Cubs Continue Shuffling the Roster and Other News and Notes

The Cubs’ roster shuffle continued on Friday when they acquired RHP Neil Ramirez off waivers from the Rangers to complete the trade for Matt Garza. Ramirez was added to the 40-man roster and assigned to Double-A Tennessee.

The Cubs used the spot on the 40-man roster that was cleared when they traded David DeJesus to the Nationals on Monday to finalize the trade with Texas. Ramirez was on the Rangers’ 40-man roster and had to be added to the Cubs’ big league roster. Ramirez has one minor league option year left after this season.

The Cubs are expected to activate Ryan Sweeney from the 60-day disabled list when the roster expands on September 1 and Scott Baker is looking to pitch for the Cubs in September. The Cubs will have to open spots for both Sweeney and Baker before they can be activated for the final month of the season. The Cubs currently have eight players on the 60-day DL.

While the big league team was busy blowing another game on Friday night, several players in the system had good games and Scott Baker put together a solid rehab outing for Kane County.

Javier Baez

The Smokies were not able to inch any closer to a spot in the post-season on Friday night after Tennessee dropped a one-run game to the Mobile BayBears.

Javier Baez had another good night in the loss. Baez went 2-for-4 and hit his 17th Double-A home run.

Baez is now hitting .310/.366/.663 with 14 doubles and 17 home runs in 45 games with the Smokies. Baez’s OPS is up to 1.029 … and over his last 10 games, Baez is hitting .447/.488/1.000/1.488 with six doubles and five home runs.

The Cubs have said that Baez will not be called up in September but the top prospect in the system has made a lot of improvement at the plate and in the field this year. For the season, Baez has managed to put up a .288/.349/.584 slash line that includes 33 doubles, four triples, 34 home runs and 101 RBI in 121 games (Daytona and Tennessee).

C.J. Edwards

C.J. Edwards put together another good outing for the D-Cubs on Friday night. Edwards struck out eight batters while walking only one batter in four shutout innings of work. Edwards gave up four hits, all singles.

Since coming to the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal, Edwards has recorded 28 strikeouts with only six walks in 18 2/3 innings while surrendering only nine hits. In 112 innings this year, Edwards has 150 strikeouts with only 40 free passes and 71 hits allowed.

Kris Bryant (1-for-4) and Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a walk) contributed in Daytona’s win but it was Chadd Krist (2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) that delivered the big hit, a three-run homer in sht second inning.

Scott Baker

Scott Baker started Friday night’s game in Kane County and allowed one run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts in four innings. Baker completed four innings of work for the first time. Baker threw 59 pitches, 37 for strikes, and said he felt good after a slow start.

Baker would like to pitch for the Cubs this season but told the Sun-Times the decision whether he pitches or not in the big leagues this year is up to the front office.

The Cubs and Baker have both said publicly that there is interest in Baker re-signing with the Cubs in the off-season.

Kyle Hendricks


Kyle Hendricks had another good outing for Iowa on Friday. Hendricks tossed seven innings of shutout ball and allowed four hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Hendricks threw 94 pitches, 61 for strikes, in Iowa’s 2-0 victory over Memphis.

Hendricks improved to 2-0 in four starts with the Iowa Cubs. Hendricks has allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 23 hits with five walks and 22 strikeouts in 26 innings (2.42 ERA 1.08 WHIP).

Kyle Hendricks is 12-3 in 25 starts this season between Tennessee and Iowa with a 1.95 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. In 152 1/3 innings, Hendricks has allowed 130 hits with 31 walks and 123 strikeouts.

Josh Vitters

Josh Vitters’ season appears to be over. According to reports out of Des Moines, Marty Pevey does not anticipate Vitters being back on the field this year. Pevey would like to see Vitters play winter ball in order to make up for some of the time he has missed this season.

This has been a lost season for Vitters. He has played in only 28 games after missing all of Spring Training. Vitters has hit when he has been able to play. Vitters hit .295/.380/.511/.891 with four doubles and five home runs.

The question remains. If Josh Vitters is able to turn things around and stay healthy, could he be the next Jeff Baker?

