The Daily CCO: Iowa’s Grand Night in Fresno

The Iowa Cubs had a big night on the West Coast. Iowa beat the Fresno Grizzlies 17-2 behind two grand slams and another very good outing by Tsuyoshi Wada. Christian Villanueva and Rafael Lopez hit the slams and Lopez finished with a career-high seven RBI. Monday was the first time since 2006 (Micah Hoffpauir and Lou Montanez) the I-Cubs hit two grand slams in the same game.

Christian Villanueva (2-for-4 with a home run, five RBI and two walks) hit the first grand slam in the sixth inning, his sixth longball of the season. Rafael Lopez (2-for-5 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and seven RBI) launched the second slam in the ninth inning. Lopez has gotten off to a good start with Iowa and is 5-for-16 in his first five Triple-A games.

Javier Baez (3-for-5 with a triple, a home run, two RBI and four runs scored) collected three hits, including his ninth home run of the season. Baez ended up a double shy of the cycle. Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-6 with two runs scored), Logan Watkins (2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored) and Ryan Kalish (2-for-4 with a double, two walks, a RBI and three runs scored) also had multi-hit games. Lost in all of the scoring will be the 11 walks the I-Cubs earned and Logan Watkins played the entire game at first base.

Tsuyoshi Wada allowed one run on eight hits with one walks and two strikeouts over six innings.

Mike Olt

Mike Olt has been sent to the bench and according to multiple reports he will not be sent to the minors. Olt is struggling and is not receiving playing time. Rick Renteria said Monday that Olt will continue his development in the majors, at least for now, and not in the minors.

Renteria said the team will try to find the right match-ups for Olt, like the team did early in the season.

Mike Olt said he’s not worried about his slump and told Carrie Muskat he’s had worse. Olt thinks “things are starting to come around.”

News and Notes

Ryan Sweeney hit second and played right field on Monday night in his first rehab game with Kane County. Sweeney went 0-for-2 with a walk in this three at bats. Sweeney is expected to increase his playing time during the Cougars series in Peoria (Tuesday-Thursday). There is no timetable for Sweeney’s return.

Neil Ramirez is proving he belongs with the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. The Cubs will continue to monitor his innings and it doesn’t sound like the door is closed on him starting games again down the road.

Minor News and Notes

Rob Zastryzny had a good night. Zastryzny struck out a season-high nine batters Monday, a new high watermark for the D-Cubs as well. Zastryzny gave up two runs on four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings. Unfortunately, Zastryzny was hung with the loss after Clearwater shut out the D-Cubs 2-0.

Maryland lost 11-2 to Virginia in the Super Regional on Monday and ended Jake Stinnett’s college career.

This Day In Cubstory

2013 – Javier Baez hit four home runs in a D-Cubs’ uniform and became the second player in Florida State League history to hit four longballs in the same game. Ryan Harvey, a former Cubs farmhand, accomplished the feat in 2006.

2005 – Cubs and Red Sox squared off at Wrigley Field for the first time since the 1918 World Series. Greg Maddux and the Cubs beat the Sox 14-6. Maddux, Jeremy Burnitz and Todd Hollandsworth homered, David Ortiz went deep twice.

2004 – Cubs beat the Cardinals 12-3 after scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning. Cubs tied a team record with 11 hits in the fourth, nine were consecutive

1984 – Cubs added a ninth inning insurance run in a 2-0 win over the Cardinals on a triple steal. Leon Durham stole home, Jody Davis stole third and Larry Bowa swiped second base.

1978 – Cubs acquired Ken Holtzman from the Yankees for a PTBNL. Cubs sent Ron Davis to New York on June 12 to complete trade

1976 – Tigers purchased Milt Wilcox from the Cubs

1975 – Reds signed amateur free agent Larry Rothschild

1973 – Rick Monday, Pat Bourque and Ron Santo homered in the first inning and the Cubs hung on for a 9-7 victory over the Reds at Wrigley Field

1970 – Cubs signed Bill Bonham

1963 – Cubs signed Len Church

1949 – Frank Frisch replaced Charlie Grimm as the manager of the Cubs. Grimm moved to the front office the following day as the Cubs’ Vice President

1911 – Cubs traded Hank Griffin, Al Kaiser, Johnny Kling and Orlie Weaver to Boston Rustlers for Bill Collins, Cliff Curtis, Wilbur Good and Peaches Graham

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

Share on Fancred
  • paulcatanese

    That triple steal in 1984, now that I would have liked to see. Had to be the slowest threesome in Baseball at the time, only the Cubs could do that. Wow!

