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Yesterday, Iowa played in a hitters’ paradise. There were hits. And there were more hits. And there were yet more hits. And then, believe it or not, they hit some more. When they weren’t getting hits, they benefited from errors. Tacoma finished the game with seven miscues, in fact, leading to a whole bunch of unearned runs.

It was the kind of game that players dream about, a game in which a batter can almost do no wrong. It was the kind of day that stops nasty slumps dead in their tracks and can turn cold hitters blisteringly hot in an instant.

And it all took place on Brett Jackson‘s day off. Some guys just can’t catch a break.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 19 – 25
The final score in Iowa’s Game of Awesomeness was 18-8. It wasn’t that close. It wasn’t nearly that close.

Chris Volstad pitched six innings and enjoyed the kind of run support the Chicago Cubs never provided. At the end of the fifth inning he had a 16-1 lead. He did have his patented bad innings and allowed three runs to score in the sixth, for whatever that’s worth. His numbers were only decent (4R, 7H, 2BB, 6K), but the bigger story is that he finally got a win. Not just a win, but he got the sort of epic and stress-free blowout win that can frighten away a lot of monkeys that may have climbed on his back during his long win-less streak.

The bullpen finished the game by allowing another four runs to score over the final three innings.

Six Cubs had multi-hit games, nine Cubs crossed the plate, and only two Cubs struck out. Anthony Rizzo somewhat stole the show by scoring five runs on three hits, including a home run (his fifteenth). Luis Valbuena also homered in the game.

In a game full of standout performances, the only other one I want to call attention to is Josh Vitters. He has now hit safely in six straight. In that span he has four doubles, a home run, two walks (!!!) and seven strikeouts.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 20 – 26
The Smokies had an old and familiar formula at work in this game. They had some good pitching and rallied late, but they also had some hiccups in the bullpen and an offense that just could not quite manage to score enough runs. They lost 4-3.

Jeffry Antigua started the game and covered four innings on 66 pitches. He was not great (6H, 2R, 3K), but it wasn’t a bad start for a guy who has been working out of the bullpen this season. It was, however, enough for him to take the loss.

Casey Weathers pitched another scoreless inning. Alberto Cabrera and Marcus Hatley accounted for the remaining two BayBear runs.

Junior Lake had three hits in the game, including his second home run of the season. Justin Bour also enjoyed a three hit game, raising his OPS for the month of May to .899. Logan Watkins stole his seventh base of the season.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 18 – 25
It took ten innings and a lot of late rallies, but Daytona pulled out a 6-5 win.

Patrick Francescon started his Daytona career off with a no decision. He pitched six good innings (3H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 5K) and left with a lead, but Hayden Simpson gave up three runs in the seventh. Scott Weismann pitched well in the eighth and A.J. Morris tossed the final two frames for his first win of the season.

Matthew Szczur scored twice on two hits (including a double) and a walk. One of those runs was the winning tally in the tenth inning. Nelson Perez and John Andreoli also had two hits. Perez and Greg Rohan both homered in the game. Andreoli stole his tenth base of the season.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 20 – 25
Peoria had the day off.

  • Blitzenjohn

    Anyone else believe JLake belongs in Iowa?

    • Roughriider

      Maybe, But not at short. The way he’s playing he would average out to 80 plus errors in a season. He probably needs more time at AA.

    • magilljl

      He was hurt early on, had he been healthy and been able to work through some fielding issues right out the gate, maybe. For now though, I agree that AA is right for him. No need to rush with him this year.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      It’s too soon to send Lake to Iowa.  He struggled in Tennessee last season; let’s wait a bit for AA pitching to adjust to him and see how he responds before we move him up the ladder.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Once rizzo moves up, move vitters to first and call up lake for third.

    • Alou and Vinegar

      I think they move Vitters to left field instead of first.

    • RoughRiider

      Vitters should stay at third for now. He hasn’t proved he can’t play there. I’d rather see Lake tried at second. It’s a shorter throw and if he can play there and hit and hit with power he maximizes his value.

      • hogie

        Many have said Lake has the best arm in the system, when he was struggling the talk was to convert him to a pitcher, his value is best placed at the hot corner. I do agree that Vitters should stay at third though. His defense seems to have improved this year (maybe Katie or someone else who has seen him play could tell you if he “looks” like he is improving), and his value is greatly increased if he can stick at third.

