daytona cubs logoFirst of all, my sincere thanks to Brett and JulioZuleta for picking up the slack on the Daily over this past week. They handled everything awesomely and I can’t thank them enough.

I sometimes refer to myself as a third generation Cubs fan. At the very end of last week I was called home for the funeral of that first generation. Home, in this case, is about seven hundred miles away. By car. And that, in turn, meant it was a very good thing that Brett and JulioZuleta were there to pick up my slack.

And what do I find when I return? A certain Daytona shortstop has started hitting, Iowa has finally won a few games, and a pair of Cub farm teams took their games into extra innings on Thursday night.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa was rained out. The Cubs and Sounds will make up the game as part of a doubleheader on June 21.
Tennessee – It took eleven innings, but Tennessee walked away with a 5-3 road win.
Daytona – Once upon a time (last week) Daytona looked like they had a pretty good pitching staff. Not lately, though, as evidenced by this 13-7 loss.
Kane County – Kane County lead early, but ultimately fell in ten innings by a final of 9-8.

Performances of Note

  • [Tennessee] Tony Zych, Trey McNutt, and Frank Batista combined to throw 5.1 innings of two hit, one walk, scoreless relief at the end of this game.
  • [Tennessee] Ronald Torreyes has been in Tennessee for five games now, and so far he’s hitting .385. Interestingly, the Smokies had him in the leadoff slot for this game; he responded with a a hit and a run.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies were led by Arismendy Alcantara (three hits), Justin Bour (three walks), and Jae-Hoon Ha (one hit, two walks). Alcantara also swiped his seventh base of the season.
  • [Daytona] Jorge Soler looks like he is picking up right where he left off. Hitting cleanup again, the right fielder reached base twice on a single and a walk.
  • [Daytona] Fortunately, Javier Baez looks like he may be heating up. With two more hits last night, he has finally strung together multiple multi-hit games for the first time this season.
  • [Kane County] Six strikeouts in four innings is a good sign for Lendy Castillo, but that achievement is offset by his giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks.
  • [Kane County] The Cougars had baserunners to spare in this one. Gioskar Amaya, Marco Hernandez, Daniel Vogelbach, Jeimer Candelario, Rock Shoulders, and Willson Contreras all reached base at least twice in this game.

Other News

  • There will be no fireworks tonight in Iowa. Assuming the game is played, the sogginess of the grounds means the post-game fireworks show is a no go. This seems a little counter-intuitive to me. Wouldn’t wet ground be ideal for fireworks?
  • Dustin Geiger is continuing to play well in Florida. After only appearing in 75 games for Peoria last season, his promotion to Daytona at the start of the season was arguably an aggressive one. So far, though, he has posted an OPS of .886 and has seemed right at home in the middle of the Cubs’ lineup. If you are looking for breakout candidates this season, Geiger should be near the top of your list right now.
  • The wind was blowing out to left fairly decently (12 MPH) in the Kane County game. That somewhat explains the elevated scoring early. After all, not too many games are 7-5 at the end of the third inning.
  • Kevin

    I believe they can’t do fireworks because the settings require the ground to hold them straight and with the muddy and loose mess we have in Iowa means that they don’t want to risk a setting falling over and shooting a firework in a different direction.

    I don’t believe the fireworks are shot from the top of the bleachers like in other parks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      One time, at the beach, we accidentally lit a multi-rocket-type firework thing upside down in the sand. The rockets started firing off into the ground, which propelled the whole unit slightly upward, it tilted, and then started firing the rockets off in all directions, including at us.

      • Goldcoast cub

        We did the exact same thing once, except it was on a rooftop right next to the Belmont red line. I thought we were going to burn the place down.

      • Cubbie Blues

        In the town I grew up in outside of Evansville, IN, the barge with the fireworks caught on fire at the beginning of the show. Needless to say it was a quite the site to see. It made for a early and grand, grand finale.

  • TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

    It seems like some of our key prospects are heating up but mostly on the offensive side.

    On a related note, Keith Law just updated his Top 50 for the draft. I am hoping Houston takes Appel, their home town boy, and we sign Jonathan Gray. There´s a good write up on Gray called “Gray´s Quiet Ascent” that gives a nice perspective.

