Travis Wood is an All-Star and Other Cubs News and Rumors

Travis Wood was named to his first All Star squad on Saturday and will be the Cubs’ lone representative in the upcoming Mid-Summer Classic. Wood has been one of the bright spots for the big league team this season. Wood is 5-6 in 17 starts with a 2.69 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Wood has recorded 16 quality starts in 17 tries while allowing less hits (75) than innings pitched (110 1/3). Wood has struck out 80 batters while walking only 33 and appears to be gaining confidence with every start.

After posting a 3-2 record in six starts in May with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, Wood is 0-3 in his last six games with a 2.58 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. In his last 38 1/3 innings, Wood has allowed 12 runs, 11 earned, on 26 hits with nine walks and 30 strikeouts.

Travis Wood is scheduled to pitch the final game prior to the break against the Cardinals. Unless the Cubs make a change to accommodate Wood, the lefty will make the trip to New York and will be introduced with the rest of the NL All-Stars but he will not be eligible to pitch.

Matt Garza

The Cubs continue to talk with multiple teams about Matt Garza according to reports on Saturday. The Tribune reported that the Indians could end up landing Garza because Terry Francona is a big fan of Garza from their days together in the AL East, plus the Indians “need to reach the playoffs to wake-up a fan base that has been slow to react to the team’s improvement.”

The Tribune reported the other teams that have discussed Garza are the same ones from a year ago that were not willing to meet the Cubs’ asking price.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are very interested in Matt Garza once again this year. One of Rosenthal’s sources told him the Cubs and Rangers were within minutes of pulling off a deal that included Garza last July while another source said the two teams were “really close.” Rosenthal reported the two teams were working on contingency plans after his injury until the Rangers could not wait any longer and settled for Ryan Dempster.

The Dodgers are likely out of the mix for Garza after pulling off a trade with the Marlins for Ricky Nolasco on Saturday night. The Dodgers will pay the remaining $5.5 million left on Nolasco’s deal and sent minor league pitchers Steven Ames, Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez to Miami for Nolasco and $197,000 in International bonus pool money.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez went 1-for-4 with a home run in his Double-A debut on Saturday night. The Cubs promoted Baez after Friday night’s game and Baez wasted no time making a statement at the Double-A level. Baez hit a towering home run in his first at bat. Baez lifted a 2-1 pitch to deep center and out of the park. Baez struck out swinging, flied out to left and grounded out to third in his other three at bats. Baez played a solid short and he teamed up with Arismendy Alcantara on a nifty double play.

Jed Hoyer said they promoted Baez a month earlier than planned because he reached his goals and they want to keep him challenged.

Daytona’s manger, Dave Keller, told the Daytona News Journal that Baez’s improved defense and patience at the plate led to the promotion.

Full Report from ESPN Chicago

Minor League Moves

The roster shuffle throughout the system continued on Saturday. With Javier Baez on the Smokies’ roster and the recent addition of Nate Samson, the Cubs sent Elliot Soto down to Daytona on Saturday and promoted Jeffry Antigua to Triple-A Iowa.

The Boise Hawks also announced a notable addition to their roster, along with a few other changes on Saturday. Cubs’ second-round pick LHP Rob Zastryzny was added to the Hawks roster, along with tenth-round pick, RHP Zack Godley. Rehabbing Dae-Eun Rhee was also added to the Hawks’ roster. The Hawks placed third-round pick Jacob Hannemann and pitcher Carlos Martinez on the 7-day DL with undisclosed injuries.

Arismendy Alcantara

The CCO reported incorrect information on Friday night in regards to the Cubs’ plans for Arismendy Alcantara. In the Javier Baez promotion report, I incorrectly posted that Alcantara should soon receive a promotion to Triple-A Iowa with Baez being bumped up to Double-A. It was my understanding that the Cubs planned to leave Alcantara at shortstop, thus mentioning in the report about a possible promotion.

The Cubs have decided to move Alcantara to second base according to multiple reports on Saturday.

Arismendy Alcantara will represent the Cubs’ organization in the SiriusXM Futures Game next Sunday during All-Star weekend at Citi Field and will participate in the Southern League All-Star Game

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  • paulcatanese

    Congratulations to Travis Wood, he certainly deserves the trip to the All Star Game. If he gets in I hope he does well, in fact I know he will.

