Padres @ Cubs – Series Preview (April 17 – April 19, 2015)

Series Preview HOME Padres

The Padres come to town for a three game set this weekend, and look who will great them…. KRIS BRYANT!!  That’s right, it’s Bryant time on the Northside as the phenom will make hi major league debut today.  Both teams come into this series playing solid baseball as the Padres sit at 6-4 on the season and just took two out of three from the Diamondbacks.  The Cubs have played one of the toughest schedules in baseball, and have yet to lose a series, the Padres are another great test.

Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 17, 2015 – 1:20 PM – ABC 7 Chicago
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Sunday, April 19, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – WGN 9 Chicago

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Padres:  Newcomer Justin Upton is paying dividends right away for the Padres.  Over the last seven games Upton has been unreal, he’s hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a double, two dingers, and four RBI’s.
  • Cubs:  The Cubs are starting to swing the bats much better, and it’s Jorge Soler leading the charge.  Soler has been pounding the ball as of late, he’s hitting .360 (8-for-22) over his last seven games, during that span he has two dingers, and seven RBI’s with an OPS of 1.081, loud noises!

Who is Not:

  • Padres:  Jedd Gyorko is still terrible, sorry.  Gyorko has been really bad again this year, and he’s only hitting .091 (1-for-11) over his last seven games with zero walks, and four strikeouts.
  • Cubs:  Miguel Montero is still looking for some solid footing on his new club as he has struggled out of the gate.  Montero is hitting .143 (2-for-14) over his last seven games with just two RBI’s.

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Cubs Affiliate Shuffle (Reminder)

Regular readers of this blog know one thing, we cover the minor leagues every night, box scores, recaps, etc, and we enjoy it.  It is important to know that the Cubs’ system has seen a major shakeup in regards to where the minor league teams are located.  Here is a rundown of everything you need to know, I’m sure this is not new info for a lot of people, but nothing wrong with a reminder.

SS-Rookie Ball – Low (A)
2014 – Boise Hawks
2015 – Eugene Emeralds

Emeralds

Eugene Emeralds official website
Follow the Emeralds on Twitter:  @EugeneEmeralds
Manager:  Gary Van Tol
Location:  Eugene, OR

SINGLE-A
2014 – Kane County Cougars
2015 – South Bend Cubs (Formerly Silver Hawks)

South Bend

 

South Bend Cubs official website
Follow the SB Cubs on Twitter:  @SBCubs
Manager:  Jimmy Gonzalez
Location:  South Bend, IN

HIGH-A
2014 – Daytona Cubs
2015 – Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Pelicans

 

Myrtle Beach Pelicans official website
Follow the SB Cubs on Twitter:  @PelicanBaseball
Manager:  Mark Johnson
Location:  Myrtle Beach, SC

 

It is in your best interest to follow these teams on Twitter, they are outstanding, and interact with the fans regularly.  We will have box scores, and recaps from every game for these teams, and the existing affiliates in Tennessee and Iowa this season.

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A Necessary Absence (My Spine!)

Blog posts are missing, it’s a vast wasteland here, and for the most part on twitter, there is a reason for this, my spine!  Not in a figurative sense, in a literal one, for the third time in the last four years, I have spent November through, well, today, recovering from back surgery.  It’s been an exciting off-season for the Cubs, one which we as Cubs fans have not seen for many years, seems like forever.  The Cubs are getting better, and so am I, which means more interaction with you guys, and girls on Twitter, and more blog posts!  Looking forward to getting back at it, but wanted to share how things were going, as a number of you ask, and I appreciate that to no end.

11/11/2014

Nov 11 ME

 

12/11/14

X-ray 12-10-14 (1)

12/14/14

12-14 ME

12/25/14

Geo 12-2014

For the most part I’m doing very well.  I had a bout with numbness, and tingling in my legs but that has gone away for the most part.  The pre-surgical pain is gone, haven’t felt it at all, now I’m just dealing with post-op junk, but it’s not too bad.  I’ve walked about 80 miles since my surgery, would have been more if not for that numbness, but it’s still a great number.  My next follow up appointment is on January 26th, another x-ray, and some questions, but hopefully, progress.  I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Holiday season, time to get back at it.  If you have any questions in regards to my procedure, the prep, the recovery, etc, just ask!  Thanks again for all the support!

