Enhanced Box Score: Cardinals 0, Cubs 7 – August 16, 2013

Bam.

Considering the lineup, and it being his (secondary) debut with the Cubs, I just don’t know that Jake Arrieta could have possibly pitched any better today. A couple hits to Carlos Beltran and a couple walks. That’s it. That’s all Arrieta gave up in seven scoreless innings, topping it off with a seven-strikeout cherry. The dude simply has great stuff – the kind that probably teased the Orioles for so long that they agonized about giving him up in the first place. That’s not to say that Arrieta is a lock to continue being the guy we saw today (and against the Brewers in July), but it’s nice to know he can be this guy.

The offense took advantage of the consistently declining Jake Westbrook, and we had ourselves a good ‘ole fashioned blowout.

august 16 box

Full box.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

166 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Cardinals 0, Cubs 7 – August 16, 2013”

  1. Jesse Ervin

    ARRIETA! Kids got the tools to be dominant. Very exciting to see an outing like this.

  2. Canadian Cubs Fan

    If only they could have played the rest of the division as tight as they have the Cardinals this year!

    Regardless, great win. Hopefully Arrieta continues to pinch anywhere near this well!

  3. Jesse Ervin

    Let me just say that I am very sad by the Ryno news that broke today. Happy for him, but damn he needs to be in blue!

    1. matt

      Why? So he can manage a poor team and have a bad record like Sveum? If Sandberg was here and the team was performing like this (and they would), would you bash him and want a new manager?

      1. NotJimHendry

        Couldn’t agree more with you Matt. It just would have been a sad downward spiral in the eyes of cubs fans if Ryno would have had to manage this lack of talent. Sveum fills this role just perfectly… for now.

        1. deej34

          I really wanted Ryno, but I am not against Dale by any means. Realistically, I don’t think Ryno would change “this team” but don’t you think his experience/success in the minors would help develop our young talent? Which, correct me if I am wrong, is largely the direction we will be going for at least another year? No one should be judging Dale, or Ryno if he was in that role based on the record alone.

    2. 1CubFanInPA

      I’m with you on the Sandberg news, Jesse. While I’m happy for him that he’s finally getting his chance to manage in the Majors, I’m distraught over the fact that it is with the hated Phillies. Living in Pennsylvania, just two hours north of Philly, I have grown to detest the Phils — primarily due to their fans being the rudest, most despicable in all of baseball. They are so vile that my wife and I stopped going to see the Cubs play at Citizens Bank Park three years ago because I couldn’t even go there and watch my team play in peace without having food & beer thrown at me and obscene, vulgar comments directed at us non-stop throughout games. You’d think that fans of a franchise with a more futile history history than even the Cubs would have more humility. But not in Philadelphia. So while I’m happy for Ryno, I am saddened as well because the fans in Philadelphia simply don’t deserve such a class act as Sandberg. But, then again, they didn’t deserve Charlie Manuel either.

  4. matt

    Didn’t understand Sveum using Russell in the 8th with a 7 run lead and the 8 and 9 hitters due up…same with using Parker. Why use some of your best arms when you can save them for a much closer game? Cubs have 2 more games against the Cards…and the Cubs never seem to score this much runs against them in a game…let alone a whole series.

    1. DarthHater

      Didn’t the Cubs have a couple games earlier in the season in which they blew big leads when Sveum DIDN’T use Russell and people went ballistic about it?

      1. chcfan

        Yeah when he continued to blindly use Marmol? Sveum is just about as bad at handling a major league pitching staff as Fredi Gonzalez.

        1. Pat

          Thats hard to say, considering he has yet to have a bullpen that wasn’t half full of suck.

          1. Jay

            Yes, but he’s the worst robot manager in the world as far as pulling starters who are killing it for no reason other than some pitch count.

    2. Required

      Why so our crappy guys could come in and blow a seven run lead? Last I checked we haven’t had a lead late that much lately. I would have cared if he used Stop or Gregg. Any way to win a ball game I say.

      1. Required

        Wouldn’t have.

      2. chcfan

        Oh please…you have to be truly clueless to use Stop and Gregg today…

      3. NotJimHendry

        That is why they are called managers, not coaches. Coaches have to win a game, managers have to manage personnel over a 162 game season.

  5. willis

    Great win. Arrieta kinda strikes me as a badass.