    • paulcatanese

      Forgot, thanks Neil for those tidbits.

  • Pingback: The Daily CCO: Iowa’s Grand Night in Fresno - Cubs Chronicles()

  • Denver Mike

    Rafael Lopez is an interesting story, getting a bit long in the tooth for the minors at 27 years old, he was only drafted in 2011, and seems to be adding some power to his stroke as well. A .988 fielding % behind the plate with 47% caught stealing this year isn’t too bad either. I wonder if he projects more as a back-up, or if he could challenge Castillo for playing time next year?

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

      His numbers are good. Kind of wonder what made Whiteside get the call over him.

      • mutantbeast

        Lopez just got called up to 3a. Whiteside has ML experience,even though hes always stunk.

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

          Makes sense. Has Lopez always been in the a system? Never heard much about him. Maybe he can be a guy that comes out of nowhere and has a nice career.

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

    Baez is really heatin up! Didn’t realize Villanueva had 6 HR. He is a solid player. Will be a big leaguer somewhere.

    • cubtex

      Villanueva.
      202 AB 6 HR’s .228 average

      .203 vs LHP
      .239 vs RHP

      Will be a big leaguer somewhere? Maybe Japan.

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

        He’s two months into a new level of play. He trended much the same last season at a new level but finished over .270, leading the league in doubles and close to 20 HR. Very likely will end up the same place this season. Add in gold glove caliber defense and no, he’ll play in the MLB.

        • cubtex

          look again.He hit .261 last year. He is a career .271 hitter in 6 minor league seasons. He will never start for the Cubs or any other team imo.

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

            Okay, .261 not .270. The only year he has recently spent in a level he had played in the year before he batted .285. Before and after he has moved to new territory each year. Also he’s developed a lot more power. Last season he hit 19 HR along with that .261 average, 41 doubles, 72 RBI. Add that to stellar defense and it adds up to a future big leaguer. IMO

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

            I imagine he’ll spend this season at AAA, then start next year at AAA. Look for that average to be back up around .280+ next season with the solid power numbers. Probably won’t be with the Cubs, but we’ll have plenty of teams interested in adding him in a trade. He’ll be one of those bats we’re stocking up on to flip for pitching when the time comes. If not next season, then perhaps the next when we may be in a position to add an arm or bat at the deadline to compete for the postseason. Love the way we’re stacking up the talent to be in a position to add inventory to the big league team when we are ready to compete for postseason.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            I believe both Castro and Rizzo are well above average for their age/experience level. Castro will probably peak in the next year or so. I don’t believe he is regressing. Pitchers have more scouting on him now than when he was a rookie / sophmore. Plus he is hitting for more power now. He was never going to be a high OBP guy.

            I think Dale Svenum screwed them up last year.

            I also think both will benefit greatly when there are better players around them in the lineup. Would love to have his .400 OBP ahead of Castro, Bryant and Baez.

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

            I agree totally with that. Tough for both of them being the only two guys you really have to worry about hurting you.

          • cubtex

            What looks better to you? Bryant Castro Baez and Rizzo….or Villanueva/Olt platoon Castro Alcantara and Rizzo with Bryant and Baez in the OF? Villanueva is not a high average guy. Doesn’t do anything great.
            What do you think he could bring back in a trade??? Do you honestly think a team will trade a good starting pitching prospect for him? He would have to be packaged with a better prospect. He is a future utility guy. He is 23 this month and will be 24 next year repeating AAA.

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

            Exactly, he’ll be in a package. Maybe a team that is selling off MLB assets in 2016 trades us an impact MLB player for a Vogelbach, Villanueva and Dillon Maples or something like that. I doubt we’ll part with too many prospects that can anchor a big deal by themselves. But we’ll be able to put together packages like the one listed above. Several similar packages. That’s why we’re stacking the assets.

