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tennessee smokiesThe Smokies simply could not find a way to win in Jacksonville. The Suns, one of the better teams in the Southern League, had an answer for every Tennessee rally this series. The Smokies dropped four straight.

Then, on the final day the series, Eric Jokisch took the mound. And if you were not paying attention, you missed out on something special.

The young lefty struck out eight and walked four over nine no-hit innings. He became the first Smokey to toss a no-hitter in thirteen years, and he did it in just 108 pitches. Every great pitching performance has a great defensive play or two behind it, and in this one the highlights came from the infielders in the ninth. Villanueva and Baez both completed tough plays to set up the final out, and Bour calmly picked a tough throw from the dirt to seal it.

Double A is a tough league. Player here are considered one phone call from the majors, and the level of competition reflects that. A Double A no-hitter, let alone a no-hitter on the road against a good team like Jacksonville, is a significant accomplishment. This won’t change his prospect status, won’t make him more likely to be promoted, and won’t fast track him to Chicago, but it does confirm that Jokisch is not a prospect we can afford to ignore. If you are looking for candidates to flesh out the back of the Cubs rotation or solidify their bullpen in a year or two, Jokisch is definitely a name to remember.

Not to rub salt in the wound if you missed out on this slice of history, but remember that every minor league game, including the Smokies games, are broadcast via a radio stream over the internet for free. Just pull up the team’s homepage (linked below) at game time and click the link beside the box score. If you have MiLB.TV the link the video stream will be in that same place.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Despite three errors Iowa wins another one by a final of 10-3.
Tennessee - If you missed this game, find a friend who has MiLB.TV and make them let you watch a replay. The Smokies cruised to a 10-0 win.
Daytona - Daytona had a (scheduled) day off.
Kane County - The Cougars earn another road win, 6-2.
Boise - Boise was off, but a large part of the roster was participating in the All-Star game. More on that in a bit.
Arizona - A ninth inning rally was not enough as Arizona lost 2-1.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] This is the kind of game Mike Olt needed. He finished 1 for 2 with 3 walks and his 12th Triple A home run. He did not strike out.
  • [Iowa] Recently we have been watching Daniel Lockhart make the geography-induced titanic leap from Boise to Iowa. In this game he was joined on that vault by catcher Cael Brockmeyer. The 2013 draftee finished 1 for 3 with a walk and 2 strikeouts.
  • [Iowa] Minor league veteran Edgar Gonzalez exploded for 5 hits, including 3 home runs, in this game.
  • [Tennessee] Just in case you missed the headline or the introduction, Eric Jokisch struck out 8 in his no-hitter over Jacksonville. Some great infield defense in the ninth helped him put this game away.
  • [Tennessee] In addition to his no-hitter saving catch, Javier Baez also went 4 for 6 with a pair of doubles and just one strike out. Suddenly his batting average is up to .273, his OPS is at .945, and his K% has drifted down to 32.5%. That is still high, but the numbers are trending in the right direction.
  • [Tennessee] Matt Szczur (2 for 5, BB, 2B), Rubi Silva (3 for 5, BB), and Jonathan Mota (2 for 5, 2B) also had a good day.
  • [Tennessee] As if pitching a no-hitter wasn’t enough, Jokisch just had to make his day even more awesome with a 2 for 4 game at the plate. He also drew a walk.
  • [Kane County] Gioskar Amaya finished 3 for 5 with a double and his 12th stolen base.
  • [Kane County] Oliver Zapata finished 2 for 4 with a home run (his 6th) and a stolen base (his 11th).
  • [Kane County] Reggie Golden also homered. It was his 7th of the season.
  • [Kane County] On the mound, Michael Hamann kept his scoreless streak alive for another inning. Andrew McKirahan and Al Yevoli also pitched well in relief.
  • [Boise] The Hawks’ own Tyler Bremer struck out the one man he faced to earn the save in the Northwest League All Star Game. The first two outs in the ninth were earned by fellow Cub prospect James Pugliese. The lefty struck out one.
  • [Boise] Yasiel Balaguert was the starting DH in the exhibition game and finished 0 for 2 with a walk. Lance Rymel, the starting catcher, also finished 0 for 2 with a walk. Starting first baseman Jacob Rogers was 1 for 3.
  • [Boise] Coming off the bench in the All-Star Game was the double play combination of SS Carlos Penalver and 2B David Bote. Penalver finished 0 for 2 and Bote 0 for 1, although he did reach base.
  • [Arizona] Catcher Wilfredo Petit doubled as part of his 2 for 4 game.
  • [Arizona] Center fielder Jeffrey Baez finished 1 for 4 with his 16th stole base, but his other three at bats were strikeouts.
  • [Arizona] Trevor Graham struck out 3 in his 3 starting innings. David Villegas pitched the next 3 innings and struck out 5 in total. Villegas also gave up a pair of runs on a hit and 2 walks.

