly will be Hendricks……another hitter who I think will make an impact is Reggie Golden….

        our minor league hitters look much better than the days of Fuld & Campana.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Haha. Remember when we’re all excited about either of these guys? Where are they now?

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

          I agree on Golden. I have always been a fan. I also like Hanneman and believe he will be a productive big-leaguer someday.

          • Roe Skidmore

            What’s Gretzky’s chances???

          • Tom U

            Gretzky is very raw, but is progressing well. The real surprise is his arm strength in the outfield.

        • Roe Skidmore

          Dunston Jr. is making an impact…

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

        I think you have Hendricks way too low. He may not have amazig stuff but the guy just gets people out. I’m very excited about hjm. I would also include Barret Loux in the list.

        • cubtex

          Your kidding Boardrider? You like Loux? I didn’t know that :)))

        • daverj

          I see Hendricks’ upside is as a 5th starter. I think the other guys have a higher ceiling.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Our prospect list is getting stronger with another draft coming next year, more possible latin signees, & another opportunity to sign solid free agents like Maholm & Feldman that we can trade for even more assets. Much better than the days when our only prospect was Dave Kelton.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    In the next seven days, we might see three Cubs outfielders traded…(Soriano, DeJesus, Schierholtz)….and maybe three Cubs pitchers…..(Russell, Gregg, Villanueva)…….not alone counting Navarro, Valbuena, Ransom to add to that list…

    But could Theo & Jed have the “guts” to make a major trade with Samardzija?

    • daverj

      I think Theo and Jed have the guts to make any deal they think will help the team.

      If a team offered enough, they would deal Shark.

      The problem is that teams likely will not offer enough. The Cubs could probably get 1 Top 25-50 prospect plus 1 Top 100 guy plus 2 mid level prospects. I wouldn’t make a deal like that.

      The DBacks will not offer Archie Bradley for Shark … even in a straight up deal.

      Who would you want the Cubs to get for Shark?

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I am not up to date with farm systems, but we have to trust in Theo & Jed to get the best package …which has to include two starting pitching prospects…..but if we got 5 guys for Garza, the trade offer has to be better for Samardzija due to age, health and future abilities.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Back to my last question, has anyone heard a Castro to Cardinals rumor. They want a top young SS.

    • daverj

      Also, I’m not the guy who keeps giving you “thumbs down”. I’d prefer to debate in posts.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I know who it is…don’t worry…..I laugh at it anyway.

        • Tony_Hall

          If you think it is me, you are mistaken. I have barely been on the last two days and am a little more direct with a post than using down arrows to state my view on a post. Plus it sure looks like it’s not just one.

    • J Daniel

      Traded Nomar so he will trade anyone. They have HUGE BALLS!

    • Roe Skidmore

      Navarro is having a great year, could help someone. Has anyone heard a Castro to Cardinals rumor???

      • cubtex

        No but I would hate that. Can’t stand any good Cub players wearing Cardinal uniforms. Lou Brock, Bruce Sutter. I can’t even imagine Castro in one.

      • John_CC

        That is a ridiculous RUMOR.

        • Roe Skidmore

          They have top prospects, no SS in the system of his caliber. Cardinal fans love him.

    • pa CubsFan

      I like Shark, but trading him for an ace prospect who’s 21/22 yo, like a Bradley, I would do it.

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

    Tom, will Loux get a September call-up? He seems like one of the guys that should get a shot. Any chance for Hendricks? I know guys used to jump from AA to the show but is the Thoyer regime set in havin them stop at AAA? Castro seems like the last prospect that came directly from AA.

    • Tom U

      It appears that they are treating Loux with kid gloves, so a call-up is uncertain.

      With what we all know about the front office, the answer on Hendricks is “no way”.

  • cubtex

    Saw a stat that the Yankees and the Cubs are the only 2 teams in all of baseball who hasn’t had a game started by a pitcher under 25 years of age. That’s not the type of stat that you like to see.I guess Grimm is 24 so that should change before the end of the year.

    • daverj

      Agreed. Especially for a below .500 team. If the Cubs were in first place, we could probably live with an all veteran staff …

      • Tony_Hall

        Not sure the age of 25 is when pitchers become veterans.

        AGE Name GS
        26 Travis Wood 20
        26 Chris Rusin 2
        28 Jeff Samardzija 21
        29 Edwin Jackson 19
        29 Matt Garza 11
        29 Carlos Villanueva 11
        30 Scott Feldman 15

        99 games and only 15 started by a SP that is even in their 30’s…..it’s all in the spin.

        • daverj

          Fair enough … how about if I were to say “age doesn’t matter if the team is winning”.

