Results tagged ‘ Chicago Cubs ’
In case you have not noticed Josh Vitters has had a great first half of baseball in Triple-A Iowa. Vitters was drafted third overall by the Cubs out of Cypress High School in Anaheim California. Considered to be the most polished high school hitter in the ’07 Draft it has been a little disappointing that he has not made it to the show yet. However, he is only 22 years old and has hit at every level he has been at, yet to many Cub fans it feels like he has been a bust. Well, in his first season at Iowa Vitters has been very good, making the All Star team as a reserve. His offensive numbers say all there is to know about his season thus far as he is hitting .302 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI’s. He also has an impressive 25 doubles and his OPS is .866.
Yes it has been a very good year for Vitters en route to the Triple-A All Star Game, but I am sure he has his sights set higher this year. As is the case with any minor leaguer he hopes to make it to the major leagues this year. With Ian Stewart done for the season and the only one ahead of him being Luis Valbuena it is possible for him to get the call at some point. Is he in the Cubs future plans? It is hard to tell, but it is nice to see him put up some pretty good numbers at Iowa. If he is not in the plans the success he has had should give the Cubs a nice chip to dangle to get a good return in a potential deal.
Josh Vitters will have an impact on the Cubs organization at some point, whether it is as a player or in a possible trade at a later date. With that said he should be celebrated on quite a first half and hopefully more continued success as the season continues.
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The Cubs will look to get back in the win column sending Paul Maholm to the mound to face Randall Delgado and the Braves. Here’s a look at the rest of the Cubs lineup. The game can be seen on WGN starting at 6:10 CT.
DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Maholm – P
Earlier today Jorge Soler worked out for several teams. To no surprise one of those several teams to see him workout was the Chicago Cubs. Jed Hoyer who was in attendance today said, “We obviously scouted him extensively, a lot of teams have, and a lot of teams are involved. He went on to say, “He is really talented.”
Soler’s agent has asked teams interested in the 20-year old Cuban to make an offer by tomorrow, June 7. It would be nice to find out sooner than later if the Cubs in fact are able to sign the very talented outfielder, but just because offers will be coming in tomorrow it does not mean we will find that out anytime soon. Soler will have until July 2, before the new restrictions on international signing begins, so we should find out in the next few weeks at the worst. Here’s hoping the Cubs can sign Soler and continue to replenish the farm system. We will keep you posted as we find out more.
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Peoria got another stellar outing from LHP Kyler Burke last night as he went 6 innings giving up 2 hits and allowing no earned runs. He recorded his first win of the season dropping his ERA to 2.31. The 25-year-old has enjoyed success thus far as a pitcher dating back to last year at Boise where he pitched out of the bullpen. He ended the season with a 2.86 ERA in 44 innings pitched including one save while striking out just over one batter per inning.
So what makes Kyler Burke so interesting? Well we need to get in the time machine and go back a few years to 2007 when Michael Barrett was on the wrong side of Carlos Zambrano’s fists. Shortly after that memorable June day the Cubs traded Barrett to the Padres for two players. Most of us remember or are trying to forget that we received catcher Rob Bowen, but many don’t recall the centerpiece in the deal was a 19-year-old OF who was drafted 35th overall in just the previous years draft. That player was Kyler Burke and the Cubs were very happy to acquire the talented outfielder. Burke’s next few seasons were plagued by drastic inconsistency with the highlight coming in 2009 when he was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year. He hit .303 with 15 HR, and 89 RBI’s in Peoria. The next year however was when things took a turn for the worse, while in Daytona Burke hit only .212 with 131 strikeouts in 135 games. The following March the Cubs and Burke, who had pitched in high school, decided it was time for a change and with that Kyler Burke began his new career as a pitcher.
The Cubs have to be happy with his progress thus far, as he is doing quite well in only his second year as a pitcher. Burke recently has moved from the pen to the starting rotation for Peoria with pretty good results. Where will Kyler Burke go from here we don’t know, but with a premium on quality left-handed arms out of the bullpen it is hard to think he won’t make it to the show as a big league pitcher sometime down the road. As long as it seems Kyler Burke’s story has been, it really has just begun. The best of luck to him on his continued development and we hope to see him at Wrigley somtime in the future.
