Results tagged ‘ Jorge Soler ’
Edwin Jackson will make the start today for the Cubs against the Padres and look to get stretched out a little bit more as we are now just two weeks away from opening day. Here is how the Cubs will line up today, and be still my heart, Soler hitting three and Baez hitting four…. ah, the future looks bright.
E. Jackson P
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On the surface it looks as though the Cubs staff struggled as a whole today, but that really wasn’t the case. Jeff Samardzija got the start and turned in the longest outing of any Cubs pitcher so far, tossing three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three and striking out one. It could have been much worse but Shark wiggled off the hook in the second after loading the bases with no outs. Obviously he didn’t have his best command as illustrated by the three walks, but he battled, and he wasn’t the only one that struggled with command today. Michael Bowden walked two in his inning of work, and Rafael Dolis imploded, walking three in a third of an inning while giving up four runs, three earned, on just one hit. Cory Wade, Blake Parker, James Russell, Casey Coleman, and Shawn Camp all had scoreless appearances.
The Cubs were able to plate two runs in the first inning off of Trevor Cahill, but that is all they would get in this one. Anthony Rizzo continued his strong spring going 2-for-3 with a double, and an RBI, he’s now hitting .364 (4-for-11) in the Cactus League. Luis Valbuena continues to make a strong case to be the starting third baseman going 1-for-2 with a run scored, he’s hitting a robust .571 (4-for-7) this Spring. Jorge Soler had a solid day at the plate going 1-for-2 with a triple, it’s impressive to see a guy that big run that well.
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The Cubs got back to basics this afternoon and also back into the win column, that’s not a coincidence. After yesterdays game, which was one to forget, the Cubs pitching shut the A’s down all day while the offense pounded out twelve hits, and the defense was solid making no errors, a complete ballgame. Scott Feldman got the start for the Cubs, his first as a North Sider, and struggled a bit with his command but was able to pitch around some self-imposed trouble. Feldman worked two innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two. Travis Wood followed Feldman out of the pen, and ended up with the victory as he also went two innings, he gave up one run on two hits while walking none and striking out two. Kyuji Fujikawa had his second straight strong outing as he worked a scoreless inning giving up one hit and striking out one, he now has three strikeouts in two innings of work this Spring. Jensen Lewis made things interesting in the ninth inning as he allowed one run on three hits, but got a couple of clutch strikeouts to earn the save.
The Cubs sprayed the ball all over the field offensively today, registering twelve hits with zero leaving the ballpark. Junior Lake had an impressive day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double, and an RBI, he is now hitting .300 on the Spring (3-for-10). Darnell McDonald had a strong day at the plate as well going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Jorge Soler flashed some of his tools in the game today, he finished 1-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts, but gunned down Josh Reddick at 3rd base from right field. Javier Baez got the start at shortstop today while Starlin Castro nurses a tight hamstring, and went 1-for-3 with a run scored, he didn’t endanger any infielders’ lives today, which is good I guess. I know it’s early, and it’s only Spring, but it’s nice to see a Cubs team competitive from the start.
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Things didn’t exactly get going the right way for the Cubs and eventual winning pitcher Travis Wood. Wood walked the first batter he faced today, on four straight pitches, then threw 11 consecutive strikes to close out a solid two inning outing. He didn’t get out of the game unscathed as the lead-off walk he issued scored for the Angels which was part of a two run first inning. The Cubs quickly erased that deficit thanks to some clutch hitting in the third inning. After Luis Valbuena brought the Cubs to within one run in the second inning with a solo home run, the Cubs exploded for five runs in the third, all with two outs. The highlight of the inning had to be Brett Jackson‘s two run triple, his second triple of the game, he finished the day going 2-for-2 with two triples, two RBI’s and a run scored, guess that new swing is working out okay so far, it’s early, I know. Jorge Soler, and Anthony Rizzo had solid spring debut’s as they each registered a double in three plate appearances, Soler’s double brought in a run for his first RBI of the Spring season. Junior Lake also wowed the capacity crowd with a long solo home run, his only hit of the day in three plate appearances. Back to the pitching, it was outstanding, sure it wasn’t against the vaunted Angels every day lineup, but it was still an excellent performance for so early in the Spring. After Travis Wood, six Cubs pitchers joined the fun to close out the game, they tossed seven innings allowing four hits, one walk and no strikeouts.
