Cubs Minor League Daily: Welcome Mike Olt

mike olt iowaNow that Wrigley Field is very likely to be largely renovated eventually, there is another park that may draw the Cubs’ attention.

The Boise Hawks could really stand to have an upgraded facility of their own. Last summer the mediocre amenities and player training facilities in Boise briefly became an issue when some members of the Boise media became convinced that the Cubs were about to dump the Hawks and that minor league baseball in Boise could be threatened as a result.

I don’t think the Cubs leaving Boise was ever really in the cards, but the Cubs did make it clear they wanted the facilities in Boise to be improved. So far several plans to replace or renovate the ballpark in Boise have been tried and discarded, but the issue is still kicking around the Boise political scene. Now that the Cubs management is likely on the edge of the finish line with the Wrigley situation, I would not be surprised for the front office to take some interest in Boise. I doubt the Cubs do more than offer public support, but I don’t think there is any doubt that improvements in Boise are somewhere on the Cubs’ wish list.

Odds are good, though, that the process in Boise will not turn as contested and bizarre as the process in Chicago has been.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - For the second day in a row the Cubs were caught in a pitching duel. This time the lost in ten innings 2-1.
Tennessee - Tennessee scored early, scored late, and generally kept Huntsville off the board in the middle. They won 6-1.
Daytona - One of these days Daytona is going to get snowed out and it’s going to be a huge story. But not yesterday. Yesterday was an ordinary FSL rain out.
Kane County - The Cougars had the hits, but could not assemble the runs. They lost 5-1.
Boise - Boise got on the board in the ninth, but could not complete the comeback. They lost 5-1.
Arizona - Arizona had the night off.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Brooks Raley pitched a nice game. Over 7 innings he struck out 6 and allowed a run on 3 hits and 3 walks. The run he gave up came on a solo homer.
  • [Iowa] Eduardo Sanchez also pitched well. He stuck out 4 and walked one over 2 innings of two-hit ball.
  • [Iowa] Mike Olt made his Iowa debut in this game. He finished 1 for 5 with 3 strikeouts as the No. 6 hitter. Josh Vitters, now in left field, finished 1 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout batting third.
  • [Tennessee] Dae-Eun Rhee gave up 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6 in his 5 innings of work.
  • [Tennessee] Hunter Cervenka, Yeiper Castillo, and Zach Rosscup each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
  • [Tennessee] Home runs were provided by Javier Baez (Double A No. 6), Justin Bour (No. 11), and Rafael Lopez (No. 7). Baez and Bour each doubled as well.
  • [Kane County] Rock Shoulders and Reggie Golden each had two hits for the Cougars. Golden and Albert Almora each doubled.
  • [Kane County] Jose Rosario stuck out 5 in his 4 innings of relief. Two walks came back to bite him, though, despite allowing a single hit.
  • [Boise] Kris Bryant and Jacob Hannemann both doubled, as did Carlos Penalver. Also of note after yesterday’s game, Bryant did not strike out.
  • [Boise] Jasvir Rakkar gave up just two hits in his 3.1 innings of relief. Unfortunately, both of those hits were home runs.

Other News

  • Dylan Heuer strikes again. The baseball photographer and fan of Bleacher Nation was at the Iowa Cubs game last night, and got some very nice shots, including that there picture of Mike Olt. See a catch at the wall, funny faces from baserunners, and a batter apparently falling back on his shoulders after swinging. Dylan was also kind enough to let us share some of the shots over at the BN Facebook page. You can follow Dylan on Twitter here, if you’re so inclined.
  • Scott Baker lasted 3 innings in his rehab start for Kane County. He gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks.

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation. He can be found on Twitter as ltblaize.

163 responses to “Cubs Minor League Daily: Welcome Mike Olt”

  1. Larry

    I know many make fun of the Hendry regime when he was GM; however, didn’t Smardj, Russell, Castillo, Castro, Lake, , and Alcantra come from his management?

    1. JeffR

      Even a blind squirell finds and acorn every once in a while.

      1. Fishin Phil

        Jeff, thanks for using that expression. My dad used to say that about Jim Hickman all the time.

        1. pj

          Hickman had an bountiful season finding acorns in 1970. What a performance!

          1. Fishin Phil

            I could never figure out why Dad didn’t like Hickman. Not enough Belly Fire I guess.

