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I will have a trade season wrap up that looks at each of the new members of the farm system and the status of the Cubs’ farm system now that these deals are made, but it will be a few days in coming. In short, I’m fairly happy. I did not realistically think the Cubs could land a new member of their Top 10 without dealing Garza, and that is exactly what they accomplished with Arodys Vizcaino. The Cubs’ new third base prospect Christian Villanueva is a very solid prospect in his own right, although I suspect his long term position may be second rather than third. And don’t count out those other pitchers. All in all, it was a good batch of trades.

And the Cubs are not done yet. Dealing Matt Garza, if it happens, will almost certainly have to wait for the off season, but Alfonso Soriano could likely be moved on waivers in August. A deal for Soriano could come as soon as this week and would likely net the Cubs at least one prospect with legitimate major league potential.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Once again, Iowa’s offense provided too little. They lost 5-3.
Tennessee – The Smokies game was suspended in the fourth inning with Tennessee leading 2-1.
Daytona – Daytona won again, this time by a final of 5-4.
Peoria – Peoria kept it close for a time, but ultimately lost 5-1.
Boise – Spokane rallied to tie it up in the eighth, but Boise still took sole possession of first place with a 10-9 win.
Arizona – The Cubs scored all eight runs in their final three innings to beat the AZL Royals 8-2.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] After mysteriously leaving the previous game early, Brett Jackson was back in the lineup for the Cubs. He doubled and walked.
  • [Iowa] Dave Sappelt had a very good game. He finished 3 for 4 with two doubles and his 14th stolen base.
  • [Daytona] Hunter Cervenka pitched two more innings, and again he did not allow a run. His High A ERA remains 0.00.
  • [Daytona] Timothy Saunders had three hits, including a double. His High-A average is now .294.
  • [Daytona] John Andreoli and Ronald Torreyes both continued their hot hitting with two hits apiece. Andreoli tripled (his seventh), and Torreyes added a double.
  • [Peoria] Michael Jensen struck out six over five innings while giving up just two runs on three hits.
  • [Peoria] Bijan Rademacher and Javier Baez both had two hits for the Chiefs.
  • [Boise] Daniel Vogelbach hit his first home run as a member of the Hawks in this game.
  • [Boise] Stephen Bruno and Jeimer Candelario both had three hits for the Hawks. Candelario’s game included his sixth double.
  • [Arizona] Carl Lang, Jasvir Rakkar, and Daniel Adrian all held the Royals scoreless while averaging a strikeout per inning in each of their stints on the mound.
  • [Arizona] Jorge Soler did not have a hit, but he did pick up his third stolen base.
  • [Arizona] Three different Cubs, Yasiel Balaguert, Ben Carhart, and Daniel Lockhart, all had two hits in this game.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Greg Rohan has been promoted from Tennessee to Iowa. Rohan was not in Tennessee long, but the corner infield and outfielder never stopped hitting when he was moved from Daytona to Double A a little earlier in the season. I suspect he will see time at first, third, and in left for the Iowa Cubs, but his primary position is likely to be first base. The Triple A Cubs have not had an everyday first baseman since Anthony Rizzo was called up.
  • If Dave Sappelt has not been called up yet, he is likely to be promoted soon. He’s playing the best baseball he’s played all season right now, and he is a natural fit to replace Reed Johnson as the Cubs’ fourth/fifth outfielder.
  • Albert Almora started the game in center field, but was replaced very early. There is no official word as the cause of Almora being lifted, but it appears to be a minor injury. For now, consider him day to day until we learn something more definite.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 42 – 69.
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 : 18-21
Florida State League North Division – Fifth Place : 6.0 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 15-22
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fifth Place : 5.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 5-2
Northwest League East Division – First Place : 1.0 Game Ahead

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 21 – 10
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place : 0.5 Games Ahead

  • Ben

    Hopefully some team out there is dumb enough to claim either Soriano or Marmol. I would let either of them go for the salary savings.

    Overall, I am happy with the deadline moves. Would have liked to see Garza go, but understand why he wasn’t moved. A good 2nd half could actually increase his value.

    I wonder where our farm system ranks now. We added a pre-season top 25 guy, and some good depth. I would imagine that, combined with Soler and the draft would have to put us somewhere in the top 7-8?

  • CubFan Paul

    RE Detroit pitching ..Luke, once Sori passes through waivers, what Tigers pitching propects do you think they would give up for a free Soriano (Cubs pay all but the major league minimum thru 2014)? One of their near ML ready AA/AAAers?