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Every year around this time there is a name or two that shows up on the spring training roster that send the interwebs into a delirious state of being because THAT guy might make the team. This year I think it’s safe to say that guy is Javier Baez. Baez was highly touted last year, but after a stellar 2012 he is now considered a legit top twenty guy, not just in the Cubs system, but in all of baseball. Jonathan Mayo put that notion to paper, or internet web page, when he came out with his 2013 MLB prospect watch list, which has Baez sitting nicely at sixteen. That is seven full spots up from last year when he was at twenty-three, sure, seven spots might not seem like a major jump but when you crack the top twenty more people pay attention.
Before we get too far into what is expected of Baez in 2013, let’s recap what solicited that seven spot jump by remembering what he did last year. Baez destroyed Midwest League pitching, he hit .333 with 12 home runs, and 33 RBI’s in just 57 games, he also stole 20 bases. He made the jump to Daytona late in the season and struggled, part of that was due to the increase in talent on the mound, and part of it might have been playing once a week because apparently August and September is monsoon season in Florida. Baez capped off his 2012 season with a stint in the Arizona Fall League for the Mesa Solar Sox and he destroyed the ball when he made contact. A thumb injury ended his AFL season too soon, but Baez still managed to hit the second most home runs (4) in the league, and had 40 less at bats than the leaders (5). There was a lot of talk about his bat, and rightfully so, but the knock on Baez was his ability, or inability to stick at short-stop as he progresses through the Cubs system. A lot of people, including myself, think that a move to third base would make the most sense, but another thing Baez did during the 2012 season was show everyone that he can stick at short-stop if he has to, as evidenced by this Jonathan Mayo quote, “Many were ready to move Baez to third right away, but he showed some ability at shortstop, with a very good arm and good hands. His instincts allow his average speed to play up on both sides of the ball. Even if he has to move to third, his bat should profile just fine there.”
We made a few trips to see the Cubs farm system in action, obviously the guy who impressed us the most was Jorge Soler, but a close second was Javier Baez. Why you ask? I’ll tell you my inquisitive friend, he exudes confidence, some might call it cockiness, well most everyone will call it cockiness, because that’s what it is. Baez knows he belongs, and knows he is good (the tattoo on the MLB logo on the back of his neck should tell you everything you need to know), he is twenty years old, I really don’t expect much more from him, but that’s where this whole experience thing comes into play.
This camp isn’t about can Baez make the team, it’s about seeing how guys who will make the team go about their business, and for him to work on things at a different level. Jed Hoyer spoke to that, “He’s here to get a feel for what big league camp is all about, see how these guys go about their business,” general manager Jed Hoyer said of Baez. “It’s nice for fans to be able to see him, nice for us to be able to see him. But it’s not about making the major league team. This is about (getting) experience.” That’s exactly what I was hoping to hear out of Hoyer, there shouldn’t be unnecessary expectations for Baez, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get excited about seeing him in a spring game. Theo Epstein expanded on Hoyer’s comments by giving Cubs nation the following quote, he said that Baez “has a lot of work to do” before he gets called up. Most of that work will be learning how to work counts, because after all there is a Cubs way now, regardless, Baez needs to see more pitches to have his game translate to the big leagues successfully. So if you want to get excited about seeing Baez in a Spring game this year go for it, but don’t get excited because you think he will make the team, get excited because you are watching him take the next step towards making the team when he is ready, maybe that will be this year, you never know.
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It seems to come earlier and earlier every year, but today Cubs’ pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report, you know what that means…BASEBALL!! Well, soon enough there will be baseball, but today marks the beginning of the 2013 baseball season, and players actually on the field to report on. Over the next few days we will hear about minor muscle strains, a hamstring issue here and there, and maybe a groin problem, if we’re lucky. But it’s baseball news, and that is glorious. What else is glorious is daily blog posts, which will begin again, hooray for all of us. Here are a few notes from the first day of the 2013 baseball season.