            1. Spriggs

              One of my brothers was also really down on Hickman. I couldn’t understand that either. I really liked the guy. His teammates called him “Road Apple”.

      2. Cedlandrum

        Hendry wasn’t a blind squirrel. He was actually pretty good at evaluating talent. Cubs just had different priorities when he was GM as opposed to when he was the minor league coordinator.

    2. bbmoney

      You forgot Baez.

      Hendry did some things when he was around. It’s just that many of them weren’t particularly good. Some were, but on the whole, I like our current FO better.

      1. Feeney

        It’s my understanding that Hendry left the drafting to Wilken? They also drafted Hayden Simpson in the first round. So yeah. Some good stuff. Some bad stuff.

        1. Jason P

          I believe Wilken didn’t want Simpson. Simpson was his back-up plan when some higher-ups said they wanted to save some money. I could be wrong, though.

      2. Edwin

        I like that our FO has done a good job of buying low on FA or trades, and finding a way to flip them for better value. Flipping Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, and Scott Feldman might have been small moves, but they’re the type of moves that make a difference over time.

        1. JM

          What I like even better is their ability to find guys that can do more than one thing well. smart, heady ball players that bring intangibles to the field. Fundamental type players that can move a runner or just make smart plays in the field.

        2. willis

          What exactly did they flip Maholm and Johnson for? I’d rather have had Maholm in this rotation than taking a flyer on a guy that still hasn’t pitched and who the hell knows when he will.

          1. On The Farm

            He had another surgery,no one could have seen that coming, but he was definitley worth the upside when they traded for him.

            1. willis

              Why do you think the Braves, an excellently run organization, one of the best, gave him up that easily?

              His upside can only carry that deal so far. If he ever pitches for the Cubs, then I’ll feel better about it. As it stands, a solid 4/5 proves starter for meh.

              1. On The Farm

                Because Paul Maholm would have gotten us to the playoffs this year or last year. There was no point in keeping him when you can trade for a guy who has potential to be a closer with electric stuff. His actual ceiling is a TOR guy.

                1. willis

                  We’ll see, maybe. but yeah, you know my stance on this, proven vs. injured/not proven, I always take proven. So what if Maholm is destined to be a 3.75-4.00 ERA guy for his career, is that so bad?

                  It’s done so no need haggling on it too much, Vizcaino is a cub and God willing he gets his health in order and can contribute at some point. So far though, ugh.

                2. YourResidentJag

                  However, the Braves have been know throughout baseball as a team that is very shrewd when it comes to trades. If they’re not as high on a player, they’re more likely to shop him.

                  1. Rebuilding

                    By all accounts the Braves were very high on Vizcaino, as was everyone else, but they needed a starter down the stretch and took the chance of sending a kid who wasn’t going to be useful for 2 years. I don’t think it has anything to do with player evaluation, just present versus future value

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      I don’t necessarily agree with this. The Braves needed a starter, yes. But their evaluation of talent is solid. Sure, yes, they liked him…but in long run, they still keep the players they believe will have more impact on their team.

                  2. King Jeff

                    Except when Mark Teixiera is involved. They got jobbed on both of those trades.

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      Yep, an extraordinary historical and outlier trade. The likes of which you may not see and rarely see anymore.

                    2. On The Farm

                      Does it count as a historical outlier when they traded away the haul for Teixiera and traded away Wainwright in the same decade?

                  3. On The Farm

                    Like Adam Wainwright!

          2. Edwin

            Turning a mostly below average starter and a 4th outfielder into a guy ranked as 83 on Baseball America’s top 100 going into 2013 isn’t too shabby. It’s not always about the result, it’s about the process.

            1. willis

              Wait what? It’s not about the result? Everything is about the result in all facets of life, including baseball.

              1. Jed Jam Band

                Well, NO. You see, in baseball, there is the luck factor. Sometimes you have an All-Star who gets barreled over by a baserunner on his way to first (you know who I’m talking about) and sometimes a guy gets mono. In other words, ya just never know what will happen with these guys. But, a solid process leads to better results in the long run than, say, a poor process. The Cubs got into this mess from years of poor process and now Theo and Jed are applying a very good, very meticulous and well-thought out process to revamp this organization. Maholm was on a 1-year deal, and, even if we could have re-signed him (unlikely), he would have had very little value to this team. Stop harping on it. Vizcaino has a very high ceiling and is almost certain to have an impact at the MLB level. Yes, injuries happen, but that doesn’t make the trade a bad one.