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Pearl Jam Headed to Wrigley! (UPDATE: Official!)

We feel obligated to post about this, why?  I’ll tell you.  Our two obsessions are Pearl Jam and the Cubs.  The name of our blog is from the following lyric from the Pearl Jam song “Bu$hLeaguer”….  “Born on Third, thinks he got a triple.”  So the news this afternoon that was floating around Twitter that Pearl Jam will be coming to Wrigley is blowing our minds.  As we inch closer to Spring Training, and camps opening, this is the cherry on top.  Not to mention I’m feeling better so the blogging is about to kick back into full gear so be prepared!!  Any way, there are no confirmed details yet, but the picture that the official Pearl Jam Twitter site posted 20 minutes ago says it all..  We will keep you posted.

PEARL JAM

Here is the caption:  “Looking good! #StayTuned

[UPDATE]  It is official, Pearl Jam will be playing Wrigley Field this summer!  July 19, 2013 to be exact and tickets go on sale to the general public on February 9, 2013 at 10 AM, I can’t wait for this!  This is directly from the Cubs facebook page…

“It’s official! An evening with Pearl Jam, July 19, 2013, presented by Live Nation and Wrigley Field. Tickets go on sale Feb. 9 at 10 a.m.”

Thanks for reading,
– George

Sources: Cubs to Sign Carlos Villanueva

According to Jon Heyman the Cubs have agreed to sign pitcher Carlos Villanueva.  Villanueva, 29 has spent time as both a reliever and a starting pitcher.  Cub fans probably remember him during his stint with the Brewers in which he did most of his work out the pen.  Last year with the Blue Jays he made 16 starts and over the last two years he has made 29.  He will be looking for the opportunity to win a spot in the rotation and hopefully have a chance to be a starter.  No news yet on the terms of the deal.  As more becomes known we will let you know.

George Update:

Deal is confirmed, 2 years $10M for Villanueva, here is more from mlbtraderumors.com

Villanueva, 29, pitched to a 4.16 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 125 1/3 innings spread across 16 starts and 22 relief appearances for the Blue Jays last season. He’s made 29 starts and 42 relief appearances over the last two seasons and has proven capable in both roles. Earlier this offseason we heard Villanueva was reportedly seeking the opportunity to make 30 starts next season, an opportunity the Cubs can provide.
Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#em7qv4cy58jEhbbl.99

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Cubs Reach Agreement with Kyuji Fujikawa

As reported by Ken Rosenthal the Cubs have reached an agreement pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa.  The 32- year- old closer has pitched the last six years for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan where he has 202 career saves with a 1.36 ERA.  The deal is for two years with a vesting option worth 9.5 million.  According to Rosenthal the deal breaks down as follows:  $1M signing bonus, $4M for both 2013 and 2014 seasons, plus $5.5M or $6M based on games finished.  If the option does not vest their is a $500K buyout.

It was speculated that Fujikawa was going to sign with the Angels, but the Cubs swooped in and grabbed him.  The Cubs will now have a decision to make, whether Carlos Marmol or Fujikawa will close.  I am sure the Cubs will still actively be trying to move Marmol, so we will just have to wait and see what happens.  Even if Marmol does not get moved I would not be surprised to see Fujikawa as the closer.

Thanks for reading,
-Mark

Cubs Sign Scott Baker

Earlier today the Cubs and RHP Scott Baker agreed to a one year contract with a base salary of $5.5 million and incentives that could reach another $1.5 million.  The 31-year starting pitcher did not pitch at all last season due to Tommy-John surgery.  Baker, who has spent his entire seven-year career with the Twins has a 63-48 record with a 4.15 ERA.  In 2011 Baker was having a nice season before suffering elbow problems, posting a 3.14 ERA in only 23 games pitched, 21 of which he started.

This is exactly the type of pitcher and the type of deal the Cubs are looking at right now.  The Cubs are obviously hoping Baker can come back strong from surgery and if he does he could at the very least be flipped come trade deadline.  If he doesn’t come back as strong as hoped it won’t cost the Cubs much money wise or length of contract wise.  The Cubs will still look for at least one more starting pitcher this off-season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they still go after two.  All in all I think this a pretty solid deal for the Cubs.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark