Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 11/04/13

With the beginning of the Australian Baseball League on Thursday and the Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico in Friday, all leagues are now in play for the winter. Top young stars such as Junior Lake and Rubi Silva made their winter debuts, while Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora participated in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game. Plus, Javier Baez was added to the Leones roster of the Roberto Clemente League.

Note: Coverage of the winter leagues will be by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday

Arizona Fall League

Mesa Solar Sox

If Mesa had more offense on Monday the outcome might have been better than a 3-2 loss to Salt River. Armando Rivero still had his troubles on the mound and allowed an earned run on two hits with a walk in an inning of work that allowed the Rafters to take a 3-0 lead. But Kris Bryant brought the Solar Sox close with a two-run homer as he was 1-for-3 on the day. Jorge Soler extended his hit streak to eleven games with a 1-for-3 effort, while Albert Almora had no official at bat as a pinch-runner for Soler.

Third baseman Kris Bryant continued his offensive rampage on Tuesday, but Mesa lost 7-3 to Salt River. Bryant was only 1-for-5, but he did hit his AFL leading sixth home run which resulted in his 17th RBI of the fall. Jorge Soler had his hitting streak snapped as he went 0-for-4. Lendy Castillo couldn’t find the plate. Castillo issued three walks, gave up a hit, an earned run, and a strikeout in 0.1 innings.

Mesa returned to their winning ways on Wednesday as they shut out Scottsdale 7-0. Dallas Beeler was the big story as the starter pitched four scoreless innings while allowing only two hits and striking out a batter. Wes Darvill was the only Cubs’ position player to see action. Darvill went 1-for-5 with two runs scored playing third base for the Solar Sox.

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The Solar Sox made it two wins in a row on Thursday as they beat Scottsdale 7-3. Jorge Soler went 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in a run. Kris Bryant scored two runs and went 1-for-4 with a walk, but Albert Almora was 0-for-4. Armando Rivero was able to get his game back on track. Rivero struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief.

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The Solar Sox battled back on Friday before they fell 5-4 to Peoria. Albert Almora was back in full swing as he went 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and a walk. Almora’s triple came in the ninth with one out but he was left on third representing the tying run when the game ended. Wes Darvill started at third and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Lendy Castillo added a scoreless inning in relief.

It was All-Star time in the AFL on Saturday as the East fell to the West 9-2. Kris Bryant started at third and batted third for the East. Bryant went 1-for-4 with a run scored and two errors, while Jorge Soler hit seventh and started in right field. Soler went 1-for-1 with a walk. Albert Almora took over for Soler in the sixth inning and was 0-for-2.

Click Here for Complete Recap

Dominican Winter League

Toros del Este

It wasn’t a good start of the week for the Bulls as they lost 7-0 to Licey. Reliever Jeffry Antigua allowed two runs (one earned) on a walk and two hits while striking out two in an inning of work.

Jeffry Antigua finished off his week on a positive note. Antigua struck out a batter in 0.1 innings in Este’s 5-2 win over Licey on Saturday.

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Tigres del Licey

It was a romp for the Tigers on Sunday as they shut out Este 7-0. Arismendy Alcantara hit leadoff and went 1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Centerfielder Julio Borbon was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.

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Arismendy Alcantara saw his next action as a pinch-runner in Licey’s 5-2 loss to Este on Saturday. Julio Borbon was a late inning defensive replacement in centerfield.

Estrellas de Oriente

On Wednesday, Marcos Mateo was able to eat up some innings for the Eastern Stars as they lost 6-5 to Escogido. Mateo surrendered only two walks to go along with a strikeout in 2.1 scoreless innings.

Oriente was able to hold onto a 5-3 victory over Este on Friday thanks to Marcos Mateo. The Iowa reliever notched a strikeout in a scoreless ninth and recorded his third save of the winter.

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Junior Lake made his season debut for the Stars on Saturday. Lake was 2-for-4 with a stolen base while playing left field as Oriente lost 4-2 to Cibaenas.