            IMO, Villanueva will be a solid big leaguer. Maybe a Casey McGehee type, or better. He’ll repeat AAA at 24 and be ready to be a rookie at 25. Nelson Cruz didn’t log 100 games in one MLB season until he was 28. There are plenty of guys that are 25 year old rookies. I like Bryant in the OF, Olt, Castro, Baez and Rizzo in the infield. Alcantra possibly back in the infield if Castro gets delat. I’m not convinced that what we’re seeing this season from Castro is about all he’s ever going to do. Low OBP, decent average, not consistent power,

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

            Doesn’t take many walks and plays average defense. There’s just not much about Castro these days that is anything more than average. I hope he gets it going and goes back to the player he was in his early years, but he seems to be regressing.

            If a team came and made a nice offer for him I would deal him. I hope he proves that he’s the stud we all hoped but consistently not improving alarms me.

          • cubtex

            you are funny! You say a guy in AAA who is hitting .228 will be a mlb starter and you dismiss Castro like he is a bum. Castro plays SS. He is at a premium position. You think Rizzo walks on water and plays a power position. Lets compare the 2.

            Castro
            .276 avg. 18 2B 8 HR 31 RBI with 18 RBI driven in with RISP

            Rizzo
            .276 avg 7 2B 12 HR 33 RBI with 16 RBI driven in with RISP.

            Explain to me how Rizzo is elite and Castro is average. Remember….1st base and SS.

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

            Didn’t say Castro was a bum. There you go putting words in my mouth. I said he’s regressing, that is a fact not an opinion.

            Rizzo is not yet elite, but he’s only in his second season an he’s improved steadily. He makes adjustments and seems to turn his weaknesses into strengths. The things he struggled with last year he’s been muh improved this year. An he is still improving.

            The comparison is all about trajectory. Rizzo’s is upwards. Casto’s is a plateau at best but more downward. And he plays a below average SS defensively. Rizzo may only play first base but he’ll win a gold glove there.

            Hey I’m pulling for Castro. I hope he turns it around. But with his skill set, if he’s not batting .300 he isn’t having an impact.

          • cubtex

            Plateau? He is 24 and Rizzo is 24. Regressing?

            2013
            Castro had 34 2B 10 HR and 44 RBI

            2014
            This year on June 10th he has 18 2B 8 HR and 31 RBI and currently hitting .276(which will be higher by end of year). Looks like he is regressing to me.

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

            RIzzo is in his second season. Castro is in what, his fifth?

            Is Castro is looking like the player that once led the league in hits and batted .320. He isn’t to me, but I hope that changes.

            As I mentioned Castro doesn’t hit for power, he doesn’t take walks, he plays below average defense. When he is spraying hits all over the field he is very valuable. But when he isn’t?

            Rizzo can hit for power, when he’s not hitting the longball he can simply hit singles, when he’s not hitting at all, he can take walks and still get on base. An if he’s not doing any of those, he is playing gold glove caliber defense. He has many ways of contributing, Casto has to spray hits all over the field otherwise he really doesn’t.

            I hope he gets back on track but he’s not shown a knack for adjusting and correcting himself. I think Casto’s biggest problem is between his ears. Not much you can do about that.

          • cubtex

            look at the stats again buddy. Castro has more extra base hits that your boy Rizzo. And because Castro has played in the majors for many more years than Rizzo and they are the same year…that is reason to give one player the benefit of the doubt over the other?

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

            Rizzo is a multi-faceted 2nd year player that has shown improvement in every facet of his game. Castro is a 5th year hit machine who isn’t really doing what he does best. So yes…

          • Denver Mike

            Not taking sides here at all, just don’t agree with nonchalantly writing off Castro. Take a look at this comparison between his 2011 season in which he lead the league in hits, and where his 2014 numbers could end up, when extrapolated for the same number of plate appearances as 2011:

            2011: 715 PA, 207 H, 91 R, 36 2B, 9 3B, 10 HR, 66 RBI, 35 BB, 96 SO, .307/.341/.432/.773

            2014: 715 PA, 186 H, 74 R, 49 2B, 3 3B, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 38 BB, 110 SO, .276/.318/.455/.773

            Sure, the 21 extra hits lead to a higher AVG/OBP, and 17 more runs scored, but he is slugging more, hitting twice as many HRs, and on pace for 40% more RBIs this year. Not to mention is OPS is the exact same as 2011. Isn’t that what everyone predicted for him from day 1? An aggressive hitter, who as he grew into his body would hit for more power, and play serviceable defense?