    • J Daniel

      Thanks for the reply on the arrow, Paul! You are usually so positive and I misinterpreted, sorry.

  • Theboardrider


  • Theboardrider

    What do we think of Alcantra? Is he going to be a long-term starter in Chicago? Is he that good? Why isn’t he ranked in the top 100? I know that not all 9 spots in a lineup can have top 100 guys but why has he been overlooked? Should him be excited about him? I would like to have a line-up of potential all-stars? Does he fit the bill?

    • Macko

      He has good numbers from the left side of the plate seeing he is a switch hitter. The right side……not much. I think the Cubs ought to leave him at second base, and have him only bat from the left side of the plate. He would be an ideal table setter with some pop in his bat. I have paid close attention to him at Tennessee.

      Pull up his numbers and see the difference between right side and left side. If he learns any plate discipline, he could be the Cubs future 2nd basemen. He will turn 22 in late October.

    • Tony_Hall

      Absolutely we should be excited about him. He will be in the next top 100 lists and many show him in our Top 5 mid-season. He has increased his obp, power steals, etc this year.

      • Bryan

        Late 2014/early 2015…do you meet with the FO to arrive at these time projections? If not, your estimate is just a personal hunch, and should be stated as such.

        • Tony_Hall

          Yep, just like your posts, these our my personal opinions.

          • J Daniel

            IMO, I agree Tony. I have been stating Barney and Castro will be moved, just a matter of how soon.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not sure I am giving up on Castro, but Barney’s time is short. Watkins will be getting a call up in September and will most likely make the team next year either out of ST or by early in the year. Then followed by Alcantara over the following year.


            Of course this is just my opinion, regardless of any chance that the info is actually factual, or has basis from info readily available on the internet from reputable sources or direct quotes of actual Cubs FO personal, the statements stated here are the just the opinions of one Tony Hall, who has strong opinions, which are not a reflection of the opinions of The Chicago National League ballclub, or Chicago Cubs Online and should not be relied upon as as actual statements made by the FO when making out your future lineup cards.

          • JimBo_C

            it would not surprise me if Barney was moved by the trade deadline and they brought up Watkins (300+ AB) or Lake (moving Valbuena or Ransom to 2B).

          • 07GreyDigger

            You forgot that those are your 2 cents.

          • Ripsnorter1

            And probably, imo, Castro first.

            My gut says that this FO did not like Marmol and Castro from the get-go, and had a mind to rid themselves of them ASAP when they took over. Marmol had a contract that prohibited quick movement, and Castro was adored by Cubs’ fans and could not be moved without a backlash, so in both cases, they had to delay. Marmol walked too many to suit them, and Castro does not walk enough.

            This FO also undervalued the Cubs’ farm system, and they lost some ML players (DJ LeMahieu, Colvin, Flaherty, for example) because of it.

            BTW, this Arismendy Alcantara and Baez are both Tim Wilkins/JHendry pickups.

          • Tony_Hall

            Castro’s value is at it’s all time low right now, no way they even let it be known they would want to trade him, until he gets going again.

            This FO relied on some of the people who were here to make those evaluations on the super stars they let go, and let those guys go as well.

            Alcantara was a 17 year old signing out of the Dominican.


            Of course this is just my opinion, regardless of any chance that the info is actually factual, or has basis from info readily available on the internet from reputable sources or direct quotes of actual Cubs FO personal, the statements stated here are the just the opinions of one Tony Hall, who has strong opinions, which are not a reflection of the opinions of The Chicago National League ballclub, or Chicago Cubs Online and should not be relied upon as as actual statements made by the FO when making out your future lineup cards.

          • Bryan

            Thank you…perfect disclaimer.

          • Tony_Hall

            Do you want me to write one for you?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Disclaimer. LOL

            I don’t think you need to go that far with some posters. Don’t be too thin skinned, my friend, Tony.

            And for all those reading this, everyone on the CCO needs to stay classy. Remember, this is the CCO, the premium Cubs’ site on the entire ‘Net.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not too thin skinned, just making a point. Everything that is stated on here is somebody’s OPINION. Anyone who doesn’t get that is……ok, we will stay classy Rip.

          • Tony_Hall

            I also can’t wait until Neil flips the switch and requires posters to be registered. People won’t be able to use multiple screen names and argue with themselves or provide back-up to their own opinions.

