Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Young's bat and baserunning propel Smokies to win; Herz dominates early; South Bend breaks out big bats; Nwogu with another multi-hit game; Hernandez hits first career HR

Jared Young (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Indianapolis 13, Iowa 1

Game Recap

Indianapolis has really been hammering the I-Cubs staff the last couple of days. They hit 6 homers on Friday, and another 5 last night. The Iowa offense meanwhile, only scored when the game was out of hand on Friday, and barely at all last night.

Top Performers

  • Abiatal Avelino: 2-4 (.279)
  • Zach Davis: 1-3, R, BB (.167)

AA

Tennessee 5, Montgomery 2 (8 Innings)

Game Recap

This game was tied 1-1 heading into the 8th (the game was scheduled for 7 innings). Javier Assad turned in one of his best performances of the year, and he was followed by Bryan Hudson, who kept the Biscuits in check in the 7th, and then allowed only the inherited runner to score in the bottom of the 8th (both runs allowed by Tennessee were unearned).

A head’s up baserunning play by Jared Young allowed the Smokies to tie the game in the 7th to send it to extras.

Young then singled home the game winning runs in the 8th. A Nelson Velazquez RBI triple provided insurance.

Top Performers

  • Javier Assad: 6 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, BB, 4 K (4.43)
  • Bryan Hudson: 2 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (W, 5-2, 3.35)
  • Jared Young: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI (.312)
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1-4, 3B, RBI (.267)
  • Christopher Morel: 1-3, RBI (.202)
  • Chase Strumpf: 1-3, BB (.186)
  • Tyler Payne: 1-3, E (.223)

High-A

South Bend 8, Peoria 3 (completion of SUSP game)

South Bend 10, Peoria 6 (Game 2)

Game Recap

South Bend broke out the big bats for these two games. Bryce Windham reached base 6 times. Light hitting Harrison Wenson, along with power hitters Bryce Ball and Alexander Canario each doubled and homered. Josue Huma homered and reached three times.

The homers by Ball and Canario were massive blasts:

Top Performers

  • Harrison Wenson: 2-3, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB (.149)
  • Bryce Windham: 4-6, 2B, 3B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB (.264)
  • Josue Huma: 2-3, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, BB (.242)
  • Bryce Ball: 2-7, 2B, HR (2), 3 R, RBI, 2 BB (.190)
  • Dean Navarez: 3-4, 3 R, 3 RBI (.276)
  • Jake Slaughter: 4-8, 2 R, RBI (.275)
  • Alexander Canario: 2-9, 2B, HR (1), R, RBI (.320)
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 0-3, R, 2 BB (.250)
  • Joe Nahas: 5.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K (4.28)
  • Eduarniel Nunez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (6.33)
  • Scott Kobos: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (W, 1-0, 0.93)
  • Chris Clarke: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, BB, 7 K (4.15)
  • Dalton Stambaugh: 3.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (W, 2-0, 4.20)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Yonathan Perlaza (.250/.332/.429, 107 wRC+) saw his 13-game hitting streak snapped, but with a pair of walks, extended his on base streak to 14.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 10, Columbia 8

Game Recap

D.J. Herz struck out eight batters through four no-hit innings to open the game. They got to him in the 5th, as his pitch count crept into the 70s, but there is no doubting his dominant stuff plays in short bursts. Herz will need to improve his command and control and stamina if he hopes to remain a starter long term. He is a good athlete, but his delivery is very high effort, so repeating it and conserving energy may prove difficult. We are still very early in the lefty’s career, so there is no need to be overly concerned about it at this point. For now, he can continue to grip-it-and-rip-it.

On the opposite side, Jordan Nwogu (.236/.345/.417, 110 wRC+) also featured some complicated mechanics that were difficult to maintain and repeat, but he’s managed to tone all of the down, and it is leading to great success. Three more hits upped his slash line over his last 41 games to .289/.392/.526 (148 wRC+) and his last 22 games to .346/.446/.603 (181 wRC+).

Top Performers

  • Pablo Aliendo: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HBP (.266)
  • Jordan Nwogu: 3-6, R, RBI (.236)
  • Jacob Wetzel: 1-3, R, RBI, 2 BB (.227)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 2-5, R, 3 RBI (.261)
  • Luis Verdugo: 2-5, R, 2 RBI (.178)
  • Ed Howard: 1-4, R, RBI, BB (.201)
  • D.J. Herz: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K (3.78)
  • Jarod Wright: 2.2 IP, H, R, BB, 4 K (W, 2-3, 4.28)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Pelicans (41-42) have now won 5 straight, all on the road, to bring themselves within a game of .500 on the year.

ACL

Cubs 7, Athletics 6

Top Performers

  • Felix Stevens: 2-5, HR (3), 2 R, 3 RBI (.226)
  • Reggie Preciado: 2-5, 2B, RBI (.366)
  • Kevin Alcantara: 2-5, R (.368)
  • Miguel Fabrizio: 1-1, R, 2 BB (.354)
  • Yeison Santana: 2-2, 2 RBI (.353)
  • Ronnier Quintero: 1-1, R, BB (.182)
  • Aramis Ademan: 1-3, BB (.304)
  • Luis Angel Rodriguez: 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (1.10)
  • Dawel Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, H, R, BB, 2 K (2.79)
  • Angel Gonzalez-Martinez: 3 IP, H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (W, 2-1, 12.08)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Shortstops Luis Vazquez (1-for-4, RBI) and Aramis Ademan continue their rehab. Ademan has been playing for a while, but took a bit of a break and has yet to complete an entire game since coming back, so I assume he suffered a minor setback and is now starting over again this week. If they stay on track it is possible Vazquez returns to South Bend later this week, and Ademan could be assigned to either South Bend (which would be his 3rd year in High-A) or they could try to push him to Tennessee as the backup to Andy Weber.

