Photo By Scott Jontes

The attention of all Cub-dom is understandably riveted on that ongoing soap opera called Trading Dempster. Sometime soon we will also start watching the newest season of Trading Garza while waiting to record the latest episodes of Can We Trade Soriano, Shipping Soto, Moving With Marmol, New Home For Maholm, and Hasta LaHair-sta.

In the midst of all that rumor watching, be sure we don’t forget about the minor league players who could be moved as well. It is very likely that several prospects from all levels of the farm system will be moved along with other pieces to bring back what the Cubs’ need. Just because the Cubs are looking to acquire talent does not mean they will not deal some talent in the process. I maintain that one of the most likely to be moved before Opening Day 2013 is Junior Lake, but I could see any number of the Cubs’ pitchers in Peoria and Daytona being moved as well.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The game stayed close all the way, but Iowa lost 6-5 in ten innings.
Tennessee – Jacksonville beat Tennessee by a final of 6-4.
Daytona – The Cubs withstood a furious Bradenton rally in the bottom of the ninth to escape with a 9-7 win.
Peoria – The Chiefs won at home 7-2.
Boise – The Hawks were shut out 1-0.
Arizona – Arizona fell 5-4 in ten innings.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters finished 3 for 4 with both a double and a triple. He also walked once.
  • [Iowa] James Adduci had a huge game. Along with his first Triple A home run this season, he also doubled and finished with four hits.
  • [Tennessee] Dallas Beeler struck out eight over five innings, but he also gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits. Similarly, Tony Zych struck out four in his two innings, but he also gave up two runs on five hits.
  • [Tennessee] Junior Lake has definitely gotten hot again. He raised his batting average to .290 with a three hit game that featured his 14th double and two stolen bases.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies’ two home runs were courtesy of Justin Bour (his tenth) and Greg Rohan (his third in Double A).
  • [Daytona] Austin Kirk picked up the win despite giving up five walks in his six inning start.
  • [Daytona] The Cubs just keep on stealing. Eliser Bonne took his 18th base and John Androli stole his 36th. Both outfielders also had two hits.
  • [Daytona] Rafael Lopez hit two doubles as part of a 3 for 4 performance.
  • [Peoria] Michael Jensen allowed four hits and struck out six over six innings.
  • [Peoria] Javier Baez finished 2 for 2 with a double and a sac fly.
  • [Peoria] Catcher Chadd Krist continues to hit well. He added another double to his collection, giving him six in just 11 games with the Chiefs.
  • [Boise] All three Hawks’ pitchers had very good games. Between them, Jose Arias, Michael Hamann, and Eduardo Orozco allowed just five hit while striking out six.
  • [Boise] Marco Hernandez was the lone Hawk to put together a multihit game. He finished with two singles.
  • [Arizona] Ethan Elias allowed just one hit over three innings while striking out four.
  • [Arizona] Jorge Soler picked up his first steal of the season. He also singled and walked.
  • [Arizona] Albert Almora hit his first professional double in this game.
  • [Arizona] Also earning a professional first was Garrett Schlect. He launched the first home run of his career in the fourth inning.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Rafael Lopez is starting to become intriguing. He put up huge numbers in Arizona to start his season, but that was not a surprise. The Cubs then moved him to Peoria for 31 games. While he was not impressive in Peoria, he wasn’t bad either. Through ten games with Daytona, however, he has significantly stepped up his production at the plate. The sample size is too small to draw any conclusions, but this catcher bears closer watching.
  • If you missed Shadev Sharma’s excellent guest post on Javier Baez yesterday, be sure to take a moment to read it. Sharma provides some great information and makes a number of good points in an article that is a very enjoyable read. Keep in mind as well, that, despite his success as the plate, Baez is still a 19 year old kid living away from home and playing meaningful baseball professionally for the first time. There are aspects of that reality that will come into play on any decision regarding when to promote him.
  • And now for the scary news of the day. Jae-Hoon Ha was carried off the field on a stretcher after colliding with the outfield wall. Later reports on Twitter from the Smokies indicated that he was alert and responsive as he was carried away, but there has been no definite update on his condition. The Florida Times-Union has the best account of the incident. I suspect Ha is going to be monitored closely for concussion symptoms but, again, we do not have very much information about his condition right now.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 41 – 65.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Fourth Place: 22.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 15-18
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 5.0 Games Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 14-20
Florida State League North Division – Sixth Place : 7.0 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 12-20
Midwest League Eastern Division – Sixth Place : 6.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 1-2
Northwest League East Division – Second Place : 1.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 20 – 8
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place : 1.0 Games Ahead

  • Barry

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see Vitters moved to an AL team. He is hitting well and taking walks but with 20 errors, he is looking like a DH to me.

