Cubs Game Notes: Do the Cubs have the next Matt Harvey?

Last minute game notes on an already busy day…

  • Juan Paniagua is finally in the U.S. after receiving his long awaited visa, according to Ben Badler.  The question now is how much the Cubs want to accelerate his development to make up for last time.  He was earmarked for Boise and that may still happen, but he may end up spending less time there than planned, especially if he succeeds.
  • ICYMI, Matt Loosen, whom Baseball America ranked as the Cubs 27th best prospect to start the season — and whom some Cubs officials called a sleeper, made good on some of that promise today by pitching a no-hitter.  Congrats, Matt!
  • The Jake Arrieta acquisition is drawing some rave reviews, first from other executives around the league and now from the players themselves, according to Phil Rogers.  Rogers said some LA hitters told Ken Rosenthal that Arrieta’s stuff that day compared to the Mets’ Matt Harvey, who faced the Dodgers three days later. Said catcher A.J. Ellis to Rosenthal: “The stuff he threw up at me was stuff I haven’t seen all year – the sharpness of his pitches, the way his fastball darted out of the zone. He has really high upside. I thought it was an awesome trade by the Cubs.”  Arrieta reportedly hit 98 mph in his brief Iowa appearance.
  • A nice story from the Idaho Statesman on RHP Trey Lang, who is struggling this year but has endured much more and has the makeup to bounce back.  I think the media there does a great job of covering the Hawks, much better than some big league cities, in my opinion.  You can always find an informative article on the players or team whether it’s from announcer Mike Safford on the air or through his blog or the local papers like the Statesman or the Press or TV outlets like KIVI.
  • Travis Wood made the all-star team but will not play because he’s scheduled to pitch the day before the break.  This probably means the Cubs won’t have a representative in the all-star game.
  • Len Kasper praises the Cubs front office in an article he penned for the Daily Herald.
  • Kasper’s sometimes bandmate Matt Spiegel also wrote an article for the Herald, saying there is plenty for Cubs fans to watch for the rest of the season.
  • ESPN celebrates the 15th anniversary of celebrities, including Will Ferrell, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Murray, singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” duringWrigley Field’s 7th inning stretch at Chicago Cubs games.  The SportsCenter Featured piece, debuting on the Sunday, July 14, 10 a.m. ET SportsCenter and narrated by Chicago native Jim Belushi, chronicles the “Guest Conductors” who’ve taken over for the legendary Harry Caray who began the tradition. Interviews in the piece will include Mike Ditka, Jeff Gordon, Ernie Banks and Chip Caray. Other celebrities shown in clips taking their turn at the microphone include Denise Richards, Danica Patrick, Eddie Vedder, Mr. T, Vince Vaughan and more.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Castro SS
  2. Ransom 3B
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Soriano LF
  5. Navarro C
  6. Castillo DH
  7. Barney 2B
  8. Sappelt RF
  9. Borbon CF

Garza SP

What to Watch:

Felzz: Starlin Castro- hasn’t this guy always been a pretty good lead off hitter? I think he has. Plus he’ll see a lot of fastballs. Why wasn’t this done earlier? Anyway, I expect good things.

John: Matt Garza — Don’t buy the re-signing rumors.  This could well be Garza’s last start as a Cub. Hoyer said earlier in a conference call that Garza’s performance last few times out has “opened some eyes” in the trade market.


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  • fb_avatar

    Looks like i'm not the only one who thought the Feldman deal was a coup so now I shouldn't have to defend it as much :). Strop has been impressive so far too. I think this will be one of the deals that cements Theo and co's early tenure here.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    A lot of people liked this deal, actually, including myself. Might be some out there who liked Feldman's current numbers but I think they can find a replacement for him on the market. Guys who throw 98 with 90 mph sliders, however, aren't so easy to find.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think Arietta was a steal, you never want to give up on a guy like that. I have a good feeling Arietta will be a big regret for the Orioles.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Could be a potential steal -- certainly worth trying to find out for 2 1/2 months of Feldman.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Even if Arrieta becomes a BP piece , if he becomes Carlos Marmol 2010, the trade would be worth it. Strop has actually looked fairly decent so far, even Guerrier is throwing strikes, something Marmol couldn't do and Camp scared you to death when he did.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I liked it too. The team really lacks power arms at the big league level, both Arrieta and Strop help fill that hole. And hopefully Vizcaino and Cabrera can add to that mix next year as well. Arrieta always reminded me a little of A.J. Burnett, and I'll take a chance on an arm like that even if he is a little old to be a "prospect", especially in exchange for a rental like Feldman. Getting Strop was just icing on the cake.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I loved the deal personally!

