Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Alzolay exits with arm injury before Iowa stages dramatic comeback; Patterson extends scoreless streak to 24.2 innings

Adbert Alzolay

Adbert Alzolay

AAA

Iowa 7, Oklahoma City 5

Game Recap

Down 5-1 in the bottom of the 8th, the I-Cubs staged a dramatic six-run rally. Dixon Machado opened the inning with a walk then moved to third on a double by Jim Adduci. Both would score on a single by Mark Zagunis. Ian Happ doubled to put two runners in scoring position. One out later, Taylor Davis drove them both home on a single to center. Then the fun began:



Top Performers

  • Jim Adduci: 2-4, 2B, R (.312)
  • P.J. Higgins: 2-4, 2B, R (.263)
  • Dixon Machado: 1-3, R, RBI, BB (.257)
  • Ian Happ: 1-3, 2B, R, BB (.238)
  • Taylor Davis: 1-4, R, 2 RBI (.280)
  • James Norwood: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (4.31)
  • Danny Hultzen: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (0.00)
  • Tim Collins: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (3.81)
  • Dillon Maples: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 1-4, 5.32)
  • Rowan Wick: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 6, 1.85)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The reason for the Cubs early hole was another poor performance by Adbert Alzolay. And now we have a reason for the recent poor performance by Adbert Alzolay. He left in the 4th inning with an arm injury. It is too early to know the full extent, but the warning signs are troubling. His control had become erratic over his past few outings, and then his velocity began dropping in this game. First, to the low-90s, before finally bottoming out in the mid-80s on the pitch that led to his exit. This is a familiar pattern and it is difficult to not jump to the familiar next step. I've been mentally preparing myself for this outcome as I watched Alzolay not look like himself of late.

The Iowa bullpen was at its best last night. Five relievers combined to punch out 9 batters in 5.1 shutout innings without walking anyone as they kept the Cubs in the game after Alzolay's troubles. Danny Hultzen struck out two, featuring a fastball up to 94 and a good slider in his first game back off the IL after a minor groin injury. James Norwood has been hitting upper-90s and looking dominant of late, and Rowan Wick and Dillon Maples were at their best as well. Wick earned the save by pumping in mid-to-upper-90s fastballs and his hard curve.

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach 5, Carolina 2

Game Recap

Another terrific performance by Jack Patterson led the Pelicans to victory as he fired 5.1 innings of shutout ball to extend his scoreless streak to 24.2 innings. The lefty has become a breakout pitching prospect in the system in a meteoric rise since opening the year in EXST, then getting a shot in the South Bend bullpen, prior to getting a chance to stretch out as a starter and earning a promotion to Myrtle Beach.

Top Performers

  • Jack Patterson: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K (W, 2-0, 0.00)
  • Enrique De Los Rios: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (2.63)
  • Ethan Roberts: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (S, 1, 7.11)
  • Tyler Payne: 1-3, 3B, R, RBI, HBP (.257)
  • Tyler Durna: 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB (.256)
  • Grant Fennell: 2-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB (.222)
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 1-2, RBI, BB, SF (.199)
  • Carlos Sepulveda: 1-4, R, RBI, SF, SB (10) (.245)
  • Delvin Zinn: 1-4, HBP, SB (3), CS (2) (.255)
  • Jimmy Herron: 1-3, BB (.232)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Injuries have been frequent this season, and the few breakouts we've seen throughout the system have mostly been by high profile prospects such as Brennen Davis and Kohl Franklin, which shouldn't be classified as unexpected breakthroughs. Jack Patterson (7-1, 1.75 ERA, 56.2 IP, 33 H, 11 ER, 23 BB, 58 K) on the other hand, would certainly fit the description. He wasn't a high draft pick or given a high bonus after being taken in the 32nd round out of Bryant University last year.

Patterson features a fastball that sits in the low-90s and can touch 93-94 with good downward plane and sink. It also appears to have some cutting action. He pairs it with a good slider, and a 12-to-6 curve that impresses me with its exit from his hand on the same plane as his fastball. It looks like a tough pitch for hitters to pick up, and they often chase it as it dives below the zone. He also throws a changeup to give him a 4-pitch mix that he is now getting to feature as the Cubs stretch him out as a starter.

