Baez and Hendricks Take Home Cubs Top Minor League Honors and Other News and Notes

The Cubs named their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year on Friday. And while the entire system made major improvements this season, two players stood out above the rest.

Javier Baez was named the Minor League Player of the Year and Kyle Hendricks took home the honor of the Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Javier Baez lit up the Florida State League and the Southern League this past season while showing improvement every step of the way. Baez put together a .282/.341/.578 slash line in 130 games between the Daytona Cubs (76 games) and Tennessee Smokies (54 games) with 34 doubles, four triples, 37 home runs and 111 RBI for a .920 OPS. Baez took his game to the next level with Double-A Tennessee and hit .294/.346/.638 with 15 doubles, 20 home runs and a .983 OPS. And Baez accomplished what he did this past season as a 20-year old.

Kyle Hendricks is not flashy, he does not light up radar guns but he understands how to pitch. Hendricks dominated at the Double-A level and was 10-3 in 21 starts for the Smokies with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. In 126 1/3 innings, Hendricks allowed 107 hits, walked 26 batters and notched 101 strikeouts. Hendricks earned a promotion to Triple-A Iowa where he finished his season with a 3-1 record in six starts with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP (35 hits, eight walks and 27 strikeouts in 40 innings). Hendricks was a combined 13-4 with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 27 starts (142 hits, 34 walks and 128 strikeouts in 166 1/3 innings). Hendricks is expected to receive a non-roster invite to camp in the spring.

Mariano Duncan and Javier Baez

Former big leaguer and current hitting coach for the Daytona Cubs, Mariano Duncan, is with the Cubs in Pittsburgh and had several good things to say about Javier Baez on Friday.

Duncan told Carrie Muskat that Baez sent him a text message thanking him for the patience he had with him this past season. Duncan said that he responded to Baez by thanking him for listening to his instruction and making the adjustments. Duncan pointed out that all of the “credit should go to him” because “he works so hard and he listens” plus “he did everything he is supposed to do on the field.”

According to the report, Duncan told Baez to remember to “stay humble” and “pay attention to detail and come every day to play the game right.” Duncan went onto say that he told Baez that when he gets to the big leagues to “be the same Javy that he is right now in the Minor Leagues.” Baez promised Duncan that he would.

Gold, Gold and More Gold?

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs could have three gold glove winners this season in Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo and Welington Castillo.

The report quoted ESPN’s Mark Simon that the Cubs “have the top guys on the right side of the infield.” Darwin Barney has been very good in the field once again this year and is second in the NL among second basemen in defensive runs saved (10) behind only the Dodgers’ Mark Ellis (11) and tied with D.J. LeMahieu. Barney has played more innings than both players with more chances.

Anthony Rizzo leads all NL first basemen in defensive runs saved with 15, more than Paul Goldschmidt (10) and Adrian Gonzalez (9).

Welington Castillo lead all NL Catchers with 17 defensive runs saved, one more than Russell Martin.

The Cubs’ defense has shown a lot of improvement this season, and the numbers back up the eye test.

Keep Old Style In Wrigley

If you would like for Old Style to continue to be served at Wrigley Field, you can go sign at online petition at

In the wake of the announcement last week that the Cubs signed an exclusive agreement with Anheuser-Busch that made Budweiser the Official Beer of Wrigley Field, the Old Style executives “mounted a grass-roots campaign to push the team and Levy Restaurants to continue serving the label at Wrigley” according to a report from Crain’s Chicago Business.

The Cubs’ deal with Anheuser-Busch does not prevent other beers from being sold at Wrigley.

News and Notes

Dave Jauss, Junior Lake’s manager in winter ball last year, is not surprised by the success Junior Lake is having in the outfield. Jauss is partly responsible for Lake moving from the infield to the outfield.

Dale Sveum is hoping that Anthony Rizzo’s two-hit, game-winning home run performance on Friday night will lead to Anthony Rizzo finishing the season on a positive note.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, Japanese right hander Masahiro Tanaka “is probably beyond” the Cubs means. And while the Cubs are expected to add a free agent starter or two, Tanaka will probably cost too much.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Will Joe Giardi jump the Yanks for the Cubs this off season?

    • SuzyS

      Doubtful, but pleasant to think about. I’m definitely a Girardi fan…Theo/Jed/Fans will allow the Cubs one more season of losing development.
      After that, won/loss record at the major league level will be the criteria.
      Girardi is available one or two years early for the Cubs.