  6. Lou Brock

    Nice to see Arrieta drill Craig in the second inning today. Good payback for the Cards hitting Castillo twice last week. If he keeps his pitch count down and can spot his fastball like he did today he will pass up Samardzija as our best pitcher from the right side. Also laid down a nice safety squeeze to drive in an insurance run.

  7. Eternal Pessimist

    Nothing like a big win against a hated rival (since we don’t have a WS to compare it too). St Louis now 6 games ahead of Arizona for the last wild card spot. Lets hope for a big Cardinal losing streak and nice win streak for Arizona.

  8. Dr. Leroy Quackenbush

    Just reading these posts makes my shitty work day seem okay. I wish I had watched the game. So it sounds like we have 4 locks for the rotation next year: Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Arrieta, and ?. It would be great to insert and true #1 (aka Price) into the mix. We are starting to get the pieces to be able to make those sorts of trades.

    1. willis

      I wouldn’t call Arrieta a lock just yet. Show me a couple more awesome starts like he has, then yeah, he’s in. I think it’s a little premature at this point though to say he’s a lock. But he’s close.

      As far as the 5th spot, would be nice to get a TOR guy somehow and move everyone down a notch. But if not, It’ll be an interesting competition for that 5th spot… Rusin, Villanueva, ??, ??

      1. Jason Powers

        Arrieta is on a 5-7 start audition. I mean Brooks shows he’s hitting 95-97 on the gun. Has the four seamer, sinker, and cutter moving well. No real slider consistency. But he’s a guy that could be #3 material. movement.php-pitchSel=453562&game=gid_2013_08_16_slnmlb_chnmlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=2.gif

      2. Jason Powers

        Pitching is always at a premium. Maybe Kyle Hendricks is the 5th guy – http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=hendri001kyl – has good command it looks like. Not a strikeout guy, but a pitch to contact guy. 14HR is 321 IP – w/o seeing him, he must be a just a guy that knows how to pitch so people don’t square him up. Has plus off speed stuff…

        http://www.obstructedview.net/aside/kyle-hendricks-scouting-report.html

        So he’s a possible #5. Give him 125 IP at AAA, and see what happens.

      3. Kyle

        McLeod made it sound like they intend to have him in the rotation next year. Things can always change, of course.

        1. Corey

          Who, Hendricks?

          1. willis

            Think he meant Arrieta. He’s got some mean stuff. Let’s hope he throws well enough to grab a spot.

          2. Kyle

            Sorry, I meant Arrieta.

  9. Bill

    Anyone think we are going to be doing another midseason sell off next year but to smaller degree?

    1. Bill

      Reason I ask is because we won’t really have room in the rotation spot to sign a 1yr sign and trade guy that we could pawn off. There will be 2 rotation opening next yr and presumably one will go to jake Arieta. That leaves one spot open and there are a number of guys who could fill that role such as Chris Rusin or maybe even Scott Baker who I’ve rumors that the cubs possibly might be willing to resign if he shows he is healthy, gains back velocity and shows some effectiveness. Not really the FO is willing to even sign “sign And trade” guys next year even though it probably won’t be a division competing year. In my eyes I think we’ll be around .500 next year and if everything goes right for us maybe we could compete for a wildcard spot but that’s a long shot still. I think we should still pick up “sign and trade” guys at least for one more year but I understand if we don’t

      1. Eternal Pessimist

        I doubt there will be a sell-off in 2014. It is possible the Cubs will ‘stink’ again, but I would bet they will be too solid to give-up on the year.

        I don’t see any reason to be less enthusiastic about the starting pitcher situation, and believe our reliever crew will get better just by bringing up available players that are doing well in our minor league system this year, plus a couple of good signings.

        If we could get a little better 3b platoon while we wait for Baez (?) to show up, and we will definitely need some outfield help. I think most arrows are pointing to a ‘competitive’ 2014 and a very good 2015.

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          …and it looks like just about everyone will be under some team control for several years or more. No need to trade away players that will be free agents before we are ready to peak (Garza, Soriano, Feldman, Hairston, etc…) like the FO did this year. Possibly some new one year signings could be trade bait in 2014 if things go very badly. Maybe a one-year contract for a a 4-5th starter, maybe a couple of outfielders.

