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javier baez kris bryantThis was almost a really good weekend for Cubs farm system. There were a lot of wins, which is nice, and some very good individual performances, which is also nice, but all that was marred by the one story that eclipsed pretty much everything else coming out of the organization.

Javier Baez has been placed on the DL with a mild ankle sprain incurred while fielding grounders on Friday. If all goes well he could be back on the diamond this coming weekend, and there are no whispers that there is anything more significant here than a mild sprain and possibly a slightly sore back, but that still means we have to survive a week without daily updates on Baezbombs and strikeouts.

Scores From The Weekend

Iowa
Friday – The Cubs took an early lead but could not hold on. They lost 8-5.
Saturday – They scored four more times than they had to in this 5-0 shutout win.
Sunday – Let’s hope beating the Redbirds is good practice for beating the Cardinals. Iowa won again, 6-3.

Tennessee
Friday – Chattanooga rallied late to tie it up, but the Smokies prevailed in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win.
Saturday – A big seventh inning propelled Tennessee to this 5-1 win.
Sunday – They made it three wins in a row with this 8-2 final.

Daytona
Friday – Daytona kicked off the weekend with a 5-1 loss.
Saturday – The bats broke out on Saturday, though, and the Cubs won easily 7-1.
Sunday – But the struggles returned on Sunday as Daytona fell 7-3.

Kane County
Friday – The Cougars took an early lead and turned it into a 6-4 win.
Saturday – Lake County kept trying to come back in this game, but Kane County had just enough to eke out the 9-8 win.
Sunday – In a rain delayed and weather shortened game, Kane County came out on top 6-1.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Let’s start with Saturday’s shutout. The heavy lifting was handled by Tsuyoshi Wada; over 6.2 innings he allowed just 4 hits and struck out 10. His early season numbers are nearing irrational excitement territory: ERA of 0.68, K/BB ratio of 18, WHIP of 0.600, K/9 of 12.2, and so forth. His callup is coming, and I suspect it could be soon.
  • [Iowa] Speaking of upcoming call ups, keep an eye on Marcos Mateo. After two more appearances this weekend the big right hander has collected 5 strikeouts in 5 innings for the season. If the Cubs keep playing bullpen roulette, his number is bound to come up sooner or later.
  • [Iowa] Matt Szczur hit his first home run of the season on Sunday and now has a four game hitting streak. Arismendy Alcantara has hit in five straight.
  • [Tennessee] We expected some great pitching in Tennessee this year, and Corey Black has set a high early standard. On Friday he needed 79 pitches to breeze through five hitless innings against Chattanooga, walking three and striking out a pair.
  • [Tennessee] Ivan Pineyro was pretty good on Saturday. Through 5 innings (80 pitches) he allowed a run on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. Ryan Searle struck out 3 more in 2 innings of one hit relief.
  • [Tennessee] If Kris Bryant keeps playing like this, he will be in Chicago by late summer. Through 9 games he now has 7 walks against just 10 strikeouts, is sitting on an OBP of .432, and has three home runs. His two steals are just the icing on the 1.053 OPS cake.
  • [Tennessee] Dustin Geiger hit his third home run of the season on Friday and now has nifty early season of 0.906. Stephen Bruno launched his first homer on Sunday to extend his five game hitting streak.
  • [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher has been on fire lately. Over his last four games he has 8 hits, including one double, and he has walked twice. His OPS now sits at 1.002.
  • [Daytona] Maybe the best game of Albert Almora‘s season came on Saturday. He homered (his first), doubled (his fourth), and stole his first base of the year. With three singles, Marco Hernandez also had a great day on Saturday.
  • [Daytona] Rob Zastryzny was the starter on Saturday, and through 5.2 innings he gave up a run on a walk and 7 hits while striking out 5. Zach Cates pitched the next 2.1 innings, allowing two hits while striking out two.
  • [Daytona] Arodys Vizcaino ran into his first hiccup of the season on Sunday. In his one inning of work he allowed one run on a pair hits while striking out one. In case anyone was wondering, this less than flawless outing should have no impact on the pace at which he will move up the system.
  • [Kane County] Duane Underwood made his season debut in the rain-plagued Sunday game, and acquitted himself well. Over 3 innings he allowed a run on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 5. Justin Amlung struck out 5 more over the next 4 innings to secure the win.
  • [Kane County] Juan Paniagua pitched 4 innings on Saturday, allowing a run on 2 hits while walking 4 and striking out 6. Gerardo Concepcion once again put in a decent performnace in relief, striking out 2 in 2 scoreless innings.
  • [Kane County] Yasiel Balaguert tripled, doubled and came away with 7 hits for the weekend. He has now hit safely in 8 straight games.
  • [Kane County] Infielder David Bote picked up his first homer of the season as part of a 2 hit game on Saturday. In limited action this spring he has an OPS of 1.043.

