The Daily CCO: Alcantara is Making a Case to Stay with the Cubs

It was only supposed to be a two-day call-up for Arismendy Alcantara when the Cubs placed Darwin Barney on the paternity list for the last two games of the series in Cincinnati. But Alcantara played rather well in the field and went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and three RBI in his second game. So the Cubs decided to keep him up for the weekend series with the Braves because the team did not need a fourth or fifth starter on the roster until July 22.

Arismendy Alcantara responded with five hits in three games against the Braves that included two doubles and his first big league homer in Sunday’s finale. Plus, Alcantara singled with two outs in the ninth inning of Friday’s game, stole second and scored the winning run. Since starting his Major League career 0-for-4, Alcantara is 9-for-19 with three doubles, a triple, a home run, a walk, five RBI and six runs scored. Alcantara has started four of the five games at second base and looked good in centerfield on Saturday.

According to reports, Alcantara will spend the Major League All-Star break in Chicago. If the reports are accurate, Alcantara will not participate in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game.

PrintThe front office and coaching staff are expected to meet by mid-week to discuss the construction of the active roster out of the break and the moves that will be made when the team needs to add two starting pitchers to the roster.

Emilio Bonifacio is rehabbing in Arizona and will receive playing time when he is ready to be activated so the Cubs can move him before the end of August. And the Cubs have players such as Darwin Barney, Junior Lake and Luis Valbuena that other teams are rumored to be interested in acquiring. Even if Alcantara is sent down to Iowa due to numbers, he figures to be the first call-up once trades open a permanent roster spot for him.

Cubs Rotation

The Cubs announced Sunday the team would start the second half in Arizona with Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta pitching the first three games after the break. The Cubs have not decided, or announced, which pitchers will be recalled to start the team’s fourth and fifth game after the All-Star Game. The Cubs do not need a fourth starter until July 22 when the Cubs face the Padres for the first game of a 10-game homestand.

Kyle Hendricks is expected to take one of the two spots in the rotation. Dallas Beeler, Tsuyoshi Wada and Dan Straily are also on the 40-man roster and could fill the other spot.

After Dan Straily was acquired from Oakland, the Cubs said Straily would report to Iowa so he could hit the reset button on his season like Jake Arrieta did a year ago. Straily has struggled in two starts for Iowa (nine runs, four earned on 11 hits with five walks and seven strikeouts in nine innings). Arrieta made his Cubs debut on July 30 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Brewers after he was acquired on July 2. Arrieta did not join the Cubs rotation full-time until Aug. 16 and made seven starts for the I-Cubs after the trade.

Based on Jed Hoyer’s comments last week that the team viewed Kyle Hendricks as the first option to fill a spot in the rotation if trades were made and the front office was looking forward to see how he pitched in the big league rotation, the last spot in the rotation, until Dan Straily is ready to be called up, appears to be between Wada and Beeler. With the Cubs having options on Beeler, Wada could be the first one that gets an extended look.

This Day In Cubstory

2013 – The U.S. Team beat the World Team in the Futures Game, 4-2. Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run for the World Team.

2012 – Ryan Dempster tied the Cubs franchise record by extending his scoreless streak to 33 innings in a 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Dempster tossed six scoreless before leaving the game and tied Ken Holtzman’s record that was set in 1969

2011 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Bush

2002 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Clay Rapada

1997 – In the longest night game at Wrigley Field, five hours and 19 minutes, the Cubs lost to the Astros 9-7 in 15 innings. Ricky Gutierrez singled in the go-ahead run.

1988 – Cubs traded Dave Martinez to the Expos for Mitch Webster

1970 – Jim Hickman drove in Pete Rose with a single in the 12th inning as the NL beat the AL 5-4 at the All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium. Rose bowled over Ray Fosse at the plate when he scored the final run.

1969 – At Wrigley Field, Bill Hands and the Cubs edged Tom Seaver and the Mets 1-0. After the last out was made, Ron Santo jumped up and clicked his heels for the first time.

1969 – Jose Hernandez, born

1968 – Derrick May, born

1965 – In the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley, the Cubs turned a triple play in the second inning on a bunt by Woody Woodward of the Braves. The play went from catcher Ed Bailey to shortstop Don Kessinger to pitcher Bill Faul to second baseman Glenn Beckert. This is the only time the Cubs have turned a triple play on a bunt. The Cubs lost game two 6-3 after winning game one 5-2.

1954 – Chuck Rainey, born

1947 – Steve Stone, born

1882 – The would be Cubs beat Detroit 23-4 behind Larry Corcoran at Lakefront Park. George Gore, Mike Kelley and Ed Williamson each drove in three runs and scored three runs.

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  • John G

    Neil, Your comment about the triple play in 1965, prompts this question. When was the last time the Cubs turned a triple play?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      John, I think it was May 10, 1997. Brian McRae to Jose Hernandez to Ryne Snadberg. Here’s the box score:

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SFN/SFN199705100.shtml

      • John G

        Thanks Neil. I knew it was a long time, but didn’t realize it was that long. I looked up your reference and see that it must have been an unusual TP, being started by a centerfielder. I’m guessing that he caught the fly ball then nailed someone going from second to third and then they got the third out when the guy on first tried to go to second, probably delayed. Unusual but not unlikely. And who was this guy Snadberg? ;-)

        • John G

          A rules question comes to mind. Had the bases been loaded and the man on third scored before the third out was made, would it have counted?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            John, it would depend on the sequencing. In other words, an around the horn double play ends the inning, the run does not score. But if the double play involved a run down, the run would score. Without knowing the sequencing I could not tell you on this play.