Mexican Pacific League

Tomateros de Culiacan

It was save number four for Marcus Hatley on Wednesday as he slammed the door in the Pickers’ 2-1 victory over Obregon. Hatley picked up two strikeouts while working around two walks and a hit in a scoreless ninth.

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Marcus Hatley was able to get some good work in on Friday in Culiacan’s 7-2 win over Mazatlan. The Iowa right-hander struck out two batters in the ninth inning.

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Yaquis de Obregon

Third baseman Christian Villanueva continued to excel as Obregon lost 7-3 to Mazatlan on Sunday. Villanueva was 2-for-4 in the contest.

Christian Villanueva remained hot at the plate on Tuesday. Villanueva went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored in Obregon’s 3-2 victory over Culiacan.

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Christian Villanueva tried to do his part on Wednesday. Villanueva collected one of the Yaquis’ seven hits as they lost 2-1 to Culiacan. Villanueva was 1-for-4 with a double.

The Tribe was finally able to solve Culiacan on Thursday as they scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 8-7. Christian Villanueva was 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in the victory.

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Obregon was able to outlast league leading Hermosillo on Friday with a 4-3 victory. Unfortunately, Christian Villanueva wasn’t able to contribute as he went 0-for-4 in the game.

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Christian Villanueva went 0-for-3 with a walk on Saturday in the Yaquis’ 5-2 loss to Hermosillo.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Leones de Ponce

It was a successful opening night for the Lions on Friday as they defeated Mayaguez 9-3. Tennessee outfielder Rubi Silva opened in left field and went 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored. Tennessee utility man Jonathan Mota lined up at third base and was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

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Jonathan Mota was 1-for-3 with a walk while Rubi Silva went 0-for-4 as Ponce lost 4-1 to Carolina on Saturday.

Cangrejeros de Santurce

Iowa infielder Edwin Maysonet was 1-for-3 with a walk as the Crabmen defeated Caguas 1-0 on Saturday.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Tigres de Aragua

Kane County catcher Willson Contreras was 2-for-3 with a walk on Friday in the Tigers’ 8-2 loss to Zulia. Iowa reliever Eduardo Sanchez also saw some action. Sanchez struck out a batter in 0.2 scoreless innings.

Leones de Caracas

Reliever Hector Rondon started his week out right by being the winning pitcher in the Lions 5-3 win over Zulia last Sunday. Rondon worked around a hit and notched a strikeout in a scoreless inning.

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Loiger Padron could not bail out his starter on Tuesday as Caracas lost 5-2 to Magallanes. After giving up four runs, Padron relieved the Lions’ starter and allowed an earned run while striking out two batters in 1.1 innings.

It was a fine effort for Yoanner Negrin on Thursday in the Pride’s 6-4 win over La Guaira. Negrin allowed two earned runs on three hits while striking out two in 6.1 innings.

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Bravos de Margarita

Frank Del Valle got in some work on Tuesday. Del Valle walked a batter and struck out a batter in 0.2 scoreless innings as the Braves lost 4-2 to Lara.

On Saturday, Margarita stretched out Frank Del Valle and gave him the start in their 7-5 win over La Guaira. Del Valle went three innings, allowed an earned run on four hits and three walks while striking out two batters.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Aguilas del Zulia

Yeiper Castillo came on in relief on Tuesday and picked up his first victory as the Eagles beat La Guaira 7-3. Castillo scattered five hits while allowing an earned run and striking out a batter in 2.1 innings.

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Yeiper Castillo had one of his more shaky outings on Friday, but was able to get out of things unscathed as Zulia beat Aragua 9-2. Castillo gave up two walks and a hit, but also had a strikeout in a scoreless inning.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

News and Notes

Infielder Elliot Soto, who played at Tennessee and was a part of Daytona’s Florida State League championship team, was suspended for 50 games for a second violation of the substance abuse policy.