Other News

  • In news that will be of great interest to some of you, the Iowa Cubs are now offering fourteen craft beers at Principal Park. Anyone in the mood for Farmer John’s Ale, Hannah Gold Lager, Red Rambler, Slingshot Dunkel, or any of ten other options can now get their fix while watching Triple A baseball. The full array of the micro-brew menu can be seen here.
  • Let’s hope Trevor Rosenthal was taking notes. On Sunday in the seventh inning Zac Rosscup stepped to the plate with runners on the corners and one out. It was just his third professional at bat, fifth plate appearance, and he responded by lacing a bases clearing single up the middle. And then he went to second on a throwing error by the center fielder. Rosscup is now tied for fifth in RBIs on the team, joining Brett Jackson and Eli Whiteside.
  • ced landrum

    Ha Conception must of saw that I called him Jed and Theo’s Hayden Simpson. Good for him. I hope he stays on track.

    • MightyBear

      I hope Concepcion becomes a star just so I can throw him in Kyle’s face. He declared Concepcion a complete bust last year. I made the comment that he’s 21 and that’s too early to declare anyone a bust. He emphatically stated that he was a bust and Theo and Jed just threw away 6 million dollars.

      • ssckelley

        ohhhhh, you are playing with fire here! If this happens am sure Kyle will respond where he mentioned on another board that Concepcion could still be a stud. He tends to cover all his bases when it comes to opinions and he never admits to being wrong.

      • Jon

        Just think, in two years, you will be able to spike the football in Kyle’s face when Conception is called up to play the role of “Chris Rusin” for a few days. Your day of reckoning is coming!

      • Kyle

        He’s still a complete and total bust.

        • Kyle

          Wait, weren’t you the one who said I was crazy for saying Concepcion would clear waivers if DFA’d (which he did)?

          • Jon

            What’s also funny is that even if Concepcion became a “star”, his contract is up in two more years and he’s a FA.

            So the Cubs essentially paid the $$$ to develop him without any long term control.

            • ssckelley

              So the CBA and arbitration does not apply to him even if the Cubs protect him on the 40 man roster?

            • roz

              I’m pretty sure this is completely wrong. Concepcion can’t become a FA until he has accrued 6 years of major league service time, which is sure as hell not going to happen by the time his current contract runs out.

              • ssckelley

                Might not be true because I know Soler negotiated a clause in his contract that allows him to be a free agent. But I cannot find anything on Concepcion that allows the same thing.

                It would be kinda kewl if he brings himself back to prospect status to see how much he would be worth on a open market. I think he would only be 25 years old.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  The clause in Soler’s contract allows him to opt-into arbitration, I’m almost positive it doesn’t allow him to become a free agent.

                  • Brocktoon

                    Correct

                  • Kyle

                    Older international FA’s usually have that clause. Fukudome did. We still don’t know, iirc, for sure if Soler does or doesn’t. My guess would be doesn’t.

                    Concepcion’s far more likely to be covered by minor league FA rules at this point than MLB FA rules, and those are so weird I won’t even try to predict.

                • roz

                  I think FullCountTommy is correct. Soler can’t actually opt out of his contract, but he and the Cubs did agree that once he is eligible for arbitration, he can elect to go to arbitration instead of being paid what his contract specifies for those years.

                  I don’t know if Concepcion’s contract has that, but it’s a moot point. I don’t believe that there is anyway that you can become a free agent without having 6 years of ML service time, unless you spend 7 years in the minors, which won’t come into play in Concepcion’s case.

                  • ssckelley

                    Yep, that sounds right, I knew there was some kind of exception with Soler.

                  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                    “I don’t believe that there is anyway that you can become a free agent without having 6 years of ML service time”

                    If your contract says you are a free agent at the end of it and it ends before the 6 year mark…

                    The dude from Cuba in Oakland has a 4-year deal with FA at the end of it.