  • cubtex

    Of course Alcantara should stay up and play the rest of the year…. everyday. What value will Barney,Valbueana and Bonifacio have in a deal? What is more important? Developing one of the top prospects on the team who is proving he is ready…..or trying to trade one of these fringe mlb players for a low level prospect? He is 9-23 with 5 RBI. He was hitting great in AAA. He needs to be in the show. No question about it.

    • texcubnut

      Totally agree. A switch hitting, multiple position player, who has played well at every level. He should stay!!

    • paulcatanese

      I agree, would like to see him stay. But I fear Theo will send him back down. Theo has the results of Olt and Lake in the back of his mind, he cannot leave Alcantara up and take the chance the same results may occur.
      I really believe that Alcantara should stay as he outclasses both of them, but goes against the plan staying with the Cubs. Plus he is being groomed to be another Bonifacio and play multiple positions, he would make a great second baseman, but won’t get it, that’s saved for Baez,
      that’s a mistake IMO but that’s what I see.

      • cubtex

        I think the only reason he will be sent down by Theo is to play Barney/Bonifacio so they can try to trade them. It won’t be about what is best for Alcantara…but about trying to trade these 2 for a low level minor leaguer. As I said…what value does either of these 2 have? Do what is best for the player’s development. It wasn’t done in Olt’s case because he struggled in AAA and was forced to be on the team since they didn’t have a spot in the minors….Alcantara is forcing his way to the team by playing well. Totally different cases.

        • Tony_H

          I agree Alcantara should stay, but I also don’t see any harm in sending him down for a week or two if a trade isn’t made prior to needing a 5th starter and/or Bonifacio coming back.

          • cubtex

            because that wouldn’t help his development. He is producing. He has nothing left to prove in AAA and Barney/Bonifacio/Valbuena have minimal value. Do what is best for the player.

          • Tony_H

            What harm would it do if it allows you another week to make a trade that brings back a player?

            Should they make all their decisions based on what is best for each player?

          • cubtex

            what message does that send to other prospects? if you do well when you are promoted….it won’t matter because it will be a business decision.(time clock,super 2,trading players,etc) Tony…you have always said that when a player is blocking a prospect(Soriano for example who wasn’t really blocking a prospect but we won’t go there again) that the team needs to cut ties immediately with that player. Just DFA Barney. Who cares? He doesn’t have any value. Alcantara is the 1st prospect(imo…that was for you Boardrider) who has a chance to stick on this team longterm in addition to Castro and Rizzo. Olt was never going to be and neither was Lake. If Baez,Bryant,Soler, etc….see that if Alcantara can force his way to the show….so can they.

          • Tony_H

            We are talking about a week maybe two, not the rest of the year. It’s not like they are going to give him a bus ticket and not talk to him. Alcantara knows the situation and the other prospects do as well. The message is they are running an organization and going to be smart about the rules of the roster. Do you hear Hendricks or Wada complaining about going back to Iowa? No, because they know what is going, the FO is using the break to maximize the roster construction.

            The best value any of the options to trade will have is in the 2nd half of July when teams get desperate.

          • texcubnut

            I understand the ‘numbers’ game and I agree with you Tony. If it’s only a couple of weeks, well, I don’t think that will destroy the player’s confidence or send a message to other players. The movement upwards can start after the trade deadline but at that point, a players salary or tradeability should not be a big part of the equation. If they believe a player is ready to make the move than promote them for longer than a cup of coffee.

          • Tony_H

            Many teams have shuttled their top prospects back and forth this year as happens most years. It is just part of the process.

          • cubtex

            you are comparing what Alcantara is doing to Wada and Hendricks? one is an everyday player who has performed at every minor league level and the majors the last week. I really think you argue to just not go against anything the FO does :) to me…this is a no brainer and I hope the FO does the right thing.

          • Tony_H

            Do you really think Alcantara is going to keep going like this? I think he is going to be around for a long time and be a good player, but be realistic, he is having a hot start.

            Alcantara was told he was coming up for 2 days, then going back. Hendricks and Wada knew they were coming up to fill rotation spots, then sent back to Iowa because they are manipulating the 25 man roster around the break.

            And I am saying Alcantara should stay up, but just like roster decisions out of ST, player with options are going to be used to go back down, so as not to lose a player especially if there is a chance of getting something of value for a player(s) you would cut off the 25 man roster.

          • cubtex

            of course he will have some bumps in the road and that is why he should stay up. to expect Alcantara,Baez,Bryant to be Starlin Castro right away is extremely unrealistic. that is more reason to keep them up so they can get more and more experience against big league competition. Guys like Schierholtz,Barney,Bonifacio,Ruggiano,Valbuena aren’t going to bring this team any usuable value back. they had their one big trade chip in Shark and to a lesser extent Hammel and they are done. Who else not named Castro and Rizzo positional player wise… have value on the mlb roster? Nobody should be blocked by any of those players I mentioned above.

          • Tony_H

            Correct, starting August 1st. I don’t think they will send him back to Iowa as I think they will dump someone if needed, but it is only the going to be about a week from when they need a 5th starter and July 31st. Any GM would not be doing their job if they didn’t play it out.

            Look around the league to many of the top prospects who have been shuttle back and forth. Common move that all teams do.