He's generating ground balls at an incredible 61% rate while also striking out more than a batter per inning. The control wavers at times, but he also has a repeatable delivery and for the most part his control and command get locked in. His stamina is an open question, but he has size and looks to be a solid athlete, so there is hope in that regard.

A

Wisconsin 6, South Bend 1

Top Performers

  • Clayton Daniel: 0-1, 3 BB (.237)
  • Rafael Narea: 1-3, 2B (.163)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Brennen Davis has gone on the IL after taking  pitch off his finger while attempting to bunt the other day.

A-

Eugene 5, Hillsboro 2

Game Recap

A 7th inning bases loaded triple by Edmond Americaan turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 advantage.

Top Performers

  • Edmond Americaan: 2-3, 3B, 3 RBI (.255)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 2-4, 2B, R (.500)
  • Jonathan Soto: 1-2, R, BB (.215)
  • Jacob Olson: 1-3, R (.290)
  • Eduarniel Nunez: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, K (5.31)
  • Bryan King: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (4.50)
  • John Pomeroy: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (S, 1, 7.88)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Nelson Maldonado (.500/.531/.679) maintained his .500 batting average and extended his 7-game hitting streak since joining Eugene.

AZL

GiantsO 8, Cubs1 5

Top Performers

  • Pedro Martinez: 3-4, RBI (.353)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, 2B, RBI, CS (1) (.359)
  • Carlos Pacheco: 2-4, 2B, 2 R (.270)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 2-4, R, RBI (.326)
  • Johnny Field: 0-2, R, RBI, BB, CS (4) (.222)
  • Luis Rodriguez: 5 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K (3.70)

Mariners 6, Cubs2 5

Top Performers

  • Alexander Guerra: 2-3, R, RBI, 2 BB (.293)
  • Bryce Windham: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI (.333)
  • Widimer Joaquin: 2-4, R, SB (1) (.225)
  • D.J. Artis: 1-4, R, BB (.231)

DSL

Cubs1 2, Rays2 1

Brewers 3, Cubs2 0

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Hate to see that for A. A. This kind of reminds me of a super prospect named Lance Dickson. Outstanding LH'ed pitcher who made it to AAA but injuries never allowed him to advance. Hope this doesn't happen to Adbert.

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    Once again the best minor league analysis, and thanks for the write up on Patterson!

    Is there enough time for the Cubs to evaluate Hultzen before the trade deadline? IIRC, he will have no options if added to 40-man, so seems like it's pretty tight. But he might be better than anyone we acquire except maybe Smith

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Hultzen is definitely in the plans, but he can't be plan A imo. I doubt the Cubs end up with Smith, so that leaves the Cubs picking through the next tier of guys. They all come with risk. One guy that intrigues me is Jake Diekman. He has control issues, but his mid-90s fastball and hard slider are effective. He strikes out about 13 per 9 innings. His ERA is a bit high due to some bad games, and the Royals miscasting him as an 8th inning guy.

    I think he would make an excellent compliment to Kyle Ryan. Ryan would be the deceptive, groundball specialist and Diekman the power, bat-missing specialist. Maddon could play the matchups and the situation with each. Diekman is a rental and his contract (2.75M w/ 500K buyout of ~5.5M 2020 option) fits the Cubs budget. Cubs could then bring up Hultzen in September and make a decision as to which of the three make postseason roster down the stretch.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Thanks. I've been slow getting around to Patterson this season. A 32nd round pick, who spent first 3rd of the season as a reliever, wasn't high on my priority list. I'd catch glimpses, and while he did impress me, I just never got around to doing an in-depth until recently. Bryan over at BN did a good writeup on Patterson after his previous start with Myrtle Beach that you should check out (https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/07/11/meet-cubs-breakout-southpaw-prospect-jack-patterson/).

    I've been meaning to capture some video and do a Twitter prospect thread on him, so hopefully I'll have that ready soon, and will embed the video in an upcoming recap. Maybe to go along with his next start.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Looking forward to your write up on Patterson. He sounds like a true prospect that we drafted in the 32nd round last year. A pleasant surprise.