And speaking of shortstops, not only did Yeison Santana (.353/.489/.382 in 16 games with ACL Cubs) secure a walk off win for the Cubs yesterday, but he’s actually been hitting well for a while (.435/.552/.478 over his last 9 games). The 20-year old was the lone prospect in the Yu Darvish trade who had actually made his pro debut (spent 2018 in DSL and 2019 hitting .346/.429/.494 in AZL). Santana has very good bat control, and opened this season as the starting 2B beside Ed Howard in Myrtle Beach, but he struggled mightily, often expanding out of the zone and making weak contact (.147/.238/.173 in 20 games). He was eventually replaced by Kevin Made, who takes a similar contact oriented approach, but he has managed to do so more successfully in Low-A.

Sent back to the complex league to get sorted out, Santana appears on the right track, but with Made overtaking him (perhaps for good) there seems to be no room in the Myrtle Beach infield. Even if the Cubs wait to send him back to Low-A to open next season, he wouldn’t be old for the league by any stretch, but with two big prospects a level ahead of him and another (Reggie Preciado) likely occupying the same level there is danger Santana gets squeezed out a bit. Especially if either or both of two other big time infield prospects (Christian Hernandez and James Triantos) prove ready for a full season assignment next spring. Santana will not be forgotten. He is still seen as a legit prospect (there is a lot to like about his hit tool and ability to defend at 2B), but the roster squeeze has already pushed him off SS for the most part, and could factor into the Cubs making him (or one of the others) available in trades this offseason.

RHP Luis Angel Rodriguez is a 21-year old who had successful seasons in the DSL in 2018 (0.73 ERA) and AZL in 2019 (3.61). I haven’t heard a scouting report on him, so I imagine his stuff is not wowing anyone, but he’s off to another good start in Mesa (1.10 ERA, 25 K, just 4 BB in 16.1 IP) so I would imagine there has to be some consideration for trying him out in Myrtle Beach soon.

DSL

Cubs Blue 7, Cubs Red 6

Christian Hernandez hit his first career homer run (and XBH) as he reached 3 times. It’s been kind of a middling start to his career. Hernandez has been reaching base with great frequency (.397 OBP) and is the only player on the Cubs Blue team with a wRC+ above league average (114), but he’d yet to do much damage with the bat up until yesterday. Obviously, nothing to be concerned about, but it will still nice to see him get rolling a bit.

The second biggest IFA signing by the Cubs last year, was power hitting catcher Moises Ballesteros (.327/.507/.408, 174 wRC+), who has gotten off to a great start. He’s not only been the Cubs most patient hitter (23.9 BB% / 14.9 K%), but he is also one of only two regulars with a slugging percentage above .400 (Pedro Ramirez leads at .423). In all, the top three names among the hitters in the Cubs IFA class from last year are looking strong.

Comments

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  • Thanks for all the research and insight Michael!

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    Thanks again for all the work Michael. We do have some prospects that are doing quite well now, and it's a good problem to have when Santana, a well thought of prospect, can't get in the lineup.
    Are Ademan and Assad still viable prospect? I haven't heard about them for a while and see that they are 23 and 22.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Ademan and Assad are solid baseball players with good instincts, but they are jot MLB caliber physical specimens. Both likely top out as AAA depth.

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    I just saw that Anthony Rizzo just tested positive for Covid. I hope it's a light case and has no lasting effects, and that after this he will get the vaccine and his family does too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Looks like Javy out with a possible oblique injury. If accurate he could miss at least the rest of August. Time for Bryant to get hurt again?

  • Hello Michael,
    What updates do you have on Jordan Wicks, the Cubs 1st round pick in the latest draft. How close do you see Jordan coming to the majors ?
    I'm reading that the Cubs are favorites to sign Christian Hernandez younger brother , also a Short Stop.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Nice............kinda like the Morel brothers? That's pretty cool.......

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I think Wicks opens next year in High-A. Maybe two years in Minors and he could be ready. Looked pretty advanced in my viewings.

    According to BA's latest IFA update, the Cubs are in line to sign 3 of their top 35, with all three receiving 7 figure bonuses. Christian Hernandez's little brother is indeed one of them.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks Michael !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    That's awesome on both counts!

  • Is Duffy actually part of our plans for next year? I feel like he's taking away valuable at bats and evaluation time from other guys who we need to see if they prayerfully fit into our short and long-term futures.......