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

            I just don’t think any of us should say what the right or wrong thing is here. It’s an opinion. You set it up like if they don’t follow your plan they’re incompetent. These guys have had a lot of success. Chances are whatever they do will turn out to be the right thing. Part of me feels like you’re putting it jn such an extreme fashion because you think tey will do the opposite and then it has given you ammo to say they suck. I belive you really feel that way, so do i for the most part. But I’m sure many others would disagree. I think they need to so whatever they can I get players back from guys that aren’t long term for us. Even if it’s a low player. Sometimes guys turn out and you can never have too much depth.

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

            Hey may have a different opinion on the right thing. Who are any of us to tell them what is right or weong? It’s not like we have some rookie GM. He’s a two time World Series winner.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Boardrider,
            Part of being a fan is correcting the mistakes of the front office. If we don’t have any right to express our opinions, then why bother following the team?

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

            You can certainly express your opinion. But we can’t correct their mistakes. We can say it was the wrong move. But there is too much unequivocal right/wrong talk IMO lately. It’s just my opinion though. I think disagreement is fine, but I think it is better to acknowledge that there is an opposing view. I don’t want to pretend to be some nutcase that believes that everything is my way or the highway. Sometimes opinions are voiced that suggest that any opposing view is a violation of Sharia Law. The right thing, the wrong thing, it’s a matter of perspective in most cases. I’d say the only truly wrong things are found on the stone Moses brought down from Sinai. But really that is just my opinion as well. Not everyone would agree with that view I’m sure. And that’s what makes the world go around, different opinions. But I think a healthy respect of opposing views and the acknowledgment of there validity is usually a good thing and at the least it’s the civil thing.

          • John G

            You’re mostly right. Except I still covet my neighbor’s ass. And a nice one it is too.

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

            Shoot, I forgot that one was on the list! Guilty as charged…

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

            I don’t think a week kills that cire. It’s just a week! Who cares? If they can get a trade great. If not then DfA after the deadline and bring him back. No harm no foul. Hell still prove guys can make it. It’s one week.

          • Tony d

            Barney is worthless. Why would any playoff team take a .200 hitter with a good glove. If a team does good luck in getting anything for him. I’ve been done with barney for a long time! His glove is not worth the out he gives you in the lineup.

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

            Teue, but Boni and Ruggianohave value.

          • cubtex

            did DeJesus have a lot of value? I think you are overestimated their worth. That is an opinion to be clear.

          • Tony_H

            Here some numbers – OPS

            2013 DeJesus 732
            2014 Valbuena 750
            2014 Ruggiano 815

            Value comes from need. If a team has a need for a type of player that these guys are, then there is going to be value.

            I actually would like to see them keep Valbuena and Ruggiano until next year at this time.

          • cubtex

            that makes one of us. and it isn’t just about OPS. Look at Valbuena’s numbers over the past month. Like Clockwork. His glass slipper has fallen off and the carriage has turned back into a pumpkin.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That glass slipper shattered……

          • Tony_H

            No it is not, but it is a quick way to compare players…since you don’t like WAR.

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

            I think get a prospect back. So why not. If going back for a week destroys Alcantara then that’son him/. I dot see the other prospects outraged that he went back for a week so they could try to bring more depth to franchise. Either way, it’s just not a big deal. They keep him an dont get a low level prospect, we’ll live. They send him down and we get a prospect. We’ll live. Look at return for Hairston. We got a decent prospect that is doing pretty good. Ruggiano and Bonifacio should have more value than Hairston. An more than DeJesus based on this seasons production.

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

            I agree with both of you. But I dot think its a huge detriment if he goes down for a week. No biggie.

    • Denver Mike

      I’m not going to go into a ton of detail, because this seems to have been discussed at length already.

      I also want Alcantara with the ML team playing every day, and I think his performance at all levels of the minors, followed by a stellar start to his ML career warrants that he stays up. The only area my opinion differs is that if he is sent down for a couple weeks, I don’t think that it will have any affect at all on his development long term. If it does, then maybe he isn’t mentally ready for the ML level after all.

      Will Barney, Valbuena, and Bonifacio bring back an Addison Russell in a deal? Of course not, but if there aren’t any teams inquiring about them, then they will be cut loose. I can’t believe the FO still thinks any of them are going to develop into all-stars, so they can likely get cast back to the FA scrap heap if no trade will be made.

      I actually don’t see any reason to trade Valbuena at all. As you said, he’s not going to get a significant return, but he is versatile and can play all over the diamond. He isn’t going to wow anybody offensively, but he isn’t a liability either. Seems to be the perfect bench guy to move around the diamond to fill holes as the prospects come up and take over different positions.

  • Tony_H

    The roster is going to have many moves to finish the year and to get through the first week. There is not likely a move needed right after the break, but as Neil pointed out, when a 4th starter is needed.

    When Hendicks is needed to take the ball and the 4th spot in the rotation, it is likely to be Rosscup sent back to the minors. When Wada takes the 5th starter spot, it will likely be a position player that is sent out as they have held to 8 relievers most of the year. That position player should be Olt as he has 2 option years left and he could spend next season there as well.

    The real issue is when Bonifacio comes back. Lake would also make sense to send down, but he only has 1 option year left and they would like to save that for next year and not just for 6 weeks of this season. That is where Alcantara will be sent down, IF they don’t make a trade or cut loose one of Schierholtz or Sweeney. Why this is an issue is that Alcantara is a younger, better Bonifacio. But Bonifacio is the type of player that playoffs teams would love to add to their roster after a long season. He obviously needs to be healthy first, but his ability to play all over the field and being a switch hitter brings flexibility to teams and for short bursts, Bonifacio can be very good.