Other News

  • While there is no doubt that Lockhart and Brockmeyer are going to gain plenty of valuable experience on the Iowa roster, I would not view their promotion over the entirety of the farm system as an indication of any sort of super-prospect status in the eyes of the front office. The Iowa Cubs are playing out West, the Boise Hawks live out West, and Iowa needed some reinforcements. Gioskar Amaya benefited from a similar situation last summer. Odds are good that these two young players will be returned to Boise soon. I should note, though, that we are just weeks from the end of the season. It is not impossible, only unlikely, that one or both might be left in Iowa for the duration of the year.
  • As a team the Smokies walked five times against four strikeouts. That is not as awesome as a no-hitter, but it is still awesome.
  • Did you miss the catch by Baez in the ninth of the no-hitter? Watch it here.
  • The Northwest League All-Star Game was supposed to be the lead for today’s article, but Jokisch had other ideas. Eight Cub prospects were named to the team, and seven of them played (the exception was Lockhart, now with Iowa). The South (featuring those Cub prospects) rallied for three in the ninth to take the win 8-7, and a pair of Hawks were in that rally. Carlos Penalver grounded out in the ninth, advancing a runner in the process, and infielder David Bote reached in that inning thanks to a hit by pitch.
  • http://www.1000caloriesaday.com/ Frank

    Congrats to Eric Jokisch and the Smokies.

  • Die hard

    DeJesus is terrible and Lakes swing too long

    • gocatsgo2003

      Sheesh… don’t even know where to start with this one, so I won’t.

  • Tim

    Is Almora injured? I feel like he hasn’t played in a couple games

    • jh03

      He’s on the 7-Day DL

  • David

    I think Rizzo’s swing is too long, too.

    • On The Farm

      I always thought Rizzo has quick hands and gets his bat through the zone pretty quick.

  • Jon

    What ever happened to Marcelo Carreno?

    • jeff1969

      Carreno has been on the DL all season. There hasn’t been much info about what happened to him. I saw one note about a sore shoulder, but he was on the minimally performing list in spring training, then nothing. I never found anything about surgery or rehab so. Preseason MLB #19 prospect for the Cubs so…

  • jh03
  • Ron

    Did Jokisch throw a no hitter last year also?

  • David

    Ehhh. There’s something about his swing…. Is he standing too tall when making contact? I find it hard to believe he’ll be able to hit for a .275/ .280 avg. anytime soon. I know avg is not everything, but those are the numbers projected for him. I just dont want to see him be a present day Adam Dunn.

    • MichiganGoat

      Who/what are talking to or about? Use the reply button if you are responding to somebody l.

      • On The Farm

        He was replying to me saying that I think Rizzo has quick hands, and I think Rizzo gets his bat through the zone pretty quick

        • David

          Yup. Sorry.

    • On The Farm

      I would love for Rizzo to be someone who is an above average OBP (Dunn’s career OBP is .368), great in the wOBA (Dunn’s wOBA is .371), Dunn also on average has wRC+ of 124. I would be just fine if that’s what Rizzo turns into.

      • George Jetson

        Minus the whole ‘striking out over 200 times and don’t hit anything other than HRs’ part

        • On The Farm

          It doesn’t matter if he hits HR and doesn’t hit a single as long as he is taking a walk instead. Which is what makes Dunn so successful. I don’t think we have to worry about that though because Rizzo seems to have a fair amount of HRs and from what I have seen last season and this season he hits a fair amount of doubles.

          • CubsFaninMS

            He’s tied for second in the National League in doubles, behind Matt Carpenter (34) and tied with Jay Bruce (31). I’d say he hits his share of doubles.

          • MichiganGoat

            Dunn is that unique player whose K rate destroys his BA but his BB stabilize his OBP then combine that with a strong SLG and he regularly got OPS of around .900 and an OPS+ around 130 during his prime years. Take away his horrible 2011 and his career is quite solid and a player anyone should be happy to have on their team. Rizzo also provides well above average defense (something Dunn never provided). So having him become a better fielding Dunn is okay by me.

