Game Notes: Cubs DFA Burnett, DL Dolis,and call up Blake Parker

Game Notes: Cubs DFA Burnett, DL Dolis,and call up Blake Parker
Blake Parker (picture by @abram_the3rd)

The Cubs are still searching for the right bullpen mix and injuries aren't helping...

  • RP Rafael Dolis has been DL'd with what is being termed as a forearm strain and you only hope that isn't a sign of something more serious down the road.  The Cubs called up RP Blake Parker who had a 2.04 ERA and 7 saves at Iowa.  He'll miss a ton of bats (13.25 K/9IP) with a fastball that can reach the mid 90s, but he'll also walk more than his share (5.09 BB/9IP).  His FIP is a solid 2.86.
  • To make room for Blake Parker the Cubs DFA'd the recently acquired Alex Burnett.
  • Tony Andracki of CSN wrote a nice piece on Albert Almora for "The Foundation" series.  Almora is unusually mature for a player his age and has been a stabilizing presence at Kane County.
  • An interesting piece of Ari Kaplan on the lessons he's learned from baseball analytics over the past 23 years and how it can be applied to organizations.  You can check out his blog Ariball for some interesting analysis, including his most recent piece on Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout.
  • Carrie Muskat reports that the Cubs are still keeping tabs on Jonathan Gray, Kris Bryant, and Colin Moran in the NCAA tourney.
  • Reader Abram P. III sent some great photos from Iowa and I will post them soon.  The picture above of Blake Parker is an example.  Give him a follow at @Abram_the3rd if you are on Twitter.

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. Barney 2B
  9. Samardzija SP

What to Watch For:

  • Tom: Jeff Samardzija.  If he can come close to anything near his last outing the whole nation will take notice.
  • John: Ian Kennedy should be perfect for Starlin Castro's "slider speed bat".  Note: My keyboard is dripping with sarcasm as I type those three words.  I also think overall that the Cubs will hit Kennedy well today.


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  • maybe they can keep Burnett. I find it a bit interesting that they had sanchez already on 40 man and have made 2 bullpen moves and he isn't one of them

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    In reply to nkniacc13:

    I don't. Saw him pitch - desperately needs to improve control.

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    I dug in Dolis's history some today. I didn't realize this, but he's already had one TJ surgery. This is potentially catastrophic to his future if its related to the ligament.

  • Wow! Sori has owned Ian Kennedy. 6 for 11 with 3 HR's.

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    Still raining in Chicago?

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    I wonder why the Cubs didn't just call Burnett back up, which they could have done due to the injury.

    Maybe they want to see one last time what Parker can/can't do at the ML level, and maybe they also want to stash Burnett.....he wasn't claimed by the entire AL last time, so chances are he'll make it through waivers again

  • Checking out life on the farm. There aren't many things in baseball as sweet as a B. Jackson HR swing.
    Tenessee announcers mention that Bour and Ha will be returning the the squad "in the second half."
    One, if not both players, will be rule 5 eligible in the offseason. I wonder how these injuries and rehab might affect the FO deciding protecting Ha, for instance, who looks to have enough talent to make a 25-man squad within a couple of years...

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    I think Ha gets protected unless the Cubs end up getting a couple OF's in trade deadline deals which I doubt. I wonder depending on where the FO sees Soler and almora starting next year if Jackson might not be a trade candidate in a deadline deal

  • I wonder if parker would have to be put on 40 man after year or risk losing to Rule 5 and they want to see now instead of Sept what he can do so they can make that decison

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    In reply to nkniacc13:

    Blake Parker is past rule-5 eligible; he's a minor-league FA after this season. He can walk away if he's not on the 40-man roster.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    ok thanks

  • Other farm happenings: apparently, fireworks might in Daytona. 27 Cubs at-bats before the 5th inning. Baez batting now already 3-floor-3, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 (yes, 6) RBI. Whoops. Baez is probably 4- for 4, although the box score hasn't been updated to reflect the additional 2 hits/runs in the half-inning he batted...

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    yes, 3 DBl's and a HR... he's at bat now

  • wow 14-1 end of 4th in Daytona... I almost went to this game, decided to stay home :(

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    If you left right now, you might still get to see everyone on Daytona bat 3 times before the end of the game.

  • Wow and Sappelt, Stewart, and Lillibridge all double for Iowa... they lead 4-1. Good things happening on the farm tonight

  • Soler with a 2 run jack

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Villanueva feeling left out just launched a 2-run opposite field home run.

  • ouch, 2nd pitch from Shark...