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    In reply to givejonadollar:

    There were a lot of people who didn't like it at all on here and around the web. They wanted "prospects" for Feldman. I think this is better than that.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    A lot of people expect too much and overrate Cubs players. Feldman was never going to be a Cubs player next season. This was highway robbery by the Cubs simply for turning a short term asset into to two long term assets and IFA money. If Arrieta reaches hispotential and Strop becomes a closer or a shut down 8th inning guy, it could be one of the better trades in the history of the franchise.

  • Let's hope they play an error-free game and Garza has a good game

  • fb_avatar

    I just turned the game on and see a rain delay, have they given any approximate time it will start? Thanks.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I heard 7:30-7:40

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    In reply to mjvz:


  • In reply to Just Win:

    7:40 is the latest estimate.

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    Sorry, would not start Garza in these conditions, no way no how

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Sox have a good grounds crew -- just take care of that mound.

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    I admit I needed to be impressed with Arrieta but if his stuff can be harnessed it looks like we got another good one.

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    His stuff is rare -- but he does need to command it or it won't mean much.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Henry Rodriquez 2.0-, maybe slightly better.

  • Castillo is sick. Valbuena filling in at dh. I'm really hoping to see a great game tonight. How awesome would it be to get two no hitters in the organization during one day??

  • fb_avatar

    Cubs tweet:

    Welington Castillo has been scratched from tonight's lineup due to illness. Luis Valbuena will take his place at DH.

  • I would scratch Garza NOW, guy is an accident waiting to happen.

  • fb_avatar

    If you think the garza re-signing rumors were planted by the FO to gin up trade interest (which I agree they were) you have to take hoyer's "opening some eyes" comment the exact same way. Step right up, folks, this special offer wont last long, folks are lining up...

  • If Arrieta learns to command that awesome stuff, then it will be a coup. Otherwise, it's a meh, who cares.... definitely worth 2 1/2 months of FELDMAN! to find out though!

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed. Cubs are going big or going home with that trade. I like it.

  • fb_avatar

    Steve stone maybe not feeling well either - having some sincere-sounding praise for the cubs' future plans, without choking.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    In fairness to Steve Stone, I always felt that him and Chip got the short end of the stick after critcising players who frankly needed to be called wanna bet he wishes he was still with the Cubs??

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Stone was a good announcer for the Cubs, Caray only got the gig because of his last name. He's awful.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Stone did get the shaft, I agree. But since then he's been bitter to the point of losing his credibility on Cubs issues. Over the winter I heard a call-in where someone asked him why the Dodgers took Carl Crawford instead of Alfonso Soriano. The answer: "Because Crawford is worth every penny of what he's being paid, while Soriano is not worth one penny of what he's being paid." Really, Stoney? Seriously? You got some WAR figures to back that up?

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I always thought Stone was a good baseball mind. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing him as a front office type someday.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Cubs announcers are on WCIU. I can't tolerate listening to Hawk Harrelson. Or Ed Farmer. How the Sox have two of the worst announcers in MLB history is beyond me.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Just Win:

    WCIU isn't on the lineup at my university so i'm stuck with Harrelson. Girlfriend just asked me why I was watching the TV on mute lol

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Good move.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Whenever I change to sox channel to see there score the mute button goes on first!

  • In reply to Just Win:

    THANK YOU. Lacking TWTW (the will to watch) the Hawk...

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Oh brother, Hawk Harrelson curdles my stomach listening to him. Not even insightful.