The Cubs released RHP Juan Francisco and LHP David Villegas. The 23-year old Francisco was 0-1 in 12 relief appearances for the AZL Cubs with a 6.39 ERA and a 2.45 WHIP. Villegas, a 21-year old southpaw, was 0-4 in 15 games, one start, for the Rookie League Cubs with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball is all I ever wanted. I could eat, sleep, and dream baseball." - Smoky Joe Wood

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  • Vivid_Reality

    I know this will be unpopular but I have grown on the idea of Baez manning left field. I don’t see him ever being a better shortstop than Starlin Castro is right now. Many people want to see Castro shipped off with Baez coming up, but quite frankly that talk is silly. One bad season does not determine a players career. No doubt Castro has work to do as his mental mistakes have opened the door for his departure. The physical ability still remains through the roof though. How sick to our stomachs would we be if we traded Castro and he got his head on right and is a perennial all star for another team. There is no reason not to give a player that young another season if not two, to get his act together.

    Anyways, a little off topic. I liked some of what I saw from Bryant in the Fall Stars game. He looked really smooth on a play to his right on the ground and then unleashed a strike across the diamond. I give him every chance at third until he proves he can’t hack it. Baez can always man third and then shift Bryant to right and Soler to left. The reason I don’t just do this initially is that I believe if the cards fall just right, Bryant at third and Baez in left will be much better defensively. Alcantara and Almora would then round out the unknowns in the infield and outfield respectively.

    Of course this is all in a perfect world where all our prospects make it and we can field a 90% home grown team. Like it or not, at least one of our “big four” will fail to make a major impact. I’d be thrilled if just two of them panned out in the end. Chances are we sign a marquee free agent and then fill in the spaces around him. I can honestly say this is the happiest I’ve been as a Cubs fan since 2003. I know this road will be rough but I truly believe in what Theo and Co are trying to accomplish (its what I wanted even when Hendry was the gm). Some of you may not agree but I think we can all say to an extent that the future looks brighter.

    • Tony_Hall

      I agree on this and can see Baez in LF. His bat will say when he gets here and they will put him where ever they need to to get his bat in the lineup. But I see Olt or Villanueva holding down 3B while Bryant is in RF and Baez either takes over in the middle infield or LF. Olt or Villanueva will have a challenger right behind them in Candelario. Bryant needs to stay at 3B and Baez at SS for as long as possible, because they do hold more value (to the Cubs and in trade value) if they stay at those positions for as long as possible.

      And yes this is an exciting time for Cubs baseball for those that can see what they are doing, which shouldn’t be to hard to see, as Ricketts told us when he bought the team and Theo told us when he took over.

      • AG Ginn 515

        a lot of Cubs fans are like chicks because its not what we’ve done in past or the future its what are you doing for me right now.

        • Tony_Hall

          Yes they are, and when the team starts winning they will all come back and pack Wrigley. I am not too worried about those type of fans, the scenery and atmosphere at Wrigley will get them back when the team is exciting and fun to watch again.

      • K_Gripp

        It is an exciting time for a Cubs fan with the potential for a revamped Wrigley Field, an owner who is committed to winning long term, and a front office that has a proven track record. There is a BUT! and a big BUT!, one that makes me take off my rose colored glasses sometimes and that is that the three teams ahead of us in our division all finished with greater than 90 wins and two of the three teams already have farm systems ranked higher than ours with prospects closer to the major leagues. How is our ownership and front office going to differentiate us from them so that we can win our Division in the next 2 years?

        • Tony_Hall

          Only so many wins to go around, if the Cubs young core starts winning divisional games, the other 3 teams will have less wins. Let’s face it, they other 3 have had lots of easy wins in the division over the last few years, with the Cubs, Brewers and previously the Astros.

    • Eugene Debs

      The future does look very bright. I agree on your Castro thoughts, as well. We’d have to sell low anyway.

      In terms of future vs. present, it seems like everyone is picking one or the other. Can’t we do both? A modest attempt to improve the MLB roster, and I don’t mean complete castoffs (Bogusevic, Ransom, McDonald etc), would go a long way to helping ease this painful transition. Of course we won’t win it all, but it would be nice if there was a chance in hell I could turn on a game and think they can win. Is that too much to ask?

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree it would be nice to think that the team can win, but the last 2 years we have been competitive before the trade deadline (but neither April was good at all) and the sell off of short term assets. At that point, it makes no sense to keep players that are not part of the future, when you can get the return they have to the farm system each year. This year, by trade deadline and the trading away of short term assets, we will have guys like Baez, Alcantara, Bryant, etc being brought up and I for one am looking forward to the second half of the 2014 season.