        • terencem

          Many have actually gone to the extent to say Lake has the best arm among position players in all of minor league baseball.

        • Mick

          I disagree that Lake’s highest value is having him in the hot corner. I’d reserve 3B for a power hitter with not much range. Lake’s highest value would probably be at 2B where he could still use his great arm cutting off balls and pegging runners out at home.

  • Ben

    I like that idea John!

  • Ben

    why lose a year of control on Rizzo by bringing him up now? It is a lost season……A month is not that long to wait to have him patrolling 1st. It makes no sense to lose him a year early…..Also Jackson needs to hit before he gets promoted…..I would not mind seeing Castro traded if it was a desperate package offered to pry him away…..Hopefully Demp will waive his clause to win and I do like Garza but I do prefer a pitcher than can field his position….I would love to extend him but if someone is desperate at deadline move him for the right package….Sorry to sound so negative. It is tough to be positive after 8days of AA caliber play

    • Ivy Walls

      It is not a year of control, it is a year where he would not be eligible for arbitration. Everyone is saying how much will be saved but that is not a linear progression either.

      If Rizzo is what we hope for, the next coming, and is in the ls same class as Gonzalez or Howard or Fielder

      than his last arbitration value will be big. So the question is then what is the difference between $500K (his second year w/o arbitration) and $1.5-$2.0M.

      My thing is watching Vitters do what has done at each level, start slow and then produce. Also Lake might be a possible 2B prospect.

      • Kyle

        Two different things. There is a date where we lose a year of control for him, and there’s a date where he gains an extra year of arbitration.

        If he were brought up today, he’d be a free agent after the 2017 season. If we wait a little longer, he won’t be a free agent until after the 2018 season.

        • hansman1982

          and then it becomes a matter of $17M and 25M if he develops properly.

  • AB

    Its about time to send Simpson to Arizona or release him.

  • Smitty

    Luke,

    what is Valbuena’s future with the Chicago team? I don’t know much about him and have noticed he has been producing.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      He’s a 26 year old with over 800 major league appearances of 226/286/344 hitting….a 25th man on a roster if he’s lucky.
      Actually with this current Cubs team, he may be a starter!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He’s a backup / utility guy.  I imagine he’ll hang around AAA and the majors for a long time, filing in for injuries and playing where and as needed, but I don’t think he’s likely to emerge as a long term solution for any team.

  • FromFenwayPahk

    Anyone have an idea if they are working Volstad out of the stretch much (on purpose and maybe even with first open)? I had read a little about the theories on this in general a few years ago. I guess most guys do better out of the stretch than in a full windup delivery (-Stad is our giant exception). They could be getting him more comfortable with the stretch so that he avoids those big innings; or, so that they can convert him a bullpen role (most guys in the pen only work from the stretch, right?).

    Luke, does there appear to be an new organizational pitching theory-philosophy that is expressed throughout the developmental levels? Who are our pitching gurus?

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      “I guess most guys do better out of the stretch than in a full windup delivery”

      I don’t thin this is accurate…otherwise we’d see pitchers from the stretch all the time.

      • hansman1982

        with someone like Volstad it might be. As big as he is a stretch delivery may help to simplify his motion and achieve repeatability to where he can transfer that over to his wind-up.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          I’m sure it’s true in some cases; Yu Darvish only pitches from the stretch, but “most guys do better” seems like a stret…er, seems like a reach.

          • FromFenwayPahk

            “a reach” I like that. Stretching my own understanding of this question, this year my only goal is to recognize when and who select which delivery. So I know only little about it.
            Theoretically the more motion (wind-up) the more room for error. The wind-up may just be a vestige from the 20th century that we are watching go extinct. So, someday we might “see pitchers from the stretch all the time,” although I doubt it. Some reasons why not: 1) tradition 2) guys like Volstad 3) old Popeye cartoons (you gotta admit the tornado he’d whip up before he threw looked cool) 4) the theory about “more motion” is wrong.

            I just know that Volstad struggles in what seems to be the stretch. I guess I am asking because I know there are folks here with eyes on him. And he’s interesting because he is an exception to this “rule.” I’d love to be a fly on the wall when scouts and coaches break down his mechanics.

  • mark

    “And it all took place on Brett Jackson‘s day off. Some guys just can’t catch a break.”