          • KidK

            they should be jailed right? geez……it’s called freedom of speech and who cares. not like any of these post matter; change the world or solve poverty.

          • Tony_Hall

            Jail…no that would be a little extreme.

            Freedom of speech means you have the right to create your own blog, but if you choose to visit another person’s blog, you have to follow their rules. Don’t like the rules, don’t post on the blog.

            Amazing how you posted twice and both were liked immediately….

          • Theboardrider

            I agree that if people are doing that then Neil should do what he can to stop it. That said I don’t want to lose valued posters like Ray. I hope we can figure out a solution, and I’m sure we can.

          • Ray Ray

            That will be the end of me as well. My disqus account is blocked on this site. Anyway, I enjoyed our discussions with you, Rip,Boardrider,Paul, Triple,John,Bryan, and everyone else on here. We don’t always agree but we all want the same thing. I believe Theo has done an excellent job with the farm system. They will start to be competitive in 2015. Next year will be rough again and I believe it doesn’t have to be. That is where we differ. I think they could have been more competitive and still rebuilt the farm system. Anyway…….I will still discuss some topics with you until Neil changes over but that is the reason why I am not on disqus. I was not using multiple screen names. I was Cubtex and Ray Ray. That is it.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t believe you have been the issue, and that this can be cleared up before then.

          • Theboardrider

            I’m with Tony, Ray. There has to be a solution. You are not the problem here. Talk to Neil about it before you leave. Whenever I have a problem I email Neil and he always fixes it or tells me what I need to do to fix it.

            You are a good poster here and someone I enjoy reading. Don’t leave without trying to engineer a solution.

          • triple

            That’s a bummer Ray(Cubtex), I kind of a had a feeling, but wasn’t sure. Hopefully there’s a way to still have you here!

          • Theboardrider

            I think it’s funny. Bryan asked for it and Tony obliged.

          • J Daniel

            IMO, Marmol was probably uncoachable and that is why he had to throw what they called and obviously didn’t like that. Refused to use his fastball which was very good.

          • KidK

            if Castro was not liked; then he never should of been signed longterm. 61M is now an unmoveable asset w/o throwing in alot of money. wasn’t this the battlecry about JH being gone? Ejax is another unmoveble asset too.
            Hmmmm……starting to see a familiar trend here; how can that be if theo and jed are the anit-JH?

          • J Daniel

            I would disagree with him being unmovable. IMO, they should no longer try to “fix” or “mold” him into their type of player. I believe they should let him be himself, swing at pitches he wants to, don’t worry about his walks and number of pitches he sees, and he will revert back to what he was before they started to tinker with him. At that point, they will be able to move him, at least I believe they will be able to.

          • Theboardrider

            None of those guys are lighting it up at their respective destinations. Did they undervalue them, yes, do we miss them, not really. Especially in light of moves the new FO has made.

            Man Rip you really don’t like Thoyer do you? What is it, really? You go out of your way. After this past week and all the moves they’ve made many are coming around on them. When will you? Is it going to take the trophy to the north side? Well at least you will someday.

        • daverj

          Seriously? You think we should qualify all of our statements about future events with “I think” or “In my opinion”?

    • Tom U

      Boardrider, I have been following Alcantara since I first saw him at Boise, and have seen him play in person several times. I have always stated that I believe he is a better prospects than others give him credit for.

      Like most switch hitters, his numbers appear better from the left side because he has had 3X as many at bats there. His style of hitting would have meshed better with Rudy Jaramillo than the present regime. He has legit 30+ stolen base speed.

      Defensively, he has all the tools to be a gold glove shortstop, but unlike Javier Baez doesn’t seem to want to be the center of attention. He has everything you would like to see in a third baseman (hands, reactions, arm strength) but doesn’t seem to play well there. Alcantara has Ryne Sandberg type of range at second, and plays his best defensively there.

      • J Daniel

        Nice! Thanks Tom!

      • Theboardrider

        Thanks Tom and everyone else who chimed in. I always like to get opinions on a player before I get to high on a guy. I’ve seen a lot of good on Alcantra but wondered why he wasn’t ranked in the overall game.

  • Tom U

    Tennessee Smokies notes:

    Looking into my crystal ball, I see the promotion of Kyle Hendricks closely tied to the rehab of Dae-Eun Rhee. There doesn’t seem to be a starter at Daytona that is screaming for a promotion and the organization wants to look at PJ Francescon in the bullpen. That leaves Rhee as the most likely replacement for Hendricks in the rotation.

