Cubs Organizational All-Stars and Other Minor League News

The young players representing the Cubs on the Mesa Solar Sox roster in the Arizona Fall League have not wasted any time over the first four games of the season.

Albert Almora did not play on Friday night, but he did not give away any at bats in his first two games. Almora has played both centerfield and right field, so far, and is 6-for-10 with one double, one triple, one home run, six RBI and five runs scored. Almora tripled in three runs in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game.

Kris Bryant launched his second home run in three games on Friday night. Bryant was the Solar Sox’s designated hitter and went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. After three games, Bryant is 7-for-14 with one double, two home runs, seven RBI, one walk and four runs scored.

Jorge Soler returned to the starting lineup on Friday and went 1-for-5 with two runs scored. Soler scored on a RBI single by Kris Bryant in the first inning. Soler is 3-for-16 with two doubles, four RBI and four runs scored in three games.

Wes Darvill started at the hot corner on Friday and went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. Darvill is 2-for-4 with one home run, two RBI and two walks in two games.

On the pitching front, Armando Rivero has been very impressive in two appearances. Rivero struck out the side in order in his first outing, then worked around a leadoff double in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game without allowing a run to score. Rivero has allowed one hit, no walks and three strikeouts in two innings.

Dallas Beeler got the start on Friday night in Surprise and gave up one run on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in three innings. Beeler picked off two batters from first base, threw 48 pitches, 30 for strikes and picked up the win.

Lendy Castillo made his second appearance in the AFL on Friday night. Castillo struggled with his command again and allowed one run on one hit with two walks, a wild pitch and no strikeouts in one inning of work. So far, Castillo has allowed four runs, one earned, on four hits with two walks, one strikeout and one wild pitch in two appearances (two innings).

Matt Loosen has made only one appearance so far in the AFL and allowed two unearned runs on two hits with one walk and one strikeout in two innings.

With the Cubs’ prospects impressing over the first week of action in the AFL, MiLB.com named the Cubs’ organizational All-Star team and several of the top young players in the system were named among the best in their respective leagues.

MiLB.com Organizational All-Stars

MiLB.com named the Cubs’ minor league All-Star team earlier in the week. The team is named based on overall performance in the minors for the 2013 season not the player’s status as a prospect.

The Cubs big league team had yet another rough year but the system as a whole had a solid season. Brandon Hyde, the team’s Director of Player Development, told MiLB.com, “We had a good year organizationally. Not only did we have three teams in the playoffs over here but we were in the Venezuelan Summer League playoffs and the Dominican Summer League playoffs too.”

Kris Bryant, Mike Olt and C.J. Edwards did not have enough time in the Cubs’ system to be eligible for the All-Star team.

Cubs 2013 Organization All-Stars
  • Rafael Lopez – C
  • Dustin Geiger – 1B
  • Wes Darvill – 2B
  • Javier Baez – SS
  • Christian Villanueva – 3B
  • Brian Bogusevic – OF
  • Rubi Silva – OF
  • John Andreoli – OF
  • Arismendy Alcantara – Utility
  • Kyle Hendricks – RHP
  • Eric Jokisch – LHP
  • Brian Schlitter – Reliever

Dan Vogelbach and Matt Szczur also had excellent seasons, as the report pointed out.

Florida State League Top 20 Prospects

Baseball America’s rankings of each league in the minors continued this week. After landing nine prospects among a possible 40 in the Northwest League and Midwest League, three of the top players in the Cubs’ system made BA’s list of the top 20 prospects in the Florida State League.

Even with finishing the season in the Southern League, Javier Baez ranked third in the Florida State League behind Byron Buxton (Twins) and Miguel Sano (Twins). Jorge Soler cracked the top 10 and came in as the eighth best prospect in the FSL despite not playing in the final two months of the season.

Pierce Johnson, as previously mentioned, quietly had a very good season. Baseball America ranked Johnson as the tenth best prospect in the Midwest League, then listed him at number 15 in the Florida State League.

Southern League Top 20 Prospects

To no surprise, Javier Baez was ranked among the top prospects in the Southern League as well. Baez came in at number three behind Yasiel Puig and the Diamondbacks’ Archie Bradley. Baez’s double play partner with the Smokies, Arismendy Alcantara, slipped in the top ten at number nine.

Twelve different Cubs’ prospects have been ranked among the top 20 in their respective leagues.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Share on Fancred
  • Ripsnorter1

    Meanwhile, in Yankeeland….

    Masahiro Tanaka’s video-game numbers for NPB’s Rakuten Golden Eagles this season have turned quite a few heads in the United States, and according to George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees “are going to be serious players” for the Japanese ace.

    • SuzyS

      King’s statement alone adds millions to Tanaka’s final price.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’ll bet your last name is “Boras,” and that your husband
        is an agent for professional baseball players.

        • SuzyS

          Not.
          It’s just when the Yankee’s project their interest…other teams know they will have to overpay if they want a chance to land the “prize”.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Some facts that Chicago Cubs fans might be interested in (because

    we are not in the playoffs):

    2: Pitchers in MLB history with at least 10 strikeouts and no runs allowed in back-to-back postseason games — Justin Verlander and Sandy Koufax (1965 World Series).
    24: Swings and misses Justin Verlander got Thursday, matching his most in any start the past five seasons.
    6: Consecutive winner-take-all playoff games the A’s have lost, dating back to 2000. It’s the longest such streak in MLB history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    How ’bout them A’s?

