Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 10/31/13

Position Analysis

The CCO’s off-season look at each position in the Cubs’ farm system continues today. The series of articles to summarize and project how the organization stacks up on a position by position basis has already examined all four infield positions, catcher, left field and centerfield. Up next is right field, a position that has some of the most interesting players in the system.

Right Field

While there are never any sure things as far as minor league assignments, Rubi Silva as the starting right fielder for Triple-A Iowa may be as close as it gets. The Cubs signed the left-hander out of Cuba in 2011 and immediately assigned him to Low-A Peoria. Silva played 29 games for the Chiefs and batted .285 with 16 RBI and two stolen bases before being promoted to High-A Daytona to fill in for an injured Matt Szczur. In 29 games for the D-Cubs, Silva hit .229/.250/.362/.612 with six doubles, one triple, two home runs and seven RBI. Back in Peoria, Silva hit at a .307 clip the rest of the way for the Chiefs as he ended up batting .300/.319/.400/.719 with 16 doubles, seven triples, three home runs, 37 RBI and six stolen bases while playing a total of 82 games in the outfield and 29 at second base. Silva returned to Daytona to start the 2012 season and was a one man wrecking crew on a poor offensive team. Silva hit over .400 for the first month before he cooled down somewhat but was able to put up a .302/.322/.412/.734 batting line with 15 doubles, 11 triples, three homers, 61 RBI, and seven stolen bases in 111 games before receiving an overdue promotion to Double-A Tennessee. In his time with the Smokies, Silva hit .253/.277/.413/.690 with three triples, 13 RBI, three stolen bases and a pair of home runs in 20 games. Once again, Silva played mostly outfield (91 games), but also spent time at second base (28 games) at second base. The 2013 season saw Silva back in Tennessee, but an injury to Justin Bour was thrust into more of a run producing role. Silva responded to the challenge by cracking a career high 15 homers and driving in 52 runs while batting .284/.310/.483/.793 with 13 stolen bases. Silva is a study in contrasts offensively. Hyper-aggressive at the plate, Silva only has a career .310 on base percentage but has never struck out 100 times in a season (he had 99 in 2013). His career slugging percentage .428 comes with only 25 career home runs, as he has 123 extra base hits out of a total of 422 total hits. Blessed with great speed, Silva has only 29 stolen bases in 60 attempts. Silva takes his aggressive approach into the outfield with him as his total .976 fielding percentage reflects the risks he takes. Silva has a laser beam for an arm, and with 44 career assist teams no longer risk running on him. There has been some speculation in the mainstream media that Silva could be groomed for a super-utility role, but that would take a monumental shift in development. The 24-year old hasn’t played second base since mid-2012, and has never played shortstop or third base. There hasn’t been any word of Silva playing ball this winter, so giving him infield reps would take valuable developmental experience away from Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Mike Olt, and/or Christian Villanueva at Triple-A.

The organization seems to be putting a lot in Jorge Soler opening as Tennessee’s right fielder, but at this time, that’s not quite a sure thing. The Cuban national was the first major signing by the Theo Epstein regime in June of 2012. Soler got his feet wet in 14 games for the AZL Cubs and hit .241/.328.389/.717 with two doubles, two homers, 10 RBI, and eight stolen bases. Soler moved to Peoria for the rest of the season and hit .338/.398/.513/.910 with five doubles while driving in 15 runs with three home runs and stealing four bases. Many thought Soler would begin the 2013 season with Low-A Kane County, but those plans changed during the winter and his performance in Spring Training justified him beginning the year in High-A ball. The 21-year old found the sledding a little tougher in the Florida State League, and wasn’t quite prepared for opponents going after him. Soler was baited into an on-field incident which escalated in a bat-swinging confrontation and a suspension. When Soler returned, he was hampered by a leg injury that dated back to Spring Training. When the injury was diagnosed as a fracture in his shin, Soler was shelved for the rest of the season. Soler’s final line at Daytona was .281/.343/.467/.810 with 13 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 35 RBI, and five stolen bases in 55 games. Soler is currently in the Arizona Fall League trying to scrape some of the rust off. When in one piece, Soler projects as a prototypical run-producing right fielder. Defensively, Soler has a gun for an arm and good mobility, but sometimes spins his wheels on defense before getting in motion. He also has a reputation for being immature and entitled, loafing at times and antagonizing umpires.

