Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 04/14/14

Week two saw some fancy pitching in Iowa as Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada helped the I-Cubs to a winning record. Tennessee even their record thanks to clutch hitting by Stephen Bruno and Wes Darvill. But times remain tough in Daytona as Saturday’s 7-1 romp was their only bright spot. Kane County took advantage of some sloppy play and the hot hitting of Carlos Penalver to move their record to 7-3.

PrintDuane Underwood made his Kane County debut on Sunday while Kris Bryant and Albert Almora each went yard on Saturday.

Here’s the latest from Down on the Farm.

Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (7-3)

Kane County was able to push their record over .500 as they closed out their series with Fort Wayne on Thursday with a 7-5 victory.  Danny Lockhart (2-for-5) and Carlos Penalver (2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) started the game off right with a pair of singles. Penalver stole second and a fielding error allowed both Lockhart and Penalver to score. The Cougars speed also helped in the second inning after Shawon Dunston Jr. (0-for-3 with a stolen base) reached on an error and Will Remillard (0-for-2) was hit by a pitch. A base knock by Trey Martin (1-for-3 with a RBI) plated Dunston. A single by Lockhart loaded the bases. After a ground out and a force, Martin trotted home on a wild pitch. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with three RBI) stepped in and singled in Lockhart and Penalver. The Cougars added an insurance run in the eighth after Penalver doubled and scored on a single by Jacob Rogers (1-for-5 with a RBI).

Tyler Skulina began the night for Kane County and while it wasn’t pretty, he ended up with the win after he allowed five earned runs and struck out six in 5.2 innings. Justin Amlung held the Tin Caps for 2.1 innings and struck out a batter. Tyler Bremer earned his first save with a strikeout in a scoreless ninth.

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The Cougars followed the same script on Friday night as they received enough pitching and early runs to beat the Lake County Captains 6-4. Young Daury Torrez drew the starting assignment and gave up four earned runs while striking out two in 5.1 innings. Lefty Nathan Dorris provided the bridge as he struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings. Zach Godley struck out the side in the ninth to collect his first save.

Moved up to second in the line-up the previous evening, the hot-hitting Carlos Penalver (3-for-5) started the offense with a single and later scored on a base hit by Yasiel Balaguert (3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI). A walk by Jacob Rogers and an error plated Balaguert. Jordan Hankins (2-for-3 with a RBI) started the second inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shawon Dunston Jr. (0-for-3) walked, with another wild pitch moving Hankins to third. A groundout scored Hankins, and a double by Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) plated Dunston. Carhart strolled home on a triple from Balaguert. Kane County upped their lead in the sixth inning after Penalver reached on a bunt single and reached third on a throwing error. A sacrifice fly by Carhart drove in Penalver.

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Cougars’ pitching ran hot and cold on Saturday, but thankfully their offense was able to bail them out as Kane County defeated Lake County 9-8. Juan Carlos Paniagua was in top form as he struck out six and allowed an earned run in four innings. Gerardo Concepcion labored a little, but was also good for two scoreless innings and two strikeouts. However, Scott Frazier still has yet to figure things out. Frazier gave up three earned runs while failing to record an out. Just up from extended spring training, Josh Davis let in an earned run in two innings but qualified for his first Low-A victory. On in a supposed mop-up role in the ninth, Tyler Bremer nearly gave the game away as he allowed three earned runs, but struck out two to end the game.

Inserted into the lead-off spot, Carlos Penalver (1-for-4 with a stolen base) started the game by reaching on an error and stealing second base. Penalver scored on a double by Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI). Carhart moved to third on a single from Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a RBI) and scored on a groundout. Kane County increased their lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning when Will Remillard (0-for-2) was hit by a pitch and Penalver singled. A base hit by Balaguert and a throwing error plated Remillard and Penalver. A double by Jacob Rogers (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBI) drove in Balaguert. Remillard and Penalver stared the seventh with walks and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Rogers then belted his second homer of the season, and David Bote (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) followed with a solo jack of his own.

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Kane County completed a successful homestand by dodging the raindrops on Sunday and beating Lake County 6-1 in seven innings. Sunday was also the Low-A debut of 2012 second round draft pick Duane Underwood. The 19-year old allowed an earned run in his first inning, but then settled down and struck out five batters in three innings. Justin Amlung had the call for long relief, and was equally untouchable as he also struck out five in four scoreless innings.