            If I could have 8 Starlin Castro’s and the pitcher in the lineup every day, I would take it 162 games a year (plus playoffs)!

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

            I hope that ends up right. I just thought he’d end up getting better. And if a team comes along and wants to trade us a TOR arm prospect for him if have to consider it.

          • cubtex

            why would you move Bryant off 3rd base for Olt? Seriously…..he is a K machine and is hitting .152. He might not last another full year in the majors

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

            I believe in Olt. His power is impressive and he’s just having growing pains. He basically missed a season last year with what he went through. He’s had some good moments this season, agains righties and lefties, and I saw him blast some curveballs. I don’t see anything about him can’t be fixed and grown out of. I think Olt in another year or two will bat .260, but drive in 100 runs and hit 30-35 HR. He may never have a big OBP but he was showing more patience as the season went on.

            His first month in the bigs skewed his average because it was so awful. But he’s been much better all around. But he’ll scuffle if he doesn’t play consistently.

          • John_CC

            If you see that line in Olt, what is Bryant’s future slash line, say in 2016? Since you right off Olt’s AAA season as “lost” I looked back at his AA season that gained him high prospect status.
            In 420 PA: 28HR .288/.398/.579 OPS .977 Impressive season, I see what the Cubs liked and hope he can regain some of.

            In 274 PA this year at AA, Bryant has 22HR, .357/.460/.722 OPS 1.182 So if Olt was looking like an elite 3B prospect, Bryant is Zeus!

            Why do you want to move Bryant for Olt? Really, I do not understand.

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

            I think Bryant would be better in LF than Olt. If Olt can be better in Lf than move him. But from what I hear Bryant isn’t the best defensive 3rd baseman so why not move him? Then we have two positions filled instead of one.

          • John_CC

            In general terms, the less talented person – in any walk of life – work around the more talented. If Bryant isn’t a hack at 3B, which he isn’t, then he deserves to play there because he is far and away better than Olt at the plate. Think about Aramis, was he a GG 3Bman? No. Was he servicable enough that his bat made up for it?

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

            I just don’t see that. Let Bryant, who is a great athlete, become a gold glove caliber LF. Olt can be gold glove caliber 3rd base eventualky. If you reverse them defensively both are not as soiled. Get both bats in the lineup! At defensive positions that most benefit the team.

          • John_CC

            OK, we’ll just agree to disagree. This is too much about projection based in little else than opinion. fwiw I think Olt is more soiled at this point in his pro career than Bryant. ;)

          • John_CC

            Olt has shown nothing to merit moving one of the best offensive players in all of the minor leagues for him. You are clinging to Olt’s prospect status from 3 years ago, when if he were in the minor with Bryant he couldn’t carry his bats. Clear you head for second, for this thinking then why not continue to hold out for Vitters? He’s the same age, was a touted prospect once, and can’t hit in the majors.

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

            Thant is willing to move and a betrer fit in the outfield. Olt plays good defense. Olt came up and hit a HR in every 15 at bats in extremely limited action. If playin everyday he could easily have 14 or 15. Vitters has never touché that.

            Olt lost last season to injury. He played but it doesn’t really count to me. I’m not saying he’s there but no way I would give up on him. I still think he can be our everyday 3rd baseman. He will strike out a lot and he may never be a huge OBP guy, but he can drive in runs. Why not let Bryant fix another spot on the diamond where we don’t have another option yet that projects for the future?

          • John_CC

            Because OFers are a dime a dozen, plus it is an ideal place to put a platoon. Bryant could be an elite 3B, Olt will be lucky to be league average.

            But again: you are basing your projection for Olt on his AA season in 2012. Bryant is putting up video game stupid numbers…right now!

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

            Also on 9 HR this season. And he played sparingly an never found a rhythm. I think Olt can be mic better. But Ray and others are probably right. He should go to 3A and get his rhythm an confidence up.

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

            Outfield is where you need an athlete. 3rd is more instincts and reflexes. Why not just put both guys in a position where we get both bats in the lineup and both play great defense?

            Outfielder may be easier to find but righ now we have guys like Sweeney and Achierhoktz. Rather have a great hitter an athlete like Bryant.