If Soler proves not to be ready for Double-A, the Cubs will really have to scramble to fill the void at Tennessee. One option would be to demote one of the players looking to be a part of Triple-A Iowa, including Brett Jackson, Dave Sappelt, Rubi Silva, or Josh Vitters. Another could be a mix-and match approach with Anthony Giansanti and John Andreoli, along with infielders such as Stephen Bruno, Jonathan Mota, or Tim Saunders also getting reps. Another option could be turning to a minor league veteran, Ty Wright.

Ty Wright is the consummate system player. Wright was selected by the Cubs in the seventh round of the 2007 draft. The 28-year old has now spent seven seasons in the organization and has a career batting line of .292/.352/.429/.781 with 60 home runs, 381 RBI, and 39 career stolen bases. Wright is only a decent outfielder, with a career .963 fielding average but when the organization needed it, played first base for nine games for the first time in his professional career this past season.

The idea of Soler returning to Daytona may be welcome in central Florida, because the options of Reggie Golden, Jose Dore and Taiwan Easterling are less than inspiring.

Reggie Golden was the Cubs second round pick in the 2010 draft, and he has been somewhat of a disappointment. After a brief appearance in four games for the AZL Cubs in which he batted .333 with and RBI and a stolen base, Golden reported to Spring Training in 2011 terribly out of shape. When the season started for Short-Season A Boise, Golden still was not ready and struggled offensively. Golden finally put things together in the last month of the season and was named Northwest League Player of the Week to close out the 2011 season. Overall, Golden hit .242/.332/.420/.752 with 10 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 39 RBI and five stolen bases in 64 games. Golden reported to Mesa in better condition to start the 2012 season, but his season ended almost as soon as it began. Golden tore a ligament in his knee in his seventh game and he spent the rest of the year rehabbing after surgery. Golden wasn’t ready for game action until Extended Spring Training ended in 2013 and when he was ready to play, he began the year at Low-A Kane County. The now 22-year old was notably rusty upon his return and hit .227/.282/.382/.664 with seven doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 29 RBI, and a stolen base in 64 games. Even prior to surgery, Golden was somewhat of a lumbering outfielder but has a very strong throwing arm.

The acquisition of Jose Dore is directly attributed to General Manager Jed Hoyer, who selected Dore in the eighth round of the 2010 draft for the San Diego Padres. The 21-year old’s career has yet to justify his promotion pattern as he played 98 games between Short-Season A Eugene and Low-A Fort Wayne in 2011 while batting .226/.289/.354/.634 with nine home runs, 34 RBI and three stolen bases. Dore dealt with injuries in 2012, played in only nine games and hit an overall .242 with stops at both Eugene and Fort Wayne. Traded to the Cubs in the spring of 2013, Dore was tried at every position in Extended Spring Training except pitcher and catcher. Once Kris Bryant was drafted, the plan was for Dore to hold down the fort at third base for Boise until Bryant arrived. However, Dore was absolutely ghastly at third base, and an emergency shake-up of the roster was needed to cover the position. Dore then moved to the outfield for 18 games and was a DH seven times. Despite batting only .200/.284/.356 for the Hawks, Dore was inexplicably promoted to Kane County for the rest of the season. For the year, Dore hit .206/.279/.337/.616 with 10 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 20 RBI, and two stolen bases in 55 games. Scouts describe Dore as a toolsy type of player, but none of that was evident in his time with the Cubs. Dore showed no instincts as an infielder, has average to below average speed, and an average throwing arm. With that said, Dore should continue to bounce around the minor league system and perhaps get an undeserved promotion or two as he appears to be a favorite of Hoyer.

It appears as if time may be running out on Taiwan Easterling, as the former Wide Receiver from Florida State will turn 25 years old next February. The Cubs drafted Easterling in the 27th round back in 2011 and immediately put him on the fast track. Easterling spent seven games with the AZL Cubs and 40 with Peoria before going to Daytona just in time to be a part of their Florida State League Championship team. For the season, Easterling hit .307/.332/.407/.739 with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs, 17 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 48 games. It was felt that Easterling would begin 2012 at Daytona, but injuries held him back in Extended Spring Training and he never got himself on track that season. In 70 games at Peoria, Easterling batted .243/.316/.366/.681with 17 doubles, two triples, four homers, 28 RBI, and 18 stolen bases. Many felt that Easterling was given a “social” promotion to Daytona for 2013, but it did not seem to help as he had a hard time making it into the line-up. Easterling hit only .216/.282/.332/.614 with 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 26 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 64 games. Although Easterling has good mobility and an above average arm, he saw less and less time in the outfield and more at DH as the season progressed.