Carrie Muskat gives us updated uniform numbers, of course we need this.
32 – Scott Baker
46 – Scott Feldman
71 – Trey McNutt
56 – Hector Rondon
57 – Carlos Villanueva
41 – Arodys Vizcaino
67 – Robert Whitenack
4 – Dioner Navarro
61 – Christian Villanueva
74 – Logan Watkins
19 – Nate Schierholtz
68 – Jorge Soler
76 – Drew Carpenter
77 – Dayan Diaz
60 – Jensen Lewis
85 – Barret Loux
50 – Blake Parker
63 – Zach Putnam
81 – Nick Struck
47 – Hisanori Takahashi
59 – Cory Wade
79 – J.C. Boscan
78 – Michael Brenly
82 – Rafael Lopez
70 – Javier Baez
6 – Alberto Gonzalez
20 – Brent Lillibridge
65 – Edwin Maysonet
75 – Brad Nelson
66 – Brian Bogusevic
80 – Johermyn Chavez
16 – Darnell McDonald
Sorry, but I can’t help but get excited to see Javier Baez, and Jorge Soler’s name on this list.
The other “big” news (you’ll get it in a second), is Tony Campana has been DFA’s by the Cubs today to make room for Scott Hairston who was signed by the Cubs in the off-season. The Cubs now have 10 days to trade, release, or waive Campana. I have no problem with this, as Campana has not been able to fully utilize his number one asset, his speed. He has game changing speed, that is a real thing, and I think he has a place on the 25 man roster here or somewhere else, but improvement in his all around game needs to be there before that can happen, the whole “can’t steal first base” thing applies here. I hope that all the Campana lovers can get over this quickly as I think this makes the most sense for the Cubs at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs work out a deal with a team, and no Campana is not really going to fetch anything that is going to knock your socks off, it’s just a numbers game right now.
Make sure to visit the blog daily as our Spring Training coverage is unmatched, from spring stories to box scores and recaps for every game. Hope you are as excited as I am.
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As we heads towards the end of the season it starts to become a reality, there’s only a handful of Cubs games left this year. For most, this is a blessing as some fans can’t “bear”…. (get it?) to watch anymore given how bad the team has been and other sports have started. For this Cubs fan it’s not so great as I enjoy watching this team play, no matter how infuriating it is at times. With that said it’s time to start focusing on the off-season baseball that will take place, first up is the Cubs instructional league that starts today. This is an important step for many of these players as they are going to get more game experience, and another opportunity to impress the front office heading into next season. Below is a breakdown of everyone that will participate this year, the games begin on September 21. We will give you much more information on these players as our player cards come out, we will also do our best to give you results and box scores of these games, so stay tuned!
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MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has done an updated top 100 prospects lists as well as each organizations top 20. Mayo will probably come out with a list prior to the 2013 season, but here is where Cubs prospects stand as of now according to Mayo. To check out the entire top 100 list and to read a little more on these Cubs prospects.
1. Javier Baez – SS (#24)
When the Cubs picked Almora they new his bat was going to play and that is exactly what happened. The Cubs top pick from 2011 was outstanding in his time with Peoria this year hitting .333/.383/.596 with 12 home runs, 33 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He struggled a bit when moving to Daytona, but overall it was very successful season for the young shortstop.
2. Albert Almora – OF (#52)
The Cubs top pick in this years draft didn’t sign right away, but when he did he didn’t disappoint. He started with the AZL Cubs and moved to Boise shortly after. Combined he played in 33 games hitting .321/.331/.464 with two home runs and 19 RBIs. He also hit 12 doubles.
3. Brett Jackson – OF (#74)
It has been an interesting year for Brett Jackson who has dropped a bit in the prospect watch. The good news first he has made it to the show and when he makes contact does some damage as he left Iowa with 22 doubles, 12 triples, and 15 home runs, to go along with 27 stolen bases. He also plays great defense, the bad news is he has really struggled making contact striking out over 200 times between his two stops.