          • GaryLeeT

            I am not trying to be mean, but do you comment from your Iphone? It looks like you get a lot of auto corrections.

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

            Almost exclusively. I’m in outside sales so I rarely am sitting behind a computer. If my post has corrections and errors I’m probably at my iPad. But usually at my phone.

          • John_CC

            dude…Olt has not proven – at all – that he can hit major league pitching. Unless he gets a fastball to crush, or a pitcher makes a mistake and hangs something in front of him, he doesn’t hit!

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

            dude…for that matter this whole discussion is mostly on projections, as you said. At least Olt has hit HR in the big leagues. Bryant is still at AA.

            I’m by no means bemoaning Bryant. I predict he will be an absolute stud at the big league level.

            But I believe in Olt too. I think he’ll be a good hitter at the big league level. I’m not ready to write him off after 2 months. Especially since he did show prodigious power.

          • John_CC

            Rider, buddy, the point I tried to make a while ago, which got lost and sidetracked was this, to try to keep out crushes and beliefs in players to a minimum let’s look at stats at similar stages in careers.

            You are basing everything you hope for with Olt on his AA season, age 23 in 2012, since 2013 was a “lost” year. I put up his slash line: .288/.398/.579, 28HR. Then I mentioned Vitters and you scoffed at that.

            That same season, 2012, Vitters was 22 years old and playing at AAA – further along at a younger age than Olt. His slash line: .304/.356/.513, 17HR. Not too shabby for a 22 year old at AAA, eh?

            Bryant; everyone knows his AA season is going exponentially better than both.

            I’m glad you like Mike Olt, I was pretty excited about his potential as well. I am just pointing out that he has not proven to be a Major League hitter. His AA prospect status was more than full season ago. Just because he was once a prospect, doesn’t mean squat going forward. I use Josh Vitters as an example, which I think is a pretty fair comp, btw.

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

            I can accept that John. I don’t totally think the ship has sailed on Vitters either. He has had lots of injuries alon the way as well. He could probably use a change of scenery. Te reset button would help.

  • cc002600

    its pretty clear the cubs don’t have Olt in their long range plans. If they did, they wouldn’t let him rot on the bench during a season where they are going nowhere. Especially when they are playing a utility guy in front of him. Personally, it doesn’t make sense to me. Even if they don’t consider him part of the future, why not play him so you could build his value for a trade ? Especially after trying to get this guy for 2 years from the Rangers.

    • cubtex

      I think Olt is not long for the majors. I was adamant about having him start the year in AAA. It was career suicide for him.

      • cc002600

        you may be right. but when you have another “throw away” season, why not give him 500 AB’s to see what he can do ? What do you have to lose ?

        • cubtex

          I think Renteria is trying to give him the best opportunity to succeed which he isn’t doing anyway. His cup of coffee in the majors might already be finished if he was playing everyday. If he was playing everyday in AAA to start the year he would face a lot of below average pitching and he could work some things out but now…..once he gets demoted…..that could be all she wrote on the mlb career of Mike Olt.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s Poor Roster Management in anybody’s book.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s Poor Roster Management in anybody’s book.

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

      Olt will be okay but you’re right it’s not the best thing for him. They’ll get something figured out and he’s still learning on the bench. I predict he’ll have a very good year next season.

      Valbuena is playing well. His OBP is .379! That’s a guy you want in the lineup. Plus he’s got value in a trade at some point but not rotting on the bench.

      They may not be going anywhere but they’re still going to put the best lineup on the field and try to win the game.

  • John_CC

    Bryant will be promoted this summer. Who knows when, but it will happen. When it does Villanueva loses his position at Iowa.

    Without jumping into Boardrider vs cubtex string I ask BR: what do you think should happen when Bryant is promoted to Iowa? Should Bryant make a level up and change positions at the same time to leave Villanueva at 3B? Should Villanueva go back to AA, basically flip-flop with Bryant? Because I don’t know. Maybe he is ready to be packaged in a deal this summer.

    I happen to agree with ct on this; Villanueva is a career .270 minor league hitter. That does not translate into being a .270 hitter in the MLB. There is just no reason to move Bryant off from 3B for Villanueva or Olt. Out fielders are far easier to come by than elite 3Bmen. It is also a position that I’d rather not be platooning because it means you have basically a couple utility IF on the roster. The OF is ideal for platooning.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Someone said it earlier but I agree they should flip Bryant and Olt.