                  • Kyle

                    ” I don’t believe that there is anyway that you can become a free agent without having 6 years of ML service time”

                    You can be released. International free agents frequently have a clause in their contract that guarantees release within a certain number of years.

        • Edwin

          Nope. Past performance means nothing. All that matters is a prospect’s age. If a prospect is 24 or younger and is playing in the Cubs minor league system, they’re not a bust, because they could still turn into a superstar. If they’re 25 or older, then they should be playing every day in MLB so that we know what they can do at the MLB level. If they’re still bad after that, then they can be included as a throw-in in a trade to aquire a top prospect on another team.

        • Kyle

          The last controversial player I was this sure was a bust was Brett Jackson.

          The one before that was Jeff Samardzija.

          So … mixed bag.

    • Sandberg

      I was at the game on Saturday. Concepcion had some nice movement on his pitches, but he was maxing out at 88 on the stadium gun.

      Paniagua on the other hand was throwing in the low 90s, maxing out a couple of times at 95.

      However, I did not see every pitch, so I could have missed something.

      • cms0101

        Last Tuesday Concepcion was hitting 91-92 on the gun. Not consistently, but maxing out. His breaking stuff was nice too. That’s all you need from a lefty. Here’s hoping he continues and forces the issue back into the rotation.

  • Spoda17

    Luke, what is Almora’s slash line this season..?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      .300/.333/.475

      If you click on his name in the article it should pop open his Baseball Reference page in a new window for you.

      • Spoda17

        Cool, thanks… guess I should have tried that…

  • another JP

    There’s so many good early season performances and one name has been conspicuously absent. Vogelbach’s early season slump in Daytona is reminiscent of Baez and he’ll need to begin picking up the pace somewhat before Dustin Geiger passes him as a prospect. It might already have happened.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Vogelbach is no danger of being passed up as a prospect on the basis of a handful of early season games.

      • another JP

        Then look closely at the performances they’ve both had in Daytona as a whole. Geiger is not that far from Vogelbach than people perceive. And he’ll probably be able to be a serviceable defensive 1B… Vogs has far to go to say the same.

        • ced landrum

          You would be comparing 88 Ab’s against 500 or so. That would be crazy. Geiger is a good underrated prospect with some pop. But has needed refinement with his patience and approach. Vogelbach has those skills mastered and has the same amount of power and is a year younger then Geiger.

      • ced landrum

        I’m with Luke on this. Dan was locked in during spring, so 38 or so AB’s isn’t going to cost him anything in prospect status.

        • another JP

          Even if it doesn’t “cost” Vogs anything in prospect status you fail to recognize the improvement of Geiger as a prospect.

          I understand all the Vogelbach love around this place but let me just remind you that prospects don’t improve at a similar rate. Just because people on internet boards and rating services think DV is a borderline top 100 prospect doesn’t mean he’ll be a better major leaguer than Geiger. Let me just remind you that three years ago Vitters was everyone’s favorite prospect and now he’s on the organizational depth chart behind Junior Lake.

          This isn’t a frickin’ popularity contest as far as I’m concerned.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            No one is saying that Geiger is chop suey.

            Vogelbach is just that much more regarded at the plate. The dude almost had more walks than K’s last year.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            “Just because people on internet boards and rating services think DV is a borderline top 100 prospect doesn’t mean he’ll be a better major leaguer than Geiger.”

            But Vogelbach having a batting eye and contact ability that outpaces Geiger means that he will probably be a better major leaguer.

          • Brocktoon

            Lake was always a raw guy that potential for breakout. There isn’t a person in baseball that would take Geiger over Vogelbach. He’s not Vogelbach, he’s not even Matt Craig.

          • ced landrum

            Hehe.. this is funny I was away and come back to see that you have completely taken something I said about Vogelbach and change that into not recognizing Geiger’s improvement. You couldn’t be more wrong.

    • OJ Simpson

      Lord. Too early for this.

      • another JP

        Alright then OJ… tell me why Vogelbach should be a significantly higher rated prospect than Geiger since the time both reached high A ball. I’ll admit that Geiger is a year older and that’s it… otherwise he’s outperforming Vogelbach overall.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          You might want to check the stats again.