  • Can't help but feel bad for Alzolay, almost on the cusp of a MLB career. I was optimistic he'd make the Cubs starting rotation next spring. Nice comeback from Iowa. Smokies are in town for the next few games, I gotta see Nico and a few others.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yeah, its a tough break, and I hope it isn't as serious as I suspect. This is one time I will be gleeful to be wrong.

    You'll get to see Lange and Hatch on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    This is exactly why there are some of the opinion to let other develop the pitchers and then you go acquire them through trades and FA. Young guys are very unpredictable. Hopefully he shut it down before any serious damage.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Always been my philosophy.
    Develop bats. Trade for pitching when you need it.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    It's such a tough question, but I largely agree. Unless you can build an unusually large cache of young pitching to be able to absorb these injuries bats are the way to go. Unfortunately teams have started hoarding young pitching instead of trading it. Who would have thought after two years of contention that Atlanta would not have traded a single arm? Pitching is the most important aspect of the game yet is the most expensive and toughest to develop.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I'm not sure of that philosophy, as my eyes see it we have developed one sure bat since Theo took over our draft,I'm not counting Baez and Contrares as Theo's. We have a couple of under performers in Happ and Schwarber and nothing else in the system so far. We have spent $50M on pitching(Lester,Hamels,Quintana) not counting $51M(Darvish,Kimbrel,Chatwood) ,and to boot Chapman cost us Torres and Quintana cost us Jimenez and Cease.
    We are going to have to pay Bryant,Rizzo,Baez,Contrares, at least$125-150M to keep them, all without developing our own pitchers.

  • In reply to tater:

    I agree...there is always luck involved, but the best teams are able to actually develop both hitting and pitching. Drafting Almora over Giolito (despite his injury) or Max Fried was a huge loss. Imagine if we had Giolito in rotation and didn't trade for Quintana, so had Cease and Eloy ready. Just one different move.

    Like all hard and fast rules, the draft hitting/trade for pitching one is massively overstated. It makes more sense for the Cubs because of our incredible ineptitude at actually developing any MLB pitching. But that should be a reason to improve your drafting and player development, not stop drafting high end pitching.

  • In reply to tater:

    Agreed. And they were lucky Bryant was available with the 2nd pick. Houston opted for Appel instead. What if that hadn't panned out?

    After 7 drafts and international signings Bryant, Bote, Almora and Schwarber are the only ones on the 25 man. To date one legitimate everyday starter.

    And as they've stated they wouldn't have taken Baez in '11. Fact is once the shackles were taken off Hendry had a nice draft in '11.

    I'm not intending to bash the current FO as they did construct a WS winner. But the draft and develop myth is exactly that. A myth.

    That said the Ricketts family has rebuilt the organization and the ballpark bringing both into 21st Century. They should be a contender for years to come. It's a run none of us have seen. Year 5 and counting of actually being the hunt.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Can't have it both ways because then the Cubs would have drafted Appel which is what the "draft pitching" guys want and where would that have gone?

    I think it is a poor take to bang on Theo for the direction he went WHEN it has been the most successful team the last 5 years. The results are outstanding.

    The Cubs are the only quality team in baseball that can trot out 7 of 8 guys who came through their minor league system in any 1 game. NO ONE ELSE CAN DO THAT. And there is not 1 team who can claim they developed their OWN pitching. Every team has FA and trades in their pitching staffs. So, what is the arguing about? I really don't understand. The Cubs won a world series. Have the most wins in baseball over the last 5 years. Have been in the playoffs 4 straight years and are very likely to return this year. So the angst is because they have not developed 1 starting pitcher? Really?

    Theo should be judged by his body of work. And the body of work is the best the Cubs have ever seen and the best in baseball. His trades have been legit and had a couple great FA signings too -- Arrieta, Hendricks, and Quintana are all legit MLB now MOR or above rotation guys. Lester was a GREAT acquisition. Chapman was a GREAT trade. Zobrist was a very good FA signing. Heyward has paid some dividends and appears to be rounding into good form when really needed. Monty was a great trade. Soler for Davis was a really good trade.

    You cannot win them all, but the end result is the Cubs are locked into the best window in the history of their franchise. And Theo's vision and leadership got them here. People want to complain about payroll -- who cares? Let's win now. We can deal with 2022 and 2023 when we get there. Theo has staggered a lot of the contracts so they come off the books at the right time. The Cubs are in good position and we should be enjoying it instead of griping that we have not drafted and developed a starting pitcher. That is almost an insignificant piece to this puzzle Theo has constructed. And, BTW, should not have caught anyone off guard. He stated he was going to do just that.

