The Cubs, as of midnight Eastern time, seem to have traded for Arodys Vizcaino. Vizcaino came into the season ranked only behind Julio Teheran in the Braves’ farm system, but he was immediately shut down by elbow surgery. And that was not his first injury either. Vizcaino is a talented and hard throwing right hander, but he does have a history of injuries.
So was the gamble worth it? Absolutely. Not only was it worth it, the Cubs’ actually have experience making such moves.
Early in 2011 the Cubs sent Tom Gorzelanny to the Nationals for Michael Burgess, Graham Hicks, and A.J. Morris. Morris, like Vizcaino, was a recent surgery patient and did not pitch at all during the 2011 season. He returned to action this season, though, and is pitching well in his recovery year as a back of the bullpen reliever. Thanks to good scouting, the Cubs were confident enough in Morris’ stuff and that Morris could recover to the pull the trigger.
Vizcaino is a much, much more significant prospect than Morris, but the Cubs’ would not have made this trade if they did not feel he had just as good of a chance to bounce back and pitch at a high level again. There is a risk here, but it is a risk the Cubs’ have taken before. They know what they are getting into.
Personally, I love this trade. Vizcaino has a great arm and projects as a potential No 2 starter, if he can stay healthy. If he can’t, the back of the bullpen is his for the taking. He easily has one of the highest ceilings in the Cubs’ farm system. There is risk, but the reward is sky high.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa rallied in the ninth, but the Cubs lost 5-3 anyway.
Tennessee – The Smokies swept a doubleheader 6-3 and 3-2.
Daytona – Daytona jumped to an early lead and never looked back. The final was 8-4.
Peoria – Beloit scored three times in the eighth to beat Peoria 5-3.
Boise – The Boise Hawks had a day off on Monday.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs also enjoyed a day off.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Alberto Cabrera struck out four in 2.1 innings of perfect relief.
- [Iowa] James Adduci had another big game. His two hits included both a double and his second home run.
- [Iowa] The heir apparent to soon-to-be former Cub Reed Johnson is likely Dave Sappelt. Sappelt reached base three times on two hits and a walk in yesterday’s game.
- [Tennessee] Eric Jokisch pitched all seven innings of Game One. He allowed three runs on five hits while striking out two.
- [Tennessee] Casey Harman and Casey Weathers combined to pitch five innings of scoreless baseball to start Game Two before the bullpen made things a little too exciting.
- [Tennessee] Putting the two games together, Matthew Szczur finished 3 for 7 with a double and two runs scored.
- [Tennessee] Junior Lake‘s hitting streak and consecutive games with multi-hit games streak both ended in Game Two. In Game One, however, he was 2 for 3 with a double.
- [Tennessee] Logan Watkins picked up another two hits and his twentieth stolen base.
- [Daytona] P.J. Francescon pitched six innings, allowed just three hits, and struck out six. His High-A ERA is now 3.86.
- [Daytona] Franke Del Valle struck out four in two innings of relief.
- [Daytona] John Andreoli, Ronald Torreyes, Rubi Silva, Rafael Lopez, Elieser Bonne, and Matthew Cerda all had multi hit games for the Cubs. Torreyes hit a triple while Lopez and Bonne both doubled.
- [Daytona] And on the stolen base front, Andreoli picked up his 41st, Torreyes his 13th, and Timothy Saunders stole his second.
- [Peoria] Joseph Zeller, the Cubs’ only knuckleballing starting pitcher, allowed two runs in 5.1 innings. He gave up seven hits, one walk, one home run, and struck out two.
- [Peoria] Zeke DeVoss stole his 29th base and hit his fourth home run as part of his two hit performance.
- [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen finished the game 4 for 5.
- [Peoria] Bijan Rademacher added his first triple as a Chief.
Other Minor League Notes
- Brett Jackson was removed from the Iowa Cubs game early last night, but we still are not sure why. He has not been included in any trades (yet), so it would seem likely that he is headed to Chicago. However, the Cubs do not appear to have a starting job for him right now, and there is no way they would call up Jackson to twiddle his thumbs on the bench. What’s more, there are hints from the Cubs that he was not called up at all, but we’ve heard nothing of an injury. That points back to a potential trade. And make no mistake, any trade that includes Jackson would be significant. On the other hand, that trade would have to be very close to being finalized before the Cubs would lift Jackson, and so far there are no hints of any whispers of a deal of that kind. All will likely be made clear by the end of the day. Stay tuned. [Brett: This is the best summary of the Jackson-pulled issue I’ve seen from anyone anywhere.]
- Don’t give up on the Smokies yet. After sweeping this doubleheader, they are only five games back in their division. Then need to win a lot more than they lose, but that gap is one that can be closed.
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 42 – 68.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Fourth Place: 23.0 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 17-20
Southern League North Division – Third Place : 5.0 Games Behind
High A – Daytona Cubs : 17-21
Florida State League North Division – Sixth Place : 6.0 Games Behind
Low A – Peoria Chiefs : 15-21
Midwest League Eastern Division – Sixth Place : 6.0 Game Behind
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks : 4-2
Northwest League East Division – First Place (tie) : 0.0 Games Behind
Rookie League – AZL Cubs : 20 – 10
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 1.0 Games Behind