Cubs Preview and Notes: Minor League Pitcher suspended, Indians DFA Whitenack, Law scouts Kris Bryant

Cubs Preview and Notes: Minor League Pitcher suspended, Indians DFA Whitenack, Law scouts Kris Bryant
Fear the Beard

I was at Kane County once again and was lucky enough to sit in the suites today. Ventured out for ABs by Amaya, Vogelbach, Candelario, and Shoulders, but otherwise stayed inside to be warm and toasty.  Pierce Johnson was much more impressive today than his box score would indicate.  Will recap tonight as always.

Cubs take on the Brewers today after coming about 12-15 ft. short from a game winning grand slam by Starlin Castro.  Would have won it had the wind now shifted and started blowing in.  Still, it was nice to see the offense come alive.

Today the Cubs take on Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:05 CT.

In the News:

  • Cubs minor league RHP Pedro Silverio was suspended for 50 games today for using a banned substance called Stanozolol. Nothing to see here.  Silverio wasn't much of a prospect.
  • Bruce Levine had a chat today which included some of the following nuggets.  The Cubs did inquire into Justin Upton but the Diamondbacks asked for Starlin Castro and that was the end of the conversation.  Darwin Barney will be back on Monday so we only have to live with Lillibridge/Gonzalez for 6 more days.
  • The Indians DFA'd Robert Whitenack after claiming him off waivers from the Cubs. They are obviously trying to stash him in their minors.  It will be interesting to see if the Cubs try to get him back.  It will be pretty telling if they don't.
  • Keith Law writes about Kris Bryant and says he doesn't see him as a high average guy but more of a .260-.270 hitter with 30 HR potential.  He also thinks he may end up in RF but that he has enough athleticism to ok there.
  • A couple of days ago I put up a list of players who were missing from Cubs rosters.  Most were on the 7 Day DL, a few were released, and one (Juan Paniagua) was still awaiting his visa.  One name not on any list is Rony Torreyes. Per AZ Phil of the Cub Reporter, he's still getting ABs down in extended spring training, so he's not hurt.  He was also a week late to report, so perhaps the Cubs are making up for lost time.  If so, he should be in action soon.

Today's Lineup

  1. DeJesus CF
  2. Castro SS
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Soriano LF
  5. Schierholtz RF
  6. Castillo C
  7. Valbuena 3B
  8. Lillibridge 2B
  9. Wood SP

What to Watch For:

  • Felzz: Kyuji Fyujikawa- I'm guessing the Cubs are gonna get some runs off of Wily "Coyote" Peralta and it's not much of a stretch to think they may have the lead. Let's get optimistic and see how Ol' Fyuji does in his first save opportunity.
  • John: Travis Wood has pitched well vs. the Brewers in his short career but one guy who has gotten to him is slugger Ryan Braun (.353, 1 HR).  If Wood can contain Braun, he could wind up having a pretty good day in what should be a tough outing for hitters.
  • Tom: Looking to see Starlin Castro continue the good approach he showed at the plate yesterday.




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  • I really don't see the point of having Clevenger on the team if he doesn't at least get a spot start on occasion to take advantage of his bat, beyond just pinch hitting. A spot start at catcher, at least, or even 1st or 3rd base would make sense. I'm really starting to question Sveum's moves, or lack thereof.

  • In reply to MikeWadle:

    He's the 25th man so I don't expect him to play much. May be guy most likely to go to Iowa when Barney returns.

  • In reply to MikeWadle:

    I hear you, but its only been 7 games. I think Sveum's trying to let his hitters get into a rhythm with the change in temps and whatnot.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    True. Good point.

  • Right, want to win but all players should play on this team

  • Hey John, Roni Torreyes is indeed playing Ext ST, here's a link from Phil

    Ian Stewart is also playing, he's been in 2 games so far and is 1 for 10 combined.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Thanks. I got that part (in fact, I referred to AZ Phil in the article). What I don't know right now is why he's not in AA. He doesn't appear to be injured.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ah yeah, got it... I just thought you were wondering if he was playing and I also mentioned Stewart cause I had not heard much about him, so, it' s kind of encouraging (perhaps) that he's already playing.

  • So many games on tv tonight.......but first, I need to watch 'Splash".....that hot looking Miss Alabama is on the show........her mom is a good looking MILF......

    Lets Go Cubs!....Lets Go Hawks....Lets Go Bulls......

    Lets Go Miss Alabama.....

    The White Sox....they can go to (Censored)

  • Rusin putting in a typical early Iowa Cubs pitching performance thus far. when he's throwing strikes, batters are making good contact.

  • Rusin 1st inning stats:
    25 pitches, 8 strikes, 17 balls.
    3h, 1hr, 3bb, 1hbp, 0k, 3er.


  • This isn't going well.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It's going incredibly if the goal is to draft Carlos Rodon.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Losing games for a college pitcher would be a foolish goal. Rodon has reached mythical proportions. I don't think he's a once in a decade guy. I'm not even sure he's as good as Appel. Certainly struggling this year. All kinds of command problems.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I was kidding. Super not happy about how this year is going. I really did think they would be watchable.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    At least Soler and Watkins are looking really, really good, so we can take some solace there. I'm hoping Soler makes Tennessee by June/July. Him on the verge of the majors would at least give us a shot in the arm -- because this season has really sucked to this point.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    This year has been awful. Hopefully it turns around soon.