    Now if you want to talk about McLeod and some of his draft decisions -- I am fair game as I believe some lower ceiling or thought to be "safer" guys were chosen which I disagree with. But that is staying true to whatever philosophy they had. If it completely fails I think it is fair game to criticize that piece. But to gripe over the results of the MLB team is silly, IMO.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I thought I was pretty clear as far as the results go. 5 years and counting of contending. A critique isn't bashing.

    I commented on the fact that the draft and develop aspect has been far more myth than reality. That really can't be disputed to date. They had high picks for 3 years and really only hit once to date. Granted the jury is still out on Almora and Schwarber. Either or both could take a big step forward before they're 30. A lot of guys are quite candid when saying they didn't really learn how to hit until they were 28 or so.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    My first sentence was to you regarding Bryant. The rest was a general post to those who have continually beat the drum as to the state of our minor league pitching.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Good points one thing I’ll say on this topic is #1 most draft analysts not cubs den but most wanted the cubs to draft jon gray because they said we supposedly had too many positional player prospects. #2 Jim hendry took toolsy high upside prospects for years. They never panned out because of a flawed and outdated development coaching staff and process that they had in place. The cubs main issue with hendry was minor league development, so let’s not jump and give him 100% of credit for guys that he had almost zero hand in developing.

    Willson and javy were really raw at the time theo inherited them, and IMO deserves a ton of credit for their overall development as they were not even in A ball. Contreras was a mess at the plate until they got him to buy into a patient all fields approach. He was also a launch angle success story. They were creative and brought in manny Ramirez to work with javy for half a year knowing manny was javys childhood idol, and that their message would resonate differently through him. Javy as good as he is I’ve heard hasn’t always been an easy student, and they’ve had to be creative in getting through to him on breaking some of his bad habits such as his overswinging. Hendry may have picked them up but I think giving theo no credit on them is nonsense and misinformed. Wish they took giolito over almora, but that game is easy to play on a lot of executives when we review a draft 7 years later. To me theo did an outstanding job on this rebuild where he’s gotten hurt is his free agent signings at times, in addition to the Q trade. He’s made some mistakes but like you said the good fat outweighs the bad

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    "Javy... hasn't always been an easy student."

    I concur. There's aspects of him that I think are very uncoachable, and it's a big part as to why he hasn't developed into the monster hitter he truly can be. Hence why he was brought up in 2014 just so he could fail, because obviously the verbal message was not getting through. The thing is, even though he's made adjustments and become a much better offensive player in the last couple years, he's refused to change his overall process, which will still always lead to the high K's/unproductive outs, and lost opportunities. But I'm done thinking about the negative sides of Javy. People just don't like that. Maybe I should pick on KB like everybody else...

    One other point about Hendry's era, is that the money spent on drafting was not even there for him to take the absolute best prospects who required higher bonuses. In that 2011 draft, Ricketts instructed him to spend all the money they could to get the best picks available at their picks in that draft, and at least that produced Baez and Vogelbach (who was turned into Montgomery - the Cubs World Series game 7 saves leader). In another twist though, I gotta wonder a little bit, what if we took George Springer instead of Javy....

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    I agree draft/sign develop is really tough. I give the front office credit for trying to draft, and develop a different type of pitching prospect when they first came here. It didn't work. The Cubs seem to be picking a different kind of arm, and even picking more high school player, they signed four high school pitchers, and two high school bats this year. That said, I wish the Cubs picked more college bats in the first three rounds, and play hardball with well below slot bonuses.

  • In reply to tater:

    In my eyes Theo has developed Baez, Contreras and Rizzo. They were not drafted/signed by Theo for the Cubs but they certainly developed them.

  • In reply to John57:

    I would add Hendricks and Arrieta too on your list.

  • In reply to John57:

    I would not say Theo developed Rizzo in the Cubs system. He only played 70 games in AAA for the Cubs. But, I do agree with Baez and Contreras.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You forget Rizzo’s failures and having to go back to AAA and refine and retool his approach for MLB success. Theo and staff absolutely had a hand in Rizzo’s development.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The guy I'll never forget is Dunston. Prior to being sent back down for more time in the oven I've never seen a guy that looked more over matched. It was utterly painful to watch.

