Ryne Sandberg, A Baez Walk-Off and Other Cubs News and Notes

Friday was a pretty typical day in the life of the Chicago Cubs. The front office made their daily roster moves before news surfaced that one of the best players in the history of the organization and a Hall of Famer, whose retired number flies daily in the ballpark he once called home, was hired to manage the Philadelphia Phillies on an interim basis. The big league team that scored a grand total of four runs in the previous three games combined then took the field and shut out their long-time rival behind an excellent performance from a starting pitcher in just his second start for his new team. And the day ended with the top prospect in the system going down on one knee while hitting a walk off homer for his 31st longball of the season.

The performance that Jake Arrieta turned in on Friday was overshadowed by Ryne Sandberg being named interim manager of the Phillies. Sandberg replaced Charlie Manuel, who was fired just a few days after winning his 1000th game. When Sandberg was hired by the Phillies to manage their Triple-A affiliate, many thought he would one day take over for Charlie Manuel, and that is exactly what happened on Friday.

The Phillies make their annual trip to Wrigley at the end of the month (August 30 – September 1) and what would have been just a three-game series between two teams looking toward the future will have a lot more intrigue with Ryne Sandberg in the visitor’s dugout calling the shots for Philly.

Ryne Sandberg is a class act and will remain a fan favorite for what he did on the field in a Cubs’ uniform. Sandberg worked his way back-up the minor league system and paid his dues as manager. And it is probably safe to say that Cubs’ fans everywhere wish him the best, except of course when the Phillies are playing the Cubs.

Javier Baez

A day after hitting his 30th home run of the season, Javier Baez went deep for the 31st time this year on Friday night with a two-run walk-off homer that gave the Smokies an 8-6 victory. Baez went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a walk on Friday and is 17-for-42 over his last 10 games with five doubles, three home runs, four walks and eight strikeouts (.405/.457/.738/1.195). After a slow start with Double-A Tennessee, Baez is hitting .293/.355/.631 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs, 15 walks and 49 strikeouts in 38 games with a .985 OPS. In 114 games this season between the D-Cubs and Smokies, Baez is hitting .281/.344/.568/.912 with 30 doubles, four triples, 31 home runs and 19 stolen bases. Baez does not turn 21 until December 1.

Chang-Yong Lim

The Iowa Cubs placed Chang-Yong Lim on the 7-day DL on Friday with a right shoulder strain. Lim had been working his way up the Cubs’ system and was planning on making his Major League debut in September.

Lim pitched in seven games for Iowa and allowed one run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings (seven appearances) with three walks and five strikeouts. Lim made stops in Daytona and Tennessee prior to Iowa and had allowed four runs on 12 hits with six walks and 17 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings.

The Cubs signed Chang-Yong Lim last off-season to a two-year, $100,000 minor league contract that included incentives if Lim could work his way back from his second Tommy John surgery and end up on the Cubs’ roster.

Matt Guerrier

Matt Guerrier had surgery on Friday to repair the flexor mass in his right arm. The recovery time on the surgery, performed by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, is expected to be six to eight months. Guerrier is a free agent at the end of the season and would like to re-sign with the Cubs.

The Cubs acquired Guerrier from the Dodgers for Carlos Marmol in July. Guerrier realizes that he will have to sign a minor league contract with a team and prove he is healthy during Spring Training.

With the lack of relievers in the Cubs’ system, re-signing Guerrier to a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp would seem to be more than a possibility.

Eduardo Sanchez

The Cubs optioned RHP Eduardo Sanchez to Triple-A Iowa prior to Friday’s game to make room on the active roster for Jake Arrieta. Sanchez has a very good arm but the 11th inning of Wednesday night’s game was a snapshot of the problems that Sanchez has on the mound.

The Cubs need relievers in the system but Sanchez is a candidate to be with another organization next season if he struggles in September.

News and Notes

Josh Vitters was placed on the 7-day DL on Friday. Vitters reinjured his right hamstring and has been put on the disabled list for the fourth time this season. Vitters spoke with the Des Moines Register about his season and how he has dealt with the injuries that have shortened his year on the field.

Brett Jackson is using his time with the Smokies to get back on track and is not looking at being back in Tennessee as a demotion.

Trey McNutt has been on the DL with an undisclosed injury since June 28 and suffered a setback in his rehab according to a report from Smokies Radio. Smokies’ manager Buddy Bailey said that McNutt was close to returning “and then in just the last day or two something showed back up but in a different spot.”