  • Is Duffy actually part of our plans for next year? I feel like he's taking away valuable at bats and evaluation time from other guys who we need to see if they prayerfully fit into our short and long-term futures.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I feel the same about Happ, who the Cubs seem to want to hold on to. Happ is a below average fielder.
    Is Chirinos, and the Romines going to be part of the 2022 Cubs ? I hope the Cubbies will start bringing up a couple of AAA players.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Exactly, you beat me to the Romines; given their ages, they're just placeholders, although having at least one veteran backup catcher that is God-willing capable sounds important, so is that Chirinos, Romine, or maybe Lobaton? But I guess some of it may come down to 40 man spots, although I'd say brining up a few extra AAA guys to see what you have in them is prayerfully worth it; you just may end up losing a few more than you'd like, if you're not selective on how you go about it............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    The Romine's are place holders, but I do wonder if the two of them would consider signing MiLB deals in offseason to function as vet depth in Iowa and to get a chance to play together for a while before their season ends. I get the impression the coaches like the attitude and leadership both bring.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I like how they play, and they seemed very professional, and veteran leadership is definitely a plus, and I would be definitely happy for them to stick around; I just don't necessarily think that the rest of this year would be the most beneficial time for them to take at bats/opportunities away from guys we need to evaluate. But I see what you mean.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I think there is a chance they bring back Duffy, they certainly like him, but he becomes a bit redundant with Madrigal added to Hoerner in the infield. Madrigal is kind of a better version of him. Maybe Duffy gets another MiLB deal like last offseason as insurance in case Wisdom falls back to Earth.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    The Cubs seem to like having a veteran to teach the younger players how to give a professional at bat. In the beginning they got David DeJesus, then Zobrist and Miggy and now Duffy? I guess we will find out.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Definitely agree, I like Duffy; just maybe a little less of him right now for evaluations, similar to my comment above............

  • Baez hurt his hip today, left the Mets game.

  • CF Nwogu is on fire. The Cubs seem to have unleashed a monster. I am not sure I would tweak his swing any more. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

  • In reply to John57:

    They've done great with him, I see your point on not trying to fix something that's not broken; but if they get him to incorporate his lower half a little bit to tap into more power, without sacrificing his mechanics or falling back into bad habits. That's what the offseason is for, adjustment; and I'm pretty sure hitting coaches do that with most players, even when they're hitting fine, like strength trainers tweaking people's form, but you need to prayerfully keep it from going TOO far, so I definitely agree with your point.......

  • In reply to John57:

    Hey Michael, with Nwogu and Alcantara in CF, and Canario and Cassie in RF/LF (to name a few); who do these guys make you think the most of, as a MLB projection/comparison? Yoenis Cespedes for the corners, and Alfonso Soriano in CF (when he moved out of the infield)? God-willing they get anywhere close, really like what I'm seeing out of them; prayerfully they do.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Well you can add Davis who is playing CF in AA, PCA (1st round Mets pick from the Javy trade), and Mena the athletic 17 year old CF we got in Darvish trade. Mena is 18 now and starting to figure out his maturing body. Looks like we have some possible CFs in the pipeline.

  • In reply to John57:

    You took the words out of my mouth, those 2 definitely should be included in this discussion as God-willing being the outfield of the future for us!

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I thought of 2 more OFs to watch in addition to Davis, PCA, and Mena. They are the two recent draft picks Franklin and Parker. The plan is to amass as much talent as possible because there always is attrition. Then if you have surplus, they can be traded for what you need. Looking forward to the next core.

  • In reply to John57:

    Exactly, nice catch there; those guys too! That sounds like a good plan, God-willing they continue to improve and get better and better; onward and upward!

  • Hey Michael, I just noticed Brandon Hughes pitching down in Tennessee; the conversion seems to be pretty successful, God-willing he can keep it up. What are your thoughts?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Well,
    It look liked Duffy was poising for holy pictures at the plate in the first inning.
    I understand the losing but now is the time to bring up players to evaluate at the MLB level.
    I read the Cubs are committed to giving Happ all the at bats to evaluate him. They had six years to evaluate him and
    they still can't decide? What more to they need to see of Rivas to give him a look at the main club. Hey, Happ bobbled another ball in left to allow another runner to score.
    The trades were great but I can't understand why there playing players who won't help next years club and not giving AAA players a chance to perform at the big club.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    That's what I'm saying, totally agree; send Happ down to tinker with whatever needs tinkering, God-willing someone can prayerfully help him. But I just can't see grinding it out with whatever issues he's obviously dealing with as the best approach for success here.......

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Duffy's frozen up there............

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Check the 40 man roster. Only one not hurt or a pitcher is Morel. Who do you propose to bring up and who do you dump from the current 40 man roster

  • In reply to stix:

    Stix,
    Cut one of the two catchers ( not Contreras ), or Happ and bring up Alfonso Rivas who profiles as a good contact hitting 1st baseman that provides above average defense. Why do the Cubs need to carry three catchers ?
    Its good to see Sergio Alcantrera looking better at the plate. Providing good defense , Sergio could be the next Ben Zobrist.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    It is tough on those, because their's really no going back once they're dropped; but I'd like to see something, prayerfully they make the right call.......

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    The Cubs have 3 catchers on the 40-man b/c they need 2 catchers on the MLB team and Amaya was Rule 5-eligible in 2019. He had to be added to the 40-man or potentially lost in the Rule 5 draft. You can argue whether or not he should have been added, but this was after his breakout 2019 season and seemed like the right thing to do. Would you like to DFA (and lose) Amaya to bring up your favorite Rivas, or not have a back-up to Willy?

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Good point !
    What about several players on the team who are at the end of their careers ? The Cubs aren't going anywhere this year, I would find some room to bring players in who could possibly help the club in the future. This would be a good time to evaluate them.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I do not disagree. The question in your post was about having 3 catchers on the 40-man. I addressed that.

    However, the Cubs chose to promote Schwindel and Deichmann over Rivas. It seems that Cubs management is not as high on your man Rivas as you are, even though Rivas is Rule 5 eligible this winter. While there are only 39 players on the 40-man right now, the Cubs are holding a place for Wick, as Michael wrote.