          • SirCub

            Rizzo is a very different hitter from Adam Dunn. (20% k rate vs. 30%).The only reason he has a low BA this year is because of a low BABIP, and there’s no reason to believe that he’ll be a career low babip guy. He’s slow, yes, but he is not a dead pull hitter, so he shouldn’t get hurt too much by defensive shifts.

        • hansman1982

          Ummm…not sure if serious.

          Rizzo had a .285 average last year. He is pretty good at hitting a baseball.

          Seriously, I will never understand some fans fascination with not being able to just accept that certain players are good. Rizzo actually had a better minor league career than Votto and entereted the league, full-time a year before Votto. The dude is going to be good.

          • On The Farm

            Someday they will figure it out hansman. Over half of his hits are XBHs

            • hansman1982

              At least when I have an irrational hatred of a player it’s for a fairly decent reason (BB-K ratios, just as a random example)

              • MichiganGoat

                Its the BA as long as its below .300 baseball card fans are going to he’s not good, and combine that with some fans still thinking that 40 HR is standard for good hitter it will be a while until fans start to realize that hitting with an OPS+ above 100 is good.

                • hansman1982

                  Ya, he is the 15th best 1B according to wOBA; however, there is only 1 other guy ahead of him that’s the same age (Freeman (who, incidentally, posted a .342 wOBA (Rizzo’s is .341) last year)) and Belt is the only other one that is close.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    I agree but the average fan that doesn’t look beyond baseball card/triple crown stats just don’t think he is as good as WE know he is.

                    • hansman1982

                      I know…

                    • MichiganGoat

                      But do you know what you know?

                    • DarthHater

                      [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5525/9459867418_f9291597d0_n.jpg[/img]

                    • MichiganGoat

                      That is beautiful man

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      Very nice Darth…not sure how you manage to find this stuff.

          • jh03

            Rizzo has been bad this year because of his RISP numbers. Or that’s what I’ve been told lately….. ugh.

            • Cubman23

              His BABIP is really bad this year. I think it’s bad luck, but some people believe he has a bad approach and hasn’t been squaring the ball up well. Even still, he’s having a productive year and his OPS is way up in the second half.

            • Timothy Scarbrough

              That is just sequencing, and he is most likely due for some positive regression.

              • jh03

                Yes, I know that. But then I’m just “waiting on luck” to even things out.

                I know that Rizzo has been awesome this year.. I was just pointing out what others have been saying.

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  • JM

    “Double A is a tough league. Player here are considered one phone call from the majors, and the level of competition reflects that.”

    Luke, why does this seem to be more true for this league than AAA? Seems like AAA is the place where minor leaguers go to when it is obvious they won’t make the majors.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I wouldn’t say that is the case at all.

      Double A is the first league from which we can expect to see players promoted to the majors, but that doesn’t mean the same isn’t true of Triple A. There are plenty of good prospects in Triple A mixed in with major league bench types. Of the two, Triple A is definitely the tough place for most prospects to play.

      • JM

        I see what you’re saying. Obviously the higher level AAA is considered tougher than AA, yet so many of the truly great players spend very little time at AAA. It seems like the jump from AA is easier than AAA. Those that do make it from AAA are usually role, fringe, or backup players.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I wouldn’t go that far either. Plenty of very, very good prospects spend time in Triple A before going to the majors. The jump from Triple A to the majors most definitely more difficult than the jump from Double A.

          The most typical path for any prospect involves time spent at both Double A and Triple A. Starlin Castro is an exception, even for very good prospects.

          • JM

            “The jump from Triple A to the majors most definitely more difficult than the jump from Double A.”

            Wait…. what?

            I thought that’s what I had been saying. I think I know what you meant. : )

    • On The Farm

      Hoyer and Epstien have said that they would like their prospects to get a full season of ABs at AAA before being called up to the majors. AAA is hardly the place where propects go to die.

      • Cubman23

        True, but I’m betting that Hoystein break their AAA rule early and often with this crop of prospects. There are just too many situations where it doesn’t make sense to have a guy in AAA for a full season. For instance, based on Baez’s current trajectory, I doubt very much that he will spend that much time there.

        • On The Farm

          Unless somehow we are in a playoff race next year there is no way we call him up other than once the AAA season is over, I would bet he spends half a season in AA and AAA, and then there is a good chance he spends April/May of 2015 in AAA much like the Rizzo situation.