  • BluBlud

    Baez is going to hit. That was never a concern for me. He still needs to lower his SO rate and start taking a few more walks. He’s never going to be a high BB guy, but i need those levels to be higher then 3%. He has 8 extra base hits in 62 at-bats, so he is still making solid contact when he does make contact, but 6 singles and 2 walks over that stretch, with 19 SO, is not going to get it done.

  • Da_Cubs

    Sorry for your loss Luke.Even though Brett and JulioZuleta did a great job in your absence,its great to see you are back.

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    Condolences. May the next two generations live to see us win it all.

  • Dynastyin2016

    Does anyone know what the status is with Baez’s bat. It seems Wednesday night, the team forced him to use a much heavier bat, to try to get him to cut down his swing apparently. Did he use it again last night? Did a Cub minor league instructor save Baez? Just curious. Would a heavier bat force you to take more pitches?

  • Chad

    I’ve been impressed by Alcantra. I think he has the potential to be the 2B of the future once he gets his defense figured out. I am glad to see Baez is getting hot. I honestly think if the Cubs ever want to make a move to get a guy like David Price that he will be part of it. I don’t see them parting with Soler and Almora is unproven. I think Baez is also one of the guys that is more likely to flame out of the threee. Just a hunch on that one.

    • AA Correspondent

      I like Alcantara too. he has been fun to watch so far, and with a 10 game homestand, I am looking forward to more. Reminds me of Jose Reyes.

  • Chad

    I’d also like to see Zych or McNutt get to AAA sooner than later. I think one of them is going to make a good closer. I don’t know enough about Batista to say what his role could be.

    • AA Correspondent

      I like Zych. Seen McNutt at AA each of parts of the past 3 seasons….and never once do my season ticket neighbors or I get excited when he enters the game. He makes us very nervous. On the other hand, when Zych comes in, we have a lot more confidence. I think the Trey McNutt experiment could fizzle out soon. I hope I am wrong…but if I was a GM and looking at my minor league “big board” of talent and trying to evaluate whether or not either of these guys had a future that could help the big league team…..I believe Zych is ahead of McNutt……by far.

      My 2 cents

      • Chad

        Great info thanks. How do you feel about Batista? I would like to see them get to AAA sometime so we could evaluate them there.

        • AA Correspondent

          Batista was NAILS in the first half of last season in AA. Made the All Star team and had a level of confidence that was truly exceptional to watch. He’d enter games in very tough situations and manage to escape. His agressiveness and ability to throw his pitches in any count was fun to watch. He spent some time in AAA last season and the numbers were very ordinary. He came back to AA to finish the season and was good..but not great.

          In the 1st homestand, he did not appear to be as sharp as I remember him….but none of the bullpen arms appeared to be very sharp in the first homestand. I do like Batista, but I do not see him as a big league addition to a bullpen. I just don’t think I see a big league pitcher out there.

          From my vantage point, I believe the bullpen arms that can project in the show are: Zych. Maybe Schlitter and Hatley.

  • Marc N.

    I may be falling in love with Jeimer Candelario too soon as he’s only got 4 XBHs (all doubles, which are mad underrated).

    Between him and Christian Villanueva I do not hate the long term 3B situation. I was checking it out yesterday and realized that Villanueva is the same age this year (while in AA) as the legendary Mike Olt was when he entered pro ball. Olt would not play AA ball until he was 23.

    • Chad

      I honestly think this is why Baez may be expendable in a deal for a guy like Price. I like Villanueva’s glove and if he can keep developing the bat he’ll be a good one. I don’t know on Candelario’s glove but his bat seems to work. So exciting to have these kinds of problems/dilemmas to think about with the farm system rather than: “We have nothing absolutely nothing of value for trade or to keep in the system”.

      • Marc N.

        Well for me Baez is a SS/2B before he is a SS/3B, so I don’t consider him truly expendable. That said, I do understand prospects for superstars and would not knock the Cubs for making those kind of moves.

        It would be extremely convenient if the farm system gets another year to let more guys step up before trading for someone as costly as Price or Stanton.