    On the position player side, there does not seem to be too much room. I know there are a lot of calls to DFA Happ, but he was an above average hitter last year, so maybe the Cubs are hoping to salvage some value for him than cutting him with nothing in return. Otherwise, the team needs some sort of depth at the MLB level. Maybe Romine is DFAed when Nico is back, thus giving Rivas a shot in September. I could see swapping Fargas for Rivas, but Fargas is also unproven and RH, giving balance. There are already a collection of LHers like Rivas. If Rivas could play RF, he might well have been selected over Deichmann. But his lack of positional flexibility is probably hurting him.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Thanks Norway,
    Your post makes a lot of sense. I hear the Cubs are working out Rivas in left field. I don't know to much about Fargas but that throw he made to 3rd base in Colorado last week nailing the runner garnered some attention.
    Early return but Deichmann looks to be promising.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    LOL!

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You are a spineless weasel. You cry all the time to site administrator about disparaging comments. Your “lol” comment to ronvet69 just proves what a hypocrite you are.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    What are you talking about douche bag? I have never said anything to the site administrators.

  • Thank you Mr Ricketts. I’m really proud of the product you’ve put on the field tonight.
    It’s not just that you kneecapped the season with the Darvish trade. It’s that you kept just enough talent around, to fill the stands and your pocketbook.
    Instead of going all the way, and trading KB, Javy and Kimbrel over last winter - when you could have received a better return.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Not to mention the flip flopping on payroll, et cetera............

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Stop watching then. Simple as that. You are a whiner. Let the pros fix what your hero Theo Epstein left behind. It’s called a rebuild deal with it.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Yes Mr Ricketts the last 6 years have been wonderful. Thank you for that world series championship.

    Now let get back to it in 2022'

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Darvish's record is close to 500. That certainly would not help the Cubs this year. A couple of the players the Cubs received in the
    trade are starting to shine and will benefit the club in a couple of
    years. It was reported Javy rejected $180 Million, and the Cubs should thank their lucky stars he turned down their offer. It seems the Cubs finally have competent people running their draft. Getting rid
    of the Darvish contract was a step in the right direction. The Cubs payroll was so screwed, the Cubs couldn't make trades or sign free agents.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    You know that the Cubs could have gotten a better return how? Much of Chicago doesn't deserve Tom Ricketts. Hit piece after hit piece from 'journalists'. It's a stretch for them to spin every negative to the Ricketts being a money grabber and weakens even more their already questionable credibility. Maybe more weight should be given to the backlash. Once credibility is lost, it's not coming back.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Slug, it stands to reason that if you trade someone who has a full year of availability, you would get more in return than you would for someone who only gives you two months of availability. Hence, the return for Darvish.
    You missed my point - that once the trading of Darvish took place, they should have immediately followed up on that move with other moves that made sense. Instead it made it obvious that it was a salary dump, and the others (KB, Rizzo, Javy, etc) we’re kept to sell seats.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Or the Cubs didn't receive an offer that they felt did make sense. Teams seemed to be offering lowball, hoping for a fire sale. Actually, the decision to wait might have worked to an advantage.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    How in the world do you have any idea IF there were any attempts to trade key players last winter - much, much less, that teams ‘seemed to be offering lowball’ whatever? Comon slug!

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I didn't know. I was just noting that as a possibility. Most of the names from rumors were numerous pedestrian types with low upside and would not have been legit packages for All Stars. I prefer the way that it went down. It worked.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    You seriously believe the cubs didnt entertain offers for Rizzo, Bryant and Baez in the off season?

    What they were offered we more than likely will never know. But i do believe if it was good enough they would have pulled the trigger.

  • SO GLAD that we gave up Cease and Jimenez for Quintana, aren't you? STILL frustrated with that trade............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I’d love to have a beer with Theo, anytime. But I don’t think I’d want him negotiating a plea deal for me lol.

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    How about the Torres and others for Chapman? Did that work? Prospect trade for a current closer. Quintana was brought in 2017 to try to get another WS . Q was good for 2017. He wasn’t intended to be around forever. If cubs would have gotten to the WS in2017 would that have been a good trade?

  • In reply to stix:

    Hindsights 20/20 on those trades, but in a vacuum, I really didn't like giving up those 2............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Good point on hindsights 20/20. There are never any guarantees. I've done it too, but it's weak. I m not sure Eloy fit into the Cubs picture at the time with Schwarber and Heyward pretty locked in. One could say the same about Torres and Solar. Actually, Jimenez and Solar fit better as a DH. Davis, Chapman and Quintana helped but maybe less than hoped. None of those trades were designed to look good long term.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed, and no one saw the potential for the universal DH at the time either.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Thats why everybody thinks we didn't get enough in trades because you know who over paid on many trades.
    And for the people who still love you know who , a lesson to
    be learned is not to put people on pedestals for you will be disappointed.

  • Do you think the reason we didn't trade Davies at the deadline, is nobody wanted him? I'd rather see Biagini or Rucker or even Abbot out there.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Yes

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Thought so............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Yes treebeard, he’s certainly having a terrible year by anyone’s standards.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Hrum.......

  • I'm really liking Ortega in CF - where did they find this guy and how did he suddenly get to be a better hitter? He's starting to pile up enough at bats now that it's overcoming that SSS excuse.