        • AG Ginn 515

          I agree what you said here but I would’t be shocked if we don’t see Bryant till June or July of 2015 because if Olt steps up.

        • cubtex

          Competitive? If Competitive means losing some close games but still losing is your definition of competitve then maybe?
          2013 they were 2-2 on April 5th.

          April 30th 10-16
          may 31 23-30 12 games out
          june 30 35-45 15.5 games out

          This team was brutal last year ALL year! The time to be competitive on the mlb team is now! 2 brutal years of not trying to win is enough.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I think what Tony is saying is that as the minor league quality gets better and closer to the majors, you have more of a chance. Because when they sell off people this time, you have quality people coming up to replace them.

            The reason we were so bad last year is that when they sold off guys, they had scrubs like Cole Gillespie and Darnell McDonald filling holes.

            I agree. That’s no way to play. But now that they have a wave of guys coming, things are looking up.

          • cubtex

            as pointed out. they were brutal before the sell off. they have scrubs starting in April(not just after the sell off)

          • 07GreyDigger

            I thought they were better last year than the year before. Sure, progress was small, but they had better months I feel.

            2013
            April: 10-16
            May: 13-14
            June: 12-15
            July: 14-13
            August 8-20
            September 9-18

            2012
            April 8-15
            May: 10-17
            June 10-17
            July 15-10
            August 8-21
            September/October 10-21

            There’s definite improvements in May and June this past season. When you’re team is rebuilding, you need to look at the positives.

          • cubtex

            Okay. If you are happy with that. More power to you.

          • Tony_Hall

            He didn’t say he was happy with it, we were talking about more competitive timeframes and May – July were just that.

          • Tony_Hall

            “(but neither April was good at all)” I am not going by how many games out of 1st place, we were never in the divisional race, Eugene was talking about watching games that were competitive and we did have that both years in the months of May, June and July.

            Pessimism – a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future. Synonyms – defeatism, negativity, doom and gloom.

          • cubtex

            Reality. Not pessimism. You can put perfume on a pile of sh## but it is still a pile of sh##. That is what you are doing and trying to say how great this plan is. Some people have a little higher standards than you.

          • Tony_Hall

            My standards are to build an organization that is competitive year after year, competing and winning a World Series.

            How much higher can it get!

          • cubtex

            your standards are to take 5 years. 6 years. 7 years. It is a small market rebuild without trying to put a competitive product on the field. Case closed. You are fine with that. Good for you. But just because I think it is absurd to put this crap on the field in year 3 doesn’t mean I am a pessimist!

          • Tony_Hall

            I do not have a time frame. There is a plan to rebuild the farm system that has been in place, and the time frame is when the system produces major league players. It has started to do that, and I believe that this coming year will be the beginning of impact players being brought up to the major league team on an annual basis.

            You are pessimistic because you have already decided that 2014 will be a bad season and what the team will look like. Admit it, any move they make in trades or free agent signings, you will look at from the worst angle possible and say how bad it is for the Cubs. That is the definition of pessimism.

          • cubtex

            Thank you for your definition. It saved me from looking it up in a dictionary.

            You know you have a very bad habit of talking down to people. Just a little FYI.

            I look at moves realistically. Thanks for thinking for me and predicting on how I will feel with all the future moves. It will save me time from looking at moves individually. I will hate every move so there you go.

          • Tony_Hall

            You are a smart guy, I doubt you had to look it up.

            Call it a prediction then, as you haven’t seen any good moves since Theo took over.

          • K_Gripp

            I will judge the FO big time on their moves this off season. There are several reasonable opportunities to get better at the big league level this off-season. I want to see us moving forward and not just waiting for prospects and the revenue from a renovated stadium. Call me impatient but I’m tired of watching terrible baseball.

          • Tony_Hall

            I can see a trade or 2 to shake up things. L/R bat thing, as most all of our top prospects are RH hitters and a SP.

