It seems like the most interesting news surrounding the Cubs is what is happening off the field than on, that’s probably true. This is what most Cubs fans have waited for all year, the arrival of Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo will not be a savior, and he might struggle, but if most Cubs fans are like me, just seeing Rizzo play is a welcome departure from watching a lifeless team go through the motions game after game. Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Anthony Rizzo could be in the Cubs lineup as early as Tuesday night. The team he and the Cubs will be facing is one of the early season surprises, the New York Mets. The Mets are currently five games over .500 and are in second place in the East, just 3.5 games behind the Nationals. The Cubs will get a look at a big reason Monday night as they face a rejuvenated Johan Santana, but they will avoid knuckleball sensation R.A. Dickey. The Cubs, per usual, are struggling, they can’t score runs, a big reason is a dreadful stretch with guys in scoring position (3-25 over the weekend in Arizona). Maybe a Rizzo promotion will help in that department, stay tuned. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.
The Arizona League Cubs (Rookie League) kicked off their season last week, and are looking good with a 3-1 record in the early going. This team is primarily made up of guys that just missed making the Boise Hawks team, and most of the 2012 draft picks that have signed. We will begin including them in the minor league report starting this week! Here’s an update so far.
Crazy night in Boise as the Hawks and the Emeralds combined for 25 runs on 32 hits, and five errors. Boise came out on top 14-11, but not before a scare in the ninth with Eugene putting a six spot on the board. Willengton Cruz pitched surprisingly well given the final score, he went five strong innings giving up three runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out two to earn his first win of the season. The Hawks hit four home runs in the offensive onslaught. Gioskar Amaya, Marco Hernandez, Jeimer Candelario, and Shawon Dunston Jr. all went deep. Six different Hawks had two hits in the victory, check out the box score, it’s enjoyable.
Another crazy game in the Cubs system as the Peoria Chiefs and Quad Cities combined for 23 runs on 30 hits, and Quad Cities made six errors to help the Chiefs to a 12-11 victory. Michael Jensen finally had a bad outing but was bailed out by his teammates. Jensen only lasted four innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits, while walking one and striking out three. Hunter Cervenka finally gave up a run, in fact a few of them, but thanks to a potent offensive attack he earned the win. Every Chiefs player had at least one hit in the wild victory. Pin-Chieh Chen was 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored. Dustin Geiger continues to have a solid 2012 after starting late due to injury. He was 1-for-4 with his 3rd home run of the season, and three RBI’s. Anthony Giansanti was 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBI’s, he is now hitting .301 0n the season.
Daytona was postponed by stupid rain.
Smokies were leading 2-1 against Jacksonville before the game was suspended. This game will resume once the rain decides to stop.
Rodrigo Lopez struggled with his command, the result was a 5-2 loss to Round Rock. Lopez lasted six innings giving up four runs on three hits, while walking three and striking out five. Brett Jackson stayed hot at the plate going 1-for-3 with his 11th home run of the season, he also had a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored. Welington Castillo was 3-for-4 in the defeat with an RBI, he is now hitting .339 on the season. Anthony Rizzo took an 0-for-3 on the eve of his recall, by all accounts Rizzo will be at Wrigley Field and in the lineup Tuesday night.
Another lefty on the mound and another loss for the Cubs in what is shaping up to be a historically bad season. The Cubs record against left-handed pitchers dropped to 3-16 on the season after Wade Miley shut the door in a 5-1 victory for the Diamondbacks. The Cubs did nothing all day, which is a shame because Matt Garza had one of, if not his best road outing of the season. Garza went seven strong innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out seven. The loss drops Garza to 3-6 on the season with a 4.06 ERA. As I said, the Cubs did nothing at the plate, Alfonso Soriano hit his 14th home run of the season in the seventh inning to bring the Cubs to within one run. That was as close as they would get as the Diamondbacks tacked on one in seventh and two more in the eighth to make it 5-1. The Cubs did threaten however in the 8th inning, and just missed tying the game on a Darwin Barney double that hit the yellow line at the top of the left field wall. With 2nd and 3rd and nobody out, and down 3-1, Joe Mather stuck out, Luis Valbuena lined out to short, and David DeJesus grounded back to Miley to end the threat with no runs scoring. Soriano and Darwin Barney were the only Cubs with hits, each getting two in the defeat. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
It’s about that time, and I expect Anthony Rizzo to be called up on Monday or Tuesday of next week, the rumors floating around out there seem to suggest that Rizzo will be up and in the lineup for the Cubs on Tuesday. Of course, none of this is official, and only the Cubs truly know when they are going to start the Anthony Rizzo era. But what do you expect as a Cubs fan once he gets to the Major Leagues for the Cubs?