    Then he became a professional hitter for a lot of years. Granted injuries did him in but he a long career.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I was taking it as being developed in the Cubs minor league system.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Theo and team drafted Rizzo in the 6th round of 2007. It was just for a different team.
    Don't forget, one of the first moves with the Cubs that Theo/Hoyer made was trading Andrew Cashner for Rizzo. And fans howled about losing Cashner who, ironically, was maybe the last great homegrown pitching hope.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    If you are talking about being under Theo regardless of what team then yes I agree.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yep. even after they make the majors, there's still risk. Just ask the Mets... I'm just disappointed for the kid to be this close and get shut down.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Prior and Wood at the top of the rotation. What could have been. Tribune was being bombarded with guys applying for the managers job. Much like the second half '15 Mets it looked so promising. Of course the '85 Cubs looked special until the entire rotation went down one by one too.

    Then poof.

  • Jim Adduci would have so much more value on the big league club than Descalso right now. I'd be surprised if the cubs didn't add a bat by the deadline but if they don't, I hope that's the change made.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I'm like 95% sure they will add a bat of some kind at the deadline. If that doesn't push Descalso off the roster at that point, then he would be the guy to go when Zobrist returns.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    If Garcia keeps lighting up the scoreboard it's going to be tough to send him back down. As I understand it they're working him out at 3B and LF now. Granted he K's more than you'd like but.....It's a big but. The young man make a lot of hard contact.

    I could see Descalso being DFA'd when Willson returns. That said are you of the opinion Maldonado will be moved again prior to the deadline? Or do they head into August with 3 catchers?

    Roster is tight. Could they be planning on a Sept return for Zobrist then sort it out?

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Pretty sure the 3 catchers are here to stay unless an unexpected roster crunch occurs. Beyond DFA of Descalso, any of Russell, Garcia, Bote, Almora, Caratini could get sent to Iowa for a short period to alleviate a roster crunch for a few weeks in August.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    I really see Garcia as a throw-in at the deadline. I might be mis-calling it, but I think the league will adjust and he won't be able to keep up his current production - plus he strikes out too much. On a non-contending team, he can work on all of that without impacting a playoff scenario.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I'm not sure why you'd let him go though. He has 3 options left and that swing isn't a joke. I don't see him keeping this up long term in MLB in 2019 but I wouldn't give him away in a deal. I get that the 40% K rate isn't pretty but it was 34% in the minors if he could get that down to say 28% he'd be a more than viable MLB player going forward.

  • In reply to TC154:

    He must be a viable MLB player now if Maddon is trying to get him reps playing 3B and LF. I am sure he needs some coaching up because he spent time on the Italian baseball team and he'll get that here. I am sure the coaches on the Cubs are a tad better than they have in Italy for baseball. I'm sure their soccer coaches are better though.

  • In reply to John57:

    Well to be realistic we don't anything about him yet, the league hasn't caught up with him and he hasn't had to adjust. That's always when you know about a guy. Like you say though the Cubs have seen enough to be impressed. My point was I'm not sure why they'd make him available in a deal, especially just as a "throw in". Even if the league does catch up and he can't quite adjust this year there is enough there going forward that you certainly wouldn't give him away.

  • In reply to John57:

    At this point I think Maddon / Theo are considering all options. What's on the trade market isn't cheap and I'm sure the FO wants to keep impact to the farm system at a minimum.

  • In reply to TC154:

    "Throw in" was probably not the best choice of words, maybe I should have said "part of a package deal." I like Robel and think he will improve, to a degree, but if the Cubs could pick up a high-OBP guy that would give them a better shot at a WS this year, I'd let him go.

  • I added the highlights of the I-Cubs 6-run 8th inning rally above. Worth checking out if you have 4 minutes.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    That powerful two-rbi wallop by Zagunis was something special!

  • Michael,
    When is MLB coming out with the revised 30 prospects list for every club?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I'm sure they are working on it. My guess is they will want it out prior to the deadline.

