June 2012

“Breaking” News – Rizzo Pulled from Iowa Game, Coming Up

Anthony Rizzo just flew out to the track and has been pulled from the Iowa Cubs lineup, next stop:  CHICAGO.  Various sources on Twitter including the Iowa Cubs broadcast team have announced that Rizzo has been called up to the Chicago Cubs.  There has been no official announcement from the Cubs themselves, but this is it.  Let the Rizzo madness begin.

[UPDATE] Confirmed, Rizzo will make his Cubs debut tomorrow night!

Here is a picture of Rizzo leaving through the OF wall with his bats from the Iowa game.  (credit @HarryPav on twitter)

Thanks for reading,
- George

June 25 – 27; vs. Mets – Series Preview

New York Mets Logo - Modernized Mr. Met logo

It seems like the most interesting news surrounding the Cubs is what is happening off the field than on, that’s probably true.  This is what most Cubs fans have waited for all year, the arrival of Anthony Rizzo.  Rizzo will not be a savior, and he might struggle, but if most Cubs fans are like me, just seeing Rizzo play is a welcome departure from watching a lifeless team go through the motions game after game.  Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Anthony Rizzo could be in the Cubs lineup as early as Tuesday night.  The team he and the Cubs will be facing is one of the early season surprises, the New York Mets.  The Mets are currently five games over .500 and are in second place in the East, just 3.5 games behind the Nationals.  The Cubs will get a look at a big reason Monday night as they face a rejuvenated Johan Santana, but they will avoid knuckleball sensation R.A. Dickey.  The Cubs, per usual, are struggling, they can’t score runs, a big reason is a dreadful stretch with guys in scoring position (3-25 over the weekend in Arizona).  Maybe a Rizzo promotion will help in that department, stay tuned.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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AZL Cubs Off to a Red-Hot Start

The Arizona League Cubs (Rookie League) kicked off their season last week, and are looking good with a 3-1 record in the early going.  This team is primarily made up of guys that just missed making the Boise Hawks team, and most of the 2012 draft picks that have signed.  We will begin including them in the minor league report starting this week!  Here’s an update so far.

Standings

Stats

Thanks for reading,
- George

6/24: Around the Cubs Minor League System

June 24,2012 – Minor League Recap


FULL BOX SCORE

Crazy night in Boise as the Hawks and the Emeralds combined for 25 runs on 32 hits, and five errors.  Boise came out on top 14-11, but not before a scare in the ninth with Eugene putting a six spot on the board.  Willengton Cruz pitched surprisingly well given the final score, he went five strong innings giving up three runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out two to earn his first win of the season.  The Hawks hit four home runs in the offensive onslaught.  Gioskar Amaya, Marco Hernandez, Jeimer Candelario, and Shawon Dunston Jr. all went deep.  Six different Hawks had two hits in the victory, check out the box score, it’s enjoyable.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Another crazy game in the Cubs system as the Peoria Chiefs and Quad Cities combined for 23 runs on 30 hits, and Quad Cities made six errors to help the Chiefs to a 12-11 victory.  Michael Jensen finally had a bad outing but was bailed out by his teammates.  Jensen only lasted four innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits, while walking one and striking out three.  Hunter Cervenka finally gave up a run, in fact a few of them, but thanks to a potent offensive attack he earned the win.  Every Chiefs player had at least one hit in the wild victory.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored.  Dustin Geiger continues to have a solid 2012 after starting late due to injury.  He was 1-for-4 with his 3rd home run of the season, and three RBI’s.  Anthony Giansanti was 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBI’s, he is now hitting .301 0n the season.

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Daytona was postponed by stupid rain.

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Smokies were leading 2-1 against Jacksonville before the game was suspended.  This game will resume once the rain decides to stop.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Rodrigo Lopez struggled with his command, the result was a 5-2 loss to Round Rock.  Lopez lasted six innings giving up four runs on three hits, while walking three and striking out five.  Brett Jackson stayed hot at the plate going 1-for-3 with his 11th home run of the season, he also had a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.  Welington Castillo was 3-for-4 in the defeat with an RBI, he is now hitting .339 on the season.  Anthony Rizzo took an 0-for-3 on the eve of his recall, by all accounts Rizzo will be at Wrigley Field and in the lineup Tuesday night.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Another Lefty Handcuffs Cubs; D-Backs Sweep