In my opinion the best case scenario would be Rizzo performing much like Bryan LaHair started this season, a solid OBP guy, and a true left-handed power threat. Rizzo will also provide gold glove caliber defense. Worst case scenario he struggles much like he did when the Padres called him up last year. I think the ballpark in San Diego really messed with Rizzo’s head, he launched a ball last year at PetCo and the ball didn’t get out, the look on his face said it all, this park is not a hitters park. All it takes at Wrigley is for him to get a ball up in the jet stream and the rest could be history. The thing I’m worried about is the Cubs faithful putting too much pressure on this kid to resurrect the Cubs THIS season, folks this year is a lost cause, it has been for quite some time, Rizzo will not change that. But I’m interested in what your opinion is, what do you think Rizzo will do when he reaches the big leagues with the Cubs? Sound off in the comments below, and vote!
Thanks for reading, we will keep you up to date on all things Rizzo this upcoming week.
I do not have a good feeling about this, the Cubs are floundering, more than usual, and Matt Garza has been awful on the road this season, so I forsee a sweep by the D-Backs. Maybe he will surprise me, here’s how the Cubs will line up behind Garza.
My MVP of the day pick is Starlin Castro, he’s been hot and I think he will have another big game today.
Gerardo Concepcion took the loss as he could only get through 4.1 innings giving up three runs on five hits dropping his record to 2-5. In the 4-2 Peoria loss Zeke DeVoss had two hits and a run scored. Paul Hoilman had a nice night at the plate as well as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Dustin Geiger, Yasiel Balaguert, and Oliver Zapata all had contributed with a hit a piece on Saturday. Sheldon McDonald pitched beautifully throwing 2.2 perfect innings in relief, he also struck out two. Austin Reed gave up a run in relief, but also struck out three batters in his two innings of work.
Everything looked great for Daytona until they gave up seven runs in the bottom of the eighth as they took the Clearwater won the game 7-2. Robert Whitenack was brilliant in five innings as he gave up no runs on only three hits while striking out three. Brian Schlitter continued to impress as he pitched two perfect innings in relief striking out one batter. As good as Whitenack and Schlitter were A.J. Morris and Jeffrey Lorick were not very good at all. Morris was tagged with the loss as he gave up four runs while not recording an out and Lorick gave up three more in an inning of work. The offense had nine hits including two from catcher Chad Noble who had a double and a run scored. Everyone else in the Cubs starting lineup had one hit except John Andreoli. Greg Rohan drove in his 61st run of the year and Matt Szczur scored a run and stole his 20th base of the season.
Tennessee scored six in the third, but had to hold on as they won 7-6 on Saturday. Jeffry Antigua got the start, but did not factor in the decision as he only was able to pitch three innings. Casey Weathers got the win pitching two good innings in relief giving up one hit and wallking one while striking out four. Frank Batista recorded one out to pick up his 11th save of the season. Logan Watkins had a nice night out of the leadoff spot going 2-for-4 with a double and triple. He also walked once and scored two runs. Jae-Hoon Ha had two hits and two RBI’s and Justin Bour added two hits of his own as he drove in a run as well. Nelson Perez hit his first home run in Double-A and Michael Burgess also hit a homer, each driving in two runs. Kevin Rhoderick struggled giving up three runs in 1.2 innings, he did however strike out three.
A three run fourth was too much for Chris Volstand and the Cubs to recover from. Volstad gave up four runs, three of which were earned on six hits in six innings of work. Brett Jackson led things for Iowa with his 10th home run of the season. He added another hit later in the game bringing his average to .259. Ty Wright had two doubles and Juan Apodaca had went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. The hot hitting Josh Vitters only had one hit today and Anthony Rizzo is human as he went 0-for-4. Rafael Dolis pitched two good innings in reflief giving up only hit and striking a batter out.