    Look at the bright side–he didn’t SO did he? Oh, did he take BP? Being in a hitters park doesn’t matter if you don’t make contact.

    “Josh Vitters … has now hit safely in six straight. In that span he has four doubles, a home run, two walks (!!!) and seven strikeouts.”

    Before you get too excited, check out his last ten games which, not coincidentally, includes his last six. He’s hitting .184 with a .262 OBP over that period.

    • Cedlandrum

      Well yeah, but like if you only use the six games where he has a hit he is hitting .304 and taken two walks with 4doubles and a hr. He has struck out a bit in this time which could indicate a change in approach.

      • mark

        You forgot to add that he actually is still pretty young–he may yet see the light. But don’t forget, even in those 23 bats you’re talking about, he had 7 SOs–a very high rate for him–and only 2 BBs. For Vitters, of course, that’s a pretty outstanding BB rate.

        Everything could change for Vitters if he had a HR swing. He does hit the ball consistently hard, just not for HRs. Pitchers would fear him more if, all else remaining equal, he could pop a few more. That might help his OBP, etc.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Pitchers fearing Vitters would not greatly alter his OBP.  He swings at a ton of stuff outside of the strike zone: he’s just exceptionally talented at getting his bat on those pitches.  If anything, the cart is in front of the horse in this example: if Vitters limited his swings to pitches he could drive, then he’d hit more HR.  However, a batter has to know where the pitch is going to be when it gets to home plate when it’s about 10′ from the pitchers hand (i.e., pitch recognition) to do this: and if Vitters could do that, then he wouldn’t be swinging at everything.

          • mark

            “if Vitters limited his swings to pitches he could drive, then he’d hit more HR.”

            Yesterday you told me to throw out the scouting report on Jackson that said he spends too much time looking for pitches he can drive and ends up striking out because he spends too much time hitting from behind in the count.

            Or are you suggesting that there’s a happy medium somewhere in all this?

            My point was this: Vitters has no trouble at all driving the ball, but he overwhelmingly does so for doubles–there’s more to hitting HRs than just hitting the ball hard, as Castro can testify. A guy with Vitters’ superb hand – eye coordination and very good strength, if he can adjust his swing selectively, could end up hitting quite a few HRs without affecting his overall game. Speculative, but there are plenty of scouts who feel the same way about him. I’d quote them, but I threw their reports away.

            BTW, I would argue that pitch recognition isn’t really Vitters problem. If he were failing to recognize what pitch was coming his way he’d be striking out one helluva lot more. I think it’s simply a patience thing, compounded by his knowledge that he CAN recognize pitches and get his bat on most anything.

            • Drew7

              “BTW, I would argue that pitch recognition isn’t really Vitters problem.  If he were failing to recognize what pitch was coming his way he’d be striking out one helluva lot more.”

              So just to be clear – you think his problem is, because he can get his bat on almost anything, he’s overly aggressive and swings at pitches out of the zone?

              If your theory is correct, then his “trigger-zone” (the zone that, once he determines a pitch will be in, triggers a swing) would be too big, and you are suggesting he “shrink” that zone, right?

              Well, I would think if that were the case, the adjustment he would need to make would be much easier to implement and would have been done by now. I really don’t think he would be K’ing a lot more if his pitch recognition was the problem; when a guy with superior contact skills has at least 3 opportunities to get the bat on the ball, and pitchers know he swings at pitches outside of the zone, the result is probably gonna be a lot of weak contact, not SO’s.

              • mark

                Look, I can’t claim to be an expert on these things. However…

                His problem could be any one or a combination of a number of things. I’ve never seen him described as a wild and undisciplined, the things you read about Lake, for example. It could simply be that he’s swinging at strikes that are not good hitters pitches and putting them in play when he should be fouling them off or laying off them, depending on the count. That doesn’t necessarily mean weak outs–it could mean hard outs, balls that are hard hit but hit at a fielder because that’s what the pitch was designed to induce. So, no, it isn’t necessarily a question of shrinking his zone.

                While I haven’t seen him described as wild and undisciplined, I have seen his work ethic questioned. He was a sports hero in HS and went right into the Cubs org. He was in the top handful of HS players in the country that year. Maybe he doesn’t think he has that much to learn–not even from Theo, who took it badly when Vitters skipped Theo’s opening talk at Spring Training.