      • SirGladiator

        It’s really incredible what Girardi has done with the Yankees, he’s proven himself so many times that he’s one of the best managers in baseball, and we could’ve had him so easily, but we let him go to the Yankees. Ironically, this year is probably his best managing years ever, even though they might not make the playoffs. When you look at the incredible lack of talent he’s had to deal with due to the injuries and the A-Roid stuff, all the on and off field problems he’s dealt with, the lineups he’s had to field haven’t even had half the talent that Sveum has had to work with. But despite the fact that he’s been in a WAY worse position than the Cubs, and being in NY the pressure was much higher than what was on Sveum, he’s kept the Yankees in the playoff race all year, while Dale has been Dale, sucking early, often, all season long. We would’ve been in the playoffs this year with Girardi, there’s no doubt about that, and if we get him in the off season we’ll be playing in October next year. So let’s go get him!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wellington Castillo as a gold glover?
    No sir.

    • Tony_Hall

      That extremely lengthy analysis of the catchers was all brought on because of one line in an article that talked mainly about Rizzo and Barney being named the picks for Gold Glove by Mark Simon in an article by Buster Olney.

      This is the line you, which states a FACT as well, that Castillo leads MLB in Defensive Runs Scored.

      “The Cubs could actually have a third Gold Glove, as Welington Castillo (who is apparently theslowest man in baseball) leads all MLB catchers with 17 DRS, one ahead of Russell Martin, Simon’s pick for NL Gold Glove winner at catcher.”

  • Ripsnorter1

    Barney is only as good as D.J. LeMahieu with the glove.

    Too bad he isn’t as good with the bat.

    • Tony_Hall

      So when Defensive runs saved says a Cubs player is better, you spend lots of time looking up all the other stats to prove the Cubs player is not as good, but when an ex-Cub player has the same Defensive Runs Saved as our Gold Glove winning 2B, you take it at face value.

      I just don’t get it!

      • Ripsnorter1

        It’s simple: Welington Castillo isn’t the best
        fielding catcher in the NL in 2013.
        He made progress the 2nd half, but Molina and Martin had
        better years.

        I’m 100% correct on this matter, and I think you
        agree down in your heart. If you were a fan of Molina, and Castillo
        lead the league, no, MLB, in errors and yet won the gold glove, wouldn’t you
        scream like a banshee?

        • Tony_Hall

          I would like you to actually read my post and tell me where I stated who I thought should be the Gold Glove winner for catchers in the NL.

          I have stated many times that I think Yadier is the best catcher in baseball, but I also like Castillo and think he is developing into our own version of him.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You didn’t say Castillo should be the gold glove. I read your post. : )

            You did lament that I pointed out that Castillo isn’t as good as Martin/Molina,
            while saying LeMahieu had a better bat than Barney. I took that as
            a criticism of my posts about Castillo and Barney. If you agree with my post,
            why do you lament it? : )

          • Tony_Hall

            Maybe you should re-read it again.

            “So when Defensive runs saved says a Cubs player is better, you spend lots of time looking up all the other stats to prove the Cubs player is not as good, but when an ex-Cub player has the same Defensive Runs Saved as our Gold Glove winning 2B, you take it at face value.

            I just don’t get it!”

            Why do you take the stat that says the Cubs player is equal to another at face value, yet when that same stat shows a Cubs player better you go all out to disprove it and show the Cubs player is not better?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Because I believe with all of my heart that Castillo is not
            the Gold Glove winner of 2013. He’s made progress in the
            second half, but he’s just not there yet. And the writer’s suggestion
            that he is there, is ridiculous.

            And I say this as a Tony Hall supporter. : )

          • Tony_Hall

            I would go with Yadier.

            The ridiculous part is how far you took a writer, adding at the end of an article about Rizzo and Barney, that the Cubs, COULD, have a 3rd possibility for a Gold Glove, stating that Castillo is leading catchers in DRS. He never said that he thought Castillo should win the Gold Glove over Yadier or Martin.

    • Neil

      You did not read what I wrote or the article I linked. You should do that.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I read your article before I wrote that Barney’s bat is weaker than LeMahieu’s.

        How about this: if Barney saved 10 runs in 1,226 innings, and LeMahieu saved
        10 runs in 805 innings, how does that make Barney better? You’d think more chances
        means more runs saved, wouldn’t you?

        Now please understand, I think Barney is a superb fielder. I am not
        down on Barney’s glove. I just wish he hit more than .212 BA with .313 slugging.

