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

AAAIowa Cubs : 42 – 68.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Fourth Place: 23.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 17-20
Southern League North Division – Third Place : 5.0 Games Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 17-21
Florida State League North Division – Sixth Place : 6.0 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 15-21
Midwest League Eastern Division – Sixth Place : 6.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 4-2
Northwest League East Division – First Place (tie) : 0.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 20 – 10
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 1.0 Games Behind

  • Jack Weiland

    Re: Vizcaino … I might have missed it, but has anybody found anything recent about his recovery? What’s his current timetable? Next spring?

    • Cubbie Blues

      I heard that he should be ready to go for Spring Training.

  • gutshot5820

    It says a lot when a guy who just had Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched a ball since, is now the best pitching prospect in the Cubs system…..

  • Grant

    Brett – what other injuries has Vizcaino had besides requiring TJS?

    • RoughRiider

      Vizcaino had an elbow issue that caused him to miss the entire 2010 season.

      • willis

        So he’s missed two full seasons with an elbow issue? Sounds not too promising for a flame throwing pitcher. But, every “expert” seems to really be in this guys’ nuts so we’ll see. Huge risk.

        • bt

          It’s not a huge risk. It’s Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson. Two guys anyone could have had for 6 million dollars before the year started. It’s virtually no risk at all. It’s all upside.

          • willis

            Probably so, but I’ve been accused of and completely admit I value an arm like Maholm more than most. To me it’s a risk because the return, although all upside, has an injury history which makes me uncomfortable. If it were upside for upside, ok whatever. But giving up a LH 30+ game effective starter for a dude with a twice exploded elbow? Just seems like risk to me.

            Saying that, his numbers and talent intrigue me very much. Here’s hoping he can put the injuries behind him and stay relatively healthy.

  • cjdubbya

    Luke, any interest in ranking the farm post-deadline? Too early to think about that?

  • Austin

    Do we see the Cubs moving any of our farm system guys, to sweeten a deal today? Maybe throwing in Junior Lake (backed up at SS) with Dempster or Garza? Just curious.

    • MaxM1908

      Right now, rumors are that Brett Jackson may be included in a deal with the Dodgers. It fits with the storyline that he was pulled from his game last night and has not yet been called up to the Cubs. I have not heard any other farm names mentioned in chatter.

      • TonyP

        I fully expect Jackson traded today.

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      God I hope so.

  • spearman

    We drafted a pitcher this year that had TJS didn’t we?

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    Smokies returned home last night and swept the double header against first time foe….Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Some observations from last night’s game.

    Smokies did an outstanding job of keeping Billy Hamilton off the base paths. When he did reach it was an infield hit (easily could have been an error…ground ball to Junior Lake who double pumped before throwing to first….safe). He advance on a grounder then promptly stole 3rd and scored. Kid is fast….and I was pretty excited that he only reached base once. In my opinion….game 2 was won when Casey Weathers struck him out to end an inning. Hamilton’s presense in the lineup is in a word….intimidating. Great job by the Smokies pitchers last night.

    Matt Szczur made his Smokies Park debut and did not disappoint. Several solid swings, and a 3-7 effort was a nice night. His build is short/stalky and wound pretty tight. Popeye arms, I don’t think he has a “baseball build”…but he obviously can play the game. He looked very comfortable at the plate as well. Defensively, he is NOT Jae-Hoon Ha….but let’s be clear..most are not as gifted defensively as Ha. He reminds me a bit of Brett Jackson, but defensively speaking, Jackson has the edge. I think he projects as a left fielder. But to be fair, this was his first game in a new park. Excited to have Szczur aboard with the Smokies, and I don’t believe he will be leaving TN the rest of the season, even if/when Jae-Hoon Ha returns. An OF of Szczur, Ha and Burgess suits me just fine.

    Eric Jokisch mowed ’em down in game 1. He actually was working on a 1 hitter into the 6th inning. His temperment, poise, and approach have improved tremendously throughout the year. He is not a flame thrower…..he is a pitcher. But, make no mistake, he is not a soft tossing southpaw. He actually reminds me a bit of his pitching coach Jeff Fassero, but I think he has a little more velocity. Bottom line…this kid can pitch. He is left handed. He is smart, and he has the poise to pitch to batters and get them out. Reminds me a little bit of Brooks Raley. I think both have a bright future.