                1. Jed Jam Band

                  Actually, it was 2 years. Still, point holds.

                2. YourResidentJag

                  That being said I want to see Vizcaino as a SP. If he’s a reliever, I’m disappointed.

                  1. X the Cubs Fan

                    Even if he’s a power closer?

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      No. That’s why Theo and Jed are drafting pitchers in later rounds of the amateur drafts. If you’re going to find that “power closer”, I prefer it align with their draft strategy.

          3. Rebuilding

            What exactly would have been the point of having Maholm in the rotation this year? Feldman provided basically the same production so it wouldn’t have made the record much better and he would be gone after this year. The Braves make player evaluation mistakes just like everyone else. And even if Vizcaino turns out great it probably wasn’t a mistake because they are on a different part of the win curve than us right now where 1 win is very valuable. A guy that wasn’t going to help them for 2 years just wasn’t as important to them as it was to us

            1. willis

              I hear ya. It’s not about the point of havnig Maholm. It’s that Maholm was a cheap solid starter who was flipped for a dude who hasn’t thrown a baseball in a meaningful situation. It was brought up this was an awesome deal. I said it wasn’t. Two years of a starter, regardless is better to me than 2 years of watching a guy ice his elbow. Maholm is solid and fairly young. What he was traded for hasn’t shown any of us anything yet. My point was just let’s not lable that as a great deal until we get results from Vizcaino.

              1. bbmoney

                I think the larger point here is the Cubs had the foresight to sign Maholm in the first place. Giving them the option to keep him and let him pitch for them for 2 years or trade him for younger, even cheaper, more controlled talent.

                The signing is the big thing. Whether or not you like the trade, I’m sure as it turned out the Braves wish they’d just signed him as a FA so that they wouldn’t have had to give up a talented, though oft injured, arm to acquire him.

                1. Edwin


              2. Edwin

                I don’t think I said that the Maholm deal was an awesome deal. I never said the result was great. I even pointed out how it was a small move. What my point was is that I’m encouraged by the process that the front office took, which was to turn Maholm, a 29-30 year old pitcher at the time, into a top 100 prospect. Maybe the move works out, maybe it doesn’t. I don’t care about the outcome, I care about the process.

                1. willis

                  I’m on board with everything you said except that you don’t care about the outcome? I’m just confused at this. If all these “savvy” moves and talent stockpiling leads to a shitty team in 4-5 years still and the team is on year 10 of “the plan” and is still losing like crazy, are you not going to be a little upset? The process is interesting to watch, but at the end of the day all that matters are the outcomes/results.


                  1. Rebuilding

                    I think all he is saying is that they made a move that seems correct given the information they had at the time. It’s all probabilities after that – there is a chance Vizcaino never throws a ball again and there is a chance he becomes a dominant closer in the future. But that will all be hindsight. All they can do is make moves with what they know at the time – and if they make the right ones (the process) a majority of the time that’s all you can ask

                    1. Edwin

                      Yes. Thanks.

      3. Austin8466

        Actually Baez was Randy Bush. Hendry was fired in mid April and the Draft was in June. Theo and Hoyer were very complimentary of the Cubs’ 2011 draft, and said they could see a stark difference in the approach to that specific draft. It’s probably why they kept Bush on staff as an Assistant GM.

        1. Edwin

          Hendry was fired after the draft, I thought.

          1. Austin8466

            Yes, you’re correct. AUG doesn’t mean April lol. I’ll get some more coffee and come back later.

            1. On The Farm

              He actually was informed that he would be let go prior to August, but stuck it out to make sure all of the draft picks were signed before he left. It was a very classy move by Hendry. To know you are gone before the year is over, but still go through the draft process.

    3. Starlin Backer

      Baez also. Hendry did make a lot of good moves. He wasn’t perfect, but he also suffered from some lousy luck.

      1. Cedlandrum

        That is entirely untrue. First of all Wilken made the pick, but go back and read articles about Maples and see how instrumental Hendry was in him signing with the Cubs.

    4. Edwin

      And Baez. Plus Cashner, Dempster, and Garza, who were all used to aquire other prospects.

      I think it’s safe to say that Hendry was a decent GM at times, and occationally found success. However, he didn’t seem to have a good understanding of just how valuable young prospects could be, the importance of spending in the draft, and how valuable draft pick compensation was.