The Cougars didn’t start their answer to the Captain’s first inning run until there were two outs in their half of the opening set. Ben Carhart (1-for-2) singled and Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-3 with a double) reached on an error. A passed ball scored Carhart. Jacob Rogers (0-for-1) walked and two wild pitches and a passed ball later, both he and Balaguert scored. In the fourth inning, Danny Lockhart (1-for-3 with a RBI) reached on an error and made it all the way to second base. A groundout and a single by Trey Martin (1-for-3 with a RBI) plated Lockhart with the Cougars’ fourth run. The fifth inning saw Carhart walk and Balaguert single to start things out. A base hit by Danny Canela (1-for-3 with a RBI) allowed Carhart to score, and a single from Lockhart drove in Balaguert.

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High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (2-8)

It was an embarrassing loss for Daytona on Thursday night as Dunedin pounded the D-Cubs 12-2. After dominating in his first start, Tayler Scott was both the victim of poor defense and his own worst enemy as he allowed eight runs (four earned) with two strikeouts in three innings. Both Austin Kirk (3.1 innings) and Austin Reed (1.2 innings) did not fare much better as each pitcher gave up two earned runs. Arodys Vizcaino got in some work as he recorded a strikeout in the final inning. The D-Cubs scored two runs in the third as Bijan Rademacher (3-for-3) led off with a single and advanced to third on an error. A base hit from Oliver Zapata (1-for-3 with a RBI) brought Rademacher home, and a single by Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-5) put runners on the corners. Zapata scored on an error.

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Daytona was never in the game on Friday night as they were handled by the Tampa Yankees 5-1. The only run for the D-Cubs came in the ninth after Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4) reached on an error and moved to third on a single by Bijan Rademacher (2-for-3). A base hit by Marco Hernandez (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Candelario. Yao-Lin Wang got the start for Daytona and pitched well enough to win. Wang allowed two earned runs while striking out six in five innings. The defense kicked the ball around a little for Starling Peralta as he gave up three runs (one earned) and struck out three in three innings.

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A sigh of relief was heard in Central Florida on Saturday as Daytona won their second game of the season by defeating Tampa 7-1. Starter Rob Zastryzny worked out of jams all night. Zastryzny gave up seven hits but allowed only one earned run as he struck out five in 5.2 innings. Zach Cates picked up two strikeouts in his 2.1 shutout innings. Steve Perakslis saw his first action of the season and he only yielded a walk in the final inning.

The D-Cubs were able to get on the board in the first inning after Albert Almora (2-for-5 with a double, a home run, three RBI and a stolen base) hit his first homer of the season with Bijan Rademacher (1-for-5) on board to put Daytona 2-0. They increased their lead in the fifth after Marco Hernandez (3-for-4 with a RBI) reached on a one out single and Tim Saunders (1-for-4) was hit by a pitch. A base hit by Rademacher loaded the bases, and a wild pitch scored Hernandez. A throwing error allowed Almora to reach and Saunders to score, with another wild pitch moving Almora to second. A double from Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) drove in Rademacher and Almora. Daytona tacked on a run in the eight after Willson Contreras (1-for-4) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Rock Shoulders (1-for-3) singled, and a wild pitch moved the runners up a base. Contreras scored on a base hit by Hernandez.

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Daytona saw the Yankees’ super prospect Manuel Banuelos on Sunday and he set the tone as the D-Cubs fell 7-3 to Tampa on Sunday. Daytona couldn’t manage a hit and struck out six times in Banuelos’ three innings. Daytona was not able to scratch out any runs until they got into Tampa’s bullpen. Tim Saunders (2-for-5 with a double and a RBI) led off the fourth with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. A double by Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) brought Saunders around. The D-Cubs cut the lead in half in the eighth after Oliver Zapata (1-for-4) and Marco Hernandez (1-for-4) started the inning with singles. A double from Saunders plated Zapata, and a base hit by Rademacher drove in Hernandez. Ben Wells was activated from extended spring training and allowed two earned runs and struck out two in four innings. Michael Jensen had a rough outing. Jensen gave up four earned runs in 0.2 innings. Andrew McKirahan kept the Yankees at bay by striking out three in 2.1 scoreless innings. Arodys Vizcaino picked up a strikeout but let in an earned run in the final inning.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (5-5)

It was a heartbreaking loss for Tennessee on Thursday as the Smokies allowed only one run, and that came in the ninth inning as Tennessee lost 1-0 to Chattanooga. Jake Arrieta made another rehab start and pitched 3.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Lendy Castillo retired the only batter he faced, and regularly scheduled starter Dae-Eun Rhee entered the game. Rhee pitched well until the ninth inning when he allowed a one out single and the runner to steal second. A sacrifice fly and a hit batter put runners on the corners. Rhee was replaced by Tony Zych and Zych yielded a single, and the game’s only run, to the first batter he faced. For the game, Rhee went 4.2 innings with an earned run and three strikeouts. The Smokies were held to four hits as Zeke DeVoss (1-for-4), Stephen Bruno (1-for-3 with a double), Dustin Geiger (1-for-3), and John Andreoli (1-for-4 with a stolen base) each had a hit.