Ryan Sweeney has been on the 60-day DL since the end of June with a left rib fracture and is not eligible to come off the disabled list until the end of August. Sweeney has been able to hit in the cage and is expected to return to the field in September.

Austin Kirk has been on the DL since July 27 and according to a report from Smokies Radio, the organization is working to change Kirk’s delivery to more of a three-quarters delivery.

Brian Bogusevic has been rehabbing in Arizona and started playing in games with the AZL Cubs as he works his way back to Chicago. Bogusevic has been on the DL since July 19 with a left hamstring strain. Bogusevic is expected to be added to Iowa’s roster soon to continue his rehab. The Cubs have not mentioned a timeframe for his possible return. If he is healthy enough, Bogusevic should receive a lot of playing time in September.

Luis Valbuena is not ready to begin a rehab assignment. Valbuena was placed on the 15-day DL on August 4 with a right oblique strain. Valbuena has not swung a bat yet and has been limited to swinging with a fungo bat. Due to the severity of his injury, Valbuena was expected to be out for at least a month.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs see Kris Bryant as one key piece in a big puzzle.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Roe Skidmore

    Congrats to Ryne. Wish he got a shot with us instead of Sveum, who failed at Milwaukee.
    Hope Arrieta can keep this up…
    Send Valbuena down & keep him there, he is not a major league 3rd baseman. Could be a good utility guy.
    Baker is coming soon, another good arm back with Cubs for next year.
    Seeing a lot of progress with the Cubs, but it will still take time. Need pieces like Arrieta and Strop to continue to shine. Need some more of our prospects like Lake coming and and making a big splash!

    • Dorasaga

      I’m not in the “Ryno Rocks As Cubs Manager Club.” I really doubt he’ll make much of a difference on a rebuilding team.

      I understand why fans who lived those glory days of 1980s love him on a “personal” level. I’m not. I didn’t watch baseball until the 90s. To be honest, it immunized me from those B.S. of “insiders,” so now I can look at things from the big picture and a different point of view.

      In fact, my first game at any ballpark was at Wrigley, but it was the 163rd game with the Giants (1998, the Great Sosa Record Run), and a very cold night. I don’t think that was a popular game, either. Empty seats were all over, and many filled were actually corporate seats (my relative got three tickets via a drug company, for free).

      Things changed a lot since, and Chicago fans are now more enthusiast than ever. I don’t know if this late thrift is a gradual regroup as baseball revived from the 1995 Labor Strike with the Sosa-McGuire battle, then the 1998 postseason run, then 2003 plu 2008? or a combination of other things we can’t see right now? will take another decade to realize what actually happened?

      One thing for sure: Cubs fans are not forgetting anything. Most of us wanted Ryno and prefer a World Series appearance, NOW.

      • MarkleMcD

        You know what’s fun about the internet, it allows you to fact check things very easily. Your BS story about the 1998 one game playoff against the Giants not being popular…is just that, BS. The attendance to that game was 39,556. And remember that was before they added more bleacher seats. That was a sellout. Not bad for a “not very popular” game.

        • Tony_Hall

          Before calling people out, you should know where the numbers you looked up come from, since the NL uses tickets sold for attendance, not actual people that show up. I might take the opinion of a person who actually attended the game on how many showed up and how they got their tickets.

          • MarkleMcD

            I work in the ticketing industry, I know how attendance numbers work. They don’t oversell a game that’s not gonna have ful attendance. But besides that we’re lucky the internet is a big place and it’s really easy to find photos from the game that show it’s full.

            http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0809/mlb.playoff.tiebreakers/images/steve-trachsel-gary-gaetti.jpg

            There’s one.

            http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/id/7681488/nfl-hits-mlb-postseason-dunk-contest

            There’s another in that article.

            I could go on?

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t remember the attendance for the game, nor can I tell from the pictures you posted of the lower levels. Not sure what you mean by they don’t oversell a game that’s not gonna have full attendance….tickets are sold, doesn’t mean that people show up.

            I would have assumed it was a sell out and full attendance for that 1 game playoff.

          • Dorasaga

            Interesting. You actually took my experience personally. It’s just how I saw it. I was young, but I wasn’t blind. People back then weren’t arriving the ballpark until an hour after game started. Even if they did, they were hiding to keep themselves warm (or away from the heat), and most weren’t watching the game, not even the 1998 163rd. And I know where my corporate tickets were from. I don’t need a seller to tell me.