      1. Cedlandrum

        Those issues are true of Hendry’s tenure, but it wasn’t because he didn’t understand the importance of those things. People are too short sighted with Jim. Go back and look at when he was in charge of the minor leagues for the Cubs. They were loaded.

      2. cub2014

        Hendry at the end knew he had to win now. So he traded
        some young guys for veterans and signed on to the
        big contracts. His drafting wasn’t the worst, but many
        were traded away. Theo is on the otherside gathering
        prospects because he knows only a few become impact
        players. The fill-in players you can go sign every year for
        modest amounts. So its exciting but Baez,Almora,Vogelbach
        Bryant,Olt,Alcantera,Lake we will be lucky if 2 become all-stars.
        They do make great trade bait though.

        2 years from now Theo will be buying.

    5. ssckelley

      I think Hendry was a decent GM under bad ownership.

      1. Brett

        I think Hendry was a good talent evaluator under bad ownership.

        1. JM

          Yet somehow Cubs clubs were always rife with players that couldn’t do the fundamental things well. For instance, their total inability to sacrifice or bunt a runner over or put the ball in play or hit the cut off man… this could go on for days…

          Some of these things could be more coaching issues rather than talent issues, but they sort of go hand in hand.

          1. willis

            For the people that are sour on Hendry, he was at the helm during 2003 and put together arguably the best team we’ll see on the field in 2008. That team was loaded. But because they puked on themselves in the playoffs, many look past that and rip Hendry.

            Hendry was a fine GM for this organization. It was time to move in another direction but he was a very succesful GM.

  2. chrisfchi

    Baker has not been too sharp. I would have to think this rehab is going to take longer than expected

    1. Buckner

      I was at the KC game last night and Baker was getting hit hard. A lot of the outs he got were line shots right at somebody.

  3. JoshO

    I was at the Iowa game last night. Vitters looks out of shape.

    1. Spriggs

      Vitters has put on about 20 pounds since spring training. According to him, it was by design.

      1. Cedlandrum

        Yeah I don’t think he looks out of shape, I think he just looks thicker.

  4. Beardface

    Gotta give Bryant some time. He will be fine.

  5. ssckelley

    At what point is Lake not considered a prospect anymore? I am curious because after his MLB start I wonder if he would get top 100 consideration.

    1. Hansman1982

      I want to say after 140 PA so he’ll be off the lists for next winter.

      1. ssckelley

        He will blow by that for sure, I bet Olt does as well by the end of the season.

        1. Jason P

          September at bats don’t count if that’s when you’re called up (so I’m not sure if they’d count for someone like Lake).

          1. On The Farm

            What do you mean they don’t count?

    2. On The Farm

      Rookie rules are 130 ABs, 50 IP, more than 45 days on the 25 man roster.

    3. Norm

      I don’t think any prospect ranker will change their opinion on Lake because of his hot start.

  6. On The Farm

    Bryant Doubled? Call him up, he’s ready.

  7. Brian Peters

    I’ll bet an imaginary dollar that Jim Hendry will never–and I do mean NEVER–get another GM job. Who’s gonna go against me?

    1. Idaho Razorback

      How often in the history of baseball has someone been a GM of 2 different teams? Extremely rare.

      1. MXB

        off the top of my head, seems to happen a lot for the Cubs

        Larry Himes
        Andy MacPhail
        Jed Hoyer

        1. Jed Jam Band

          You can’t really count Hoyer because he wasn’t fired. His organization was actually quite thrilled with his work, as they should have been. He had collected a minor league system that was just waiting to turn that team into a perennial contender. Hoyer CHOSE to come to the Cubs, so, that’s different.

          1. Kyle

            Hmm. They seem to still be waiting. Any day now, though…

          2. Cedlandrum

            What you say about hoyer is the same for MacPhal

      2. Spriggs

        Walt Jocketty and Dave Dombrowski come to mind.

    2. Stinky Pete

      Yeah, not sure what it proves if he never–and I do mean NEVER–gets another GM job.

  8. Starlin Backer

    Again, to be fair, there were articles in the early part of the last decade wondering if there was enough spots for all those great prospects to play. The Cubs also had 2 top of the rotation guys (Wood and Prior) who couldn’t stay healthy. We had 2 pitchers that come along about every 5 years and basically lost both. Angel Guzman was supposed to be a 1 also, but he had arm issues. Remember how good he looked when healthy even AFTER those major surgeries? How many teams could overcome that?

