Yesterday was a fun day as myself, @CubsNoHitStreak and @CubicSnarkonia officially opened the Cubs no hit streak contest on twitter. We were blown away with the response as 68 fans entered the August contest, bravo Twitterverse. If you would like to get caught up on the contest please head over to World Series Dreaming to read the rules page, you can still get in for the September contest!
With one swing of the bat Junior Lake put 16 people into a tie for first place, a lot of people were all over Junior Lake last night, see that, we have very smart fans! The standings can change quickly however (2 points for correct player, 1 point for correct inning) so it will be a battle to the end. Remember, there are two ways to enter your pick each day after the lineup is released. One, you can tweet your player, and inning with #nohitstreakcontest somewhere in your tweet so we can track it, or two, you can email CubsNoHitStreakContest@gmail.com and we will grab your selection there. If you do email, please be sure to give us your twitter handle, player and inning.
Quite the start boys and girls, this should be a fun ride! Just a reminder, Cubs start at 3:05 PM CST today, please have your pick in to us before then, we will post the lineup as soon as it is out, thanks again for playing!
POINT TOTALS THROUGH AUGUST 1
|Twitter Handle||Total Points|
Our friends over at Cubs Den have heard that the Cubs are no longer taking offers for Shark, and are not looking to move him. I figured this would happen but the Cubs front office did the right thing, no one is untouchable as you never know what a team would offer. The asking price was probably double of what Garza brought back from the Rangers and the only team that could come close to that was the Pirates, not going to happen. Samardzija will be a Cub for the rest of the season.
Welcome to deadline day, the MLB non waiver deadline is 3:00 PM CST, so we have just about three and a half hours to go. Rumors today are that Nate Schierholtz and or David DeJesus could be moved, we will be tracking everything here so keep check back!
11:40 AM – The Pirates were breathing down the White Sox necks to get Alex Rios, well he fouled a ball off his foot last night and is now day-to-day. That has some people thinking that the Pirates are now going to go hard after Nate Schierholtz or David DeJesus. The Pirates are also looking for bullpen help and James Russell and or Kevin Gregg would fit nicely there.
11:46 AM – Per Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are listening to offers for everyone, including recently acquired Matt Garza, wait, what?
11:57 AM – Ken Rosenthal reports that David DeJesus has the best chance to get traded today, even better than Schierholtz.
12:03 PM – The Cubs have been linked to Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks, sounds like Arizona is looking for relief help and have their eye on Luke Gregerson of the Padres. Cubs still a possible destination, but looking less likely.
12:13 PM – There is an awful lot of chatter surrounding Jeff Samardzija being dealt. I don’t see this happening but where there is smoke there is fire, I know Jed and Theo are listening to offers for him, and it would have to be a whopper of a return. That said, the Pirates are in play on this, and have the prospects to get something done, doubt they go as high as the Cubs want them to.
12:26 PM – Buster Olney is reporting that the Cubs could wait to deal Gregg, as in before the August waiver deadline. Says that the Cubs might want to hang on to him and see if a team develops a need for a guy like Gregg later in the season.
1:24 PM – Gordon Wittenmeyer confirms that Navarro could be a target of the Cardinals. Also confirmed that trading within the division is not a concern.
1:37 PM – Jayson Stark says that a Navarro to the Cardinals deal is possible but “not close” … seems to be gaining some steam.
2:06 PM – Per Nick Cafardo it sounds like Nate Schierholtz will be staying with the Cubs, kind of surprising.
At the plate – Arismendy Alcantara was a one man wrecking crew in this one as he went 3-for-4 with four RBI’s, and a walk. Christian Villanueva was 2-for-4 with a run scored in the win. Villanueva was part of a group of hitters at the bottom of the lineup that got the job done in this one. The Smokies five through nine hitters were a combined 7-for-17 with two walks, three RBI’s, and eight runs scored. John Andreoli was 1-for-2 with a walk, his eighth stolen base of the year, an RBI, and three runs scored. Rafael Lopez was outstanding going 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI’s, a walk, and two runs scored.
On the mound – Dae-Eun Rhee was magnificent in picking up his third win of the season against no losses. Rhee worked 6.1 innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out five. Hunter Cervenka was touched up a bit as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one. Frank Batista was great in closing this one out, he worked two innings giving up one run, unearned, on no hits (what?) while walking one and striking out one.
- Iowa Cubs: Logan Watkins was 2-for-4 with his eighteenth double of the season, and a run scored
- Iowa Cubs: Ty Wright was 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Iowa Cubs: Darnell McDonald was 2-for-3 with a double, and a walk in the loss.
- Daytona Cubs: Zeke DeVoss was the lone offense for Daytona, he went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
- Kane County Cougars: Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with his sixteenth home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Boise Hawks: Kris Bryant was 1-for-4 with his second double of the season, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Boise Hawks: Tyler Skulina worked three scoreless innings giving up two hits while striking out two.
Notes: AZL Cubs were off, and Tyler Skulina was promoted to Kane County this morning (2013 – 4th round pick).
From time to time I like to make a post about a Cubs prospect so you the reader, and fan won’t look stupid if and when they make it to the big club. Well, now this feature has a name, “Who is this guy?” I wanted to use the line from the movie “Major League” but this is a family blog for the most part. Today we learn about Jeimer Candelario, and keep an eye out because there will be many more of these in the near future.