            Or are you just angry because you’re afraid of something? Above, I was trying to figure out why the market grew throughout baseball.

            If you don’t like my p.o.v. of history, fine, but do your own research, don’t just say “B.S.” and quote as if you were insider and at the game. Welcome to CCO. Stay Classy.

          • MarkleMcD

            Also fun that the game was so unpopular it set a TV viewership record, according to sports illustrated.

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/1998/09/29/playoff_ratings/

          • Tony_Hall

            Arguing with the wrong person, I just pointed out that you can’t go by NL attendance numbers…but you already knew that.

            Of course TV viewership and actual game attendance are 2 different things.

        • Denver Mike

          You created an account just to add that? Thanks for the “contribution”.

          • MarkleMcD

            I’ve replied before, just not since they required login. Took me a bit to get over the hump.

      • Roe Skidmore

        He did a heck of a job in the minors. What did Sveum?

  • Tony_Hall

    I can’t imagine any Cubs fan that doesn’t wish Sandberg the best in his managerial run. My only hope is that over the next 10-15 years of his managerial career, that he will be available again when we have an opening and that one day we will see him managing our Chicago Cubs.

    • cubtex

      You are right. I couldn’t imagine it either.

      • Tony_Hall

        And the only thing that anyone (not me) was saying yesterday, was we weren’t in the interview process and don’t know how that went. I believe JH was hiring Quade no matter what and that Theo had no interest (obviously). But the rest was all positive about Ryno getting his chance to manage in the big leagues.

    • Dorasaga

      He wouldn’t make a diff. on a rebuilding team, so I deduct that he won’t help a World Championship team, either.

      He doesn’t know the system as he used to (which was reported recently). He feels more comfortable around the Phillies system, surrounded by people he knew (as reported). He’s a “build by connection” manager, not a “pro., and all business” manager whom you can just insert into any team and expect him to bang (e.g. Scholwater with the Yanks, TEX, then O’s).

      • Roe Skidmore

        How do you know this? Are you personally in his camp? Just curious?

      • triple

        Maybe I’m misunderstanding the way you describe Buck Showalter. Using cliche words/phrases as “pro” and “all business” really won’t communicate much. But I’ve always seen Showalter as the kind of manager that excels at developing young inexperienced baseball players while getting the most out of his veterans. He did it with the Yankees and D-backs, who both won the world series the year after he left, but with basically all the same rosters. He helped the Rangers get better, but that team was really lost in that period, and he’s obviously worked wonders for the O’s now. He’d be the kind of guy I’d love to see the Cubs bring in at some point.

        I do think Sandberg will make a great major league manager, and no it’s not because he was one of my favorite Cubs players in the 80’s. I’ve only heard players from the Cubs farm system who played under him say great things about him. The kind of things that says to me that he is a manager that players will run through walls for! He has certain rules and expectations that he demands his players fulfill, even down to how they wore their uniforms. Those expectations put everybody on the same page, as equals, and inspires his players to play as a team. In his 4 years as a Cubs minor league coach, his teams finished in 1st place twice. Since we all obviously know that our minor league system was not stacked with perrenial all stars and impact talent, you gotta look at the success he had and give him some credit for his evolution to now being an interim first time manager.

        Also, I would love for you to explain how being younger and becoming a Cubs fan in the 90’s allows you to understand the “big picture” better than people that have 2 to 3 times as much life experience than you. Yes, a different point of view, but the big picture?

        • Dorasaga

          Yea, it was a bunch of diff. things in the same post.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Yes, Ryne can win a World Series. Any manager can with the right players. But I think players perform beter with better managers, like Ryne.

      • Roe Skidmore

        I will take Schowalter and Ryne any day over Sveum.

    • Roe Skidmore

      He should have got 1st shot at the job after his success in the minors. A special guy.

  • Tony_Hall

    Can’t wait until Baez is hitting walk off home runs for us. I know that it is taking longer than some want, but there are some very exciting hitters making their way to Wrigley.

    • GaryLeeT

      Bryant, and Baez should make a good looking 3-4 hitting combo, in the not too distant future.

    • Roe Skidmore

      Our next SS. Castro will be traded.

      • Tony_Hall

        Don’t think so.

        • Roe Skidmore

          Check back with me in 3 years.