Demonstrating that development is not always linear is Yasiel Balaguert. One of a flurry of international signings prior to the 2012 season, the Dominican was sent to Low-A Peoria to start the season but was really over his head. Balaguert hits only .208/.232/.262 in 39 games. He was moved down to the AZL Cubs when their season began and was able to somewhat regroup. Balaguert posted a combined .220/.258/.303/.561 with nine doubles, two triples, three home runs, 33 RBI and a stolen base in 71 games. It was unclear as to what to expect from Balaguert to start the 2013 season, but he was able to answer the call early and often as he led the Northwest League with 48 RBI and tied teammate Kevin Encarnacion for second with eight home runs. Balaguert batted a combined .261/.334/.439/.773, as he did a four game stint in the rookie league while the Hawks traveled to Canada. The 20-year old compares favorably to Jorge Soler, but a little more raw at this stage of his development. Balaguert is a power hitter with a knack for driving in runs that has decent mobility and a strong throwing arm.


A little unconventional as far as a typical right fielder is concerned, Jeffrey Baez is still a player to be reckoned with. Signed in time for the 2011 season, Baez split his time between the Cubs’ two Dominican Summer League teams and batted .282/.353/.408/.761 with 12 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 32 RBI and 36 stolen bases in 68 games. Once again in 2012, Baez saw action in the DSL (with six games in the rookie league) and put up great offensive numbers. Baez hit .284/.368/.426/.794 with 10 doubles, four triples, three home runs, 30 RBI and 29 stolen bases in 54 games. After playing mostly center in his career, the 20-year old played nearly an equal amount of games in right (24 to 19) in 2013. As the primary leadoff man for the AZL Cubs, Baez had a batting line of .287/.357/.384/.741 with nine doubles, two triples, one home run, 12 RBI, and 25 stolen bases in 45 games. You have to like the pure speed of Baez as he has stolen 87 bases in 171 career games. Baez is also no slouch in the outfield, with a .977 fielding percentage and 27 assists in his career.

Also seeing time in right field for the AZL Cubs in 2013 was 20-year old Garrett Schlecht. A ninth round draft choice by the Cubs in 2011, the lefty has been a slow developing prospect. After playing in nine games following his signing, Schlecht saw his most action in 2012 and played in 35 games while batting .252/.359/.345/.704 with six doubles, one triple, one home run, 16 RBI, and eight stolen bases. More was expected of Schlecht in 2013, but he was squeezed out by the sheer numbers of rehab players taking away precious at bats. While playing in 29 games, Schlecht only got 68 at bats, which could explain his .176/.250/.235/.485 batting line with two triples, six RBI and three stolen bases. Whether he is similar to another skinny high-schooler such as Wes Darvill, and starts to put things together as he physically matures remains to be seen. Schlecht does have pitching in his background, and lefties are always hard to find.

The Cubs may have a real prospect in Shamil Ubiera of the Dominican Summer League. Ubiera just turned 21 years old following the 2013 season, and he has put up some good offensive numbers in his two years with the organization. In 2012, Ubiera played in 66 games and batted .297/.360/.450/.810 with 24 doubles, one triple, four homers, 41 RBI and 14 stolen bases. This past season, Ubiera hit .301/.375/.441/.816 with four home runs, 18 doubles, three triples and 13 RBI while leading the league with 56 RBI. Ubiera needs some work in the outfield, but has the tools to work with.

Manning right field for the VSL Cubs was Ricardo Marcano, who turned 19 years old just two weeks ago. The lefty has made some progress since his debut for the DSL Cubs in 2012. Starting in 63 games, Marcano batted .245/.350/.332/.682 with nine doubles, five triples, 18 RBI and six stolen bases. This past season the Venezuelan moved back home and batted .279/339/.450/.789 with 19 doubles, six triples, four home runs, 45 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. He could also use some work on his defense, but a career .973 fielding average with 18 assists is a good base to build on.

The Cubs also signed 16-year old switch hitter Eloy Jimenez. Ben Badler posted a scouting report for the gifted outfielder who recently finished participating the Instructional League. From Baseball America: Jimenez is athletic for his size and in January ran the 60-yard dash in 6.72 seconds, which is above-average speed. Others have said his speed plays closer to average and because of his frame and unusual gait, he will continue to slow down as he fills out, so he’s a corner outfielder all the way. With a slightly above-average arm, he should be able to play right field…Some scouts have seen him hit in games, while others haven’t seen the game dominance that would merit the type of bonus he’s expected to command. His long arms create length to his swing and he will need to keep his hips from flying open too early, but he has good hand-eye coordination and uses the middle of the field. Jimenez has average raw power and a flat swing that results in hard line drives rather than loft power. With his size and strength potential, he could grow into above-average power. Some scouts think he has the ingredients to hit, so it may be a matter of making subtle adjustments.