  • fb_avatar

    Hawk Harrelson makes me laugh. I always leave the sound up because I think one of these days the ChiSox are going to give him an on-air heart attack. Of course, many times leaving the sound up on a White Sox broadcast is the same as muting the television when the Hawkeroo starts to sulk and clams up.

  • Man! So glad to see the visa issues behind Paniagua. I was really starting to worry considering his history. Hope to catch him in KC soon.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Hopefully someone will convince him to stay in the US, move his family here, whatever it takes.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Maybe you should fix up the attic space and invite him over!

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Can't - a troll is up there right now.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    is your old lady with him?......LOL

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I'm a widower - thanks for the reminder, jerk.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Toby, the guy is sick. Very sick. Sorry he did that to you.
    Be well and keep contributing.

  • fb_avatar

    Is it me or does Sappelt look like he has a little better idea at the plate? Barney and Castro look like they are clueless at this point . Hoping the break gives them a chance to clear there heads.

  • A "Roy Hobbs" moment just happen....Bolt of Lightening.....then Soriano's home run.

  • SUBJECT: Anthony Rizzo

    Okay baseball fans and geeks, how long will the Cubs FO stick with Rizzo as their first baseman?........I give it two more years.....until Vogelbach or Canderlario or someone else might have to replace Rizzo.......been a year now, and to me, Rizzo is still a below average hitter for the position he plays......similar to a Lyle Overbay type of hitter........are you happy to have a Lyle Overbay type of hitter on this team playing first base?...................if Voegelbah or Canderlario can hit 40HR's and drive in over 100 RBI's, should Theo stick with one of them and trade Rizzo off? Spring Training of 2016, we will know the answer.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubsTalk:

    RIZZO: Lot of 0-fers lately. Hope he turns it around.

  • Hitting around 200....
    Not stealing bases....
    hitting into DP's.....
    and making errors playing second....

    will not be part of this Cubs future.

  • Just saw Anna Benson police mug shot.....brutal......

    turning into a meth addict.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Please post a picture of you....... so we can all...... comment on it.....

    This isn't TMZ, please keep it that way.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Story was under MLB on the internet.......

    part of baseball as Harry would say.

  • Did Dale really give Navarro the green light to throw to second on that play???? that was the dumbest play i've seen all year! you can not be serious! how do you throw to 2nd with 2 outs with a guy on 3rd???? you have to throw the guy out at 2nd to prevent the run, or you can just let Garza get the guy out, dumbest play i've seen all year, if that was Dale's choice, Fire him after this season... thoughts?

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    It did not surprise me......Dale is half way through his contract......maybe Theo will be looking at a more seasoned manager when the time comes to advance this group of young players to the next level...........I would understood that play from last season, being inexperience......but not this season time and time again........Dale has to be ranked as one of the worst managers in the league............The Cubs will not go anywhere with Dale at the helm......his managers moves is something you would see in Little Dale was once a former player......this guy should know better by now.

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    Pirates did the same a couple of days ago... Very frustrating way to allow a run, let alone twice in 4 days...

  • also does this sox catcher really have a Patrick Kane Mullet??? Wow what a tool LOL, Kane can do it bc he's a Champion and he only does it for the playoff run to loosen up the team and have fun, This guy is such a dork.

    Love what i'm reading about Jake Arrieta, sounds like a stud with high level stuff!

  • If the Cubs don't have a serious offer from an AL team regarding Sori in the next several weeks then we'll have him until his contract expires next year. The man is on one of his patented hot streaks and represents instant offense as a DH.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Soriano is not going anywhere....No Trade clause.......if Soriano did waive his No Trade clause, it will be for more money and two extra years on the contract........and NO team will be doing that......

    at least he is more entertaining than having BJax.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    How do you know those are Soriano's demands for waiving his NTC? And please name your source, tia.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    This is the typical M.O. of players like Soriano who are coming to the end of their career and have No Trade clause..

  • In reply to Paulson:

    He don't need no stinkin' "source", he is omniscient......except on his predictions and pronouncements......
    Amazing how Garza actually pitched last night when it was a certainty he'd be traded by 7:00.......according to Mr. infallible "source".