          Vogelbach has PA last year in A+ ball where he put Geiger to shame. The PA so far this year mean, virtually, nothing. Geiger is a worthy 1B prospect in his own right but Vogelbach is a step above him.

          Oh, and that year makes a pretty big difference.

          • Jon

            Also, as I understand it, Geiger is not had and shoulders above Vogelbach defensively. I know he cost Baez a shit ton of errors last year at Daytona

            • Brocktoon

              Vogs is head and shoulders above Geiger. Geiger is terrible defensively.

          • another JP

            50 ABs with a .895 OPS??? Really? I don’t think that necessarily trumps Geigers .824 OPS over 423 ABs. And consider that Vogelbach’s weight loss could have an adverse effect on his power numbers this year– his SLG% has gradually dropped at every level in the minors thus far while Geigers SLG% and BB% rate have risen.

            I guess we’ll just have to see this play out over the next year or two and see what happens, eh?

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Weight does not equal power. If anything, dropping weight like that usually leads to an increase in core strength which will increase power.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              Well, Vogelbach went from otherworldly SLG to a pretty good SLG as he has advanced and has increased his BB rate as well (although I am guessing those walk rates are virtually indistinguishable with one another for both players).

              Geiger went from a bad SLG and BB rate to an average BB rate and a pretty good SLG.

              I feel like you are arguing that the sky is teal-blue and I am saying it is robin-egg blue. The sky is blue.

              • another JP

                Fair enough. Let me just remind you I didn’t say who was better- it’s just that Vogelbach is no longer clearly better than Geiger… at least as far as I’m concerned. I know that’s not a popular opinion around here.

                If DG continues to OPS over .850 at TN he could easily be in Iowa by July. There’s absolutely nobody to block his promotion there at this time.

    • ssckelley

      If Geiger keeps hitting at this pace in Tennessee then he could pass up quite a few plospects but it is way to early to thing about that yet. The AA pitchers will adjust to Geiger and when that happens the key will be is how Geiger responds. It is far to early to make any assumptions based on a handful of early season minor league games.

    • ssckelley

      If Geiger keeps hitting at this pace he could pass quite a few prospects. But AA pitchers have not made the adjustments to Geiger, the key for Geiger is how he handles it. It is far too early to make any assumptions after a handful of minor league games.

  • tampacubsphan35

    I had a chance to catch the Daytona game yesterday against the Tampa Yankees and Vogelback made two outstanding defensive plays at first!! First one saved a RBI double(in between hop and nice scoop) and the second play(hard line drive) robbed the batter of an easy double if not a triple.

    • another JP

      Good to hear. He’ll have to continue his defensive development if he has any chance of sticking on a major league roster. Even AL teams are reluctant to use the DH spot for a young hitter anymore.

      • Chad

        Huh? Why would you say that? Just because they stick the old guy in there that can’t play D anymore doesn’t mean they wouldn’t do it with a young guy if that is the only position he could play.

        • another JP

          Actually, a team would only do it (put a young guy at DH) if he couldn’t play ANY position competently. I’m not familiar with any team that has given a prospect a career as a DH based on his hit tool alone thus far.

          • Chad

            If his hit tool is as good as advertised but his defense is high susceptible that he could only play DH then they aren’t just going to let him go for nothing. If you can have a cost controlled DH you would do that just as you would for any other player. The reason most DH are old position players is because they lose range/athleticism to play their position to an acceptable level. If someone is good enough to be in your lineup every day and provide offense at the level of most DH’s but defesne is awful why not? Just because it is not the current trend doesn’t mean someone would not do it. In the AL if you can have a 1B with great D and solid offense plus a very good offensive DH that is better than a very good offensive 1B with no defense and a good offensive DH. If Vogelbach can only handle DH and DH only he will play DH. Good bats make it into the lineup period.

            • another JP

              Alrighty then. You can act as GM and should have no problem convincing an AL GM to take him for a high end pitching prospect.

              Good luck with that.

              • ced landrum

                Earlier you were saying that Geiger was equal as a prospect as Vogs. Now you are saying Vogs has no shot if he can’t stick at first. It is funny because Geiger is known for his bat too. Guy isn’t a good defender.

          • Coop

            Billy Butler says hi.

  • Lou Brown

    I wonder they will move Redamacher up. He played at Daytona part of last season too, I believe. Age 23 college bat, why not move him up to Tenn.