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A struggling player delivered in walk-off fashion on Friday as Tennessee beat Chattanooga 6-5.  The Smokies never trailed after Kris Bryant (1-for-3) led off the second with a walk and scored on a Dustin Geiger (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) home run. Tennessee added three in the seventh after Geiger led off with a single. A walk to Rafael Lopez (0-for-3) and a passed ball put runners on second and third. Jeudy Valdez (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) stroked a three run homer that gave the Smokies a 5-0 lead. Tied at five in the bottom of the ninth, John Andreoli (1-for-4 with a RBI) led off with a double and was bunted over to third. Wes Darvill and Zeke DeVoss (0-for-2) were intentionally walked to bring up Stephen Bruno (1-for-5 with a RBI). The struggling Bruno laced a single to right that plated Andreoli with the winning run.

Corey Black was masterful in his second start. Black did not allow a hit while striking out two in five scoreless innings. Frank Batista and Hunter Cervenka each held the Lookouts for an inning, but P.J. Francescon was nicked for three unearned runs in his inning of work. Armando Rivero was brought in to close out the game, but ended up surrendering two earned runs as he struck out two in the ninth.

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Tennessee received a gem from their pitching staff as the Smokies throttled Chattanooga 5-1 on Saturday. Ivan Pineyro continued his strong start to the season by giving up only one earned run while striking out four in five innings. Ryan Searle has also looked good in his comeback as he blanked the Lookouts for two innings and struck out three to collect the win. Frank Batista retired two batters, while Jeffrey Lorick had three strikeouts in 1.1 innings to close out the game.

The Smokies were able to tie the game at one in the fourth inning when Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with a double and a home run) cracked a solo home run. Tennessee put the game out of reach in the seventh after Rafael Lopez (2-for-3 with two doubles) led off with a double and scored on a single by Wes Darvill (1-for-4 with a RBI). Pinch-hitter Anthony Giansanti (1-for-1) singled and took second on the throw to third in an unsuccessful attempt to cut down Darvill. Zeke DeVoss (1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI) tripled in Darvill and Giansanti. A base hit from Stephen Bruno (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in DeVoss.

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A big inning by Tennessee on Sunday helped bring their record to 5-5 as the Smokies defeated Chattanooga 8-2. Tennessee batted around in the second inning, which started out with Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a double and a stolen) walking and stealing second two outs later. John Andreoli (0-for-2 with a RBI) also drew a walk, and a double by Wes Darvill (3-for-3 with a double and three RBI) plated Bryant and Andreoli. Pitcher Matt Loosen (1-for-2 with a RBI) helped his cause by singling in Darvill. Zeke DeVoss (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) then cracked his first Double-A home run. Stephen Bruno (1-for-4 with a home run) followed with a solo shot of his own. The Smokies added two more runs in the seventh after Bryant singled with two out. A double By Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a double) and a walk to Charles Cutler (0-for-2) loaded the bases. Andreoli drew a walk to score Bryant, and a single by Darvill plated Geiger.

Matt Loosen kept the Lookouts under control as he allowed two earned runs while striking out five in five innings. Lendy Castillo was locked in as he fanned three in 1.2 scoreless innings. Hunter Cervenka struck out the only batter he faced, and Armando Rivero punched out three in two scoreless innings.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (6-5)

The Iowa bats finally awoke late on Thursday and gave the I-Cubs a 5-1 victory over Nashville. Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Matt Szczur (2-for-4 with a stolen base) led off with a single and scored on a Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) homer, his second home run of the season. Josh Vitters (1-for-2) drew a walk and scored on a double by Chris Valaika (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI). Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with a double) doubled and Vitters walked to start the eighth inning. A single by Valaika drove in Alcantara, while Vitters scored on a sacrifice fly.

Kyle Hendricks was better in his second start as he showed the control he is known for in striking out five and allowing an earned run in seven innings. Neil Ramirez and Blake Parker each tossed a scoreless inning. Ramirez struck out one while Parker fanned two batters.