  • Tony_Hall

    Jim Hendry would love another shot to be a GM.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs-talk/hendry-looks-back-2003-cubs-and-wants-another-shot-be-gm

    For all of how it ended with JH, he was the most successful GM (3 playoff appearances)the Cubs have had in more years than I can count, but, he has zero chance of being a GM again. He is probably in the perfect role for him at this stage of his career and since he is not into sabermetrics, don’t see how any team would give him another shot to be the GM.

    This leads into the story of the 2003 Cubs that is going to air on CSN Chicago – “5 outs…The Story of the 2003 Cubs”

    http://www.csnchicago.com/sportsnetChicago/search/v/81632297/5-outs-the-story-of-the-2003-cubs-promo-2.htm

    Airing on October 15th

    • Dorasaga

      Without reading too much into what this is: a boring story about some nice guy whom passionate observers already put behind, I found two lines out of place.

      “He wasn’t a silver-spoon kid growing up in Dunedin, Fla. He wasn’t some
      Ivy League hotshot after getting a Jesuit education at Spring Hill
      College in Alabama. He did it with street smarts and people skills.”

      Isn’t these lines more obvious than insinuation to make a critical comment on Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein? Making THEM the contrast of OUR GUY, Mr. Hendry?

      • Tony_Hall

        Yeah, I didn’t see the point in those lines as well.

    • Bredstik

      I was a big fan of Hendry for the majority of his tenure. I thought he did a really good job of exploiting small market teams to obtain up and coming players that were about to become too pricey for them, and brought quite a bit of young pitching up through the system. Eventually, he had to keep throwing money at these players and free agents, as they were in “win now” mode. Obviously, it didn’t work, and I understand his thinking, but it was time for him to go.

      I do sometimes think he gets too MUCH credit though. Three playoff appearances may be the most for a Cubs GM in quite some time, but he was also the GM during a time where it should be much easier to get to the playoffs. Once they moved to the 3 division format and added the wild card, essentially doubling the number of playoff teams, there should be more playoff appearance than what Dallas Green & his predecessors had. It just isn’t a like comparison.

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

        He was a good GM most of his career but in the end he got desperate and put the team behind the long term 8-ball to try and save his job. He also made some really bad signings such as Bradley, and although it wasn’t awful, Soriano. He didn’t have a lot of luck with free agents, maybe Ted Lilly?

  • Tom U

    Overnite: Smokies pitcher Eduardo Figueroa with 1.1IP and an ER, as he was credited with the victory in La Guiara’s 10-4 win over Anzoategui. Yeiper Castillo went 2.1IP with 4K as Zulia lost 4-3 in VWL action.

  • Jimmy F

    I can’t help but be excited about Kris Bryant. So far it hasn’t mattered where it has been, this guy can just hit. I think he is on the FAST track to the majors. I’ll keep my fingers crossed because I’m a Cubs fan, but I speculate major impact in the middle of our lineup in the near future

    • TheWrongGuy

      Agree’d. Bryant and Almora both are on the fast track. Soler will be pushed because of his contract and he’s “Team Theo’s” “project boy”.

      Yet for ALL who are hope to see Bryant next season remember this… Last season’s AFL also had a CUBS staring there as well, Baez. Yes I know he injured himself there, but his track and possibly Almora, and Soler will follow Baez’s path and be at A+/AA starting in 2014. I know the depth charts on positions like 3rd base. But we can also view “Team Theo’s” past with present prospect’s development paths. I just wanted to throw that out there because I have seen LOTS of posts saying Bryant will be seen at Wrigley next season. I would rather expect the worst and hope for the best in this situation, rather than scrutinize the FO for rushing prospect and see them fail at the MLB level. Anyways I also understand wanting to see a prospect like Bryant help contribute as a middle of the order bat that we all want ALSO. So something to think about and REMEMBER CUBS fans. =)

      • Tony_Hall

        Here’s the difference. Baez and Almora were drafted out of HS. Bryant after his Junior year in college. I think Baez and Bryant will be at Wrigley playing some point in 2014. Almora and Soler’s 1st appearance will be in 2015.

        • TheWrongGuy

          Bryant completely skipped LowA at KC to A+. So with that He may be starting at AA, or he also might falter the rest of the AFL and slip to A+ to start the season. I remember 1 thing in all these prospects. They are just that prospects till they are on the 25 man. Please Tony believe me I want want to see them ALL on the 25 man. But until then they ARE PROSPECTS. For me at least.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, but Bryant will be in AA and is the type of player that even this front office may skip AAA. Guys like this don’t flame out in the minors, he will get to the majors, how good he becomes in the majors is the question to me.

          • TheWrongGuy

            This is my point:

            “how good he becomes in the majors is the question”

            from your post so this is why I don’t expect to see him at the MLB level/on the 25 man. Expect the worse and hope for the best. *Saying to myself* “He is still a PROSPECT”

          • Tony_Hall

            And then repeat. He is surpassing everyones expectations so far and we do need to keep reminding ourselves he is a prospect.

            BUT

            I am betting he has a Baez type ST and there will be an article or two about him making the team out of ST.

            Side note: ST should be fun to see Bryant, Baez, Almora and Soler in a lineup together.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Agree’d.

