Late last night the news started coming out that Scott Hairston was traded to the Nationals, this morning that news was confirmed. The Cubs have traded Scott Hairston to the Nationals for minor league righty Ivan Pineyro, there was also a mention of a PTBNL but I’m not sure if that has been confirmed, if true it would most likely be going from the Cubs to the Nats. Hairston has struggled this year with the Cubs, but has provided some power off the bench as he has eight home runs in just 99 at bats. The Nationals are also paying the majority of Hairston’s salary as he was signed with the Cubs through next year. The player the Cubs got in return might end up being a steal. Pineyro is a 21 year-old right-handed pitcher that has seen success so far this year at class A, and high A ball with the Nats. The Cubs have reported that Pineyro will report to Daytona and assume a spot in the rotation there, for the year Pineyro is 6-3 with a 3.24 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 77 innings.
For the time being the Cubs have called up Brooks Raley to help out in the bullpen tonight against the White Sox. There is some discussion in the organization that Junior Lake might make sense as a call up, currently the ultra talented outfielder is tearing up Iowa, hitting .315 with all sorts of slugging numbers. Odds are the Cubs aren’t going to speed up his development, and Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs would like to use Lake as their righty platoon in RF next year.
Carlos Villanueva made his return to the rotation this afternoon and was good but was on a pitch limit, so the Cubs needed a real big effort from their pitchers, and they got it. Villanueva and Hector Rondon each gave up a run today, but other than that the Cubs pitchers were spotless, all seven of them. Oh, except for Kevin Gregg, leading 3-2 in the ninth the Pirates were down to their last strike when Starling Marte launched a game tying solo shot, gut punch. Matt Guerrier came on in relief and gave the Cubs a chance to win and the Cubs did just that. After loading the bases with nobody out Dioner Navarro hit a game winning sacrifice fly to right field, and just like that the Cubs had a series win, their fourth in their last five. Sure this season is lost, but it is nice to see some positive results on the North Side, finally.
PICTURE OF THE GAME
At The Plate – Not much happening for the Cougars at the plate in this one as they were shut out and could only manage three hits the whole night. Albert Almora was 1-for-2 in the loss and also had to leave the game early with an apparent leg/hamstring injury, he briefly stayed in the game but came out the next inning. Marco Hernandez and Carlos Escobar each had one hit, all three Cougars hits were singles.
On The Mound – Jose Rosario got the start and also the loss, his fifth of the season as he was roughed up. Rosario worked five innings giving up five runs on six hits while walking four (not good) and striking out one. Sheldon McDonald was outstanding in relief going three scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out three. Michael Hamann worked one inning out of the pen and got into some trouble before escaping unscathed, he worked one scoreless inning giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.
At The Plate – Daytona was cruising in this one as they led 6-0 into the bottom of the eighth inning, that’s when thing got uncomfortable. Dunedin put five runs on the board in the bottom of the eighth to get within one, luckily the D-Cubs stopped the bleeding and held on to win 6-5. Zeke DeVoss was productive out of the lead off spot going 3-for-5 with three RBI’s. Ben Carhart continues his solid 2013 as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .277 on the season with 38 RBI’s. Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-4 with two doubles, and an RBI, those are his first two doubles since being called up to Daytona (17 AB). Pin-Chieh Chen was 1-for-2 with two walks (Cubs Way!), a triple, and two runs scored.
On The Mound – Pierce Johnson got the start in this one and picked up his first win with Daytona in his third start. Johnson worked five scoreless innings giving up five hits while walking one and striking out five. Austin Reed was solid out of the pen as he worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit and walking one. Jeffrey Lorick doesn’t have many bad games, this was one of them as he worked one inning giving up five runs on four hits while walking one and striking out two. Dayan Diaz took over for Lorick and was barely able to hang on for the save which was the his first of the season. Diaz worked one scoreless inning giving up three hits before escaping some big time trouble.
At The Plate – The Smokies fell behind quickly in this one and could never recover as they were trailing 7-1 by the bottom of the fourth en route to an 8-2 defeat. Not much going offensively but the big news from the day and the game was the debut of Javier Baez, he went 1-for-4 with his first AA home run on his first AA swing of that bat. Christian Villanueva has put together a pretty decent season so far, he was 1-for-4 with his eleventh home run of the year, and his forty-second RBI. Rubi Silva had a solid game going 2-for-4 with two singles, he’s now hitting .264 on the season.
On The Mound – Austin Kirk got the start for the Smokies and had a rough go of it as he suffered his third loss of the season. Kirk worked two innings giving up six runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out two. Yeiper Castillo was outstanding out of the pen going five innings giving up one run on four hits while walking three and striking out four. Kevin Rhoderick struggled with his command again in this one, he worked two innings giving up one run on one hit while walking three (the command thing).
