Game Notes: Cubs most tradable pitchers; more draft signings; Hoyer deflects blame

Game Notes: Cubs most tradable pitchers; more draft signings; Hoyer deflects blame

Time to round up some of the days news and notes as we get ready to try and even up the series with the Cardinals.

Anthony Rizzo is getting the day off today.

Hot Stove Cool Music

Tom, Fels and I will all be covering the Hot Stove Cool Music concert on Friday at the Metro.  They've just added Ken Casey, who is the lead singer for Dropkick Murphys.  Wonder if they'll play "Shipping up to Boston".  

Here's the rest of the info via the WGN website...

Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, will be joined on stage by Len Kasper, the Cubs’ TV play by play man, and Peter Gammons, a Hall of Fame-honored baseball writer — as well as feature ensemble performances by headliner Poi Dog Pondering.

Also scheduled to perform are the Parkington Sisters, Brede Baldwin and Kay Hanley, the former vocalist for Letters to Cleo. Epstein, Kasper and Gammons will perform alongside The Hot Stove All-Stars, featuring Jesse Dee, Local H’s Scott Lucas, Will Dailey, Jimmy Chamberlin and special guests.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Chicago Cubs Charities and Epstein’s “Foundation To Be Named Later.”

Tickets are on sale at

Other News and Notes...

  • Jim Bowden of ESPN talks about starting pitcher trade candidates and two of the most likely to be traded are Matt Garza (90%) and Scott Feldman (70%).  I have no idea how he calculated those percentages or if he just pulled them out of thin air, but they are at least vague indications that a) Other GMs are interested and B) the Cubs are willing to deal them.  For what it's worth, I think those are the two most likely Cubs to be traded when hot stove kicks into high gear -- and they are the two players most likely to bring back the best talent in return.
  • The Cubs officially announced 8 draft signings and they include 2nd rounder Rob Zastryzny, who had already let the cat out of the bag last night.  All of the others are in the 10th round or later.  They include: 10th rounder Zach Godley, 16th rounder Cael Brockmeyer, 18th rounder Giuseppe Papaccio, 20th rounder Zak Blair, 22nd rounder Kevin Brown, 23rd rounder Tyler Ihrig, and 30th rounder Zak Hermans. These are just the announced signings.  Most of those players were already known to be in Arizona and some of the unannounced signings, such as 5th round RHP Trey Masek and 7th round pick RHP David Garner are already in Mesa as well.  In the day and age of Twitter and instant news -- plus we've been doing this now for awhile and, with perhaps an exception or two, we pretty much know who is going to sign and not sign -- the official announcements have become anti-climactic.   It's a bit sad in a way.  I miss the suspense and the drama of the "old days".
  • Update: Trey Masek officially signed his contract.  See what I mean?
  • Of course, everyone is most concerned about Kris Bryant right now.  But the signing is just a matter of time.  The thought is with the Cubs already funneling money to later rounds that the Cubs have few concerns and maybe already have a loose agreement in place, perhaps with some wiggle room depending on how much the Cubs can save with later picks.  However it works, he's going to sign.  He has almost zero incentive to go back to school.  Way much more to lose than to gain considering the Cubs will almost certainly offer the market value for a #2 overall pick.  Just spitballing but I'll put the figure at somewhere between 5.75M and 6.25M.
  • Per CSN's Patrick Mooney, Jed Hoyer deflected the blame from manager Dale Sveum, admitting he hasn't exactly given the manager a great deal of talent, particularly in the bullpen.

Today's Lineup:

  1. Valbuena 3B
  2. Castro SS
  3. Schierholtz RF
  4. Soriano LF
  5. Sweeney CF
  6. Ransom 1B
  7. Castillo C
  8. Barney 2B
  9. Samardzija SP

What to Watch:

Felzz: Cody Ransom- Cody's playing first base eh.....?.......... Just gonna let that one breath for a while...................(suppressing chuckles).......... Ok.......... Almost ready............. Yeah. So usually when I shake my head at something like this it bites me in the ol' bee-hind. So look for Commander Cody to go 3 for 4.

John: I'm looking for Jeff Samardzija to rise to the challenge and outduel Wainwright.


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  • Rizzo's getting a breather tonight.

  • Why rest for Rizzo but no rest for Starlin ever? I get you wait on sitting him now that he's maybe heating up, but I think he could have used it earlier.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Nobody else can play SS. Sveum having a hard time not playing him. I think he'll get a day off soon, though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Barney & Valbuena both played it in the minors. They should be ok (though unspectacular) for one night. Still Castro is only what 23?... He doesn't require too many off days that aren't built into the schedule.