  • Wow Baez 5 for 5 now...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    maybe 5 for 5 will shut up some of the Baez haters on this blog that always want to trade him. the kid is a star and I want to see him be a star as a Cub!

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    In reply to Joshnk24:

    To me, today is irrelevant. I know he's got an enormous power bat, but the question is whether he can develop an approach that will allow him to get hittable pitches at the major league level. He didn't answer that with one huge day.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    you are probably one of the trade Castro people too.

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    In reply to Joshnk24:

    Mike actually isn't one of the "trade Castro or Baez" people. He's just being realistic. We're just as high on Baez as anyone....but a huge game from him doesn't automatically quell all doubts about his approach this year. I think he'll be fine but he still has a long way to go. Awesome to see him break out though. He needed a game like this.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    .277 9hr 35 rbi...I like his approach

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    In reply to Joshnk24:

    almost 20% of his RBI's came TODAY.

    It's an exciting day, don't get me wrong. But I see where Mike is coming from.

    he was batting 260 before today and 277 in A ball is still nothing to write home about.

    I'm still a Baez believer, and It's not my intention to sound negative.
    It was a 20 hit game for the team as a whole. And while I'm glad that Baez was locked in and driving the ball all over, he really REALLY needs to improve his OBP.

    We have more fee-swingers than we need already.
    The power is great but if he wants a fast track to the show, he needs to think less like Soriano/Castro and more like Youklis/Pedroia.

    At this point, I would be much more excited about a 5 walk game.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Not your intention to sound negative, yet that is exactly how you sound along with the other negative people on here. cub fans can never be positive. I guess i don't get this whole walk obsession. to say you would rather take a 5 walk game over a 5 hit game? that is absolutely nonsense. I will guarantee a 5 walk game will not produce 6 rbi.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    You're missing the point about the walks. Being in the minors is about development not about wins. If Baez was a hitter like Alcantara, who is not known for his power prior to this season, and put up a day like today, it would show development in his game.

    We already know that Baez has great power and the ability to square up and drive a pitch. But what we don't know is whether he can tell the difference between which pitches he can drive and those he can't and should lay off. If a hacker with elite bat speed hacks at enough pitches, sooner or later he's going to have a day like today. But with a strikeout ratio north of 5:1, who's to say whether today was a day showing development in his batting eye or just luck. That is why walks are important. It shows an ability to discern which pitch you can drive.

    If Baez were hitting .335/.385/.595 (like he did in Peoria last season), I would be a lot less concerned about his ability to recognize good pitches to hit because clearly he's hitting them. He needed to be challenged by more advanced pitching. Without it, he wouldn't really be able to develop. When he was promoted to Daytona last year, he struggled. Good. He needed to in order to learn. In the first month of the season, he struggled some more. Fine. All I need to see is improvement. Lately, we've been seeing it. His K/BB rate has fallen to between 3 and 4:1. If he can keep it around 3:1 from this point forward, then he will have improved an important skill he will need in order to succeed against major league pitching.

    That's said. Great day for Javier. Hope he has a lot more like them.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    EDIT: I think he will improve and be fine. We just haven't seen it yet.

    Is that positive enough for ya? ;-)

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I don't think he's missing the point in the sense that he shouldn't walk more or get on base more, I'm sure everyone wants to see him get on base as often as possible -- but when people say they would rather he had 5 walks today, that's just silly to me. He obviously got pitches to hit and he hit them. It doesn't make him heroic to take them so he can try and squeeze out walks. If you need to take a passive approach to draw walks, then I don't necessarily consider that development. Walks need to be a consequence of not getting pitches to drive and that was not the case today. He got them and he hit them.

    And it's not like Baez is a 24 year old in A ball where we can definitely say we know he can hit. We think he can, but we don't know if he can do it as pitching gets tougher. He's obviously struggled against the higher quality pitching so far so to see him hit the ball well is a good thing. It's part of the learning process not just to know which pitches he can't drive, but learn which pitches he can drive. Hitting the ball with power and getting 5 hits doesn't mean he was treading water in terms of progress.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Baez's last ten games = .333/.396/.643

  • In reply to Quedub:


    I know. It's been encouraging. That's why I said that lately we've been seeing improvement.

  • In reply to Quedub:


    I don't share in Giffmo's remarks that he would have rather seen 5 walks over today's performance. He said he "guessed he just didn't get it when it came to walks" and I was simply trying to explain their importance especially when it comes to a hitter like Baez. I was sharing my own thoughts, not agreeing with Giffmo's.

    Do you disagree that Baez improving his walk rate will bode well for him being able to hit more advanced pitching as he rises through the ranks?