  • MightyBear

    Luke, is Alcantara playing short while Baez is out and is Watkins playing second or is there another set of middle infielders/configuration? If you know, thanks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      So far Alcantara has appeared at both short and second while Baez is out.

  • Justin

    Luke, what do you put the odds of Bryant coming up midseason this yr? Do you think he could come straight from AA? I really hope he comes up this yr because I fear the Cubs won’t bring him up to start the year next yr if he hasn’t reached the majors yet for service time reasons. And I am hoping 2015 is finally the year to compete.

    • ssckelley

      Not Luke but I doubt we see Bryant this season. Honestly I think the earliest we will see Bryant is June of next season as I doubt the Cubs will waste service time on Bryant in a season like this one. I think the best case scenario is for Bryant to play almost the entire season in AA, perhaps getting promoted to AAA later this season if a spot becomes available. In all likely hood they start him in AAA next season to get an extra year of control.

      Another consideration is there are a couple of road blocks in AAA, Villanueva is a pretty good 3b prospect. If and when he does get promoted AAA might be where Bryant gets a look in the outfield as they can free up playing time a little more easier.

      • Justin

        Yeah that’s pretty much what I am afraid of. To me a mid-June 2015 promotion would suck and be disappointing. For them to have a shot next yr at making a run at the playoffs they’re going to need Bryant all year IMO. I know the Front Office has their methods, but I think they have to be pretty hungry to win after all these crap records. Theo and Jed seem like pretty competitive guys and this has to be very difficult..

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Eh, if they think he’s ready, I think he starts next year with the Big League team, and if they’re worried about the extra year of control, they’ll hold him out until late April/early May at the latest. There is no way that if they feel he is ready that he makes it to the Super 2 next year

          • ssckelley

            Yes, I should have said however long it takes to get an extra year of control. I doubt they worry about Super 2 either, but I still think Bryant starts the year in AAA for that extra year of control. But little chance does Bryant break camp on the MLB roster next spring.

            But I see very little chance of the Cubs adding Bryant to the 40 man roster this season and waste service time this year. They will have enough issues protecting eligible players from the rule 5 draft this upcoming fall.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      If Bryant maintains success in Double A, I think we could see him in August or September.

      • ssckelley

        Why do you think the Cubs FO would waste service time on one of their top prospects in a wasted season? Plus he would take a 40 man roster spot they could use to protect another prospect from the rule 5 draft.

        • Jon

          Because at some point, you have to try and win baseball games.

          • ssckelley

            I am all for that and that is the one scenario I could see Bryant called up is if they are in the playoff race in August. But if the Cubs are out of it then winning games in August/September is meaningless, especially to waste service time on a guy who is supposed to be a huge part of the future success.

            You really think this FO would give up a year of control in 2020, when Bryant is going to be in his prime, to win a few extra games this season if they are out of the playoff race in August?

            • roz

              Because if he’s good enough, he’s going to have signed an extension before his 6 years runs up and he becomes a FA, and the monetary savings there wouldn’t be that much.

              • ssckelley

                roz, no doubt they will try to buyout free agent years if Bryant is successful at the MLB level. But the way contracts are going for top free agents Bryant might be worth 30+ million per year when he is 28.

            • Jon

              If the players are ready from a developmental perspective, it makes sense to actually bring them up and try to win games. Getting a ton of momentum going into next season might be nice. It might also help when recruiting FA’s like Scherzer, aka, joining a team ready or on the cusp of competing.

              • ssckelley

                Jon, the biggest asset to attracting free agents is money.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              If it is in the best interest of Bryant’s development…yes.

              The only way he doesn’t get a callup this year is if they don’t think he is ready. At that point, the soonest we will probably see him is May 2, 2015.

              • Cyranojoe

                ^^ This. Getting a cup of coffee in a season like this has little to do with winning games, and more to do with getting the player the experience of the “bright lights” of the majors and seeing how they handle the pitching/pressure/etc.

          • DarthHater

            [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g1397487513925221628.jpg[/img]

            • CubsFaninMS

              Now we ride with the Riders with Greg Rohan!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Long term, Bryant’s development is probably more important for the Cubs than that extra 40 man roster slot, and if he did come up this year I believe they would already have control well into his prime years. Do a last few arbitration years buyout/first few free agent years extension deal (if he warrants it) and it’s a completely moot issue.