  9. Cubsfan21

    Jim Hendry NEVER had the kind of resources Theo/Jed had as far as drafting. The Tribune Company (who owned the Cubs at the time) weren’t worried about giving up money for the draft and they didn’t. The Cubs were known to be extremely cheap when it came to the draft. You can’t criticize Hendry for that.

  10. Bill

    I have been keeping an eye on the VSL/DSL Cub teams. Roney Alcala has now had over 400 PA between 2012/2013. He is hitting .319, 11 HRs, 79 RBI, .355/.472/.878. Wonder why the guy is still in the VSL, seems like he has mastered the level based on the stats.

    1. ssckelley

      I have been thinking the same thing about Delbis Arcila who is 20 along with a 23 year old pitcher Fransico Carrillo. Perhaps it has something to do with them being able to get into the country.

    2. bleeds cubbie blue

      I don’t think they ever have called anybody stateside from a summer league team during the season

  11. Cubsfan21

    The same way you can’t blame Hendy for Soriano which a lot of people on here seem to do. The Tribune Company and Lou Pinella both pushed for Soriano (for different reasons). The Tribune Company wanted to increase the value of the franchise before they sold it and Pinella always had a hard on for Soriano.

    Just like Pinella pressured Hendry to get a left handed bat which is how we ended up with Milton Bradley.

    Jim Hendry was a pretty damn good GM. If he can be blamed for anything, it’s probably for being a pushover. He was known to be a guy who got emotionally involved with his players which leads to hanging on to them too long.

    1. Cubsfan21


    2. pete

      On the subject of Soriano, I seem to recall that I read something around the time he got fired that Hendry had agreed to terms/was very close to agreement to terms (in principle) with Soriano for a 6 year contract and that Kenney/Zell/the Trib intervened sua sponte (presumably with the pretense to add value to the team for sale) and increased the offer to the present 8 year deal to get him to sign ASAP. Is that correct, or am I completely off?

  12. True blue

    I believe Hendry was a good GM. Yes there were some bad contracts but all GM’s have those including Theo. I met him a few times when our sons played against each other in travel baseball. A real class act. He was also the GM during my favorite years as a Cub fan and the Cubs were very good. Jim was also great at making trades and getting the free agents we wanted. In this area I believe he was much better than this FO. The number of deals that were announced and then didn’t happen with this FO is surprising.

    1. On The Farm

      Which deals were announced that didn’t happen? I can only think of the Marmol-Haren, and the recent Garza deal, but deals that are shot down due to medicals happen all the time. Also, the Dempster trade no one really knows who leaked it, but that is about the only story that was leaked.

      Finally, Hendry benefited from a Twitter-less era, in today’s world we can get instant updates from teams, players, and insiders just by clicking a button on our phone. Hendry’s tenure with the Cubs didn’t happen in the full blown Twitter craze that is going on now.

  13. David

    Today was the first time in a while that I saw a Rock Shoulders update. I recall he was off to a pretty good start earlier this year. He’s at: .252/ .354/ .463. 15hr. But… 100 K’s in 345 PA’s. Not too good. What happened?? Is he playing 1st? Outfield? What are your thoughts about him making the big leagues??? Still love the name.

    1. ssckelley

      I have been wondering the same thing about Shoulders. I got to see him play earlier in the season and he looked better at the plate than Vogelbach but then he disappeared for over a month.

    2. On The Farm

      I think he rotates 1B and DH with Vogelbach, at least that is what I have been seeing on Twitter and at the few games I have attended.

  14. Eric

    3 strikeouts for Olt.


    1. willis

      the 3B BJax!

    2. King Jeff

      Wait, Kris Bryant struck out 5 times a few nights ago, he is the real BJax of 3b!

      1. willis

        AHHHH!! Too mant BJaxs!!

  15. Cubbie in NC

    Remember that part of signing Soriano was because the Cubs missed out on Beltran and Furcal. They did not want to seem inept at being able to attract free agents. The Tribune wanted to put enough stars on the field to fill seats, but did not care about developing a whole system that could win year after year.

