Javier Baez is hitting home runs at a frantic pace, he just hit his 9th home run of the season for the Smokies, that gives him 26 for 2013 (Daytona and Tennessee)… it’s July 28th. Enjoy the video below, thanks to the Smokies for sharing it.
Well it’s official, the Alfonso Soriano era in Chicago is now over, and that comes with mixed feelings among Cubs fans. Soriano carried the Cubs in 2007 and 2008, the first two seasons with the club as the Cubs made the playoffs both years only to fizzle out. During these seasons Soriano was beloved, chants of Sor-i-ano could be heard all over the Country as Cubs fans flocked to opposing teams ballparks during the stretch run. I was one of those fans, I still remember going to Cincinnati in September of 2007 to watch Soriano blast home run after home run as the Cubs closed in on a division title. Post 2008 was a different story, the Cubs are 335-418 since winning the division with a 97-64 record in 2008. This is where most of the mixed feelings come from, Soriano was signed to an eight year contract worth $136 million by then general manager Jim Hendry. There was no way that Soriano could live up to that contract, especially given the fact that his legs basically gave out in 2009 which resulted in a .241 average and only twenty home runs. Soriano had somewhat of a resurgence the last two years which won some fans back, but the majority of the fans that will miss him will miss him for his leadership.
As Dale Sveum said yesterday, Soriano is one of the top five professional players that he has been around in this game. His work ethic, his leadership, his ability to play in a big market and never get too high or low based on his performance are things that will be missed. But today is a big day for the Cubs, they have finally moved out of the Jim Hendry era and seem to be pointed in the right direction. The only player remaining from the 2008 team is Jeff Samardzija, the longest tenured position player is now Starlin Castro, think about that, and I think that’s a good thing. Today, MLB approved a deal that is sending Soriano back to the Yankees and Corey Black will be coming over to the Cubs. Black is a twenty one year-old right handed pitcher with a big arm. Black has routinely hit 100 mph, and sits consistently at 95 mph, that’s an arm that works in the bullpen at the major league level. As you can imagine, a guy with that arm has a lot of walks, a lot of strikeouts, and doesn’t get hit too often. In 131 innings as a pro Black has given up three home runs, three. So best of luck to Soriano in New York, can’t say that I’m sad to see him leave, but I do appreciate how hard he worked on a bad team, bottom line is that he needed to go in order for the Cubs to completely move forward, and they are ready to do that.
What about the money?? Soriano has about $6.5 million remaining on this years $18 million salary, and is owed $18 million again next year. The Yankees will pay $6.8 million of the remaining balance, $1.8 M in 2013 and $5 M in 2014. So the Cubs are still going to eat the majority of the money.
Sounds like the deal is almost official. Numerous reports are now saying that the Cubs have traded Matt Garza to the Rangers for Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and possibly Justin Grimm. If that is the final package then this is a clear win for the Cubs as the Rangers just gave up a MLB ready pitcher, a youngish one too (Grimm), a high end prospect arm (Edwards), and there number one prospect coming into this year (Olt) for ten starts out of Matt Garza. More to come later..
Sounds like the Cubs are also getting a player to be named in the deal, and the players in that group are quite good. Chris Rusin starts tonight for the Cubs.
Matt Garza was scheduled to pitch for the Cubs tonight, WAS. Per Ken Rosenthal the Cubs have scratched the available right hander from tonight’s start because a trade with the Rangers is very close, stay tuned as we might have a deal to announce shortly.
Two years ago today tragedy struck the Drozdz family. 18-year-old Gabby Drozdz was walking with friends to Alpine Fest along Church Road in Lake Zurich. If you live around the area like I do, you know that this area is dangerous, it doesn’t have sidewalks, there is no lighting despite it being in a school zone. However, it is a heavily traveled road especially by foot given it’s location to downtown Lake Zurich. It sounds like there are improvements that are being fought for so that is good to hear, now on to remembering Gabby, and helping.
This is a story that means a lot to me, I didn’t know Gabby personally, but turns out I know the ones closest to her. I saw the story when it happened, you couldn’t miss it if you lived in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. As soon as I saw the story I was disturbed by it, how can a person drive their vehicle into other human beings and just keep going? That’s exactly what happened, Gabby and two of her friends were run down by a faceless driver. Gabby’s friends made it through okay, however Gabby did not, and her promising life was ripped away. Then I saw more of the articles coming out in the paper and news stories with comments from her family, that’s when my heart sank. Scott Grzelak is Gabby’s brother, he also helped me out by installing a few doors in my house, and is married to my good friend Kristin who I went to High School with and have known since a young age, I was sick to my stomach. Since this day I have done my absolute best to remember Gabby (picture is of me wearing Gabby’s shirt) and help support the cause to find her killer.
I don’t ask a lot, and I don’t usually use this space for personal posts, but I felt it was necessary today on the two-year anniversary of a day many people I know will never forget to remember Gabby, and given the fact that I can reach a lot of people with said post it’s the least I can do to try and help. If you feel the urge to help please donate at the link listed below, and visit the site remembering Gabby so you to can understand what a special person she was. RIP Gabby, I really wish I could have met you.