            Except he is Kris Bryant and Javy Baez is Javy Baez. They are 2 different players with exceptional baseball skills. One trying to catch-up to the other. =)

            “They are still PROSPECTS” *saying to myself*

      • jtrain23

        You are correct. There is no reason no rush him. I am still on the fence for my prediction of when he gets the call up. I think it could be next season, but would not at all be surprised if it is 2015.

        I will say that I hope a few of these youngsters get a chance next year so that some of them can get a little experience. That many rookies in 2015 is kind of scary, no matter how talented they are.

      • jtrain23

        Oh and by the way, thank you for your well thought, respectful response. I am glad there are people on here that can carry on a conversation without it turning into a back and forth argument.

        Am I the only one that would rather not scroll through 50 comments per story that are composed of trivial back and forth arguing between two adults? Come on people, we are all here because of our common love for one team.

  • Bredstik

    As much as I hate the Cardinals, I’m finding myself conflicted in watching this NLCS. Ordinarily it would be a no-brainer to root for the Dodgers, but it’s more complicated when you look at what these two teams represent. In fact, it’s kind of a microcosm of the discussions here on CCO about what the Cubs should be.

    You have the Cardinals, who once again are in the NLCS, year after year. Built the team from within, no splashy free agents. Young players continue to come up through the system and contribute, at the most critical times – Molina, Freese, Kozma, now Wacha. Year after year. Veteran players like Beltran come through in the clutch. They’re the model of the team that the Cubs want to be.

    Then you have the Dodgers, who had a decent core and decided to take full advantage of their big market resources. They took on the most salary ever in that blockbuster trade with the Red Sox for Crawford & Agon. Went out and spent international money on Puig & Ryu. Traded for the Marlins’ “ace” in Nolasco, took on all the salary, and made him their #4SP.

    Both methods got their teams to the NLCS, so they’re proven to work. I think in general, Cubs fans disagree on which method they should follow since they’re capable of either. Ideally, it would be both…

    • triple

      I’ll admit that I last nights game was great… and that I was rooting for the Cardinals. Besides my being a Cubs fan, there is not much to dislike about how the Cardinals develop their talent and play the game the right way.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Agree. Draft + FA Studs = World Series appearances.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Please….reality check:

      “No splashy Free Agents.”

      Okay. Reality check via Baseball Reference.

      Carlos Beltran. “Signed as a FA 12/23/2011 by Cards.” He’s splashy.
      Holiday. “Signed as a FA by Cards, 11/5/2010.” He’s splashy, too.
      David Freese: traded to Cards from Padres for Jim Edmonds. BUT EDMONDS WAS A FA.
      (Some incompetent GM…ahem…refused to resign him after 2008. DUMB!)

      Jay, Kozma (hitting .217 ), Molina, Carpenter, Adams, were all drafted by the Cards.

      That’s just out of today’s starting lineup.

      • Tony_Hall

        The Cardinals traded for Holiday, then resigned in the off-season. That is not a FA pickup.

        Trading players you have for other players is not FA pickups.

        So only Beltran was a FA pickup and he was thought to be on the down swing by most people and the Cardinals (as it always seems to work for them) turned it into Gold.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I understand he was a rental. Then they signed him. Check Baseball Reference.
          They can’t be wrong. : )

          • Tony_Hall

            I did. That makes him a traded for player, not a FA pickup.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Here’s the direct quote from Baseball Reference:

            November 5, 2009: Granted Free Agency.
            January 5, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Cardinals.
            If Rangers sign Garza now, is he a FA pickup?
            Answer: YES.

          • Tony_Hall

            All players elect FA if they are not resigned by the time that FA period begins.

            And the answer to your Garza question is no.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Then we disagree. : )

            The point: he wasn’t home grown.

          • Tony_Hall

            I am shocked!

            Resigned is the more accurate term when a player elects FA and then goes back to the same team after testing the waters.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Only baseball reference disagrees with you.

          • Tony_Hall

            They are using a technical term. I do not believe you will find many MLB baseball people who would say that Holiday was a FA signing for the Cards. The link that I posted from MLB lists him as a traded for player.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Rip, the correct term is re-signed.

          • RynoTiger

            Neil, stop it! You’re making is argument look weak and inaccurate.

          • Tony_Hall

            Let’s take last year.

            Was David Ortiz a Free agent pickup for the Red Sox.

            Baseball reference says he was, but no one would say that he was a free agent pick-up.

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/ortizda01.shtml

            You have to change teams to be a Free agent acquisition for a team. Re-Signing with your previous team is just that re-signing.

          • J Daniel

            Rip,
            I would disagree with you as well. I actually saw his first game with the Cardinals. It was in Philly and Holliday was in NY. Him and his wife caught the train to get to Philly in time to be in the Cardinals lineup.

            He was technically signed as a free agent but he was traded for. You are kind of being silly with this point.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You said it yourself: “He was technically signed as a FA.”

            I rest my case.

          • Tony_Hall

            So was David Ortiz….does that make him a Free agent acquistion for the Red Sox….technically speaking of course.

          • Tony_Hall

            Nice edit…..traded for players are not homegrown either, but they usually use home grown players to make the trade.

          • SuzyS

            They can use either homegrown or any talent they have in-house…traded for/FA/Home grown…I don’t think there is a usual here.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not very often do the Cardinals trade FA pickups, like the Cubs have done with Maholm, Feldman, etc.

          • cubtex

            Not very often are the Cards sellers.