4. Arodys Vizcaino – RHP (#76)
Vizcaino was considered one the Braves best young pitchers and was deemed untouchable last year. Things changed a bit this year as he missed the entire season after elbow surgery in March. The Cubs are very pleased to have acquired Vizcaino, but it remains to be seen how he will recover from surgery. Lets hope it is as a starter, but at the least he is a power arm out of the pen which the Cubs need badly as well.
5. Jorge Soler – OF (#77)
Jorge Soler did quite well in getting accustomed to baseball in America. He is still very raw, but at 20 the Cubs feel very strongly he will be a big contributor to the big club in the future. He spent time with the AZL Cubs and moved to Peoria where he finished the year. He combined to hit .299/.398/.463 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in just 34 games.
6. Matt Szczur – OF
The speedy outfielder had a nice season in Daytona hitting .295/.394/.407 with 38 stolen bases, but struggled a bit in 35 games with Tennessee.
7. Trey McNutt – RHP
McNutt did not have the year he was looking to have going 9-8 with 4.26 ERA. He struggled a bit and was moved to the bullpen, but maybe it will be better for him and the Cubs.
8. Junior Lake -SS
Lake played the entire year in Tennessee and did a pretty good job going .279/.341/.432 with 10 home runs, 50 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases. He is still very raw and will continue to work on his game.
9. Pierce Johnson – RHP
The Cubs took Johnson with the 43rd overall pick in this years draft and he did quite well making six starts, two with the AZL Cubs and four with Boise.
10. Josh Vitters – 3B
The former first round pick, number 3 overall finally put it all together this year in Iowa hitting .304/.356/.513 with 17 home runs and 68 RBIs. The PCL All Star got the call up, but has struggled so far with the Cubs, but at only 23 the future is still very bright for Vitters.
11. Dillon Maples – RHP
It took a while for Maples to make his first appearance, but when he did he showed signs of what he could be. He was a bit inconsistent in his six appearances, but he will have more opportunities next season to show what he has. He has tremendous upside.
12. Robert Whitenack – RHP
Coming off of Tommy John surgery Whitenack struggled pitching for Daytona going 1-6 with a 5.96 ERA. Although the numbers don’t look good, remember he is coming off of major surgery and has good upside.
13. Dan Vogelbach – 1B
Not many Cubs prospects did as much damage as Vogelbach did this year. The big first baseman played in 61 games this season between the AZL Cubs and Boise Hawks. He hit .322/.410/.641 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs.
14. Ben Wells – RHP
A 2010 draft pick the 19-year-old Wells missed most of the season with a right elbow strain. He made a few appearances at the end of the year, but will look to stay healthy in 2013.
15. Paul Blackburn – RHP
Another 2012 draft pick Paul Blackburn was chosen 56th overall out of high school. He made nine appearances for the AZL Cubs going 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA.
16. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
Candelario played the entire season at Boise and at only 18 the corner infielder showed he can hit a little bit. The switch hitting Candelario hit .281/.345/.396 with six home runs and 47 RBIs.
17. Gioskar Amaya – 2B/SS
Amaya played his season in Boise and put up some good numbers. He his .298/.381/.496. The 19-year old filled up the stat sheet with six doubles, 12 triples, and eight home runs. He also drove in 33 and stole 15 bases.
18. Tony Zych – RHP
Zych shared time between Daytona and Tennessee out of the bullpen. He combined to going 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 61.1 innings.
19. Alberto Cabrera – RHP
Cabrera, who moved to the bullpen this year started in Double-A, but quickly moved to Triple-A before finally ending up with the big club. His minor league numbers were really good going 4-1 with 3.11 ERA with 74 strikeouts to only 14 walks. He has struggled since coming to the Cubs, but we’ll see where he factors in going forward.
20. Marcus Hatley – RHP
Hatley pitched well in Tennessee out of the bullpen going 3-1 with a 3.40 with 46 strikeouts in 45 innings. He then got the call to Iowa where he struggled in his time there.