        • Chad

          I’m just curious why you see him as a SS/2B rather than SS/3B. The only way he stays at SS is if Castro is traded or moves to 2B. I think Baez’s arm is way to strong to waste at 2B and I think we have guys that would fill that role and fit in at the top of the lineup better (Alcantra or Watkins).

          • Marc N.

            Well he’s currently at SS and the next step down from SS is 2B for me on the defensive spectrum.

            I do not believe “his arm is too strong” is a legitimate reason to keep him out of the middle infield. In fact, I think it’s one of the worst reasons I see. A second baseman needs a strong arm for the double play.

            Neither Alcantara or Watkins has the upside of Baez as a middle infielder, but I could see both guys having nice careers sure.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              It is true that almost all 2Bmen are former SS. However,a big chunk of 3Bmen are former SS, too. Basically, if you can play short, then you (usually) can play either 2nd or 3rd.

              • The Dude Abides

                Essentially all right handed major leaguers including pitchers are former SS’s. Thanks for clarifying the obvious.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Um, no. The vast majority of pitchers were signed as pitchers: conversion is extremely rare, and given that position players and pitchers succeed based on completely non-overlapping athletic tools, that is not too surprising.

                  Conversely, I recently read that 2 of the current “everyday” 2Bmen were signed as 2Bmen: the rest are former SS. The proportion is lower for 3Bmen: they tend to be bigger, and a lot of HS & college coaches won’t play the “big” guys at SS.

                  • The Dude Abides

                    “Conversely, I recently read that 2 of the current “everyday” 2Bmen were signed as 2Bmen”

                    Key word “read”

                    You have no idea what you are talking about. Most right handed pitchers who were drafted out of high school were not pitchers only and played SS as well, lefties are CF and 1B. Those same guys who went to college may have been a pitcher only by their junior year in college but many times those decisions are made/confirmed during fall ball during their freshman year after the school has properly evaluated.

                    Most scholarships from high school to college are SS, catcher, CF who may also pitch. Corner guys out of high school do not generally get drafted because they do not have all five of the needed tools or possess a 90+ fastball to justify a draft pick when you consider the pool of college and high school prospects are well into the 1,000’s every year. For that matter corner guys generally have a hard time receiving D1 scholarships as well.

                    Go to some showcases sometime or spend your summers watching high school & college kids playing against top competition.

                    • TWC

                      Key word: “personal anecdotes”

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      The conversation was about converting professional players. What they were doing as amateurs is irrelevant.

                      Most of the starting 2Bmen are converted SS. What people mean when they say/write that is that they were *signed* as SS, usually played there in the minors, and were subsequently shifted. What they did in HS is irrelevant.

                      Similarly, most pitchers were signed as pitchers. Sure, maybe they played a different position on the side in HS: and maybe they played football and/or basketball, too. Maybe they were in glee club or a rock band on the side. They are not converted infielders, quarterbacks or guitarists: they are and were pitchers.

                    • The Dude Abides

                      no other comment on this but your reference in your response.

                      ” The proportion is lower for 3Bmen: they tend to be bigger, and a lot of HS & college coaches won’t play the “big” guys at SS.”

                      Doesn’t sound like you were talking about signed professionally. Sounds like your talking pre draft.

                      But I’m sure you can spin that as well…

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      The conversation is about moving Baez in particular and moving minor leaguers from the position for which they were signed to another position in general. The pre-draft part isn’t really relevant, save insofar as guys switched out of SS before being drafted are almost never signed as SS: and that’s why a lot more 3Bmen were signed as 3Bmen than 2Bmen were signed as 2Bmen.

                    • TWC

                      Dude. Come on, you’re being very un-Dude here.

              • Marc N.

                Sure, but it’s pretty tough to assume that all are the same athletes. To me Baez’s size, athleticism, and arm all play just as well at 2B as it would at 3B.

            • Chad

              If Baez keeps growing and developing his body, arm, and bat will be big enough to play at 3B. I think of Baez as more of the Machado mold than say a Profar or Andrus.

              In general I would rather have a Barney at 2nd and Baez type at 3rd than Baez at second and Stewart at 3rd.

              I am just really high on Alcantra at 2B. I like a shiftier 2B with speed that could lead off. Just my opinion though.

