Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Javy's starting to look like an MLB hitter, Russell HRs, Johnson, Clifton both sharp

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Javy's starting to look like an MLB hitter, Russell HRs, Johnson, Clifton both sharp

Things are back to normal with prospects headlining the day once again. Suddenly that Smokies rotation is coming together and sometimes Addison Russell is all the offense they need.   Meanwhile Kane County is starting to reap the benefits from a much needed booster shot of talent.  Thanks to Mauricio and Todd (@TheHistoryRat) for some of the info for this recap.

But the big story today is Javier Baez who drew 2 walks and hit 2 HRs and frankly, looked like an MLB hitter.  We can't say he will hit 2 HRs and 2 walks everyday but if he keeps the disciplined approach he did today on a consistent bases, it's going to be hard to find baseball related reasons to keep him down.

Boise had a day game and the AZL Cubs were postponed, so the recap comes early today.

Omaha 7 - Iowa 5

  • Dae-Eun Rhee got rocked today to the tune of 10 hits, including 3 HRs, and 7 runs in 5 innings.  Rhee has a solid fastball (low 90s, touches 93-94) but depends on location and changing speeds.  He left too many up in the strike zone today.
  • Arodys Vizcaino pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one as he continues to whittle down the ERA that ballooned into double digits after 3 disastrous outing in a row.  He has not given up any runs in any outing except for that 3 game stretch while at Iowa, but his ERA is at 7.62.
  • Armando Rivero went 2 innings without allowing a hit or a run, though he did walk one.  He also struck out 3 and lowered his ERA to 0.92.  There is no question Rivero is tough to hit and is going to miss a ton of bats, but he is going to have to learn to command his fastball and keep the walks down at the MLB level.
  • Matt Szczur singled twice, including a bunt single and he raised his average to .261.  I would have said Szczur had no shot at a September call, but he is hitting .351 in 20 games since the All-Star Break, though he has mostly been a singles hitter without a whole lot of walks.  On the other hand he has stolen 9 bases in 11 attempts.  In other words, he has basically been Juan Pierre with better defense.  If he can sustain his current performance over a greater sample size, there could be a role for him someday but it is likely as an extra outfielder.
  • After a 3 strikeout game, Javier Baez looked like a different hitter today.  Omaha pitchers kept trying to work him away and when they missed, he took the pitch and took walks (2 walks and nearly a 3rd on a borderline full count call) and when they got too much of the plate, Javy took them deep...twice for HRs #22 and 23.  In the past, we have broken down Baez's season into chunks to show you just how good he has been since a slow start, but his overall traditional line looks pretty good for a 2B at .260, 23 HRs, 80 RBI even with that early adjustment period included.  He has his walk rate at just a shade under 8%, which gives him a respectable .323 OBP.  The slugging percentage of .510 (ISO .250).
  • Kris Bryant went 1 for 5 with the one being a hard-hit double.  He also scored a run.
  • Jorge Soler also went 1 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI.
  • Maybe Josh Vitters feels the roster crunch coming because he is suddenly starting to hit the ball consistently.  A 3 for 4 day, including a double, has him at .308 with 3 HRs in his last 10 games.

Tennessee 4 - Pensacola 1

  • Pierce Johnson has struggled all season with his control, though he has managed to pitch around it most of the time.  Today there was no need to do that as he walked just one batter in 6 scoreless innings while striking out 6.    He allowed just 2 hits.  The walk rate is still sky high but Johnson is making some progress of late.  Since returning from his time on the DL, Johnson has walked 21 batters in 53.2 innings between Kane County and Tennessee, a rate of 3.5 per 9 IP.  It may not be pinpoint, but it is in line with what Johnson has done for most of his career.
  • LHP Andrew McKirahan pitched 2 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.65 and has walked just 3 in 17 innings at Tennessee.
  • Albert Almora did not get a hit but gone on base twice, once via HBP, and scored 2 runs.
  • Addison Russell hit his 8th HR of the year, a 2- run shot.  He also walked and scored twice.  He now has 8 HRs in 99 ABs at Tennessee and is hitting .296 overall.
  • Lars Anderson doubled and drove in 2 runs.