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    Just to add to the prospects developed, don't forget Soler and Vogelbach, both are having very good years. Paul Blackburn was pitching for Oakland for a few years too, and Cease and Eloy and Torres.

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    The Yankees traded for Terrance Gore. The price was $100K. We could have afforded that and put him in AAA.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Let them have Terrance Gore. I just can't get over his AB in extra innings of the wildcard game where he was up there in the biggest situation he's ever batted in, and all he needed to do was get on base. His only chance to do that was the pitch that he dodged that was gonna hit him. He had no chance. And if he wasn't so scared of being hit, he would've been standing on first and done the only thing he can do well. Also, he struck out when if he literally kept the bat on his shoulder, he would've walked.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I just don't get the love for Terrence Gore. His baseball skills are limited to his speed. With only 4 non-pitchers on the bench, he's a waste of space. I wouldn't want him in AAA, taking playing time from a prospect, either.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Agreed. Cubs have more complete baseball players in the minors, with speed, than Gore.
    The number of times he'd be used as a runner, with an actual game on the line, is minuscule- especially taking into the equation that a real player would be removed from that game, as well as from the roster.
    Of course Descalso is taking up space.

  • Apparently the Alzolay injury is biceps soreness or something like that.

  • In reply to stix:

    I am not a medical person but that sounds much preferred to elbow or shoulder problems.

  • In reply to John57:

    That can depend. Bicep tightness can actually be a sign of something wrong with the shoulder. It can also be a heads up to do things different to alleviate stress on the shoulder.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Well hopefully it is fixable without surgery.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    From what I read I would guess he has some biceps tendinitis. It definitely impacts the shoulder as the tendon runs in the groove from the bicep up into the shoulder. It is painful and hurts like hell. 7-10 days no throwing and treatment and he will feel much better. I have had this a few times and is not a recipe for surgery.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    That's good news.

  • In reply to John57:

    Didn't Darvish's problem start off as "triceps tightness?"

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yes Darvish suffered with tricep tightness and that if I remember correctly is the one that is more common to turn into something far worse for most pitchers. I think Michael commented on Twitter about this, but think it bears in mind that while the prognosis is better than hoped to start with this can be a warning sign of a much larger issue.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    I agree mike and if I remember morrow also had reported biceps tightness. I’m personally worried about any throwing arm injuries, and anything near the elbow is trouble some to say the least. I’m not saying expect the worst but I think alzolay still may be looking at a possible lengthy injury that extends into next season. I’m not saying it’s time to panic but I am saying we’re not out of the woods. Selfishly I wish that we had already traded him for merrifield now. Looks like there’s no way that deal gets done without Nico hoerner unfortunately

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I thought the Royals wanted major league ready prospects. Why do you think Hoerner is MLB ready and if he is why isn’t he on the 25 man roster.

  • In reply to stix:

    I think that’s what they say they also say that they’re not inclined to trade merrifield which I think is nonsense given his age (30) in addition to the fact his value is at its peak. If the dodgers trade a Gavin lux then we’re out of luck but I wonder if they go for an ace reliever instead. The cubs can give them secondary Mlb ready prospects like happ as 3rd/4th pieces. Stinks because I was thinking trade them alzolay which is now seemingly off the table. But Nico is about a year away it’s not like he’s far off, and it’s not like the royals are competitive this year and probably won’t be next year. Only so many teams interested in merrifield have Mlb ready impact prospects that they’re willing to trade. I think the dodgers can steal merrifield from the cubs if they want him, but their bullpen is a mess and they practically need to get an ace reliever plus a 2nd set up type impact reliever. I get the royals are saying they want ready made players, but I think if the cubs offer Nico plus other players then the royals would take such an offer very seriously. I think you can actually argue that perhaps theo says no if anything given the cubs need for more top 50-100 type prospects

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I don't know, I wouldn't trade Merrifield until or unless somebody blows me away. He's cheap, he's a draw there and a good teammate among the youngsters. Maybe they feel differently next trade deadline but they are under no urgency to do it now.

    This trade deadline is going to be fascinating. There don't seem to be enough sellers. The Giants are now 2.5 games out of a playoff spot and in the NL really only the Mets are obvious sellers. The Marlins would be but have no talent to move. Teams like the Rockies and Pirates probably should sell but they're so close to competing soon that they probably won't. The Reds and Padres may not be in it this year (although the Reds are a good team playing under their expected record) but don't have a lot of rental pieces to move and are on the cusp of contending year in and year out. Everyone else is solidly in this thing. The AL has at least six teams that should be sellers but not all of them have anything great to move. Will this result in overpays or just more teams standing pat?

