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Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Javy, Schwarber go boom, Martarano goes to Arizona

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Javy, Schwarber go boom, Martarano goes to Arizona
Joey Martarano

Well, it appears that one more high ceiling late round draft pick is going to play baseball in the Cubs organization.  Big, athletic slugging 3B Joey Martarano appears headed to the Cubs rookie complex in Arizona.  Per his Twitter account,

I'm actually going down to Mesa Arizona to play some baseball, but good luck bro tear it up!

There should still be money left even after 2nd round pick Jake Stinnett and 6th round overslot Dylan Cease presumably sign, so it will be interesting to see how many more late round picks they'll be able to bring into the organization.

Iowa 4 - Sacramento 3

  • Kyle Hendricks solid season continued with 7 strong innings in which he allowed just 2 runs.  He walked 2 while striking out 6, improving his record to 7-5 with a 3.78 ERA.
  • Marcus Hatley has had a great year out of the bullpen but today he earned  his first save of the season, working a scoreless inning and strikingout 2.  The tall, athletic, hard-throwing RHP seems to have overcome his control issues this season, walking just 5 men in 27 innings (1.67 BB/9IP) while still retaining the good stuff to miss bats, striking out 37 (12.33 K/9IP) .
  • Arismendy Alcantara doubled, singled, and scored 2 runs, raising his line of the season to .276/.315/.514 on the season.
  • Javier Baez had himself a nice day, getting  single and stealing 2 bases (11) while also hitting a 2-run HR (10).  Baez is still hitting just .223 on the season as he has scuffled of late after showing signs of going on a hot streak.  He certainly hasn't found that groove he's found the past 2 seasons and it wouldn't surprise me if he spent all of this season in AAA.  The  Cubs can afford to wait this season and possibly part of next until he develops an approach that can work in the majors.  He may never be a guy who walks or hits for a high average but the goal is for him to get himself into better counts and to swing at strikes when he gets there.  Too often it seems like he sees 3-0, 3-1, or 2-0 as carte blanche to swing for the fences and erasing the advantage he creates when he is patient early in the count.

Tennessee 7 - Mississippi 6

  •  Corey Black returned from the DL on a pitch count to throw 3 innings in which he allowed just one unearned run.  Most importantly for his own development, Black walked just one batter.  He has the stuff to miss bats (5 Ks) and induce weak contact but he too often beats himself by missing the strike zone.  This was a short outing and he was still somewhat wild (also hit a batter and threw  a wild pitch) but a step in the right direction.  He has a 3.25 ERA on the season.
  • Zach Cates pitched 2 more scoreless innings, giving him 4.2 scoreless innings overall since his promotion to AA.  He did strike out 2, giving him 5 but he has also walked 5, an early departure to the great improvement he showed with control at Daytona.
  • After Jeffrey Lorick held the lead with a scoreless inning, Eduardo Figueroa got absolutely thumped, allowing 5 runs without getting a batter out to put Mississippi comfortably in the lead.  Well, no such thing as "comfortably" when the Smokies are behind as we will see.
  • Lendy Castillo has pitched better of late and two more scoreless innings dropped his ERA to 3.50.  Something about the Tennessee air seems to work as a tonic for relief pitchers, hopefully it sticks with Castillo.
  • Arodys Vizcaino hit 98 mph today as he pitched a scoreless inning and struck out 2.  He has 3 walks and 16 Ks in 13.2 AA innings while allowing hitters to hit just .149.  For Vizcaino, it is just a matter of the Cubs believing he has built up the stamina to be used with regularity out of an MLB bullpen.  They may wait until September when the rosters expand to allow them the flexibility they would prefer.
  • Armando Rivero pitched 2 innings, striking out 3 and lowering his ERA to 1.56 while getting the win.
  • Anthony Giansanti may not have top prospect status but he's the kind of ballplayer that good teams seem to have.  Great teammate and plays whatever role the team needs.  The role now is leadoff man and he has been playing it well.  Today he got 3 hits, raising his average to .261 after hitting .370 so far in June.
  • Stephen Bruno knows his role and that is to hit.  Three hits today has him back on the upswing with a .291/.378/.471 on the year.
  • Kris Bryant had a rather uneventful game, going 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI, but that is what has made him so good.  Even when he isn't mashing the ball all over the field, he still manages to contribute in some way.
  • Rubi Silva went 3 for 6 and drove in a pair of runs.