Kane County 9 - Quad Cities 5

  •  Daury Torrez finally got that elusive 10th victory, showing a 90-94 mph fastball and according to Mauricio used a cutter as his secondary pitch vs. RH hitters and a change against lefties.  He also  left a few fastballs up and paid for it twice, giving up 2 HRs to account for all 3 runs.    While the command may have been a bit off, the control was as good as always.  Torrez walked one batter and struck out 6.  He is now 10-4 on the year with a 2.94 ERA.  He has walked just 18 batters in 116.1 innings this year, that comes out to 1.39 per 9 innings, pitched.  Not a big strikeout guy as he lacks an effective breaking pitch, but 70 strikeouts gives a very respectable 4 to 1 K to BB ratio.
  • Newly promoted David Garner showed a good fastball, touching 95 mph and complementing it with a solid slider.  He pitched 2 innings and did not walk a batter while striking out 3 -- but he did allow a solo HR.
  • Shawon Dunston went 1 for 3 with a walk, a stolen base (17) and also made a nice diving grab in LF-CF field.  You may remember us saying defense was a concern with him but it looks like that is beginning to improve.  The downside is he got caught by the hidden ball trick,
  • As I speculated a couple of days ago, Danny Lockhart is going to swing between 2B and SS. After playing the keystone yesterday, he was at short today.  At the plate he went 3 for 4 with a double, walk and 2 runs scored.  Lockhart is hitting .276 with a .338 OBP at Kane.
  • Victor Caratini went 2 for 5 with an RBI.  He is 4 for his first 9.
  • Cael Brockmeyer was the catcher today and he went 3 for 5 with his 5th HR of the season.  He is hitting .305/.373/.471 overall.
  • Chesny Young squared up all day and went 3 for 4 with a double and 2 runs scored.  He is 12 for his first 32 (.375) with 2 doubles and a triple since his promotion.
  • Jeffrey Baez is starting to hit his stride, hitting a double and a triple, drawing a walk, scoring 2 and driving in 2.  He raised his average to .258.
  • Trey Martin went 1 for 4 and drove in 2.

Boise 3 - Vancouver 2

  • We told you there may be some ups and downs with Trevor Clifton and then after a couple of rocky starts, he was back to the dominant form we saw earlier.  Clifton allowed just one hit in 5 scoreless innings, walking 2 and striking out 6.  He picked up the win to move to 3-2 with a 3.94 ERA.  He has 42 Ks in 43.1, just under one per inning, but he has also walked 23.
  • Brad Markey got a 2 inning save, shutting down Vancouver and striking out 4 to earn his 2nd save of the year.  He lowered his ERA to 2.84.
  • Rashad Crawford has cooled off since his hot streak but did go 2 for 4 today and scored 2.  He is hitting .276/.306/.367 on the year.
  • Danny Canela went 1 for 3 and drove in a run.
  • The versatile David Bote was at 2B today and continued his strong performance at the plate for Boise.  He went 2 for 4, hit his 2nd HR and drove in 2.  Bote is hitting .328 while playing all over the field defensively.

 

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  • Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on the
    minor leagues. Who has the most chance
    of being traded this month?

  • Baez copies Russell and goes yard in the 1st inning! Boom.

  • Aliens replaced EJ with a pitcher.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    no sooner, he leaves acookie for Kemp.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Notice one thing about E jax yesterday? He was pitching out of the stretch, even without runners on. Maybe Bosio has convinced him to try something different.