    I would not mind the Cubs signing him to a FA contract over the winter. He's old enough that he's not a long-term solution, but he seems to be a quality OF at this point.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Ortega is not a free agent at the end of the year. Auto renew ... not even arb at the end of the year - absent a CBA change

  • In reply to stv711:

    Dang, that's awesome!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Better late than never. Wisdom could be another, but not as far along as Ortega in adjustment to the mlb. It happens. We don't know for sure, yet.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Ortega looks serviceable but not much more in center. He would look better in left if the cubs could find a cf.

  • It might be good or it might be bad but I could see a lineup next year of:
    2b Madrigal, cf ortega, ss hoerner, 1b rizzo or Freeman or the like, c contreras, lf diechmann, 3b wisdom & rf happ or Heyward or davis?

    But they will definitely need that extra big bat in the middle to be competitive next year.

    They will also need a top starter and a top reliever (darvish & kimbrel)

    Who knows they may let it ride next year and see what schwindel & vargas are capable of at 1st base. Same goes for a starter. If steele, thompson & alzolay show enough you may let mills be your 5th starter until marquez or patterson is ready.

    August and september will certainly tell us a lot.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Agreed on pretty much all points. If they do 'let it ride' next year without going big in FA - that'll irritate a lot of fans - but it might be a good idea.

    Especially if some combination of Rivas/Schwindel/Wisdom works out at 1B or LF/3B. They should have a contact-oriented lineup with a (hopefully completely healthy) Madrigal & Hoerner in the middle infield. As regards Heyward,... I love the guy's defense and veteran leadership,... but other than last year's out of character not so bad offense - he's kinda useless on offense. Honestly - would the be better served by just shedding him and eating most of the rest of his contract?

    And it might be really interesting to see what a rotation of Hendricks, Alzolay, Steele, Thompson, Mills and Marquez could do,... I would feel better though if they brought in at least one other decent veteran FA to complement Hendricks.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Totally on board with you, August and September will be a time to do and see a lot prayerfully get sussed out; God-willing we're looking at being competitive next year, but it feels like 2023 might be a better goal, so we don't try to reach or force things and put ourselves back in a similar position/trajectory to which we find ourselves in currently............

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    It was reported Freeman wants to stay in Atlanta and Atlanta wants to retain Freeman.
    I wonder if the Cubs would be interested in signing the Rockies pitcher Gray, an upcoming free agent as well as Danny Duffy who the Cubs had interest in previous years.

  • No way Wisdom should be our 1st, 3rd or OF of the future. He is exactly what we are trying to distance ourselves from, a strikeout machine with occasional contact. Also, Ortega is a bench player at best, he is not a starting CF or player in general.

    Also the Ricketts are spending another 27 mil on a gambling pavilion outside of Wrigley to be finished next year, pending approval. Thats 27 mil less for our team.

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    Agree Sqburgers. Wisdom and Ortega would be nice part time players next year, but regulars, I’m not going that far yet. Ortega has impressed me though as maybe a starter in LF.
    As far as payroll though: Ricketts could easily commit another $100M to next year’s payroll and still be vary comfortably under the cap. Except for Davis and possibly Marquez, who likely won’t help until 2023 - most of the high ceiling players in our system won’t get to Wrigley until 2024 at the earliest.
    IMO there is absolutely no reason to suffer through 2 more seasons like this one, when Ricketts is sitting on his cash - or using it for purposes other than players, while the young guys develop.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    So you want Ricketts to spend $100M more to get somewhat better but not good enough to win in the postseason the next year or two. Which also will hurt our draft position and picking up more elite cheap talent. Me I would prefer to have a few more losses in meaningless seasons and increase my chances of winning big later. You know like what happened in 2016.

  • In reply to John57:

    John there is no guarantee another 2016 happens by throwing away two more seasons. Especially when your a large market team. I’m not saying just spend, to spend. I’m saying if there are 2 deserving SP’s that they can get for somewhere in the $16 - 22M/yr range - then make a real effort to sign them. We definitely need starting pitchers. Then I’d extend Willie and sign a starting SS and 2 productive OFers. Those last 3 players I mention, could be in the $12-20M range. Brantley ‘types’ of OFer, proven guys, back halves of their career.
    It would absolutely stink to go through 2 more years like this one, just to play for a draft choice ‘that MIGHT work out’. Especially when we are a large market with an owner who is building hotels, and casinos and buying roof tops in the entire area. And not spending it on players who could immediately help transition to a winning team. The minor league lower levels are relatively very promising.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Sounds like a sensible plan.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Getting 5 middle of the road players on the back halves of their careers for 15M a year is not going to move the needle. The team may get 5 or 10 more wins but won't win in the postseason so why do it? The Cubs don't have enough talent around them to matter right now. Spending money does not guarantee success. Having a team win 81 games doesn't excite me.

  • In reply to John57:

    The 23 payroll will be small (Heyward drops off). If you add a bunch of payroll in 22 then you are hamstrung going forward.

    So I would rather see them sign two long term studs (starting pitcher & hitter) for 22 or dont sign anyone longer than a 1 year deal until 23.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I hear ya, YOU are saying you give up the 22 season. Ricketts would love you.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Unfortunately Heyward is not a free agent until 2024. Eliminates one or two of you’re adds in 23.

  • In reply to stix:

    Dang you are right on Heyward. That contract is a killer.

  • In reply to John57:

    So YOU must consider Brantley a ‘middle of the road player’? I don’t.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Can you guarantee you can get Brantley? Does he want to come here for what you think is a fair amount? Can you guarantee he will stay healthy and provide good results? High cost contracts have their own risks.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I checked Branley's contract. He is not a free agent after this year. I guess Hoyer could not sign him even if he wanted to.