Jeimer was brought into the Cubs organization as a non-drafted free agent on September 29, 2010, he was only seventeen years old at the time of the signing. The switch hitting Candy man has quickly made a name for himself and has left some forgetting that he is still so very young.
Candelario got his professional career underway in 2011 playing in the Dominican Summer league, he played seventy-two games as a seventeen year-old, primarily at third base. The numbers were impressive, Candelario hit .337 with an eye-popping .443 OBP, and a robust OPS of .921, talk about Cubs way. In 305 plate appearances Candelario walked fifty times and only struck out forty-two times, that’s what makes him so desirable to the current organization, grinding at bats. I mentioned his OPS, he racked up sixteen doubles, two triples, and five home runs while driving in fifty-three, again, in seventy-two games.
That performance was enough for the Cubs to send Jeimer to Boise to start the 2012 season with the Hawks in the Northwest League. The Boise Hawks were oh so very close to an outright Championship in 2012 and Jeimer was a big reason why. It was a stiff test for sure as Jeimer was one of the youngest players on the roster at eighteen years old but he more than held his own. The numbers were similar to those that he put up in the Dominican Summer League, but you can see the increase in talent of the opposition across the board. Jeimer’s average dropped to .281 for the season, he had an OBP of .345 and a .741 OPS. Sure those are “big” drops, but not when you put it into context, there was no way he was going to sustain the numbers he put up in the DSL while playing against the talent of the NWL at eighteen years old. Those numbers are excellent, the main difference was the drop in walks, Jeimer walked twenty-six times for Boise compared to fifty in the DSL the year before. The result was more strike outs (55), and a lower average, but it was still a tremendous year.
That brings us to this year, the Cubs sent Jeimer to Kane County to embark on his first full season as a professional ballplayer. Jeimer was doing so as the second youngest player on the team, only Albert Almora is younger. As of today Candelario has played in ninety-six games, that is twenty-four more than he has ever played in one pro season. The increased work load has taken a toll on Jeimer as his numbers are down a bit since the all-star break (.225 average) but if you look closer he is starting to get back into good habits. For the season Jeimer is hitting .251 with a .337 OBP and a .714 OPS, all career lows, but the walks have bounced back and he has become doctor doubles. That is the nickname of Garret Anderson because he was a doubles machine, well Jeimer is starting to grow into that type of hitter. His previous career high in doubles was sixteen in the DSL, he already has twenty-nine with the Cougars.
There is progression across the board from Jeimer, and he is showing why MLB.com ranked him as the 13th best prospect in the system coming into the year. The future is bright for Jeimer, at only nineteen he has proven he can play at the class A level, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him transition to Daytona next year as a twenty year-old, after that anything can happen. I wish Jeimer the best of luck, and give him a follow on twitter (@Jeimer24C), super nice guy that loves to interact with fans.
At the plate - Daytona couldn’t get the big hit when they needed it in this one, but still found enough offense to escape with a win. Ben Carhart was 2-for-5 in the win, he is now hitting .251 on the season. Dustin Geiger has put together a stellar 2013, he was 2-for-4 with a walk in this one and is now hitting .289 on the season. Both Taiwan Easterling and Brad Zapenas had two hits, and a run scored today. Daytona registered nine hits but they were only 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eleven men on base.
On the mound - I was really excited for C.J. Edwards Cubs debut today and he didn’t disappoint. Edwards was nasty going five scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out eight. The only hit Edwards gave up was of the infield variety, and not one ball made it out of the infield. That wasn’t the only impressive stat from this one as Edwards struck out the first seven hitters he faced, unfortunately he walked away with a no decision. Lendy Castillo took over and was solid going three scoreless innings giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking three, and striking out three to earn his first win of the year. Austin Reed worked the ninth for his third save of the year, he allowed one hit and that was it.
- Iowa Cubs: Brad Nelson was 1-for-3 with his second triple of the season, an RBI, and a walk.
- Iowa Cubs: Ty Wright was 3-for-4 with three(!) doubles, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Iowa Cubs: Chang-Yong Lim worked two scoreless innings in relief giving up two hits while striking out two.
- Tennessee Smokies: Javier Baez was 2-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI’s, and two runs scored.
- Tennessee Smokies: Rubi Silva was 2-for-4 with a double, and two outfield assists.
- Kane County Cougars: Albert Almora was 2-for-5 with a run scored, he is now hitting .333 on the season.
- Kane County Cougars: Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored.
- Kane County Cougars: Rock Shoulders was 2-for-5 with a double, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Kane County Cougars: The bullpen; Nathan Dorris, Starling Peralta, and Armando Rivero worked a combined seven scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking four and striking out nine.
- Boise Hawks: Kris Bryant was 1-for-3 with his second home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Boise Hawks: Dillon Maples picked up the win going five innings giving up one run on five hits while striking out five. He hasn’t walked a batter in his last two outings.
- Boise Hawks: Corbin Hoffner was solid out of the pen going three scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out two.
- AZL Cubs: Charcer Burks was 2-for-4 with his first double of the season.
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.