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javier baez aflA reminder for those just checking in: I am on vacation. Short of huge news, these morning collections of Bullets will be all I’m posting for the day. Feel free to keep each other updated/discussing things in the comments. Things will be back to normal next week.

  • New Cub Donnie Murphy is on a power binge, hitting two last night to help the Cubs win 5-2 over the Phillies. That was his third in two days, and equals the most he’s had in a big league season since 2007. A power hitter Murphy is not, though he did have 12 homers at AAA Iowa this year in 340 plate appearances.
  • Dioner Navarro was carted off the field last night after an ugly collision at the plate with Chase Utley. Due to the aforementioned vacation, I didn’t see the play myself, but various accounts suggested that I didn’t really want to see the replay. Reports now say that x-rays were negative, and Navarro suffered only a contusion, which I’m guessing is a surprise to many of you. He’s day-to-day, so we’ll see if the Cubs reach for another back-up catcher in the next day or two. The system is relatively barren in that regard at the upper levels of the minors, and I’d imagine the Cubs would probably prefer not to add someone to the 40-man if they don’t have to (even if that guy would just be removed as soon as Navarro were ready again).
  • Someone is coming up to the big team either way, though, as Navarro wasn’t the only player to suffer an injury last night. New Cub Thomas Neal dislocated his shoulder – he’s had shoulder issues before – on a throw last night, and was placed on the disabled list immediately after the game. Unless Brian Bogusevic is ready to come off of the DL, Dave Sappelt seems like a fair bet to be called up to replace Neal.
  • Jesse Rogers spoke to Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod about, among other things, the future plan for Javier Baez, positionally-speaking. Although Baez continues to play shortstop, as he approaches the big leagues – being in Chicago at some point in 2014 is now a real possibility – McLeod admitted that the Cubs will have to make some decisions about his future position soon. This Winter, Baez may even start playing some third base and second base to see how he handles it and to get him some experience there. The article is a good read.
  • Rogers also has a piece on a variety of Cubs prospects, including lefty Eric Jokisch, who just threw a no-hitter at AA Tennessee. McLeod says that, because Jokisch is the kind of guy who can maximize his ability and throw three pitches, he’s likely to make it to the big leagues at some point.
  • A great look from CSN at pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks, who will make his AAA debut today.
  • Thanks to a bunch of rainouts and modest progress, Scott Baker’s rehab assignment will have to be “restarted,” in the sense that his 30-day rehab window will be up next week. He’ll start a new rehab assignment – again, this is mostly procedural – and hope to pitch for the big league club in September.
  • Check your calendar: Gordon Edes reports, based on a source who snuck a peek at a preliminary 2014 schedule, that the Cubs will be visiting Fenway Park June 30 to July 2, 2014.
  • Apropos of visiting Fenway next year, when the Cubs’ renovation of Wrigley Field will hopefully be well under way – modeling after the renovation of Fenway – today marks the 25th anniversary of the last massive and controversial addition to Wrigley (not the bleacher expansion): the addition of the lights. Somehow, baseball on the North Side of Chicago survived.
  • Cubs second round pick Rob Zastryzny has been promoted to Kane County, where he’ll get in a few appearances (and just a handful of innings) before the season ends. He had a 3.14 ERA over 8 appearances (14.1 innings) at Boise, striking out 16 and walking 4.
  • Mush

    Smardzjia a mental midget. He is no ace and why bring a guy just off a freakin airplane. Joke of a game.

    • willis

      Mental midget is a little strong, but I’ve said for years when he is thrown off a little, he throws instead of pitches. Seen it plenty of times and today is not different.

      He surely isn’t an ace nor will be. His ceiling is probably a strong 3.

  • Jon

    Great outing Jeff, compelling, rich.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Rumor Samardizija is in the locker room trying to get through to Theo. I was just kidding Theo, I will take that 50 million bucks you guys wanted to give me.
    Note to Jeff, that boat sailed. Lesson #1, when somebody wants to give you 50 million bucks, you might want to accept.