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Iowa could not overcome a deficit on Friday and bowed to Memphis 8-5. Eric Jokisch was unable to sustain the success of his previous start as he allowed seven earned runs and struck out two in five innings. Yoanner Negrin gave up another earned run as he worked two innings, while Marcos Mateo struck out two in a scoreless eighth.

The I-Cubs had the lead in the third after Luis Flores (1-for-1) drew a one out walk. Flores was bunted over to second and scored on a single by Matt Szczur (1-for-4 with a RBI). Szczur took second on the throw home and scored on a base hit by Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 and a RBI). Iowa pulled within two runs in the sixth after Chris Coghlan (0-for-3) drew a one out walk and Josh Vitters (1-for-4) singled. A home run by Chris Valaika (2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) cleared the bases.

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Pitching was the key to Saturday night’s victory over Memphis as Iowa shut out the Redbirds 5-0. Tsuyoshi Wada had his second impressive start as he struck out 10 in 6.2 scoreless innings. Marcus Hatley labored a little but was able to keep his composure as he picked up a strikeout in 1.1 innings. Just returning from the parent club, Brian Schlitter recorded a strikeout in a scoreless ninth.

The I-Cubs manufactured a run in the top of the sixth after Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a RBI and a stolen base) led off with a single and stole second base. Alcantara moved to third on a fielder’s choice that allowed Chris Coghlan (0-for-3) to reach. Alcantara scored on a ground out. Logan Watkins (1-for-3) began the seventh inning with a single and went to second on a sacrifice. Brett Jackson (1-for-3 with a RBI) drove Watkins home with a base hit. Iowa added insurance in the ninth after Watkins reached on an error and Eli Whiteside (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch advanced the runners a base and Matt Szczur (1-for-1 with two RBI) singled in Watkins and Whiteside.

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Iowa made a “bullpen day” work for them as they pushed their record over .500 with a 6-3 win over Memphis on Sunday. Eduardo Figueroa was called up from extended spring training and in his Triple-A debut went two innings and allowed an earned run. Alberto Cabrera had his best outing as he recorded a strikeout in three scoreless innings. Zac Rosscup continued to stymie the Redbirds as he picked up a strikeout in 2.1 scoreless innings. The ride was a little bumpier for Neil Ramirez. Ramirez made the ninth interesting by giving up two earned runs while striking out a batter in 1.2 innings. Marcos Mateo recorded the final out for his first save.

The I-Cubs weren’t able to get on the board until the sixth inning when Luis Flores (1-for-3 with a RBI) and pinch-hitter Edgar Gonzalez (1-for-3 with a RBI) singled. Flores then scored on a double by Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a RBI), and Gonzalez touched home on a sacrifice fly. Christian Villanueva (1-for-3 with a RBI) led off the seventh with a walk and Flores singled. A base hit by Zac Rosscup (1-for-3 with two RBI), the first of his career, drove in Villanueva and Flores. Rosscup then walked home on Matt Szczur’s (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) first Triple-A home run.

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News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Brian Schlitter and LHP Chris Rusin to the Iowa Cubs; recalled RHP Blake Parker from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Eduardo Figueroa to the Iowa Cubs from extended spring training; assigned OF Jae-Hoon Ha to the Iowa Cubs from extended spring training, transferred Ha to the Tennessee Smokies; assigned LHP Austin Kirk to the Tennessee Smokies from Daytona Cubs; assigned RHP Frank Batista to extended spring training from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned RHP Ben Wells to the Daytona Cubs from extended spring training; assigned RHP Josh Davis to the Kane County Cougars from the AZL Cubs; assigned RHP Duane Underwood to the Kane County Cougars from extended spring training; assigned RHP Scott Frazier to extended spring training from the Kane County Cougars.

The Iowa Cubs placed LHP Jonathan Sanchez on the 7 day disabled list, left shoulder tendonitis. The Tennessee Smokies placed IF Jonathan Mota on the inactive list.