    • Luke

      20 errors isn’t awful for a third baseman his age. His defense isn’t great by any means, but it should be adequate with some more time.

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      I believe Vitters grew up in Anaheim….just sayin’.

      Trumbo’s stock is VERY HIGH right now, and I believe the Angels could move him for a king’s ransom….but I also believe the Angels think they have the pieces now to win a World Series, and trading Trumbo would not help that cause.

      I do believe that an off season trade involving Vitters is possible…..but I would like to see what he can do as a Cub first. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well he has done in AAA…….because when he left us last year in AA I simply was not convinced.

      • BD

        If you wait to see what Vitters can do on the Cubs, then he might become tradable. He would have the most value right now while he is doing extremely well.

        • Nomar’s Left Glove

          …..Yeah, but the Cubs do need a third baseman. I’m not sure if we’ll see Stewart again, and Valbuena’s been adequate, but I’m sure that the FO would like to see more of a hitter at third. I’m not saying that Vitters’ is un-tradeable, I just think that the Cubs would have to be blown away to do it.

  • Other other JP

    Good stuff Luke. I’m really seeing our top 20 prospects changing in a good way at the beginning of next season. PJohnson, Blackburn, and Almora ect ect.

    • djriz

      Speaking of PJohnson, has he been shut down for the year? He didn’t have a full college season because of his forearm injury, so if healthy he should have some innings to give.

      • Luke

        He is pitching a few innings on long intervals for Arizona, but I do not think he’s been shut down.

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    Praying for our boy Jae-Hoon Ha. This kid is a heart and soul teammate for the Smokies who is by far the most talented defender on the roster. I was watching the game on MiLB tv when it happened. Not good. Hopfully, he will be back in the Smokies lineup in a couple of days. Hopefully our Smokies will Rally around their injured teammate and finish off the remaining 2 games of the road trip in winning fashion. But at the end of the day….my thoughts are with Jae-Hoon Ha as we wait for updates on his condition.

    • Leroy K.

      Brandon, I missed it. What happened?

      • Cubbie Blues

        Per the Twitter last night, he was running to get a foul ball down the right field line and hit the wall. He was carried off the field on a stretcher. He was then taken by ambulance to the hospital.

  • Fastball

    Man I ate to see Ha getting hurt like that. I hope he is going to be okay. Hope we get updates on him over the next few days and that he is alright.

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      Yes, me too. I would have thought that more people would show some support for the recovery status of a good prospect. Ha could have been paralyzed from this collision. But I guess it’s more important to play Fantasy Roster.

      • bbmoney

        Good prospect or not, terrible thing to hear about. Here’s hoping for a quick and full recovery.

        • stillmisskennyhubbs

          You are right… should be ANY prospect, anyone in a uniform.
          Keep good thoughts going out his way.

  • beerhelps

    With your show titles, i pictured Marmol and Maholm standing back-to-back, thumb pointing to each other as to say, “this guy here, oh boy” just like a bad 80’s sitcom. What can I say, strange thoughts pop into my head from time to time.

    • Fishin Phil

      “What can I say, strange thoughts pop into my head from time to time.”


      • beerhelps

        you can imagine what I think off at night when the powers out…

        • beerhelps

          *of, *power is … damn edit button not here anymore…. grumble, grumble

  • Cubbie Blues

    I understand needing to be cautious with Baez but he is not being challenged at all. He has a 183 wRC+.

    • djriz

      No kidding. Guess we have to trust that the geniuses in the FO know what they are doing. I hope Ha is okay, but if they DL him, I’d like to see Szczur get a look see to replace him for a week (at least).

    • David

      I saw him play a couple of times when the Chiefs were in South Bend, and the kid absolutely swings from his ass. I know he’s supposed to be an aggressive hitter, great bat speed, etc., but the cuts he was taking were almost like he had no respect for the pitchers he was facing. Of course, he had two bad games when I saw him, so that doesn’t help.

  • Jackalope

    Rafael Lopez is intriguing with his strong on-base skills, but he’s also 24 in high A ball.

    • BD

      He just came out of college last year, so I think he’d be ready for a call-up in 2014 (maybe Sept. 2013 if he has an awesome year next season). It wouldn’t be so bad to have a catcher with OBP working on his 6 years of entry-level/arb salaries in his “prime.”