    Looking at how A-Rod is acting I think is a good reminder that as much as Soriano has not lived up to expectations, he has not created a circus around himself…

    I don’t know how to compare Hendry to Theo and Hoyer because of the differences in ownership. I guess in 15 we will know a lot more about the Ricketts ownership if we see a shift in their Free Agent signings…

  16. AB

    According to Bruce Miles, the Cubs had one of the smallest front offices in the MLB. This is a poor misallocation of resources and a serious flaw in whatever plan of managing the organization him and (I’m guessing) Crane Kenney put together while they were both here.

  17. David

    Would love to see some type of metrics for the % of good deals vs. bad deals from GM’s. I bet Hendry would fare pretty well vs. others. Don’t forget about him stealing Garciapara from Boston, getting Archer for a utility guy, & the guy who punched out the Milwaukee sausage guy in 2003 (forgot his name). Simon?? Not sure if we win the division in 03 without him.

    1. Edwin

      It’d be a very difficult exercise. Would you simply judge by the reults of the deals being made, or by the process that led to the deal and the variables in play at the time of each move? What constitutes a “good” deal or a “bad” deal? When one GM is fired and the next GM is hired, how to you assign success/blame for moves involving players from the former regime?

      1. hansman1982

        I think you can just look at the state of the franchise when Hendry left and say that, while he had some good years as a GM, by the end, he was well below average.

        1. willis

          By the end he was a beaten man grasping at imaginary straws. So yeah, the organization was in poor shape top to bottom. I’ll always be grateful to Hendry though for making this team relavant at the major league level for many years of his tenure.

      2. David

        Yup, quite difficult. Perhaps only quantifying the “home runs” vs. “busts”.

        Signing Bradley would be a bust. Lee/ Rameriz would be a home run.

  18. Jon

    Petition to rename the term “Struck out” to “Mike Olt’ed” ?

    1. King Jeff


    2. caryatid62

      I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      1. Cubbie in NC

        Everyone is now dumber for having read that.

    3. Jon

      Tough crowd. Olt does suck though…

      1. On The Farm

        Just because it wasn’t funny doesn’t mean it’s a tough crowd.

  19. Ferris

    Milton bradley, was hendry,s downfall… we had won 97 games….then we got that jerk…he was nothin but a clubhouse cancer that along w dlee gettin injured ended that squad. Imo

  20. mak

    Someone get me a steve holt gif.


    1. mjhurdle


      1. mjhurdle

        best i could find while at work

        1. mak

          Money. Thanks!!!

          1. mak

            By the way, have to love this site. I make a ridiculous, obscure reference at 9:09 am and someone actually creatively pulls it together 4 minutes later.

  21. When the Music's Over

    From baseball prospectus about Baez this morning: “Spoke with a scout recently that said Baez has the best bat speed in the minors. The same scout was also not sure if Baez has the #want to maximize his ability.”

    Is effort/motivation a problem with him? I hadn’t really hear that yet, and actually recall hearing numerous times this year that he was really working hard at getting better.

    1. hansman1982

      It depends if that scout believes that a batter can increase their BB rate and decrease their K rate through hard work and #want.

      It may just be that Baez is truly a 6% BB and 23% K guy which will always hurt his ability to maximize that power potential.

      1. Crockett

        I hate the “want”. Ugh. That scout needs to be fired.

      2. Jp3

        Did I miss it? Has anyone already said that he doesn’t have enough TWTW? Seems this scout is referencing the ever popular BELLY-FIRE. Agreed, he should be fired for that lazy statement

    2. Spriggs

      The scout might have been half right. I’m guessing that’s a good percentage for him.

    3. King Jeff

      I’ve been to Daytona a few times, and every time I’ve been there, Baez has been either in the cage before the games, or working in the field. I’m not sure what info this guy has, but I haven’t seen anything from him that makes me think that he’s not a hard worker. Maybe he’s privy to Baez’ video or weightlifting habits, but I doubt it. It’s probably just leftover from his amateur scouting when he had the rap as a guy who relied on his talent too much.

      1. Spriggs

        I’ve observed the same thing about Baez. He put in a lot of time working out and hitting in Mesa. Definitely not a slacker.

        1. Chris

          sprigs; Baez is over 30 errors in 1/2 season and would like your take on what you see: I will comment after you.