Beloit 5 - Kane County 4

  • Duane Underwood came off the DL and like Black, was on a pitch count, going 2 innings of scoreless baseball to lower his ERA to 2.32 on the year.  Underwood is still just scratching the surface on his enormous talent with his success at Kane County.  He doesn't turn 20 until next month.
  • Michael Wagner piggybacked the short start allowing one solo HR in 3 innings, though he was more wild than usual, walking 3 batters.  He did strikeout 3 as well.  Wagner has a 3.80 ERA though he has been pitching especially well of late.
  • Big lefty Michael Heesch and his good two seamer is also pitching well, going 2 scoreless innings and lowering his ERA to 3.86 after a slow start to the season.
  • James Pugliese had himself another great outing though he was let down by the defense, specifically an error by Yasiel Balaguert.  Pugliese then gave up a double and Beloit managed to push the two runs across without the benefit of another hit.  Tough way to lose the lead because Pugliese pitched 4 great innings (no walks, 4 Ks) to lower his ERA to 1.05.
  • Zach Hermans game into pitch the 12th with a one run lead and allowed the walk off 2-run HR to cap a very frustrating loss.
  • The Cougars got great production from their 4-5-6 hitters with Jordan Hankins batting in the clean-up spot and continued to be the Cougars most productive hitter.  He went 2 for 4 with a walk and his 3rd HR of the year and is now batting .322/.361/.461 on the year.
  • Yasiel Balaguert hit his 5th HR of the year and had 3 hits overall, but he has been a disappointment to this season.  He has the great hands and bat speed but is struggling in his second season in the MWL.  He has struggled to adapt to the more advanced pitchers in full season ball, particularly when it comes to hitting the breaking ball.
  • Jacob Rogers hit his 6th HR and went 2 for 5 on the year.  Rogers has a rather long swing so the lower batting average (.245) is not a big surprise, neither is his outstanding plate discipline which has helped him put up a .351 OBP.  What is surprising is that Rogers has only hit 6 HRs and put up a .405 slugging percentage.  He has some great raw power, even hitting the scoreboard at O'Brien Field in Peoria, but it hasn't shown up as much as expected this season.

Boise 11- TriCity 9

  • I was looking forward to this Trevor Clifton start because he had made so much progress this spring, but he may have had some jitters as a 19 year old in the NWL.  His control problems resurfaced (4 walks) and it led to 4 runs in 4.1 innings.  Clifton did strike out 5 batters, so the stuff appeared to be as good as expected.  Now that he has this one under his belt he'll come back strong next time out.
  • Boise managed to regain the lead in the bottom of the 6th but Carlos Llano who pitched 2 scoreless innings and left with a man on base (via a walk).  He was relieved by Yomar Morel, who allowed another baserunner and then a 3-run HR to give Tri-City the lead back. Morel then rebounded to pitch a scoreless inning before allowing 2 more meaningless runs in the 9th.
  • Jeffrey Baez went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk.
  • 1B Kevin Brown went 1 for 4 with a walk and a key 2-out RBI double to tie the game at 7 after the Boise bullpen lost the lead.
  • Kyle Schwarber did just about everything he could on offense to help the team win.  He hit a sac fly, walked, got hit by a pitch and, oh yeah, hit a HR over the batter's eye in CF (see video below).  Schwarber scored 2 and drove in 2.
  • With Schwarber at DH, Justin Marra had the catching duties and hit a big 3-run HR.  He went 2 for 4 overall in his season debut.
  • 2B Zak Blair went 1 for 4 with  a run scored and an RBI.
  • SS Giuseppe Papaccio doubled, walked, and scored 2 runs.
  • Speedy CF Rashad Crawford went 2 for 4, stole his first base, scored 2 runs and had an RBI.  Crawford was taken in the 11th round in the first draft of the Epstein era.  He's intriguing but a raw player with good size, speed, and athleticism, not to mention a lefty bat.  The 20 year old still has a lot of work to do, however.