          • Tony_Hall

            That would be right. The pitching staff is going to be a couple of years behind the batters as far as having young players coming up.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I think its a great commentary on the lack of quality young pitching this system has. Look at the AAA roster, is there anyone under 25 you’d like to see on this team?

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

        Loux…

        • cubtex

          lol. see my comment below

        • Suzy S

          Boardrider, the thing I remember being said about Loux at the time of his acquisition was that he the stuff to become an Ace….BUT…Physically, major surgery was not a question of IF but WHEN.
          So don’t get your hopes up too high on Loux…he might tease us a little with some accomplishments…but he could end up being a towel thrower for most of his career….Hope not…but….

          • paCubsFan

            LOL at “towel thrower”

    • triple

      That’s obviously just for the season… not a big deal really. I guess it shows that we have nobody young with a high enough talent level to earn some big league starts already. By the looks of the last 2 years of drafts by the Cubs, this will change in coming years.

      • cubtex

        Yes for the season. The other factor would have been if Theo would have traded Maholm and Dempster last year for under 25 year old near ready starting pitchers who could be in the big leagues now. They decided to go with a higher risk high ceiling injured guy in Vizcaino and 3rd base prospect with an A ball pitcher in the Dempster deal. Didn’t get one in the Feldman deal either. Got Grimm who is 24 in the Garza deal who should get some starts this year.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Dempster forced their hand and lost the team leverage. No one’s going to give up big time prospects for a guy who will only play for a few teams. As for Maholm, he was having a good season, but his track record didn’t warrant a big time prospect like Randall Delgado.

          • cubtex

            It’s not a blame. Just facts. That is another reason why they don’t have younger starting pitching on the big league club

        • Roe Skidmore

          Still like Theo’s approach to sign solid major league starters like Maholm and Feldman, than trade to get prospects next year. He was also very astute to get Travis Wood for Sean, plus two more prospects. Still think Sappelt may have a shot in majors.

          • cubtex

            I hope Vitters gets the next shot over Sappelt. Not a fan of Sappelt.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Amen to that.

            Sappelt has a career as a 6th OF, something Borbon is currently taking up roster space doing. The only reason they haven’t dumped him is they want Borbon to be in AAA next year and don’t want to expose him to waivers.

          • Tony_Hall

            They will have to expose him to waivers, whenever they try to send him to Iowa.

          • J Daniel

            Ditto

          • Roe Skidmore

            Agree completely, but still think Sappelt could have value elsewhere.

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

            I love that approach as well. It’s how we’ve gone from a bottom 5 system to a top 5 system in one year. People get upset thinking these signings din’t make sense from the viewpoint of winning more games. That hasn’t usually been the intention, it’s been to flip them for prospects. Expect one more year of it at least.

    • Dorasaga

      Amazing.

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

    My phone isn’t allowing me to reply but…

    Ray quit making fun of my bromance with Barrett Loux!!! You’re just jealous of what we have ;)

    • cubtex

      LMAO. That happens on my phone alot as well. That is a pretty big Bro-Mance you have with Loux. Let’s keep that quiet. We don’t want the Mrs. to hear about this. Lol

    • Tony_Hall

      My phone won’t load Disqus.

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

        I do almost all my posting from my phone, hence all my typos. And sometimes when I try to tap ‘reply’ it won’t let me and makes me give an up or down arrow to a comment. So if you’ve ever gotten a down arrow from me it was probably unintentional. I almost never give a down arrow unless someone is totally negative or attacks a poster. Or like the guy last night that said some comment was refeshing because it wasn’t like all the rest of us “a**-kissers,” on this site.

        • cubtex

          I know you would never give a down arrow to Barret Loux :))

        • Denver Mike

          He was just fired up because I didn’t share his bromance with Big-Z … I qualified as the “irrational” one in that comment :)

  • CubbyDenCritic

    The Braves are “Desperate” for pitching….when I see the word “Desperate”, that only means a team is willing to give up Top Prospects if they got the right pitcher……….Theo hears this, the rumors start flying and desperation sets in to teams like the Diamondbacks who do follow Samardzija would fear he will end up against them in the Playoffs………..last few hours of the trade deadline could be really hot this season.

    • Tony_Hall

      I have to ask….where besides for your posts (over and over) have you seen anything that states the Cubs are looking to trade Samardzija? Awhile back there was the one thing where AZ asked and were told what it would take and they moved on. I haven’t heard it anywhere else since.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Talk on WGN Radio…talk on ESPN radio…tv talk on CSN Sports live….. on the Score………these sports hosts guys do talk about it now…….look at it this way, no rush to trade Samardzija now, he is under control for two more years, but if the Cubs want to speed up the re-building process, and see a excellent trade package from a desperate GM at the trade dead line, Theo will jump on it………..Cubs & Garza did not sign extension for a reason….Garza wanted more money than Theo willing to give on a guy with arm issues……and this team is not ready yet to win…..so why spend $90 million on a pitcher with a team that will not be in the playoffs until 2016 the earliest !…..