                I’m pretty convinced that an inability to recognize pitches (in the first 10 feet, I’m told on the very best authority) will lead to swings and misses. Did you watch that Astros pitcher strike out Castro and LaHair on 6 pitches the other night? Even the best hitters can have problems. Looking at Vitters’ consistently very low SO rate throughout his career, I can’t believe that over the years he has been able to make last fraction of a second adjustments so consistently after failing to recognize pitches.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              “BTW, I would argue that pitch recognition isn’t really Vitters problem. If he were failing to recognize what pitch was coming his way he’d be striking out one helluva lot more.”

              There are two fundamentally different skills involved here.  One is pitch recognition: i.e., being able to recognize whether or not to swing at a pitch milliseconds after it has left the pitcher’s hand.  (This makes it sound cognitive, but it’s not: it’s a combination of innate skill & trained reflex.)  The second is contact skill: i.e., the ability to get the bat on the ball once a batter triggers his swing.

              If you combine poor pitch recognition with great contact skill, then you get a guy like Vitters (or Juan Pierre): i.e., someone who swings at a lot of pitches and frequently manages to get his bat on the ball, even if it is well outside the strike zone, resulting in few BB’s, few K’s and greatly reduced slugging.  If you combine poor contact skills with great pitch recognition, you get someone like Brett Jackson (or Mark Reynolds): i.e., lots of K’s, lots of walks and lots of slugging.  If you combine great pitch recognition with great contact skills, well, then you’ve got a future All-Star.

              • Cubbie Blues

                So, how do we go about getting that last type? That is the one that I am really interested in. I think if we had 8 players like that we would do alright. I realize it’s probably to late to do it this year but can we line them up for next year?

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Theo & Jed got a team full of that type for Boston.  The Yankees have a team filled with that type, too.  $$$ and time seem to be the answers.  (Well, that and actually recognizing that these are important skills: the prior regime assumed that pitch recognition was a skill that could be learned, despite all evidence to the contrary.)

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    I was being a smart ass.

              • mark

                Vitters: someone who swings at a lot of pitches and frequently manages to get his bat on the ball, even if it is well outside the strike zone, resulting in few BB’s, few K’s and greatly reduced slugging.

                The complaint about Vitters is NOT that his SLG is “greatly reduced”–it isn’t–but that it could be consistently EVEN BETTER than it is, or has been, given his superior abilities:

                2008: .495
                2009: .456
                2010: .405
                2011: .448
                2012: .404

                My point was NOT that Vitters is swinging at balls outside the strike zone. That’s called poor reading comprehension skills. Nor is the true point that Jackson necessarily has “poor contact skills.” Re Jackson the scouting report that I quoted–but which I have now dutifully thrown away–stated that Jackson’s super selective approach was leading him to take too many good pitches, and thus putting himself in a position to strike out too much when he got to a level where more skilled pitchers would be able to “live on the edges” against him. IOW, most hitters will appear to have “poor contact skills” if they consistently adopt a make or break approach to hitting.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Pitch recognition = what you call “reading comprehension.”  And the big criticism of Vitters has been and remains that he puts his bat on way too many non-strikes.  This greatly reduces his slugging (which you basically just repeated).

                  As for Jackson, all the reports I have seen say that he swings and misses too often.  Let’s face it, miLB pitchers are not good enough to get someone to K at his rates if a guy is being too selective.

                  • mark

                    the big criticism of Vitters has been and remains that he puts his bat on way too many non-strikes. This greatly reduces his slugging (which you basically just repeated).

                    1. His slugging is not “greatly reduced” in absolute terms–it’s better than many other players. It’s simply not as good as he has the potential to make it. Many scouts thought that he had 30-40 HR potential.

                    2. Re Vitters’ supposed poor pitch recognition that “everybody” agrees about:

                    It really is a situation where *it’s not like his pitch recognition is bad,* it’s just so many more balls are hittable when you have his kind of bat speed and barrel control.” – Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus, 7/09

                    Vitters is an aggressive hitter and needs to work on both pitch recognition and *laying off borderline pitches when he might get something better to hit later in the at bat.* – Baseball Intellect, 2/09

                    NB: the writer isn’t talking about swinging at balls, just not being selective enough on *which strikes to put into play.*

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      “His slugging is not “greatly reduced” in absolute terms–it’s better than many other players. It’s simply not as good as he has the potential to make it.”