          • Cubman23

            Totally possible. Even in that situation, you’ve got only about 250 ABs in AAA. However, I don’t think Baez and Rizzo are equivalents. Rizzo spent over 100 games in AA. Right now, the Cubs would be insane to keep Baez in AA for that long. He very well may regress, but we’ll see.

            I could very easily see him doing half the season next year in AA, then finishing the AAA season, and then never returning to the minors. It really just depends on how it goes next year. If the Cubs are out of it next September (they will be) and Baez does well when he gets called up, why wouldn’t they keep him at 3B in 2015?

          • Kyle

            I don’t think it’s that easy to say explicitly what they’ll do with Baez. A lot will depend on what they think is best for his development, which may well be a quicker promotion than normal for any number of reasons.

            • willis

              Soon enough, if he keeps going the way he is, the position discussion is going to begin, much more seriously than before. With a log jam at 3B in the minors and Castro at SS…this will get very interesting.

              • Jon

                I really love to see if Baez can stick at short in the big leagues. How sexy is a SS with 35-40 HR potential? Baseball hasn’t had one of those since prime Hanley as I can recall.

                • willis

                  Extremely. I suppose much depends on Olt’s development and trades (lack there of) in the offseason, but Castro could move to 2B eventually, with Baez and SS and Olt at 3B. Those three come anywhere close to their ceilings, that’s a wildly fascinating infield with Rizzo at 1B.

                  Long time until this happens, but that would be my thought at this point.

                  • Cubman23

                    It seems like Baez projects to be below Castro as a defensive SS, so what about moving Baez to 2B instead of 3B? That would leave the 3B free for the logjam in the minors. Then again you have Alcantara to figure out too if he continues his progression.

                    Very interesting indeed. A nice problem to have though. One would think a trade involving some of these guys is going to happen at some point too.

                    • Kyle

                      I don’t think we can say for sure that Castro is the better defensive SS long-term between the two of them. He’s probably better right now, but at their peaks, it could go either way.

                      Our infield situation is going to be very interesting for 2014. Especially if Olt’s problems have been injury related and he can hold down the 3b job once healthy. We’re almost certainly going to have to move someone.

                • On The Farm

                  I think 20-25 HRs is pretty “sexy” at SS

                  • Justin

                    The Baez/Castro shortstop situation is so awesome. Basically who ever loses out could be dealt to get that top shelf minor league pitching the Cubs have been missing out on. And I don’t see how in the world you could move an infielder with the power potential Baez has, regardless of the K’s.. I wish Castro would blow up the rest of the season to make the decision even harder though..

                    • Kyle

                      Our infield situation is really tough to read and I have no clue what they’ll do with it. Trading Castro for pitching is definitely on the list of possibilities, imo, though I have no idea what percentage I’d put on it.

                    • On The Farm

                      ..”regardless of the K’s”

                      Is the kind of thinking that led to Brett Jackson’s failure’s. I realize he still has time to turn it around, but he is what 25(?) and heading back to AA. The odds of him being anything more than a 4th OF are looking worse each season.

                    • Justin

                      Yeah, thinking of Brett Jackson comes to mind for sure when discussing Baez and his future. The thing that Baez has on Jackson though is age. He has been a lot younger at every stop than Jackson, and more awesome..

                    • Justin

                      I am curious to what type of market there is for Castro after this yr. Obviously there are teams that would want him, but he’s not cheap anymore. Hard to tell i guess..

                • hansman1982

                  Even Ramirez wasn’t a 35-40 HR guy in his prime. More a 25-30 HR guy who had 1 year of 33 HR.

                  If Baez is a 35-40 HR hitter, that’d be close to ARod territory in today’s HR environment.

  • Patrick G

    Baez’ strikeout rate will continue to stay high for the rest of the year only because it started out so bad. If he continues this good streak, hopefully it will carry into next season where he can start out with a low K rate and keep it there

  • Spriggs

    Luke, nice daily recap, as usual. Not to nitpick, but Pugliese is a righty. He is an interesting guy to watch pitch. A max-effort delivery guy on every pitch (unless he has toned it down from his first year).

  • CubsFaninMS

    Mr. Castro? Meet Mr. Baez.

    Not to jump the gun, but the last two week’s for Baez in AA have been an extremely positive sign for his progression as a potential major leaguer. I predict that he gets his K rate under 25% by the end of the year. If he can bring his K rate below this percent and his walk rate up a notch or two… it’s highly likely we’ll see him in Chicago next year.