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  • I am sorry, but those who dont like the Cubs Current Front office is out of their minds.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Agreed. The amount of talent they've brought in over the past 2+ years is incredible.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, it's pretty astounding the depth they've created in the organization. The more I've studied and followed prospects, the more I see the importance of strength in numbers. We've seen the struggles of a number of the Cubs top ten prospects this season either with performance or injuries. Struggles don't equal failure, but it's folly to assume a large percentage of these guys will become average or better major leaguers.

    It's such a numbers game, and they're doing a very good job of playing it. Maximizing their chances by not only bringing in so many talented prospects but by creating a developmental staff, system and technological support (cameras in every minor league park, PitchFX at every level, analytical software, etc.) to give their prospects the best chance to succeed. And, on top of all that, they seem very disciplined, maddeningly patient at times, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Some might say the Cubs have gone too long without a World Series championship to be this patient. That it's almost cruel to make their fanbase wait one day longer than they have to. But I say the Cubs have gone too long without a championship not to be this disciplined and patient. It would be a pity to start cutting corners now. The voice in the cornfield was right. If you build it, they will come. Oh, championships will come, Ray. Championships will most definitely come.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    With injuries and fail rates being what they are, depth of talented major leaguers and prospects who have a real shot to be major league average or better becomes so important. Via the draft, IFA signings and minimal talent cost in trades (Cashner, Marshall, a few months of Garza, etc.), the current FO has brought in:

    MLB: Wood, Arrieta, Strop, Rondon, Ramirez, Grimm.

    Tier 1: Edwards, Johnson, Tseng, Blackburn, Vizcaino, Rivero.

    Tier 2: Underwood, Black, Hendricks, Cease, Sands.

    Tier 3: Paniagua, Zastryzny, Skulina, Cervenka, Clifton, Moreno, Stinnett, Steele.

    MLB: Rizzo, Valbuena (scrap heap), Olt.

    Tier 1: Bryant, Soler, Almora, Schwarber.

    Tier 2: Bruno, Villanueva, Torres, Jimenez.

    Tier 3: Hannemann, Remillard, Delarosa, Galindo.

    They've also had success developing existing players like Samardzija, Baez, Alcantara, Lake, Vogelbach, Hatley, Jokisch, Parker, etc. Depth, dude. Depth. Keep it coming and in time enough of these guys will fill out a major league roster of quality, average or better major league players with enough prospect trade fodder to fill in the gaps.

    They're not there yet, but I like the progress.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Great job acquiring young talent. Horrendous job at fielding a major league team while acquring that talent. I do not accept the notion that you can't both at the same time.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Amen to that.

  • In reply to mailmanrod:

    Oh brother.....

  • In reply to TTP:

    That 'horrendous' job at fielding a ML-team isn't looking too bad of late.

    Remind me again - what's the record of that ML-team for the last month or so?

    And it's a ML-team built around young, generally still developing, and inexpensive pieces - especially that Combo in the Pen of Schlitter, Strop, Grimm, Rondon and Ramirez. Arietta is gelling. Wood is still good (and inexpensive). Castro and Rizzo are having great rebound seasons,.... If they could get any regular offensive production out of the OF - this could be a very good team.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    C'mon. It's been horrendous. That's why I've been calling Theo's plan the White Flag Rebuild. Worst two-year record in the history of the Chicago Cubs. That definitely qualifies as horrendous.

    But I'm with you, man. Exciting what they've done over the last month. So I get it. We would be in the Wild Card hunt if we had perhaps just one actual MLB outfielder. Cruz on a one $8M deal would likely have been worth 3 more wins by now, maybe more. Anyway, its gonna be really bad when/if they trade Shark and Hammels. I'd prefer they keep both. I don't want to see the Cubs get their ass kicked the last 3 months of the season.

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    In reply to TTP:

    It would have probably cost 10 million to get Cruz to play on a team with very little playoff chances. Although its not like they couldn't afford to bring him in along w another starter or even another bat like Mike Morse .