      • John_CC

        Absolutely.

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

          Bryant isn’t great defensively at 3rd. Why not let him play an easier position? He could be an excellent LF.

          • John_CC

            What he meant by flip was Bryant to the Cubs, Olt to Tennessee. While we know it won’t happen, the point is Olt needs to go play everyday and relearn how to hit.

      • Denver Mike

        I’m still holding out hope the shock the world and do exactly that. Villanueva doesn’t need more time at AA, and Olt needs to go anywhere in the minors to get his work in.

    • cc002600

      john…I know you are talking about AAA, but I hope they do this when they all get to big club:

      I’ve always felt that the best place for Baez is 3B, so they can get Alcantara into lineup at 2B. and then move Bryant to OF. I think Alcantara is going to be a real good player. He gives them some things they really need – Speed, switch hitter, extra base power, good glove. I know everyone wants to put Baez at 2B, but I’m not so sure that he will be good there and I certainly don’t want him at SS. I think he would be huge downgrade defensively from Castro. I think CAstro has really improved in the field. People forget, but SS is the hardest position on the field, after catcher and I think he’s doing a pretty good job this year.

      • cubtex

        It is crazy to me how many think SS’s like Castro grow on trees.

        • GaryLeeT

          I agree that Castro is special, and a pretty sure bet for 3k hits in his career. However, if the opportunity ever arose, I think the Cubs are deep enough there, that they could trade him for someone like Sonny Gray.

          • cubtex

            funny you mentioned a pitcher that the Cubs drafted out of high school. I don’t envision Baez as a mlb SS and it is way too soon to think any of those 19 year old international SS’s will pan out. No way would I trade Castro until you have a bonafide replacement

          • GaryLeeT

            They drafted Lincecum too.

        • cc002600

          agree. I think he’s turning into a very, very good SS….which is the hardest position on the field, after catcher.

      • John_CC

        I can see that option as well. I agree on Alcantara. I agree that Baez at 2B could be a bad idea, and that 3B makes a lot more sense than 2B. But then if it mean moving both Baez and Bryant from their “natural” positions, why not just move Javy to LF?

        • cc002600

          i wouldn’t be opposed to that, but the only reason I have Bryant moving out there is that he already has experience in the OF. But I’m sure that Baez could pick it up as well. LF is probably the easiest position on the field. works for me.

  • John_CC

    Neil, Tom, and everyone: Do you think that moving Olt to AAA to play 1B is an option? He need reps, he’s a terrible pinch hitter unless he guesses right on a FB. If he could start hitting again at AAA he could be trade bait.

    I just cannot figure out what they are doing with Olt, Villanueva and Bryant.

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

      Good idea. He needs to play somewhere. We know Olt can play 3rd so he can always switch back.

      • John_CC

        Or be traded. :0

        I don’t get your man crush on Mikey. You’d trade Castro for a pitcher but wouldn’t trade Olt? Seriously?

      • cubtex

        we also know Olt can’t hit a curve or right hand pitching.

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

          I saw him hit bombs off at least one right hander. I saw him hit a bomb off a curveball too.

          • cubtex

            He actually has 4 bombs off right hand pitching. I guess you dig the long ball :)

            Here is the deal. He can’t hit rhp.

            He is hitting .133(that is not a misprint) .133 against RHP.

            98 AB’s with 45 K’s. 45% he comes to the plate against a RHP he will strike out.

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

            He dug a hole in the first month that would be almost impossible to dig out of for his batting average. I admit the guy will strikeout a lot and right now he’s not going to have any consistency against major league pitchers, particularly right handers. But I think he can get better and with his power, he doesn’t have to get a lot of hits or have a high OBP. He can drive in 100 runs and hit 30 HR, and bat .240. His average may go up with experience but I think if he was able to play more he could get over the Mendoza Line.

  • GaryLeeT

    “Neil Ramirez is proving he belongs with the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. The Cubs will continue to monitor his innings and it doesn’t sound like the door is closed on him starting games again down the road.”

    He spent 6 years in the minors as a starter, so I hope the Cubs give him another shot at it. His stuff looks to be the best of anyone who’s on the 40 man right now. I think, a potential #2.