David DeJesus

The Nationals completed the trade with the Rays for David DeJesus on Friday. The Rays sent a PTBNL or cash considerations to the Nationals for David DeJesus.

According to reports, the Rays have been interested in DeJesus for quite some time.

David DeJesus started the week on the Cubs’ roster, was traded to the Nationals on Monday then was dealt to Tampa on Friday. And DeJesus was in the Rays’ starting lineup on Friday night against the Yankees.

According to Jim Bowden, four American League teams had interest in DeJesus and the Nationals blocked the Cubs from trading him to an AL team. The Nationals claimed DeJesus off waivers, in what was reported as a straight waiver claim.

The Cubs received the salary relief and the Nationals will receive a player from the Rays according to Jim Bowden. Tampa and the Nationals agreed to a list of players (less than five) that the Nationals will choose from for DeJesus.

FanGraphs posted an excellent report that showed the similarities between David DeJesus and Alex Rios and pointed out that while Rios is perceived to be a better player than DeJesus, that is actually not the case.

News and Notes

Edwin Jackson was not happy with the way he pitched on Friday night.

According to the Sun-Times, Anthony Rizzo is confident the best is yet to come.

The Tribune reported that Brian Bogusevic is making the most of his playing time against right-handed pitching.

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  • Brp921

    Neil, would it start the clock on Baez if he was brought up in September? If not what do you think the reasoning would be to not bring him up? I think it would be a good thing to see how he would react against major league pitching in case he does tear up in spring training and make a case to come north with the team.

    • Scott

      I think the current logjam on the 40-man roster would make it tough to add him now. Plus, the FO might not want to tie up a spot with whatever they plan on doing in the offseason. There isn’t a rush at this point. If Baez keeps progressing, we will see him soon enough.

      • Brp921

        I know the FO’s preference is to have guys get about a season of triple A ball under their belts before bringing them up, and for the most part I agree, but I think Baez could be an exception to the rule. That’s why I’d like to see what he could do in September, if they could make it work.

    • Dorasaga

      Yes, it will. The service time accrues with every day one’s in the 40-man and called up to the Major League.

      • Brp921

        Thanks for the reply Dorasaga I replied earlier but I guess I didn’t post it. :) I wouldn’t want to start the clock on him just to bring him up in September. We’ll see what happens in spring training but I agree with Neil’s post below about him probably not being brought up till after his super 2 date at this point.

        • Dorasaga

          Oh, I’m glad it was of any help. One really needs to first) see if the player has been on the 40-man roster and how many options is left (Neil explain below/above, with the Ramirez situation), then secondly) count the “days” to know how far back the management needs to push back the player’s clock, in order to avoid the Super 2.

          As a rule of thumb, if the player has not been called up any time before AND never on any club’s 40-man, he may be left 12 days as regular season starts, so to push back one more season. Here’s a brief example of what the Rays did with Myers (what they did with Longoria as well):

          http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/04/service-time-and-the-40-man-roster.html

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Sorry for the delay in responding. Yes, bringing up Baez in Sept would start his clock.

      First, I don’t think he is ready. He has made a lot of improvement this season and bringing him up in Sept would serve no purpose. Besides, he does not have to be added to the 40-man this winter and him taking a valuable roster spot throughout the off-season would be bad roster management.

      Let him go to Spring Training and hopefully light up the Cactus League then start him at Iowa and let him play for a couple of months. I think if he continues to improve his game and continues to put up the numbers, he will be called up after the Super Two cut off has passed.

      Remember, everyone was calling for Castro to be called up in the same way. The previous regime kinda did the right thing and sent him out the following spring, but if they would have waited another six weeks it would have not only helped the player moving forward, but the organization as well.

      It would be different if the Cubs were in the mix for something beyond game 162, but obviously they are not.

      Baez has put together an excellent season, one that he should be allowed to finish on a positive note in the minors.

      • Brp921

        Thanks Neil, and I agree with not starting his clock. I actually replied earlier to you as I did with Dorasaga and forgot to post it again. I’ve got to watch that.:)

  • Steve Baier

    Kyle Hendricks pitched great last night. My dad and I were in the 4th row, just a few degrees to the right of home plate. His fastball topped out at 92, threw a lot of first pitch strikes, and got a lot of ground ball outs. We noticed he was around the plate a lot; when he missed, he didn’t miss by much. Also, Julio Bourbon made a couple baserunning blunders. I know… you’re shocked.