    So I say a trade happens that clears a spot. Villaneuva or Russell out of the bullpen or Schierholtz, Sweeney or Barney from the position players.

  • Thomas D

    It’s craps Rizzo isn’t in the derby tonight dumb tulo

    • Denver Mike

      I understand that there is some tradition and history behind the HR derby, but I can’t remember the last time I watched. The only take-away I’ve had from it the last few years is that the winner has had trouble keeping up their numbers the 2nd half of the year. I likely wouldn’t even notice if it went away.

      • triple

        Mike- I looked up last night who will be in the HR Derby and found out they have tweaked the format a little bit, and it may actually be for the better. IMO, the derby was really exciting about 10-15 years ago, it kind of waned off in recent years and I myself lost interest. I’m actually a little excited to watch it tonight. Some changes I remember reading about are that there will now be 3 rounds, and each player only gets 7 outs (instead of previous 10). The winner of the first round for each league (AL/NL- 5 players represent each league) will earn a buy for the 2nd round and advance to the 3rd round (finals). That way the player who notoriously mashes the most HRs in the first round won’t be tired out in the next round and likely lose. I think 4 players advance to 2nd round (not counting the 2 who already jumped to the finals) and they do the same in the 2nd round, and the best from each league advance. So if I am remembering this all correctly, there will be 2 NL and 2 AL players in the finals, 2 will be the best hitters from the first round (and well rested), and then the 2 others who competed in each round. It could be fun, especially to be able to watch the player formerly known as Mike Stanton hit some bombs! I’m also interested in watching Puig and Cespedes too.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, I think it hurts the hitter rather than help afterwards.

  • Thomas D

    Crap darn auto correct lol

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

    I hope they go as young as possible rest of way. But I want to see the 6 guys tat have been producing play because they’re pushing runs across the plate. Coghlan, Ruggiano, Rizzo, Castro, Alcantara and Castillo should play IMO. If pitching isn’t horrible they will keep us in most games. Shoot against the Braves they scored 7 and 6 runs but lost!

    Hendricks is the only guy other than Arietta I feel any confidence in. Id like to see more of Wada. Straily need to get figured out at AAA, but I’d also like Bosio to get his hands on him.

    • Eugene Debs

      Coghlan has been a nice surprise. So has Ruggiano.

      I worry about the pitching going forward, but I agree on going young. No more starts for Villanueva please.

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

        Hear, hear! I think Arietta will be great. Hendricks will be solid but have a few skinned knees. Wood I have no confidence in and obviously not EJax. Wada should be interesting and a combination of Beeler and Straily too.

        The games Arietta and Hendricks start we can win. The rest will be a matter of who te opposing pitcher is.

        • Denver Mike

          I think Hendricks and Wood are very similar, and will have to rely on control to be successful. I’m not saying either will or won’t succeed, just that I see a lot of similarity.

          I’m so lost with where the rotation stands right now, it’s hard to predict anything with any certainty. The only think I am confident in is that Arrieta’s floor is as a #3 at if he proves to have put his control issues behind him, and Wood can be a #5 at least. So going into next year I am hoping for something that looks like:

          SP1 – FA/Trade for legit #1
          SP2 – FA/Trade for legit #2
          SP3 – Arrieta
          SP4 – Wood
          SP5 – Hendricks/Beeler (nobody else in the system can fill this role right now)

          I mentioned to Tony earlier that the only hole in the field I would like to see locked up for multiple years via FA/trade would be LF because my fearless prediction is:

          2015:
          C – Castillo
          1B – Rizzo
          2B – Baez
          3B – Bryant
          SS – Castro
          LF – ???
          CF – Alcantara
          RF – Coghlan
          Bench – Valbuena, Watkins, whoever, whoever, backup catcher

          2016:
          C- Castillo
          1B – Rizzo
          2B – Russell
          3B – Baez
          SS – Castro
          LF – ???
          CF – Alcantara
          RF – Soler
          Bench – Coghlan, Watkins, Valbuena, whoever, backup catcher

          • Tony_H

            You lost Bryant in 2016…..

          • Denver Mike

            Haha, I did lose Bryant in the mix there. What does that say about system depth?

            Actually, I sort of see Baez getting traded in a deal for a TOR arm, so Bryant could essentially be put in his place in 2016. That being said, if they are both still here I guess we may not need a LF!

          • Tony_H

            The rotation as I see it for 2015

            1. Top FA pitcher
            2. Jake Arrieta
            3. Jason Hammel type or even Jason Hammel
            4. Travis Wood
            5. Kyle Hendricks or Dan Straily

            Pierce Johnson and CJ Edwards will be knocking on the door by the 2nd half of the season.

          • SuzyS

            I’m thinking if Vizcaino can figure things out this season in AAA…a big if…Grimm or Ramirez could be stretch out and given a shot as a starter next season.

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

            I’d like to see Vizcaino and Ramirez get a shot to start.

          • SuzyS

            Vizcaino needs to prove he can stay healthy and pitch in the pen at the mlb level first. But if he can, that may free up Ramirez to be stretched next year and perhaps Vizcaino ther following year…if needed.
            Right now though, Vizcaino is getting lit up at AAA. So we have to see him adjust there…first off.

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

            Well that’s kind of a buzzkill Suz ;).

            But you’re right. If he does get it figured out I hope he gets another shot to start. Plenty of guys have his issues and go on to start again it seems. If he can get guys out, then if he can start, he could be an ace with his tools.