At The Plate – Not a great day all around for Iowa as they lost both ends of the doubleheader to Albuquerque. Logan Watkins was solid in game one going 2-for-4 with an RBI, and a walk, he also made his ninth error of the season. Junior Lake continues his solid 2013 going 1-for-3 with two walks (Cubs Way!) in game one, he’s now hitting .319 on the season. The Cubs worked six walks in game one (good!) however they were 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position (bad!). Game two saw much of the same as the Cubs worked four walks, but could only manage five hits, and were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
On The Mound – Jake Arrieta made his Cubs debut in game one and was only able to work one inning before the rains came. Arrieta struggled with his command as he gave up one run on one hit while walking two and striking out two in his inning of work. Esmailin Caridad took over and also took the loss as he went three innings giving up two runs, one earned, while walking one and striking out two. In game two Barret Loux was outstanding but still wound up on the losing end as the Cubs couldn’t muster any offense. Loux went six innings giving up one run on four hits while walking four and striking out six.
At The Plate – The Hawks were able to pound out ten hits in this one but couldn’t push across any runs except for in the third when they scored three times. Daniel Lockhart had a solid game, minus one error, he was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Yasiel Balaguert was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .272 on the season. Jacob Rogers was the offense in this one as he was 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored. The Hawks only had five chances with runners in scoring position despite having ten hits, they finished the game going 2-for-5.
On The Mound – James Pugliese was finally roughed up, he worked five innings giving up five runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out six. Scott Frazier was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one. Zack Godley, and Matt Iannazzo each worked a scoreless inning in relief to keep the Hawks in the game during the late innings.
Carlos Villanueva gets the start today for the Cubs as they try to take the series from the Pirates this afternoon in the rubber game. The Pirates will counter with A.J. Burnett who has been outstanding against the Cubs this year. Villanueva was really good as a starter earlier this year but was relegated to bullpen duties when Matt Garza returned to the rotation, now that Feldman is gone his spot in the rotation is Villanueva’s.
July 31st is awfully close, here come the Soriano bombs! Alfonso Soriano padded his trade value today while also helping the Cubs dispatch a team they haven’t been able to buy a win against, the Pirates. Soriano blasted two, two-run homers in back to back innings, one in the fourth and another in the fifth. That was all the Cubs needed as Edwin Jackson was stellar, again. Jackson went 5.2 innings giving up one run on four hits while walking two and striking out three to earn his fifth win of the season. The Cubs pen was outstanding today, try to contain your shock and enthusiasm, actually let it run wild, this is a rare occurrence. James Russell, Matt Guerrier, and Kevin Gregg all had scoreless appearances with Gregg picking up his fifteenth save of the year, speaking of trade value.
PICTURE OF THE GAME
Big day for Javier Baez and the Cubs organization as the superstar in the making was promoted from the Daytona Cubs (High A) to the Tennessee Smokies (AA). Not only was he promoted but he launched the first pitch he swung at tonight 415 feet over the centerfield wall for a two run homer. Get excited folks, the future is creeping closer to Chicago.
That bat speed, that sound..
I talked about the importance of the international singing period earlier today, and now we are really seeing how important it is with these deals. Patrick Mooney is reporting that the Cubs have traded Ronald Torreyes (he was acquired in the Sean Marshall to the Reds trade) to the Astros for international bonus money, a shade under $800,000 to be exact. The Cubs are loading up on international money after spending roughly $2.6M earlier today, so something might be in the works, and the Cubs have been rumored to be in on number one prospect outfielder Eloy Jimenez, stay tuned obviously.
Fast and Furious 11… sorry. The Cubs have announced, well I think the Dodgers actually announced it, but anyway the Cubs have traded Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers along with international bonus money (4th slot) for relief pitcher Matt Guerrier. Clearly the Cubs had to throw money into this deal or the Dodgers would have never taken it considering they were dealing with zero leverage here. I assume that the money the Cubs just got from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman trade went to the Dodgers or at least made the money even for the Cubs so they wouldn’t feel so bad about losing it. Guerrier is not going to improve this team down the road, but he helps the Cubs get rid of Marmol and his money which is never a bad thing. Pretty impressive that Jed and Theo could move Marmol in this situation, maybe he figures it out, he wasn’t going to do so here.
Yes, Scott Feldman was supposed to pitch for the Cubs in Oakland tonight, that clearly can’t happen anymore so the Cubs have called up Chris Rusin to take his spot in the rotation. Rusin was the only Iowa Cubs all-star selection this year and was pitching well, going 7-7 with a 3.27 ERA over sixteen starts and one relief appearance. Rusin did get a shot with the Cubs at the end of last year and was roughed up as he went 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA but gained valuable experience in the process. Great opportunity for Rusin tonight to impress the Cubs and snag on of a couple rotation spots that could be opening up in the second half of the season.
The Cubs are getting a head start on the trade deadline it appears as per Keith Law they have traded Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to Baltimore for Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and international bonus money. Feldman, who is a free agent after this season is having a tremendous 2013 going 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA, the Cubs struck while the iron was hot. Sure the return doesn’t look like much but the Cubs are banking on the two guys they are getting in return to figure it out. Both Arrieta and Strop have talent, but both have issues finding the strike zone which has led to some pretty bad numbers recently. Strop was outstanding in 2012, but still struggles with control, his 7.35 ERA this year would point to his inability to pitch around walks as they are still there, and more common than in 2012. The Cubs plan heading into this season was to sign Feldman, see if they can compete and if they didn’t then deal Feldman for assets, mission accomplished? Only time will tell, as with so many other things with this team at the moment. More to come.