    • On The Farm

      I think the most encouraging sign is his BB% is the highest its ever been in his career. I think it will be most of the year before we see Baez with the Cubs. He will need to continue success at AA, and then AAA to earn his September call up.

      • CubsFaninMS

        I agree, I predict (hope for) a similar trajectory as Rizzo’s call up last season. That’s if Baez rakes and his numbers improve.

      • hansman1982

        The thing that complicates any discussion of a Sept callup for Baez is that he isn’t on the 40-man. That spot will be very valuable this winter.

        • On The Farm

          I was speaking of next season. I think Baez will need to continue his success at AA next year, get his mid season call up to AAA hit the ball well there, then he would earn his September call up. I 100% agree with the people that say even if Baez rakes through the end of the year you don’t add him to the 40 man for this season.

          • MichiganGoat

            Those 40 man spots are very rare on the Cubs right now and because of that and to maximize the control clock of Baez, he won’t see time until next year (after the clock is right to get an extra year of control… see Rizzo).

            • On The Farm

              That is what I am saying. You don’t call him up no matter what this season to save the 40 man spot, and then next year if he “earns” it, you can add him in September, if not you can add him after the season is over to protect him.

              • hansman1982

                Ya, but those spots on the 40-man are sooooooooo valuable, this year! (tounge in cheek)

          • hansman1982

            Ok, I thought you maybe saw an agressive promotion to AAA this week, a mashing of AAA and then this year Setp callup.

            I think a June 2014 callup to MLB isn’t out of the question. If he can continue to refine his approach and does a good job of just making contact with the ball in ST, he could, possibly, be on the AAA roster on OD next year.

            This would still be pretty aggressive but I think the FO is throwing out the playbook a bit on Baez.

            • On The Farm

              Yeah I should have used years when I was referring to the AA/AAA year to make my post less confusing. As I was posting though I too thought about how the FO pretty much promotes Baez to challenge him so he can continue to work on his swing. I too think starting 2014 in Iowa is very possible.

        • Kyle

          *If* the Cubs thought Javier Baez would benefit from an MLB call-up, then I’d burn three 40-man spots on it if I had to.

          His development is probably the single most important concern for the organization at the moment.

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        Yeah, and if they brought him up in 2014, where would they play him? They could platoon him with Schierholtz in RF, but you don’t do that with a 21 year old. They could put him at 3B or 2B, but he hasn’t played a game at either. I don’t see them moving Castro over next year, so it would appear that Baez will be looking at 2015, or be brought up to play OF when they move DDJ & Schier at next year’s deadline.

        • On The Farm

          That is going to be tough, most likely he will need to move (3B?), but Villanueva/Olt and Alacantra will probably be his AA/AAA partners so where are they going to get him so live expirence? I just don’t think they would slide Castro over without playing a game either. They are in a (good) pickle.

        • MichiganGoat

          Who cares, these aren’t problem to worry about until it’s time to worry about them. He and the Cubs have plenty of time to decide where he could play but right now you leave him at SS where he has the greatest value both as a trade candidate and a future player. When it becomes a question worth worrying about that’s when the Cubs will make decisions.

          • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

            Fair enough. I’m fine with leaving him at SS, but you can’t just “not worry” about where your prospects will play in the future. They were able to bring Lake up to play OF even though he’d never played a game there, but you can’t do that with every call-up (and they’ve gotten extremely lucky that Lake is versatile enough to pick it up on the fly). If they plan on calling him up in 2014, at some point Baez has to get reps at other positions…or Castro does. That’s all I’m saying.

            • Kyle

              You can mostly do that with any callup, especially if they are moving to an easier position.

              There are some subtleties to the positions that may have to be learned on the job, but fielding grounders is fielding grounders and catching fly balls is catching fly balls.

              • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

                I’d argue that most call-ups have had more than 10 minor league defensive chances at the position they’re called up to play (all at RF, btw). Lake was started in CF for his first game, and he’d never played there in his minor league career.

                I do find it comical how little importance you place on defensive repetitions at a position.

                • DavidC

                  And in the case of Manny Machado you’d be wrong. He played all of two minor league games there before being thrust into the position during a playoff race last year. Hasn’t seemed to faze him. I find it comical how worried you are about Baez transitioning to an easier defensive position and thinking he needs a full year of reps before he’ll be big league ready for that position.