ChicagoCubsOnline Minor League Position Analysis

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Another great write up, Tom. Thanks so much.
    Very insightful work.

  • Tony_Hall

    Good article on why the World Series is better than the Super Bowl.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/9905803/mlb-tops-world-series-drama

    Final line – “Now, if only we can spread that feeling to Wrigley Field and Cleveland and Houston and Seattle and Milwaukee and San Diego. Heck, Chicago might be so electric they wouldn’t need lights at Wrigley at all.”

    • SuzyS

      “Boston Strong”!!! That’s what my sister texted me along with a picture of Fenway and the Red Sox celebrating their WS win.

      The Marathon Bombing in April affected the entire region…and I heard many eyewitness accounts of it when I visited in August.

      I’m so happy for Boston and all of New England…to see this come off without incident.

      The article is absolutely spot on, Tony.

      Now, If only we could bring that feeling to my first love in baseball…Wrigley would go nuts.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Not trying to come down on Boston or any city in general when a tragedy happens, but I really dislike when teams politicize a victory.

        The only reason that the Red Sox are “heroes” and make Boston feel better about that tragedy is because the Bruins lost out on the Cup earlier. Not to mention that ignorant Cardinals fans were bringing up the Marathon and using its images to their benefit.

        Did anyone see a story of us in Chicago doing the same during the Stanley Cup? No. That’s a classy fan base for sure (I’m biased).

        I guess what I mean is that we love baseball and we talk about it here endlessly. It’s a diversion. It doesn’t bring back the dead or heal any injuries mental or physical. The Red Sox winning is great for the team, but its done nothing in my mind to erase what happened and it shouldn’t be touted as a triumph over terrorism. That’s silly to me.

        Rant over. Sorry Tom. :)

        • SuzyS

          Grey Digger, I’m not saying the Red Sox winning the WS erases the Marathon horror…Boston needed a major event to occur WITHOUT INCIDENT…The minds of the residents are very much concerned about future terrorist activity.
          This helps ease that feeling a little bit…a major event occured…and nothing happened.

          • John_CC

            Agreed as well.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I wasn’t picking on you Suzy. I was more speaking in general. EVERYONE does it. It annoys me greatly (obviously).

        • John_CC

          Agreed.

      • paulcatanese

        Congratulations Suzy:)

        • SuzyS

          Thanks Paul.

  • SuzyS

    Tom, the in depth analysis and detail of your pieces amaze me…Great job!!!
    Jed Hoyer’s handling of Jose Dore is troubling. It’s never a good thing when an undeserving employee gets preferential treatment and promotions. It breeds discontent among other employees.

    • Tom U

      Suzy, you hope this is one of those cases were management knows something that isn’t evident. I got an up close look at Dore at the end of the season, and saw nothing that stood out. I do know that he is a follower on Twitter, and he seems like a nice guy.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Tom…any chance you can tell us the top outfielders we have in the system in order?….from Best to Last?…….sounds like Ha will not be protected in Rule 5 draft……
    okay, Boston won….yip yip ya………okay guys, your wives want the beards off…..no more “Duck Dynasty”….its getting old…….
    any kid who comes to my door with a white sox uniform on, he is getting the old candy from last year……
    Mr. Luvello, your interview is set with Mr Epstein next Tuesday…….push 2 to hear this in Spanish.
    three titles in 10 years…….and we are going into year 3 for the “Committed” project…….
    someone bashed me yesterday about Blanco……they said Matheny had no experience……so I should give Ausmus a chance……
    first, I believe Henry Blanco is a clone of “Girardi” when it comes to manager skills and knowledge of the game………..reports are saying Ausmus might be a replacement for McLeod……..as for Matheny, he was “groomed” by the Cardinals to be their next manager……Matheny knew the system, knew the players, and had a great instructor in LaRussa……….. …….there is a difference between Matheny and Ausmus……..Ausmus was never in our system………..we had two of our own guys (Sandberg & Girardi) but we did not hire them.
    I rather still have Blanco.

