cj edwardsThe Wife and The Kids are getting ready to depart for a short get-away-from-Brett-during-the-Blogathon vacation. A very generous assist – and thanks to The Grandparents for taking them on.

  • As Luke noted this morning in the Minor League Daily, new Cubs pitching prospect C.J. Edwards had himself a debut. Pitching for the first time with the Cubs since he was traded in the Matt Garza deal – and pitching for the first time at High-A – Edwards struck out the first seven batters he faced. He wound up giving up just one hit and one walk over five scoreless innings, striking out eight. Better? He worked most of his magic early off of his fastball alone. If you can see that kind of success with fastball velocity, placement, and movement, you can be a stud, because your other pitches need only be so-so. You never want to let one start tell you too much about a 21-year-old, but when it’s built upon the back of a stellar first half of the season in the Rangers’ organization, my optimism for Edwards is rocketing upward. He could probably stand to gain about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, but we’ll get there. More on Edwards from MiLB.com here.
  • … and then FanGraphs does a good job of grounding you a little bit on Edwards. Though even that piece is positive, overall. If you wanted to argue that Edwards is the Cubs’ best pitching prospect right now, I wouldn’t think you a total idiot.
  • If you were betting on MLB right now, the NL Central is looking more and more like a safe bet to send three teams to the playoffs. The Diamondbacks are 4.5 games behind the Reds for the second Wild Card, but 2.5 back in the NL West. That figures to be a nice fight, but I don’t see the loser overtaking the Reds or Pirates for a Wild Card spot – and I don’t see either the Reds or Pirates overtaking the Cardinals in the Central. Voodoo magic.
  • A little more background on new Cubs pitching prospect Corey Black, the 21-year-old righty who’ll join Edwards at High-A Daytona. He’ll make his debut there on Thursday.
  • Speaking of Black, Yankees GM Brian Cashman apparently was quite opposed to giving him up in the Alfonso Soriano deal (that tends to be a good sign). We discussed Cashman’s opposition to the Soriano deal this weekend, but he addressed those rumors publicly (see ESPN), saying that it wasn’t that he didn’t want Soriano. He simply thought the Yankees could have gotten a better deal if they’d held out a little longer, despite ownership’s insistence that a deal was needed ASAP. After yesterday’s win, which featured four hits by Soriano, including a homer and the walk-off single, maybe he’s glad the Yankees pulled the trigger when they did.
  • Chris Rusin got a little advice from Greg Maddux when he was a younger pitcher in High-A ball back in 2010.
  • Scott Baker’s next rehab start will come today at Daytona.
  • In case you missed anything from a fairly busy weekend: the Cubs aren’t getting Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (here), there was a Lukewarm Stove (here), there was more on the Alfonso Soriano deal and prospect Corey Black (here), there was a Jeff Samardzija rumor floating around (here), Luke dug into what’s left to watch in the minor league seasons (here), and there is a new top prospect list out (here).
  • On The Farm

    Some encouraging signs from Baker in Daytona would be most appreicated. He hasn’t looked the sharpest in Kane County so I would love it if he could make me feel a little more confident about his comeback. But thankfully my boy Rusin is holding down the fort.

    • willis

      Too bad they’ll get rained out :)

  • ken

    CJ Edwards ~ Juan Cruz?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I thought about that – of course, Cruz’s feat was a little more impressive, given the level.

    • Jon

      Man, I hope not.

      • Jon

        Also, one thing I never liked about Juan Cruz, he looked exactly like that creep that murdered Patrick Swaze in the film “Ghost”

        • Adventurecizin’ Justin

          That’s funny yo!

  • ISU Birds

    How bout them Cubs? It’s always cool to sweep the defending champs, even if they are struggling.

  • Try Hard

    Alfonso gets 4 hits and scores the game winning run. The ESPN story is all about Jeter hitting a home run in the first inning.

    God, I hate ESPN and their love of all things Jeter/Yankees.

    • ssckelley

      But to New Yorkers Jeter hitting that home run probably was a bigger story.

      • Try Hard

        You’re probably right.

        I guess its more of an issue I have with baseball in the national media. After a weekend of football or even an exciting basketball game, the actual events of the game get airtime. With baseball, to quote a Dan Patrick segment I heard, there needs to be a national story – ie he isn’t a local affiliate. This logic only applies to baseball, sports media needs a story because no one cares to hear about how awesome the Reds v Cardinals game was last night and how it might affect the playoff race.