                  • On The Farm

                    I am not sure where anyone said he needs a full year of reps before he is ready for the big league position (I might have missed, but I don’t think he did). I also don’t think anyone is arguing that 3B is easier than SS, but giving them a few games to get comfortable before they get promoted isn’t a bad thing.

            • On The Farm

              Exactly, not everyone is Manny Machado and can learn to play 3B in the MLB. If they do decide he would be better suited for 2B, that would most likely mean Alacantra is out. Not sure where else they could put him.

              • Jono

                “not everyone is Manny Machado ”

                Do you have any evidence to back that up?

                • On The Farm

                  Sadly no. I just have a gut feeling that Manny Machado is only one man.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Sandberg played almost exclusively at SS in the minors, changing positions especially from SS to 3B/2B is common. You keep you best fielders at SS because its the most challenging infield position. Pros can learn many different positions with limited experience in the minors- if a player can hit a team will find a place for him to play.

                    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

                      So now Lake/Baez are the defensive equivalent of a 9 time Gold Glove winner? Not saying they’re not going to become that, but what was easy for Ryne isn’t gonna be easy for all.

              • CubsFaninMS

                Here’s a plan…

                - If Baez and Alcantara burn it up the rest of this year and first half of next, call them up mid-season. Baez at 3rd, Alcantara at second. Leave Castro at Short. Barney = utility infielder.

                - If Baez and Alcantara are looking good, send Castro packing in a trade in the off season after 2014. By then (2015), maybe Villanueva or Bryant are ready for third? That would be an extremely aggressive timetable for Bryant but crazier things have happened.

                Olt? Well, I like the prospects of Olt being a third baseman/power hitter but there’s a reason we got him so cheap. He’s a somewhat of a long shot. If they all three rake next year (Alcantra, Baez, and Olt), then we really have a problem on our hands. A good problem. As we know about prospects, though, it is highly unlikely all three will pan out. I would predict that person is Olt.

                • On The Farm

                  You could also shift Olt to LF if you wanted. He has time to turn it around.

                  • CubsFaninMS

                    I agree. I don’t see Olt as a lost cause by any means. I just believe he is the most likely to flame out among those three. We would all obviously be elated if all three become serviceable to all star-caliber major leaguers. I like the outfield idea with Olt.

                    • willis

                      Olt ain’t a lost cause but time is not on his side either. He’s already 24. He needs to finish this year strong and start off raking next season if he plans on being part of the future. Yesterday was a very good game for him. Maybe he can build from that.

                      And to the plan of Baez maybe at 3rd as soon as mid next season, he needs to start getting reps there then by spring training of next year I would think.

                  • Danny Ballgame

                    I thought that Olt’s D at 3rd was still well above average?

                    • On The Farm

                      It is, but if you are choosing between Baez (assuming he can play 3B) and Olt, you would move Olt to LF. *

                      *At least that is what my thought as a GM would be.

            • jh03

              I wouldn’t say they were “lucky” Lake could pick it up on the fly. I’d assume that they had a fairly good grasp on his tools and new he could make the switch.

              • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

                I mean “lucky” because he had relatively no in-game play in the OF during his minors career. I’m sure he practiced a lot at the various positions, but that doesn’t always translate to in-game proficiency.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Lake has played OF before being called up. He started playing it last fall and has continued playing the OF as well as 3B this year in at AAA.

              • On The Farm

                I am not sure which way you are arguing here, but I am going to tack on that the FO still felt that Lake should get some reps in the OF before calling him up to play CF. I think it would be a wise move to let Baez have some time at 2B or 3B in AAA before they decide to call him up to play that position.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  That’s exactly what I was saying. Lake *did* get reps before being called up to the Bigs this year. He played OF in the fall league and AAA this year.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Precisely minor league players get reps and practice at multiple positions that is not reflected in thier game stats.

                    • jh03

                      You’ve said precisely at least 3 different times today haha.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Geez stalk much ;)

                    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

                      I understand that, Goat. But this whole thing started with you saying that Baez only needs SS reps and we’ll worry about his position later. My whole point is that he needs reps (in-game, practice, fall league, whatever) at multiple positions, not just SS.

                    • jh03

                      I have to! If I follow you then it keeps the trolls away, remember?! The last thing we need is for shit to hit the fan, again, and have to have Harry Potter come back.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      He never said that Baez wouldn’t move over in the Minors, just that it isn’t time to move him yet. There is still time to let it all shake out a little bit better. You leave prospects in the most demanding position until your hand is forced.