      2. Kyle

        I’m sure we’ll do some amount of selling if we’re out of it.

        I agree, there doesn’t appear to be a ton of room for short-term fliippable contracts.

    2. Jason Powers

      Nix Scott Baker for 2014…older than 32, and he’s not getting much over the plate down in A ball. We paid him 5.5M to do nothing in 2013. If he was willing to do a 1M contract dependent on coming out of 2014 spring training on the club, then, maybe.

      Rusin – maybe bullpen.

      For comparison on Baker, Roy Halladay just did a start in the Gulf Coast league.
      http://www.thereporteronline.com/article/20130816/SPORTS12/130819706/phillies-halladay-just-ok-in-gulf-coast-league-start

      He’s probably done – but he went out and pitched similar to Scott Baker in his first rehab…
      That said, if Roy was able to pitch to 90-91MPH, and wanted to do a 1 year- 5M contract, I would not be upset if they signed him for that. (At least Roy is a draw…)

      1. willis

        I agree, Scott Baker is a done with story. Here’s your 5.5 for nothing, thief.

        Oh, not only the 5.5 millie, but you also got medical expertise from some of the finest in the world. And you still couldn’t come back. Later.

        Baker and Stewart, about 7 million wasted. No bueno.

        1. MoneyBoy

          Thief? Geezuz!

        2. daveyrosello

          Lulz. I like the “thief” bit. Cubs have had a few in recent years, no?

          1. willis

            Yep, but nothing like throwing 5.5 to a TJS recovering pitcher who can’t find velocity and is getting tossed around at the lower levels of the minors. If he ain’t right by now, not going to happen.

            Good thing there’s other pitching to focus on that actually throw baseballs and are effective.

  10. 1CubFanInPA

    If only the Cubs could play St. Losers every day, we might be headed to the postseason this year.

  11. KidCubbie

    Soriano just went deep and has another 4rbi already.

  12. Joey

    Soriano last 4 games: 12-16, 5 HR, 18 RBIs

    1. Vulcan

      and if he put up those numbers while on the Cubs there would be dead silence on Sportscenter…

      1. X the Cubs Fan

        I can promise, one year, fairly soon we will get a whole lot of good press around our team especially from ESPN.

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          The Yankees have PED’s spraying from the water fountains, so, yeah…of course he is doing better.

          1. MoneyBoy

            Literal LOL !!!

          2. Headscratchin

            AROD – PEDS?? I thought that was a PEZ dispenser! My bad….

    2. Ian Afterbirth

      Hall of Famer.

  13. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Chase Headley 31 HR 115 RBI vs 8 HR 35 RBI / Juicer?

    1. Hansman1982

      I love how guys can’t jus have career years anymore. Has to be steroids.

      1. brunsmk

        Like Brady Anderson. Man what a year he had.

    2. Bill

      Come on. Everyone needs to stop with the juicing accusations. It’s really starting to get annoying when people cry PEDs every time someone has a career year. Why don’t you just look at his extremely luck and unsustainable HR to fly ball rate before you start accusing people

  14. David

    Man……….. It would be sooooooooooo awesome if Rusin and Arrieta can be big league pitchers next year out of spring training. What a jump start to being a good team that would be. Looks good so far, long way to go. If Stropp can close next year, Lake continues to develop, we sign McCaan,…….

    1. turn two

      Agree with everything except mccann. Castillo is beginning to look really good behind the plate. Otherwise though yeah a rotation with shark, wood arrieta and a surprising rusin would be great.

  15. Corey

    Guys, it does say that Ryno is the temporary head coach for Philly. Whose to say in two years?

  16. Eternal Pessimist

    And another nice day for the minor league teams. Bryant w/ another dinger, Baez 2-4 w/ 2 doubles and no SO’s and the same for Villanueva. Cubs pitchers getting SO’s w/o giving walks, Cubs batters taking walks and seems like the SO’s have been trending downward.

    1. Drew7

      Are you sure you’re looking at today’s games? I thought I saw Baez 0-3 and Bryant 2-4 with 2 singles.

      1. someday...2015?

        Baez is 1-3 with a single and a walk tonight.

        1. Kyle

          And he’s lowered his OPS with that performance. Because he’s just that good.

          1. Mr. B. Patient

            Everything is okay, Kyle. OPS went from .961 to .986. Is that good?

