Cubs notes: Cabrera, Volstad called up; BJax and Vitters could be next; prospect assignments, and Rizzo interview

Cubs notes: Cabrera, Volstad called up; BJax and Vitters could be next; prospect assignments, and Rizzo interview
Alberto Cabrera

Just some quick notes as the Cubs continue to make moves in the aftermath of trade deadline action...

  • The Cubs will call up fireballing reliever Alberto Cabrera as well as Chris Volstad.  Volstad will work out of the bullpen for now.  As for Cabrera, he has the best fastball in the system in terms of velocity, movement, and command.  He could end up being a long term piece.  I wrote about him three weeks ago as a possible call-up.  Click here to read that story.
  • Bruce Levine tweets something that will make many of our readers very happy: Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters will likely be called up later this month and will play everyday once they do.  The Cubs probably feel that while neither may be done with their development, it might be a good idea to get a look at what they have for next season.  The Cubs would need to make room in their OF for Brett Jackson, with the most likely casualty being Bryan LaHair, who has slumped badly of late.
  • As we get excited about new prospects coming up to the big leagues as well as those coming in trades, let's not forget former top prospect Anthony Rizzo, who has been a revelation since his call-up, hitting .321 with 8 HRs.  For those of you who prefer advanced stats, Rizzo has put up an excellent .394 wOBA and 145 RC+ since coming up, both tops on the team.  His defense has rated well above average in a short sample (13.5 UZR/150), though it's very similar to what he posted last year, so it's probably pretty accurate.  He's passed the eye test in that category as well.
  • If that isn't enough Rizzo, check out this video on an interview he had with MLB's Intentional Talk.
  • Unofficially, the Cubs will put their new prospects on the following teams: Jaye Chapman will go to Iowa; Jacob Brigham will be placed on the Tennessee roster; Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks will be assigned to Daytona.  Arodys Vizcaino, of course, will remain on the DL for the remainder of the season.

Filed under: News and Notes


Leave a comment
  • why would bjax and vitters be called up? even if to get a look at next year but thats not the theo way. he wants them to come up ready and not rush them

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Best to bring them up now.
    You can get a true feel for where they're at.
    A guy who hits well in September can be fool's gold.

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    They must think they're ready or close enough to get a look. No worries on their clocks right now, so I'm okay with it. I have a feeling Jackson may do better at MLB level.

  • For what its worth, Hendricks is on the Tennessee roster. Will Coleman go down as Volstad goes up? Or are math skills that deteriorated that I have my numbers wrong?

    And thanks for all the hard work on this.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    According to the official websites, Hendricks is on the Daytona roster. Not seeing any reports of him going to TN.

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    Thanks - He was on the Tennessee roster this morning, at least for a while. But not any more.

  • I know that for the rest of the season they have to field the best
    team possible, but the prospects should get as many BA's and
    innings as possible.

  • Volstad hitting the rotation or the b'pen?

  • Ugh, I had a feeling this announcement was coming. I have very mixed feelings about seeing prospects who still seem challenged in AAA. I'm concerned that the hurt the confidence of Cabrera, Jackson and Vitters. Big league exposure can be counterproductive.

    But I'm going to stick with my policy of giving this FO the benefit of the doubt. If these guys struggle in Chicago, then maybe they come back more focused in 2013. If they succeed, then they have that much more confidence heading into next season.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I'm with you. There's no rush to win here, so why call them up when they haven't mastered AAA?

  • fb_avatar

    Vitters really hasn't struggled, even if his peripherals aren't where we'd like them. But perhaps they figure his peripherals are never going to be where they'd like them to be, so perhaps it's time to see how he translates. Especially, since 3B is looking to be contested for by a crowd of flawed ballplayers going into next season.

    I'm more concerned about Jackson, particularly since Soriano isn't going anywhere (barring a fit of the crazies by a contending GM), Dejesus needs to play to maintain value going into the offseason (I wonder if he's a candidate to be moved) and it would be nice to see if Lahair can right the ship. I assume if Jackson comes up they're either going to do some serious rotating to keep everyone playing or going to send Lahair down.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    I'm thinking the FO views Vitters as future trade bait. If he can produce at the major league level with similar numbers to AAA, his value increases dramatically, even though he is a bit of a liability at 3B. Jackson has 576 AB in AAA over last year and this year. Unfortunately, I think he's as good as he's going to get there. He is what he is, so to speak.