                      Er, right: that is what I wrote (although, evidently, not what you read!).  It would make no sense to contrast how a player would do relative to other players in this context: one can reduce or increase slugging (or OBP or anything else) relative to what he is doing.

                      “the writer isn’t talking about swinging at balls, just not being selective enough on *which strikes to put into play.*”

                      One, Vitters puts a ton on non-strikes in play, at least by every account I have read.  Two, this seems like an “old school” interpretation of how guys like Vitters work.  The new school interpretation is that he does not recognize pitches.  The reason why the new school hit upon this is the fact that too few players make the transition to selective swingers that the old school premise predicts.  This makes the new school interpretation more likely in general, and thus more probable for any one case.

                      This is a non-trivial issue: it separates how guys like Jim Hendry view the game from how guys like Theo Epstein view the game.  Vitters might be an exception to the new school paradigm: but I never bet on exceptions.

                    • mark

                      I googled “kevin goldstein old school” and came up empty. Then I read up on Baseball Prospectus, its history and methodology and understood why the google came up empty: Goldstein, whom I was quoting re Vitters, isn’t old school.

                      too few players make the transition to selective swingers that the old school premise predicts. This makes the new school interpretation more likely in general, and thus more probable for any one case.

                      This isn’t logical. Selecting a pitch is a complex process that BEGINS with recognizing the pitch that is being thrown. The fact that so few players ever become really good at selecting pitches to put in play doesn’t prove that they didn’t recognize the pitch in the first place. It just proves that recognizing pitches isn’t the be all and end all of being a good hitter.

  • Cedlandrum

    looks like Brooks Raley has been promoted to Iowa and gets the start today. Coincidentally I will be at the game so I will get a good look at him.

    https://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/205302326175600640

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nice! Would really love to hear your thoughts on how he looks, Ced.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Good stuff.  I look forward to seeing your thoughts on him.

      The Southern League is a pitching friendly league; the PCL is a hitting friendly league.  Don’t be surprised if Raley’s numbers jump up a fair bit.

      • Cedlandrum

        little write up in the minors of the message boards.

  • mark

    I think, except for Rizzo, I’ll save my excitement for guys below AAA, like Lake, Baez and Szczur. Speaking of Szczur, who stole his 19th base yesterday and had a BB to go with his hits, here are some line numbers anyone could like in a center fielder:

    overall: .270 .364 .396 .760
    last ten: .316 .400 .526 .926

    Re Lake: For those suggesting that Lake be shifted to 2B, where he would have shorter throws, I read the following on a site called Bleachernation back in February:

    “He’s got a rocket arm – some say it’s the best in the minors …”

    “On defense, Lake has one of the best arms in all of minor league baseball. At some point, a move to the mound may become an option…In the field, his lack of body control leads to poor footwork and many errors.”

    Sounds like an OF candidate to me, where footwork isn’t at so much of a premium and his rocket arm could be put to good use.

    Then again, maybe I should just trash these scouting reports now that we’ve left the Age of Hendry for the Age of Theo. :-)

  • freas

    Not to be a downer ….but my god what the hell happened to Brett Jackson?! He looks like sheeet this season so far. He doesnt look anywhere near ready for the majors. So whats going on here?
    On a brighter note im very pleased with Junior Lake. A very small sample size yes, but he already is just 3 walks short of his season total for last year with 200 less at bats. Good to see him being patient.
    And lastly I sure hope we take the best available pitcher in the draft. I mean do we even have one legitimate starter above A ball besides a possible back of the rotation guy?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      My guess is that Jackson is working on his contact issues, and, while he adjusts his approach, it’s having the opposite effect – more swings and misses. Hopefully he’s gets a handle on whatever he’s being instructed to do, and we’ll see improvement in the second half. Literally everything other than his strikeouts have been just fine (which, I know, is kind of damning with feint praise).

  • terencem

    As far as Lake is concerned, Kevin Goldstein from BP has suggested that the Cubs should convert him to a reliever, teach him a slider, and just let him fire the ball in there. The longer they wait, the harder it would be to convert him but there has to be some breaking point where they realize he’s just never going to become more patient or have better command of the strike zone. Which is not to say he’s reached that point yet.