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah agreed on this deadline TC there’s a ton of teams on the fence, and I also worry that sellers will have lots of competition and leverage for their assets. I expect the pitching market especially to be competitive, as it seems like most top competitors are in the market for pitching. I hope the giants and others decline because they have some nice assets to add to this trade market.

    I get what you’re saying that merrifield is controlled for 3.5 years in theory, but I think they’re likely gonna trade him. He’s 30 years old with a top tier batting average if his speed or average declines next year they, then they’ve wasted an opportunity to maximize value for him. I think with him in particular they may have some concern that if his athleticism shows any decline, then that can hurt the return. I personally think it would be a big gamble to hang onto him he’s not 26. His value is really high right now that he’s having an all star year coming off a 5.2 WAR season last year that some on this site thought maybe flukey. I remember some posters here were saying this offseason that they wanted to see him do it again because his track record is short, and he didn’t have much pedigree as a prospect. Now that he’s doing it again nobody doubts him his value is in a great place right now. If I’m the royals I just accept a top tier return now while the rest of the league views him as a star. Baseball is a tough game and a lot can happen in a year. I also don’t think KC will be competitive next year so I really don’t see why they’d believe he’s a part of their future at 30. We’ll see what happens and obviously they just can’t trade him to trade him, but you’d think they would get some serious offers

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The belief is that the Giants are likely to trade Will Smith regardless of where they are in the standings. The belief is that they have replacements in the minor leagues. Not sure about Tony Watson. I think they would trade Bumgarner if they were absolutely blown away.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah I trust you on all matters giants cubs09. I’ve heard rumblings that they may sell off some assets while still leaving room for them to compete, as they’re red hot and getting healthy. Smith is as good as gone in a contract year, but it seems like their assets that they control future years may stick around with the team in the wild card hunt. I really hope they at least sell Watson though he’s intriguing to me, and at the very least helps create a deeper left handed relief market along with smith. Already a competitive enough pitching market as it is

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I'll be stunned if Merrifield is traded TBH. You mention the Dodgers but unless but Pollock gets hurt again I can't say them going for a bat. They need two pen arms. He makes sense for the Cubs but I can't see them making the offer that would blow away KC. Who else could possibly need him that would be willing to give up two, near ready, or already in MLB player with 5 plus years of control? That's just the start of a deal btw, it's being reported they want four bodies for him.

  • In reply to stix:

    The expectation is that Hoerner should be ready in the relative near future. Hoerner would be a highly desirable target for the Royals, and would fit their proposed timeline. The Royals issue is that they don't feel like they can do a deep rebuild in their market (probably accurate given that Royals fans have a lot higher degree of elasticity in terms of their demands for seats compared to say the Cubs). The Royals are trying to be clear they aren't interested in gathering a bunch of low A ball flyers. Hoerner should arrive within a year or two without injury.

    Another thing that we don't talk enough about in terms of trading one of the Cubs "spare part" players that have been suggested in many of these deals is that the Royals probably want the 6-7 years of control (and those 2-3 years of basically league minimum pay) and not guys with just 4-5 and are in arbitration or about to be there.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Well said mike great way to put it better then I did even

  • In reply to stix:

    Think the majority of contenders are looking for pitching though. I think the dodgers or cubs make by far the most sense for merrifield. And like I said the dodgers would be irresponsible not to acquire a top shelve reliever with Jansen possibly declining. Rest of that pen isn’t playoff caliber as well, and they need to shore up that issue with how great their starting pitching and offense has been

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You wanna know what I think? The Cubs will be buyers. We will add a bat at the 2B/CF position in some way, and add a LH reliever who can miss bats. Who that is and who we give up is a total mystery to me, because every team has it's own internal evaluations and it's own projections and needs. There are players available we don't know about, and the players we have are known to our organization more than us fans. I don't try to guess on "this package for that package", because I'm not in the loop. I know what we need and what we got. Make it happen. We are not selling anytime soon.