    If we can’t get a high floor pitcher/player then we should keep him til next July when there’s even less left on the contract

  • JoyceDaddy

    Although the Chicago media thinks otherwise, MLB Network had some good things to say about the prospects received in our trades. Vizcaino and Chapman are said to be solid prospects, with Vizcaino being the better one. Chapman is supposed to be a decent reliever prospect. Villanueva is a very solid 3B prospect, and Texas was OK with dealing him obviously as they had Mike Olt. Hendricks, the RHP in the trade has a 7:1 K/BB ratio and while that is in A ball that’s still pretty darn good. Haven’t heard much about the pitching prospect we got for Soto but considering how bad Soto has been since his rookie year I’m sure it’s a mid-level prospect, nothing too fancy.

    • mak

      Actually, kid we received for Soto is supposed to be a real good prospect. Numbers aren’t overwhelming but the scouts really like him, read somewhere that they think he “just looks like a MLB pitcher”

  • Spriggs

    Luke,
    Almora was removed early from the game last night due to a strained groin. That was the explanation I got from his parents last night after they visited him in the clubhouse later in the game.

    Carl Lang looked pretty good. He started and went 4 scoreless innings (4K’s/1 BB). His fastball was around 92 most of the night (according to one of the players with a radar gun behind the plate). I really like his style and build. A local Mesa kid (who I think went to Northern Illinois, iirc).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Love these little bits, Spriggs. Thanks.

    • JulioZuleta

      Hey Spriggs, are you ggross from PSD?

      • Spriggs

        Guilty.

  • Grant

    Re: Moving Villanueva to 2nd – Usually you hear about moves from 2B to 3B, and not the other way around. Does Villanueva really have the range and athleticism to move to the middle infield?

    • Spriggs

      According to Baseball America’s 2012 Prospect Handbook, Villaneuva did play 2nd base in the Instructional League last year. Both because of Olt and because his bat would play better there.

  • mak

    scouting reports i’ve read love Villaneuva’s defense.

  • Twiz

    Will Vizcaino be ready for Opening Day?

    • mak

      That would be pretty optimistic, but he is supposed to be ready for spring training. Just takes some time to get the stuff back, I’d think middle of the summer is a better target date.

    • Brent

      All reports say that he will be ready come spring time. But that does not mean he will be with the big club. Chances of that happening off of an injury like that are slim to none.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yeah. Very close to none. I’d be surprised if we see him on the big club at all next year – frankly, I’d rather the Cubs reeeeeally took their time with him, and let him try to remain a starter. For most young pitchers, they’re not back to 100% effectiveness (if it happens for them) until two years after surgery anyway.

        • Noah

          Agree. I pretty much expect that the Cubs will start Vizcaino in Iowa next year. Tommy John surgery has a pretty standard recovery period:

          After about 1 year, able to pitch again, but control/command is often shaky, especially command.

          After 2 years, the pitcher is typically 100% back.

          Might as well have him work through the expect control/command issues in Iowa for as long as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something similar to what the Cubs did with Rizzo , where the Cubs will keep him down long enough to delay his service time. He’s also almost certain to be on a very strict innings limit for at least 2013, and probably through 2014 as well if he’s able to show he can handle a starter’s workload.

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    Sickels said that Villanueva likely has the range to play short in a pinch, so he could likely handle 2B. With Torreyes, Watkins and Barney at SS, not to mention several SS prospects that could move there, I would expect Villanueva to stay put. Vitters is really his only competition as far as fighting to be the Cub of the future at the hot corner.

    • willis

      Um, Baez? Candelario? Both of those guys project out to be 3B. And Obviously Baez is the best offensive prospect in the system. 3B is a log jam right now.

      I’d love to move him to 2B. Watkins is there but his ceiling isn’t extremely high. The idea of 2B for Villanueva, if he can handle the D, very much intrigues me.

      2013 Vitters will be the 3B. After that it’s most likely Baez for a long, long time.

      • Flashfire

        Amaya and Torreyes make 2B just as much, if not more, of a logjam.

        We have good prospects. Some of them will never make it. When Baez is an all star third baseman and Villanueva is ripping the cover off the ball in Iowa, then we have a problem Until then, we have good players.

  • andrew

    Villanueva is another top ten prospect for the cubs. he was ranked 10th in the much stronger rangers system. I’d probably say hed be about the same quality prospect as Szczur based on what I’ve read with Szczur maybe having a little more upside if he can develop some power.

  • Brent

    I was the the Peoria game last night. All in all I was not impressed with very many players on either side. Javier Baez went 2-4, one of those being a hard hit ball up the middle. It was clear that he was without a doubt the best player in the game. Although he struggled a little bit and really only hit one ball hard, there is a different sound went he makes contact. I have a feeling he is the real deal. No other hitters compared to Baez. He is a man among boys in that league (even though he is only 19). Go Cubs Go!

    • Wilbur

      Agreed

      • Dougy D

        X 3

    • Bender

      I felt the exact same way when I saw Brett Jackson play in Tenn. last year. No one, including Vitters, looked like they belonged on the same field. Like a high school senior playing against freshmen.

