Welington Castillo and Casey Coleman will be on their way to Chicago to replace Geovany Soto and Paul Maholm on the roster. The interesting part is we don’t know who is going to take the spot of Reed Johnson. According to many sources it is not Brett Jackson and per Dave Sappelt’s twitter it won’t be him. So who will it be? More to come I’m sure.
UPDATE: Adrian Cardenas will be the third player coming up for the Cubs. Hope he gets some more AB’s wherever that may be.
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So we know the Cubs have traded away Geovany Soto to the Rangers and packaged Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves, but what did we get back. The Cub got back three pitchers, which we knew they wanted to get deeper at as an organization. Here is a quick look at the pitchers we go back.
Starting with the Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves deal.
Vizcaino is 21-year old right-handed pitcher who has missed the entire season due to Tommy-John surgery was ranked #3 in the Braves system and #54 prospect in baseball according to Jonathan Mayo. Last year Vizcaino was said to be one of the four untouchable arms in the Braves system. The Cubs are taking a big gamble that he will come back healthy and be durable, but for Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm it is a great chance to take in my opinion. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s with a plus changeup and good curve ball. Hope he comes back healthy and at 21, he should have a great chance to. Until he does the Cubs will hope he can be a starter, but time will tell.
Chapman is a 25-year old RH relief pitcher who is currently in Triple-A. He is 3-6 with 7 saves and a 3.52 ERA this season. He also has 60 strikeouts in 29 walks in 53.2 innings. He is not a huge prospect, but hope he can be a quality arm at sometime out of the pen. I like that he is averaging over a strikeout an inning. We will see, he obviously wasn’t the centerpiece of the deal with the Braves, but to get some quality out of the pen would be nice.
Now to the Soto deal.
Brigham is a 24-year old RH starting pitcher who is currently pitching in Double-A. He is currently 5-5 with 4.28 ERA. He has started all 21 games he has pitched in striking out 116 in 124 innings. His last two outing have been really good and the Cubs obviously see something there. He hasn’t had great numbers yet, but we will see what happens. As we know the pitching depth is not great for the Cubs so getting a pitcher for Soto, who has been a disappointment the last couple years is a fine return in my mind.
The Cubs needed to get more pitching depth and they did that with these deals. They didn’t move any of their big names, although Maholm has been pitching really good and it seems they got decent return, especially with Vizcaino coming over even though it’s after Tommy-John. When you work with prospects you never know if it was a good return or not for a few years. I’m sure there will be more coming tonight or tomorrow, so we will as always keep you updated.
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Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson have been traded to the Atlanta Braves. No word yet on who the Cubs are getting back in return. Check back for updates.
Update: Wow, the Cubs were able to get back two pitchers, Arodys Vizcaino plus Jaye Chapman from the Atlanta Braves. Vizcaino is really nice piece with a lot of upside. He missed the year due to Tommy-John Surgery, but was the Braves #3 pitching prospect coming into the year.
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Reed Johnson was removed from the game before his AB in the fifth inning and is shaking hands with teammates so it appears he has been traded. Still waiting for confirmation and players involved. Reed will be a really nice pickup for a team as 4-5 outfielder and a good bat off the bench, plus he is a great teammate. We will keep you updated as information comes in.
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Okay, so I guess the Cubs can handle top of the rotation lefty’s, and have troubles with the mediocre ones. It sure does seem that way as the Cubs have been horrible against left-handed pitchers all year, but have now beaten Johan Santana for the second time in just under two weeks. Tonight was much different from the first game against Santana as the Cubs hit Santana all over the field. Things got started just a couple of pitches into the game
with Reed Johnson launching a lead-off home run that went a long way to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The Mets bounced right back, scoring a single run in the 2nd and 3rd to take a 2-1 lead. The Cubs were able to tie the game in the fourth inning and then blew the game wide open. The first two guys reached in the 5th inning setting the stage for Anthony Rizzo, and he delivered. Santana threw a get me over slider and Rizzo made him pay, crushing the ball over the right center field fence to give the Cubs a 5-2 lead. Another huge clutch hit from Rizzo, it’s awesome to see him make such an impact so quickly.
It looked like the Cubs would run away with this one, but you can never assume that when Carlos Marmol is on your roster. Leading 8-4 heading to the bottom of the ninth Carlos Marmol entered the game, and Cubs fans everywhere didn’t breathe for about twenty minutes. Marmol got the first out easy enough, then gave up a solo home run and things got worse from there. Three straight walks and a single later and the Mets closed the gap to one with runners on first and second and only one out with Lucas Duda coming up. Just when it looked like all hope was lost for Marmol and the Cubs they got a break. Duda hit a soft liner back to the mound and Marmol snagged it and easily doubled the runner off of first to end the game, Cubs win 8-7, exhale. Anthony Rizzo and Reed Johnson were the stars at the plate as the Cubs had a few of them as they pounded out 18 hits. Rizzo finished 4-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season and three RBI’s. Reed Johnson just missed the cycle, falling a triple short, he finished 4-for-6 in the win. Lost in all the offense was Travis Wood, who won his fourth straight decision. Wood went six innings allowing three runs, two earned while walking four and striking out three. Wood improved to 4-3 on the season, full box score and highlights after the jump.
Matt Garza really can’t figure out this pitching on the road thing. Garza fell to 2-6 on the road as the Braves knocked around the Cubs starter en route to a 7-3 victory to finish the four game series with a split. Things were really over before they started tonight as the Braves made Garza throw 44 pitches in an exhausting first inning. A pair of two-run homers did the trick for Atlanta, one by Jason Heyward, and one by Brian McCann to put the Braves up 4-0 at the end of one. The Cubs got their first hit and their first run of the game in the fifth when Geovany Soto hit his 6th home run of the season to make it 5-1 Atlanta. The Braves got that run right back in the bottom half of the fifth to make it 6-1, but the Cubs weren’t dead yet. A Reed Johnson pinch hit RBI single, and a throwing error by Heyward in the 6th brought the Cubs back within three but that’s as close as they would get. Garza finished the night only making it through four innings, giving up five runs on five hits, three of which were home runs while walking three and striking out six. Mike Minor had his way with the Cubs lineup, as most lefties do, as the Cubs only managed five hits on the night. Anthony Rizzo extended his hitting streak to six games by going 1-for-4 with a single. The Cubs will finish off the first half in New York against the Mets this weekend, full box score and highlights after the jump.
The Cubs scored eight runs and Ryan Dempster was pitching, it’s okay to be shocked because that hasn’t happened all too often this year. In fact that might have been the first time all year that Dempster received some real run support. Thing is, Dempster didn’t need it as he was outstanding on the mound to earn his second win of the season. Dempster tossed eight scoreless innings giving up only four hits while walking one and striking out six. The Cubs brought their bats this afternoon and it was great to see, much better than watching zero after zero go up on the board. For awhile it looked like the same old game as the Cubs held onto a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning. The Cubs made sure to keep the bullpen out of it by scoring seven runs over the last four innings to win 8-2.
The top of the Cubs order did a lot of damage as Reed Johnson, leading off again, was 2-for-3 with two walks, and three runs scored. Starlin Castro, who has been slumping at the plate a bit bounced back with a great game. Castro was 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and three runs scored. The Cubs didn’t leave the yard but managed to put together nine hits in scoring eight runs. David DeJesus only managed one hit but had a very productive day with a double while driving in three runs. Full box score and highlights after the jump.