          • Denver Mike

            As much as I hate to admit it, you are probably right…and I think Lester will be that FA pitcher.

          • Tony_H

            There has been a lot of talk about opinions and such, but I usually frame everything in what I think the FO will do. It is my opinion of what I think they will do, but none the less if I am stating my opinion only, I will usually state that.

          • Denver Mike

            I re-read my post and hope you didn’t think I meant that “I hate that you are right”, haha. More or less, I just mean that I hate that my wish won’t come true, which would be Price/Lester at the top of the rotation next year!

          • VBCubs

            I wouldn’t mind it whatsoever. Then if we can possibly grab Price in free agency the year after, we can trade some of our prospects for a Stanton type player and be a WS contender year in and out.

          • Swish23

            EJax will replace Hammel. What FA SP that is a # 1 is coming here. Only Lester and Scherzer qualify. Zero chance they are spending 150m for mad max. And Lester will not come to a team 2 years away nor should they spend 100M. On a guy who will be 33 by 2017; thefirst chance the team can wada shoulda coulda gain in 2017contend.
            They go to ST with EJax, wood, Arrieta, and then let Hendricks, Beeler, Straily, rusin, wada, Jokisch, and a “flip” battle it out. Grimm could be long RP or top loser of rotation battle. Next year is see what we got; start to add to it for 2016 and again in 2017.

          • Tony_H

            Lester, Scherzer, Shields would be the top guy and don’t assume to know what they will sign for or where they will go in July.

            Gallardo and Cueto could become FA’s as well.

            I didn’t say #1 as there are very few of those in the majors but a Top FA, but it could also come via a trade.

            If it is not Hammel, it will be another one in the line of Maholm, Feldman, and Hammel.

            If they keep EJAX, they will send the players with options to the minors to start the year.

            Also I didn’t list but others have mentioned stretching out either Grimm or Ramirez.

          • SuzyS

            Augustin, they will make a move this offseason towards a one or a two. It might be via trade or FA. I just read (Comcast Sportsnet) where Price thought that winning the WS in Chicago with the Cubs would be the coolest thing place to do it. Lester might see it the same way.
            As far as cash goes…the Cubs have a bankroll and the financial flexibility to do whatever they want at this point.
            They did absolutely nothing of note this past offseason and can go in any direction they wish.
            Knowing Theo/Jed…maybe they dangle one of our core prospects at Pittsburg to bring in Taillon, (recovering from TJ surgery)…or some sort of unthought of deal like that.

          • SuzyS

            BTW…that is just my opinion:-).

          • triple

            Hey, did you forget about Bryant for 2016? He can play 3rd or RF next year. I am of the opinion that he will stay at 3rd as long as his glove is not a detriment there. I see Baez as the more athletic one who would cover more ground in RF for the future, but that’s how I rationalize my opinion on it all.

          • Denver Mike

            Haha, I did — see my response to Tony, but most I most likely think Baez would be traded and Bryant or Russell at 3rd.

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

            I like it mostly. But again I see Schwarber being huge for us. I think in 2017 we’ll be watching him in the Hr Derby. Of our prospects currently I think he will be one of the best 3 professionals. Probably he, Bryant and Russell if I had to guess.

            Other than that he doesn’t throw 97 I don’t see the similarity to Wood. Hendricks is known for his change up and command. Plus he has gained speed this year and with his build I could see him adding another MPH or two. Potentially hitting 95-96 MPH. I just think overall he’s going to be a better pitcher. Absolute best possibility he has an outside shot at being a #2, but more likely a 3 or 4. I know people will want to blast me for that, but it’s just my hunch.

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

            Hendricks is 6’3 where Wood is 5’11. Also at 190 Hendricks could add plenty of muscle, which wouldn’t surprise me if that’s his offseason task.

            Also in minors Hendricks has consistently out up sub 3 ERA’s and much higher K/BB ratios. Woods minor average K/BB is 2.43 where Hendricks has 4.77. Also Wood gave up HR/9 of .7 where Kyle had .4. Look at their minor league careers and they look totally different.

            Not saying your comparison is wrong. It could turn out. But I think Hendricks ceiling is much higher than Wood. When you compare their minors stats side by side and think of the success Wood has had, it gets you real excited about Hendricks.

          • Denver Mike

            I’m not necessarily considering them as body doubles, or even comparing their pitches. I was more or less referring to the fact they are both mid-90s pitchers without a real plus “out pitch”. They both seem to rely on control and hitting their spots to be successful, because they don’t have overwhelming “stuff” to get them by.

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

            I think Hendricks change is his out pitch. A la Hamels or Trevor Hoffman. Not that he’ll be as good as them but two guys that use a change as an out pitch. Hendricks will be one of the better changes I n baseball. Sometimes a change is overlooked as an out pitch but when it’s that good and hitters can’t tell a difference in arm speed its as devestating as anything.

          • Denver Mike

            I think Schwarber can be great, but he is still too far off for me to bank on.

            I don’t recall Wood hitting 97, but then again I can’t say I pay that close attention when he’s been pitching lately. I though of him more as a 94-95 guy, which is where I’ve heard Hendricks is at lately.

            While I think you are by far the most optimistic poster on here :) you could be right. Looking in to the future, if I’m building a WS team I’m planning on Wood/Hendricks holding down the 4/5 spots.

          • VBCubs

            If he can stick at catcher that would be awesome. Either that or if the NL gets a DH. I just don’t see him getting in as an outfielder. Not with Alcantara, Almora, Bryant, Soler, etc.

