jorge soler cubsThanks again to everyone who came yesterday and met up, either before, after, or during the game. It’s always such a blast to meet you fine folks, and I appreciate you who made the effort. A better game would have been the cherry on the top, but it was still a pretty damn good sundae.

  • Bud luck on the Jorge Soler front. After leaving his AA debut with hamstring tightness, he’ll be getting an MRI and has been placed on the disabled list (7 days in the minors). Hopefully there isn’t any significant damage, because the Cubs need Soler to play a nearly full season this year. Soler dealt with a hamstring problem late in Spring Training.
  • On the brighter side, Kris Bryant homered again yesterday, his second in as many games.
  • Travis Wood put together a pretty good start yesterday. The home run to Chase Utley was wind-aided, the first run came on a ball Starlin Castro maybe could have knocked down, and the only other run charged to him came after he’d departed the game. In between, he struck out eight and walked one over 6.1 innings. You’ll take that every time.
  • Ricky Renteria doesn’t think Starlin Castro has a bad approach at the plate this year, just bad outcomes so far (CSN). We’ll see when we have a little more data on the kinds of pitches he’s swinging at, where they are located, how many pitches he’s seeing, etc.
  • Farewell to Casey Coleman. The long-time Cubs pitching prospect (and occasional Cubs pitcher) has left the organization in what sounds like a semi-mutual decision after he was demoted to short season Boise (Tommy Birch). Together with Nick Struck, who was released earlier in the week, that’s two former minor league pitchers of the year for the organization that have departed. It’s a bit of a changing of the guard.
  • Jon Greenberg on the unknown unknowns of the Cubs’ renovation and media plans.
  • Wayne Drehs put together a fantastic piece on Wrigley for its 100th anniversary, and you can watch it here.
  • nkniacc13

    Was Coleman released?

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      Muskat said transferred to Boise

      • Brett

        He was. But that was the start of him leaving the org.

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          Aha. And the world makes sense again.

  • ChrisFChi

    I think Castro turns it on today. Just a gut feeling.

  • TommyK

    Seeing a competent team should not be “the cherry” part of going to an MLB game. It should be the ice cream.

    Baez has struck out in half his at bats so far. We should be panicking. But we’re Cubs fans, so everything is awesome.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Yes, panick and over-reacting is a good thing. I would dismiss Baez’ last year performance (mashing) and replace it with this years smal same size.

      • TommyK

        He struck out in 28.5% of his at bats last season. That’s not a good thing.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          His strikeout rate was much better at the second half of last season (a trend?). This has been his pattern. Focusing on a single data point shows a lack of effort on your part…HR rate and OPS correlate closely with success. Baez will end up somewhere between good and great.

          • TommyK

            I hope you’re right.

      • TommyK

        In double AA, his strike out rate was over 31.5% last season.. That is a terrible thing. A strike out rate over 30% is something to panic over. I’m not replacing last season’s numbers with this season’s numbers. I’m taking this season’s numbers as a continuation of the very scary numbers from last season.

    • another JP

      When Javy is raking in May you’re going to look like a total fool. And I’ll be certain to remind you of these mindless posts.

      • TommyK

        I hope you’re right. But come to me with strikeout percentages. I don’t care how many homers he hits if his strikeout percentage isn’t comfortably below 30%.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          You don’t care how many homers he hits if….? Now that is truly trollerific!!!

          • TommyK

            If his strikeout rate in AAA is 30% or higher, it will be a huge red flag regardless of how many home runs he hits. Find me a list of the really good major league hitters that had a AAA strikeout rate over 30%. But good job with the name calling.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              Technically i didn’t call you a troll, but described the comment, but apologies still! The list is small, to be sure, but he is young for every league he has been in, has ‘historic’ swing speed and strength and these things should make him play well where other less capable cannot. There cannot be many in baseball history that Baez can be compared to.

      • TommyK

        And I don’t think being concerned over Baez’s strikeout percentage over his career is “mindless.” I think ignoring his strikeouts and only focusing on his power numbers is “mindless.” If his strikeout percentage in AAA is over 30%, it is historically very unlikely he will become a good major league hitter. I hope like heck he is able to get his strikeout numbers down in AAA. He is off to a miserable start.

        • MightyBear

          I don’t think concern over Baez K rate is mindless. I do think that after two games it’s a little premature. Remember every time Baez moved up a level, he struggled at first. At Tennessee, his K rates went down each month. Bryant whiffed his first 5 times at Boise, but he hasn’t stopped hitting yet.

          • TommyK

            I hope you’re right. My panic isn’t based on just these two games. It’s based on last season as well (and really his whole career). At the very least, any talk of Baez coming up and helping the Major League team at this point is very premature. He has significant work to do in AAA.

            If Baez ever makes an all star team, I will gladly sit in the bleachers at Wrigley with a dunce cap on my head and a smile on my face. Right now I am very nervous, because if Baez doesn’t work out this rebuild looks a lot different.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              I will start working on your new headwear.

              • Eternal Pessimist

                …but I do understand having some nervousness, just wouldn’t oversell it.