          • ssckelley

            How would ending the season at AAA could hurt Byrant’s development? He just turned 22 in January and if they called him up this season he becomes a free agent in 2020 at 28 years old. Granted they will always have the option of signing him to an extension anyway but that 2020 season will be worth quite a bit of money to Bryant if the Cubs have to buy out that free agent year. By that time he might be worth 30+ million. Plus that is one less prospect they are able to protect on the 40 man roster.

            I hope I am wrong, as a fan I would love nothing more than to see Bryant in a Chicago Cubs uniform later this summer. Just this FO seems to put a lot of value on service time.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              “How would ending the season at AAA could hurt Byrant’s development?”

              If there is something in his swing they want exposed in the bigs so he can work on it in the offseason.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              I never said ending the year in Triple A would hurt his development.

              • ssckelley

                *sigh*

                I know you did not say those exact words, but you did say “If Bryant maintains success in Double A, I think we could see him in August or September”. I assume you mean he bypasses Iowa because that is what Justin was asking about. Perhaps I should have asked how he could benefit more from a call up straight to Chicago versus finishing the season in Iowa? Enough to where this FO sacrifices a year of control when he is 28 in 2020.

                Not very often I disagree with you, but I think you are wrong in this one. Although I hope you are right, I would love to see Bryant in Chicago this August.

                • Rebuilding

                  Advanced bats skip, or stop by for just a second, AAA all of the time. The arms in AA are usually the power youngsters and a lot of times there is no benefit in facing fringy, 5th starter junkballers that reside in AAA

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  He wouldn’t skip Triple A for good, but I can see the benefit of him getting a Sept call up, then heading back to Triple A in 2015 to work out the last few kinks.

                  If he keeps playing very well in Tennessee, though, he could be ticketed for Iowa sometime in June and not skip that stop at all.

  • MightyBear

    I predicted Baez would be up in June and Bryant in August. Bryant seems to be on track. I hope Baez doesn’t have one of those years where he gets banged up all the time. He’s a pretty tough kid.

    • Justin

      Yeah I think Baez will be up after the super 2 cutoff in mid June. I really hope Bryant is up around then too, otherwise I fear it will be mid-June 2015 for him.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        The super-two cutoff is no longer June. It’s closer to mid-July now.

        Also, the Cubs don’t care about super-two status.

        • Brocktoon

          We don’t know that. Rizzo is the only guy of note they’ve brought up, and he’d have had to be held down pretty much all year while he slaughtered AAA to avoid it.

          • Rebuilding

            If they feel Bryant is ready they will bring him up. He’s going to get locked up with an extension that buys out the arb years anyway. Yes, it might cost them a few million bucks – money easily made up if it helps attendance just a little

            • Brocktoon

              Again, we don’t know that Bryant is willing to sign a pre-arb extension. I don’t expect to see Bryant in the big leagues before they’ve delayed a FA year next season. They’re not trying until 2016, so there’s no rush to get Bryant ready to break camp next year.

            • Kyle

              The cost of the extension will be influenced his service time status. Signing an extension does not make his service time irrelevant.

              The cost of the extension will be influenced his service time status. Signing an extension does not make his service time irrelevant.

              The cost of the extension will be influenced his service time status. Signing an extension does not make his service time irrelevant.

              The cost of the extension will be influenced his service time status. Signing an extension does not make his service time irrelevant.

              How many more times does this need to be said? Gonna be a few more times…

              • Patrick W.

                Well, you could try it ONCE in a readable first sentence.

  • ari gold

    Reading the Cub Reporter this morning, AZ Phil reported Soler grabbing his hamstring after a round of BP yesterday. However, he did return for another round later. Still doesn’t sound too good and may be out a little while longer. Frustrating.

  • Jon

    http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/sports/26804249-419/minor-league-baseball-duane-underwood-impressive-as-cougars-top-lake-county-6-1-in-seven-innings.html#.U0vqUPldXW9

    In the three innings Underwood was in there, he flashed a 95 mph fastball and allowed a run on three hits, walking one and striking out fiv

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/cXmLtgo.gif[/img]

    • cms0101

      The stats aren’t telling the complete story on Underwood. If not for a rain delay, he would have gone more innings for sure. But he was basically only throwing his fastball. It was 95mph, but that’s how he got through the 3 innings. He couldn’t get his breaking stuff over the plate. And when he did it didn’t look great. Basically, he was just overmatching guys with that rocket arm. I hope he can develop a couple more pitches. The gas he was throwing came with ease too. His delivery was fluid and the ball came out easy. If they can teach him a changeup and a slider that he can command, we might have something here.