          • Tony_H

            Hendricks is low 90’s. The mid 90’s reports I don’t believe is anything more than a top reading on a hot gun.

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

            I guess I meant that neither throw 97. But for real, look at Hendricks stats compared to some others. They are really good. Not just the big ones but the K/BB and those others that tend to mean more to projections. I was surprised at how good they are. Different league than Wood though this stage if their careers.

            Schwarber is harder to project, bu man he looks good to me. Those college HR stand out too. It’s hard to hit with power with those bats they use. Not many guys can. And since being drafted he’s just been on a tear. I could see him as a Prince Fielder type. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s in Chicago by soemtimes 2016. If we need him, if were in the wild card race next year, after the all-star break wouldn’t shock me. It’s ambitious and much less than 50/50, but an outside chance.

          • SuzyS

            Your talk of Schwarber reminds me of last years talk of Vogelboom. He’s not talked about so much this year…so let’s see how it plays out….One thing for sure…the Cubs have a lot of power prospects…something most of baseball covets.

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

            That’s a good comparison. I think Vogelbach is getting used to his new physique and generating power without the bulk. He has been good as of late if I remember correct.

            I think Vogelbach came straight from high school didn’t he? Usually it seem that collegians are a little more consistent once the get to pro ball. Now don’t hold me to that because I’m pulling that observation totally out of my general understanding and from what I’ve read overall.

          • VBCubs

            I wouldn’t be surprised or upset to see the Cubs go after Chase Headley this offseason on a 1 or 2 year deal. He’s having an off year but he did have 115 rbi’s a couple years ago. He can play 3B/LF and is a switch hitter.

            2015:
            C- Castillo
            1B- Rizzo
            2B- Baez
            SS- Castro
            3B- Headley
            LF- Coghlan/Lake or FA upgrade
            CF- Alcantara
            RF- Bryant

            2016:
            C- Castillo
            1B- Rizzo
            2B- Baez
            SS- Russell
            3B- Castro
            LF- Headley(until Soler comes up
            CF- Alcantara
            RF- Bryant

            Of course everything can change if we package some of our hitters up for a Price/Stanton type player

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    I almost want them to send him back to Iowa so I can come here and watch the melt down.

    • triple

      I love it when people throw fits about the “what ifs” before anything even happens…. I’m pretty sure Alcantara’s development is already in jeopardy just because of the thought of one or two more weeks of AAA.

      • cubtex

        I love it when grown men have Clark the Cub as an avatar

        • Tony_H

          What’s wrong with Clark the Cub as an avatar?

          • cubtex

            nothing. I said I love it

          • Tony_H

            I read that with the internet sarcastic font :)

          • cubtex

            I am trying to find a Tinkie Winkie avatar for me. I think my posts will be taken more seriously if that was staring at everyone :)

          • Tony_H

            I really disliked that show when my son was little.

          • cubtex

            I laid that one on a tee for you. I was hoping you would give me a nice jab for that line about my posts being taken more seriously. You disappointed me Tony :) On a side note- My wife rented a guy or girl(couldn’t tell) dressed like Tinkie Winkie for my daughter’s 4 year old birthday party several several years ago. She screamed the entire time. Scared the daylights out of her and she never left my side the entire party. Lol. Not one of my wife’s better decisions.

          • Tony_H

            OK – your posts won’t be taken seriously no matter what your avatar….

            You should also watch out for your wife renting guys or girls….

          • cubtex

            Barney? Now Barney would lend a lot more credibility

          • Tony_H

            You are 2 for 2 on shows I disliked.

            Thomas the tank engine, Bob the Builder were more my style of the shows my son watched. I even liked Elmo! But no thanks on Barney and teletubbies.

          • cubtex

            I am so glad I am over those years. Those cartoon and shows like that drove me nuts.

          • Tony_H

            I agree, but look forward to watching the shows again in another 10 years or so (I hope it’s at least that long)

          • Tom U

            I kind of miss watching Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo with the kids.

          • SuzyS

            Why not stroll down memory lane with either Captain Kangaroo, Mighty Mouse…or a Chicago twist with Garfield Goose or Clutch Cargo as an avatar? You would definitely be noticed.:-)

          • triple

            Or Ribbie and Rubarb… the WhiteSox mascots from the 80’s!

          • John G

            Kookla Fran and Ollie. Or if you’re really old like me, run home from school and have lunch with Uncle Johnny Koons. Or sing with Two Ton Baker. Anyone remember the catacombs at the Ivanhoe?

          • triple

            What if it was Darwin Barney in a Barney costume!?!?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Barney? The second basemen, or are you talking someone else? LOL

          • Denver Mike

            I’ve always pictured this is more or less what you look like, you can use it if you want to :)

          • cubtex

            there you go.

          • cubtex

            no big gut. no gray hair. not a hunter(remember…I grew up in Chicago) don’t wear a Cowboy hat…but other than that…..pretty close :)

          • Denver Mike

            Well, you live in Texas so I’m 1-for-5. I guess you could say I Darwin Barney’d that one?

          • cubtex

            yea. It is Austin(not really Texas) a lot of transplants. 120 people move here daily from all over the country. Unfortunately, the secret has been out for several years.

          • Denver Mike

            I’ve been, Austin isn’t as “Texas” as some people think. It’s a lot like Denver in size, and also that the majority of people that live there are transplants. While we aren’t growing at the rate of Austin, I moved here just before the big boom and I have to say it is slowly losing some of its charm.