            1. Kyle

              Javy heard me. I’m sorry for doubting you, Javy.

              1. someday...2015?

                Haha he heard you loud and clear!

                1. Kyle

                  He just passed Puig and has the highest OPS to appear in the Southern League this year (100 PA minimum).

                  While also being the youngest player on that list.

                  While also playing good SS defense.

                  I don’t even know what to make of that combination. it’s insane.

              2. another JP

                If that’s what it takes feel free to bash Bryant, Almora, Soler, Vogs, and every other Cubs prospect out there. It seems that since the 4 homer game for Daytona Baez has been on a mission to show he’s the best there is.

        2. Eternal Pessimist

          Mmm…looks like I was on the wrong page. Sorry, my enthusiasm got the best of me.

          1. someday...2015?

            Add a walk off two run HR!!!

            1. Kyle

              Baez is officially in my head. When I saw he was coming up in the bottom of the ninth, all I thought was “There’s no way they pitch to him, because if they do, he ends it.”

              1. X the Cubs Fan

                When I saw Javy was up next on the box score all I could say was “Holy Shit”.

  17. David

    I would be fine with Baez, Bryant & Alcantera making it to the bigs and being great. There’s your 3 & 4 hitters & your leadoff guy. That would be three, plus Castro and Rizzo would be 5. Lake 6??? Is he a start??? Catcher, 7? Castillo? After that, add a couple of relatively low priced free agents in a few years – table setters???? Trade the rest of the awesome prospects in the next few years for awesome pitching – Solar, Olt, Almora, Volglebach…???? That’s the blueprint, Book it!

    1. daveyrosello

      The cynic in me would point out that we are soft at catcher, and six years ago many of us, myself included, were literally SCREAMING for the Cubs to take Wieters with the 3rd pick, but alas they chose Vitters. Things would like nice with Wieters at C, and Castillo as his backup. C’est la vie……..

  18. Ben (BG2383)

    Law said Arrieta was best suited as a reliever earlier today. It is the first time I have heard mention of him not being a future starter. I am glad to see Arrieta dominate today

    1. another JP

      If Law really believes that I have to question his ability to analyze talent. Arrieta is pure starter material unless he shows an inability to maintain his stuff during a game- which hasn’t been a problem from what I’ve seen. It’s been more a matter of control and consistency rather than endurance.

  19. Kyle

    *IF* I were going to do the whole “2015 lineup!” thing (which I wouldn’t), I might be tempted to make Armando Rivero the closer.

    1. brunsmk

      Is he strictly a reliever? They obviously threw a lot of money at him, surprised they would do that if that’s what he is. He definitely has a power arm for it though.

      1. Kyle

        Yes. Pure reliever. $3.1m is a lot, but it’s not *that* much for an unrestricted international guy.

        In his last 8 games, he has a 0.60 ERA with 27 K and 4 BB in 15 IP.

        1. brunsmk

          Thanks, have seen him a few times. Seems to have put it together after initially struggling at KC. Guys on tv today said he was 95 which most likely meant 98 based on the slow gun in Tennessee. Commented that they have seen a lot of good relievers this year but in one game he easily looked the best (arm wise at least).

          1. Corey

            I can here it now, 4 years from now

            Joe buck saying “and in for the 9th here at Wrigley is Armando Rivero to close it for the Chicago Cubs, who are on a 107 world series drought.”

    2. another JP

      Agreed… and I think it might happen for Rivero by 2014. I think he should get a chance to make the team out of ST next year.

    3. JayPaul

      So…you’re coming around on the Cubs spending that 3+million on him? I recall how opposed you seemed to be at the time. I liked the fact they wanted him and got him, case closed. I will admit that if that money had gone to a reliable reliever (oxymoron?) the first half maybe goes a little differently. All said, the Cubs may have chosen wisely in the long run.

  20. willis

    Javier Baez doesn’t really give a crap…he’s off the damn hook. Just pure awesomeness. Two nights in a row, walk off home runs. LOL.

    1. Mr. B. Patient

      When this kid gets hot, he gets HOT!

      His August line is ridiculous.

      1. willis

        Ridiculous is about right. Probably a little light of an adjective. More accurate would be that the southern league is his toilet, and he’s got a full bladder.

  21. Werner

    Yeah, Baez would like a word with your timetable. Gracious.