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    In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Len and JD the other day said it was because they weren't having him work on anything mechanical which might lead to time off so he can focus solely on the new mechanics.

    If they aren't making mechanical changes to the swing, something is very wrong.

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    Is there a time when we can expect Scott Baker to come back? If Garza and Feldman go, I see Rusin and Villanueva as next SPs, but would love to see Baker on the hill as well

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Maybe August for Baker, which would be perfect timing.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Vote for Carlos Marmol as our new #5 starter!

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I just puked in my mouth a little.

  • Excluding the youthful Poncedeleon, the next two highest drafted non-signees are Remillard and Doi. Any thoughts on the likely outcome for these two gentlemen?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    I think Doi could benefit from college. I thought Poncedeleon was going to sign. Not sure what happened there. As for Remillard, Cubs drafted a bunch of catchers knowing they wouldn't sign them all. Jeremy Martinez won't sign either. I think they should ink the rest of the catchers, though.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Not only that, Poncedeleon posted a picture of the signed contract.

    Only thing I can think of: if the contract was conditional on him passing a physical, he may not have.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I remember that too. I've thought about the possibility of failing a physical a well. Don't like to speculate too much on that. Whatever happened, hope he does well.

  • Whichof the top 10 picks might not they not sign? Which of the
    top 3 will might they sign under slot?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    They will sign all their top 10 picks. Id expect maybe all 3 of their top picks to sign under slot

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    All top 10 picks will sign. I think all 3 top picks will be underslot.

  • john did you get the velo on underwood yet ? and do you believe he has top of the rotation stuff ?

  • In reply to seankl:

    No, but I'll get that at some point soon. Heard he was as high as 97 in AZ.

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    I think I'll tweet Dropkick Murphy's video of "Shipping up to Boston" to Matt Garza.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Ha! That might end up being pretty appropriate.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It's to scary how much we think alike.

    BTW, with Marshall out for another 3 weeks and the Reds wanting to keep Cingrani starting, there are rumors coming out of Cincy that they're looking for a left-handed reliever.

  • Good pitching matchup tonight. This seems like the kind of game the Cubs are going to lose 2-0.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    2-1 because Cody Ransom will inexplicably hit another HR.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Maybe. Or maybe Wainwright strikes out 15 Cubs. It's not fair how good he is.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    No......We have Jeff "Kershaw" Samardzija on the of the best pitchers in MLB according to several Bleacher Bum fans,.

  • Cubs interested in another Cuban pitcher, by the way. Dalier Hinojosa defected in February and is just waiting government clearance. Click here for article.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Can Carlos Marmol defect back to his homeland ?.......Just asking.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Whatever happen to Concepcion ?????????

    There was so much hype on him.....

    or are the Cubs Den fans blaming Jim Hendry on that failure also?

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Was there really that much hype? From the beginning I heard he was a back of the rotation guy, at best, being given $6 million to grease the skids for Soler.

  • Hmmm. So much for Wainwright shutting down the Cubs. Shark has enough to win now if he's on. Of course, I probably just jinxed it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good call on the Ransom Hr. This guy must of found the fountain of Youth.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    So I know SSS and all but in a little more than a full years worth of PAs (777) Ransom has 29 HRs and more recently in his last two seasons (378 PAs) he has 19 HRs. Lol, that comes out to a 30-35 HR guy. Too bad he’s 37. He might actually be worth giving a full time job to. Maybe some team will see this and give him a chance.

  • In reply to Rudy:

    *761 PAs that is for his career

  • In reply to Rudy:

    I think Ransom can definitely help a team with his power and defensive versatility.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    It's crazy. Not sure where he found this power, but I'll take it.

  • Holy Bisquits! Four runs, off of Wainright, after two outs!

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    Jeff looks good tonight. Probably locked in because its the Cardinals.

  • I haven't been to see the Cubs in 4 years. I live in Albany,NY and will be there in July and hoping to see the Cubs on 7/13. My son lives in Elk Grove and me, him and grandsons I'll need 6-7 tickets. I checked stub hub and the best I could do was 60.00 for the bleachers and 30.00 for upper deck. 420.00 is more than I'd like to pay and upper deck is not appealing. Does anyone know of anywhere else I could try to get tickets?