  • Sorry everyone, accidentally hit the publish button. Had to unpublish and wait until the recaps were done :)

    But how about that Javy Baez. Wow. He wants to be in the bigs you can see it in his approach at the plate.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    About the only improvement I can see is a consistency in protecting the outside part of the plate with two strikes by a shortened swing (really about the only thing I think that separates him from the truly disciplined hitters at the MLB level). This approach might be enough to shave a couple of percentage points off his K rate.
    His typical swing has been transformed into something completely controlled, even in ABs where he's trying to murder the ball where he isn't falling over himself in the follow-through (as was the case just a few weeks ago--that's how sudden the change has been). There are times when I'm wondering if he's even reducing his leg kick, though that is just speculation after the fact.
    He's pretty much MLB ready, so I hope Mgmt can get him to sign a nice, big contract to cover the next 8-9 yrs and send the private jet to take him to Chicago soon.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    It'd be nice if he could pick that up but, to be honest, I think Baez following off outside pitches probably won't happen with him. But given all the other improvements I think I can live with it. I am happy he is at least making pitchers throw him strikes now and for pitchers facing Javy, that's got to be pretty uncomfortable. I am also happy he is willing to take walks in game situations and let Bryant or Soler have a shot. That is part of the maturation process too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    "He wants to be in the bigs you can see it in his approach at the plate."

    This is why I've been on board with being patient. Make these guys earn it! Don't just promote off of reputation, potential and a good month or two. The FO's philosophy is forcing guys like Baez to really refine their skills and DEVELOP! A beautiful thing and the Cubs will reap the rewards. So glad to see FO stick to their guns and do this the right way!

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    It's time to call Javy up.

    We're well past the point of tanking for draft picks -- the everyday lineup includes guys we want to be either major or minor parts of the winning team (Rizzo, Castro, Alcantara, Coghlan, Valbuena, Ruggiano) and the rotation has a legit TOR guy and an excellent #4.

    Javy has worked hard and become the player all of us wanted him to be. Time for him to show he can do it in the majors.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mike, if you are past that point then I think most of us are ready too. Given Javy's adjustment period he needs at each new level, he may not actually add any wins these last 2 months -- and it may not be a bad idea for him to get a head start. He is already close to those 500 PAs they like (434). He will get to 500 by a bit later than the middle of this month.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Hey, I was all for tanking when it meant Justin Germano and Jason Berken getting lit up like Christmas trees and Sappelt, Mather, and LaHair not hitting. When it means consistently bad performances from people we actually need to do well if this thing is going to work, I'd just as soon they play well and win "meaningless" games.

    For me, the big difference is the outstanding (and partially unexpected) play of Valbuena, Coghlan, and Ruggiano combined with the decision to keep Alcantara on the team. It's no longer Castro, Rizzo and a bunch of "who cares."

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It is a different situation. They have guys they are planning on for 2015 playing right now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Absolutly Mike.

    Unike last years season end roster - I think there are a large number of pieces of this season's end of year roster that we want to see going forward as pieces of next year's team.

    If next year's roster is going to be built around Rizzo, Castro, Alcantara, Ruggiano, Coghlin, Castillo, Valbuena (as a UT rather than a starter), with Hendricks and Arrieta as pieces of the rotation and the young guys in the bullpen,...... I want these guys to know how to win as a team. Add in over the course of 2015 Olt (hopefully with his swing fixed), Baez, Bryant and Soler - and let this team start rolling foward.

    I would rather see the current roster move toward success than I would see a couple slots higher on draft day.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mike - I agree completely. Coghlan, Valbuena, Ruggiano - at the very least they are solid back-up, and good replacements if someone gets hurt. The team as constructed now actually does a good job of working the count, making pitchers work. I was all for tanking as well, but I think there is value in truly trying to win over the next two months. And as long as they finish in the bottom nine (which seems likely if not assured), then I hope they go for it. I hope we see Baez in the next couple of weeks!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think there's still a lot of things going on behind the scenes that we aren't privy to. One of the obvious is deciding who to protect on the 40 man roster. Adding Javier, takes a spot from one of those they might want to protect. The question is, can they deal one or two of them w/o protecting them.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed. I think that is almost always the case.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Disagree, but I could see them doing it.

    If you look at his #s broken out by month, he's had a great July and has started August well, but that's only about a month or so of truly great performance. Even if that leaked back into June a bit (overall #s for June solid, but unspectacular), you're still looking at about a month and a half of promotion-worthy performance, after having pretty poor performance early on.