    • Tom U

      Cubby, ranking all the outfielders would be quite an undertaking. However, I will give you my top five, based on overall game:

      Albert Almora
      Jorge Soler
      Rubi SIlva
      Jae-Hoon Ha
      Kevin Encarnacion

      Flying most under the radar (in no particular order) are:

      John Andreoli
      Bijan Rademaker
      Shawon Dunston Jr.
      Yasiel Balaguert
      Pin-Chieh Chen

      Dark horses include:

      Jeffrey Baez
      Shamil Ubiera
      Charcer Burks
      Jacob Hannemann

      That’s a start, just off the top of my head. I’m sure I missed some.

      • SuzyS

        Matt Szczur?

        • Tom U

          Umm…maybe. Szczur has great speed, but the jury is still out as to whether he can develop into full time starter. Many feel that his career would be similar to former-Cub Reed Johnson.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            that might be better then a Tony Campana!

          • 07GreyDigger

            And that’s quite a good career. From a minor league to majors baseball perspective.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I see you are big on Silva & Encarnacion……..hopefully they are starters and not reserve guys.

      • Tony_Hall

        Jacob Hannemann is a dark horse? A dark horse who will be on the fast track.

        • Tom U

          Tony, as much as Hannemann is a favorite of management from this past draft class, he is not a sure thing. I would like more information on him before I move him up the list.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree he is no sure thing, but he will move fast and I wouldn’t be surprised with a little more advanced starting point next year then we would do.

          • cubtex

            What are you basing this on? He doesn’t have a ton of baseball experience and didn’t play at a major college program. 3rd round draft choice. I expect him to probably advance at same rate as Szcur.

          • Tony_Hall

            3rd round pick considered a value pick during the draft signs for well over slot at $1M. His age, as he turns 23 in at the beginning of the season. Add that together with everything I have read about him and the FO talk about him and I could see him starting in Daytona versus going to Kane County.

          • cubtex

            Szcur was a value pick. We shall see but he needs to produce to advance quickly. I would be shocked if he didn’t struggle. He struggled badly at BYU in his college season and came on at end to have a respectable year. BYU is a long way from Wrigley

          • Tony_Hall

            He struggled? 344/415/553 with 5 HRs 7 3Bs and 16 2Bs.

            I know these are college numbers, but where is the struggle?

          • TheWrongGuy

            I would much rather see Shawon Dunston Jr. advance before Hannemann. Both are lefty bats. both can play most positions in the outfield. Dunston has earned a promotion IMO BEFORE Hannemann.

          • Tony_Hall

            Dunston Jr. is 2 years younger and more of a raw athlete. Don’t see him moving fast at all.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes but looking at Dunston’s stat line from season to season he is showing more and more improvments.

          • Tony_Hall

            After hitting 185 in Boise in 2012, 2013 had to be an improvement. He did have a nice year in Boise this year and hopefully he will do it in 2014 for Kane County. Plus it would be nice to see him play in person.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes and the same can be said of Hannemann. Actually I watched last spring training game against the Giants when Dunston started in CF. His swing is a bit long but it is a level swing and has AMAZING speed, we are talking Campana like speed.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Ya know nevermind Tony…. I just remembered Shawon Dunston Jr. is from the Jim Hendry regime so he will never be given a chance by this front office.

          • Tony_Hall

            If he performs they will play him and move him up, and having name recognition never hurts. His OBP is good at 378 last year, which matches up with what they like to see.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I will believe it when I see it(That the FO will advance him.). Theo has been cleaning house in the minors of everything they can of the Jim Hendry regime, and Dunston is another from that regime. He is a good player.

          • Tony_Hall

            They did have a lot to clean out in the farm system, but at this point, I don’t believe they are going to discard a player with value just because they were here when they got here. They would have already done it.

          • Tom U

            Sometimes, this front office “adopts” players from the other regime (see Javier Baez). I remember speaking with Joe Bohringer (Director of Pro Scouting), who said they were very high on Dunston.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Thanks Tom U! =)
            You da’ MAN!

          • cubtex

            Out and can’t post link. Maybe someone else can. Struggled early in year and was embarrassed to see .120 average on scoreboard. Coach stuck with him and kept him at lead off when wasn’t deserved. Got better and got average up to .344.

          • Tony_Hall

            So do you want to run with the short sample size of early in the year or the short sample size of how great his numbers must have been to get his numbers up to 344 after such a bad start.

          • TheWrongGuy
          • Dorasaga

            Will you visit the Cougars for his game?