          • Tony_Hall

            Correct, ever since they built their farm system to be productive year in and year out, they don’t need to use FA much or sell off guys at the deadline.

          • cubtex

            yea. and they didn’t have to tank games on the mlb level to build up their farm system. Amazing.

          • Tony_Hall

            Having Albert Pujols come out of the 13th round to be the best player in the game for many years, allows a team breathing room. How many years have we seen their opening day roster and say who is that and who is that. It was also mid 90’s that they started building the farm system into what it has become, very good at producing major league players.

      • Tony_Hall

        Looking at the trades Holiday was involved in, 1st from the Rockies to the A’s for Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith and Huston Street. Colorado did well here. Then the A’s trade him to the Cardinals for Clayton Mortensen, Shane Peterson, and Brett Wallace…..the A’s did not do well on this end.

      • Bredstik

        By “No splashy free agents” I really meant no splashy free agent signings from other teams, not resigns of their free agents. I’ll give you that Beltran is splashy, but keep in mind the only reason they signed him was because they weren’t able to resign Pujols. They never would have signed him otherwise. Should have said “few” though.

        Other than Beltran & Holiday, every other STL position starter came up through their system: Molina, Adams, Carpenter, Kozma, Jay, & Freese (never made it up with SD). Not to mention Allen Craig who is on the DL and Descalso who got 300+ ABs in a utility role.

        Impressive use of their system no matter how you slice it.

  • Eugene Debs

    Nothing says All-Star like Brian Bogusevic.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Bruce Levin was on 670 the Score from 9 am to 10 am today.
    Rosenbloom and Grote’s show.

    Fact #1: Rosenbloom says he hopes 670 will hire Levine to be on his
    show weekly. “But it is out of my control.”

    Fact #2: Rosenbloom and Levine said, “The rebuilding of the Cubs will take much longer than
    5 years.” Levine: “8-10 years.” Rosenbloom called Theo “Baseball Moses: he may wander in the
    desert 40 years before they reach the promised land.”

    Fact #3: Levine said, “The Cubs never really had a shot at signing Girardi. He wasn’t going
    to come here without a promise of FA signings to make the Cubs competitive in 2014. Like
    Francona in Cleveland, the Cubs would have had to spend money immediately to make them
    compete for a playoff spot.” And he also said, “He would not come to work under Theo. Theo only
    hires people ingratiated to him. He would not hire a free thinker like Girardi.”

    • Tony_Hall

      8-10 years….that is ridiculous.

      Levine also said that Greg Maddux was interested and a candidate for the Cubs job. Maddux has said the exact opposite that he is not interested in a full time coaching job, let alone managers job.

      Girardi let his kids decide if they wanted to move to Chicago. The vote was 3-0 to staying in NY. It was never an option for him to even consider the Cubs job, it was more about the FO making it known, they would love to talk to him.

      Bruce Levine is on the outside looking in with the Cubs anymore and does not like Theo because JH used Levine to leak things.

      • Ripsnorter1

        They said other things as well. Such as Theo was expecting some FA money,
        and Ricketts has pulled the strings to the money bag tight. And that they
        expect him to leave after the five years. And that he’s never built an organization–
        that in Boston he inherited most of the pieces that put them over the top. And …..
        you really need to listen to the broadcast, if possible.

        • Tony_Hall

          Bruce Levine….no thanks.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, read my post.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Rip, they did not say they expected Theo to leave after his contract is up. Levine said he would not be surprised if Theo went into Ricketts’ office in the next year or so and asked for an extension.

        • Tony_Hall

          I very rarely listen to Sports talk radio, it is about the lowest level of information available. They are trying to get ratings and rile people up.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, please read my post. Rip is not passing on correct information.

          • Tony_Hall

            I did. I am just not a fan of Levine.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            That’s fine, I’m not saying you should be.

          • triple

            That’s a fairly regular occurrence actually.

        • triple

          Wow! I know some may be appalled, but this “sharing of information” you are spreading reminds me about the comment I made the other day about high school girls spreading rumors…. “he said, she said…” it’s all true!!!! hahaha…

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Your fact three is incorrect. That is not what Levine said. Levine said signing Girardi would have stepped up the process because he would expect a more competitive big league team than the one that has been on the field.

    • RynoTiger

      Fact 2 is also incorrect. Levine said that he overhead Theo say “I am a messiah and when I walk on Lake Michigan, the naysers will realize that I am the chosen one and have returned to lead my people to the promise land.”

    • cubtex

      Hey Rip. I listen a lot when I take the dog out for a walk some evenings and there is no doubt the Chicago talk guys are becoming more and more skeptical of Team Theo. Lawrence Holmes is another guy who “I am not jumping off the bandwagon yet….but I am asking the guys in the wagon next to me what direction are we headed”
      We don’t have to be brain surgeons to see that this is not a 5 year plan. Will it be 8-10 years?
      I hope Ricketts fires his a## well before that if they aren’t fighting for the playoffs in year 5 of his deal. Theo is one of the highest paid executives in baseball and he is doing the same type of job a general manager in training could do.

      • SuzyS

        Cubtex, are you privy to all that goes on in the executive suite? I’m thinking that Ricketts has tied Theo’s hands quite a bit from when he first signed on.

        If you remember correctly, the first Wrigley revamp was supposed to be completed by 2014…the 100 year anniversary of Wrigley….Here it is 2013, and they haven’t broken ground yet….and those plans were set in motion before Theo came on board.