  • In reply to John57:

    Please see that I said ‘like Brantley’.
    How about Starling Marte for $14/yr for two years.
    I didn’t ever say I could guarantee anything. But is it not reasonable?

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Just curious, cash is fungible but does that mean Reinsdorf should use his Bulls budget to fund the White Sox or vice versa?

    Same question for Ricketts. Does he use his other businesses to fund the Cubs or vice versa? Seems that baseball funds should be fixed and you don’t require leveraging all the other businesses to support the baseball operations or vice versa.

    Too bad we don’t know where all the cash comes from and how it’s allocated.

  • In reply to stix:

    Good point, I think. Those funds should be seperate. One does effect the other, creating a fun baseball experience and product for all.

  • In reply to stix:

    Your absolutely right about where cash comes from and where it’s going to be used. Can be flexible. But in the last few years, there have been reports of the Ricketts family grumblings about the return on investment in baseball, not being what they want to see. I can only imagine that is why they are turning Wrigleyville, into Rickettsville.
    But I’m sorry but I still believe turning this team around in short order, is secondary to the Ricketts, to making a bigger ROI.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Well, the pandemic had something to do with that bad timing, as well as other variables, like the pending players/owners contract to be negotiated, and the present heavy political devide. I think Tom acted as opportunity knocked. I do miss old Wrigleyville. Change always happens.

  • I do agree wisdom does strike out too much and that is something we have been sick of watching the past few years but he has improved and his audition continues.

    As far as Ortega goes he is a life time .290/.350 minor league guy with low strikeouts, good defense and stolen base threat. In limited major league action he has never been over matched. Yes he is on a tear right now (likely not sustainable) but the guy makes contact regardless of the stuff.

    The pitchers have learned that these big upper cut swings can be beat with fastballs at the top of the strike zone and sliders low and out of the strike zone. I do believe the contact guy will be making a resurgence in baseball. Ortega fits that bill.

    So wisdom, ortega & alcantera have a chance to prove who they can be. As far as prospects Schwindel, Diechmann & Vargas let's see who they are. Again I am going to approach the rest of the season to see what we have and not worry about what we dont have. Those guys werent consistantly scoring runs anyway.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Right now, I have Ortega penciled in as centerfielder leadoff. He has been more than adequate in center and simply outstanding leading off. Could be that our leadoff man/centerfielder was right in front of our eyes.

  • On The Cubs website it shows a lifetime, hie has a .251 avg., with a horrible .655 OPS. We can definitely do better than that.

  • fb_avatar

    I know a lot of you Cub fans really love Hoerner, but he is NOT a ss on any level, and after starting out hot this year had started to come back to normalcy. He is going to be a utility player at best, stop making him out to be anything more, we need to sign a ss this year, maybe a couple starters for the long term, maybe one reliever, 60-70M tops. we are not going to be playoff,but would be respectable next year, maybe even surprising some, don't try to get it all back at once, it takes time for players to get comfortable in new environments

  • In reply to tater:

    I think Hoerner is a solid at 2b but with Madrigal there he’ll have to be a super sub. Some second, SS and maybe center field. He does not have the arm for SS on a regular basis. I think Cubs fans are too used to winning and won’t accept a AAA team designed to lose and garner high draft picks. They have to try and be competitive while they allow their prospects to develop. I hope they target a Jon Gray as a SP that they could offer 4-5 years of big money. Also they need a stop gap at first, may be Belt or Cron for 1-2 years. I would also look at Chris Taylor who could play multiple positions. I would offer him a 3-4 year deal although Dodgers probably will out bid the Cubs. I could see a Pineda on a 1-2 year deal as well. I think Hoyer has the ability to put together a decent bullpen. Making some of these changes could make them respectable, especially if Steele and or Thompson shows something these last two months in the rotation.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    I think your thoughts on the starting pitching is very good. I also am counting on Steele or Thompson. I’d like Gray to be a main target. Those 3 along with Hendricks, Adzolay and Mills are a good start. But I’d add 1 more reliable starter to the mix. I also agree that Hoyer seems to have a knack for filling a nice bullpen - plus we do have a nice group of relievers coming through the system.

  • Hoerner is a gold glove caliber 2nd basemen. He doesnt have the high powered arm you would like at shortstop but he was a very good college shortstop.

    I do see him playing some CF, 2B, SS and and where ever needed on a championship team.. Like Zobrist did.

    If we are going to go back to the world series we will need contact guys like hoerner & madrigal in there almost every day.

    The 2016 team had zobrist, fowler, Montero, russell and rizzo that didnt strikeout that much. Then Bryant, Schwarber & Baez delivered the big blows.

    I expect something similar with the 23 lineup. Who those players will be I have no idea.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I like your thinking here. Hoerner won't be Baez, but Is an accomplished and flashy shortstop, who will make all but a few of the deep in the hole plays. He will not hit for power or strike out much. It would be a trade off of skills, but the Cubs could do worse. Can we keep Nico and Nick off the il is a question.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Except for saying Nico is ‘accomplished or flashy’, I can agree with the rest of your statement.

  • Bad news on Amaya, the Cubs top pitching prospect who won't be available this year with arm trouble .

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Thought Amaya was a catcher who was to replace Contreras. No minor leagues in 2020 and now injured most of 2021 doesn’t seem he’ll be ready to replace Contreras.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Catcher, sorry !

  • I don't want to disrespect anybody or write any first base prospects off, but we are going to need a left-hand power bat at first. Wisdom could be the middle of the order right side power at third.