Top Prospect Watch
  • Arismendy Alcantara (IF) – .278/.300/.417/.717 with five doubles, four RBI and three stolen bases (Iowa Cubs)
  • Albert Almora (OF) – .300/.333/.475/.808 with four doubles, one home run, six RBI and one stolen base (Daytona Cubs)
  • Corey Black (RHP) – . 0-0, 7 IP, 2.57 ERA, 2 ER, 5 K, 1.29 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Paul Blackburn (RHP) – 0-0, 9 IP, 6.00 ERA, 6 ER, 7 K, 1.44 WHIP (Kane County Cougars)
  • C.J. Edwards (RHP) – 0-0, 9.2 IP, 0.93 ERA, an earned run, 9 K, 1.14 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Jacob Hannemann (OF) – .233/.281/.400/.681 with one triple, one home run, two RBI and four stolen bases, (Kane County Cougars)
  • Kyle Hendricks (RHP) – 1-1, 11.2 IP, 5.40 ER, 7 ER, 10 K, 1.29 WHIP (Iowa Cubs)
  • Christian Villanueva (3B) – .212/.289/.364/.653 with two doubles, one home run and four RBI (Iowa Cubs)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) - .147/.216/.235/.452 with one home run and five RBI (Daytona Cubs)
  • Rob Zastryzny (LHP) – 1-0, 9.2 IP, 4.66 ERA, 5 ER, 11 K, 1.66 WHIP (Daytona Cubs) 
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  • Richard Hood

    A week later and I still getting concerned for Alcantara’s lack of OBP. I know it is still early but a top of the line up guy needs to do better than just.300.

    For a few days it was said that Baez was having a back issue. No big deal but then they put him on the 7-day DL with an ankle issue. Ohh Boy that could linger. Here is hoping it is a blip and not the type of lingering issue that sticks around all year.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Yes i agree on alcantara but a positive is 10 hits so far and 5 are doubles. I think and hope the BB will come as he gets adjusted to the league AAA. 3 sb is nice too.

  • Eugene Debs

    C.J. Edwards is the real deal.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Josh Vitters slash line .303/.378/.545/.943 is encouraging. Hopefully this continues, he can stay healthy and gets a chance in LF moving Lake to CF/RF.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Zac Rosscup 5.2 innings 0.00 Era 2h 1BB

  • John_CC

    Tom, I’d love to hear your opinion on a few things. Of course the season is brand new and I don’t expect moves and changes right now, but…

    Once these players have enough PA and innings pitched to begin to establish a benchmark how long do you think Almora will be held back in A ball, assuming that he continues to control the game with his at bats, and I feel like of all the assumptions of all the players, this is nearly the safest. I mean he has done nothing but be a professional hitter beyond his age at every level. Who is in CF in Tennessee?

    I feel like we know this: Bryant will hit home runs and a lot them, and Almora will hit, a lot.

    Also, how do you see the relievers in Iowa contributing in Chicago? We all have to like the donuts Rosscup is putting up, how much time do you think he needs in AAA?

    Finally, Vitters is hitting, again, still. But he is also getting on base, a lot, with 4 walks already to 8 Ks. How is he looking in the OF?

    • Robert

      He’s looked good offensively, not so much defensively.

    • Tom U

      John, sorry for the delay.

      I expect Almora to stay in Daytona for quite some time. While he is hitting well and shows great instincts, he really needs game experience. The Tennessee outfield is already crowded with Zeke DeVoss, Rubi Silva, and John Andreoli, and no Jae-Hoon Ha. It will be even more crowded when Jorge Soler is ready to play. On top of that, Almora’s teammates, Pin-Chieh Chen and Bijan Rademacher, have been lights out this spring, and both are older than Almora.

      As far as Rosscup, it probably wouldn’t surprise if I said that he should have broke camp with him. The Cubs need to stop fooling around with the Wesley Wright’s and the Jose Veres’ of the world and go with their own players, for better or worse.

      Finally, I agree with Robert below that Vitters is a work in progress in the outfield.

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

    “Corey Black was masterful.” Love it! I have always liked this guy and think he was a great get for Soriano. Sure, I’d have loved to get more but we were lucky to get anything. Let alone a guy that may start games in Wrigley in a couple years.

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

      Ditto on Ivan Pinyiero. Tom, which one of these two do you see coming up first? How would you project each of their careers in the MLB?

      • Tom U

        Black really has the heater, but needs to work on his secondary pitches. Pineyro has a lot of poise. If he shows that he can get people out, Pineyro may advance more rapidly. However, Black is the potentially better pitcher.

    • cubtex

      We were lucky to get anything for the guy who has hit more HR’s in all of baseball since mid July of last year? Yep…paying 18 mil and getting back a Corey Black seems pretty fair for a guy with such little production.

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

        I know, it’s crazy that more teams weren’t lining up for him but for whatever reason there just wasn’t any interest. I’m sure there were teams poised to snag him of he hit waivers but luckily we were able to get something for him. Especially such a promising starting pitcher. Probably will never be TOR but could turn into a solid middle rotation guy.