        Theo also said he’d be very disappointed if we weren’t competitive by 2014….

        When Ricketts first took over…he did say that our growth would come from the farm system.

        I have to believe Theo is building our system…exactly the way Ricketts wants it done.

        • cubtex

          Suzy, What did I imply in my post could be construed as privy information?

          I am saying that IF Theo does not have this team fighting for the playoffs by year 5???? Fire his A##!

          • SuzyS

            Cubtex, year 5 I can go along with…but I don’t want to see any changes in upper management (other than Crane Kenney), before then.

        • cubtex

          To expand on that Suzy…Seriously, How difficult of a plan is it to follow what Theo is following??? Lose 101 games in year 1. Lose 96 games in year 2. Aquire high draft picks by losing on the mlb level. Spend like crazy on international free agents. Put together a poor product on the mlb with a lot of holes so you can guarantee some “buy low” free agents a spot to re-establish themselves so if they do well….You can sell them off for prospect to teams fighting for the playoffs. Is this such a difficult plan?

          • SuzyS

            The difficulty is in the execution of the plan…in Chicago, a major market team…while building an entire organization up from almost scratch.

            It’s not just the MLB team…it’s the entire milb system including facilities/scouting department and player development…all the while planning a major rehab of the ballpark.
            And then selling it to the fans…and have the Kahunas to make the decisions where there is little margin for error.

            It’s very simple to see what an alcoholic needs to do improve life.
            Stop drinking.
            It’s difficult taking the steps necessary to do so.

            Same thing….Simple plan…difficult to execute.

          • cubtex

            You hit the nail on the head. Simple plan. The difficulty is the selling to the fans. That is a huge reason that Ricketts hired Theo(imo) Any gm in training can impliment and execute this plan but Theo has a “name”…but now the issue is that in year 3…that froth is wearing off fans Latte’s. The “wonder boy” label is turning into “what the hell is going on” label. He is a smart guy. I am sure he understands he better win before year 5. No way can they lose 90 plus games the next 2 years and not have a ton of backlash.

          • SuzyS

            It will not be 2 more years of this…only this next season…and the end of the season will be better because we will begin to see the emergence of prospects.

          • cubtex

            As I have said many times before….What are the odds of Almora,Soler,Baez,Bryant to all come up in 2 years and be productive mlb starters?

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree, yet with the emergence of prospects brings more concerns: Youth training at MLB level, is not a good thing which turns to more L’s and less W’s at the MLB level.

          • cubtex

            exactly. to think there will not be growing pains is 100% unrealistic.
            How many on here were thrilled with Rizzo’s year this year? I heard how it was only his 1st full season so give him some slack. Don’t worry about his averages per month in the 2nd half. He hit a lot of doubles.
            So if we expect the same out of some of those prospects…How many games will the team win in 2015 with many of those prospects in year 1????

          • TheWrongGuy

            Theo himself said in an interview recently that it is very tricky to develop players at the MLB level, or something close to that effect. I believe he was answering a question about Rizzo and Castro’s developments this past season.

          • cubtex

            If he doesn’t improve the mlb team…he will be forced to bring up some of these prospects sooner rather than later to draw fans and keep the fanbase from slitting his throat. That could be a bery bery bery bad thing :)

          • SuzyS

            Actually, that’s kind of why I think we will have one major signing/trade this off season…to bring in some fans…and it could be Tanaka.

          • cubtex

            100% agree.

          • SuzyS

            I agree with your line of thinking here, Cubtex…but I still think we’ll be more exciting with say the first year of Bryant vs having Sweeney or DeJesus out there.
            Theo will have to bring in some veteran presence to stabilize the youth…but not until the youth is here and ready to compete.

          • cubtex

            or if he doesn’t…..he will have to rush the prospects in order to keep fan interest. (which will not be pretty)

          • TheWrongGuy

            I don’t mean to be a bad criticizer but I don’t see all of “The Big 4″ making it to Wrigley. *NOTE* Look what the Royals did this past off-season. Also add that “The Big 4″ ALL bat right handed, not that it matters, but, Left-handed bats will be needed, and more pitching(pitching is more important here). This is my opinion.

          • SuzyS

            Actually, as this shakes out…I expect to see some trades which may include any of the big four…but definitely some of our ” organizational depth”.
            Only one guy can play third base at a time…what do you do if you have 2 other candidates ready for a position at the same time??? Trade for need.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Catching/Lefty-hitting OF prospect close to MLB ready/TOR ceiling Pitcher. Yes I agree Suzy a trade will happen soon. It’s the question of: When?

          • SuzyS

            I would think they will give some of the prospects a little more time to develop value….ie Can Olt make a comeback…does Villanueva continue to develop at AAA? What position do you put Baez at??? etc.etc.

            Unless Barney develops a bat…I think he’ll be traded at the trade deadline in a package to make room for their new second baseman….(Alcantra/Baez/Castro).

            These are the things that will keep fan interest in the second half of next season.

          • John_CC

            I have a hard time seeing Barney start the season with the Cubs, Suzy. Asumming there will be a new 3Bman, Valbuena would even be an upgrade over Barney.

          • SuzyS

            Yes… a lot of people expect him to be traded this off season….I’m not so sure.
            They may view him as a stabilizing effect on Castro and Rizzo until some of the better prospects are ready.
            You might be right…but also they might wait until the July trade deadline to move him.