            • another JP

              You do realize Baez is the youngest player in all of AAA correct? I mean not just the PCL either. And he has faced a veteran pitching staff of the Cardinals in TWO STINKING GAMES. Watch & learn…

          • TommyK

            And Bryant’s strikeout numbers make me nervous too, but he’s only got 150 plate appearances as a pro. If his strikeout percentage in AA is near 30% after about 250 plate appearances I’ll start approaching panic mode.

          • baldtaxguy

            I believe Bryant struck out twice last night. Nonetheless, for both him and Baez, or for anyone with 4 or less games of plate appearances, I don’t believe panic is warranted.

            • hansman

              I wouldn’t get too worried until we get at least a months worth of data on him and Bryant this year.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I didn’t ignore his strikeouts. I put them in perspective with other important facts. Baseball doesn’t occur in a strikeout vacuum.

        • JCubs79

          Somebody has never taken a basic statistics class before.

          • nkniacc13

            Normally power hitters have a high K rate

    • Kyle

      No, we really should not be panicking over two games of a young prospect in his first taste of a new level.

    • Chet Masterson

      Panic away. If you don’t mind, it would be great if you could just panic on my behalf and then report back every week or so how the panic is going.

      “If you need me, give me a holler. I’ll be upstairs, asleep”

      • DarthHater

        “it would be great if you could just panic on my behalf and then report back every week or so”

        Or better yet, don’t report back.

    • jamespk

      Baez always starts slow at each level. And yes, he has a high strikeout tendency. Nothing out of the ordinary.

  • college_of_coaches

    Carrie Muskat just tweeted: “Good luck to Casey Coleman, transferred to Boise roster to make room for Alberto Cabrera, who was added to @IowaCubs. #Cubs”

  • Assman22

    Draft Porn from yesterday’s results…

    Beede: 8IP, 5H, 4ER, 2BB, 6K vs #25 Tennessee
    “The Volunteers (19-9, 3-7) jumped on Commodores’ (25-6, 6-4) starter Tyler Beede for three runs in the first inning. Beede allowed a two-out single on a 0-2 pitch to Christin Stewart, then loaded the bases with a single and a hit batter. Taylor Smart made Beede pay with a bases clearing double and a three-run lead for the home team…then…Beede settled in and cruised through a career-best eight innings to earn the win. After a two-out single in the second inning the right-hander did not allow another hit until the sixth when Smart struck again, this time with a solo home run with two outs. Beede bounced back to retire the next six batters and finished off the eighth with a pair strikeouts and a groundout. The junior allowed four runs on five hits with six strikeouts to pick up his fifth win.”

    Wetzler: 9IP, 4H, 0ER, 3BB, 1K vs Stanford
    “Senior left-hander Ben Wetzler tied Oregon State’s all-time win record on Friday night as the Beavers topped Stanford 4-1 in the opener of their Pac-12 Conference baseball series at Goss Stadium.

    Wetzler’s 30th career victory tied Ken Noble (1975-78) atop Oregon State’s (23-6 overall, 7-3 Pac-12) career victory list. He struck out one, got 14 outs via fly balls, and won his 16th consecutive decision over the past two seasons. He is 6-0 in 2014, 30-6 for his career and his .833 winning percentage ranks third all-time.

    Oddly enough, Wetzler walked three of the first four hitters he faced to load the bases with one out in the first inning. However, he induced a popper to short and a fly ball to right field to escape the jam unscathed, did not issue another walk and dominated Stanford (10-12, 3-4) from that point on.

    He retired 15 consecutive hitters in one stretch between the second and seventh innings. Stanford’s run was unearned and he lowered his ERA to 0.32, the lowest in the Pac-12.”

    Nola: 8IP, 2H, 0ER, 2BB, 10K vs #13 Miss St.
    “Junior right-hander Aaron Nola only allowed two hits and struck out 10 batters in a 3-0 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

    Nola improved to 6-1 on the year by limiting the Bulldogs to two singles in eight shutout innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts. He fired 116 pitches and reduced his season ERA to 0.47.

    “Aaron Nola continues to raise his level of excellence with each outing,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I’m running out of words to describe how great this young man is. He is without a doubt the best pitcher in the country, and it’s truly a privilege to coach him.”

    Hoffman: 8IP, 7H, 1ER, 1BB, 7K vs #14 Rice
    “Jeff Hoffman (2-3) was impressive on the night allowing one run (earned) on seven hits in eight innings of work. The right-hander, who punched out seven Owls and walked one, recorded at least one strikeout in six of eight frames with two coming in the eighth stanza. After allowing his lone run in the fifth, Hoffman retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced – four via strikeout”

    • jp3

      Nola is blowing up heh? I didn’t think he was projected very high in the 1st round but it sure does look like he’s taken a Jonathan Grey like turn.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        Not sure on the projections part, but if he wasn’t projected to go high in the draft he should have been. He’s been one of the better pitchers in the SEC over the past few years, and was in the discussion of best pitcher in the SEC with Beede going into the year.