A $10,000 reward for information leading the arrest of the driver responsible for Drozdz’s death is still available.
If you have any information about this accident, call Lake County CrimeStoppers at 847-662-2222. All tips can remain confidential.
For more information, and to donate to the reward fund, visit www.gabbydrozdz.com. Also, you can support Scott’s local small business Rustic Elements, they feature handmade tables and furniture with a rustic flare.
At The Plate – Not much going for the Iowa offense, luckily they didn’t need much to walk away with a victory. Darnell McDonald was 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored in the win. J.C. Boscan had the big hit for Iowa as he was 1-for-3 with a double, and two RBI’s. The Cubs could only manage five hits in this one but they were 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
On The Mound – It was the Guillermo Moscoso show as he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before allowing a double, and that was it. Moscoso worked eight scoreless innings giving up one hit, two walks, and five strikeouts. Brian Schlitter was solid as usual as he worked a scoreless inning while walking one and striking out one to earn his eleventh save of the season.
- AZL Cubs – Starling Peralta was brilliant working three scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out three.
- AZL Cubs – Kevin Freeman was 2-for-4 with his first double of the season.
- Boise Hawks – Shawon Dunston was 3-for-5 with two doubles (7 on the season), an RBI, and two runs scored.
- Boise Hawks – Jordan Hankins was 2-for-4 with his first double of the year, and two runs scored.
- Boise Hawks – Tyler Skulina worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.
- Kane County – Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-3 with his fifth triple of the year, a walks, and a run scored.
- Kane County – Oliver Zapata was 1-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Tennessee Smokies – Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-4 with a walk, and a run scored in game one.
- Tennessee Smokies – Javier Baez was 2-for-4 with a walk, and an RBI in game one.
- Tennessee Smokies – Austin Kirk was solid in game one going six scoreless innings giving up four hits while walking one and striking out three.
- Tennessee Smokies – Frank Batista was great out of the pen to pick up the win in game one, he worked three scoreless innings while walking two and striking out two.
- Tennessee Smokies – Javier Baez was solid in game two as well, he went 2-for-4 with his second homer of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Tennessee Smokies – Yeiper Castillo was solid in game two working four innings giving up one run on one hit while striking out six.
- Tennessee Smokies – Kevin Rhoderick is starting to round into form, he worked three scoreless innings out of the pen to pick up his first win of the season, he also struck out two.
Notes: Daytona was rained out
The deadline for signing draft picks is this Friday, well the Cubs got their number one priority taken care of today. Per multiple reports from Jim Callis, Peter Gammons, and Paul Sullivan the Cubs have agreed to terms with Kris Bryant for full slot, meaning $6.7M. It seemed like the Cubs would be getting Bryant signed all along, he is a Boras client so I’m not surprised it took this long. The money is a record in the slot era, but again, Bryant got slot so it’s not like the Cubs went over, but some were hoping he would go for under slot. Expect the Cubs to make it official shortly then we get to see where Bryant will start his Cubs career, wouldn’t be shocked to see him start at High A Daytona right off the bat.
At The Plate – Daytona looked like they had this one wrapped up but a four run seventh inning brought Lakeland all the way back for a 4-3 win. Zeke DeVoss was solid out of the lead-off spot going 1-for-3 with two walks, his nineteenth stolen base of the year, and an RBI. Pin-Chieh Chen had another solid game going 2-for-4 with a double, two stolen bases, and an RBI.
On The Mound – Ben Wells was tremendous, unfortunately he couldn’t hang on to get a win. Wells worked six innings giving up two runs on one hit (yeah, one) while walking one and striking out four. Frank Del Valle rarely ever gets touched up, this was one of those rare occurences. Del Valle struggled with command as he worked one inning giving up two runs on two hits while walking two. Eduardo Figueroa gave Daytona a chance to come back late as he worked one scoreless inning giving up one hit while walking one.
- Iowa Cubs – Marcus Hatley worked 1.1 scoreless innings out of the pen while striking out one.
- AZL Cubs – Erick Leal worked 3.2 innings giving up one run on five hits while walking one and striking out four.
Notes: The Tennessee Smokies game was suspended after one inning and will be finished today. Kane County, and Boise were off.
There’s hot, and then there is what Alfonso Soriano is doing. Soriano is unconscious at the plate right now, his latest reminder to the rest of baseball that he can play was a two home run performance last night as the Cubs pounded the Angels 7-2 for their fourth straight win. In his last eleven games Soriano is hitting .400 with eight home runs, and seventeen RBI’s, wow. Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and Darwin Barney also got in on the long ball fun to pace the Cubs attack. On a night where every fly ball was dangerous Travis Wood carved up a dangerous Angels lineup. Wood worked 6.2 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out five to pick up his sixth win of the season. The Cubs are now eight games under .500 and nine games out of a wild card spot, just pointing that out, not insinuating anything, yet.
PICTURE OF THE GAME