          • cubtex

            I looked at Denver as one of the places that I was considering to set up shop once I was starting my own business. I like Denver. The biggest selling point for Austin was No state tax,great schools,warm weather,great master planned communities and competitive sports for my kids was too good to pass up. I looked at Charlotte,Scottsdale,Marietta/Alpharetta,San Diego as well.

          • cubtex

            traffic here in Austin is getting real bad. Can’t handle the growth. I am glad that I don’t have to drive downtown everyday.

          • texcubnut

            For all the reasons you listed above, that is why I chose Texas to live. Born and raised a Midwest boy, but my heart ( and family ) are here to stay in Tx. My city is right on the Red River separating Tx/Okla. an hour and a half from either Ft. Worth or Oklahoma City. All the advantages of big city living without the traffic, pollution or crime. I have lots of familiy in Denver and area around and briefly lived there in late 60’s early 70’s. Loved everything about Colo. except winters.

          • Denver Mike

            I’m not in love with the winters in Denver either, but they are still far better than Chicago :)

          • Denver Mike

            Traffic in Denver is brutal as well, I’ve lived in the Highlands area about 2 blocks north of Mile High Stadium, and downtown about 4 blocks north of Coors Field. I really enjoyed both until the traffic got so bad, and the college kids took over. We just don’t have the infrastructure in our roads/highways to handle the growth.

          • SuzyS

            My brother used to live in the Highlands…nice area….We used to visit @ Thanksgiving/Christmas time.
            Denver and the outdoor opportunities impressed me.

          • John G

            I was there last year. Went to a place called The Elephant Room and saw Pamela Hart. She was fabulous and brought the place down when she sang “At Last”. Never thought anyone could do it better than Etta James, but she did. Good Times. Great city. But, politically, it’s not Texas.

          • John G

            Stood under the bridge too. When all the bats came flying out. Awesome!!!

          • triple

            I had to just look up who that was, I think you should do it!

        • triple

          That’s good Cubtex… We are both comfortable in our skin and who we are. I would be concerned for someone if my avatar caused them uneasiness in who they are.

          • cubtex

            I almost can’t read your post without looking at Clark the Cub first. lol

  • soonerfan747

    Rizzo -1st
    Alcantara-2nd
    Castro-SS
    Bryant-3rd
    Baez- OF/Utility

    • Tony_H

      For what and when?

      Bryant will be the one to move to the OF before Baez.

      What about Russell? Soler?

      • soonerfan747

        makes decisions when they reach the next level. Soler great but injury prone. a great position to be in. My opinion, that is what makes this fun. Baez could roam the outfield easy.

        • soonerfan747

          Choices will have to be made. Someone will be left out or moved. Again, great place to be

          • Tony_H

            Consider that after Baez, Bryant, Alcantara you have Russell and Soler to go along with role players like Szczur and Villanueva. Then Schwarber and Almora with Hanneman and Vogelbach right behind. The offense is looking to be very competitive for who starts and who gets traded.

          • texcubnut

            If Baez and Russell are in the infield with Castro, that leaves a lot of outfielders to choose from; Almora, Bryant, Soler, Hanneman, Schwarber, McKinney, Alcantara ( swing man, outfield/infield ) among others. What nice problems for the Front Office to have!!!!

          • John G

            Add some pitching and what will Rip have to complain about?

          • texcubnut

            He’ll find something! :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            The same thing you’ll have to complain about: the continued losing.

          • Eugene Debs

            Szczur? No way.

        • Tony_H

          I agree on Baez, but Bryant and Alcantara will go to the OF before Baez, not my opinion, but what the FO has said. Soler and Russell will be up soon. Soler very likely gets a September call up.

          • soonerfan747

            Its cool to be able to look and dream, cuz i am no FO. But Mark McGuire was a pitcher. As was the Babe. Both good ones. Never know where someone is good but will excel at another position. Like I said, fun to guess and dream, that is my only job

          • triple

            “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not….”

      • Denver Mike

        I’m at work so I don’t have it right in front of me, but I threw a spreadsheet together over the weekend where I compiled all of the players that I consider true high-upside “prospects” in our system that could realistically make the ML team by the end of 2016. My wishlist for players to add via FA or trade was essentially LF and #1/#2 starters.

        By 2016:

        C – Castillo
        1B – Rizzo
        2B – Russell
        SS – Castro
        3B – Bryant/Baez
        LF – Baez/Bryant
        CF – Alcantara
        RF – Soler

        Bench: Watkins, Coghlan, Valbuena, Whoever, Back-up Catcher

        We could still use an upgrade at catcher at some point, and I am hopeful Baez gets packaged for Price (or similar). But it would be nice to add a LF now, because Schwarber is no sure thing, and there is nobody else in the pipeline that is close to get excited about.

        • Tony_H

          I think a 1 or 2 year deal for a OF would make sense, even on an overpay, but SP is where they need to work on.

          Also by 2016 Almora could be knocking on the door.

          • Denver Mike

            Yeah, Almora and Schwarber were on my “knocking on the door” list for 2016. I’d love to see them force the FO hand, but I am assuming that not all will make it and if that is the case I wouldn’t mind a proven FA bat in LF. As you said, even on a overpay since that lineup would cost us virtually nothing.

            I also want to see them spend the most on a proven #1 and #2 first and foremost.