    Keep him at 2B, if he's still racking in September, call him up as part of the September call ups.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    He's been hitting well for longer than that. Since mid-May, covering 312 PAs, he has hit .306/.359/.614 with 20 HRs, a 7.7% walk rate, and a 27% K rate. That's a pretty large sample of good play. Alcantara got called up after 366 PAs. He's getting close.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    All depends on how you want to look at it, I guess. Looking at it that way will let his July/August prop up a bit of his May/June.

    His June was solid, but not spectacular, considering he's in a hitter's league. .816 OPS, 29% K rate, 9% walk rate.

    May he was at .738 OPS, 34% K rate, 6.7% BB rate. Ugly, but I can't find a way to split out the 2nd half of May (what site do you use to find that info?).

    I think reasonable minds can disagree in terms of Baez's call up time. For me, I'd rather err on the side of caution in terms of his call up.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Darn aliens got Mike too!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Not sure I agree...Javy had a great game, but did come off a 3K game the night before.

    Personally I like Baez, Bryant and Soler getting comfortable playing together and working on a playoff stretch run at Iowa. The combination of (1) Baez having improved over the last few months, meaning working with Manny for further time could be good, (2) the playoff drive experience, (3) Baez, Bryant and Soler getting comfortable playing together and (4) the 40 man roster situation makes me much less comfortable in bringing Baez to the majors now to play for a last place team. Unlike Alcantara, who performed all season at AAA, Baez is still putting it together and I still think 2015 is the right time for him.

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    In reply to springs:

    For me it's all the more impressive that came after the 3 strikeout game. He's shown increasing maturity for quite a while. Then he has a bad game and immediately bounces back.

    Speaking of that bad game, I only saw the first AB, but that actually looked like improving patience. He took the first 3 pitches and went down 1-2. Then he swung on the 2 strike pitch and missed it.

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    I thought Addison Russell was supposed to be a guy with limited power but other tools.......is he going to be a power hitter too?

    Seriously, I am typically a pessimist on prospects, but hard not to get excited about our elite guys....they are all destroying their leagues, at early ages too

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Oh no. He was always thought to be a guy who would have 20-25 HR power. Explosive hands and he is a big kid, that number could be conservative. Only question with him is if he outgrows SS.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Russell also reminds me of a young Hanley Ramirez. Another names that pops up is Robin Yount. He just strikes me in a similair vein.

  • Thanks Javy... the wife & I drive 2.5 hours to see the I-Cubs yesterday and he Ks 3 times. He must have become tired of fishing after breaking balls off the plate and decided to swing at strikes today. OPSing .833 after the horrendous start he had this year is some kind of accomplishment and he has definitely improved his defense this year. Although Baez might be ready it will be interesting to see if he has his cup of Joe this year. My impression is that the Cubs will wait until next May for him, Bryant, and Rivero, with Soler possibly being called up in September.

    And BTW, it looks increasingly likely that Baez ends up at 2nd base and Bryant sticks at third. From what I saw yesterday, the work KB has put in on his defense is already paying dividends and Javy looked smooth at 2nd.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    And that is one reason why we cant say for certain he is ready. He has to do what he did today on a more consistent basis.

  • I also saw Cael Brockmeyer just destroy his bat today. It was better than a Big Z over the knee. He broke it on a liner and he was so pissed, he just shredded it in his hands - didn't need the knee. His next at bat....was a home run.

    But Chesny Young, he is the real deal. The kid just oozes baseball in his pores. Made a couple nice plays in the field, too.

    Torrez did not have his best stuff after the 3rd inning. He went from throwing 92-93 down to 86-88. They had a little conference, but he only topped at 90 a little later. Luckily, his slider was working.

  • In reply to historyrat:

    Cael is a big, big man. I really liked Young after watching one AB. One look at that approach and that swing and I knew he could hit.