    • Tim

      You should be really glad he didn’t accept that deal by the way. His reasoning wasnt because he wanted more money, he wanted to feel like he earned 50 million dollars. He didn’t want the Cubs throwing a huge deal away again

  • Jono

    so, I’m looking at my At Bat app and it’s showing samardzija has a 4.23 ERA. Looks like the Cubs are gonna save some money

    • CubsFaninMS

      Although Samardzija certainly has the velocity and movement on his pitches to be a #1, it is becoming increasing likely that he will be a strong #3 at best. Maybe 2014 will be his year. Reconsidered that team-friendly deal yet Samardzija?

      • Jono

        seriously

      • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

        Totally agreed Samardzija is not a Ace could be a very good number 2. Never thought he was a Ace incase people think I’m saying this because of today.

  • Jackalope

    Castillo’s BB% by month:

    Mar/Apr: 1.2%
    May: 4.9%
    Jun: 6.5%
    Jul: 16.1%
    Aug: 20.0%

    Now that’s what I call a positive trend!

    • Jono

      wow, that’s nice to see

    • Jed Jam Band

      Keeps this up and catcher won’t be a problem for at least the next few years.

      • hansman1982

        at this rate, by June of next year he’ll be at a 100% walk rate! 0.000/1.000/0.000

      • Jackalope

        Love to see them taking advantage of young, cheap talent.

    • Jon

      He still can’t hit for any power.

      • Jackalope

        He has an ISO of .123 in the bigs. If he can maintain that with a decent walk rate, that’s enough to make him a league average hitter, which at the catcher position is extremely valuable.

        • Jon

          We will see if that ISO is sustainable long term, minus the power.

          • bbmoney

            What? That’s the most confusing comment I’ve read in a while. Is it Ironical?

            • On The Farm

              I don’t understand it either, but I do see Castillo’s ZiPs has him at .105 year end ISO so that would bring down his career ISO. I am not sure if he can maintain a .123(+) ISO either.

              • terencemann

                If they can just get average to slightly below average production from Castillo, I think that would be enough for a few years while they find a better replacement. They could also work him into more of a platoon but I think the owed it to Castillo and the team to give him a chance at a full season of starting at the big league level.

              • Jackalope

                ZIPS rest of season prediction is .133, Steamer is .147. I think the future prediction is a better estimate of true talent level.

                Also consider that he consistently posted ISOs of .150+ in the minors, and over .200 twice.

            • DarthHater

              It’s ironical, minus the irony.

  • Jed Jam Band

    Whoa. The Rangers claimed Alex Rios off waivers.

    • Kyle

      Interesting. Wouldn’t be surprised to have the White Sox let the Rangers have him.

      • cms0101

        What are the odds of a guy claimed and just let go a few years ago by one team has it happen to him again?

    • Jackalope

      The Sox can still pull him back, right?

      • Kyle

        Yes

      • terencemann

        Didn’t the White Sox get him as a straight claim from the Blue Jays a few seasons ago?

        • DarthHater

          Yes

        • Jackalope

          No love, man

  • http://None Cubbieblue29

    Chances Ellsbury signs with the Cubs this offseason? Even though we are heavy in the minor leagues with outfield prospects Ellsbury is a proven leadoff hitter something we havent had in Chicago since Kenny Lofton (Juan Pierre was in his downfall) I wouldnt mind seeing the Cubs lock up Jacoby then dangle a guy like Almora to get a front of the line starting pitcher.

    • terencemann

      I would say 0. If things progress they way they are progressing right now with the guys in the minors, there is a chance that the Cubs will have 3 outfielders and 2 infielders ready for promotion in late 2014 and then they can use the other guys in the system to go after pitching and pursue pitching in free agency when they have a money tree to draw from for 2015.

      • terencemann

        Not to be absurdly optimistic, or anything.

    • Rich

      I think he 100% signs with the Cubs
      2 year deal

      I mean I am no assman….but that is my guess

      • DarthHater

        I doubt Ellsbury will sign for as little as 2 years.