  22. Lou Brock

    And for Ms. Muskrat he hit the HR off a righty. One of the Dodgers top 20 prospects.

    1. Mr. B. Patient

      It amazes me when any Cubs fan, or a journalist covering the Cubs, goes out of their way to bash Baez. Yes, we need to temper expectations, but shouldn’t we be enjoying his success and dreaming on the future. Superstars need to come from somewhere, what’s so bad if one comes from OUR farm system? I’m not saying he’s going to be a superstar, I know he has some issues, but he does have some pretty special skills.

      1. turn two

        You can enjoy it if you want, others can realize that very few minor leaguers make it big and decide to just let things play out. Either way fan reaction won’t change the way Baez turns out, we just watch and throw out opinions.

        1. Kyle

          Yeah. Pretty much everyone who beats the living crap out of AA at 20 years old makes it big. Like maybe one exception I can think of.

  23. Kyle

    This is going to seem really funny, but I kind of wouldn’t mind if we were mostly quiet this offseason.

    At this point, I think Baez is up as soon as the service-time deadlines are past, so you don’t need an infielder. We’ve already got about 10 guys that I wouldn’t mind seeing fighting for bullpen jobs. We seem pretty intent on giving Arrieta a rotation spot next year.

    Whatever money we have to spend, we might as well focus on like one thing that we really want, though I’m not sure what that would be. I guess an outfielder, but they are all old or injury prone. There’s not really any free agents that I want all that badly.

    If we’re busy, it should probably be in trades, and those are always really hard to predict.

    1. willis

      I’m at the point where service time doesn’t mean anything to me when it comes to Baez. Sometimes, you just have to let your talent come and play.

      1. Kyle

        The free-agency delaying thing has to mean something. You just have to hold him down for a little less than a month to push back his FA by a year. If I’m choosing between 4 weeks of 21-year-old Baez or a full year of 27-year-old Baez, it’s a no-brainer.

        But the super-2 arbitration thing doesn’t mean that much to me. That doesn’t come until mid-June, and I’d just as soon have him up before that.

        1. willis

          Yeah you’re right on the FA delay. I didn’t think about that. What is game/date on that? I suppose an April in Iowa couldn’t be that bad.

          But imagine the energy coming out of ST if he was penciled in?

          1. Kyle

            It depends on the official schedule for next year to get it down to the day, but it’ll be sometime at the very end of April.

            1. willis

              I think we can live with that. 6 weeks ago I couldn’t imagine even thinking that way, but the kid has simply blown the doors off since. Handling the southern league isn’t exactly easy.

    2. Jason P

      I completely agree. Maybe a minor acquisition to better fill Ransom’s role in the short side of the third base platoon with Valbuena. As for the outfield, I’d kind of just like to see Sweeney in center, Lake in left, Schierholtz in right, and Ha on the bench.

  24. another JP

    What a season for Javy. When some of us got all worked up over his 3 homer day in ST plenty of folks were skeptical over whether he’d succeed in Daytona given his poor results ending last year… for good reason. Since then he’s had a four homer game, helped save Jokisch’s no-hitter, leading the Southern League in OPS and HR% at the age of 20, and is now going walk-off on teams. Que the inevitable conversation track of how he should be in the running for a starting position in Chicago in 2014– for good reason. The kid has star quality written all over him.

    1. willis

      Yep, yep, and yep. He’s a special talent that is a budding superstar. He’s been doing things all year that have made my head spin. He’s about ready.

      1. Kyle

        AA is when Patterson stopped putting up awesome numbers and started putting up “pretty good for his age” numbers.

        So I think this makes Baez the best position prospect of the last 40 years for the Cubs.

        1. hookersorcake

          So when do the Cubs start considering moving Castro off SS? Why mess with Javy? He’s in contention now for #1 prospect in the entire MLB.

          1. willis

            Going to have to start soon. Probably ST next year we’ll see Baez at 2B, SS, and 3B. And playing damn near every day. No room for him to play 3B or 2B right now, and no reason to move Castro off it up north. Hell at this point we could see Castro 2B, Baez SS and Valbuena 3B next season.

          2. Kyle

            I think we’ll find out what the Cubs plan to do this offseason.