          1. Spriggs

            I really expected all the errors. I don’t think he should be judged too harshly by those. I think eventually he will be moved off SS, but in my opinion he is a good shortstop and could stick there if they wanted/needed him to. Will he outgrow the position as he gets older and fills out? I don’t know. Lots of examples of bigger SS’s (than he will probably ever be). I’ve seen him in: (I believe it was) 2011 Instructs, Extended S.T 2012; AFL 2012, all during Spring training 2013. Many games, many practices. You asked, so…

            My untrained opinion: The arm is maybe a little above average and the range is too, though neither are great. He plays the position well and is all business out there… very involved in the game – take charge attitude involving his teammates. More so at SS than when I’ve seen him at 3rd. Looks very comfortable at SS. I’ve seen him make some of the finest plays a SS could make. A few, simply unbelievable. In the field, he’s sort of like he is at the plate. All out. Too flashy at times. I think the errors will decline as he settles down. Plus you always hear caution about the condition of some of the minor league fields… I don’t know about that.

            But that swing…

            1. Chris

              Thanks. I guess we should know each other because same extended, rookie, s.t., fall league and most every practice. I think he loves SS and turns routine into flash and dash that gets him in trouble. When he first came up was arrogant on the field but off the field nice kid. Were you there the day that he hit a bomb, admired it at homeplate and Angels coach yelled at him–resulting in Baez crossing homeplate and the infamous “I will do whatever the F I want” If you recall that brought Oneri flying in for a sit down. My most respected scout friend has told me twice at Fitch that “it is like watching Alex Rodriguez develop” and he rarely offers compliments. So young with bat speed on loan from—–

              1. Spriggs

                I was not at the game you mentioned, but of course heard a lot about it. I talked and listened to a lot of scouts during his AFL stint who were almost all very critical of Baez’s entire game. I think a lot of those guys resent the cockiness and want to see him fail. Nice to hear about the compliment.

              2. Spriggs

                So I think we agree on too much flash in the field being a problem for Baez. Do you see him as a SS in the majors?

                1. Chris

                  Yes. He loves short stop and the action. Take him away from that and standing still at third could be detrimental and we do not want him bored especially at the plate. He reminds me of my sons who watch espn highlight plays way too much. When he drops the Harlem Globetrotter approach to some plays he should be above average. Also I think he is one of those athletes who needs to be pushed up early for competition and the Cubs have been aggressive with that already. AFL last year and lots of ST at HoHo and now Double A. Nothing but good by this process–a very un-usual athlete.

  22. CubsFaninMS

    If anybody has any interest, here are some updates for you…

    Matt Garza – pitched brilliantly again last night for Rangers, got the W; good for them!

    Scott Feldman – has recorded 3 quality starts out of 4 in Baltimore

    Ronald Torreyes – is batting .200 with 2 runs, 5 hits, 0 RBIs, and 3 strikeouts since being traded to the Astros

    Carlos Marmol – has a 16.20 ERA in 1.2 IP for Los Angeles Dodgers

    Robert Whitenack – has a 3.51 ERA in 33 IP at Indian’s Single-A Mahoning Valley club

    1. willis

      Of course Garza Dominated. And I’m rooting for him to kick ass and for them to make a playoff run. Good for him.

      1. King Jeff

        Me too. Now that they don’t have Hamilton, I think I will be rooting for the Rangers this year. Love Garza, really like Beltre and Kinsler, and I’m still a Soto fan, sort of, so if I had to pick a team to cheer for besides the Cubs, it would probably be Texas.

        1. willis

          Plus, it’s hard not to like a Nolan Ryan influenced organization. Him beating the snot out of Ventura is still the second awesomest thing ever next to Farnsworth beating down Paul Wilson.

      2. CubsFaninMS

        Me too. I’m a light Texas Rangers fan. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping the World Series can be the Rangers vs. Pirates (since the Cubs have virtually no chance at this point).

  23. Kyle

    Josh Vitters: 10.9% BB rate.

    1. Cedlandrum

      yep he has had a very good approach.

    2. Cizzle

      Dropped the K/B in Iowa from 2.6 to 1.7 this year. Of course SSS, <100 PA in '13.

    3. On The Farm

      Posting pretty much the same wOBA and wRC+ as the previous year too.

  24. cubzfan

    Video report on Baez and Alcantara at

    Maybe some of you saw this on WGN or saw the link on Cubs Den, but I just watched it this morning. What surprised me was them listing Baez officially at 5’8″ and Alcantara at 5’10″. Baseball reference has Baez at 6′. Others who’ve seen him have said there’s no way he’s six feet tall. But 5’8″?