    Greg Rohan hit a 3 run HR in the 1st inning of game 1. He has been a little inconsistant, but to be fare, he has been playing OF and 3B in roughly a 50/50 split. I like him better at 3B and I believe that is his preference as well. But, in the minor league, positional versatility could be the difference in making the jump to AAA and to the big leagues.

    Justin Bour is like the UPS van….he consistantly delivers every single day. Iowa could be calling soon, and he deserves it.

    Mike Brenly finally got a haircut….which is news at Smokies park. Between Justin Bour and Mike Brenly, these 2 guys had the best late inning “Rally Hair” on the team. Brenly’s flowing locks have been shaved down to a buzz cut. When I asked him about it he simply said “happy wife….happy life”. Message received and understood.

    Smokies are back at it tonight, and I’ll be there as well.

    bhowes34 on twitter

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      Brandon, what is the prognosis for Jae-Hoon Ha’s return? Is he out of the Jacksonville hospital and back in Tennessee? Were there other injuries besides the concussion? I heard that his face was cut up in the collision with the wall.
      Thanks for any updates on this good kid.

  • lou brock lives

    If Garza goes to Reds – look for DeJesus to go with him. Trade would bring back LHP Tony Cingrani, RHP Stephenson, & 2B/3B candidate DiDi Gregorious. All 3 in top 10 of Reds system & quite a haul.
    On the Dodger/Dempster watch Cubs waiting for Colletti to bail on one of three pitchers – he will not give in on this. Trust me on this – even though he is a Chicago guy & was a huge Cub fan growing up there is no longer any love in his heart for this organization. They totally screwed with him back in 1994 & he has not forgotten.
    Cubs would be wise to dump Soriano to LA because they will pay more of his owed salary than other clubs would & Soriano will approve move to Dodgers.

    • Jack Weiland

      Source on this potential Reds deal?

    • J R

      Obviously the Dodgers are against giving up good prospects. But if they are willing to pay a good amount of Sori’s contract wouldn’t that be very helpful as well? We could us the saved funds in free agency for pitching help. Or in many other places..

    • Jack Weiland

      Wait, Ned Colleti is holding a grudge so old that it can buy cigarettes? How old was Theo then, like 10? This seems supremely unlikely.

    • Mdel78

      So… dude works for the Dodgers. Doesn’t matter how he feels about the Cubs, either way. Takes two to tango, so the fact he ‘screwed’ the Cubs is the Cubs fault. While I respect Jed / Theo more, they appear to be in a tough spot with Dempster. However, it still takes the Dodgers to agree, and they may only agree with a C-level prospect.

    • Adam1680

      That’d be a great trade although I like Brodie Greene over DiDi Gregorious

  • Assman22

    Gohara turns 16 today…

    • Myles

      Does this mean what I think it might mean?

      • Assman22

        If you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking about what I’m thinking, then no. He’s Seattle bound unless a mystery team jumped in on him the past two days

        • Myles

          Oh, that stinks. I think you’re thinking what I thought you were thinking.

        • TonyP

          Assman22- Is Jackson getting traded today?

  • CBP

    Vizcaino is He now our top pitching prospect??

  • LWeb23

    We were wondering how far into talks did the Soriano to Giants rumor go… Maybe far enough to pull B-Jax, and then find out Soriano says no??? Just a thought.

    • J R

      Maybe I don’t understand the process of trading a player with a no trade clause. But why would the Cubs get into deep conversations with another team without knowing for sure that the player with a NTC will go to that city? Just seems like a waste of time..

      • LWeb23

        Maybe they don’t want to “bother” (for a lack of a better word) the player until they are sure he can be dealt? If I was a player, I’m not sure I would like it if the FO to came up to me and asked “So hey, what do you think of the Giants?” and then come back 4 hours later and say “You know what, the Giants thing isn’t going to work out, we are going to hold onto you.” You’re kind of burning bridges if you go that route, IMO.