    He's got plenty of time, but I'll feel better about his chances of reaching his very high ceiling when he does. Until then, I'm wait and see.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Oh, I don't disagree. I want Baez to walk more -- but for me it should always be a consequence not a goal. It should be a consequence of a better approach. I don't know if you read Keller's quotes that I just added, but that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. Personally I listen to quite a few Daytona games so my info is limited, but I can say that Javy has been working counts better than when I saw him in Peoria last year. He's actually walked slightly more too.

    I talked to one scout, for example, about Josh Vitters' approach last year and i asked him about the higher walk total. He surprised me when he told me he didn't think vitters was taking pitches with a purpose. He was doing it because he knows that's what he's supposed to do. That's not what I want from Baez. I want the walks to increase organically as his approach improves. I want to see improved process that leads to results -- not empty results without process because I don't think that can last long term.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    5 walks over 3 doubles and a HR?

    That's what you want a guy with the best bat speed and perhaps the best power in the system to do. Leave that bat on his shoulder.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thank you John!!!!

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    No doubt, today was a good day. However, he still needs to show that he can recognize which pitches he can drive and which ones he can't with consistency. I'll take days like this one all the time. If he's mashing then who cares about walks. But this is just one day and, so far, there haven't been enough of these. I'll feel a lot better about his chances to be a star at the major league level when he can lay off pitches he shouldn't be swinging at AND have days like this from time to time.

    I don't think he sucks. I don't think he should be traded. Reducing anyone who is critical of his performance this season to that is just dumb. It's nice if he has days like this in High-A, but I want him to be an all-star in the majors, and it is very hard to find an elite major league hitter that has posted a K/BB ratio as high as Baez's is right now in A ball.

    K/BB ratio is a predictive stat for a hitter. If he doesn't bring it down, it doesn't mean he'll be a poor hitter in the majors. Power bats are hard to find and contribute to any line-up. But it will be basically unprecedented if he doesn't improve is ability to lay off bad pitches and still becomes a very good or elite major league bat.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    Calling people "haters" for questioning a player (a prospect especially) or pointing out that their approach is not flawless is unnecessary though. It's taking the easy way out.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I bet people were saying the same about Vitters a few years back.

    How's that worked out? Think Vitters should just be leaving the bat on his shoulder?

    20 team hits suggests this was more a symptom of a pitching staff that had a really bad day than the burgeoning dominance of a guy that's bat speed has been the only thing he's displayed this year.

    Sure he has the lead in HR's. But he also has the lead in SO's and he has the fewest walks of anyone with at least 100 AB's (there are two players with less than 60 AB's that have more walks than Baez, even though he's over 200 AB's)

    So YES, at this point I'd rather see him walk.

    We know about the bat speed, we know about the power. Great. Grand. Wonderful.

    I'm sure there's a very long list of guys no one cares about that had great bat speed and hit a lot of homers in A-ball.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    let's trade Baez! let's just trade every player, and then can complain about all the new players the cubs pick up!

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    When you are a hitter, you take pitches with the purpose of getting a pitch you can drive. Javier Baez hit 4 extra base hits, including a HR. That's what he is supposed to do.

    Show me a hitter who takes pitches he can drive in order to take a walk, then I'll show you a very bad hitter. Lots of walks, maybe, but not a big league player.

    What you want is for walks to be a consequence of waiting for -- and not getting -- pitches you can drive. If you get pitches you can drive. Swing. And when you hit them, that's a good thing.

    And you're making judgments about his approach on his walk total. There is more to approach. It doesn't necessarily mean there is no progress. Can you tell me whether he's actually improved his P/PA, or his pitch recognition, or his pitch selection? Not really. You can make assumptions from his walk total but you can't draw conclusions from it unless you know the entire picture.

    And the Vitters analogy is nonsense. It has nothing to do with Baez.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:


  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He obviously did. If you hit 3 doubles and a HR, the chances are you were getting --and hitting pitches you can drive. That's what he's there to do. He's not Zeke DeVoss. Baez is there to hit and only walk when he doesn't get those pitches to drive.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    The entire team was ripping the cover off the ball. Seems to me an alternative explanation is that the pitching for Brevard County was just terrible today, and we know he crushes terrible pitching. (Like spring training.) Hopefully Keller is right and this is the beginning of a new Javy. No one would be happier than me if that was the case. I just want to see him do it over an extended period.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    He's having a huge day. HR, 6 RBI...WOW!!