        • cubtex

          They put that stat on the Sunday night game last night and that pi##ed me off even more. Yankees got the most prolific HR hitter in baseball during that timeframe and the Cubs are paying most of his salary? Most scouts don’t see Black as a starter. Bullpen guy.

          • Denver Mike

            If we had kept him we would have won 68 games last year instead of 66, and you’d still be complaining. By the way, the 38 year old boy wonder is batting .000 with RISP so far this year. THAT is the Soriano I remember.

          • cubtex

            Cubs are 25-49 since trading him. I will post a couple of interesting links when I get to office

          • Denver Mike

            The articles you posted are certainly interesting reads.

            Keep in mind, I am a big Soriano fan as well. I always thought that while he didn’t play up to his contract or lead us to a WS title, he was still a very productive player and one of my favorites. Especially later in his career, he just did things the right way, and was a great example for the younger players.

            But what your stat of 25-49 since the trade doesn’t show is that they were also 106-156 in the 2 years (“Theo Era”) before the trade, which is also terrible. It’s not like this was a .550 team knocking on the door of a playoff spot, and they just stole that from us by trading Soriano. Although, by still bringing it up 9 months later, it sure seems like they did.

            My opinion on it today is the same it was the day the trade happened … oh well, I hope Soriano has a happy, productive end to his career. So far, it seems like he is, and I’m happy for him. What did we get in return? A question mark of a pitcher who has the potential to contribute when this team doesn’t suck. Could we have gotten better? I doubt it, because we were trying to trade the guy for 3 years! Sounds like a win-win to me.

          • cubtex

            The article stated they were 10 games under .500 at the time of the trade….so of course it had a huge impact(and I said it would) You cannot trade your only run producer and expect it not to. I am happy for Soriano too. As you can see…he is having fun. NOBOBY likes losing and that is why it will be hard to convince ANY FA to sign with the Cubs since they are banking on nothing but prospects to take them to the next level.
            And again…..The Stat that is not debatable….HE leads ALL of baseball in HR’s since he was traded to the Yankess til today(April 15th) and the Cubs are paying the Yankees most of his salary to do that and all we got back was a 5’11 hard thrower who currently only has one pitch he can command and is more than likely a bullpen piece. A shorter Hector Rondon. They would have been better off keeping him and batting him 4th for the remainder of his contract and be a great example to our young Latin players(not the Yankees players)

          • Denver Mike

            I’m gonna have to let you win this one, because I just don’t care enough to debate the validity of a trade that happened 9 months ago.

            The last thing I’ll add is that I understand some fans would rather see a team with a .404 win% (with Soriano) than a team with a .338 (without Soriano). There is nothing wrong with that, but I also remember watching the .404 team and thinking they were terrible too, so in the big picture what difference does it make?

          • cubtex

            I wasn’t trying to win or lose :) We just have different views on the trade. My main thing was that there was no need to trade him with what the Cubs have blocking him…give up 18 mil of his contract…and only get back a Corey Black. I said that at the time and I still say that. The simple answer is if I was the owner of the team and gave 18 mil for a player to produce at a herculean level for another team..it would piss me off.

          • cubtex

            Too bad more Cub fans didn’t appreciate how special of a player he is. Not many in all of baseball accomplished what he has.

            How true of a statement….Trading Soriano accomplished the goal of losing MORE games and aquiring the #5 pick in the draft. It sure did.

            http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-14/sports/ct-alfonso-soriano-happy-with-yankees-spt-0415-20140415_1_rick-renteria-trading-soriano-the-cubs

          • cubtex
          • Scott

            While the stat that you state is accurate, I saw it too, I wonder how many home runs Soriano would have hit had he still been with the Cubs. I saw on SportsCenter the other day that he hit a home run that they said would have been a home run in ONLY Yankee Stadium.
            If you take into account the differences in ball parks plus playing for a team in the playoff hunt, I am not shocked at all that Soriano has put up good numbers. His OPS jumped almost 100 points after the trade. That is HUGE.

          • cubtex

            why should that matter? The Cubs are paying almost all of his salary(you would think they were trading a guy who couldn’t perform any more) He hit 30 HR’s playing for the Cubs the year before the trade. He was productive before the trade and playing in a “winning” atmosphere was fun again for him and certainly rejuvenated him but it is not like he hit 15 HR’s the year before and suddenly pulled a Brady Anderson :) It is not like they were trading Milton Bradley or trying to trade Edwin Jackson here.