  • Eric

    I for one wouldn’t be too happy moving Junior Lake unless he was packaged to get something better in return. I know a lot of Cub fans will not be happy with that move either. His only problem though is he’s blocked by Starlin Castro, and we have 2-3 other shortstops in the system Almary Alcantara (mis-spelled probably) is one. So, if packaging him with a Matt Garza brings back a haul of AAA or MLB ready pitching prospects I’d be ok with it. If we get what the Dodgers are offering us for Dempster a handful of at best relievers than a deal wouldn’t make sense.

  • Jackalope

    BJax: 0-3, BB, 3 K

    Seems like he needs to take some time away to clear his head.

  • Oswego chris

    I wonder if the front office is convinced that Vitters is only a left fielder…seems like at this point he should at least warrant a look with the Cubs

    • Jackalope

      Has Vitters played any OF this year or in previous years? I though he only split time b/t 3B and 1B. Also, noticed that his RC+ is only 116, meaning he’s only batted 16% better than the average hitter. For reference, Rizzo was at 173 in AAA and BJax is at 109. While Vitter’s batting line looks quite good, we have to keep in mind the context–the PCL being a very hitter-friendly league.

      • djriz

        He played some outfield last year in the Arizona Fall League (reports were he looked okay out there). Remember this also about Vitters AAA stats. He is on the VERY young side of AAA players at 22 (soon to be 23). He’s not Rizzo, but can’t see him being worse at the plate than Stewart/Valbuena was/is.

      • Brandon – AA Correspondent

        He played a little OF and 1B in AA last year. Not very good at either defensively.

  • BD

    Can anybody provide an idea of what the floor/ceiling is for John Androli?

    • Brett

      Floor is he doesn’t progress from here. Ceiling seems to be quality 4th outfielder, maybe a starter for a couple years. The Cubs liked him a fair bit when they drafted him, but I don’t think anyone expects him to be much more than that.

      • BD

        Dag- so another scrappy OFer. The Cubs have got to be one of the best organizations at growing 4th outfielders on the farm.

      • Cedlandrum

        It depends on if he develops any power at all. He is big enough to develop some power, but he hit 2 homers in college and zero as a pro. At this point his ceiling might be a slightly better hitter, but not as fast version of Tony Campana.

      • AB

        I believe the Cubs acquired Adducci in a trade with the Marlins, not sure who they sent to Florida.

        • Cedlandrum

          Wellemeyer. Adduci was a replacement for an injured pitcher, can’t remember who.

  • AB

    Why would Lake be traded before they tried him out as a pitcher?? He’s much younger than we they converted Burke and Spencer.

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      The Cubs are not going to make Junior Lake a pitcher. This guy does not have the baseball aptitude to compete as a pitcher….he does not think. He does best when he reacts and does not think. I am not going to call him stupid…because that is not nice. So I will remain quiet. But you get my point. This kid can barely read.

      He is not well liked by teammates or coaches or fans. He has tools, but as a real PLAYER….he is not even close. Potential is one thing, but when it comes to converting a position player to a pitcher, I believe a key ingredient is a knowledge of the game, and the ability to set up a plan, and execute according to the plan. I just do not believe Junior Lake has the mental skills to make a transition away from the infield. I’d give him a crack in the OF way before I tried to make him a pitcher.

      Just sayin’

      • Cedlandrum

        I imagine that in developing countries it isn’t uncommon for some of these players to be barely literate. To make that as a point of him being not very smart is pretty short sighted on your part and really has nothing to do with intelligence.

        • Brandon – AA Correspondent

          Understood. Not trying to go down that road. I have seen him play in person probably 40+ times over the past 2 seasons, and the kid simply is not “baseball smart”. That was my point…..and I believe as a pitcher you need to be baseball smart.

          Hope I did not offend. Just calling it as I see it…..but you are right…it may not have been fair.

          Also, important to note….I actually root for the kid every night….he is just very disappointing to me….so I guess I fit right in with being a Cubs fan :-)

      • AB

        No worries

        Don’t forget other teams are likely scouting Lake too. If he even appears to the casual fan to be ‘not baseball smart’ or lazy which I’ve seen indicated on more sites than here, other teams scouting probably know that and a lot more. In addition, Cubs have already burned an option year, and he’d have to be on the 40-man of the other team if he were traded.

        I’d think based on these factors, the Cubs would not be getting a very good return and their best bet would be to maximize his value is to try him on the mound.