  • With regard to Stone, any of you guy& gals who grew up listening to Stone do Cubs games in the 80s & 90s are more intelligent fans, as a result. Plain and simple.

    You may not like him now but he is a great baseball mind and an excellent teacher, particularly to younger people who are just starting to watch the game regularly . Not too many other announcers can make that claim.

    As far as '04, he and Caray were railroaded- though I think thy wanted him out anyway. That team completely folded & Dusty crapped the bed for two consecutive weeks as manager. That team had more talent than any Cub team in the last 40-45 yrs. They-particularly Stone- called it like they saw it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Carl9730:

    Love Stone, but I can't watch him with the Sox. When the new TV contract rolls around, something tells me he will be considered and he will want to come back.

  • fb_avatar

    "TomLoxas @TomLoxas
    Barney down to .212? He's regressing that lazy bastard."

    Tsk tsk now Tom you know better than this.....we learned in school that underperforming is only labeled regression or lazy if Starlin Castro does it. Everybody else is exempt. Chapter 12

  • What do people think happens with the Freak this offseason? Will he get a multi year deal? Will Giants offer the tender? If no - is he someone Cubs take a chance on?

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    Theo only takes on pitchers with TJ problems....pass on Lincecum......he will be a Dodger most likely.

  • OK, I admit that I haven't seen today's game so I don't know how he's played, but I just glanced at Castro's stats -- at what point does this go from a slump to a legitimate concern? His OPS is UNDER .600. It's .02 higher than a Darwin Barney, who is struggling for Darwin Barney. This is a guy who had 200 hits the first couple of full years in the bigs? That's... really bad.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Young players(especially those under the age of 24) tend to have a bad season or two after a successful few years. He just has to work his way out of it like anybody else. After 3 all-star level seasons is he not allowed to have a bad one without people thinking he suddenly forgot how to hit?

    He'll be fine. Most players his age are just now smelling big league grass for the first time. Just have to be patient when it comes to young players. That goes for Castro, Castillo, Rizzo, all of them. Bumps and bruises are going to happen.

  • Like many of you guys I'm suffering through the game listening to Hawk Harrelson. My wife asked me if the announcers have a pulse or are they zombies. I told her, I'm not sure.

  • In reply to DHigg:

    Just explain to the missus that the Sox announcers tend to get quiet when the Cubs hand their rear-ends to them. And watch how quick they get off the air upon the conclusion of the game... that's always a treat.

  • It's been a very disappointing year for the younger hitters. Surprisingly the veterans have been stepping up. This team could be so much better if Rizzo, Castro, Barney, and somewhat Castillo lived to expectations. ( Lost power and discipline).

  • Soriano is on a hot streak with all these scouts watching.

    Maybe somebody will finally bite on a Soriano + Cash trade for a decent prospect? You put him on a contender as a DH in the 5 or 6 hole and he will do some damage.

    Sori & Garza could really bolster a team for the stretch run.

  • you guys know you can listen to JD and Casper if you want right?

  • In reply to Nik0522:

    i like to flip back and forth, when Cubs do good I like to listen to ... well actually SILENCE from Stone and Hawk LOL, the best

  • Mid Season Awards......

    Cubs MVP - Alfonso Soriano
    Cubs CY Young - Travis Wood
    Comeback Player Award - Matt Garza
    Surprise Player of the Year - Kevin Gregg
    Most Improved Player - Travis Wood
    Most Over-rated Player - Anthony Rizzo
    Mr Nice Guy Award - Jeff Samradzija

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I feel Loui V should win some kind of award! always a great at bat

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Cubs MVP is most likely Schierholtz or Valbuena (He's a tough at bat with great defense)

    Surpise players have to be Navarro or Mr. Fountain of Youth (Cody Ransom)

  • Cubs present infield....Castro Barn Rizz 2 for 15 in a game where the Cubs actually scored a few runs and had a few hits Nice job. Lets hope the Cubs future is better than the present. Namely OBP guys like Bryant and Jacob Rogers with the 'new Cubs philosophy" .400 + OBP.

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