Another lefty on the mound and another loss for the Cubs in what is shaping up to be a historically bad season.  The Cubs record against left-handed pitchers dropped to 3-16 on the season after Wade Miley shut the door in a 5-1 victory for the Diamondbacks.  The Cubs did nothing all day, which is a shame because Matt Garza had one of, if not his best road outing of the season.  Garza went seven strong innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out seven.  The loss drops Garza to 3-6 on the season with a 4.06 ERA.  As I said, the Cubs did nothing at the plate, Alfonso Soriano hit his 14th home run of the season in the seventh inning to bring the Cubs to within one run.  That was as close as they would get as the Diamondbacks tacked on one in seventh and two more in the eighth to make it 5-1.  The Cubs did threaten however in the 8th inning, and just missed tying the game on a Darwin Barney double that hit the yellow line at the top of the left field wall.  With 2nd and 3rd and nobody out, and down 3-1, Joe Mather stuck out, Luis Valbuena lined out to short, and David DeJesus grounded back to Miley to end the threat with no runs scoring.  Soriano and Darwin Barney were the only Cubs with hits, each getting two in the defeat.   Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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With Rizzo Promotion Imminent, What Are You Expecting?

It’s about that time, and I expect Anthony Rizzo to be called up on Monday or Tuesday of next week, the rumors floating around out there seem to suggest that Rizzo will be up and in the lineup for the Cubs on Tuesday.  Of course, none of this is official, and only the Cubs truly know when they are going to start the Anthony Rizzo era.  But what do you expect as a Cubs fan once he gets to the Major Leagues for the Cubs?

In my opinion the best case scenario would be Rizzo performing much like Bryan LaHair started this season, a solid OBP guy, and a true left-handed power threat.  Rizzo will also provide gold glove caliber defense.   Worst case scenario he struggles much like he did when the Padres called him up last year.  I think the ballpark in San Diego really messed with Rizzo’s head, he launched a ball last year at PetCo and the ball didn’t get out, the look on his face said it all, this park is not a hitters park.  All it takes at Wrigley is for him to get a ball up in the jet stream and the rest could be history. The thing I’m worried about is the Cubs faithful putting too much pressure on this kid to resurrect the Cubs THIS season, folks this year is a lost cause, it has been for quite some time, Rizzo will not change that.  But I’m interested in what your opinion is, what do you think Rizzo will do when he reaches the big leagues with the Cubs?  Sound off in the comments below, and vote!

Thanks for reading, we will keep you up to date on all things Rizzo this upcoming week.
- George

June 24, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. D-Backs

I do not have a good feeling about this, the Cubs are floundering, more than usual, and Matt Garza has been awful on the road this season, so I forsee a sweep by the D-Backs.  Maybe he will surprise me, here’s how the Cubs will line up behind Garza.

DeJesus CF
Johnson RF
Castro SS
Soriano LF
Baker 1B
Soto C
Barney 2B
Mather 3B
Garza P

My MVP of the day pick is Starlin Castro, he’s been hot and I think he will have another big game today.

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
- George

6/23: Around the Cubs Minor League System

A look at the Cubs minor league system on Saturday, June 23.

 FULL BOX SCORE

Down 3-0 Boise got four runs in the fifth to take the lead, but surrendered it to lose 5-4 on Saturday night.  Ian Dickson got the start for the Hawks and gave up three runs on four hits in just 3.2 innings.  Roderik Pichardo got the loss in relief as he gave up two runs in 3.1 innings of work.  Joseph Zeller pitched two innings giving up only one hit.  Gioskar Amaya went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, Marco Hernandez had a double and two RBI’s, and Chadd Krist had the other RBI for Boise.  Jeimer Candelario, Rock Shoulders, Eduardo Gonzalez, and Shawon Dunston Jr. all had one hit on the night.

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FULL BOX SCORE 

Gerardo Concepcion took the loss as he could only get through 4.1 innings giving up three runs on five hits dropping his record to 2-5.  In the 4-2 Peoria loss Zeke DeVoss had two hits and a run scored.  Paul Hoilman had a nice night at the plate as well as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI.  Dustin Geiger, Yasiel Balaguert, and Oliver Zapata all had contributed with a hit a piece on Saturday.  Sheldon McDonald pitched beautifully throwing 2.2 perfect innings in relief, he also struck out two.  Austin Reed gave up a run in relief, but also struck out three batters in his two innings of work.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Everything looked great for Daytona until they gave up seven runs in the bottom of the eighth as they took the Clearwater won the game 7-2.  Robert Whitenack was brilliant in five innings as he gave up no runs on only three hits while striking out three.  Brian Schlitter continued to impress as he pitched two perfect innings in relief striking out one batter.  As good as Whitenack and Schlitter were A.J. Morris and Jeffrey Lorick were not very good at all.  Morris was tagged with the loss as he gave up four runs while not recording an out and Lorick gave up three more in an inning of work.  The offense had nine hits including two from catcher Chad Noble who had a double and a run scored.  Everyone else in the Cubs starting lineup had one hit except John AndreoliGreg Rohan drove in his 61st run of the year and Matt Szczur scored a run and stole his 20th base of the season.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Tennessee scored six in the third, but had to hold on as they won 7-6 on Saturday.  Jeffry Antigua got the start, but did not factor in the decision as he only was able to pitch three innings.  Casey Weathers got the win pitching two good innings in relief giving up one hit and wallking one while striking out four.  Frank Batista recorded one out to pick up his 11th save of the season.  Logan Watkins had a nice night out of the leadoff spot going 2-for-4 with a double and triple.  He also walked once and scored two runs.  Jae-Hoon Ha had two hits and two RBI’s and Justin Bour added two hits of his own as he drove in a run as well.  Nelson Perez hit his first home run in Double-A and Michael Burgess also hit a homer, each driving in two runs.  Kevin Rhoderick struggled giving up three runs in 1.2 innings, he did however strike out three.