        Now how much you think Samardzija will ask from Theo?…..lets start out at $150 million…..Shark will want $18-22 million per year minimum……Theo will spend Ricketts money when the time is right and this club is ready to win….and on the right players.

        • Tony_Hall

          Ok, that makes sense, I don’t listen or believe much of the talking heads on the radio or TV.

          Samardzija’s next contract will be interesting, but I can see the possibility of him being moved, just not this year.

          • paulcatanese

            Except, I repeat, Except, for the
            “wild man” , Mitch Williams, I believe each and every word he
            says, the man is endless in his knowledge of the game:)))))

  • cubtex

    The Cubs all of a sudden have a logjam at 3B in the minor league system. Tom mentioned Dustin Geiger who is also a 3B. Some will be moved to other positions like Vitters and possibly Bryant. So this is who they have now who can play 3B.
    Vitters
    Olt
    Villanueva
    Bryant
    Geiger

    Am I missing anyone? You can also more than likely gamble that Vitters,Olt,Villanueva and Bryant will be major leaguers.

    • Tony_Hall

      I thought about this the other day. Theo likes to look for market inefficiences. Right now it is hard to find a major league 3B. Maybe he feels that stockpiling them will allow us to benefit from this shortage at the major league level.

      • cubtex

        You have to imagine that some will be used in a trade for another area of need at some point

      • cubtex

        I was kind of surprised that the Garza deal didn’t include a prospect going back to the Rangers in case they aren’t able to re-sign Garza. I would think that if they would have asked for Vitters that wouldn’t have nixed the deal.

        • Tony_Hall

          I think Vitters could be our 2nd back-up IF next year for 1st and 3rd, and also an extra corner OF (you know because CF would be to difficult for him :))

          • cubtex

            haha. always the wise a##. Like Tom mentioned the other day. I still think Vitters can be useful. A Jeff Baker type player.

          • Tony_Hall

            I almost didn’t, but couldn’t resist.

          • J Daniel

            I don’t think so … Hope I am wrong.

          • cubtex

            We’ll see. He still is very young. He turns 24 in August. He had a very very good year in AAA last year. If he can play the corner of positions as well as the corner if spots….he could have a very long mlb career. Every team could use a versatile player like that.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Not so Tony. CF is the easiest position to play in the OF. If he can’t play 3B, he should have no problem in CF.

          • cubtex

            Usually 3rd baseman don’t have the speed to play CF but if they did…you are 100 % correct. I don’t agree with you very often but this time you are correct.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe he was joking…

          • cubtex

            yes I know

          • Roe Skidmore

            Good point, I hope he comes through.

        • Ripsnorter1

          The Rangers asked for Luis Valbuena, but Team Theo wouldn’t give him up.

          LOL

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Candelario….but he might switch to first…..ooops….Vogelbach is there……Bryant is out fielder…Olt is the 3B guy for now……oh such worries we have now ……makes you forget the ones we had at third…….Orie, Randel, Salazar, Reitz, Ontiveros, Houston, ….

      • cubtex

        Yes. I forgot about Candelario. There’s another one

        • Tony_Hall

          He’s a pretty good one and already starting a baseball academy for kids back home.

      • cubtex

        Don’t forget the next Ron Santo….Gary Scott.

        • Roe Skidmore

          God bless Ron!!!

      • Roe Skidmore

        Don’t give up already on Bryant at 3B. He runs so fluidly, very good athlete. They say he has soft hands…

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Carlos Zambrano released by the Phillies…….back to the Long island Ducks it seems for Big Z.

  • Suzy S

    Have a great vacation , Tom….The Cubs/CCO/and minor leagues should all still be here when you get back,,,God Willing :-)

    • Tom U

      Thanks Suzy!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    OMG….The Three Stooges at the other Cubs Web site are starting rumors about a Starlin Castro trade to the Cardinals……..I was mocked when I told about the Yankees were interested in Castro many, many months ago due to the Jeter injury………btw, so are the other 28 clubs that inquire about Castro …it is called “kicking the tires” in the baseball world……….Castro is not getting traded……if the Cubs trade Castro, it sends a clear message that all the young prospect stars might get traded also….and that the Cubs future team has no anchor player to build around………which Castro is to the future………the Three Stooges should just stick to their Soriano rumors…..Starlin Castro is a “Key” player in this Theo & Jed rebuilding program.

  • Tony_Hall

    Soriano scratched….trade almost done.