            I also think they will sign a FA or 2 that could be starters in the field.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Who would you want them to sign? Would you be comfortable with them spending $100 + on any of the players available?

            I’m just curious.

          • bpot92

            I’d Like them to sign

            SP:
            Scott Baker (1-2 Year deal 6-8 Million per year)

            Josh Johnson ( 1year rebuild value deal),

            Jeff Francis/Gavin Floyd deal. If Gavin Floyd is healthy hes an innings eater #5

            Tanaka- 90% sure we will get outbid by Dodgers/Yankees but I see them at least making a decent bid.

            OF: Chris Young (1-year deal)/Nate Mclouth(probably1-3 years but reasonable $ deal),

            RP: Benoit (2-3 years 8mil per year isnt too bad)

            Balfour(same as benoit but probably no more than 2years)

            A Hanrahan deal would be a good flyer if he is going to be healthy enough. A brain Wilson type deal could help the Cubs down the stretch if they trade someone.

            Ill take any of these moves to at least try and bridge the gap a little better.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I like Josh Johnson as a flyer for sure, but not so much Jeff Francis.

            I like your ideas, but I don’t think they could sign this many people. Part of being a young team is giving them a chance to play. All these moves defeats that.

            But I do agree, they need upgrades in the OF and pitching staff. I can see them making a couple of these moves for sure.

          • bpot92

            I agree they may only sign one or two people. This is just a list of the guys I wouldnt care if they signed. Any of these guys is good. I am hoping they sign one or two of the guys above plus a couple others in trade or FA that I may have over looked. I think priority number one has to be the pen and then one Vet in the field. After that its flyers on rebound candidates for the pen.

          • K_Gripp

            I would be comfortable with them signing a player for $100 + if it is conjunction with some other moves. I would love to have Ellsbury in CF but if thats the only piece we add its not worth it. Once you see this FO sign a player for 100 million + you will know they think they have a chance to win in the next season. Out of this below I like Baker, Tanaka, Benoit or Balfour and I would add Ellsbury if they signed two of the previously mentioned guys, traded the shark, and possibly traded a few prospects like Vogelbach and Soler for a MLB ready bat. The options are there to get better at the MLB level THIS YEAR without selling the farm and diverging from the plan of growing the farm system. If the Cubs made those moves and Baez or Olt comes up and produces you never know what could happen.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree and disagree.
            2012 Cubs: 61-101
            2013 Cubs: 66-96
            5 game improvement:
            2014 I am looking for an 10-15 game improvement 76-96 is a good season with the given roster. Even with better hitting. which shouldn’t be too hard. Average starting pitching and an improved bullpen. A 10 to 15 game improvement is NOT far fetched.
            “The “core 4″ ARE STILL PROSPECTS!”

          • John_CC

            76-86…not 96. But we know what you mean.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Thanks! I suck at math is why Theo won’t hire me =)

        • Eugene Debs

          Good point about the pre-trade deadline.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      We still need pitching.

      • JimBo_C

        The 2014 squad needs …. hitting. Their 2013 ranks amongst the 15 NL teams were far less than good:
        – Runs 14th
        – RBI 14th
        – BA 13th
        – OBP 14th
        – Slugging 8th
        – OPS 11th
        Short-term hitting upgrades at 2B, 3B and two OF spots (even at the expense of defense) would help the 2014 squad be more competitive.

    • bpot92

      Hey, the Cardinals had close to 90% homegrown talent. It can happen!!!

  • John_CC

    I haven’t seen him play so this based solely on the lines Tom feeds us but Bryant seems to be an all or nothing hitter at the moment. Its a HR or no hits. Now, this means that his power is tremendous and very real, but I don’t think that was ever in doubt. But when a kid hits nothing but HR I think that that is what he trying to do with every pitch. So everyone will know thatbhencan crush a fastball but doesn’t hit anything else.

    Now, I am not getting down on this kid, I just think we might have temper expectations of him being in Chicago early 2014.