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FULL BOX SCORE 

A three run fourth was too much for Chris Volstand and the Cubs to recover from.  Volstad gave up four runs, three of which were earned on six hits in six innings of work.  Brett Jackson led things for Iowa with his 10th home run of the season.  He added another hit later in the game bringing his average to .259.  Ty Wright had two doubles and Juan Apodaca had went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.  The hot hitting Josh Vitters only had one hit today and Anthony Rizzo is human as he went 0-for-4.  Rafael Dolis pitched two good innings in reflief giving up only hit and striking a batter out.

Thanks for reading,
Mark

June 23, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. DBacks

Here is the starting lineup tonight as Paul Maholm gets the start against Ian Kennedy and the Diamondbacks.

David DeJesus – CF
Starlin Castro – SS
Bryan LaHair- RF
Alfonso Soriano – LF
Luis Valbuena – 3B
Geovany Soto – C
Steve Clevenger – 1B
Adrian Cardenas – 2B
Paul Maholm – P

Go Cubs!!
Mark

6/22: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Cubs minor league recap for 6-22

FULL BOX SCORE 

Boise got their second win in as many nights winning 6-4 on Friday.  Lead off hitter Gioskar Amaya went 4-for-4 with two RBI’s and run scored on the night.  Jeimer Candelario hit his third home run of the season, a three run bomb in the first.  Eduardo Gonzalez had the other RBI on the night as he went 2-for-4 at the plate.  Matthew Spencer got the win as he pitched two scoreless innings in relief.  Rafael Diplan pitched a good 2.1 innings and Bryce Shafer recorded his second save of the season.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Peoria was back in action on Friday dropping the game to Quad Cities 5-3.  Jose Rosario pitched well early, but took the loss as he pitched 7.1 innings and gave up four runs on six hits while striking out three.  The Chiefs got all their scoring in the fourth when Paul Hoilman hit a two-run homer and Yasiel Balaguert had an RBI double.  Javier Baez went 1-for-4 with a run and a stolen base and Dustin Geiger had double and run scored in the loss.  Peoria will be back in action tomorrow looking to get their first win of the second half.

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FULL BOX SCORE 

 Daytona got another well pitched game as they won 3-1.  Winning pitcher Frankie Del Valle was unhittable as he pitched six perfect innings and struck out 11 Clearwater batters on Friday night.  Tony Zych recorded his sixth save of the season pitching a perfect ninth.  The Cubs got the scoring started in the first on a Greg Rohan two-run homer.  He now has 12 home runs and 60 RBI’s on the season.  Rebel Ridling and Arismendy Alcantara each had two hits and Alcantara had an RBI in the win.  Another positive note on the evening was that Matt Szczur played in his first game since coming of the DL and got on base three times as he had one hit and drew two walks.

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FULL BOX SCORE 

Tennessee just could not get the bats going on Friday as they lost to Jacksonville 2-0.  James Adduci and Junior Lake were the only two Smokies to record hits on the evening.  On a positive Dae-Eun Rhee pitched well in a loss.  He allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings of work.  Casey Harman threw a nice inning as he struck out two batters in a perfect eighth.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Iowa blitzed Round Rock on Friday scoring three runs in the first and seven more in the fourth as they won 12-2.  The Cubs offense was the story as Alfredo Amezaga, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Vitters, and Juan Apodaca all had three hits a piece.  Rizzo must missed hitting for the cycle as he did not hit a homer tonight, he also had three RBI’s.  With Vitter’s three hits he raised his average to .287.  Brett Jackson hit his ninth home run of the season, he also walked twice and score two runs on the evening.  The offense was very good, but the pitching was pretty good as well as Chris Rusin got his sixth win of the season.  He gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings.  Jay Jackson threw well out of the pen striking out three in three innings of work.

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It was a good night for the Cubs minor league system going 4-1 on Friday.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

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