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.
- 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
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.
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
Eugene Emeralds official website
Follow the Emeralds on Twitter: @EugeneEmeralds
Manager: Gary Van Tol
Location: Eugene, OR
2014 – Kane County Cougars
2015 – South Bend Cubs (Formerly Silver Hawks)
South Bend Cubs official website
Follow the SB Cubs on Twitter: @SBCubs
Manager: Jimmy Gonzalez
Location: South Bend, IN
2014 – Daytona Cubs
2015 – Myrtle Beach 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.
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.
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!
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.
Here is the caption: “Looking good!
[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,
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.
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
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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.
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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.
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Jason Berken become the 12th starting pitcher the Cubs have used this year as he faces Wandy Rodriguez and the Pirates in his Cubs debut. Here is a look at the rest of the lineup.
Mather – CF
Barney – 2B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Castillo – C
Vitters – 3B
Sappelt – RF
Berken – P
Here is the Cubs lineup for Sunday, September 9.
Mather – CF
Barney – 2B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Vitters – 3B
Sappelt – RF
Recker – C
Rusin – P
MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has done an updated top 100 prospects lists as well as each organizations top 20. Mayo will probably come out with a list prior to the 2013 season, but here is where Cubs prospects stand as of now according to Mayo. To check out the entire top 100 list and to read a little more on these Cubs prospects.
1. Javier Baez – SS (#24)
When the Cubs picked Almora they new his bat was going to play and that is exactly what happened. The Cubs top pick from 2011 was outstanding in his time with Peoria this year hitting .333/.383/.596 with 12 home runs, 33 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He struggled a bit when moving to Daytona, but overall it was very successful season for the young shortstop.
2. Albert Almora – OF (#52)
The Cubs top pick in this years draft didn’t sign right away, but when he did he didn’t disappoint. He started with the AZL Cubs and moved to Boise shortly after. Combined he played in 33 games hitting .321/.331/.464 with two home runs and 19 RBIs. He also hit 12 doubles.
3. Brett Jackson – OF (#74)
It has been an interesting year for Brett Jackson who has dropped a bit in the prospect watch. The good news first he has made it to the show and when he makes contact does some damage as he left Iowa with 22 doubles, 12 triples, and 15 home runs, to go along with 27 stolen bases. He also plays great defense, the bad news is he has really struggled making contact striking out over 200 times between his two stops.
4. Arodys Vizcaino – RHP (#76)
Vizcaino was considered one the Braves best young pitchers and was deemed untouchable last year. Things changed a bit this year as he missed the entire season after elbow surgery in March. The Cubs are very pleased to have acquired Vizcaino, but it remains to be seen how he will recover from surgery. Lets hope it is as a starter, but at the least he is a power arm out of the pen which the Cubs need badly as well.
5. Jorge Soler – OF (#77)
Jorge Soler did quite well in getting accustomed to baseball in America. He is still very raw, but at 20 the Cubs feel very strongly he will be a big contributor to the big club in the future. He spent time with the AZL Cubs and moved to Peoria where he finished the year. He combined to hit .299/.398/.463 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in just 34 games.
6. Matt Szczur – OF
The speedy outfielder had a nice season in Daytona hitting .295/.394/.407 with 38 stolen bases, but struggled a bit in 35 games with Tennessee.
7. Trey McNutt – RHP
McNutt did not have the year he was looking to have going 9-8 with 4.26 ERA. He struggled a bit and was moved to the bullpen, but maybe it will be better for him and the Cubs.
8. Junior Lake -SS
Lake played the entire year in Tennessee and did a pretty good job going .279/.341/.432 with 10 home runs, 50 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases. He is still very raw and will continue to work on his game.
9. Pierce Johnson – RHP
The Cubs took Johnson with the 43rd overall pick in this years draft and he did quite well making six starts, two with the AZL Cubs and four with Boise.
10. Josh Vitters – 3B
The former first round pick, number 3 overall finally put it all together this year in Iowa hitting .304/.356/.513 with 17 home runs and 68 RBIs. The PCL All Star got the call up, but has struggled so far with the Cubs, but at only 23 the future is still very bright for Vitters.
11. Dillon Maples – RHP
It took a while for Maples to make his first appearance, but when he did he showed signs of what he could be. He was a bit inconsistent in his six appearances, but he will have more opportunities next season to show what he has. He has tremendous upside.
12. Robert Whitenack – RHP
Coming off of Tommy John surgery Whitenack struggled pitching for Daytona going 1-6 with a 5.96 ERA. Although the numbers don’t look good, remember he is coming off of major surgery and has good upside.
13. Dan Vogelbach – 1B
Not many Cubs prospects did as much damage as Vogelbach did this year. The big first baseman played in 61 games this season between the AZL Cubs and Boise Hawks. He hit .322/.410/.641 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs.
14. Ben Wells – RHP
A 2010 draft pick the 19-year-old Wells missed most of the season with a right elbow strain. He made a few appearances at the end of the year, but will look to stay healthy in 2013.
15. Paul Blackburn – RHP
Another 2012 draft pick Paul Blackburn was chosen 56th overall out of high school. He made nine appearances for the AZL Cubs going 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA.
16. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
Candelario played the entire season at Boise and at only 18 the corner infielder showed he can hit a little bit. The switch hitting Candelario hit .281/.345/.396 with six home runs and 47 RBIs.
17. Gioskar Amaya – 2B/SS
Amaya played his season in Boise and put up some good numbers. He his .298/.381/.496. The 19-year old filled up the stat sheet with six doubles, 12 triples, and eight home runs. He also drove in 33 and stole 15 bases.
18. Tony Zych – RHP
Zych shared time between Daytona and Tennessee out of the bullpen. He combined to going 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 61.1 innings.
19. Alberto Cabrera – RHP
Cabrera, who moved to the bullpen this year started in Double-A, but quickly moved to Triple-A before finally ending up with the big club. His minor league numbers were really good going 4-1 with 3.11 ERA with 74 strikeouts to only 14 walks. He has struggled since coming to the Cubs, but we’ll see where he factors in going forward.
20. Marcus Hatley – RHP
Hatley pitched well in Tennessee out of the bullpen going 3-1 with a 3.40 with 46 strikeouts in 45 innings. He then got the call to Iowa where he struggled in his time there.
It is good to see the Cubs have five players who are inside the top 80 in MLB. You can also see the emphasis the Cubs placed on pitching, drafting Pierce Johnson and Paul Blackburn in this years draft as well as bringing in Arodys Vizcaino in the Paul Maholm deal. Looking a little further into things is the talent Theo Epstein and company brought in this year. They obviously brought in the three pitchers above as well as Albert Almora and Jorge Soler. three of those five are inside the Cubs top five and Pierce Johnson makes it four in the top 10. The exciting thing is there are more who they brought in who I would guess are close to cracking this top 20 and who may even show up in the top 20 before the 2013 season gets underway. Keep checking back this offseason as we will talk more in-depth about these prospects as well as many more.
Thanks for Reading,