          • Scott

            They traded an aging guy that has a lengthy history of leg issues, is incredibly streaky, prone to huge strikeout totals and missed about 30 games a year on average as a Cub. He was coming off of year that was better than any of his previous years as a Cub and wasn’t exactly tearing it up before the trade. Typically, and maybe surprisingly to some (ahem) guys don’t improve as they go through their late 30’s. He was still not a good outfielder either, although he had improved significantly.
            I really liked Soriano and I thought that his presence in the clubhouse alone was worth keeping him around. Clearly he wasn’t going to be blocking Almora, Soler, Bryant, etc…this year (at least at this point). But we did acquire something intriguing for him. I get that you think Mike Trout should have been coming back in the deal, but you have to take the best deal that is offered if you want to make a move. The FO has stated that they want pitching and this was a way to send a short term asset out and get a long term pitching asset coming in.

          • cubtex

            yep. only cost them 18 mil and the #1 HR hitter in baseball since the end of July to aquire a pitcher with as much upside as a Corey Black. What a steal :)

          • Scott

            Do you think he would be the #1 HR hitter in baseball if he were still playing for the Cubs? Honestly. Do you really believe that? And what impact do you think Soriano would have on the second half of last year and this year. Would you sacrific the lost positions and money in the draft to keep Soriano on the team last year?

          • cubtex

            so you admit it was a way to LOSE more games that the FO tried to accomplish. Thank you. At least there is 1 Theo supporter who admits that. Let me ask you this. Do you think Pedro Strop would have put up the same numbers with the O’s as he did with with the Cubs in the 2nd half of last year? Honestly. Do you really believe that? What about Arrieta? So you are justifying giving up 18 mil with the argument that he wouldn’t have been as successful here. Laughable

          • Scott

            Thank you for not answering a single question that was posed. It is ok to criticaze the FO until the tables are turned and specifics are asked. Was Soriano traded specifically to lose more games? No. Was he traded because we had the opportunity to add something of need to the system for something that was not a part of the long term plan? Absolutely. Did I think that Strop and Arrieta would put up great numbers last year for the Cubs? I had no idea. Did I think that it was a steal sending a few months of Feldman for multiple years of two pitchers with great stuff? Absolutely. Trading a short term asset for long term assets. And the only reason that I bring up how successful Soriano would be if he were still a Cub is because you keep beating your drum that he has been the #1 HR hitter since he left.

          • cubtex

            You are justifying the trade saying that Soriano wouldn’t have put up the same numbers had he stayed with the Cubs. Isn’t that what you wrote? So my response was that IF you judge trades with that criteria..what about Strop and Arrieta? They didn’t want either pitcher. They were garbage with the O’s. Short term asset for long term asset. Take out the et and that is what I think of some of these trade. Short term asset for a long term asset is only good IF you get a good player back. Will Black be a good pitcher? Will he ever start a game in the major leagues? Even that article stated that the Cubs accomplished the “goal” of losing more games by trading Soriano. I am glad you think Corey Black will be a major piece of the pitching staff for years to come…but I have huge doubts.

          • Scott

            Why do you say that they did not want Strop or Arrieta? Why would they trade for them if they didn’t want them? They haven’t flipped them for someone else, so they must want them a little bit at least, right? My statement about Soriano is that you have no idea how his numbers would compare is he were still a Cub – except it is easier to hit it out of Yankee than Wrigley. Do you really not think that multiple years of Strop and Arrieta have the potential to be much more valuable than an additional 3 months of Feldman? You will only get a good player back if you trade a good player. You can get a prospect that turns into a good player by dealing average talent, but to get quality, you have to give quality. Feldman was not “quality” and to get back two arms with a lot of potential is a great deal. Lots of risk, but tons of upside. I am not saying that Black will be a major piece of the pitching staff for years to come. However, I am also not blinded to the fact that there is potential there. You are so blind in your hatred of the FO that you refuse to view any move that they make as a step in the right direction. But since you cannot stand any move that the FO has made, please, enlighten us on the moves that you would have made to put the current Cubs in the playoffs. You can go back to when Hendry was let go and start there if you want. But please, tell me what you would have done differently than the FO to put a winner on the team. Today.