              • Marc N.

                Machado is 6’4″ and capable of playing SS. He breaks the mold. Size and body wise Baez is closer to Andrus than any of those three, but none are particularly close. To me physically he resembles Robinson Cano, a former SS prospect who also was scheduled to move to 3B according to talking heads until the Yankees put a stop to it and moved him to 2B. Cano is a 6’0 225 tank.

                In general I prefer a star/offensive beast up the middle than in a corner.

                • Chad

                  Cano would have gone to third if it wasn’t for that A-Rod guy. Cano is not stellar at defense and would fit better at 3B. But you have to have a bat that plays there, which he does. Baez is also 20 years old and will continue to get bigger as he ages and with that comes power. I don’t really understand your last line. Who cares if your star/offensive beast is in the middle or at 3B. Would you rather have Rizzo at 2B? Your power guys are supposed to be at the corners generally because they are less mobile. I don’t really care where Baez plays, but if his glove and bat play at 3B that is where I would put him. I think it is easier to find a suitable 2B than a suitable 3B so if you have a guy that can handle it why not put him there.

        • hansman1982

          If we can get the Rays to take Baez over Almora or Soler and have them see it as equal value we get them to sign before they can change their mind.

          He just does not walk enough and it appears he doesn’t make enough contact.

          • Marc N.

            The way I’m seeing it lately is that top prospects + top dollar for a pitcher is something the Cubs CAN do but maybe not something they SHOULD do.

            I’m as big a Price fan as anyone on here, but trades need to be done carefully. I’m just not a fan of moving for him sooner rather than later. That Olney piece yesterday annoyed more than it informed me because it came so soon and offered zero new information. The only good from it is that it’s prepping everyone for the idea of major prospects for major MLB player, which usually sees a ton of backlash on the internet.

            As the Cubs’ farm system specializes right now in quantity…they’ve got 50+ legitimate prospects….that is how I would look to go after trades.

          • JR

            The thing other thing with Price than just trading your top prospects for him is that he is going to require mega money too. I can easily a $200 million contract for that dude with the way things are going in MLB. So is he worth trading your top 3 prospects, and paying $200 million over 8 years? Not so sure…

            • JR

              There are all kinds of typos above, my bad… I was trying to say that he is going to be a HUGE financial investment along with the cost of the Cubs top prospects. Tons of risk there..

            • Chad

              I think so. If you trade for him now and extend him immediately, which is how the cubs would get the best deal on him IMO. He would be 35 at the end of an 8 year deal. That is pretty good for a bonified ace. The cubs will have some money to spend. Especially when Soriano comes off the books. As of right now they have no huge contracts (Castro and Jackson). They can afford a few. They are a few years as like 4 or 5 from extending Rizzo, they have Castro locked up and they will get Samardzija soon I suspect. If Soler, Almora and some others can make the transition quickly they will be cheap and controlled. You have to spend some money to win as the cubs know and I think in an ace would be a great investment.

              • JR

                Good points. And I agree.

          • BluBlud

            Hansman, If Baez is included in a deal for Price, It would cut down the level of the rest of the prospects in the deal. The Rays like to maximize their Value in multiple prospects, so they would rather take a lesser prospect in Almora, so they could then add possibly a Vogelbach and another of our “top” pitchers in any trade. Baez has considerably more value then Almora, and slightly more value then Soler, and definitely has more upside then either. You don’t just throw your top prospect in any deal, you make the team that you trading with force you trade them as a last resort. I’m sure that the first name out Friedman mouth when he and Theo/Jed speak on a possible trade will be Baez.

            • BluBlud

              Also, Why would you trade you trade the only guy in the organization that has a chance to fill 3B at an All-Star level. We have a huge amount of OF talent. If the Rays accept a deal with Almora as the center piece, which I have my doubts that they would, we would still be flooded with OF talent.

              • hansman1982

                Unless he can somehow get his BB% up, the odds of him performing at an All-Star level are low. At this point, I’d say that Vogelbach has a better shot at becoming an All-Star 3B than Baez.