    Lahair got his chance and he's not a part of the plan when we are expected to be competitive. If he rights the ship it will increase his trade value, but that's it. I'd rather see what Jackson has to offer, platoon Lahair in the outfield and 1B (with a few pinch hits along the way). I'm all about the future, and unfortunately, LaHair is not it.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    i think they view vitters as more of a stop gap type player until javier baez is ready. that said, if he gets called up and can produce why trade a 22 year old, cheap and controllable player? that's the type of player they plan on building with right?

  • John here is my idea for next year if you wanna tell me what you think. Trade Garza for Upton. Keep Sori and have him Bjax and Upton in the outfield. Then you have an infield of Vitters/Stewart Castro Barney and Rizzo. Castillo catches for now. Then the rotation of Shark Wells Volstad and add a young guy and a vet to finish the rotation until Viscaino is ready. Then keep the pen close to what it is now. Then we have a team that may need a few changes later but you have the core of your team playing together at wrigley and move either Soler or Almora into Sori's spot when he leaves.

  • fb_avatar

    I was hoping Hendricks would go to Tennessee.

  • Looks like Matt Cerda is going back to TN and the Cubs added some guy named Vlad Frias to the Daytona roster:

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    Thanks for the update! Probably going to make room for Villanueva at 3B too. Cerda begins his training as a future utility guy subbing for Rohan, Lake, and Watkins, I guess.

  • Looks like even though the Cubs are again short on catchers, neither Brenly is going to be called.

  • In reply to jack:

    This made me laugh.

  • I've been reading conflicting reports on how the Cubs did with
    their trades. That is your opinion on each of the prospects
    they received.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    The people I've talked to liked it. And ESPN's Jim Bowden had an article giving it the same grade that I did.

  • While I'm not in favor of Vitters and BJax being expected to stay, I don't mind the idea of them getting a "taste" as someone put it. Look what it did for Rizzo. Sometimes these guys are told what they need to work on in the minors, but they have enough success that they don't really see the sense of urgency. Then they spend a little time in the bigs, don't do as well as they did in the minors, understand the importance of improving on the small things, then come up again after making the improvements and hopefully stick. I think this is in stark contrast to the "Corey Patterson" approach of anointing him the savior, throwing him out there and ignoring the glaring deficiencies.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jimmy mac1:

    I think this comment hits it right on the head. That time last year was a valuable learning experience for Rizzo which he said himself. I think the time is right to get these guys some time here to give them some perspective.

  • In reply to jimmy mac1:

    Interesting theory. I hope making adjustments are possible for those two.

  • Anyone else wondering why Baker is playing 2B instead of Cardenas today against the righthander? The "somewhat" logical answer would have been if Baker had strong career numbers versus Karstens but that doesn't appear to be the case. And I don't see showcasing Baker as valid given his career splits. Let the kids play and see what we have or don't have. Why do Dusty Baker and Neifi Perez immediately come to mind?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WSorBust:

    *shivers* We don't like to talk about Neifi Perez around here lol But it is rather confusing why he is in the lineup

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I was thinking that having Valbuena at 3rd everyday hitting around .200 was like having Lenny Harris at 3rd everyday hitting around .200. The only way Harris was taken out of the lineup was when Hendry released him.....

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    Agreed. I was disappointed. Wanted to see Cardenas play too.

  • this is sort of an off topic question but what do johnson blackburn and maples project to be? do they both project to be top of rotation starters or 2 or 3?

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Johnson and Maples have ceilings of 2, more likely 3s. Blackburn has a ceiling of a 3,most likely a 4.

  • what does anthony prieto project to be? and do the cubs have any good lefties in their system right now?

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Probably a reliever if he makes it.

  • Oh, good. Volstad's back.:\

    Off topic, but regarding the waiver trade deadline, I'm trying to understand how it works. If we put Soriano on waivers and a team claims him, do they just assume his salary or do we work out a deal with them? If no team claims him, then we can work out a deal with any team we want and they can still use him in the playoffs, right? And let's say we throw in Camp say, with Soriano to complete a deal after Sori's passed through waivers. Then Soriano could be used in the playoffs, but Camp couldn't, is that correct?

Leave a comment