                    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

                      Whatever. I’m just saying that if he’s called up in 2014 (which I’m not even asking to happen, just saying “if” – I hope it’s not until 2015) and if he’s not called up to play SS, he needs reps at other positions that he might get called up to play. I’m really surprised with the amount of back-lash on that.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      What Cubbie Blue said- I’m not arguing that Baez won’t be a 3B or 2B one day but there is no need to move him off the most challenging infield position during games right now. Not playing SS in games diminishes his value and moving to 2B/3B while he’s at AA or even AAA. He can move over to either 2/3B easily at any point and don’t think he isn’t taking reps at multiple positions. Worry about where to project him now is unnecessary and diminishes his value- any team would love to have multiple SS prospects.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      I don’t think you got any backlash on him needing to get reps at the position he gets called up for at all. You kept saying that Lake didn’t get any reps in the OF and he actually did last Fall, Winter and this year at AAA. Not only in games, but he would have received many more reps than that during practice. That is the part you received backlash on.

              • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

                According to Baseball Reference, Lake played 6 games in the minors in 2013 in the outfield (RF) and had 10 “chances”. No record of any OF playing time before that.

                • On The Farm

                  He also played CF in winter ball in the offseason. That wouldn’t be on baseball reference or Fan graphs

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Not to mention how many reps and practice he took outside of games.

    • Jon

      It’s going to be interesting to see what the Cubs do. Move Castro to 2B? Trade him? Move Baez to 3B and keep Castro @ SS? I don’t think we will see Baez till 2015, but the Cubs are going to have to start prepping the way soon.

      • willis

        Two things…Olt and trades. That will determine where Castro and Baez end up. As to if it’s too early to discuss-yes, it is. But not that far away is when things will have to start getting serious attention and the discussions will only grow from there. A ton of talent to play with…nice problem.

    • Edwin

      Baez has 42 SO in 132 PA so far. There’s about 25 games left, and if he keeps averaging about 4.5 PA per game, that will be about 112 more PA from here on out. To end up with a K% on the season under 25%, he’d need to have a K% of about 17% or better the rest of the way. If he can do that, it’d be fantastic.

      • willis

        That it would Edwin, that it would indeed.

      • gocatsgo2003

        I don’t think his final statistics will be as good a measure of his progress as his K-rate over the last month or so of the season — he has a 31.8% K-rate for his stay at AA, but 25% over the last week. I realize that is a pretty small sample size, but if he can sustain the 25% K-rate over the remainder of his stay at AA, then I think it would be enough to convince the FO that he made progress in this area at that level.

        • Edwin

          Agreed. If nothing else, having a couple nice months with a K% around 25% or less would be a nice trend to start.

  • Rich

    I truly feel the Cubs trade Castro…

    • mak

      At this point, it’d be selling low. If we had to trade Baez or Castro (in a package for Price, lets say), I’d rather trade Baez high than Castro low, assuming that other pieces would have to be involved as well.

      • Jon

        No way in hell am I trading Baez for David Price. Now way in fucking hell.

        • Edwin

          Why? Is Baez that amazing of a prospect, or is Price not that good? Both? I’d think if it was a Baez for Price straight up, the Cubs would do that deal in a heartbeat, but the Rays would never do it.

          • MichiganGoat

            Precisely

          • Jon

            -Love Baez
            -Concerned about Price’s future performance(velo dip)
            -Think you can get Price w/o using Baez

            • Edwin

              Ok. I see where you’re coming from, but in my opinion, Baez is still just a prospect, and Price is a very good, possibly elite MLB pitcher. If the Cubs trade for Price, and don’t include Baez, it’ll end up costing at least one of the other top prospects in the system.

            • mjhurdle

              no way you get Price without Baez + another of the big 4 + more quality pieces.
              For all the talk of Price’s downfall, the guy has been perhaps the best pitcher in baseball since returning from the DL.

              Im not saying i want to trade Baez at all, but if it was Baez for Price straight up im doing it in a heartbeat.
              But Tampa wont let Price go without cleaning out the out the system of whatever team trades for him, as well they should

              • Jon

                The problem is, you have to empty out your farm system, and THEN pay him. That’s the double sword that turns me off, and I know I’m not the only one. I know it’s more rare and rare that premium players find the open FA market, but I’d rather just pay a premium for some top pitching and without trading top pieces.