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The Cubs have signed thirty-five year old relief pitcher Mike MacDougal to a minor league contract today. MacDougal was granted his release from the Dodgers after refusing to accept an outright assignment to the minors. He had a very nice season last year for the Dodgers, but has struggled thus far this year. MacDougal has had some up and downs in his career, but the possibility of getting some cheep help in the bullpen can only help as the season goes forward. The beauty about it is if it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t cost you anything and you can easily cut ties with him.
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Lets go back to Monday night with Carlos Marmol on the mound and the Cubs up by two in the eighth, Marmol put the first two hitters of the inning on and up stepped Freddie Freeman with runners on first and second. Freeman lined
a ball up the middle that was caught easily by Castro behind the second base bag. The Cubs proceeded to get out of the inning and win the game. Besides the obvious answer, why was this play so important? In years past that is a base hit and the Braves continue to threaten, probably tie the game, and possibly take the lead. Castro being where he was to make the catch shows me the Cubs are actually beginning to look at player tendencies and spray charts a little more than they had in years past. I know at times putting a shift on might come back to hurt you, but players’ tendencies usually don’t lie. As in the case Monday the defensive positioning of Castro went a long way in the Cubs winning the game. Lets fast forward a day and bring Freddie Freeman back up to the plate. Freeman once again hit the ball on the screws only for the ball to be caught routinely by Castro in back of second base. Freeman would come up again later and line a ball that Dempster would catch, just a guess, but if that ball got by him I would think that Castro would have been there to make that play too.
It seems like a little thing, but organizationally it is a component that was not there previously. Did they shift in past years, yes, but that was on the players that get the shift put on them league wide. This year the Cubs defense is moving with each hitter because they know what his tendencies are and they can position themselves properly, which should give them an advantage. The new Cubs regime has obviously placed a greater emphasis on this part of the game and it has already and will continue to play a big role in this team getting better.
Blake DeWitt was once again designated for assignment. The Cubs will now have ten days to release, waive, or trade DeWitt. As you recall the Cubs did the same thing with DeWitt a couple months ago, he cleared waivers then and accepted a minor league assignment, but it is unknown if he will do the same should he clear waivers this time through. Taking his place today is going to be Travis Wood who will get his first major league start with the Cubs. However, what will happen after today is anyones guess as I don’t think the Cubs will carry 13 pitchers. My thinking is it will be Adrian Cardenas who is off to a good start in Iowa, but maybe the organization has something else planned. We will let you know as soon as we find out.
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It’s official, Marlon Byrd has been traded to the Boston Red Sox. In return the Chicago Cubs will receive 25 year old right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden and the ever famous, player to be named later. The Cubs will pay most of Byrd’s remaining salary, which is $6.5MM. Bowden, who played High School baseball at Waubonsie Valley in Aurora was drafted 47th overall in 2005. We don’t yet know what this means for the Cubs going forward. Is it Brett Jackson time right now, or will we have to wait for him to patrol CF in Wrigley a little bit longer. As more becomes known we will let you know.
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Pardon me as I interrupt for a second, I just wanted to give a huge thank you to all of you who have taken time out of your day to read and comment on the blog. We just reached 2,000 views in a little over 3 months. I’ve been blown away by the support, and I promise that I’m in it for the long haul, hopefully improving your experience here as we move forward, kind of like the Cubs… Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
- George Cotugno & Mark Sorrentino
It has been reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times that the Cubs have shown interest in acquiring LHP John Lannan from the Washington Nationals this week. The Cubs have apparently already discussed the left-handed throwing Lannan and former Cub Tom Gorzelanny. Lannan, 27 requested a trade earlier this week after he was optioned to the minor leagues. He is set to earn $5MM this year and is under team control through 2013. It is speculated that Marlon Byrd would be going back to Washington in the deal, but only time will tell if this rumor has any truth to it or not.