      • Cyranojoe

        Very informative, thanks for the scouting report! I was getting giggly too. Eyes on the ground mean so much.

  • JesusPotter

    I have the worst freaking luck in the world. My brother and I were in Memphis for the game on Saturday, only to see Baez not play. He didn’t appear to be hobbling around or anything in the dugout, so that may be a positive. He signed a ball for my brother, but I didn’t get there in time. It sucks to be me.

  • Brocktoon

    I have a hard time seeing Mateo in the bigs anytime soon considering he’s not on the 40 man. I’d only see Wada up if he has an out clause by a certain date.

    I’d unfortunately bet a lot of money that Bryant doesn’t see the bigs until next season.

    • Brocktoon

      To follow up, when Arrieta returns, somebody from the current pen needs to be shipped out. Then you have:

      Schlitter
      Rusin
      Fujikawa
      Ramirez
      Rosscup
      Vizcaino

      All on the 40 man and reasonable bets to be just as worthy of a call up as Mateo in the very least. That isn’t even counting the utterly worthless McDonald who is on a major league deal for no reason.

  • DarthHater

    Begin countdown to Diehard prediction that Baez will never walk again…

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      prediction? Don’t you mean he’ll remind us that he “reported” on Baez’s injury-proneness several months ago?

      • DarthHater

        You’re right. He did when Baez hurt his heel in spring training.

  • Cubs_Questions

    I might be the minority, but I’m still watching Vitters. Hitting .303/.378/.545 at Iowa this season (small sample) and posting a career .302/.362/.515 split in 589 PA at AAA, and still at the age of 24.

    I would love to see him become a 4th outfielder if he can get there defensively, but he’s not there yet.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      You’re in the minority, but I’m with you bud. If he can stay healthy, at worst, I see him having a Jeff Baker like career.

    • ssckelley

      I am ready for the Cubs to unload Ruggiano so they can bring Vitters up.

      • Voice of Reason

        Unload ruggiano?

        Dare I ask what you’ll request in return?

        • Jon

          Brian Bogusevic? He’s currently tearing up AAA for the Marlins .324/.410/.353

        • ssckelley

          Wait, you mean we could actually get something back in return?

          • Voice of Reason

            You said unload. I thought you wanted something in return.

            Why not trade schierholtz and keep ruggiano? We might get one prospect with potential for schierholtz that could help in 2 years. We still lose 95 games with or without schietholtz this year.

            Ruggiano would be sent down or released and get us nothing in return.

            • ssckelley

              Because Ruggiano is the spot I would like to see Vitters take. Schierholtz is a left handed bat, although he will eventually be traded at the TDL if the Cubs are out of it by then.

              • Voice of Reason

                What difference.does it make if schierholtz is left handed? Are we instant contenders because we keep schierholtz because he swings left handed?

                Get over the platoons and splits this year. It won’t work and it doesn’t matter this year. Have you seen our record?

                I’ve said it all along that this is a horrible team.

                Instead of worrying about this year we need to worry about 2015.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  Good lord this has nothing to do with Schierholtz. Justin Ruggiano is currently filling the role that Josh Vitters would fill with the team, that’s all ssckelley is trying to say.

                  • ssckelley

                    ^ this

                    Thanks Tommy!

                  • ssckelley

                    Thanks Tommy!

    • ncsujuri

      How about making him a catcher?? I kid (sort of)

      • ssckelley

        Can he frame pitches? They say Castillo has already given up 3+ runs do to his inability to frame pitches and it is his fault Jackson game up so many base runners.

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          Yesterday I saw Castillo put the glove down for a low and inside pitch and Jackson threw it high and away. After the game I saw Jackson and Bosio having a lengthly discussion and although it didn’t appear they were arguing I don’t think Bosio was happy. Remember this is the guy who decided to throw all fastballs without informing his coach or manager. I have to wonder if Jackson is staying with the game plan for opposing hitters or if he is going rogue.

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