    Oh well, they want another high draft pick w along w players to flip at trade deadline. Although if Morse and Cruz didn't work out, they could have flipped them at the deadline.

    No need to worry much bro, they said they will spend some money this off season, so next year at this time we should be buyers.

    2015 is going to be a great year !

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Not to mention that Cruz means losing the second round pick and its associated money.

  • In reply to TTP:

    i have the patience to handle these losing seasons to get guys like Almora and K Bryant.. without those "horrendous" teams.. those two are playing in another system..

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    I don't see the link to the video of Schwarber

  • In reply to William Ray:

    I see the link, but it doesn't play no matter what/where I click. Bad link?

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Not sure. Maybe the video was removed?

    Wasn't that great a video anyway to be honest. Too far back, can't see ball.

  • Any news on Isiah Gilliam?

  • In reply to JoelH641:

    Yeah, absolutely want this kid. I said it before, if they snag Gilliam and Martarano (now in the fold), and all of the 4, 5, 6 and 11 picks, it will turn out to be a great draft. And Schwarber!

  • With Bruno`s really good year, where would you rank him in the organization. I`m starting to wonder if he could be our future second basemen.

  • or Jacob Niggemeyer, Michael Cantu. I know they are unlikely but ya never know

  • I like the Cub's front office. I don't like how long that it's taking them to field a quality major league batting order. Their tinkering with the pitching staff seems to be starting to work, though there's no true "ace". They've made some expensive mistakes. Veras, Baker, EJax. 2 of which are gone. Not my money, but mistakes none the less. We'll see in another year or 2 if their 1st year of amateur draft picks start making the big leagues & at what kind of impact. And also what they can do for the batting order to get this team competitive.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    First of all, every single FO office makes mistakes. Nobody can be perfect when it comes to drafts/Free Agents.

    But look at the 3 you point out.

    Veras was 1 year $3.5 Million. Baker was 1 year $5 Million. Hardly expensive mistakes and they were certainly worth the flyers Theo took.

    I will give you EJax as that is proving to be a bad choice, but he is certainly affordable.

    I will take 1 bad signing every 3 years, thank you very much.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Very well said, Irwin. Can't be happy with the bad ones... but the good ones far outweigh (and outnumber) the bad.

    By the way fellow commenters... be sure to read Justin Ruggiano's comments yesterday in the Chicago Tribune. They're worth keeping in mind about the progress of all of the minor league talent!!!!

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    The Tribune story with Ruggiano's comments:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-cubs-phillies-game-spt-0616-20140616,0,924185.story

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    In reply to MoneyBoy:

    First time posting, but I've been lurking for a long time and enjoyed the smart discussion on this site.

    I would go even farther than Irvin does and point out that the mistakes actually show how smart the FO is: the three mistakes cost upwards of 60 million and the return is one very inconsistent starter. That's how risky trying to improve your team through free agency is. On the other hand, the current bullpen all came through the frustratingly slow process of trading big league talent for minor league players with potential. For almost no financial cost (in MLB terms!) the FO has not only turned around one of the big weaknesses of last year's team, but they've got guys lined up in the minors waiting to be promoted. It's almost like. . . dare I say it? the Cardinals, who always have somebody waiting to take the place of whoever inevitably gets hurt, has a bad year, whatever. I hate the waiting too, but I really think it's going to happen this time.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Wow, just stating those 3 set you off? I never said any front office is perfect. You drew that conclusion on your own.

    And....You obviously missed where I said, "I like the Cub's front office" in the very 1st sentence. LMFAO!!

    But I could go on with a whole bunch of other mistakes, but like I said, "I like the Cub's front office" & didn't come on here to bash them. **rolls eyes**

  • Glad to see Tseng and Black back on the mound this week. Great news in this recap. Pugliese seems to always have good news attached when he is in here. Good day from Baez. Read elsewhere that Schwarber's SF would have been a grand slam without a 20 mph wind. Great day for the organization with the series win in Philly.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    According to the MiLB box score, there was a 5 mph cross wind, but that's usually a game time reading. By the 8th inning the wind could certainly have changed. Regardless, Schwarber's power is not in question.