          • Tony_Hall

            Every style of building a team is a simple plan.

            Sign Free agents and trade prospects is a simple plan as well. Execution is what matters.

          • Brp921

            I hate the prospect of losing 90 games again next year, but what puts fans in the seats is excitement about the team. So if we have Baez, Bryant and possibly Soler emerge next year with the big club as budding MLB stars then that should put fans in the seats. If not next year for all of them, then certainly the following year assuming they all keep progressing.

      • SuzyS

        Cubtex, one thing you are right about…the natives are getting restless up here.
        I’m getting restless.

        But I want to see this have every chance to work…and not abort it in midstream.

        • cubtex

          The farm system has been repaired and continues to add minor league talent. Time for Theo to quit tanking years on the mlb team and field a “real” mlb team.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree Ray. Yet I yield to whether or not TR has given Theo much leverage $$$money$$$ to buy any FA or trade(adding big contracts). I will say that he probably doesn’t have much money(my opinion). As far as trades an Andre’ Either would be a nice add for the middle of the order and could probably be had for the right price(eating a large portion of his contract). <(Previous sentence is an example, yet very possible.)

          • SuzyS

            I almost agree with you.

            I stated before…this year at the trade deadline…I expect any trades made will be made to make room for prospects coming up and acquire pieces to compete with. I expect we are in our last year of trading mlb talent…just to acquire prospects.

          • triple

            I agree. So we have plenty of talent coming in the next season or 2. Now what free agents do you sign now? We need a top of the rotation starter. Who’s available this offseason that we should throw a big contract out for? We need a great catcher behind the plate. What FA catcher do you sign this offseason. We need a 2B who can hit and field his postion well. What FA do you sign to fill that spot?. We need a third baseman so bad. Who’s available that you’d sign? Okay, we probably can’t afford the three OF that we desperately need, so who’s one FA outfielder we can bring in! Jesus, we hypothetically just spent about $300K on a TOP pitcher, catcher, 2B, 3B, and an OF, we still need to get somebody to anchor the back of the rotation. Who’s available that we can sign? Should we offer Mariano Rivera $30mil for a season of his services since we’ve already spent $300mil on the rest of the team?

            Please Cubtex, tell me who are the players available this offseason that can spend a bunch of money on to fill all those positions and make us competitive for 2014 and 2015? And then when some of the prospects have proven that they can play, what are we gonna do with the guy we just spent a bunch of money on. Where do we trade him and how much of the contract to do we eat?

          • cubtex

            Help. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. The sky is falling. We’re doomed. We can’t win. Just keep losing and get draft picks. That’s the only solution.

          • SuzyS

            Cubtex, Cubtex, Cubtex. :-):-)

            You didn’t answer the question:-)…and heck…I thought the sky fell in last year…didn’t it?:-)

          • triple

            Yes, I remember some very frustrated Cubtex posts that were on the verge of meltdown.

          • cubtex

            hahaha. I never get angry.

          • triple

            Those are your words, not mine! I feel nothing like what you just typed. Yes, we need some upgrades, but I’m not the one crying that we need to go to free agency and spend, spend, spend to get to our goal. But I’d like to know, since you are the one who wants signings so this big market team can compete. Who are the free agents available that the Cubs need to sign this year to get competitive and have you be interested in the 2nd half of the 2014 season? It’s like pulling teeth sometimes, trying to get you to elaborate on what the cubs needs to do. Like the guy who yells “FIRE!” and then when someone goes to put it out, instead of helping, you are standing there telling him how to do it

          • Ripsnorter1

            Levine said Baez will possibly be moved to 2B in ST. He expects a call to the
            big club in June/July, after Super Two status is not possible.

            Likewise, he expects Bryant in 2014.

            Levine expects Barney to be gone over the winter.

            We do not need a FA catcher, unless of course it is Navarro. (That’s my opinion).

            As for pitchers….TOR starter is impossible. Ricketts isn’t going to spend the dough.
            But Baker is possible. And don’t forget….Edwin Jackson! LOL

          • triple

            Kind of proving my point that all these positions just can’t be addressed in one season, and frankly shouldn’t be. And I agree that I’d be happy with resigning Navarro as well. I was saying that at least a couple months ago.

            I am also of the opinion that Baez and Bryant will be in Chicago before the end of 2014. But that’s almost as obvious as the sky being blue., (unless one of them gets injured and development is set back). So Levine is really earning his money when he tells us that water is wet. And I don’t bother myself with anything that Rosenbloom thinks or says.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Really, there is no guarantee about Baez or Bryant being in
            Chicago in 2014. Yeah, Baez looks impressive–anything can happen
            over the offseason. Look at Castro: gets the contract, puts on 10 lbs,
            comes to ST in a Rolls Royce, and splat! he has a terrible year. Theo
            gave him the contract and Sveum takes the fall for it.

            So Baez could fizzle because of some unforeseen outside pressures.
            We hope not. But time will tell about them all.

    • triple

      I don’t know which is more sad? The matter that Levine and Rosenbloom get paid to share their opinion on the radio, or that people actually spend an hour of their life actually listening to it!

      • cubtex

        Do you not listen to radio in your car driving to destinations? When you listen to radio do you sit in a chair in your living room staring into space just being unproductive? If that is the case….you’ve got a great point.