        With the Yankees, the story that Yankees fans care about is assumed to be the national story. Jeter’s home run should be a reason to highlight a great game of baseball. It had drama with Jeter’s return and an unbelievable performance by a teammate. The story shouldn’t only play to the local fans.

        • Frank Coggins is dead

          If you listen to MLB radio, they mention the Yankees in every segment, even if they are discussing NL teams. Must be company policy.

  • Jon

    CJ Edwards was the centerpiece of that Garza trade easily. I believe that Olt was actually forced on the Cubs, and Theo begrudgingly accepted just to get Edwards.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Yeah that makes almost no sense. “Oh yeah… we’ll take the guy who is still a top 75 prospect and was almost the centerpiece of a Garza trade last year… BUT ONLY IF YOU MAKE US!!!”

      • Jon

        I’ll wager dollars to donuts that Olt is out of every major top 100 list by next spring.

        I know he’s still hanging around the 50-70ish range of the latest release, but that’s only because he was so high(overrated) to begin with.

        • ssckelley

          I would have thought that as well but why does Mayo still have him in his updated top 100?

          • Jon

            I believe Law still had him in his updated top 100 has well. It’s really difficult to fall from top 20sh to completely out of the 100. That said, he’s falling and fast.

          • On The Farm

            I generally just use Mayo in comparison to other sites. That being said I still found it interesting that he listed him in his top 3 3B prospects (I think he is #2 and Bryant is #3?, but they could be flopped). The thing that surprised me about it is everyone has Olt falling on their boards (Mayo included), but he is still considered one of the best 3B prospects (i.e. they haven’t put any other 3B prospects from the top 100 in front of him either).

            • Jon

              (IMO) Really speaks to the overall weakness of the position in the big leagues, and at the minor league level. Which is why I want the Cubs to give Bryant every shot to try and stick at 3rd.

            • ssckelley

              They all comment on his glove and he has proved he can hit, at least everywhere except AAA. I have always thought the smallest gap between the levels was between AA and AAA, prospects get promoted directly from AA all the time. So this seasons drop off at the plate is really confusing and I think this is why “experts” keep him in the top 100 and one of the top 3rd base prospects. You do not usually see a .250 drop in OPS between AA and AAA.

              • Coop

                I’m not sure what to make of this season. If Olt’s struggles are tied to the concussion syndrome and eye problems, then maybe there are some corrective actions possible during the off-season. I know his K rate has always been elevated, but this year seems like a bit of an outlier. Or… maybe his K rate has been further exposed by more advanced pitching. I think I need to see what happens come next year before rendering judgement. His stock was awfully high last year (likely too high – I have to admit I was never 100% sold on him), but it now feels like it has dropped an equally insane amount. I’d be curious to hear Jason McLeod’s evaluation – that guy has a great talent for evaluating prospects – if he is still on board, I’ll stay on board. Let’s hope things improve next year. Olt will definitely be old for a prospect, but if he can turn things around, then we have a cost controlled talent during his prime years.

                I do like me some Edwards, though. Dang that was a fun debut performance.

                • ssckelley

                  There has to be something else involved, you usually do not see that big of a drop off between AA to AAA. If the drop off was between A to AA then it is explainable, but I have always been told (I think even Luke has mentioned this) that there is not much gap in talent between AA and AAA. Not enough to justify a .250 drop in OPS. Something else has to be going on.

        • gocatsgo2003

          I tend to disagree with you but, either way, it is still clear that the Cubs liked Olt last year and liked him this year. To say the least, it’s an extreme stretch to say the Rangers “forced” Olt on the Cubs.

    • ssckelley

      I doubt it, the Rangers may have been a little more open to trading Olt but the Cubs have been coveting him since last year.

      • Tobias

        All I can add is that for the last couple years, fans have been wanting the Cubs to trade for either Olt or Castellanos.

  • MichiganGoat

    And don’t forget we raised $12,000+ for the blogathon and can now provide two children a wish. Amazing- this is the greatest community on the Internet.

    • jh03


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s not a Bullet item, my man …

    • Gretchen


      ‘Nuff said.

  • Lou Cub

    John, the Cubs have been in pursuit of Olt since Theo arrived in town

  • TheMagicMan

    Looks like the Orioles are willingly to move bundy at the right price. Bundy, gausman + for shark

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Sign me up. (:

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Well, fangraphs sees:
    1) A Plane issue
    2) Stamina/velocity issue
    3) Durability/weight issue

    Seem 1 is a mechanics fix, or tweak to maybe improve the downward plane. But I’d let him see what he does at AA early next season before broaching that.
    2 & 3 is training and diet.