    And maybe I’m completely wrong, maybe he’s been squaring up everything and just been unlucky, like I said I haven’t actually seen him play. But I am hoping to make it to Mesa this spring.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Day 35…..and the search continues…….
    Looking at the comments down below and you can sense many more fans are getting frustrated ……they want prospect players to play at various positions, get here sooner, trade existing Stars……..Baez, Almora, Braynt, Soler, Castro, Rizzo, Alcantara, ………what are we missing here in this group?…….anyone?….anyone?……….the answer is PITCHING………..we have no pitching, then we are NOT a Playoff team……….we either sign starting pitchers (Not going to happen)…..develop them (which takes years) …or trade for them ( which we have the talent to do )………..so what do we have to trade?…..
    Castro – should bring in two or three ready pitching prospects……maybe trading away a future HOF……but is Baez the guy to play shortstop?…..or will it be Torres?
    Samardzija – two pitchers for sure……..never will be a #1 pitcher, but can help a playoff team to the next level……I suspect Theo will get a bigger haul on Shark then what he got for Garza………Shark does not want to stay……not when he saw his buddy Ryan get a ring……
    T. Wood – if Wood starts off strong, and the Cubs are out of it again by May, better for Theo to cash in…..
    Rizzo – what if Rizzo is a 270 hitter who hits in 25 HR?…….and Vogelbach can hit 40 HR and can also hit 270………how soon does Theo want to get to the Playoffs?
    Soler, Almora, Bryant, Baez – maybe from this entire bunch, Soler could be the one who is traded…..need to wait & see how all these players progress…….anyone of these can bring in a strong #2 SP if the Cubs were in a playoff hunt……

    We should see Vizcaino, Ramirez & Hendricks by next June/July…..maybe Johnson by September…….meanwhile, we will see the Iowa Express with the usual pitchers (Dolis, Rondo, Raley, Rusin) being shuffle back & forth…….
    so no matter who the next manager will be, we are looking at another 90 loss season…….there are three teams ahead of us in this division who have more then what we have……the pressure will mount even more now on Team Theo and the next manager……..
    at least we will have the #4 pick next year……and no doubt a top 5 pick in 2015.

    • John_CC

      I keep wondering……….why is everyone in such a tizzy about not having a manager…………..for a baseball team………on November 4………..when the players all at home resting and playing……..with their kids………honestly a manager would not really be necessary until……….December………the “mounting pressure is complete BS unless of course you consider talk radio, whiny impatient fans, and ……… blog comments as Pressure………because I’m certain Epstein could care less about all the chatter………………………………….

      • CubbyDenCritic

        JohnCC,…Baseball is a Big Time Business now…..365/24/7…..the sooner you have a new manager, the sooner you can get down to business of building a winner……..the Baseball Season never ends……would be nice to have a manager watching these fall league games to get a feel of the future stars in your system……..go down to instructional league, work with our players…..there is “Pressure”…..more then ever on Theo and the next guy coming in……there are many reasons why the Cubs have not won for over 105 years……..ATTITUDE TO WIN has NOT come to this organization yet.

        • John_CC

          The newly hired manager, whoever it is, will not be heading straight down to the instructional leagues to coach level players. There are people in place for that, and the ML manager is NOT going to do that.

          Sure it would nice to have a manager in place to begin doing his homework on the team’s strengths and weaknesses, to begin hiring his staff, etc. But for crying out loud, I wish everyone would just give it a rest.

          It is not that big of a deal. A manager will be in place by Friday.

          And this talk about the Cubs organization not had an attitude to win in the last 105 years is more worthless hyperbole. And to think the current ownership and FO does not have a winning attitude right now is also garbage.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Chicago Cubs…..Major Market in MLB…..Ownership, who are Billionaires, are only adding around $15 million to the payroll for new players in 2014………and yes, the fools out there are paying one of the highest prices in all of baseball to watch third rate players on the field……..Cubs fans should be fed up with ownership……year 4 of 90 plus straight loses is coming.
            Fans who buy Cubs season tickets should be “Committed”.

          • Tony_Hall

            Where have you seen $15M. The number I have seen reported is the team could add to $15-25M to last years budget, which would put the payroll budget up to $120M. They have very little committed to next year, I show about $72M.