                • jh03

                  Price won’t empty the farm. He’ll put a dent in it.. but it won’t empty it. Moves like that are exactly why the Cubs have created a surplus of depth in the system.

                  If the FO is good, they’ll trade the 2 of the big 4 that they really don’t believe will pan out for him. Then, it’s really not even a hit on the system. (Kind of sarcastic, kind of serious there)

      • Kyle

        As always, we don’t know that it’d be selling low. If Castro, for example, stagnates and has another bad year next year, his value would be lower than it is now.

        • mak

          Sure, and I don’t mean selling “lowest.” But we have data points to say that this is the worst he has played in his career and he will probably progress to the mean next year.

          @Jon — I’d trade Baez for Price straight up in a heart beat.

          • Jon

            The thing is(aside from the argument of Baez for Price). You could probably get Price without giving up Baez.

          • Kyle

            Other teams have those data points too. That regression should be priced into his value.

          • Jono

            exactly. forecasting future value is extremely difficult. Doing so accurately is how people make massive fortunes. I’m not saying that all of our estimates are just random guesses, we do have certain stats that help forecast. But none-the-less, doing so accurately is how people make generational wealth

            • Jono

              oops, I meant to reply to Kyle

  • Scotti

    Did Dunston play in the all-star game? I thought he was DL’d…

    • mak

      I didn’t see his name in the boxscore, so I think that is the case.

  • Jon

    Any news on Jorge Soler? Will he get any games in before Daytona’s season is over?

    • mak

      Haven’t heard a peep. I suspect we’ll start to hear something in the next few weeks on if he can come back for the Daytona playoff push or if he’ll just be considered for AFL.

  • mak

    Alcantara has been sitting a bunch this week. Hope it’s not an injury. Read somewhere (here? Cubs Den?) about Alcantara wearing down, so maybe its just a break. He’s been slumping hard.

    • On The Farm

      He is already at 80+ more PA than he has ever had in his career, and 100 more than last season so I would say that probably it is a little fatigue.

    • Scotti

      “Alcantara has been sitting a bunch this week.”

      Well, if by “bunch” you mean one game…

      • On The Farm

        Well in terms of this week (if you go by work week) he has sat out half of the games.

        • Scotti

          How true.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Those catches are ridiculous

  • Patrick W.

    Boise spent the week in Everett, where the All Star game was played last night. Iowa was in Tacoma, which is a 1.5 hour drive from Everett.

    Cael Brockmeyer is huge.

  • Jon

    What ever happened to Jacob Hanneman? Last I heard he was in Boise but he hasn’t been showing up in the box scores for the past couple of weeks.

    • K0ng

      Hanneman was on the DL for three weeks in July, and then injured his wrist attempting a diving catch, just a few days into his return (around the 26th of July). They stated that they were taking it day-by-day, and I haven’t seen any news since. Sounds like he wrenched it pretty good, but they haven’t put him on the DL. I know that the minor league DL rules are different, so perhaps there’s some reason he couldn’t go on the DL again just three days after coming off?

      • Jon

        Thanks for the update man

  • jh03

    Brett’s not here to kill the spambot! EVERYBODY FREAK OUT! THERE’S NO SANITY ON BN ANYMORE

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://www.scancrit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/excellent-4689_preview.png[/img]

      • jh03

        lol, wtf?! They’re attacking the Jamie Quirk page now! I didn’t even know there was a Jamie Quirk page! hahahaha

        • DarthHater

          Where’s the Dick Tidrow page???

          • Jon

            Bend over, and I’ll show you.

            • DarthHater

              You really should troll for dates somewhere else.

              • jh03

                Ugh. How did the troll make it here?! The goat is here. We’re going to need a bigger goat.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Don’t worry they will eventually fall off the bridge

          • MichiganGoat

            Dick does not need a page… HE IS THE ENTIRE BLEACHERNATION
            [img]http://www.bleachernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dick-tidrow-card.jpeg[/img]

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Luke , Pugiliese is a righty not lefty. Also what is the status of Stephen Bruno 2B lat year at Boise who led the league in hitting by .40 points ?

  • AB

    I read somewhere Bruno had shoulder surgery.

  • college_of_coaches

    Anyone know why C.J. Edwards was lifted after one inning tonight?

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      Rain delay in the second inning.

      • college_of_coaches

        Thanks! I was hoping it was something like that.

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