    Speaking of the rotation, don’t expect to see Dallas Beeler any time soon. He is recovering from a ligament injury in his pitching hand.

    Tony Zych got his first save of the season last week in only his second opportunity. Zych has been seen as a potential closer and has been working to get his ERA down. However, there have been concerns about how well he handles pressure.

    It will be interesting to see how long Javier Baez last as the number three batter in the order. The Smnokies have a few players that can handle that role and could use Baez’s run producing ability further down the line up.

    John Andreoli appears to have made a seamless transition to Double-A. His progress may expedite a promotion for Matt Szczur.

    • Tony_Hall

      Tom – Who would you put in the 3 hole instead of Baez on that roster? I can’t say that I can pick anyone out.

      He did homer last night, not a bad start. Plus shouldn’t he be groomed to be a 3/4 hitter, you make it sound like you would like him more than just moved down to the 4 spot.

      • Tom U

        The best would be Andreoli, with Alcantara and Silva also having reps there.

        The best lineup, at present, would be Szczur, Alcantara, Andreoli, Bour, Baez, Silva, Villanueva, Lopez. That would have balance and run production

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t see having a player with ZERO HR’s in the 3 hole, nor do I see any of the other 2 in the 3 hole. Bour is the only one I was even considering you would say, and would put him 4th behind Baez.

          • Tom U

            Andreoli isn’t the best option at number three, but part of what that hitter is supposed to do is set up the run producers at 4,5,and 6. Having free swingers such as Baez, Silva and Alcantara there would limit those opportunities. They would be better in high risk/high reward slots.

          • Tony_Hall

            The 3 hitter should be your best hitter, 1 and 2 are for table setting. Run producers start at 3, not 4. In an ideal lineup, the free swinging run producers are 5 or 6, but on a minor league lineup, ideal is very rare.

          • Tom U

            On that team, Andreoli is the most consistent hitter.

          • Tony_Hall

            He looks like the best on base guy and should be 1 or 2. Are you just saying that their are 3 guys that need to be at the top, and not 2, and if so, why not Szczur, Andreoli, Alcantara, Baez, Bour, Silva, Villanueva, Lopez.

            I just bet that Andreoli hasn’t batted 3rd since Little League, if then.

          • Tom U

            Andreoli batted everywhere from first to sixth with Daytona. When Soler was suspended, he was the first option to replace him at clean-up. The rare times that Baez was out of the lineup he was automatically moved to the third spot.

          • Tony_Hall

            OK, he just seems like a 1 or 2 guy to me and Baez definitely screams middle of the order bat.

          • Tom U

            Tony, we are not that far apart. The gist of what I am saying is that the minors should be a place where you can see what you can do, not where you are comfortable at.

            I doubt that major league opponents will be interested in making Baez “comfortable”.

          • Tony_Hall

            NP, just curious about why you would think he would be moved out of the 3 hole.

            I doubt many major league pitchers will be comfortable with Baez and his violent swing in the box. That ball comes back pretty quick normally, but off his bat the pitcher will be a sitting duck.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs


    All my posts are really fact, even though they represent my opinion, ’cause, like, 50% of the time I may appear incorrect but am in fact correct, and the other 50% of the time I am obviously correct.

    Thus the latin term often associated with my writings:
    “Ut non omni jure, semper sum.”

    Disclaimer II: this will be my only disclaimer…please note/reference 7/7/13 accordingly.

    My Sunday thoughts:
    I am surprised Soriano hasn’t been traded yet..assuming Cubs eat most of his remaining salary in exchange for a prospect, Soriano would seem a solid/competent DH/back-up OF for an AL team.

    I hope Castro gets insanely hot in the 2H so we can trade him in the off-season. I don’t trust this kid to be a part of the future, unless he is moved to 2B (maybe).

    While I have been hating on Shark and his last start was an example of why, I hope he turns it around. I think he and Travis Wood could be future rotation starters, although I maintain Shark is no better than a #3-4 type guy, due to his age and inconsistency, despite his stuff.

    I can’t decide what I want Garza to be traded for the most, but I am now leaning towards C or P.

    I hope they get something for Gregg while they can.