          • 07GreyDigger

            If I had the money, I’d buy season tickets. Only as an investment. Because I imagine when they’re good, that investment pays off in spades.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            If I had money, I would be at Angels home games, enjoying their great nacho dish, laugh at their Monkey rally films, and enjoy Disneyland after the game.

          • Tony_Hall

            Figures you aren’t even a Cubs fan!

          • CubbyDenCritic

            That’s it!…..you are on my s*** list.

      • Tony_Hall

        Managers don’t go down to the instructional leagues. Managers take this time of year off.

        There is no more pressure on Theo or anyone else in the Cubs organization then any other day or year. Every day is about getting the team closer to the goal of winning a World Series. The attitude of winning will be around when better players are on the roster, they go hand in hand.

        • John_CC

          I agree. That is scraping the bottom of the barrel for excuses to say that an ML Manager would be coaching instructional league players right now.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Managers review prospects in the off season….they watch them play, practice and talk with these guys……..Managers want to know all their players…..sees what “ticks” in their head……right now, we have no manager to do this.

          • Tony_Hall

            Most of them go fishing….hunting…..to Hawaii….Mexico…..

          • CubbyDenCritic

            How many Cubs managers you have seen in a World Series Victory Parades in your life time?
            How many Cubs Managers we had in the last 15 years?
            It is nice to be on a vacation in the off season…..spend time with the family…..with friends….with fans…….even better if you just brought home a World Championship to your town……just ask John Farrell.

          • Tony_Hall

            I have no idea what your point is on this.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Maybe I should use visual cards!

          • Tony_Hall

            Using complete sentences and saying what your point is would help.

          • cubtex

            damn dude. you are on a roll today. Continuing to insult people. C’mon man. You can act a little better than that.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not an insult at all. If he would use sentences instead of dots all over the place and say what he means instead of talking in code and people will know what he is talking about.

          • cubtex

            If you don’t like what he has to say, just don’t respond. I read some of that stuff the other day calling him “old man” and whatnot. There is no need for that.
            We disagree on a ton of things but you can do it in a better way than calling people names. We all get upset but we all want the same things. To insult the way a guy writes or leaves ….. or how old he is, is uncalled for.

          • Tony_Hall

            Have you ever looked back at your posts, pot calling the kettle black.

          • cubtex

            I have gotten carried away before and it should mean more coming from me then, shouldn’t it? If I feel that you are getting out of control, then that should tell you something right there.
            As someone pointed out before. I think because you are so vocal about the rebuilding plan that Neil lets alot of stuff go that you say and do. A poster mentioned that to Neil before and it has a ton of validity.

          • Tony_Hall

            Neil has called me out before and will do so again if he feels it is needed.

            If someone posts something false, and I know differently and have real sources, I am going to reply to it. Posting of false information is the worst thing anyone can do on this site, IMO.

          • cubtex

            But not everyone knows it is false at the time they are typing it. There is so much BS on the internet. Anyway. Too much time spent on this.

          • Tony_Hall

            And this is what I said
            “And you wonder why we all think you are a crazy old man!”

            We don’t know anyone on here, but with posts like he does (especially the one I was replying to), makes me think (and at least 11 others) that he is a crazy old man. It’s the internet, he may be a middle aged woman, who secretly likes the Cardinals and you may be 14 year old teenager trying to make his high school baseball team. No one really knows.

          • cubtex

            yes but what if he had been diagnosed with some type of disorder as a kid? What if he had been called crazy by his parents as a kid? You never know who you are talking to on the other end of a keyboard. All this bullying talk with Richie Incognito and stuff like that is really eye opening.

          • Tony_Hall

            I see your point.

          • cubtex

            you are a good guy. I guess I am overly sensitive today because I have been hearing about all this Richie Incognito stuff and how many kids are bullied in high school and take their own lives. Have a Great day and live each day with passion!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Does anyone have a feeling that the Cubs Mystery Candidate for manager will pop up this week in the name of ……………………………Lyold McClendon.

  • CubbyDenCritic
    • Tony_Hall

      They didn’t really add 3, they had to come off the 60 day DL.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Well you better tell the Chicago Tribune they made a mistake in their headlines…….
        I know Neil….I am trying to be nice.