  • Is this Ump annoying anyone else? he is not standing behind the catcher, he is all the way on one side? I've never seen an ump stand like this before, how can he possibly see the other side of the plate??? anyone agree w me lol

  • Also Chris Archer made a start today,
    4i, 7h, 5e losing pitcher, just fyi or anyone who cares!

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    Chris Archer also had 3 walks in 4 innings

  • What's going on with the 1B ump? Two missed calls?

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    Walks walks walks WALKS!!!!!!!

  • Another Carlos Marmol special. And CarVill couldn't throw another inning because....?

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Yeah, that was a bummer. Marmol can ruin an evening pretty quickly.

  • Grand Slam? *flips the table meme.*

  • Best thing about 2014... Marmol will be somewhere else

  • I do not understand why Carlos Marmol is still on this team.

    Today is a game I believe the Cubs simply get out-managed. First off he stuck with Jeff too long in the 6th, after he walked the lead off guy he should have been taken out. Later in the inning with runners on 1st and 2nd he goes to Russell instead of Villenueva. Russell gives up the lead and he just brings Carlos in to finish off the inning. The 8th inning in a tie game he should have stuck with Carlos even though Carlos inexplicably pitched the 9th yesterday in a game they have a 5 run lead.

    I must admit that I am always one to blame the skipper, but this is just unacceptable. Marmol has proven time and again he is incapable of being trusted when his team needs him, yet Dale and his brilliant buddies have yet to get the clue. (I would also like to make mention of David Bell as the worst 3rd Base coach since wavin' Wendell Kim.) An article was written several weeks ago on this excellent blog comparing Sveum to Alan Trammel and I think Dale is proving his incompetence on a close to daily basis.

    As long as Soriano, Marmol and Sveum are associated with this organization we will not go to the playoffs. I know my username is somewhat corny but Sandberg for 2014!!!!!

    (Please don't blast me as an over eager fan, this blog is absolutely fantastic and I love reading everyone's input!)

  • In reply to Sandberg2014:

    sorry I used Carlos when referring to both Marmol and Villanueva. I get sick of looking back at the box score to make sure I was spelling Villanueva correctly.

  • In reply to Sandberg2014:

    Sveum was ejected in the 2nd inning.

  • This loss if it ends up like that is purely on Sveum's sloping shoulders. He has consistently shown himself incapable of managing the bullpen - with further evidence in both the 7th and 8th innings tonight.

    We have a golden opportunity to continue the good-feeling and momentum of the last week and he leaves in both Shark and the Pie-thrower in for too long. Why is Russell consistently only considered by Sveum to be a LOOGY...? Why not make a double switch to keep Villanueva available for the 8th...?+

    This is now at least the 5th loss this year down to Sveum and his incompetence.

    It really is time for Dale to Sink or Sveum... and at the moment the sooner he takes his lack of media savvy and bullpen management skills out of town the better.

  • Sveum didn't manage this game, SERIOUSLY so sick of seeing marmol, he doesn't throw strikes and when he does they get hit hard... I don't feel bad for marmol he's making 9m this year, he's had a good career hence the 9m, time to retire.

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    You guys do realize that Dale was ejected in the 2nd inning right? You pretty much told on yourselves. Probably didn't even watch the game, just rehashing on twitter reaction and looking for a reason to base Sveum.

  • Junior Lake appears close to returning. He's played in 3 games in EXST and he is mashing the low level pitching. He has gone 7-for-13 with 5 doubles, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.

  • I have watched the game all the way through on Gameday... couldn't get it on my usual streaming here in Kuwait. Sveum was ejected in the 2nd I'm aware, however please don't tell me he had no input to that shambles...

    Last week a game was thrown away by sending out Rondon when Villanueva's off-speed stuff would have been more suitable.

    I am not a twitter-er. There is plenty of reason to round on Sveum.
    The evidence grows week by week that he is not up to managing this team. So far he is benefiting from the the mostly low expectations of this team.

    I'm on board with the rebuild, I know it is going to be a grim ride getting to the promised land, but it doesn't need to be as grizzly as it has been.

    There are ways and means of handling struggling players, but they should be kept behind closed doors. The greatest sports manager in my lifetime, Sir Alex Ferguson, was always ready to chastise his players - but never in public. Sveum's treatment of the under-performing Jackson and to some extent Castro has been ridiculous... while not a word was said about Barney, Hairston or Soriano through their slumps. At a time when the whole Chicago media seems to be intent on running Castro out of town, Sveum should be protecting him not chastising him. Similarly anything that needed to be said to Jackson could have been said in the locker-room.

    Today was a game thrown away. And I'm sorry, but whether or not Sveum had his hand on the call to the bullpen, he is still steering this ship.

  • thanks.

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