Lunchtime notes as we approach Labor Day weekend and the end of the minor league regular season....
- For those who have asked, I will be at Kane County for the entire series against Cubs low Class A affiliate Peoria. I'll be sitting behind home plate (section 110, row J) for all three games (Saturday, Sunday, Monday), so if I don't run into you somewhere around the ballpark, please stop by and say hello. I'll be wearing my red BU hat. It seems most fans are going on Sunday, so I'll see if I can arrange something more formal than that before game time, so keep your eye out for that.
- We wrote about some major league call-up possibilities a few days ago and the official names are starting to trickle out. According to Bruce Miles via Twitter, the Cubs will call up IF Adrian Cardenas, OF Tony Campana, and OF Dave Sappelt on Saturday. They will also call up SP Chris Rusin (L), C Anthony Recker, and RPs Rafael Dolis and Miguel Socolovich. I'm interested in seeing Dave Sappelt as he has not had the kind of year most of us expected from him after two solid showings in the International League, regarded as the better of the two AAA leagues in terms of pitching. Sappelt has an opening to win one of the extra OF'er spots next season, especially since two projected starters (David DeJesus and Brett Jackson), hit left-handed. His above average speed and ability to play all 3 OF positions is also an asset. He'll likely be competing with Bryan LaHair, Joe Mather and Tony Campana for one of two spots next year.
- If there is one reason to subscribe to ESPN Insider, it's Keith Law and his excellent, detailed scouting reports. That's my reason, anyway. Today his piece centers around Cubs international signee Juan Paniagua, whom he calls a "sleeper prospect". It appears the Cubs are going to make him a starter and he does have the repertoire to pull that off, though his change up needs work. Law said earlier that he'd heard Paniagua showed a good change in the Dominican Republic, so it's likely there's some rust there and it may not be fair to ding him for that right now. Law also wrote about Duane Underwood but said he was less not as impressive as he had been 10 days earlier. When I asked him he said his velocity was down a couple of ticks and he didn't show the same command. Based on his youth and athleticism, however, Law remains optimistic the Cubs can "clean him up".
- There isn't much expected to happen at today's trade deadline. The Cubs are unlikely to deal Alfonso Soriano, according to Jon Heyman. Of course, we've said that from the beginning as teams seem to want Soriano at no financial or prospect risk at all. Carlos Marmol remains a possibility as do lower profile bullpen arms such as Shawn Camp and Manny Corpas.
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