    Their are a couple of more college arms emerging for next year, by the way. Tyler Beede and Michael Cederoth. Should be interesting if the Cub wind up with another high pick.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I've heard about Beede. Going to try to go see him in a couple days. I would love to see both he and Ziomek on the Cubs for selfish reasons.

  • Hey John
    I know it's very early in the season, but at what point should we worry that Baez hasn't really changed his approach at the plate this year? I saw him at spring training for four games and he looked like he was at least working the count. Do you think it is a case of being over anxious after a breakout spring in which he hit a lot of home runs? Love the blog by the way. PS.. Any news on Reggie Golden?

  • In reply to Eric:

    Thanks Eric. I do think he's being over anxious and unfortunately, I don't think we're going to see a dramatic change this year. I'm hoping we see him gradually improve over the next couple of seasons.

    Golden is playing in extended spring training. He hasn't played a lot of baseball because of injuries and Cubs probably want him to get his feet on the ground.

  • In reply to Eric:

    I'd say we could start worrying some time late May/early June.

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    re the Whitenack DFA - not sure if he's worth claiming, but Jeff Belevieu has also been DFA'd, I would thing the FO wouldn't mind having him back.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I don't think they'd take them back if it means a spot on the 40 man roster.

  • fb_avatar

    "think" not thing - gotta have a way to edit posts.

  • John, can you give me prediction for when you think Almora, Lake, Vitters, Vizcaino and Scott Baker will begin playing this season at their respective levels?

  • In reply to GoFreakingCubs:

    Vitters is already pinch-hitting so I think he'll be playing within the next couple of days. Vizcaino will pitch in ext. ST but they're just taking it slow with him. I think he'll be up by June, Almora should be back in May. Not sure how serious Lake's injury was but I think he should be back before the end of the month.

  • Daytona Cubs down by one and Baez, Soler, and Bruno coming up to bat in the bottom of the 9th

  • Baez struck out on 3-2 count on the outside corner. Baez took the pitch. Strikeout but nice to see him try and get on base with the game on the line.

  • Soler whiffs too.

  • Meanwhile Cubs are coming back. Trying to follow three games at once.

  • John, what is your take on Rock Shoulders? He is a touch old for the level but not real bad. He played pretty well in Boise last year. Is he a guy on the come or just a hot start?

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    Well, I think he has a good approach and good power but he's probably a 1B, which is going to make it tough for him. He does have a better shot to play another position (OF) than Vogelbach though.

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    Please let that break Rizzo out.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Rizzo was a lot more dialed in with all his at bats tonight.

  • Castro! Great play.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Pura Vida:

    That was really special.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Most SS don't even get to that ball....And people want Castro moved off SS. I'm convinced most of those who complain about his defense never watch him play or pay attention to advanced metrics.

    All they see is the errors and that he forgot how many outs there were once and have made up their minds about him since.

    Dejesus big hit.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Just re-watched that play. The thing that strikes me now is just how accurate his throw was. Hit Rizzo chest high on a straight line to the bag.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Couldn't have come at a better time.

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    Hey, John, do you want to get annoyed at me every day? It seemed to help the Cubs.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Haha! I wasn't annoyed. Just really dislike the idea of trying to lose. Now if you put together a logical (if longshot) plan like the Cubs do and still lose anyway, I can live with that. Call me crazy but I think the Cubs can put a few wins together and be much better than they have shown so far. They miss Barney more than I thought and hopefully Garza and Stewart will be back soon. But hey, if it doesn't work, I'm good with another draft pick. Some interesting names starting to pop up for 2014, but I'm getting ahead of myself there.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Really seems like they should.

    Starlin Castro is not a .260 hitter with no walks. Anthony Rizzo is not a .180 hitter. DDJ is not a .120 hitter. This offense just has to be more capable than we've seen.

    I'm concerned about Sori but, if he's done, that's a bride we can burn when we come to it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Please no burning of brides. That scenario flamed out with the abysmal seasons the old Salem Wiccas had during the 1650-1680s.

  • Fujikawa showing good life in his fastball tonight.

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    Kyuji got some heat on that fastball. Consistently be 92-94 last few outings. Plays up his good command and off-speed pitches.

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    Gooooo Cubs gooooo (hate that song but it feels good)

  • The bullpen looks much better now with the switch in roles.

  • fb_avatar

    I agree. Clevenger is not a good use of a roster spot. I'd rather have him in Iowa playing a different position every night. Bogusevic or Sweeney would be a much better choice for a bat off the bench.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Each of those guys would cost the Cubs a 40 man roster spot. Right now I wouldn't feel comfortable dropping anyone. Maybe when Barney comes back you can try and get Lillibridge or Gonzalez through waivers. I think Sweeney's real opportunity will come if the Cubs find a taker for DeJesus.

  • Let's be honest, the best thing about Fujikawa is that he has the friendliest face on the planet. I am literally incapable of not smiling when they do a closeup on his face. He just looks so damn happy.

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