                (and I was REALLY hoping his Daytona numbers were just SSS)

            • JR

              Blu, I don’t think there is anyway at all the Almora would be the headliner in a deal for Price. The Rays could do much better. Almora hasn’t done much of anything since High School. For the Cubs have any chance at Price Baez HAS to be involved, and he needs to play much better than he has so far this year.

              • JulioZuleta

                Yeahhh, Baez isn’t gonna cut it. Wil Myers was the number 3 prospect in ALL of baseball and he headlined a trade for James Shields. Some otehr nice prospects also went to TB (they traded Wade Davis to KC, as well). I think realistically any trade would start with Baez and Almora and include other studs, probably Vogelbach, maybe even Vizcaino. I don’t think we’ll like the asking price, at all.

                • SirCub

                  That Myers trade was pretty lopsided, though. But then again, that’s kinda just what the Rays do.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    It’s what the Rays do because of the “Other 28 GMs” rule. Basically, it just takes one with a strong enough sense of urgency to pull of that sort of deal: and there usually is more than one!

                  • JulioZuleta

                    It definitely was, when comparing Price and Shields/Davis, that’s pretty lopsided too. The prospect package is going to be frightening. Honestly I don’t think the Cubs match up very well. I think it will need to be a Profar/Taveras based package. If you don’t have a truly elite, top 5 type prospect, you will have to absolutely GUT your system.

                    • JR

                      Shields and Davis had more team control than Price has though, and they are both much cheaper finanically than Price will be. I still don’t like the trade from the Royals perspective, but it’s not apples to apples.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                The Rays got Wil Myers as the centerpiece for Shields. I.e., not a guy who projects to play well in a couple of years, but a guy who could play well now. (The Rays have him in the minors to gain an extra year of control.)

                This sort of sets a bar for Price: he’s worth more than Shields is/was, after all. It will be a top prospect who could show up and play ROY-caliber baseball *now* (or as soon as this won’t count as a full year of service time) that nets Price. After all, if you don’t do it, then another GM probably will, right?

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  “This sort of sets a bar for Price”

                  Only insofar as the Royals were willing to – in the eyes of virtually everyone – overpay massively for Shields and Davis. In other words, Myers would have made a fine centerpiece in a Price deal, too. There are only 20 top 20 prospects, after all.

              • BluBlud

                I guess I’m agreeing with you and disagreeing at the same time. The Rays are going to demand Baez before they even consider a trade for Price. That, I agree with you on.

                The Cubs are then probably going throw Almora names as a replacement for Baez, and offer there next big hitting prospect, Vogelbach, in a deal with Almora to try to sweeten the pot. Then pretty let Tampa have a pick of who else they want. However, I don’t think Tampa bites without Baez involved.

                As for Profar being better then Baez. I disagree. Profar is by far more patient, yes, but the guy can not hit. He’ll probably struggle to hit .260 in the majors. Though, with that .260 average, hell still probably have a .340-.350 OBP. I think Baez will have a higher K rate, but profar will not exactly be great in that area either. I think Baez will hit for a much higher average and the difference in Average will probably make up the difference in the walk rate, leaving them close in OBP. Baez will also have a little more pop in his bat, if not much more. If you think Profar is better, fine, that debatable. But to suggest he is much better is extreme.

                • JulioZuleta

                  He’s pretty unanimously the #1 prospect in baseball…

          • jdblades

            In my opinion I would keep Baez unless trading for a proven 3B, like Headley. We have three top stud prospects, two are outfielders and only one infield, Baez. So trade for one of the two outfielders, unless we draft an infielder, SS/3B prospect at #2. Which is more likely than not going to happen, since we will probably get one of the two college pitchers. Also, besides Aramis Ramirez, we have sucked at 3B over the last few decades. The other 3B prospects we have will, more likely than not, never make it to the show or become average to below average players at the MLB level. They could try to find one through free agency, but it’s a sought after position and will be pricey. In conclusion, keep Baez and hopefully he can cut down the strikeouts and find a way to get on base.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        For someone like Price, the Profars and Taveras’ of the world are expendable, never mind the Baez’s! This is going to be pretty much an open bar for the Rays.