        • Ripsnorter1

          And for those interested, I was driving in my car and unable to stop and
          take dictation…..

        • triple

          Yes I’m always listening to the radio or CD’s in my car. About the only sports talk I listen to is Scott Van Pelt and Ryan Russillo if I’m driving while they are on. They are not the ordinary sports-talk guys. They have positive outlooks and don’t dwell on negatives, scandal, and always share an honest opinion that is usually refreshing when compared to typical radio show banter who’s goal is to stir everybody up and create advertising money. That’s not my thing.

          And yes, I often actively listen to music, as I am a musician. Number one, it is great for relaxation no matter what profession anyone is in, but in my line of work, it requires some very active listening that isn’t possible sometimes while I’m cleaning or exercising to music. But when I’m listening while doing nothing else, it’s usually if I’m just taking some time to relax, or because I’m learning a tune or licks, and there’s usually a guitar or bass in my hand.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I agree somewhat. It is “their” opinions’ and everyone on US soil is entitled to “their” opinion. So this is Levine and Rosenbloom’s opinion. =)

  • Tony_Hall

    Cubs are looking for long term exclusive sponsors for Wrigley Field and has built 6×9 replica of Wrigley that they can bring in a big sponsor and show them their name on any of the spots they are trying to sell.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-1013-confidential-cubs-20131013,0,1300344.column

    Expect to see nothing but big names like Pepsi and State Farm to go along with the already announced deal with Budweiser.

  • Ripsnorter1
    • cubtex

      thanks for the link Rip

      • Ripsnorter1

        talks about Theo starting about 23 minutes into the thing….

        talks about Sveum as he starts the program.

        at 27 minutes, Levine says that Theo is going to tell Ricketts this is not a five year thing,
        it will take 8-10 years to get it right. Also I need some money to buy players (FAs).

        “Baseball Moses” 27:40

        Levine: “I said that to my last bosses, and that is why I am sitting here.” 27:45+

        30 minutes in: “Eve though Theo won the WS, he had a juiced up middle of the order, ‘roids
        all over the place.”

        “There is no way Girardi would have worked here with Theo.” “Exactly,” said Levine. 30:25+

        Levine says, “Joe Girardi might not have been Theo’s guy, but he” (and here I summarize) would have
        made them spend money on FAs quicker than they want to. 30:25+

        Go listen for yourselves and see how much I have made up.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thanks for posting the link and clarifying what you said above. Again, you left out the part about Epstein asking for an extension.

        • Tony_Hall

          This is what Neil said that you were wrong on.

          “Rip, they did not say they expected Theo to leave after his contract is up. Levine said he would not be surprised if Theo went into Ricketts’ office in the next year or so and asked for an extension.”

          The rest these guys said, where you are off on this is you are calling these facts, just because these guys said it.

          • triple

            I wanna requote what Tony just typed, because this is exactly what I’m talking about:

            “The rest these guys said, where you are off on this is you are calling these facts, just because these guys said it.”

            This is what really annoys me, is that it is all kind of like loaded questioning like a lawyer would use. It’s just two guys opinions, but he shares it as if they are the final word and it is either written in the bible or proven as scientific fact….again, like those high school girls spreading rumors!

          • cubtex

            you got a thing for high school girls. Please quit using that term since I have one. Very weird to continue to use that term.

          • triple

            Sorry cubtex… Next time there are speculative posts shared as fact, I will just go with gossip queen. ;)

        • SuzyS

          Rip…thanks for the link…AND sharing your viewpoint of it.

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is another man’s opinion, but it is factual that he said it.

    Speaking of AJ Hinch, “The guy who hires him next (as a manager) will be pleased.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-1013-cubs-manager-chicago-20131013,0,424075.story

  • cubtex

    Hmmm. Where do we get TOR starting pitching? I know…don’t let Theo trade any of the teams starting pitching prospects. I thought of this watching Anabal Sanchez pitching tonight.

    Anabal Sanchez
    14-8 with a 2.57 ERA traded with Hanley Ramirez in the Josh Beckett deal.

    Justin Masterson
    14-10 with a 3.45 ERA traded in the Victor Martinez deal

    Andrew Cashner
    10-9 with a 3.09 ERA traded for Rizzo.

    Conclusion- Don’t let Theo trade any young starting pitching.

    • Tony_Hall

      I guess the definition of TOR pitchers has been greatly expanded.

      One usual requirement to be considered a TOR pitcher is 200 innings.

      Anibal Sanchez’s best years are in the 190’s (career Whip is 1.313)

      Andrew Cashner has only one year over 60 and that was this year with 175.

      Justin Masterson has done it twice, once with a 1.454 WHIP (Career Whip is 1.356)

      • cubtex

        Would any or all 3 of those guys not be a 1 or 2 on the Cubs?

        Sanchez has had 3 years of 195,196 and 195. So by your definition… if he had pitched 5 more innings for those years he could not be put in that category no matter what his other numbers say?

        I guess Shark is a TOR cause he reached that coveted level this year. Whew!

        • Tony_Hall

          You don’t read well.

          One of the usual requirements is 200 innings….not the only requirement.

          None of these 3 are right now considered TOR pitchers.

          I don’t define a TOR based on the rest of the pitchers on one team, but on all SP in baseball. A 4th Starter on one team could be a TOR pitcher, and yet a #1 on another could not be.