  • In reply to historyrat:

    This is Torrez' first year in full season ball. He may be tiring a bit. But until he starts walking too many hitters or giving up too many runs, they'll probably keep running him out there.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    He did have some stamina issues last year. He is actually much stronger this year but I think he still has room to mature physically.

  • The thing that I keep thinking about tonight is that Javy is just 21 years old. The Cubs are going to have 3 top 5 prospects in baseball at the end of the season, and I wouldn't be surprised if Soler made some top 10 lists. Has a team ever had 4 top 10 prospects?

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    I think they over-reacted to Almora's early season struggles... I'd expect him near the top 25 as well.

    IDK if anyone has ever had that many top prospects. I think KC had 3 top 10 recently, but none of them were top 5.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    It is hard for me to understand Soler not being in the top 20 (at least) if he keeps performing. He shows as much potential as any hitter while also showing MLB ready batting eye and maturity.

    If he didn't get hurt this year, I think he would be rated in the top 10 for sure.

  • In reply to springs:

    From what Ive seen of him, I beleive he has the highest ceiling of any of our prospects. Cespedes and Puig are fine big leaguer players already, and I wouldnt be surprised if Soler exceeds both of them.

  • Long time reader first time commentator. Let me start off by saying I love the site and what you guys do with it.

    Baez had an incredible game. Soler and Bryant are hulks of men. The future could not be brighter. Get your sunglasses!

    The reason I decided to comment today was because of what I saw pregame. Out here in Nebraska you have a lot more Cubs fans than most of you realize. The Cubs brand goes deep in the roots due to no professional sports teams and the WGN upbringing.

    A group of like 10 kids from a birthday party gathered around and players were signing autographs. Baez couldn't have been more than 10 feet in from of them with his side to them talking to Manny. He brushed the fans off as they were screaming his name. He turned to look out of the side of his eye a couple of times but he wasn't having any of the calls for him. Bryant, who was signing autographs had a look on his face of embarrassment for his teammate. Bryant couldn't have been any nicer, posing for pictures and everything.

    Now I know that they could have been working on something and who wants to be bothered at work? But it was a lot of laughing and joking and horseplay during their conversation. I will admit I didn't hear what they said but it didn't look like serious conversation that couldn't be interrupted. It was about 10 kids, it wouldn't have taken more than 3 minutes to sign all of the autographs.

    I'm from the old school I loved Charles Barkley, athletes aren't obligated to be heroes and role models, I get it. They get bombarded with requests all the time and you can't say yes to everyone. Today did leave a real sour taste in my mouth. He played a great game but lost a fan today.

  • In reply to Midwest Cubbie:

    Midwest....I've commented on this before, and it really bothers me. He hasn't done a thing yet. I'm expecting he will, and he knows it. And if he's this "fan unfriendly" now, it's gonna get really bad when he starts succeeding at the MLB level. It would've taken him 10 min to satisfy those kids in that party, and he'd have 100 lifelong fans because of it.

  • Looking forward to taking my boys to see Kane County in Peoria on Monday and Wednesday, weather permitting!

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    Interestingly after the game Castro says he thinks Javy should come up. He said the partial season he had in 2010 really helped his development and Javy could benefit too. It was interesting to hear, he also talked of his fear of being sent back down the first 3 years of his career.

  • I noticed Olt has an eight game hitting streak going and is hitting .327 looks like he is saying he wants to come back up. Eventually I think he makes it in the majors.

  • In reply to John57:

    If Olt can fix that gaping hole in his swing,....he's going to have a ML career somewhere - if not with the Cubs.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Yeah, but would it be great if he put pressure on the FO to make room for him? We Cubs fans aren't used to having too much talent for one team!

  • Baez will grow as a hitter because that is HIS prerogative. I do not doubt that he will reach his ceiling which is scary.

  • In reply to Chupacabra:

    His ceiling is probably Gary Sheffield production from middle infield. That is scary.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The thing that worries me the most with Baez, is if Cubs Fans will be patient enough with him. Look at the way they've treated Castro...