        • Neil

          Not with the way the pitching staffs differ, the Rockies’ staff allows more balls to be put in play than the Cubs, that makes a difference.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I told this to Ray the other day about Lemahieu, granted Barney is awful this year with the bat, but look at home/road splits for the future HOF Lemahieu:

      Home .331/.370/.457
      Away .246/.272/.301

      Minus the average, those numbers are pretty comparable to Barney.

  • Ripsnorter1

    According to MLBTR….
    Matt Garza has been a disappointment for the Rangers since they traded for him, but that’s consistent with the rest of his career, ESPN’s Jayson Stark says on ESPN Dallas’ Fitzsimmons and Durrett podcast. “If you look at his body of work, you think that the performance has ever totally matched the stuff?” Stark asks. Garza’s peripherals with Texas (8.5 K/9, 2.3 BB/9) remain above average, but it’s likely a 4.46 ERA isn’t what the Rangers were hoping for when they acquired him. Stark also adds that the Cubs “sold high” on Garza, dealing him after a string of good starts against bad teams.”

    I told them that years ago…..

    • SuzyS

      Gee, Theo and Judd selling high???
      My initial reaction when Hendry traded for Garza was “crap…what is he doing?”. Not that I was in love with any of the prospects that went to the Ray’s…it’s just that I never viewed Garza as more than a true #3 in a good rotation. At the time…we had more need of prospects in the system….with JH’s stated goal of developing the minor league system. It did not make sense, except for JH trying to save his job.
      The point is, Theo/Hoyer did well, given the circumstances.

      • kingdomusa

        Suzy…the Cubs would love to have Chris Archer back & maybe Sam Fuld as well

        • Theboardrider

          They could care less about Fulf. And I think overall they are happier with the package of prospects they got from the Rangers. I sure am…

        • 07GreyDigger

          Sam Fuld? Surely, you must be joking. I sure miss that 5th OF…

        • CubbyDenCritic

          In the long run, Edwards will out shine Archer…….what we got from Texas, will be much better of what we gave away to Tampa.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I do not regret the JHendry trade for Garza. It was a good trade for us.

        Look: Garza produced something at the ML level for 3 years for us.
        Tampa got…..Sam Fuld. And just recently, Mr. Archer.

        We then dealt Garza and got some great prospects back.

        It was like we used him for free for three years. And I personally think we
        got better from Texas than we gave to Tampa.

        And so what if Garza is a choke artist. Shoot, by definition, that’s
        what a Chicago Cub is anyway, isn’t it? I mean, look at 1969, 1984, 2008, etc.

  • Tony_Hall

    Since the AL Wild Card race has been so closely watched here, let’s look at it today. I can’t wait until we are in this position, where winning a game makes you feel so good because the standings improved, yet when you loss a game or two, you feel awful, because the standing look worse.

    Team – Record – Last 10
    Texas 81-65 (2-8) EVEN
    Tampa Bay 80-66 (5-5) EVEN
    Cleveland 79-68 (7-3) 1.5 GB
    New York 79-69 (5-5) 2 GB
    Baltimore 78-69 (5-5) 2.5 GB
    Kansas City 77-70 (6-4) 3.5 GB

    • SuzyS

      I really hate the wild card format with a one game “winner take all” playoff.
      To me, it really lessens the importance of the wild card, (not good). But then emphasizes the importance of winning your division…(a good thing, I guess).
      One game playoffs are generally a crapshoot and not an indicator of the better team.
      I was in Boston in ’78 for the Red Sox/Yankee’s one game playoff. While exciting…(the whole city shut down to watch that game)…the massive letdown when the Yanks won lasted an entire year.
      Conversely, when the Cubs beat SF in a one game playoff to launch themselves into the playoffs was kind of fun….but in both cases, I’m not sure the better team won.

      • texcubnut

        I’m with you on this, Suzy. I would like to see a best of three format. But I know I don’t have to tell you that in a 3 , 5 or 7 game series , as often as not, the best team doesn’t always win.

      • Tony_Hall

        I dislike it as well as I think of it as Game 163 to decide who actually makes the playoffs. I like that it gives the division winners an advantage.

    • texcubnut

      You’re right, Tony. I’m as guilty as anybody of being a ‘prisoner of the moment’. I didn’t even realize the Nationals had a chance until I heard Len and JD talking about it on yesterday’s broadcast.

    • GaryLeeT

      Man, look at all those tight W.C. races. We should be thanking the Cubs for saving us from all that anxiety.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    No Tanaka !…..He must have seen the Choi & Fukudome comments over the years.

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