It is good to see the Cubs have five players who are inside the top 80 in MLB. You can also see the emphasis the Cubs placed on pitching, drafting Pierce Johnson and Paul Blackburn in this years draft as well as bringing in Arodys Vizcaino in the Paul Maholm deal. Looking a little further into things is the talent Theo Epstein and company brought in this year. They obviously brought in the three pitchers above as well as Albert Almora and Jorge Soler. three of those five are inside the Cubs top five and Pierce Johnson makes it four in the top 10. The exciting thing is there are more who they brought in who I would guess are close to cracking this top 20 and who may even show up in the top 20 before the 2013 season gets underway. Keep checking back this offseason as we will talk more in-depth about these prospects as well as many more.
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Peoria and Tennessee were the only Cubs minor league teams with regular season games today. Boise played game one, which we will have a separate post on.
Peoria finished the season strong beating Kane County 6-2. Ben Wells got the start pitching two scoreless innings allowing no runs on three hits. Willengton Cruz got the win pitching 4.2 innings allowing two runs on just one hit. Luis Liria struggled with his command, walking four in just 0.2 innings, but got the ball to Pete Levitt who recorded his first save of the season throwing the final 1.2 innings. Yaniel Cabezas had the big blow going 2-for-4 with a three run home run in the fifth. Pin-Chieh Chen also had two hits and a scored a run. Dustin Geiger was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Timothy Saunders had a hit and a run scored. Jorge Soler and Chadd Krist each had a hit in the win.
Tennessee ended the season on a high note as well beating Pensacola 8-1. Austin Kirk was good getting a win in his final start giving up one run on four hits in 5.2 innings. Frank Batista, Jaye Chapman, Rafael Dolis, and Trey McNutt combined to pitch the final 3.1 innings striking out three, giving up two hits, and allowing no runs. Newly acquired Anthony Recker was 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. He his a three run shot in the seventh. Jae-Hoon Ha and Matt Cerda also had two hits a piece with Cerda driving in one run. Rubi Silva had a hit and drove in two in the Smokies win. Junior Lake, Logan Watkins, and Matt Szczur all had a hit and a run scored on the day.
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Only three games on Sunday as the minor league season comes to a close. Daytona’s season ended on Sunday, while Peoria and Tennessee will play their final game on Monday.
Peoria led most of the way, but lost in extra innings 5-4. Starling Peralta got the start and pitched pretty good, but had one tough inning in which he gave up three runs on three hits, walked three, and struck out eight in 5.1. Sheldon McDonald and Steve Perakslis combined to pitch the next 2.2 innings allowing one run. Austin Reed took the loss as he gave up a run in the 10th inning. Jorge Soler was the story on the offensive side as he was 3-for-5 with a mammoth home run, his third with Peoria. Jacob Rogers and Timothy Saunders each had two hits with Rogers knocking in one run. Zeke DeVoss, Pin-Chieh Chen, and Sergio Burruel each had a hit with Burruel adding an RBI in the loss.
Daytona ended the season on good note beating Brevard County in walk off fashion 3-2. Also ending the season on a positive note was Javier Baez who was 2-for-3 with two home runs and two RBIs. Taylor Davis was the hero though as he had two hits, including the walk off RBI. Ronald Torreyes was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in the win. Nelson Perez and Micah Gibbs each had a hit. Ryan Searle got the start pitching six inning allowing two runs, one earned on four hits. Matt Spencer and Hunter Cervenka combined to pitch 2.1 innings not allowing a hit and striking out four. Eduardo Figueroa got the win getting the last two outs of the game. It was a nice way for Javier Baez and the Daytona Cubs to end the season.
Tennessee scored four in the 15th beating Pensacola 7-3. Dae-Eun Rhee got the start pitching six innings allowing one run on five hits. Tony Zych struggled giving up two runs in just 0.2 innings, but Frank Batista and Brian Schlitter did a really nice job pitching the next 4.1 scoreless innings. Casey Harman was outstanding as well pitching four scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, one walk, and one strike out notching his first win of the season. Matt Cerda was 3-for-7 with an RBI and a run scored. Logan Watkins had two hits, including a double and two RBIs. Junior Lake had one hit, but he made it count hitting a three-run homer and ended with four RBIs on the night. Jae-Hoon Ha, Rubi Silva, and Michael Brenly each had two hits in the win.
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