  • cubtex

    Big Surprise! I am shocked!

    In a live chat with Cubs fans, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers
    predicts a relatively quiet winter for the Cubs, with “more turnover in
    pitching than anywhere else,” though he doesn’t think the Cubs will
    make a big splash for someone like David Price. Rogers thinks outfielders Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus will both stick with the team until at least the middle of next season

    • Tony_Hall

      Why would they deviate from their plan now and go sign a bunch of 30 something FA’s??

      I expect them to pursue the trade market for younger players if they look to make any type of splash.

      • Dorasaga

        I concur. As much as I prefer the Cubs to overspend all the way, instead of fulfilling their “pasttime” as a corporate marketing tool (Tribune Co.), before they could be sold to the biggest bidder, Theo & Hoyer won’t deviate from the Cubs Way.

        I might be interested at them signing the second coming of Jon Garland (Ian Kennedy?), a sustainable anchor to a 5-man rotation. But I’m sure Hoyer & Co. will sign the best talent out there, while they can.

        I’ll never know when will the clock stop, and they call the rebuilding done. But watching Lake, Watkin, and all these position players coming to fruit is joy. It’s coming and near, I hope?

        • Roe Skidmore

          Agree, 100%

          • Dorasaga

            Thanks. I used to have more opinions, but now more questions than answers for this Cubs Way. At least we know the plan, and we hope they can stick with it.

      • Roe Skidmore

        no one wants to return to the Hendry, Frey days of getting guys past their prime.

    • Roe Skidmore

      Move DeJesus, if you can. Love Schierholtz, good signing, good age…he finally is getting a shot. I think he will respond even more.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    For a moment, I didn’t know if I was reading a baseball report or a medical report ………

    If all is planned, Baez should be called up by next September 2014, but if he keeps on hitting like this, look for a July 1st call up……..

    Last HOF player to become manager was Ted Williams………

    I am at an age where I saw allot on the playing field…..heard from various players, etc…..Ryne Sandberg was a very good player, but he is not manager material…..I am glad that Theo bypass on Ryno……Cubs need to stop giving out jobs to people who they fell they owe them something or that were fan favorites……..this new regime is here to give us a winner…….they have to have the right pieces in place at all levels to get us a WS team……Sandberg had his chance as a Cubs player, but he does not have the skills to be a WS manager.

    • DWalker

      Ryno may earn his chops at Philly, He may not, but he needs to earn them rather than them being gifted. So far, he has done well, but I am fine he wasn’t considered for the job with the cubs this time around. Sveum may be a lousy manager and horrible batting coach, but no manager walking into this mess was going to have success the first two years. The only people to take the job are guys wanting to earn their stripes as a manager and are willing to suck up the fact they are going to be loosers. Ryno coming back and being turned into that looser, irregardless of his actual ability as a manager would have done no one any favors. Theres a very good chance Sveum will never win a world series as a manager and in two years the cubs will be looking for a new manager. I think theres a chance Ryno will, if he does ok here as an interm manager, will be a cub again at that time. The phillies will have a new GM soon, and with it a new staff. Interim manager Ryno may very well find himself out of a job at the end of the season even if he does well.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Sveum failed in Milwaukee, bad hire.

        • Tony_Hall

          How did he fail in Milwaukee?

          He was 7-5 as a interim manager.

          • Ripsnorter1

            He needed to go 12-0 to be considered a success.

          • Roe Skidmore

            He was fired, had GREAT TALENT!

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            It’s fine if you don’t like Sveum, he was not fired as the Brewers manager. Milwaukee hired Ron Roenicke the next off-season and Sveum was retained as hitting coach.

    • daverj

      Wasn’t Frank Robinson (not Ted Williams) the last HOF player to become manager?

  • John_CC

    Javy Baez is a super star in the making. I’ve tried to temper my expectations but it is getting harder. All he does is keep improving, keep making bigger plays, keep getting bigger hits. 30HR 30 Dbls 20 SB in 114 games! And his slash line is better at AA than it was in A.

    Anyone that critiques this kid for his too high K rate or bad D or attitude is simply trying too hard to find a negative. This kid is 20 years old. At this rate I will not be surprised to see a call-up next year this time.

    And I can’t wait to go to AZ next March.

    • Roe Skidmore

      This kid may be with us next year from the beginning. Let him compete 1 on 1 with Castro, let’s see who rises and shines. Might wake up Castro.