    • Brp921

      He seems like a great addition to the team. I look forward to seeing him with the big club, hopefully next year.

      • J Daniel

        They are quietly adding depth to the pitching as well. IMO their plan is working and we will start to see that soon.

        • Steve Baier

          Yeah I don’t remember the last time there was a starting pitcher prospect here at Iowa that I was looking forward to seeing. Been pretty barren for awhile.

          • Brp921

            It’s really pretty amazing how they’ve improved the pitching at the minor league level mostly with trades. It will be interesting to see what they do with their first round choice next June. Will they try to get a top of the rotation college guy, if there’s one available, or will they stick to their plan of drafting position players at the top and pitchers in the later rounds?

          • cubtex

            Casey Coleman :)

          • cubtex

            Seriously. Rich Hill was probably the last one. He had ridiculous minor league numbers and I thought he would be a really good starting pitcher for years. Check out his minor league numbers when you get a chance.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            Angel Guzman…

          • Brp921

            There is an example of a pitcher who had ace potential who missed only because of injury. Mark Prior is another example. Kerry Wood. That is why it is premature to talk about some of these young guys in the system other than their potential.

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

          I’d dare to say we have depth in pitching. And we have potential aces in Vizcaino and Edwards. Not that either will be but each could be. I still say if Arietta can get consistent he is a front line starter as well. Then He dricks and Ramirez are bith near major legue ready, and everyone here knows I feel Hendricks is a fromt of the rotatiok starter as well. The scouting reports in Ramirez make it sound like he could be too. Then Masek, Blackburn, and others at te lower level that are intriguing. Pitching isn’t near the problem in the lower levels that it was a few months ago and not even close to where it was a year ago.

          • cubtex

            Cool. Sounds like the Cubs have more potential aces than the TB Rays and St Louis Cardinals combined!

          • That One Guy

            They will not be “aces.” Solid pitchers, hopefully, but neither is built to be a 200 innings, 20 game winner type.

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

            I admit that there are big “ifs,” in there. But the ace jn the hole is Edwards. He’s tall, lanky and young. He can fill out and easily pitch 200 innings. If his numbers translate he can absolutely be an ace.

          • That One Guy

            Yes, it would help if he develops physically, which is possible. He would be the best chance of those two…good point.

          • Brp921

            I love your optimism and I hope your right but so many things can happen and have in the past. There’s a long way to go. That’s why there are so few Greg Maddux’s and others

    • Dorasaga

      Good to know that a 23-years old is using the whole plate, pitching, not throwing. Thanks, great share. Maybe you can post some photos, too? oh, I’m being greedy.

      • Steve Baier

        You know, I had my phone in my pocket the whole time and never thought to take any pics…. Sorry! :(

        • That One Guy

          Good for you not being “cell phone guy.” Way too many “cell phone guys” these days.

          • Steve Baier

            Yeah, there was a guy sitting in the very front row who was texting the entire game.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Steve, thank you for posting this.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If Jackson is not happy, then he should donate his check to a local charity….

    Keep Baez in the minors…..he needs to work on his defense…..

    Hendricks might give the Cubs an interesting option next Spring Training……the way he pitches reminds me of Greg Maddux….

    I thought we are getting a player from the Nationals?……wait and see, the Nationals get a better player from the Rays then what we will get.

    Rizzo really didn’t play too many games in the majors…..but neither did Tyler Colvin, and the Cubs dumped him for a poor average.

    • Brp921

      If memory serves me, I believe Neil reported after the Dejesus trade that the Cubs would receive cash for Dejesus.

  • cubtex

    Saw that Neil Ramirez has only 1 option left. They will probably not bring him up until they think he will be here to stay.

    • Brp921

      If Hendricks is ready then it wouldn’t be a problem to keep him at Iowa most of the season.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      He has one option year left after this year. They will use that option next spring, it is part of the rules. A player on the 40-man that does not make the big league team out of Spring Training is sent down on an optional assignment.