        • nkniacc13

          I thought Nola was thought to be a 10-20 pick

  • Blake Z

    Brett, where were you before the game started yesterday? I was hoping to run into you and some fellow BN’ers.

    • Brett

      We were at Captain Morgan Club.

      • Blake Z

        Ah, sorry I missed you. You need to let us know when you’ll be in Wrigleyville next, and I’ll try to make it next time!

  • jp3

    I hate to say it and it’s a little early to panic yet but damn Soler can’t stay healthy for 5 minutes…. He’s been a huge disappointment so far in his first 2 years. He signed a 9 year $30 million contract in June 2012 and to this point we’ve got next to nothing for it.

    • another JP

      The Soler situation is a bit frustrating but if the Cubs get 5 WAR out of him with that nine year contract everything will even out money-wise. With less than two years gone in that contract there’s still some time.

      • TonyP

        I won’t be to excited if the money evens out. Behind one of the magnificent 4 meh isn’t the target.

        • TonyP


  • waffle

    would love to see a 1/2 season stretch of soler to see what we have. At this point i really don’t have a feel for what we have there.

    • Spriggs

      I really believe that is all it’s really going to take with Soler. Stay healthy for a half a year in AA and all this talk about him being a bust or never reaching the majors will stop forever. He needs a lot of reps – hasn’t played much competitively over the last three years, but the guy has a nice approach at the plate, awesome power, and is a fine right fielder with very strong arm. He knows how to play. He is not even close to being a bust.

  • drcub1908

    of the big four / core..I think Soler will never reach the majors..He has to much money already. Injuries are slowing him way down and he is already behind. I hope he comes back and mashes…

    • another JP

      How is Soler “behind?” The guy just turned 22 and is in AA, if this major league ETA is summer 2015 he’ll be 23. But I’m with you- I hope he comes back and mashes too and believe he’ll have a good season. I’m thinking he makes it to Iowa for the last month this summer.

      • drcub1908

        He had not really played too much baseball when the Cubs signed him. He needs many ab’s and playing time, but keeps getting small little set-backs. If he is on track, great no worries. I hope you are right and he gets to AAA this year, that would be great.
        Baez, Bryant are locks. Almora pretty sure about him. Soler is still a ?????

  • another JP

    Some good pitching to watch in milb games today with Hendricks, Skulina, and Torrez going. Hope to see Corey Black in there too-

  • clark addison

    Awesome Wrigley 100 year video. The best I’ve seen so far.

    • auggie

      I agree. Everyone should take the time to watch it.

      • Voice of Reason

        Do the cubs win a world series in this Wrigley video?

        Otherwise if given the choice I’ll watch the titanic. At least the excuse there is they hit a big chunk of ice and Kate winslett is sexy.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I think the release of players like Coleman and Struck are going to continue as well with few more Minor League players we are scratching our heads on. We may really be starting to move in the right direction as to AA moving into AAA. And AAA moving into the Majors. Once Happy gets his line up established it’s just a matter of time for a couple players.

    • nkniacc13

      I think your right. Remember all the players the Cubs moved last year for cash/ptbn I think it will be the same this year

      • nkniacc13

        I see Struck signed with Dodgers

        • Jon

          Will he stick?

  • Jon

    Soler could injure himself shaving

    • Picklenose

      I laughed, until I remembered our new kitten grabbing my foot will I was shaving and me scraping a dime sized chunk of skin out of my chin.

  • MightyBear

    Seems like the Cubs have had a lot of hamstring problems this year. Is that something that is preventable or just part of playing sports? Seems like we used to stretch a lot before practice and games and particularly our hamstrings.

  • Katie

    Clearly the highlight of the day was meeting me.

    • MightyBear

      Yes that was obvious.

    • NorthSideIrish

      Clearly. Now my bucket list is one line shorter.

      • Katie

        It was great meeting you!

  • Karl Groucho

    Soler :( hope this (in context) isn’t a sign of any injury proneness, but it has me more than a little bummed.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    The comments from Ricketts come off as rather tone deaf. You can only string people along for so long. I heard the mayor is very irritated. They green lighted things for the cubs, because time was of the essence.
    Can you imagine if you told Theo when he was hired, you will field a team with a 71 million payroll in 2014? And that includes 4.5 mil for Fuji. 40 mil less than the reds and cardinals, 30 mil less than the brewers. 25% payroll of projected revenue, unbelievable really.
    But to Ricketts, no urgency at all. He’s not sure.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Ricketts has been clear throughout the process that a shovel wasn’t going into the ground without certainty regarding the signage and rooftops. The delay is therefore not a surprise to anyone.

    • DarthHater

      “Clark’s Clubhouse, the home for the team’s new mascot, did get finished for the opener. So there’s that.”

      More dollars put back into the organization. Excellent.

    • Brocktoon

      and things.

  • Funn Dave

    Goddammit. We do not need to have his career derailed again.

  • Diesel

    It was awesome meeting the man who runs this place. I’m glad you liked my watch. Did you post that picture you took of it on twitter or anything? I’m not on twitter so I won’t see it