    I guess too if he can further learn to add and subtract well from his fastball, and change eye level, that’s good pitching. With the curve flashing plus, and a respectable change, he can get guys out with all of that.

    Some MLB pitchers fail that basic test.

    2 years – might get to see the guy throw on a Wrigley mound. Here’s hoping.

  • Jon

    I read in another piece that the Rangers already had this kid on a 6K Calorie/Day diet. I wish my fat ass had this kids metabolism.

    • mdavis

      yup, some guys just cant put on the weight for whatever reason. when i played football in college we had kids that had to eat 8 times to try and put on on 10 pounds of bulk. some of us were able to +/- 10 pounds with a couple months. every one is differnt. maybe get him on that michael phelps diet. wasnt the dude eating like 12,000 calories?

  • Peter

    When do you think Olt will be brought up, Cubs have nothing very good at third and Valbuena is far from a starter, plus seeing cody ranson at third makes me want to puke. He may be sucking it up in triple A, but he has rotted down there long enough, have to bring him up and see what he does.

    • Jon

      Olt is highly unlikely to outperform the Valbuena/Ransom platoon by himself and Ranson individually from the right side..

      How about Olt actually do something in the PCL before we beg for his call up?

      • willis

        Yeah there’s not point to bring up a guy who can’t hit for shit in AAA just so he gets further dominated in the majors, killing whatever confidence he may still have. He needs instruction and improvement in a huge way. He’s no where near ready to face major league pitching. Not really sure how anyone could suggest he come up right now. Let him settle in some at Iowa and see if he can make some strides. Right now it’s ugly.

        Valbuena>Olt right now.

    • mdavis

      september unless valbuena, ransom, or barney are traded at the deadline.

    • ssckelley

      Olt has got to do something at the plate in AAA before being called up. Either way I doubt we will see him before September.

  • Josh t

    Astro’s trade Veras to the Tigers for Vazquez (top prospect) & PTBNL. The Astros just robbed the Tigers!

    • Jon

      Damn. I really want to see what a cost controlled Russell can get…

      • Josh t

        Asking price for Russell is probably too high for teams so I bet a deal doesn’t get done this trade deadline. Plus I think a lot of teams just see him as a LOOGY

  • aCubsFan

    I think a lot will change today or tomorrow when MLB announces the PED suspensions.

  • Rebuilding

    I know the Yankees have always been a strange organization since Steinbrenner bought the team, but how bizarre is it to have the GM repeatedly going to the press and saying he didn’t want to do such and such but ownership made him? Seems either he would either be fired for insubordination or move on. I can’t imagine Theo going on ESPN and saying he didn’t want to do something but Ricketts made him – even if it happened.

  • Ivy Walls

    Brett, I think I going to create a 9th draft [protected] position or better watch in the Message Board but here is today’s standings. Cubs are currently tied for 10th (or worst position possible, though because of winning percentage due to unbalanced schedule, and could be tied with Philadelphia in another look for 9th), either way I do not think Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod want to be out of the FA protection status next year.

    Daily Draft Position (seeking the FA Exception)

    1) Astros (.337)
    2) Marlins (.388) -5.5
    3) WSox (.392) -6.0
    4) Brewers (.413) -8.5
    5) Twins (.441) -11.0
    6) Giants (.442) -11.0
    7) Mets (.451) -11.0
    8) Padres (.453) -12.0
    9) Blue Jays (.461) -13.0

    10) Cubs (.466) -12.5
    10) Angels (.466) -12.5
    10) Phillies (.467) -12.5

    12) Mariners (.476) -13.5
    13) Rockies (.481) -14.0
    14) Nationals (.491) -15.0
    15) Royals (.500) -17.0

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Looking at this the Cubs look like they will at least be at 6. But I can see them going to as low as number 4 considering theyre still sellers.

      • On The Farm

        If the Cubs truly want to drop their position there is no doubt they need to deal Schierholtz and Gregg. With no closer and the hero of the Giants series gone I could see the Cubs win total dropping to those numbers.

        That being said I enjoyed watching the Cubs win this weekend..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This is very helpful.

    • ssckelley

      It still blows my mind the Cubs are only 7 games under .500 even after they have traded Soriano, Feldman, and Garza.

      • On The Farm

        It amazes me how close this team was to being a solid .500 team. When the FO started the season off, I figured they put together a team that would be .450 at best and even worse after we started selling off parts. Maybe it was luck signing the right guys, but I think this FO does a hell of a job evaluating talent and finding the right guys to slot into this team.