    People forget that Sheffield made his MLB debut at age 19, had 500 MLB AB's by his 21st B-day. But still didn't OPS over .800 until his age 23 season. His 4th in the MLB. He then proceeded to rattle off 16 consecutive seasons of an OPS over .800 with several above 1.0.

    Javier will always have a lot of swing and miss to his game. But he will also always have a lot Shock & Awe too. He will put up hat trick 3k kinda days and also multi HR days. It's just part of his game. We take the good and the bad. He wont be a finished product for a few more years...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yes, I can see him performing like Castro from last year or Lake (at first) or Soriano during one of his horrible slumps. Fans haven't treated any of those players well when they haven't performed,

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    I think also that one of the things that might just help Baez is if the lineup is like we think it will be, or even close, he will not have the pressure to have to carry the team. Plenty of big boppers to share the load, and they can lean on each other.

  • I've got three things that I'm gonna rattle off.

    1. I really enjoy the reporting on this blog. You guys do a great job and show how much you truly love the Cubs. That's awesome!

    2. I think sometime, I know I'm definitely guilty of this is, we tend to over analyze intangible things. I digress, we are often concerned with ceilings, floors, player comps, OBP, WAR, etc. and forget to see the big picture. Statistics and numbers tell a story. The story they tell us is how players contribute relative to other players. Statistics measure that really well, but they don't tell the whole story. Rather, they are just a small part in the bigger picture of a player. This brings me to my point, Javy Baez is something special. He is going to do things for the Cubs that we have never seen before. He's done that his whole minor league career. Remember when Javy hit 4 homeruns in Daytona and hit moonshots into the night in Peoria? Javy is special, he will make us think to ourselves,"How the hell did he do that?" He will hit homers that people will drop there jaw and get out of there seat. I don't know about you guys but I have a GUT feeling that Javy is special. Not only do we have Javy but we have four other players in their own right that are like this. When has Cubdom had one player like this? We have potential four to five.

    3. Let's see the big picture and not so pessimistic (Cubs fans, let's be and remained eternal optimists). I am a big believer in the power of positive thought. Collectively if Cubs fans think something is going to go wrong, it does. Let's start believing in the impossible. Instead of the anxiety and despair. This is a special time to be a Cubs fan. Other people can not really recognize what the next 1-2 years means to the club. The club is losing, oh well. Let's recognize that these kids our are own. This is the adolescent years of a new club. Sure it's a little tough, but the team is growing and blossoming in front of our eyes. Soon we get these kids go off into Major League baseball. We get to see them come together as a team and watch these incredible group of ball players grow in front of our eyes. Then we will get to see them win and discover themselves as a unit. Growing and maturing in front of our eyes. I believe that at its core, baseball is supposed to be intimate and personal. Your supposed to cry when they break your heart and cry when they win. Cheer the good times and loose sleep over the bad ones. Baseball at is core is about people. It connects and transcends people, ethnic groups, and generations. It's the memory you have, (kid in 2003) of playing outside with your friends on the block and hitting the game winning homerun to win the world series to playing catch with your dad out in the backyard. Whether it was your first game at Wrigley Field or driving home and listening to Pat and Ron Show glisten your ears as the day is slowing overtaking the night. Remember that night or day when the Cubs came back and for 20 seconds you thought nothing could make you happier. We all share these collective bonds and memories. The Cubs can transcend time and when they win we will lose a little of that. Remember this special time in Cubs history because the Cubs are changing. Change, while different and new, is exciting and positive. I guess what I am saying is enjoy the journey Cubs fans because it is going to be one hell of a ride!

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    In reply to sdwyer11:

    I also believe in the power of positive thinking, that we can create situations that make radical changes in our lives.
    Glad I'm not the only one! Go Cubs!

  • In reply to sdwyer11:

    Great thoughts there. Isn't it amazing how many fond memories we Cubs fans possess in spite of the losing? I go clear back to Jack Brickhouse, Vince Lloyd, Jack Quinlan, and Lou Boudreau and they always had me anticipating great things. This is like never giving up digging for that mother lode of gold, determined to find it, and anticipating the "great reward".