    I wonder if the Cubs are considering taking on Hosmer' s bloated salary if the Friars throw in one or two mlb ready youngsters. Hosmer is surplus in San Diego, but Eric was always a tough out. His gap to gap power would play well in Wrigley. He isn't exactly ancient, yet. Also, Jed could bring back Riz for the right short deal with options for second option Just thinking out loud. I don't think Freeman is coming here unless we break the bank

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I'm happy the Cubs made the mid-season trades. The front office also created that situation. Front office needs to get better at making decisions. Cubs should add some staff from outside the organization.

    Team payroll going into 2021 was around $150 million before player benefits expenses. My two cents, $150 million needs to be the floor payroll going forward which includes the 2022 rebuild year.

    Sell-off should continue this off-season-trade Contreras before the season starts.

    Then spend money improving, & cleaning up the roster.

    Sign one of the 5 bigger name SS available. Make Hoerner a utility player who plays 2b/3b/ss/of.

    Sign at least two solid starting pitchers.

    Assume the DH is coming to the NL, and go sign 3 corner power bats. If you focus on OF, they might have to learn 1b too. Lots of names available like Schwarber, E. Rosario, Canha, Soler, A. Garcia, J. Pederson, Rizzo, & etc...

    Huge free agent class for mid-level MLB players. Should be lots of solid names available. Maybe even some potential late off-season value signings?

    Clean up the roster with some deals, & decisions.
    I cannot imagine Cubs want to go into next season with Heyward, Bote, & Happ all on the 26 roster in 2022? The Cubs need to make some roster decision especially with some of the pitchers in their mid to late 20's on the 40 man roster.

    I hope the Cubs are very active this off-season with trade, and free agents. Improve the 2022 team focus mostly on shorter term deals. If the team is not performing well in 2022, Cubs then deal pending free agents again at deadline.

    Padres created a good team, by creating, & acquiring a large volume of solid/good prospects. Then used many of them in a ton of trades the last two seasons.

    Cubs rebuild/reload/ "money ball" plan for a large market team should include ramping up payroll quickly, but focused on mostly shorter term deals for awhile.

    The Cubs need to improve a ton, and have lots of available options on how to improve the team going forward.

    Front office needs to get better .

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I'm happy the Cubs made the mid-season trades. The front office also created that situation. Front office needs to get better at making decisions. Cubs should add some staff from outside the organization.

    Team payroll going into 2021 was around $150 million before player benefits expenses. My two cents, $150 million needs to be the floor payroll going forward which includes the 2022 rebuild year.

    Sell-off should continue this off-season-trade Contreras before the season starts.

    Then spend money improving, & cleaning up the roster.

    Sign one of the 5 bigger name SS available. Make Hoerner a utility player who plays 2b/3b/ss/of.

    Sign at least two solid starting pitchers.

    Assume the DH is coming to the NL, and go sign 3 corner power bats. If you focus on OF, they might have to learn 1b too. Lots of names available like Schwarber, E. Rosario, Canha, Soler, A. Garcia, J. Pederson, Rizzo, & etc...

    Huge free agent class for mid-level MLB players. Should be lots of solid names available. Maybe even some potential late off-season value signings?

    Clean up the roster with some deals, & decisions.
    I cannot imagine Cubs want to go into next season with Heyward, Bote, & Happ all on the 26 roster in 2022? The Cubs need to make some roster decision especially with some of the pitchers in their mid to late 20's on the 40 man roster.

    I hope the Cubs are very active this off-season with trade, and free agents. Improve the 2022 team focus mostly on shorter term deals. If the team is not performing well in 2022, Cubs then deal pending free agents again at deadline.

    Padres created a good team, by creating, & acquiring a large volume of solid/good prospects. Then used many of them in a ton of trades the last two seasons.

    Cubs rebuild/reload/ "money ball" plan for a large market team should include ramping up payroll quickly, but focused on mostly shorter term deals for awhile.

    The Cubs need to improve a ton, and have lots of available options on how to improve the team going forward.

    Front office needs to get better .

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I can buy that. I like Eddie Rosario for left, Pederson in right, and Rizzo at first. Short should have some right side pop without all the strikeouts. I don't know about trading Contreras tho.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Amaya hasn’t played for 2 years with injuries this year and no minors last year.Contreras will probably want out if they don’t extend him.

    I think Contreras needs to be extended but no idea what he wants.

  • fb_avatar

    It's such a shame that our top 2 prospects are hurt this year. Amaya is out, but I haven't heard anything about Marquez. He was projected to come up to the Cubs sometime this year but I don't know where he is now or even if he is pitching.
    I like Madrigal, but as someone said before, Nico is no SS. He's a great 2nd baseman and I don't think Madrigal can play anywhere else. Could Nico be traded? We have a lot of SS coming through the system, but at best they are a year away.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    and to reply to myself, I don't want the Cubs to sign any high priced FA that are 30 or over. Theo said that he didn't want to pay for what players had done in the past and he was right at that point. If we were one player away, then yes, but this team is not going to compete for the playoffs next year so why throw good money away for someone who won't be here for 4 or 5 years in their prime?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Cubs should spend on money on the 26 man roster most seasons. Especially for 2022. Cubs have no place else to spend all their large market revenue except on free agents.

    Spending money means rolling the dice, and hoping the team gets a few breaks to compete in the weak NL central. If that does not happen trade away any pending free agent with value in July 2022.