  • Nathan

    Glad to see Alberto Cabrera has been called up. I think he will be better than Dolis

  • ETS

    Luke, you should have shouted out that Rock Shoulders is in the Moniker Madness Final Four! We should all go vote for him!

  • Kyle

    It’s kind of arbitrary which guys you rank 7-10 and which ones get ranked 11-16, but I think Villanueva has to slot into the top-10 too.

    It’s really stunning how much talent has been infused into the system since Epstein took over. Ignore the draft, because everyone gets a draft. And ignore Panigua, because everyone gets IFAs. And ignore Rizzo, because he’s graduated now.

    Even with all that, you’ve added
    Soler
    Vizcaino
    Villanueva
    Torreyes

    That is some legit talent.

  • Ted

    One question has been bugging me re: waivers — do players we would get in return have to make it through waivers as well? If so, you’d think it would severely limit the kind of return we could get on a post-deadline deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If they are on the 40-man, yes.

      • Spriggs

        Brett,
        Does the return have to include someone from the other team’s 40 man? Let’s say the Cubs and Detriot agree on Soriano for Casey Crosby (who let’s say is not on the Detriot 40 man). After Soriano clears, could they make that trade straight up?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yes, they could. The trade can be for anybody. But if that somebody(ies) is on the 40-man, they’ve got to clear waivers, too.

          • Flashfire

            Can a PTBNL in the deal be a 40-man guy, if he is named and joins the Cubs after the season ends?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Love the thoughtfulness of that question, and I wish I had a certain answer. I know that a PTBNL can’t be a guy who has been on the active roster during the time he’s being considered as a PTBNL, but I don’t know about the 40-man. That said, it seems like if this kind of work-around were allowed, MLB would squash it in short order. I’d also think we would have heard of teams doing it.

  • Crockett

    Villanueva was a pre-2012 Top 100 guy for many people. He’s a great snag, really. And I think that given everything, Jedstein did very, very well to pull him from Texas.

  • Derrick

    Luke/Brett

    What happen to Concepcion?

  • Dougy D

    I went to the Boise Hawks game last night. I got to see what I really came for: Vogelbach going yard. Other comments: Rock Shoulders runs like he is pulling a plow and had a terrible time in RF losing the ball in the lights (on at least one, looked BAD on at least three balls hit that way), Hernandez had a nice homer, Bruno looked real good over at third but made a mental mistake with a bad throw home in the 8th (or was it the 9th) when he should have thrown to 1st for the sure out (don’t think he will do that one again), Jeimer (evidently pronounced jay-mer) Candelario had a nice walk-off double to win it (which spoiled my call of Vogelbach hitting a walk-off homer (he was on deck)), Wilson Contreras did a nice job behind the plate with a couple of potential game saving stops. It was a quaint stadium with a good family atmosphere with stuff to keep kids busy. It could use a little upgrading, but the SuperFriends need to understand that it has to be tough to pull in much of a crowd to a ball game of that low level. Good times, stop there for a game if you have a chance.

  • Njriv

    Here’s an article about the Cubs contemplating promoting Brett Jackson. Thoughts?

    http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cubs/cubs-talk/Jackson-could-be-next-Cubs-call-up?blockID=749965&feedID=661

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I would not promote Jackson yet, but so long as he starts every game is not left forgotten on the end of the bench like Sveum did to Cardenas, I would not have a problem with it.

      • Njriv

        Haha Luke, I feel like you and I are the only ones who care about the whole Cardenas situation.

    • J R

      MIght as well. He’s not getting any better down at AAA. I am sure he would play everyday, it would be stupid not too. He is just rotting down in the minors now..

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Actually, he is still getting better in Triple A. His July K% was back down to 33.6% (40.7% in June), and his BB% was up to 11.2% (up from 8.9%).

        http://minorleaguecentral.com/player.php?pid=571804&split=2012

        And that’s why I would leave him in Iowa. He is showing improvement in the one area he really needed to improve. I’d leave him there and let him continue to work on it.

      • Drew7

        Didnt he just play in his 150th game in AAA? Sorry, but I just don’t consider that to be “rotting in the minors”

        I dont know that this is the case with you, but it seems like most Cub fans are wanted him called up just to get excited about something. I am pretty confident that, if Jackson came to Chicago now, he would struggle mightily, and most of this board would be lit up with comments about how big of a bust he is.

        • J R

          Yeah, I hear you. I just felt like he wasn’t improving much in AAA, but Luke shared some numbers that show he is improving his k rate a bit. I just get the vibe that he is bored down there.. But I could be off. I absolutely wouldn’t bring him to just get excited about something..

  • Njriv

    In other news, Mike Olt is going to be making his MLB debut.

    @espn_durrett (retweeted by Steve Berthiaume)
    #Rangers purchase Mike Olt’s contract. He’s headed to big leagues.

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