  • In reply to sdwyer11:

    This is a great comment! I think of my 2 year old son who already gets excited for Cubs games (his first 2 word phrase that he spoke was "Go Cubs"). I anxiously await sharing Cubs games and memories with him.

    As we watched the game yesterday, I realized that my son might grow up with a totally different Cubs than all of us. Assuming he starts to fully get the game in 2016 or so (at age 4), he might be watching the beginning of Baez-Bryant-Soler-Alcantara-Rizzo-Castro-Russell (and maybe Schwarber and Almora) dominant lineup and the beginning of an Atlanta Braves-like turn around in the early 90s. In other words, he might grow up not knowing the Cubs as a losing team but rather a perennial contender.

    I must admit, it was a wonderful thought....

  • In reply to springs:

    The Cubs will be a perennial contender. Just ask sdwyer11. :)

  • In reply to sdwyer11:

    Great thoughts & believing in the FO process as we watch these kids become something special for all of Cubs Nation to see.
    I, like Cubs69; grew up (literally) at Wrigley Field in the late 60's & 70's, because my grandfather was a Andy Frain there. So I was able to see those great teams & broadcasters of that era, but I too think this group of players are going to be awesome for us to enjoy!!!

  • I love the idea of Baez getting to the bigs THIS year! The FO has to find a way to make that happen. These guys are battling! Taking 3 of 4 from the Rockies is one thing, but taking 2 of 3 from the Dodgers really says something about this current roster -- even in that loss they took LA to the 12th.

    Loved that Castro pinch-hit and Coghlan is making a real statement. I'm thinking Coghlan will be hitting over .300 soon. I want more of Coghlan, Lake and Ruge in the OF.

    Guys, something is happening here. Now. The market says so: My previously worthless-couldn't-give-em-away tix are selling on Stub Hub even if slightly under face value. One downer note: Nate Schierholtz is worthless. What the heck happened to that guy?

  • I miss all the posts with the projected 2016 lineup that had Schwarber in it. Looking forward to his next week-long hot streak so I can see those again...

  • Anyone have an explanation of what's holding Vizcaino back? He was nearly ready to join the Braves when he had surgery, and appears to be back to good health. What's he working on?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Considering he hasn't really pitched in a couple of years, he definitely needed more than a couple of months to get back into the swing of things and shake the rust off. Also this way they can better control his innings and workload in the minors. He has to be able to hold up with the stamina and everything. He will probably get a call up come September when roster expands and will be given a good opportunity to make the team out of spring training.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    They are trying to control his innings after 2 years of inactivity and that is best accomplished in the minors. Also, there really isn't any room in the Chicago bullpen right now. With the veterans Villanueva, Strop and Schlitter all pitching effectively and Parker keeping Ramirez's seat warm, not to mention Fujikawa on the verge of returning, there will probably not be any room for Vizcaino or Rosscup until rosters expand or a couple of the vets are moved in August deals.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Rivero will likley be up in September also. And he has maintained his swing and miss stuff all year.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Rivero is not on the 40 man. With the number of reliever options we currently have, they may not have room to add him until next season.

    I'm not a person that freaks out about the 40 man and Rule 5 draft this offseason as much as some do. There is still so much filler on the roster that I do not have any worry that they will be able to protect who they need to. But adding a reliever to get him 5-10 innings in September when he does not need to be protected is a total waste of space. Rivero should wait until next season to get his chance.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Pitching in cold weather. Hasnt pitched in 2 years. Converting to a likely career as a major leaguer reliever.

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    Its pretty impressive that after an awful start, Baez is 2nd in triple-A in HRs and RBIs.

    Especially considering the only guys ahead of him are 26y/o non-prospects.

  • I'm curious to see what the FO does with Manny after this season. Not only has Baez benefitted from him being there, but Bryant has also sung praises about what he provides. John, do you see him filling any sort of coaching job to help the big three continue to develop in the show next year?

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