    • BlameHendry

      Maybe… but I’d rather see them spend their money on pitchers. The Cubs have impact position-player prospects up the wah-zoo right now, and hardly any pitching prospects. I want the Cubs to take a chance on Lincecum with a 2-year deal and give him a change of scenery and chance to bounce back. As unlikely as it is I’d still love to see Garza re-signed as well. Even Josh Johnson should get a good look from our FO. And then the bullpen. For God’s sake i wish our FO would actually spend some money on quality relievers and a real closer for once instead of filling our bullpen with failed starters and rejects that were DFA’d from other teams.

      • Die hard

        Marmol can start if given half a chance 🎌

        • gocatsgo2003

          Based on…?

          • DarthHater

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

          • Die hard

            Minor league stats first several years— 🔮🔮🔮

            • gocatsgo2003

              You mean when he never had a WHIP below 1.30 and a BB/9 over 4 each year?

              • DarthHater

                Die hard is from the “infinite typing monkeys” school of blog commenting.

                • Die hard

                  The irony of it all– you are the monkeys uncle… If Theo listened to you strange things like Dempster would be ace of the staff would haunt the Cubs 👻

                  • DarthHater

                    That’s right, when in doubt, just pull some random, invented crap out of your ass.

                    • Die hard

                      Don’t mind you being the leading poster on this site by half but your refusal to criticize the FO makes one wonder who you are shilling for and why… Just once say something critical about Sveum Theo et al so we know you have a pair

                    • DarthHater

                      I do it all the time, pal. If you ever pulled your excuse for a head out of your rectum long enough to actually read something, you’d know that.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Die hard I’ve been questioning your ability to read and comprehend for years now.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Oh Die hard can you just commit to one of the following:

                    1-the overtly silly near satirical comments that leave us with jaw “dropping WTF are you talking about?” questions but you never reply to anyone’s comments.

                    Or

                    2-admit you are just fishing and trolling and have no desire to ever making a meaningful comment on BN so everyone knows to ignore you completely

                    I like the first, I liked that die hard, he was a useful compliment to the site but this new die hard is destroying the legend you had/were building on here.

                    • DarthHater

                      Frankly, I’ve never really seen the difference between the two, but I love them both.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      The first hasn’t been around in a long time but he use to just post his nonsense and never reply to our comments, this new aggressive emoji die hard is annoying and tiresome.

                    • DarthHater

                      Shhhh! The emoji seem to have disappeared in the last hour or so. Don’t remind him.

                    • DarthHater

                      You just don’t want ole Die hard to have any belly fire!

                    • Jp3

                      Lots of belly 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Yes please.

  • rockin’ dawg

    6-12 with a 4.23 ERA is hardly the makings of an ace. If Samardzija thinks he should be up there with Wainwright, he needs to start proving it.

  • Hebner The Gravedigger

    Congratulations Mr. Cub! (Ernie Banks to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom)

    • William

      We were clobbered, but it’s a great day because Ernie Banks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom! Congratulations, to Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks! :-)

  • Die hard

    For those of you just starting to wake to the fact that Hendry bet on wrong horse 🐎calling up Castro instead of Lake …. Thereby delaying Lakes progress for 3 yrs … 🎓You go to the head of the class🎆

    • DarthHater

      “Thereby delaying Lakes progress for 3 yrs”

      Congratulations on exceeding your own high standard for inanity.

      • Die hard

        It’s like picking Grace over Palmiero — Cubs could have benefited from the steroid induced home runs and Xmas🎄 would’ve come in October more often than not

        • Patrick W.

          Palmiero made the playoffs three times after his last season with the Cubs (1988) through his final season. In that time frame the Cubs made the post season three times (1989, 1998, 2003) and Mark Grace made it 4 times. (1989, 1998, 2001, 2002)

    • Jed Jam Band

      What are the boxes for?

      • DarthHater

        They’re emoticons that display only in the Bizarro Dimension.

        • TWC

          Emoticons are for 15-year-old girls.

          Emoji are for 13-year-old Japanese girls.

          Die hard needs to grow the fuck up.