    And, yes, it was very good to see Tseng, Black and Underwood back from the DL. Now let's get Soler back before July.

    This prospect watching thing is such a long term deal. So much patience is involved. Oy!

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Pierce Johnson and C.J. Edwards, too!

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Haha. Yes it is a long term deal.

    The report I read was from the announcers about an incoming storm. But nonetheless, it is as you said that his power is not in question.

    And the most important thing you mentioned, get Soler back, is what I want to see.

  • John, do you see one of the young arms in the bullpen used as a sweetener in a Hammel or Shark trade. With Parker, Viz, Rivero and Hatley in the wings, I see bullpen arms as a surplus right now. That is outside of Russell and Villenueva..

  • Could you imagine the amount of heads exploding if Schwarber would have got it through the wind?! Small sample size, but I'm excited for this kid...and the tons a quality this FO has gathered in a relatively minuscule timeframe.

    What's the projection on J-Mart? If he hits his ceiling, or close to it, who does he compare to for present/future MLBers?

  • I know it's only the second game, but I feel the Kyle Schwarber piece of the article is going to be like last year with Kris Bryant. :)

  • Tennessee has three relievers I'm really getting excited about. Cervenka, Vizcaino, and Rivero. Three more power arms I can see getting added to the mix of what we already have from AAA and up. Our bullpen might be set for years.

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    Will Schwarber be promoted to A-Ball? As an advanced college hitter, he SHOULD be doing we well in Boise, and he is so far. Clearly no jitters. Bryant was at Boise for 18 games last year, I wonder if Schwarber will be moved up at the end of June to Kane County. He should be on a fast track to open in Tennessee next year if all goes well

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I read an article a few days ago and they compared college ball to High A ball. So one would expect Schwarber to do well here.

    Bryant signed pretty late last year, I think it was the first week of July or so. With Schwarber signing so early, they may move things a bit slower to ease him in, but I am hopeful to see him in Geneva mid to late July.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Eventually yes. I think Schwarber probably goes to Kane County with a shot to start at Daytona next year.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Why wouldn't he be on the same trajectory as Bryant? Possible the cubs push him the same way the SF Giants did with Buster Posey?

  • In reply to Stomper90:

    I suppose he might not be on the same trajectory as Bryant because he is not as good a prospect as Bryant. He certainly was not ranked as highly as Bryant was when both were in college.

  • John -- As always, thank you for these great recaps. It truly keeps us in touch with the development of the system.

    I actually listened to the Boise game last night. Clifton dominated for the first two innings (struck out the side in the first, one hit and one K in the second). It seemed like he tired or pressed (see next sentence) some in the third and perhaps struggled some out of the stretch. Once he gave up a few hits, it sounded like he began to try and throw everything past people and perhaps pushed a little in the 3 run third he gave up.

    From listening to the game, I became even more excited about Clifton...his first two innings may be indicative of dominant performance to come as he matures.

    Now...on to Josh Conway tonight (perhaps piggybacked by Ryan McNeil?) and Trevor Graham tomorrow.

  • In reply to springs:

    Thanks Springs. I missed the first part of the broadcast so go I'm glad you could fill in.

    He's 19, I guess maybe he got a little excited about his early success ;)

  • If we can sign Gilliam (a big if), I look forward to Arizona Phil's recaps of an Arizona game with a 3-4-5 of J-Mart, Gilliam and Jimenez....perhaps we can develop the murderers row of Bryant-Schwarber-Baez-Soler and then have another round of sluggers right behind them!

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    What exactly are our expectations with Martarano? If he makes it to the Boise Hawks this year and does really well -- what should we expect? Will he continue on in this organization and play full seasons going forward? Sounds like he is still more committed to football.

    PS - I have no doubts that he could do very well but I wonder how far he plans on taking it or if he succeeds to a certain level, if he would abandon football.

    I found an ESPN article from April of 2012 where they ranked him higher than Clint Frazier, Dominic Smith and Cavan Biggio.

