Cubs have an early get away day today in St. Louis (12:45 start), but I have a few odds and ends to tide you over in the meantime...
- The Cubs have signed Michael McDougal to a minor league deal. The 35 year old McDougal was waived, then cleared but refused his assignment to the minor leagues. The Cubs snatched him up on a minor league deal with a likely promise that he'll get called up soon if he performs well at Iowa. McDougal has really struggled this year (7.94 ERA, although his FIP is a less ghastly 4.73). His fastball is down a couple of ticks so far this season at 93 mph, which is still plenty fast. Anyway it's a free (or cheap) look and the Cubs are hoping that they find themselves another reliable veteran arm for the pen.
- In something of a surprise move, the Iowa Cubs have also received Gioskar Amaya from extended spring training. Amaya is just 19 and played Rookie Ball last year where he hit .377. His bat is advanced but it's worth noting that he's skipping 4 leagues here. Not even Starlin Castro did that. Amaya's bat is his main tool. He played some SS at Arizona, but that's not his long term position. He doesn't have great quickness now and he's a little thick legged, so he figures to slow down a bit more as he fills out. He's in Iowa for his bat, which the Cubs must think is pretty special for him to make this huge leap -- but as reader Vike80 points out, it's likely just a temporary move while the Cubs sort out the Blake DeWitt situation.
- If you're into such things as the physics of baseball, Obstructed View blog has a great article on Alfonso Soriano using a lighter bat. Will it help or hurt him? This was the very question reader "44 slug" and I were pondering in the comments section yesterday and the guys at OV provided us with a timely answer.
- I've noticed that a few readers have been chiming in during the games recently. Informal poll...should we start an official game thread here on Cubs Den? It's something we've considered in the past. Let us know if that is something you'd like to see here and we'll set it up if it gets a lot of support.
- Prospect fans can now bookmark our minor league recaps. We have them listed under a single category here. There's nothing fancy about our recaps here -- just what we believe is the best daily information on Cubs minor league players you'll find anywhere. We not only give you the results, we're focused on the process. We watch or even attend the games whenever possible, we provide impromptu mini-profiles on prospects, and we give you the story behind the numbers.
- Cubs received 6'2", 215 lbs. LHP Hunter Cervenka to complete the Marlon Byrd trade. Cervenka, 21, was 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA in low Class A Greenville. He'll likely join Peoria. Cervenka is all projection and no results so far. He can touch 94 mph with his fastball, throws a mid-80s cutter, a curveball that flashes occasional good bit, and a work-in-progress change-up. The raw materials (size, velocity, stuff) are there, but he obviously has a long, long way to go. Perhaps the Cubs found someone they think they can coach up a bit, but don't hold your breath on this guy. We'll track his progress in the recaps.
Filed under: News and Notes