            To be honest, I know it would be the so-called “selling low,” but it wouldn’t stun me to see Castro traded. Although just having Baez move to another position seems more likely.

        2. turn two

          Mark prior

          1. Kyle

            Pitcher injuries are a notable exception.

          2. Kyle

            Oh, I see which one you were replying to. I said “position” because Prior is the only one I might put ahead of him.

            1. turn two

              Got it, missed that

              1. someday...2015?

                My bad. Forget my comment. Made the same mistake as Kyle their.

          3. someday...2015?

            Please don’t start the Mark Prior arguments. He was a great pick. If it weren’t for injuries, which can’t be controlled(especially his) he would of ended up a Cubs great. End of story…sad story.

            1. turn two

              What argument do you believe I’m making exactly?

        3. jt

          In 257 PA’s at Iowa last year Rizzo smacked 23 HR’s and had an OPS of 1.101.
          In 413 PA’s at Tucson in 2011 Rizzo had 26 HR’s and an OPS of 1.056
          Rizzo then was better than Baez now.
          *
          Baez is having a great season. He has 64 X-basehits in 487 PA’s for the two leagues combined.
          C. Villanueva leads The Southern League only in X-basehits with 55. No one else is really close. Baez has a higher rate per PA in that league and his 64 combined total far exceeds that of Villanueva. There is no doubt that Baez is showing himself to be the better prospect. But I don’t believe 3B is being conceded to him just yet. Perhaps Baez ends up at 2B and Alcantara is the odd man out.
          Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Valbuena, Murphy, Watkins, Lake
          Vitters, Bour, Alcantera, Baez, Villanueva, Olt
          may all be ML ready by the AS 2014 AS break.
          Consider that Geiger, VogelBach, Bryant may not be far behind them.
          Amaya, Candelario, Hernandez could represent a 3rd wave.
          Some of these guys have to be traded.

          1. Kyle

            Just to put those into perspective, Rizzo put up those OPSs in a fairly heavy hitter’s league, as a first baseman.

            When he put up the 1.056, the league average OPS in the PCL was .802, so Rizzo was 31.6% better than his league. When he put up the 1.101 while repeating AAA, it was 42.2% better than the league’s .775.

            Baez’s current .986 is in a league with an average OPS is 43.7% better than the league. He’s outpacing his league by more than Rizzo was in Rizzo’s repeat of the league, let alone in his first attempt.

            If Rizzo were a SS with neutral defense, he’d be 5th in the league for wOBA at his position and on pace for a 4-win season.

            1. Kyle

              Oops, missed a number in there. The Southern League’s OPS is .686 this year.

              1. Kyle

                So basically, Baez is just like our franchise 1b except with scouts thinking he has a higher ceiling and also he’s a SS.

                *swoon*

            2. jt

              OK, I’ll kinda buy what you are saying up until the last sentence. That pretty much escapes me.
              The 21 y/o Rizzo in 2011, his first year in AAA, was 7th in OPS, just above 35 year old Cody Ranson. He trailed Chris Davis, Willy Mo Pena, Josh Fields, Brett Lawrie, Brain LaHair and Mike Carp. None of those guys had as many PA’s as Rizzo and all but Lawrie were a lot older.
              Dunno, but if some of those guys were to redo AA would the avg OPS of the Pacific League rise? I think so.
              But….
              Yeah, it was a quibble. Rizzo’s season was fantastic as is the season Baez is having.

              1. Kyle

                Presumably AA would get some veteran pitchers to balance it out.

                The PCL has some notorious hitters’ parks.

      2. another JP

        Hell, yeah. Look at the attention Junior Lake received by coming out with his energy and great start. And he’s far from our best prospect. I think Baez can join the Cub line-up and OPS .800 next year… and the only SS that’s done that the last couple years is Ian Desmond. Castro’s best season was .773 and he’s doing .630 this year— I figure Baez can beat that with his eyes closed.

    2. someday...2015?

      My favorite number is A+, AB/BB to AA, AB/BB

      A+, 299 ABs, and 21 BB
      AA, 157 ABs, and 15 BB

      The kid is clearly improving his approach, defense and leadership all while hitting 31 homeruns and being one of the clutchest minor league players this year. If he keeps up this improvement I don’t see how you can keep him off the 2014 opening day lineup.

