July 27, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Cardinals

The Cubs will look to avenge last week’s disaster as they face the Cardinals today.  Travis Wood will be pitching looking to get back on track as he has had a few rough starts since the All Star break.  The Cubs will honor Ron Santo today at Wrigley.  Here is how the Cubs will lineup against the Lance Lynn and the Cardinals today at 1:20 on CSN.

DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Wood – P

Go Cubs!
– Mark

July 13, 2012 Cubs Lineup vs. Diamondbacks

Its’s about time the All Star break is over.  Paul Maholm get the start against Ian Kennedy and the Diamondbacks.  The Cubs have been playing better as of late and look to continue here after the All Star break.  This is what the lineup will look like for the Cubs this afternoon, Friday the 13.  The game can be seen on CSN at 1:20 CT.

DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Maholm – P

Go Cubs!
Mark

A Look at Josh Vitters

In case you have not noticed Josh Vitters has had a great first half of baseball in Triple-A Iowa.  Vitters was drafted third overall by the Cubs out of Cypress High School in Anaheim California.  Considered to be the most polished high school hitter in the ’07 Draft it has been a little disappointing that he has not made it to the show yet.  However, he is only 22 years old and has hit at every level he has been at, yet to many Cub fans it feels like he has been a bust.  Well, in his first season at Iowa Vitters has been very good, making the All Star team as a reserve.  His offensive numbers say all there is to know about his season thus far as he is hitting .302 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI’s.  He also has an impressive 25 doubles and his OPS is .866.

Yes it has been a very good year for Vitters en route to the Triple-A All Star Game, but I am sure he has his sights set higher this year.  As is the case with any minor leaguer he hopes to make it to the major leagues this year.  With Ian Stewart done for the season and the only one ahead of him being Luis Valbuena it is possible for him to get the call at some point.  Is he in the Cubs future plans?  It is hard to tell, but it is nice to see him put up some pretty good numbers at Iowa.  If he is not in the plans the success he has had should give the Cubs a nice chip to dangle to get a good return in a potential deal.

Josh Vitters will have an impact on the Cubs organization at some point, whether it is as a player or in a possible trade at a later date.  With that said he should be celebrated on quite a first half and hopefully more continued success as the season continues.

Thanks for reading,
– George

July 4, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Braves

The Cubs will look to get back in the win column sending Paul Maholm to the mound to face Randall Delgado and the Braves.  Here’s a look at the rest of the Cubs lineup.  The game can be seen on WGN starting at 6:10 CT.

DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Maholm – P

Go Cubs!
Mark

 

Soler Works Out

Earlier today Jorge Soler worked out for several teams.  To no surprise one of those several teams to see him workout was the Chicago Cubs.  Jed Hoyer who was in attendance today said, “We obviously scouted him extensively, a lot of teams have, and a lot of teams are involved.  He went on to say, “He is really talented.”

Soler’s agent has asked teams interested in the 20-year old Cuban to make an offer by tomorrow, June 7.  It would be nice to find out sooner than later if the Cubs in fact are able to sign the very talented outfielder, but just because offers will be coming in tomorrow it does not mean we will find that out anytime soon.  Soler will have until July 2, before the new restrictions on international signing begins, so we should find out in the next few weeks at the worst.  Here’s hoping the Cubs can sign Soler and continue to replenish the farm system.  We will keep you posted as we find out more.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

The Kyler Burke Story

Peoria got another stellar outing from LHP Kyler Burke last night as he went 6 innings giving up 2 hits and allowing no earned runs.  He recorded his first win of the season dropping his ERA to 2.31.  The 25-year-old has enjoyed success thus far as a pitcher dating back to last year at Boise where he pitched out of the bullpen.  He ended the season with a 2.86 ERA in 44 innings pitched including one save while striking out just over one batter per inning.

So what makes Kyler Burke so interesting?  Well we need to get in the time machine and go back a few years to 2007 when Michael Barrett was on the wrong side of Carlos Zambrano’s fists.  Shortly after that memorable June day the Cubs traded Barrett to the Padres for two players.  Most of us remember or are trying to forget that we received catcher Rob Bowen, but many don’t recall the centerpiece in the deal was a 19-year-old OF who was drafted 35th overall in just the previous years draft.  That player was Kyler Burke and the Cubs were very happy to acquire the talented outfielder.  Burke’s next few seasons were plagued by drastic inconsistency with the highlight coming in 2009 when he was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year.  He hit .303 with 15 HR, and 89 RBI’s in Peoria.  The next year however was when things took a turn for the worse, while in Daytona Burke hit only .212 with 131 strikeouts in 135 games.  The following March the Cubs and Burke, who had pitched in high school, decided it was time for a change and with that Kyler Burke began his new career as a pitcher.

The Cubs have to be happy with his progress thus far, as he is doing quite well in only his second year as a pitcher.  Burke recently has moved from the pen to the starting rotation for Peoria with pretty good results.  Where will Kyler Burke go from here we don’t know, but with a premium on quality left-handed arms out of the bullpen it is hard to think he won’t make it to the show as a big league pitcher sometime down the road.  As long as it seems Kyler Burke’s story has been, it really has just begun.  The best of luck to him on his continued development and we hope to see him at Wrigley somtime in the future.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

Cubs Sign Mike MacDougal

The Cubs have signed thirty-five year old relief pitcher Mike MacDougal to a minor league contract today.  MacDougal was granted his release from the Dodgers after refusing to accept an outright assignment to the minors.  He had a very nice season last year for the Dodgers, but has struggled thus far this year.  MacDougal has had some up and downs in his career, but the possibility of getting some cheep help in the bullpen can only help as the season goes forward.  The beauty about it is if it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t cost you anything and you can easily cut ties with him.

Thanks for reading,

Mark