  • hansman1982

    It was weird last night as Sappelt even tweeted that he thought that Johnson was blocking him from getting to the bigs. Still weird to me that these kids have realistic expectations for themselves.

  • Norm

    Could it be that Jackson was pulled in anticipation of a Soriano deal to the Giants? Deal was accepted, “Get Soriano’s approval and pull Brett Jackson”….didn’t get Soriano’s approval and now Jackson is in limbo?

    • LWeb23

      I posed this same question 2 comments up. haha. Great minds think alike?

  • terencem

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Jackson getting pulled was simply to give him some time to get his stuff packed in Iowa regardless of where he’s headed. If he’s moving up to Chicago, that would presumably give him enough time to get into town last night. The Cubs gain nothing by having him play out that game, whether he’s being called up or traded. I know I hate having to work on a travel day.

    • bbmoney

      But he played today. Unless he got pulled again today and I missed it.

  • Assman22

    Cubs have deadline extension with MLB FO for extra time…

    • Rebuilding

      If true, I think this is bad news for Brett

    • Jack Weiland


      Wait, what?

    • Ogyu

      At last, the Assman cometh…

      • Jack Weiland


      • Jack Weiland

        And you’re hitting ME with TMI … unbelievable.

        • Ogyu

          I merely meant that he had finally arrived. You have a dirty mind. 😉

          • Jack Weiland

            Uh huh.


          • Dan

            Best Conversation EVER…

    • Jack Weiland

      I am fascinated by Assman. Which is different than being fascinated by ass, man.

      But both are true statements, I suppose.

    • AB

      yea I read the same thing on the ProSportsDaily forum

      • rhino70

        Before it exploded…

        • AB


  • Crockett

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that means Dempster or Soriano because it involves no-trade clauses!

  • Assman22

    Cubs have deal on table that will take longer than remaining time….

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Hey, my phone is ringing: something about whether I’d like to be a stats killjoy for a contender…..

    • J R

      Is it allowed to longer?

      • Crockett

        Yes, the Commissioner’s office can give extensions. It used to be up to 3 hours, but I have no idea what the new rule is.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Gotta think there’s a no trade clause or two involved… Upton and Dempster being the two most prominent NTCs connected to the Cubs right now.

    • Ryan

      Could this extension be for a Garza deal?

  • Crockett

    Any hints as to which player(s) involved? Just be subtle, sir.

  • Ogyu

    I think Brett has fallen asleep…

    • BlueHorizons

      I don’t think Brett could fall asleep at a time like this… I gotta think that the updates have all dried up because there is no information flowing. I’m thinking we won’t hear anything until after the deadline and then it will be a summary of what got done and who is going where, if any deals were completed.

      I hate the waiting. Especially since I’m feeling like it’s going to be disappointing when we hear the final details.

  • Edward

    Is there any sarcasm in the Kaplan / Brett tweets?

    • rhino70

      I didn’t think so. Brett’s trying to build his business. A RT, or acknowledgement from Kaplan would be a big deal for him in the scope of things.

  • Assman22

    Almost positive it’s Dempster or Soriano…teams work out remaining contract money like this sometimes

  • Ogyu

    Okay, Assman says nothing’s going to be announced til some time after the deadline, so I’m gonna have to go do some work.


  • Assman22

    It’s Dempster…

  • Assman22

    Ubs put off Soriano deal til after non-waiver deadline

  • Assman22

    Demp to the Yankees…..

    • gocatsgo2003

      No clues on potential return?

    • someday…2015?

      Banuelos, Betances, or Sanchez? I’d be really happy with a deal built around any one of those 3.

  • Assman22

    Rangers not Yanks!!! Sorry wrong email!

    • gocatsgo2003

      Same question… who’s coming back?

  • …..


  • Assman22

    Really sorry about that guys, can’t believe I did that! Been a long day….

    • someday…2015?

      No problem assman. You have been spot on with pretty much everything… Like you said, been a looooong day.