  • In reply to rockyje:

    $420 is allot of money to some people,especially if they are on fixed budget....not including the money to buy the soda, hot dogs, beer, peanuts, etc.....and the transportation and parking the end of the day, could be over $600............instead of seeing the game in person, why don't you ...

    OPTION #1
    buy a large flat screen tv for the grandkids, and enjoy a barbque at their least you can invest the $$$$ in a tv for the family to enjoy, and avoid the traffic hassle.....


    OPTION #2

    Take the grandkids to Kane County and watch Future Cubs, at a lower budget......modern day Cubs really SUCK.....and the grandkids would enjoy a Sunday at the ballpark, listening to Nancy Faust at the organ.......watching between inning entertainment.....etc..

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I personally enjoy seeing a couple of Minor League games each year (my current home town team is the Orioles AA affiliate) - in part for the monetary reason you state. For me - the point is to be at the game & get the atmosphere.

    But - that being said - I would love to see a game at Wrigley again. And even the current crop of Cubs in the bigs would make the experience enjoyable.

    Lighten up dude.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Option #! makes sense but I used to take my kids to Wrigley and it
    cost $2 and the scorecard was a quarter. I have to go to wrigley. Option#2 I'd love to see Kane County and maybe I can do both.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    Upper deck box seats are significantly better seats than the bleachers. Some of the best seats in the park, in my opinion.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    We used to sit there when we were kids. We'd take the bus in, save our allowance and sit in the upper deck box. We were baseball nerds. We were there to watch the game (and we were too young to drink anyway).

  • In reply to rockyje:

    Ignore CubsTroll's asinine response. Someone here will give you some good advice. There's nothing like being at Wrigley in person.

    Option #1 for CubsTroll: STFU.
    Option #2 for CubsTroll: Repeat Option #1.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Thank you, sir, my sentiments exactly.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I want to thank all of you guys and I can't wait. To bad I didn't have a Cubs Den t-shirt to wear. In any event my son is going to look into it and maybe I can talk him into paying. HA-HA. I'm looking foward to it and again thank you guys and maybe as Tulanecubs said the upper deck may be ok.though it can't possibly have the atmosphere of the bleachers. I used to always go to the bleachers.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    Have a great time. Maybe the Cubs Den t-shirts will be available by then -- right, John?

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Thanks. I can't wait.

  • Grand slam for Baez. Whatever...

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    In reply to Quedub:

    Just one? Fail.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Tim Saunders did it too. He's hitting well of late.

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    John, I really enjoy your blog, I don't comment very often, but I get truly annoyed by one or two of the commentators on here, so please excuse me for this outburst,
    CubsTalk, you're a real asshole, the man is looking for help to have an enjoyable day with his son and grandchildren at a Cubs game and you choose to try to be what, witty, smart? Which by the way you never are. So why don't you just STFU for a change.
    By the way I live in Florida also, if you would like to meet me somewhere I would be happy to kick your f**king low life ass.
    I do not believe you have ever been a true Cubs fan, you simply like to stir the pot, or are what we call today a troll. And I know I shouldn't feed a troll, but in this case you win.
    Feel free to delete this comment John, but this man really is a negative force on this blog, I almost cringe when I see his moniker.

  • And the 'Save Machine' known formerly as Keven Gregg just keeps right on rolling on,....

    The Waiver-wire pick-ups and Wintertime Free Agent Signings (with the exception of Baker and probably Hariston - who should be hitting at least his body weight) are almost universally looking like good ideas at this point.

    Feldman has been excellent. Villanueva has been mostly good. Schierholtz is almost the team leader in HRs and plays an excellent defensive RF. The aformentioned Gregg has been almost without exception great. Ransom is looking like a steal, Navarro has been far better than I thought (given - my expectations were low), Sweeney has been a very pleasant addition, and even Borbon has been a solid add off the batch. If Jackson can continue his recent trend to improvement,....

    They have done an excellent job piecing together a decent team while we wait for some of the prospects to get up to speed, and potentially flip for longer term assets this season.

    Although - I would love to see them keep Schierholtz, and maybe even Sweeney or Ransom as roleplayers for next season IF the front office can't get value for them this season.

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    To channel John a bit here: let's keep it about baseball. I agree it's annoying, but John has his reasons for letting him post here. Stooping to his level just turns these boards into every other set of boards on the Internet. If he really annoys you, just think of it this way: when you call him names, you're letting him bring the quality of these boards down even further.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. He's the kind that enjoys pissing others off. I've never understood getting enjoyment like that, but it takes all kinds, I guess.

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