      1. MrCub73

        There is virtually no way the Baez starts off next season in Chicago. Not because he may or may not be ready to play at the MLB level, but service time and the teams years of control will determine when Baez is promoted. Baez starts 2014 off in AAA and by June 1 he will be in Chicago assuming the production and growth continue.

        1. another JP

          I wouldn’t be so sure about Baez being locked into AAA next year. If the Puig promotion showed anything it’s that one player can make a dramatic difference in the performance of an entire team and generate the enthusiasm needed to drive fan attendance. Javy has made the offense better (and not just by his numbers alone) with every move up the ladder thus far. Another good ST and management will definitely consider it IMO. The additional attendance revenue generated by a young phenom like Baez would far outweigh the money saved in service time for a team that desperately needs to pay for it’s expansion plans.

    3. Jason P

      And the 1 remaining blemish is even starting to diminish. After today, the K-rate’s down to 28.4%. Considering what he brings to the table, anything under 25% is fine.

      1. Kyle

        And all this is after he started like 1-for-21. This is a truly epic hot streak.

  25. Jason P

    By next June, this is what the Cubs starting lineup could conceivably look like:

    Alcantara – 2B
    Castro – SS/3B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Baez – 3B/SS
    Schierholtz – RF
    Sweeney – CF
    Castillo – C
    Lake/Dejesus – LF
    Samardzija/Jackson/Wood/Arrieta/Rusin/Hendricks/FA

    With a bullpen that’s some combination of these guys:
    Parker
    Rivero
    Strop
    Russell
    Lim
    Villanueva
    Cabrera
    Gregg?
    Fujikawa later in the year
    Zych/Rosscup

    Anyone else think that’s a team that could finish a few games above .500?

    1. Kyle

      I see Alcantara as a “full year at AAA” kind of guy. Otherwise, yes, I totally see that as a viable possibility and I do think that team would have a shot at being competitive.

      1. Eternal Pessimist

        Barney may be a nice piece to have on the bench at that point, being able to give all infield positions a day off and come in as a defensive stop when they lead late.

      2. Jason P

        I’m anxious to see what Sweeney can do over a longer period of time. I think he can be a very useful placeholder for Almora/Soler while providing Schierholtz-like production from center. If you compare Sweeney’s career stats Schierholtz’s before this year, they’re very similar.

        1. ssckelley

          I like Sweeney as much as anybody but on a good team he is nothing more than a 4th outfielder. If the Cubs pick up DeJesus option then he will start and Lake will be in center. If Sweeney makes the team he would be a 5th outfielder since he bats left handed. The Cubs will have to sign a right handed outfielder in the off season.

  26. someday...2015?
    1. someday...2015?

      Blast*

      1. Mr. B. Patient

        Thanks for the link. However, I do wish Javier Baez would take his celebrations down a notch. As he was approaching home plate, I’m screaming “DON’T GET HURT”.

        1. someday...2015?

          I was thinking the same. He got some air on that jump to home!

    2. another JP

      Geiger wasn’t joking when he said Baez had stupid power. Hits a GW homer while losing his balance.

  27. Lou Brown

    With the K rate, I wasn’t completely sold on Javy. But seeing him handle AA this young, and with that much ease, we are really looking at someone special. Still, I hope he starts AAA next year, and if he kills that, then move him up to the club mid season. Wave one baby!

  28. daveyrosello

    Baez!!! Wow.

  29. Baseball24/7

    I really get excited about what Javy is doing in the minors but god awful K% smacks me down to earth. If he doesn’t improve Big League pitchers will eat him a live with that K rate. It will become feast or famine with him. He still has time but I hope Theo/Jed seriously don’t promote him till he improves the approach and limits the K rate to 20% or less. I seriously would promote him till he shows he can do that for an extended period of time in the minors. Make him learn in the minors so it better prepares him for when he needs to make adjustments in the big leagues.

    1. Kyle

      His K rate will never be below 20% long-term at any level. You’re going to leave him in the minors forever if you wait for that.

    2. Danny Ballgame

      He is 20 years old. Give him time

  30. Believe in 2015

    If yall still can’t get excited about Javy then what is the point of following minor leaguers? This guy is an absolute stud who is 20 years old and already hitting close to .300 with 14 homeruns and an improved approach at the plate. A power hitting shortstop is so valuable in today’s major leagues. Go Cubs!

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