  • In reply to Chris Lattier:

    Thanks Chris for the ESPN info. I did not know Martarano was ranked higher than Clint Frazier, Dominic Smith and Cavan Biggio in 2012. Getting him now seems very fortunate.

  • In reply to Chris Lattier:

    I think his play will dictate his direction. If he starts hitting and his future looks to be in baseball, we might see a shift, For right now, it costs only money to find out. Could wind up with a big athletic power hitter.

  • Some how the Card's FO knows how to put a winner on the field every year and draft and develop well. After over 100 yrs. of losing and then give Cub Fans possibly the worst 3 years in their history is not what I would call a success.

  • In reply to GregRed:

    Theo FO team have only been here 2 and a half years. Don't try buying him with 100 years of losing. He had nothing to do with that. In the last 2.5 years he has gotten rid of a lot a big contracts to aging players in addition to acquiring a boatload of high ceiling impact prospects. The organization, top to bottom, is in substantially better position now and rising. I would call that a success.

  • In reply to GregRed:

    The Cards do that because they built a good organization over time. Everybody assumes this is magic or genius. It was patience, it was building an organization from top to bottom and built for the long term. They didn't take short cuts like fans want the Cubs to do. We are not a fan base used to seeing how to build an organization the right way, I guess.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    no.. winning and rebuilding an awful farm system happens overnight all the time.. I do it in MLB THE SHOW consistently.. Theo is over-rated.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The "Cardinal Way" has only been a recent thing. St. Louis has been notorious for getting guys off the scrap heap (Chris Carpenter and every other pitcher from 2003 on under Dave Duncan) making trades (McGwire, Edmonds, Ozzie Smith). They use all facets available to them. They use the drafts, free agents, and trades. I do remember Adam Wainright as a Brave not long ago and Matt Holiday as an MVP for the Rockies.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm a Cub fan & a Blackhawk fan. I'm on record further up in this thread as saying "I like the Cub's front office."

    But as a Blackhawk's fan I have seen "how to build an organization the right way". Different sport, but one that still has plenty of teams & also with a salary cap. So I think that's a harder sport to turn over a team & build a winner in as quickly as they did. On top of that, for them to build a championship team like that proved building just a competitor as quickly as they did, can be done. Now I don't expect a championship from the Cubs anytime soon. So not saying that's where they should be now.

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    But the Blackhawks success is due in large part to Patrick Kane (No. 1 overall pick) and Jonathan Toews (No. 3 overall pick). They had an absolutely miserable stretch to set up this run.

  • In reply to GregRed:

    I'm not sure you can blame the current Front Office for the entire 100 years of failure.

    Perhaps the last 50 year or so, but not the entire 100.

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    Is it fair to give a Jason Giambi comp to Schwarber? I'm thinking of the leg drive, the slight hitch, the small load and the quick uppercut release. He might be shorter, but I think it's a fair comp.

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    Have you been drinking this morning? Our FO has been doing an excellent job of drafting quality players and acquiring prospects and mlb ready talent from trades the past couple years. You obviously haven't paid any attention to what our FO has been up to. You just look at the record of the big league club base your opinion from there.

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    In reply to William Ray:

    I can understand the frustration of many fans. Several of us have 50 or so years on this planet left if we're lucky. Some are closer to the grave than you. :)

    There's been a pedestrian effort from C, 2B and the OF, but solid in the bullpen and most of the rotation. They're closer than the haters think, which is probably why it's so frustrating to see so many one run losses.

    I have more patience than most, but it's wearing thin. Let's see what the FO has in store this offseason as far as a big free agent splash.

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    That was meant for GregRed

  • the thoughts of signing Gilliam.. :D

  • I am hearing a lot about the 14th round pick Chesny Young.. can anyone do a mini breakdown of this guy?

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Decent article on him here: http://www.collegebaseballinsider.com/14Preseason/14ASunMercer.html

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Thanks!

  • The following article is from before the season on Gilliam. The more I think about it, I think he really wants to sign but needs top two to three round money. He will go to a Junior college if he doesn't sign. I am starting to think the Cubs will sign him.

    http://web.usabaseball.com/article.jsp?ymd=20140328&content_id=70327084&vkey=news_usab

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