        • AB

          BTW Brandon, I didn’t mean to imply you were a casual fan, but it seems your opinion of Lake’s attitude/demeanor is shared at many other places. Believe me, I’m no psychiatrist, but it seems to me his mindset of a late-innings reliever who has intense focus for 1-2 innings is going to be alot different from a shortstop who has be attentive and remember adjustments and positions for a full 7 innings, so maybe its just finding the right place for his talents and mindest.

      • stillmisskennyhubbs

        Hmm, if that’s staying nice, I’d hate to have you slam the guy.
        BTW, Nuke LaLouche wasn’t a Mensa member. “Just sayin’.”

  • BeyondFukudome

    “New Home For Maholm” leads me to a question that is trivial, but has been bugging me. what is the proper pronunciation of “Maholm?” I always thought the “holm” in “Maholm” would be pronounced like it is for Celeste Holm. But a few weeks back, I heard somebody on the radio (can’t remember who) pronouncing it “Ma-hollum.” Anybody know how Paul himself pronounces it?

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      “Ma-hollum.” is the proper pronunciation

  • ShootTheGoat

    Luke: When do you expect Vitters to be called up? Or do you think the FO wants him at AAA for the full year with a chance in Spring training?

    • MightyBear


      I asked this question too. Luke said he thinks Vitters will be called up in September with a shot to start in the spring if he doesn’t get traded.

      Luke not trying to steal your thunder just trying to help out.

      • Luke

        No problem. And you nailed my answer exactly.

  • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

    Nice work on those “episodes” Luke. With the Dempster situation going on, it is nice to have a little levity.
    (I also had to reluctantly introduce the updated moniker. Sorry Bryan!!!)

  • Nathan


    What are your thoughts on Justin Bour? I know he is older for his league but he seems to have been hitting quite well the past few years. Is he a guy you can see being packaged in a deal to make it sweeter? Just wanted to get your opinion on him since he is a first baseman and blocked.

  • JoyceDaddy

    I think Lake has the potential to be a solid MLB player, but he is one of the players holding up Baez, and I agree that Baez needs to get bumped up sooner rather than later. With that being said, it only makes sense to move Lake for A) Moving Baez up faster and B) bringing back more pitching, which after looking in depth at the Cubs farm pitching, I find it to be quite awful.

  • florida Al

    heading to bradenton tonight to catch up with daytona…..GO CUBS!! anyone else gunna be there???

  • Roland

    I do not understand why everyone is thinking lake is blocked by Castro or is blocking Baez. Last time I checked we do not have an All star second basemen on the big league club and by all accounts Baez will be moved to 3rd as he grows. So move either of them there and there is no problem.

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      I like Lake better at 3rd anyway. I think he is going to develop some power, and the quick reaction (vs. time to think…and get confused) at third compared to SS helps him. He is decent there. IMO….even better at 3rd defensively than when Vitters was in AA (defensively). I believe Logan Watkins is your 2B of the future. Don’t forget about him…..


      • Scotti

        .851–that’s Lake’s career fielding % at 3B. .873–that’s his fielding % at 3B this year. Those figures are nearly 100 point south of healthy numbers. 100 points means 1 in 10 plays are errors that a good 3B wouldn’t make. So an EXTRA error every five games or so.

        The good news is that his career fielding % at 2B is north of .950. While that’s bad it’s only Soriano at 2B bad and he IS still learning and much of that was in the low minors. So, if everything were to pan out, he could maybe be a Juan Samuel defensively. Rangy, strong arm and “raw.” The other good thing is that, while SS requires quick thinking, quick movements and proper placement, a 2B can make up for a lot of shortcomings with speed (balls are generally hit slower to the right side) and arm–his skill set.

  • Cedlandrum

    I don’t know if this has been posted or not, but according to Dillon Maples he will start Monday. Says he started throwing program in July.

    @Vinestal I started my throwing program then. My first start is this Monday

  • It’s A Wonderful Life

    imo The Trading Dempster saga has really dampered the Cub’s plans. He was the first domino, establishing the floor for Garza and setting the rest of the other potential trades in motion. Without the Braves’ trade happening, the Cub’s market wasn’t set and the the other dominos remain standing.
    Based on all the news, Dempster stays, we make a qualifying one-year offer, get a sandwhich pick and Dempster probably gets screwed in free agency. Too bad, it’s not Ryan’s fault, I just blame him.

  • Jackalope

    John Sickel’s review of his top 20 pre-season prospects is up.

    • Drew7

      That was a bullet in the, “Ron Santo Day and Other Bullets” post.

      • Jackalope

        You can tell which feature I read first every day :)