        • Noah

          Although I’m not sure how much sense Price would really make for the Cardinals, considering their starting pitching is already quite solid and their two corner outfielders are 33 (Holliday) and a week away from 36 (Beltran). But yeah, in a vacuum I’d lead any deal for Price with Profar or Taveras, much less Baez. I think the big question is who the Rangers are going to go after, Stanton or Price? Being able to lead with Profar gives the Rangers a pretty big advantage if the Cubs and Rangers are aiming for the same player. However, I have a feeling the Rangers are going to focus on bringing in Stanton. And Stanton could put up some truly epic power seasons in Arlington.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Price makes sense for everyone, even the Dodgers: even if starting pitching is not your biggest concern, then you still replace your #5 starter with Price, and you reduce the extent to which you need power-hitting corner OFers.

            That said, a team with a greater sense of urgency like, say, the Rangers might be even more willing to part with not just the BIG name, but with some other good guys. I mean, suppose that they offer the Rays Profar and Olt. That would improve the Rays *now* at SS and 1B, while leaving the Rangers current lineup little altered: save for their new #5 starter! And that would be tough for anybody to top. And, let’s face it: no team in baseball has a sense of urgency quite like the Rangers right now.

            • Noah

              Oh, I completely agree the Rangers would be willing to part with both Profar and Olt (and other pieces) for the right piece. I just think they’re going to put those pieces towards Stanton instead of Price.

              It would be a different matter for the Cardinals. Olt and Profar are both blocked at their best positions for at least 3 more seasons, including this one. At the VERY latest, Taveras would be the Cardinals starting right fielder on opening day 2014.

              Now, in some ways would it always make sense to add a Price, as you refer to it? In a vacuum, yes. But it makes more sense for some teams over others.

    • Dynastyin2016

      Marc, don’t worry about Candelerio’s powers numbers just yet. This is the first time in his life he has played in winter like conditions. Actually, other then Hernandez’s short stint in Peoria last year, none of the Cougar’s infield has ever played in these conditions. Watch them dominate come summer. Hopefully Almora gets healthy soon. I want to see this group in person.

      • Marc N.

        Nah, not worried. His approach, age, and the scouting reports all have me highly optimistic about him. Without Almora playing right now he’s by far my favorite teenager in the system. The fact that he’s dropped some weight and improved, in the early going, the thoughts on his defense only intrigues me more.

        Basically, there’s so much more good than bad with this kid that I don’t care.

  • curt

    Great job as always Luke, and very sorry for yr loss .

    • cedlandrum

      Yes condolences Luke.

  • MightyBear

    Condolences Luke. Great to have you back.

  • JulioZuleta

    Welcome back Luke, sorry for your loss. My grandpa died last year and was buried in his suit and a Cubs fisherman hat.

    Supposedly one of Baez’s outs was a 400 foot fly to the center field wall with the bases loaded. Looks like he’s getting hot. Man, I’m ready for Almora and Lake (and Vitters, I guess) to get back and for the Boise season to start. Iowa is not very exciting right now, and I want to see what some of the rookie draft picks can do.

    Also, anyone know what happened to Michael Jensen? I know he’s hurt, but any idea how serious/when he’ll return?

  • Idaho Razorback

    Sorry for your loss Luke. Glad to have you back. I missed reading your work this week.

  • mysterious4th


    Sorry for your loss!

  • Cheryl

    Vogelbach is hitting a ton but Rock Shoulders seems to be keeping pace with him. Any chance Shoulders could be part of a proposed trade? And I agree Baez would have to be included. I still wonder if they might ask for Rizzo. But Almora and McNutt could also be part of the offer. Would it take four or five players to trade for Price?

    • Bill

      If it would take Rizzo it seems like it would be a step backward, since the Cubs would then be without a viable option at 1B. I would have no problem offering Wood, Baez, Vogs and throw in another name or two. The problem is that Theo seems so disinterested in the big league club that they could be terrible for the next couple seasons, which would be wasting at least 2 of Price’s prime years.

  • Cheryl

    Vogelbach is hitting a ton but Rock Shoulders is keeping pace wit him from what I saw in the stats for Cougar games. Is there any chance he’d be attractive in such a deal? And I agree that Baez would have to be oart of the package. Almora and Trey c

  • Cheryl

    Ignore that last item from me. The computer jumped.

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