          • DarthHater

            Thpppppt :-P

          • Die hard

            Why? Then I would be the only grown up on BN🎎

            • DarthHater

              TWC = Truculent Waspish Curmudgeon ;-)

              • TWC

                and a handsome devil.

                • DarthHater

                  Who can tell through that disguise you’re wearing?

                  • TWC

                    It’s the inside that counts.

          • MichiganGoat

            How many troll years does that translate to?

      • MichiganGoat

        See the message board

  • Die hard

    No hitters are no weathervane 🐓🎏on pitchers probability of success … eg Don Cardwell🎃

    • DarthHater

      Very poor haiku.

    • Hansman1982

      Chicken, fish on a flag pole and a jack-O-latern?

  • BlameHendry

    I think its funny how Shark wanted to hold out on the extension because he thought he could have an ace-type year this season and demand an insane contract. Now he’s just shot himself in the foot, and he’ll probably get offered less than what he was offered the first try. Don’t ever try to sell what you haven’t yet produced… If you haven’t even had enough time to fully prove yourself yet and people are already offering you $50 million, you’re a greedy idiot for turning it down in hopes to get even more.

  • DarthHater

    Just read a Rangers blog post which says that, prior to the trade deadline, the White Sox were asking for Martin Perez, Luke Jackson and Rougned Odor for Rios. Inexplicably, the Rangers were not interested.

    • William

      It’s best to say no to crack!

  • Frankdatank

    I just read that Ryan Madson was released by the Angels. Is there any chance the FO gets the tires on him for next season….Lord knows we need the bullpen help.

    • William

      I would rather us call some up from the minors to see what they have.

      • DocWimsey

        Yeah, when a team that hoped to contend releases an old bullpen arm, then it’s not much of a recommendation.

        • DarthHater

          He’s still recovering from elbow surgery, isn’t he?

          • Frankdatank

            Yes, he is still recovering from TJ surgery.

  • jon

    Hendricks prefect thru 2 @ Iowa

  • jon

    He’s perfect thru 4

    • DarthHater

      Aaaand, it’s gone. :-(

  • jon

    JavyErorr is 0-4 tonight, but h doesn’t have K, so there’s that

    • jon

      Kris “What do I have to do to get promoted”‘ Bryant with a HR

  • Cheese Chad

    Pierce Johnson 5 ip 6 k’s, nice

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Dammit we’re 12 games out of first…Stupid Astros. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/reversestandings2014

    • X the Cubs Fan

      Hell we might catch em: Cards 3 games, Reds 3 games, Cards 3 games, Nats 4 games, Padres 3 games, Dodgers 3 games, Phillies 3 games. If we lose all those series we would be atleast in “second place”.

  • Leroy K.

    Jed Hoyer was on WGN today. It was interesting to see who he is high on (Baez, Almora) and what he thinks of Lake so far (talented, raw, takes too many swings without “thinking”). Says that a lot of prospects should be on their way up in 2015. :D

  • CubsFaninMS

    Since Brett is on vacation… I present… Joe’s Not Nearly As Good As Brett’s Minor League Bullet…

    – We had one Vogelmissile in Kane County
    – We had a two-hit shutout by Kane County pitchers (Peralta, Amlung, Dorris)
    – Dustin Geiger had two bombs and 5 RBIs in Daytona
    – Three pitchers combined for a three hit shutout in Daytona (Johnson, Burke, Rivero)
    – For the AZL Cubs, Erick Leal pitched 4.1 shutout innings along with 5 Ks
    – For the Iowa Cubs, Brad Nelson hit his 17th home run. Mike Olt went 0-3 with 0 Ks
    – Kyle Hendricks pitched 7 innings of 4-hit ball. This guy may be the prized catch from the Rangers
    – Kris Bryant (#4) and Yasiel Balaguert (#6) had one bomb a piece for Boise. Bryant was 1-3 with one BB and 0 Ks. Balaguert has 3 RBIs (now 35 in 42 Games). Yasiel is not happy in his Boise profile pic.

    Cherry on top: Every Cubs MiLB team won.

    • Chad

      Luke actually does the minor league bullets and it should be up in the next hour. But thanks for the update.

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