Teaser Rally, Roster Moves, Almora, Tools, Pitching Depth and Other Vacation Bullets

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Teaser Rally, Roster Moves, Almora, Tools, Pitching Depth and Other Vacation Bullets

Chicago Cubs

darwin barney gold gloveI’ll be hitting the links today, which is something I did a fair bit more in my pre-kids, pre-BN days. I was never particularly good, but it’s fun when you have the time to get away for a few hours. So, get away I will …

  • The Cubs lost an up and down one last night in Philadelphia. After taking an early lead on a three-run homer by Donnie Murphy, Edwin Jackson couldn’t hold it – he got hit, and hit, and hit. By the time the 9th rolled around, the Cubs were down 9-5. But a two-run single by Nate Schierholtz, and then a dropped fly ball by Domonic “Brant” Brown gave the Cubs another run. That’s where the teaser rally ended, though, as new Cub Thomas Neal flied out to end the game.
  • Jackson didn’t offer much on his first really bad start in over a month, saying that it was one of those games where, if you made a mistake, they were hitting it. He also noted that he was leaving the ball up a bit too much. (Per Cubs.com.)
  • The loss was the 5th in a row for the Cubs, who are now 0-fer August, and just a game and a half ahead of the Brewers for 4th in the NL Central.
  • To make room on the 25-man roster for Thomas Neal yesterday, the Cubs optioned reliever Eduardo Sanchez back to Iowa. The 24-year-old has pitched just three innings in the bigs this year for the Cubs, giving up one earned run, three hits, and striking out one.
  • Julio Borbon, DFA’d last week in what turned out to be a precursor to the addition of Neal, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Iowa.
  • More interesting thoughts from Cubs players on the PED issue and the Biogenesis suspensions, from Patrick Mooney. Carlos Villanueva, in particular, makes some interesting points in favor of much harsher penalties.
  • Also from Mooney, more from Ryne Sandberg on his time in the Cubs’ organization as a coach/manager, and on his departure a few years ago.
  • Albert Almora hit the DL yesterday, retroactive to August 5th, with a groin strain. The Cubs’ outfield prospect appeared to some to tweak something while taking swings on Monday, so he’ll be out for at least a week (the minor league DL is 7 days (less need to protect against DL abuse than in the Majors)). Hopefully it isn’t anything serious, and he’ll be back soon. The injury will mark the fourth time that Almora has missed action this year (hamate bone break/removal, hamstring, hemorrhoids, and now groin). You wouldn’t be able to tell that he’s dealt with a ton of injuries by his numbers, though, as he’s hitting .329/.376/.466 with a 30:17 K:BB ratio as a 19-year-old in low-A.
  • As Luke mentioned in the Daily, Smokies lefty Eric Jokisch threw a no-hitter last night. The 24-year-old’s numbers once again look good at AA this year, and he’s likely ticketed for a rotation spot at Iowa next year. He’s not likely to be more than a back-end guy in the big leagues, if that, but he’ll probably be somewhere on the 15-deep pitching depth chart next year for the Cubs’ rotation. (Which is not an insult, by the way – Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Villanueva, [Probable Addition(s)], Arrieta, Grimm, Rusin, Raley, Cabrera, Hendricks … I could keep going. Things are different than they were a couple years ago.)
  • A graphical look at the steroid era from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs. Very interesting.
  • A “snag” in the deal between the Phillies and Cuban Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez?
  • MLB managers were polled on the top tools in baseball, and only one Cub made any of the lists – Darwin Barney, as the second best defensive second baseman in the NL (yes, behind Brandon Phillips). Sounds like Barney won’t win his second straight Gold Glove, given that the managers are the guys who vote on the award.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.