    • CubFan Paul

      how long ago did Goldstein suggest that? (link?) …It couldn’t have been recent

      • mark

        right. not if he’d seen the way he’s been hitting last fall and now this spring.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        It was awhile ago, and I’m not sure if it was a suggestion or more of a “Lake may end up as a relief pitcher” type tweet…
        here’s what he wrote in the Cubs Top Prospects:
        The Good: Lake has always had impressive tools. He’s the best-looking player in a uniform, and has above-average power and speed to go with an easy 80 arm that one scout called the best in the Cubs’ system since Shawon Dunston.
        The Bad: Lake’s game is ugly. He’s a complete mess at the plate with very little discipline, and he’s a sloppy defender who needs to improve his actions and footwork. He certainly has upside, but there is so much work to be done that several teams who want to turn him into a power reliever have approached the Cubs.

        • terencem

          Right, it’s an idea more than a “this is what they should do” statement.

          Lake has certainly been far more patient than ever in the 70 or so PAs he has so far. 10 walks? I’m sure Goldstein’s DM box on Twitter is filling up with Lake questions.

  • njriv

    Baez
    vitters
    lake
    Who is the longterm option at third and what does that mean for the other two?

    • mark

      Obviously that will depend on how they develop. They’re all still young, including Vitters, despite his, what, 4 yrs in the organization? Who really knows much about Baez in the field? Those who like his bat think it’s good enough to play him almost any\where, but especially 3rd or OF–few see him as a longterm SS simply because of his size. There are those who think Vitters can play 3rd, but Lake may be more likely to wind up in the OF. Remember, though, that Lake is still growing. I believe he grew like 2″ over the winter. Another reason he’ll likely be switched to OF if he’s too awkward at 3rd (everyone agrees his arm would be an asset at 3rd).

      Have you considered any of them as trade bait? Maybe Stewart will become an All Star before any of those three are MLB ready. :-) These things have a way of taking care of themselves.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of Baez at second either.  He is the only one of that trio I think second is an option for, but it does look to be an option in his case.

        By the way, Vitters had three more hit today, including another double.

        • Drew7

          And Rizzo goes deep again! He is crushing the ball

          • Cubs Dude

            What’s the all time record for homers before AAA all star break?? Rizzo is coming for it..

  • Ryan G

    Whitenack is being sent to Daytona today with Cates getting demoted to EXST.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Good news on both counts.  We’ve known for months that Whitenack was expected to turn up in Daytona sometime early in the season; it’ll be good to see how he looks now.  Cates, on the other hand, has been getting shelled as bad or worse than any pitcher in the system.  There is still potential there, but he’s got some work to do.

  • Richard Nose

    Anybody ever talk about Vitters playing 2B? He’s definitely a bigger body, but still lean and athletic enough Id think, similar to LaMahieu (not that that’s special). 2B defense is just as important for other reasons so he’d still have his work cut out, but the value of his bat may look better as a 2B than a 3B (not that it’s bad there either). I’d hate seeing athletes like Castro, Lake, or Baez tied down at 2B where they are good but we can see so much more on the left side or with them running around the outfield. Aaaaaand I’d hate to see Darwin Barney playing there tomorrow, let alone next month or next year.

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  • Cubs Dude

    Is it safe to say that the Cubs future 3rd baseman prospect rankings is 1. Baez 2. Lake 3. Vitters ? Why not move Lake already? I am a little new to following minor league baseball, but why not have Baez in A ball yet? I say get that kid going thru the system asap..

  • Kyle

    You don’t move guys just because you think you might have another prospect. Most prospects fail. It always makes sense to leave a guy where he has the most value, regardless of who else you have, until the last possible minute.

    Baez is one of many prospects the Cubs seem to be taking a very slow approach with. We’ll see if the results are good system-wide.

    • Cubs Dude

      OK, I was saying why not move Lake because he has 8 errors in 16 games and by everything I have heard/read has no chance of being a mlb shortstop, nothing to do with being blocked. But I understand what your saying.

      • hansman1982

        Here is the problem, with the injury it was tough to move him prior to the season or until he started playing and it is incredibly rare that a trade goes down at this point in the season. Most GM’s are still tinkering with their own players and preparing for the draft.

        It is possible that we see him involved in a trade at the deadline.

        • Cubs Dude

          OK, that makes sense. I hope he’s not traded unless we get stud pitching back. Lake seems like a lottery ticket. He could be horrible, or an annual all star.

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