          • Tony_Hall

            I only made it once this year to Kane County, but want to go more. Beloit is not even 15 minutes for me to go to and where I go the most.

      • Dorasaga

        “Rademaker”? That’s hell of an exciting name!

  • paulcatanese

    Just an excellent review Tom, great in-depth coverage.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Shark wakes up this morning seeing Dempster & Peavy with WS rings……….no doubt Jeff is heading out to open waters for a new team when his free agent time comes.

    • AG Ginn 515

      he might get traded this offseason

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Oh boy…..Edwin Jackson as our Opening Day pitcher!….can’t wait.

        • 07GreyDigger

          It would be Travis Wood. Duh.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            at first I would have said “yes”……..but we don’t know what the new manager would be thinking……might give Jackson the edge due to his years of service……..and the batting order of the opposing team.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If you don’t live in the Chicago area, I like to say the tree color leaves is great right now.

  • bpot92

    The red sox have an embarrassment of Relief pitching depth. Koji Uehara, Brandon Workman, Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, and Andrew Miller. When they get healthy they will be able to either keep them or trade for a area of need.Maybe the cubs can snag one of the rehabing ones as a fyler going into the season.

  • bpot92

    MILB’s John Sickels did a updated top 75 prospects about a month ago, i wont reveal all the reports, but here is one thing he said after ranking Almora: 22) Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs. Pre-season 44, July 18. The Cubs are going to have one hell of a lineup someday.

    Core Four were top 30 for him, and Edwards reached top 50, with chance of going in the 30′s and Alcantara was top 75 with Vogelbach and Pierce Johnson honorbale mention

  • Ripsnorter1

    Here’s a starter for us next year: Chris Capuano. Just released by the Dodgers.
    Another one to pick up off the scrap heap.

    Chris Perez released by the Indians. Didn’t he get into trouble in 2013?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, search Chris Perez’s dog and you’ll see what he did.

      • Ripsnorter1

        We do not need Chris Perez….

        • CubbyDenCritic

          2014 bullpen pitchers we will see…
          Strop
          Russell
          Rosscupp
          Grimm
          Rondon
          Cabrera
          Bard…?
          Parker
          Ramirez
          Vizcaino
          Rusin
          Dolis

          • Ripsnorter1

            I do not think you’ll see Dolis even on this bad team. He’s not on
            the 40 man any longer.

            Bard? Yeah, he’s buddies with Team Theo, but who knows
            if he can pitch in MLB any longer. No control.

            Vizcaino: is he going to be healthy enough to pitch?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Carrie Muskat reporting something we all knew…Cubs not in the F/A/ market for major players.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    MLB Radio reporting Cubs & Cardinals working on a major trade…….
    Starlin Castro is who the Cardinals want…….Cubs asking top pitching prospects in return……Jenkins, Martinez & Miller.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I know where you read that and I heard the discussion on MLB Network Radio. It was purely speculation. I would not view this as a story in any way.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        So another false rumor….it figures.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I still think both Castro and Shark will be gone before ST starts in 2014.

    • Sir Gladiator

      I would accept that trade, that’s more than fair. They need an actual shortstop, we need pitching, it’s a win-win deal. Let’s make that happen!

  • Bryan

    It was a pleasure to watch two quality teams and organizations in the WS. Respected managers/coaches, and wonderful team chemistry on both sides. You look at the Red Sox and outside of Ortiz, and perhaps Pedroia, they really don’t have any everyday superstars. But on the north side we still can’t get the equation right. I sure hope that the rallying cry on this board for 2015 comes true.
    Back to the RedSox, their 2013 success really reinforces how terrible a manager Bobby V was. What a turnaround.

    • Eugene Debs

      I would be stunned if Bobby V ever manages again.

      • Dorasaga

        I like him. He’s a great guy. I followed him when he was in Japan. Unfortunately, when it comes to Major League management, he was out of place and out of date.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments. It was very enjoyable to bring you this series. I have already started working on the pitching prospects.

    • Dorasaga

      A fine work and my thanks for making this easy for me (and many others, I’m sure). I’m hoping the pitching prospects will look better than right field’s.

  • Tom U

    Javier Baez, Jonathan Mota, and Rubi Silva are on the roster for Leones de Ponce in the Roberto Clemente League, which opens tomorrow

    • SuzyS

      Surprised to see Baez playing…I thought they were giving him the winter off. They kept him out of the AFL because he “needed a break”.

    • AG Ginn 515

      Any news about Junior Lake?

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