          • Tony_Hall

            But if you can’t at least do 200 innings, there is not discussion, you may have the stuff, but you need to take the hill every 5th day and log the innings.

          • cubtex

            so with your def…there are probably less than 10 TOR starters in baseball. Now we are really in trouble

          • Tony_Hall

            Only 10 guys pitched 200 innings….no actually 34 pitchers did that just this year.

            But if a Clayton Kershaw has 190 innings next year, he is still a TOR pticher. But if you have NEVER done it, not sure how you can say they are one.

          • cubtex

            out of those 34…How many had a line like this?

            193 IP 156 hits 3 shutouts and 195 K’s.

            Pretty dominating stuff…wouldn’t you agree?

          • Tony_Hall

            1.154 WHIP….puts him 23rd on the year, 2 spots behind Travis Wood.

          • cubtex

            so you are seriously putting Travis Wood ahead of those numbers? Please don’t tell me you would.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe you are saying that Travis Wood is dominating
            TOR pitcher

            200 Innings
            163 HIts
            7.335/9

            Sorry you are actually talking about Masterson and his 1.202 WhIP that puts him 33rd, I thought you were at least talkning Sanchez.

          • cubtex

            Tony. I know you are around the game. You know what TOR stuff looks like. It isn’t about just computer numbers. You have to have swing and miss stuff to be a TOR starter. You need to give up less hits than IP.

          • Tony_Hall

            Travis Wood does that….does that make him a TOR pitcher…..NO.

          • cubtex

            Travis Wood has swing and miss stuff? What game are you watching?

          • Tony_Hall

            He gave up less hits than IP….you are so impossible to have a discussion with….

          • cubtex

            as you politely told me. Not! You don’t read well.
            I said you have to have swing and miss stuff to be a TOR starter

          • Tony_Hall

            “You have to have swing and miss stuff to be a TOR starter. You need to give up less hits than IP.”

            Direct quote from you.

          • cubtex

            Thank you. Now you can read! That is exactly what I said. Does Travis Wood fit both of those criteria?

          • Tony_Hall

            HAve I said he is A TOR SP

            NO he is not.

          • cubtex

            Travis Wood does that….does that make him a TOR pitcher.

            Said Tony Hall. You said Travis Wood has swing and miss stuff and gives up less hits than IP.

          • Tony_Hall

            I never said he has swing and miss stuff.

            I never said Travis Wood is a TOR pitcher.

          • cubtex

            hahaha. You threw Travis Wood in the discussion as fitting my definition of what a TOR has to have. You said…Quote. Travis Wood does those things but does that make him a TOR starter? No

            You are a better backpeddler than a politician.

          • Tony_Hall

            NO, I did not. I brought up Travis Wood as a comparison to where your examples were on the WhIP list…behind Wood. I never said he was TOR or that he has swing and miss stuff. YOu misinterpreted what I said. Any idiot would know that he doesn’t have swing and miss stuff and I didn’t thing I would have to say he doesn’t have swing and miss stuff.

          • Tony_Hall

            Why do you make things up like this?

          • cubtex

            I copied and pasted your exact quote in reference to my criteria. Swing and miss stuff and less hits. Why are you backpedaling?

          • Tony_Hall

            Incorrect. I was talking about less hits than IP. How many times do I have to say it!!!

          • cubtex

            Forget it man. This is like me teaching someone how to speek Greek.

            Look above where I said.. Tony you have been around the game and then look at your response to that.

          • Tony_Hall

            I have, it was only in reference to less hits than inning and then in the same sentence said he is not a TOR SP.

          • cubtex

            ok fair enough. I didn’t say either or. It was both.

          • Tony_Hall

            It was 2 different sentences, I had just posted Wood’s innings and hits. How is it not obvious to everyone that he doesn’t have swing and miss stuff. Even his own mother doesn’t think he has swing and miss stuff.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is what I posted and was only referencing the less hits than IP.

            “Travis Wood does that….does that make him a TOR pitcher…..NO.”

            AS you can see I said he Is NOT a TOR pitcher.

          • cubtex

            What with the down arrows tonight Tony.

            I never give Down Arrows said Tony Hall.

            Ha. I could care less if you do or not but I find it funny since you are so adamant that you never do.

          • Tony_Hall

            I did to point out your wrong posts.

          • cubtex

            hahaha. like I said. knock your socks off. but don’t say how you never do it.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t if I dislike your opinion and don’t even remember the last time I did one. I was doing it more for you to see where you were saying things that were just not true.

          • cubtex

            have a good weekend. I have had enough for tonight. don’t like some of those high school girl comments and what not. Take care.

          • Tony_Hall

            You shouldn’t make them then.

          • Tony_Hall

            I read it right the 1st time, less hits than IP, it should be common sense that Wood doesn’t have swing and miss stuff.

          • Tony_Hall

            There are not 30 ACES

            There are not 60 TOR SP’s

            There are many mid rotation and BOR SP’s in the game.

            Sanchez is now a 2/3 (like Garza)

            Masterson is 2/3 or mid rotation.

            Cashner has TOR stuff, but needs to stay on the field for 32 Starts first.

          • Tony_Hall

            And once again, if you would read I clearly said that Wood is NOT a TOR SP

    • J Daniel

      And he drafted those guys to begin with … just the other sided of the ledger.

      • cubtex

        1 out of 3 ain’t bad. Sanchez drafted in 2001…pre Theo. Cashner drafted by Hendry.