    1. Jp3

      Yeesh, Alcatara’s nickname is Alcy? Not a good one.

      1. DarthHater

        Aguamenti Avadakedavra.

      2. Bret Epic

        Alcy could work if he ends up with a similar reputation to Mark Grace.

    2. King Jeff

      If Baez isn’t 6 feet, he’s pretty close. Maybe 5-10/5-11.

      1. cubzfan

        Maybe the graphic didn’t get changed from a past report on Torreyes. ; )

    3. Chris

      Baez is avg height–not 5’8″ Probably a woman reporter who has been lied too for so long that un-able to qualify inches.

      1. TWC

        Well, that’s equally sexist and dumb.

        Please don’t do that again.

      2. DarthHater

        Baseball Reference says Baez is 6’0″. Perhaps you have been lying to women so long that you are no longer able to judge lengths.

  25. willis

    Scott Baker=Donezo

  26. cub2014

    Olt will be starting at 3rd by the weekend!

    1. Jp3

      What? You think he should successfully hit at AAA first?

      1. willis

        Yeah dude, that’s a little much. He’s terrible right now. He needs plenty of seasoning and better results to be playing 3B regularly in the majors.

      2. cub2014

        Olt has been hot the last 2 weeks I think they brought him
        in to see what they have. He will have more power then current
        3B play better defense and the bar is pretty low on batting
        average. This guy like Rizzo had his stint at ML level and didn’t
        do well. So I think Theo wants to see what he has.

        1. On The Farm

          Because Batting Average is the best use of evaluating players. Riiiiiiight..

          1. cub2014

            on the farm, come on I said: Olt will have more power
            play better defense and .230 avg isn’t exactly high
            bar to cross over the current 3B….. pay attention

            1. On The Farm

              Yeah I read what you had to say, you are saying that Olt will play better defense (although is Valbuena really doing a bad job this year?) and then you said something about his average which again isn’t a very useful evluation tool. The power thing I will give you (although it is kind of hard to maximize the power tool if you strike out a lot).

        2. Jp3

          He was 1-5 last night with 3K’s. I think they can find out if his vision is a OK in Iowa vs big league pitching and killing his confidence right along with it.

          1. cub2014

            Jp3, Have you seen his stats the last few weeks at AAA?
            I could be wrong but when Soriano goes Olt will be coming up.

            1. cubchymyst

              Olt will come up if the FO trades Barney, Ransom, or Valbuena. I don’t think Soriano has an impact on him.

            2. Jp3

              I just have a hard time believing he’s ready right now. I DO think he’s not too far away but with his vision problems recently said to be gotten under control all I’m saying is we should let him face fringe major league pitching for a couple weeks. Plus his last couple weeks at Round Rock they were batting him 7th and 8th in that lineup. There has to be a good reason he was so low in the order still. All I’m saying is let him adjust 1st then throw him in the fire.

              1. cub2014

                Olt will either come up now or first of
                September. He will be playing 3rd this
                year. Why would they wait a month?
                If his vision is an issue and the eyedrops
                haven’t worked then they might as well
                release him his career is done. But the eye
                drops do see to be helping.

                1. Jp3

                  That’s why I say leave him there a couple more weeks. They seem to be working but there is no way to know at this point. Supposedly he turned his season around after talking to Manny Ramirez too…. Just see if he can hit AAA 1st, if he can’t hit that better than the .213/.317 clip why would you think he’d fair better against top notch pitching? Plus this next couple weeks will give us a chance to get maximum trade value (which might not be much) for Valbuena, ransom and Barney. They are going to be hard to showcase with Olt playing everyday at 3rd.

                  1. cub2014

                    Ok Jp3, I will tell Theo we will wait
                    2 more weeks on Olt and that’s it!

        3. CubsFaninMS

          It’s ironic you mention Rizzo. Rizzo is my argument on the theory that they won’t promote Olt until he proves himself in Iowa, similar to their approach with Rizzo.

  27. On The Farm

    Speaking of trading SP for young 3B who are struggling. There is a rumor floating around that the Sox (the White ones) are looking into Will Middlebrooks for Jake Peavy. That would be an interesting deal.

    1. King Jeff

      That has been debunked by both sides.

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