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

            It’s early but Schwarber to me seems to be one of those freak type players. At this point in his career, he’s done more damage than Bryant. I know Bryant skipped High A, but I think it had more to do with who was at lower levels. With his production in college and what he’s done so far I believe he’s on the fast track. If we are competitive and some of the other guys have come up I could see Schwarber spending less time in the minors than even Bryant. If we were pushing for the playoffs right now and needed an upgrade at 3rd base I think Bryant would already be up. Alcantara probably would have come up earlier as well. If the team isn’t going to win anyway then take all the time in the world with development. But I think that if we’re on the brink then a special prospect like Bryant or Schwarber would come up ASAP.

            By the way, thanks for the analysis and spreadsheet Mike. I’d love to see the whole thing.

          • cubtex

            I didn’t realize Addison Russell was in the same draft as Almora. I thought he was in 11. 6. Almora 11. Russell 19. Wacha. A’s were testing Russell last year. Do you have any idea why he played 3 games in AAA last year? He went from high A to play 3 games in AAA.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            Almora has a 925 OPS in hi last ten games. He might be figuring it out. I am hoping he can conquer AA by the end of next season.

        • SuzyS

          Just saw where Price said winning the world series in Chicago with the Cubs would be the coolest place to do it….(Comcast Sportsnet).

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

      BOOMER!

  • RickinMSP

    Living here in the Twin Cities allowed me the opportunity to attend the Futures Game last night and the Fan Fest today, a few thoughts.
    It’s the only game I’ve seen him play so it isn’t a fair assessment, buy Kris Bryant seemed a little slow moving around third base, particularly getting rid of the ball. Plus, his performance at the plate was awful.
    Javier Baez with a first pitch two run home run as pretty special, got out of the yard in a hurry.
    Joey Gallo really put on a show during BP in addition to his game winning Jack. My wife has a picture to the broken truck window (she’s a Ranger’s fan) and we missed being there when it happened by about one minute.
    The highlight though was when the left fielder held up the game because he was busy playing catch with the leftfield fans. He now has a solid group of fans for the rest of his career, however long it may be.
    The fan fest was nice. Probably would have been great if I was a 10 year old boy or in the market for memorabilia. My wife and I did have the opportunity to talk to Luis Tiant and Bert Campaneris for quite a while. They were signing autographs and they were sitting alone, we just walked up and started chatting them up. Campy was really talkative and a really nice guy. Tiant was very gracious, but pretty quiet.

    • triple

      Thanks for sharing your experience, all of it sounds like a great time! I could tell watching the game on TV (especially against these really highly ranked pitchers) that Bryant was a little overmatched, but he’s also only been playing minor league ball for exactly one year. So he’s made it really far based on his pure talent alone. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, so I don’t think it’s too long before his adjustments to pitch recognition and the strike zone have him taking advantage of more pitchers in the future.

      Baez sure looked good doing his thing. The pitcher threw a pretty decent curveball, but still missed his spot, and Javier made him pay for it! The funny thing was that pitcher who gave up the HR to Baez was interviewed on TV in the dugout earlier in the game before he got in, and he said his plan was to show the batters more offspeed stuff, since many of the guys were throwing more gas. His plan didn’t really work too well, especially since Baez hadn’t seen any live pitching up to that moment. But definitely gotta give credit to Baez for taking advantage of that moment.

    • SuzyS

      Thanks for sharing…As a long time Boston fan…(I was born there and they have my heart…after the Cubs), I have the ultimate respect for “El Tiante”. I loved to watch him pitch and then smoke those big stogies after a game. He was the ultimate character…along with Bill (Space) Lee and the Byrd Fidrych.

      • RickinMSP

        Did you get a chance to see the movie Lost Son of Havana? It was about Tiant’s return to Cuba after some 40 years away. Beautiful movie. We did talk about that a little. Even after all these years here, his English isn’t very good and may have kept him from talking much, but he did seem to be glad that my wife and I were there to see him and Campaneris. For some reason, there was no line and no interest in seeing these guys. I about peed myself when I saw Tiant there and was even more surprised to see Campy with him.

        • SuzyS

          Never saw the movie…but I will seek it out now. Amazing how people forget. Campy and Tiant…sounds like you had an incredible time…I’m happy for you.

  • TinTin Rexach

    Beautiful, paternity list is a dangerous place to be in right now :P

  • Tony_H

    Looks like Schwarber is on the move again.

    Kyle Schwarber @kschwarb12 · 20m

    Thank you to the @KCCougars players, coaches and fans for being great to me in my stay here at Kane County! #cougs

    • VBCubs

      Daytona for the rest of the year, start in Tennessee next year and majors in 2016 at some point?

      • Tony_H

        It could depend on playoff races. If Daytona gets in the 2nd half he may stay, if not he may go up to help Tennessee in a playoff run.

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

          I think that same scenario could play out if he’s at AAA next year and Chicago makes a playoff run.

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          He has been dominant so far and the best hitter in the draft. He hasnt been challenged yet. Wish they would have him skip Daytona and go right to Tennessee.

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

        That’s what I suspect. But if were I. The hunt next year an he can help I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on a quicker path than some of these guys with time to develop while the team was losing 80+ games. If were not in the hunt at all then no need to rush him. But on the off chance we are I could see them wantin to add him to help the Cubs down the stretch. Just a different path for a top prospect when a team is winning and has a hole or two and when a team is losing and missing plenty of positions.

  • SuzyS

    Yanks just released Soriano per mlb traderumors:http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

    • Tony_H

      Most likely going to retire. Good career and I will remember his early years with the Cubs, when he brought an excitement to the game and helped the Cubs come so close.