    Other good teams spent a ton more on international free agents, & before that the draft to improve than the Cubs did before the rules changed. Cubs went a little over on the international free agent spending limit twice. Cubs spent around $8 million twice with penalties. A few other teams Dodgers, Boston, Yankees, Astros, & Padres blew past the international spending limits. With penalties included they spent $40 to 100 million during one or two international free agent signing periods.

    Spending does not make you better, but it shows you are trying, and the front office needs to spend the money smartly.

    Cubs should spend money on MLB players, because that is might be the easiest way to get better at certain positions during the off-season. Sure look for mostly value free agents on shorter term deals.

    How else are the Cubs going to improve? Out-scout, out-develop, & out-think all or most of the other MLB teams?

    Cubs are one of highest ticket prices in baseball they need to spend.....

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I would not trade Nico. Both him and Madrigal seem to get hurt a lot. We might need them both to play at 2B.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I know Nico is not Baez. He looks like a pretty slick shortstop to me. I think that he was just a bit rusty in spot starts there this year.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Nico is a good fielder but does not have a ss arm. No idea what a poor arm does to runs scored but if it only costs a game or two every year maybe they could get by until all the ss prospects surface.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed,
    Its way too early to judge Nico. Maybe the Cubs will leave Nico at SS for a while and STOP moving him around.
    Free agents ? How about Starling Marte playing center field and leading off ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Hey vet: Marte is a nice player, this may have been your best idea, ever, lol. Cubs have Rafael Ortega for 3 more years, at arbitration rates. What a break that is!!! Plus if we could sign Marte for 2 years- say for $14/M per year, I agree that is a good idea. It would take the OF to the Brennan Davis era. Then guys like Caissie and others would be right on their tail. Good idea! We still likely would need one more OFer next year.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I think the Madrigal at second and Hoerner at short is exactly what Jed has planed for the future. I doubt that he is even thinking about adding shortstop. Two contact type hitters who know how to win.

  • Wow, Steete threw some cookies up there in the forth.

  • I haven't seen Nico show anything that makes me think he can't handle short. Huge arms at short are more of a luxury, less of a necessity.

    Really hard to watch the Cubs let Happ try to figure it out in the 3-hole every day. I guess you let him sink or swim though. If he keeps sinking, is he even back next year?

  • Two players trending in different directions . Arrow up for Alcantrera, arrow down for Happ. Today's lineup has Happ batting 3rd, Alcantrera batting 8th .
    Ross, did you make up this line-up ? If you did, there has to be serious discussions about you managing this team.
    To Jed Hoyer,
    Why are you aggravating the Cubs fan base by keeping Happ on
    the club ?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    it's not going to happen, but I would get one of the youngsters up in a few weeks to replace Happ. If the Cubs keep losing then they will have a better draft choice. I know they "want" to win but with the players they have now it's just not going to happen. Even if a Brennen Davis does come up it's to get a bit acclimated to the big leagues. That's fine with me.
    As for Nico and his arm. Let him play short--he doesn't have the strongest arm but he can get to the ball and if he misses getting the out now and then that's what it is. He is still a contact hitter and we need those.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I feel your frustration JF. But I don’t think it’s wise to stay Davis’ clock yet. He needs more experience. Hasn’t played at AAA yet.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    ‘start Davis’ CLOCK yet’. Sorry.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Happ has options send him down bring up vargas (now that young is at iowa) let's see what he can do.

    Happ has totally lost his confidence. He needs to spend the rest of august in iowa.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Huge dilemma for the Cubs in 22' and 23' is what the heck to do with Heyward? He is a big strong guy who doesnt strike out much but he rolls over on every pitch (weak ground balls to the 2nd baseman) great defender but you simply cant put him out there everyday.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I got nothing, short of designing him for assignment............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Designating.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Ha! He is already designed for assignment.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Jason Heyward is really a quality person and always finds a way to help his team win. I hate to see him struggle so much at the plate, but here we are.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Really ? Is this true ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Absolutely, big catches in rightfield, great arm as no one gets an extra base, runs the bases, clubhouse leader and friend with all teammates. Total team player.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I second the motion.......

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Agree !
    The Cubs are moving players around at fast pace. Is there a reason for moving players around or just to move them around ?
    Seeing tonights line-up, I see Ross is moving the lead-off center fielder to 5th in the line-up. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for these moves. Is this baseballs version of musical chairs ?

  • Lineup changes are because a left -hander started for the brewers.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Yes. As hot as Ortega has been, he generally struggles against left-hand pitchers. Has had more success lately going the other way.

  • Winkler was all over the plate and should have been pulled after one batter.
    Is there such a thing as managing to lose ? Way too many mistakes on the Cubs part.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Do you understand the three batter minimum rule? Hard to face three batters with one pitch. Winkler is definitely inconsistent but after the summer sell off he’s one of the “best” they have. That’s what you get when you field a AAA team.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    LOL!

  • Now the Cubs have two players that can't catch, Fargas and Happ. No wonder S.F. let Fargas go.
    More bargain basement players for the Cubbies.
    Please let this season end or quit dragging your behinds and start bringing players up.

  • Give me Hermosillo, Vargas, Leeper etc. Get these guys up they need some AB and pitches to learn.

    Brothers, Fargas and Romine have played decent but they arent in the future plans. Let them catch on with someone else.

    For me the dilemma is Happ, Heyward, Arrieta & Davies they all are terrible probably not in the future plans. Maybe Happ, but he needs to spend the rest of August in iowa to regain his confidence or something.

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