        • Jeff

          I know the flames will come from some on here, but the poor start to the year had more to do with poor managing by Dale Sveum and his use of the lousy bullpen that blew far too many games in which we had leads early in the season.

          While I’m still not a fan of Sveum, he apparently has been making better managerial decisions over the last month and a half.

          Which makes me wonder if he just started of the year as bad as Marmol and company or was it by design?

          The thing I don’t understand is why we are on such a good winning streak, when given are position in the standings and no hope to a playoff spot, we might as well be taking the dive for a better draft pick.

          Hopefully that might happen in August and September, I’m not a fan of losing but if this front office will finally admit that they are “rebuilding” might as well get on with it. Let the kids come up and play. I want to see Olt and Jackson and Vitters.

          Trade DeJesus, Villanueva, Gregg, Barney, Valbuena and anybody that can bring back a younger player.

          • mjhurdle

            love this logic:
            “he apparently has been making better managerial decisions over the last month and a half”

            We can’t tell you exactly what those decisions are, or what games he made them in, but just look at the W-Ls!! obviously he is a better manager now!

            • Jeff

              Let me re-phrase that then, “he’s not fucking up in his decision making as much as he was in the first two months of the year.”

              • mjhurdle

                re-phrase it all you want.
                Doesn’t change the fact that the basis for your argument is still flawed.

                I get that there are a variety of opinions concerning Sveum, and you are definitely entitled to view him in whatever light you want (even if the whole “playing the victim” thing (“I know the flames will come from some on here”) is annoying).

                What i dont get is when people dont even bother to take the time put together a valid argument to support their opinion.
                Saying that, because the Cubs lost more at the start of the year, so Sveum was managing poorly; and now that they are winning more, he must be managing better is about as weak of an Anti-Sveum argument as i have heard.

          • On The Farm

            “The thing I don’t understand is why we are on such a good winning streak, when given are position in the standings and no hope to a playoff spot, we might as well be taking the dive for a better draft pick”

            Because the players on the team are professionals and they don’t just take a dive so the FO can get a better draft pick,

            “Let the kids come up and play. I want to see Olt and Jackson and Vitters.”

            We shouldn’t bring up the “kids”, just because you want to see them play. If they need more work in AAA, then let them work it out in AAA.

            “Trade DeJesus, Villanueva, Gregg, Barney, Valbuena and anybody that can bring back a younger player.”

            Looking at this team and how you just said something about our win streak, why on earth would you want to trade all of these guys who are under control for next year’s team (aside from Gregg)?

            If you want to blame Sveum that’s on you, I won’t fight you on that. I am not sure how you can say they were pitching Marmol on purpose? They were hoping he could revert back to his oldself. Looking at the care the FO took in putting this team together in the first place, I am not sure how you can say they wanted Marmol to blow games.

    • João Lucas

      Why 9th? Shouldn’t it be “10th draft position or better watch”? (I realize the Blue Jays are getting a comp pick for failing to sign Phil Bickford, but they’ll choose 11th, so this doesn’t affect the draft positions of the ten worst teams this season, if I understand things correctly.)

    • Lou Brown

      I have mixed feelings about this. With this season being lost, I would like them to get another good haul in the draft next year. However, if they are winning because their core guys are performing, and new arrivals like Lake and Strop are delivering, that is better news for the future than getting draft position. Anyhow, this is the first time in a while I am DVRing and watching every game, they are fun to watch again, so go Cubs!

      • Ivy Walls

        Of course many fans have mixed feelings. Allow me to provide an analogy. Once was an exec with a company that had franchises and company owned operations. A franchise kept selling services and products under the profit margin simply to inflate their revenues but not adding value. We finally decided we had to take a bite with their revenue stream and make the investment in getting pricing and that market in order. It was a big deal for the franchise was a $100M operating unit where we shaved about 20% from their stream enforcing pricing/contract structures. But in the long term the revenues returned at the desire margins.

        Here the Cubs and its fans want to win, I don’t like to watch games the Cubs lose—period and have enjoyed their resurrecting of this year’s competitive ship. That said they cannot lose a protected #1 draft choice, meaning they will not go after an available FA’s

        Jarrod Saltalamacchia
        Robinson Cano
        Jacoby Ellsbury
        Curtis Granderson
        Shin-Soo Choo
        Scott Kazmir
        Tim Lincecum

        is merely a short list of players who might be at that $$ level and offer real value to the club rebuilding.

    • On The Farm

      The real question is: How bad will this Astro team be if they end up dealing Bud Norris?

  • TOOT

    Can;t believe it.