      I was a little surprised when I went back and checked that he was added to the Rangers 40-man in the Fall of 2011. So Texas used an option year for 2012 and for this year.

      They will push him next year without a doubt.

      • cubtex

        Hopefully he remains healthy.

      • Dorasaga

        That sucks, as far as roster management goes.

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

      Ray what you think? Ramirez or Hendricks? Who is with the cub first? Whi has the better career? Totally presumptuous?

  • cubtex

    A lot of talk about the draft on twitter. Many are saying that big High School pitcher Tyler Kolek will be 2nd pitcher taken in draft after Carlos Rodon from NC State. Kolek is 6’6 250 with upper 90′s heat. Could be there at #4. Rodon won’t. If Cubs want chance at him they need to get to 1 or 2.

    • texcubnut

      I don’t think we can get to the second pick, even as bad as we are playing. Astros and Marlins are going to be 1/2 in the draft and the Chicago teams are fighting it out for #3. Probably throw in the Brewers to the mix for the third spot and we could fall to #5.

      • texcubnut

        Schedule favors us finishing third.

        • cubtex

          just checked. Last 20 games could definately push them to 3rd pick.

      • cubtex

        We grow starting pitchers here in Texas……as you know. I just hope that this kid Kolek’s coach doesn’t just chase a championship by overworking him….ala Kerry Wood.

        • texcubnut

          100% agree , Ray

  • cubtex

    Cubs are 6-19 since July 29th. Soriano was traded on July 28th. Coincidence? I’ll answer first… Hell no! You can’t take away the only feared bat in the lineup and expect it to not have an effect. Put away those saber computer stats……. It is baseball 101. You had a 30 plus 100 RBI guy that was taken off an inept offense with no viable replacement. What did you think would happen?

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

      Who cares Ray? We got a prospect, dunked some salary an cleared a path to see whether some younger players and guys like Bogusevic and Sweeney can be counted on for next year. Mission accomplished.

      • cubtex

        Just pointing it out Board. If people think you can win games with no run producers it is not true. Soriano never got the credit he deserved. Some thought this team would play .500 or close to .500 after the trade? Lol. I think Sveum even mentioned that. At some point……Someone should care!!!

        • texcubnut

          There is just no question that it not only made a difference in our team (Soriano’s absence) but that it has made a difference with the Yankees. They are 4 games back of the A.L. wildcard and along with Granderson’s return, are now legitamate contenders to make the playoffs. Will they make it? It’s the Yankees. I wouldn’t bet against them.

          • cubtex

            It’s amazing on how under appreciated he was here. 2010 24 HR with 40 2B 2011 26 HR with 88 RBI 2012 32 HR with 108 RBI and this year he will hit 30 with 95 or so RBI. All some could talk about was his contract or what his flaws were. So….he was overpaid. He produced since 2010.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            Yep. Actually pretty hard to find a better producer the past few decades…he is in elite Cubs company: Dawson, Sandberg, Sosa, Aramis, DLee. Maybe Grace (although he was more of a singles/doubles hitter). Jody Davis from the C position, perhaps. Who else produced more, and over a 6+ year period, for the Cubs, in the past 30 years?

        • John_CC

          I can’t wait for this season to be over so I can stop hearing about Soriano.

          We all know, all too well at this point, your feelings about Soriano. You’ve beaten this death. Give it a rest please. I think it’s fair to say that most fans here came to really appreciate Soriano. Ironically enough that didn’t occur until the new regime and the public accolades that everyone from top down to the coaches heaped on him.

          He’s gone.

          No one said the Cubs would be better on the field this year without him.

          Its over.

          • cubtex

            C’mon John. This is fun! Computer baseball. WAR and all that. We replace this player with the same WAR it is the same. No difference.
            I can’t wait for this season to end as well but my reason is that I hate watching AAAA players and losing baseball.

          • cubtex

            John. I am proud of you for responding this time after the down arrow! Attaboy! State your case.

          • John_CC

            I told you before, I don’t do down arrow thing.