        • Tony_Hall

          Then they did, the players are already on the team, just were on the 60 day DL. They may have added them to the active roster, but these aren’t new players coming to the team.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            I just put a link up…..I know who the players are…..if you have an issue of how headlines are said in the local newspaper, call the Tribune Editor’s office .

          • Tony_Hall

            So what part of Fujikawa, Vizcaino and Matt Gamel would you like to discuss?

          • bpot92

            I would like to know if anyone knows when Fujikawa will be ready. June? July? or later?

          • TheWrongGuy

            No will probably know for sure anything on Fujikawa till pitchers and catchers report to ST in Feb.

          • bpot92

            Ah gotcha. It makes a difference in my opinion on how many relievers we go after in trade/FA this offseason

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Remember when the FO said Baker would be ready for May….then June….then July…..
            Theo will only go after the relief pitchers who were rejected by Playoff bound teams.

          • bpot92

            Not necessarily. Not every playoff bound team is looking for relief pitching. IN fact some may trade some for other areas of need. If Fujikawa was going to be ready in April/may they may have signed a guy like Hanrahan who will be a rehab project for the first half. If he is ready by mid June they need someone that is fully healthy and ready to go from Day one is what I meant by that post.

          • bpot92

            But I agree with you that even projections are sketchy and cant be trusted when piecing together a team. Good teams will sign depth and figure out how to deal with too many good players later.

          • Tony_Hall

            It has only been said “mid-season”

          • bpot92

            Thanks, I think it will make the Cubs pick up a extra arm in the pen to avoid early season late game losses like last year.

  • Tony_Hall

    No matter how many times Uncle Bud tries to tweak the system, big market teams will always have an advantage. Now, those teams can afford to give the qualifying offer to players and if they accept,they have a 1 year contract, if they say no, they get a draft pick.

    “David Cameron @DCameronFG

    With Granderson getting QO, that’s 13 known QO players, 6 of them coming from BOS/NYY. Glad we’re giving picks to teams who need it.

    1:04 PM – 4 Nov 2013″

    • TheWrongGuy

      Yes this is the reason that this became a reality:

      http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130717&content_id=53967108

      It helps to try and balance things out, somewhat I think. Also the CBA change to trades at mid-season with soon to be FA’s and such. All these totally changed the landscape of the game that many don’t understand as to why the Cubs FO isn’t doing things faster in the rebuilding.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Who is “Richie Incognito” ?………..I need to look that one up on the internet…..

    Sticks & Stones……..

    Trouble with certain people here is they don’t enjoy this baseball blog for its own rewards: stimulation, relaxation, pleasant association, and interesting conversation.

    • bpot92

      hes a Offensive Lineman for the Miami Dolphins that verbally abused another lineman, apparently using slurs and profanity. What was thought to be a prank has turned out to be much much worse.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        okay…….that was a Bully story that has been on the news……..
        don’t worry, I will not hang myself or throw myself in font of a train of what some people here say to me…….
        I want to be around for that Cubs World Series victory.

        • Tony_Hall

          It goes both ways, what about the things you say to others?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, let’s move on from this. Thank you.

        • bpot92

          Im not sure what your last part of the comment means, I didnt mean any disrespect, just answering your question about Incognito

  • CubbyDenCritic
    • Tony_Hall

      Makes me think Rick Renteria is going to be announced as the Cubs manager soon. Cherington also never says that he would deny permission, something that would hurt the Red Sox in the coaches market in the future if they did deny permission for a coach to interview for a managers job.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Red Sox Cherington is looking for a Prospect in return from Theo if he wants Lovullo………I see this coming.

    • Tony_Hall

      Where do you see this coming? I don’t know of any precedence for getting compensation for a coach being hired by another team to be a manager. This would backfire on the Red Sox if they tried to do this.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Hey Tony…did you hear the latest?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I asked Tony to move on earlier, and I would like for you to do the same. You guys have been at each other all day.

          Thank you.

  • CubbyDenCritic
    • Tony_Hall

      Same info as the Tribune.