          • cubtex

            The O’s did not want them. I love your constant “what would you do” or “your hatred and you don’t like any moves” I do like moves to help out the team. I thought the Garza trade was great. I think the Marshall trade has worked out. The others? Cashner for Rizzo. Really? Do you really think that was a good trade? Dempster for Hendricks and Villanueva? Really? This short term asset for a long term ass……et. Hendricks and Villanueva look like Rich Bordi and Vance Law to me. Who cares how long they are controlled for. I will point to the Brewers and White Sox and other teams to show how fast you can become competitive. White Sox improved their team tremendously in 1 year by trading short term assets for USABLE players to help win games. Brewers(with their poor poor farm system) continue to bring up the Tyler Thornburgs, Lucroys, Kris Davis etc and are 10 -2 or 9-2 this year to start the season. This is year 3 of putting shi# on the field. They are the favorites for the 1st pick in the draft. Whoop Whoop!!!

          • Scott

            You still haven’t said what you would do. It is a valid question. So there are a few moves that you would have done and a few you wouldn’t. Great. And to twist your words back on you (since you love to do that to me) since the Cubs didn’t want Soriano, isn’t that equivalent to the O’s not wanting Strop and Arrieta? I don’t mind the Cashner for Rizzo trade. I think it is still too early to tell who the “clear” winner of that trade is. In terms of WAR, Rizzo leads Cashner (since the trade) 5.2 to 3.0. Whether you like WAR or the trade in general, it is clear that Rizzo hasn’t been a complete wash. I do like the Dempster trade. He was leaving anyway. Would you rather take a chance that one of the prospects could turn into something (or flipped for someone else) or just have Dempster walk away for nothing?

          • cubtex

            WAR. Hahaha. Cashner is one of the most promising young starters in all of baseball and you are saying you don’t mind that trade? Wow.
            OK. Let’s look what could have been done. Puig,Ryu,Jose Abreu,Cespedes,Darvish, did I leave anyone out. Tanaka(but I didn’t want him) Trading a Dempster for a player who has a higher ceiling than a #5 pitcher. White Sox got Avisail Garcia for a Jake Peavy. Who has a higher ceiling? Give me the better player 10 times out of 10. Look at what Theo has gotten back for the position players he has aquired now over the past 2 1/2 seasons. DeJesus= Cash. Waste of 2 years playing that guy. Schierholtz= ? He thinks teams will give up a good pitcher for him? Really? He has put together teams with AAAA players thinking that some team will give up gold for them. Delusional. Sweeney? Ruggiano? Bogusevic? The list goes on and on. My point was that Strop and Arrieta had ZERO value to the O’s. They didn’t want him. They were trying to win and could use a starting pitcher to try and WIN so that is why the trade was made. The Cubs made the trade with 18 mil to hmmmm. to hmmmm. O yeah. Soriano was blocking Sweeney and Bogusevic for playing time so trading him and 18 mil for Corey Black(a 15 type prospect who is more than likely a bullpen piece) was an urgent matter. One team making a trade to win and one team making a trade to lose more games to get a higher draft pick. 2 polar opposites.

          • Scott

            Just because you do not agree with what is going on, doesnt mean that it wont work. When it does, and the Cubs are a force to be dealt with year after year, please let me know how you like your crow served.

          • cubtex

            I have never said it wouldn’t work. Look at the Astros,Pirates,Twins. They are doing the same thing. Lose and lose some more. Top draft picks and they and the Cubs will one day all be a force. In the words of Scott Boras..,, An all day sucker

          • Scott

            And with MANY more restrictions being placed on teams now through the draft and international markets plus severely limiting draft pick compensation, the Cubs are doing their rebuild faster than any of those teams.

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

        What else is funny is I kept hearing how many Yankee people were upset about this deal. Felt Cashman gave up too much! You said it Ray, Soriano the league in HR during that period. Sure Soriano has few productive years yet but I think they should be satisfied to add his bat to the lineup. Black is good but he’s years away. They were firmly in win now mode.

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

    Wish Villanueva and Vogel(Burt)bach(rach). Would each turn it up a little bit.

    Sorry, I know it’s a horrible nickname for Vogel, but everytime I see his name I think of Burt Bachrach. Wish it flowed a little better….

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

    Wonder about Ramirez and Vizcaino will come to Chicago. We could use them. I have zero faith in James Russell anymore. I know neither fills the lefty role but Russell is a guy I could do without.

    • Sonate

      Russell….you are so right! Let’em go. Replacement….. If he’s healthy, I’d take a chance on Vizcaino now. (Not a LOOGY? Yea! Maybe Viz will get players out from BOTH sides of the plate.)

  • Tom U

    Albert Almora had to be pulled from the Daytona game after suffering from a nosebleed that would not stop.

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