    • That One Guy

      And the thing is, we got AT BEST a fringe prospect. Sure, we saved money, but the Cubs are the most profitable team in baseball right now. Money seems to be a big motivator behind everything we do. I agree with the “build the farm” approach, but a quality major league roster would help ease the transition. Playing time for “young guys” Sweeney and Bogusevic? They are not young. They are flame-outs that might be “lightning in a bottle” guys, but you cannot build a team with players like that.

  • Tom U

    Congratulations are in order as the DSL Cubs became the second minor league squad to qualify for the playoffs after a 11-2 victory over the DSL Mets yesterday clinched the Boca Chica South title.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Hey Tom,
      Love all your farm recaps…was curious if you or Neil thought about putting together a “projected arrival date” for the top prospects? For example, I don’t think it was obvious, to me anyway, that Junior Lake would be called up when he was. Curious what you guys think on the next 2-3 waves of prospects will consist of, based on how they look now and how they are projecting…

      • Tom U

        Jason, if you have read my preseason predictions, you may not want to trust any of my projections. I try to do a good job in providing you the story and letting you make your own judgments. I’m not as good in the crystal ball department,

        • Tom U

          Here’s a review of some of those predictions:

          First call-up: Rusin. Close

          Surprise call-up: Greg Rohan. Hurt most of the season

          Player on the Spot: Trey McNutt. Bingo

          Fastest Risers: Javiez Baez and Pierce Johnson. Getting better

          Bounce back players: Taiwan Easterling and Evan Crawford. Uh-uh

          Worth the Wait: Justin Marra and Ryan McNeil. One’s just coming around, the other out for the season

          Deep in the Bushes: Jesse Hodges and Garrett Schlecht. Both still struggling

          POY: Jorge Soler. Out for the season

          PitcherOY: Matt Loosen. A no-hitter, but still has his struggles

          • Dorasaga

            Thanks. I was asking the same thing, and perhaps if you can provide some sort of “power ranking” (maturity) of players by played position, across all levels? I’m too old for remembering who’s what at A+, A-, AA, or AFL. Better to know players by where they play (or WILL PLAY from now on, say, Junior Lake).

        • texcubnut

          Tom, you are a wise man :)

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I trust you will at least have a rational reasoning applied to the guesswork…if you decide to do it, please let me know, in case I miss it!

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  • cubtex

    As far as Cubs schedule. The last 20 games of season……16 will be against playoff teams or teams fighting for WC. Braves,Cardinals,Reds and Pirates. Only 4 games against Brewers will be with a losing team. They will be a 93-96 loss team this year. Who knows? As bad as they are looking now and with Sveum not knowing how to manage a game….they could lose 100.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Let’s go ahead and lose 100. It would
      be a testament to Team Theo’s skill in building
      a winning team, and also shine the light on Sveum’s
      ability to develop young ML talent.

  • cubtex

    If anyone is interested in watching young talent…..turn on MLB channel. Under Armour High School game. It is at Wrigley. Mike Cameron’s son is playing, Dee Gordon’s brother amongst others. Many will be drafted in June

  • Denver Mike

    In March 2013 Forbes did their annual valuations of MLB baseball teams. An interesting study which sheds more light on how the Cubs compare to other “major market” teams. A good read for all who are interested in the economics of baseball.

    The Top 5 teams Revenue / Player Expenses / Value / Debt-to-Value %

    1) Yankees $471M / $236M / $2,300M / 2%

    2) Dodgers $245M / $137M / $1,615M / 26%

    3) Red Sox $336M / $190M / $1,323M / 18%

    4) Cubs $274M / $137M / $1,000M / 58%

    5) Phillies $279M / $184M / $893M / 20%

    What is the most alarming is that the Cubs have the 2nd lowest revenue of the top 5 major market teams, likely due to the fact that they are the only top 5 team without a big $ TV deal, yet the have the highest debt-to-value % (over double that of the Dodgers). It is easy to get upset about the major league payroll of the CUbs right now, but it is just as easy to see why when looking at the numbers. Thankfully this won’t always be the case, as the improvements to the ballpark and enhancements to the area around the park in the coming years combined with the restructured TV contract will bring a huge influx of cash to the organization. I don’t really think the brighter days are that far off, although it may be longer than some fans are willing to wait.

    http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/

    • That One Guy

      So, in what, 15 years we’ll be .500?

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