    Just an aside in general, not directed at anyone here, but I've seen a lot of criticism over the Monty deal. The most common meatball reponse is we traded 2.5 years of control for 2 months. Yes, we did. This is a case of some fans having just enough knowledge to be dangerous. "Club control!" they exclaim. Every team has club control over hundreds of players who are not good and will never help win ML games. This is a factor when balancing out money and talent, but not an end-all, be-all factor.

    Monty wanted to start. He wasn't going to do that here. He can in KC. His role here evaporated, and his arbitration numbers were going up. I know everybody loves him, I certainly do, but I think this was a bigger clubhouse issue than the Cubs are letting on. He wanted this, and he got it. Good for him.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Thank you on the Montgomery comment barley so stupid what did they expect to get lol. The royals may well win that deal, but not every deal is about getting crazy positive value. Cubs not only didn’t have roster space right now for Monty, but they weren’t gonna get anything for him as long as he’s in that middle relief role. And with darvish pitching better he literally had no avenue of starting for this team. Sometimes as a GM you do what’s in the best interests of the player knowing we weren’t getting an impact prospect for Monty anyways. These are real people with families to take care of. He’s nearing free agency and he wanted to reestablish his market pitching as a starter. Cubs couldn’t provide him that opportunity, so they did right by the player and sent him somewhere he can start. Other players take notice of that type of player friendly atmosphere where theo actually cares about his players well beings. Cubs simply couldn’t offer him the opportunity to start where he could increase his trade value, and I don’t know what fans were expecting them to get at this point with Monty struggling in relief. I had zero expectations for Montgomery’s trade return so can’t say I’m surprised or disappointed. I choose to remember all the good that did for this organization over the past 3 years though for the most part

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Agreed though maybe they get a low cost leadoff option and/or a corner OF bat type (perhaps castellanos), and a left handed set up guy. My only thing is this is more of a pitchers market, and there really aren’t many positional players that make sense for the cubs needs from what I’ve researched. Merrifield is one of the only guys that makes sense but the price maybe prohibitive unfortunately esp if the dodgers want him. Bolla and I called the hamels trade early on last year so I don’t try to spread rumors that follow the crowd. It’s just a very unimpressive positional player market at the cubs positions of needs to say the least. I’d love to hear other options that people like but the guys I’ve heard like Dee Gordon aren’t exactly my type of players. I don’t mind castellanos or a David peralta, but those guys feel like band aids and not impact multi dimensional talents that really move this team forward

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Eric soogard is another guy I’ve heard on different sites and also not a guy I’m a fan of overall

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah, I don't think the Cubs traded Montgomery to a team he could start for. I think the Cubs traded Montgomery because they could get a good defensive catcher who can help the team win.

    I also don't think Montgomery was a problem in the clubhouse. I have not heard anything about that and I think Montgomery is smart enough to know he is not going to be a starter in this Cubs rotation.

  • I have a feeling that the Merrifield deal involves Caratini. I don't believe we are going to carry 3 catchers. I think the deal will happen when Willson comes off the DL.

  • In reply to ejs1:

    Cubs don’t have excess catchers to make that trade with Caratini. Moldanado doesn’t want to be a back up , thus he’s gone in 2020. Who’s the back up catcher in n 2020?. Taylor Davis a AAAA player. Not sure the cubs would be happy with that and a Caratini is much cheaper than getting backup as a FA .

  • In reply to stix:

    I don't see that as an issue at all. They can resign Maldonado, or pick up another backup on the FA market over the offseason. I like Victor, but if he brings a piece that puts this team in the WS, he's gone.

  • The trade deadline is always fun. As a general rule, I’ve found that if people are talking about a particular player the Cubs aren’t targeting him. Their trades, with the notable exception of Chapman, come as surprises.

    I find the Russell trade to be one of the most interesting, not for the trade itself, but what happened after. At the end of that season the A’s traded Shark to the White Sox for Marcus Seimien (sic). I think most people would agree he is now a better player than Russell. So they were able to go for it and not really give up much. For the Cubs, Russell did help to win a World Series.

  • In reply to Hal's comment about Lance Dickson. He was the Cubs first round pick in 1990 who made a few starts for the Cubs before being injured. He was drafted out of the University of Arizona.

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