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15

August 2013

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COMMENTS

Soriano's Binge & Name That Child

Written by , Posted in General

First off, apologies to our blogfather, Joe – it looks as if he was shouldering the burden of posting for a couple of weeks. In fact, being either 15 or 17 hours ahead (of my usual Pacific time) while I was gone, it would’ve been quite simple to post after the events of the day here in the States had long been put to bed…if I’d had a free moment.

I did, however, have reliable internet capability through one method or another for most of the time I was away. And it was thru these random, brief updates that I would hear of yet another Cub being dumped on a team who fancied themselves in the pennant race. I’ll admit, when I first saw that the Yankees were maneuvering to reclaim the player they’d used to acquire A-Rod – I thought for a second that being nearly a day ahead of the US had given me a portal into some alternate version of the internet.

It seemed too clean…and too easy. And not at all in accordance with the fact that the Tigers need another bat (and another bullpen arm).

But a few weeks later, and for those Cub fans who remember when Soriano would routinely propel the Cubs to a win streak seemingly on his own – the Yankees are getting a taste of that too.

The last two nights, Soriano has piled up 13 RBIs on the strength of 4 home runs. Tuesday night he was a measly 3-for-6 with 6 RBIs, so he followed that up with 3-for-3 and 7 RBIs last night. Ridiculous. The last player to have that many total RBIs in successive games was Sammy Sosa in 2002 (who actually had 14).

It’s actually only happened 8 times since 1920 – so it’s rarer than a no-hitter, a perfect game, a 4-HR game; a 20-strikeout performance is about the only thing that happens less frequently. A couple of good nights for Alfonso, made me wish I really was looking at an alternate internet and his 13 RBIs came in a Cubs uniform.

And Now For Something Completely Different…

That was really just half of a post; the other half is like nothing you’ve seen from me before – but my wife and I are at an impasse. Our third son is due in mid-October, and he’s yet to be named. We have two sons already, Ray & Max. It’s not that we can’t agree, it’s that neither of us has stumbled upon another name that we like. Soon I’m going to start dropping by the hospital on the way home from work to see what other people are naming their children, so give me some help. (There’s no reward because let’s face it, it’s the third child and ‘hey you’ or ‘stop that’ will probably suffice until he’s 14 anyway).


STATE OF THE SYSTEM
Left Field

by Rob Willer

Top Prospect: Oliver Zapata

Bio: Zapata was born in the Dominican Republic and started with the Cubs organization at the young age of 17. He got his start with Dominican Summer League where he batted .241/.328/.333 where he also got 14 extra base hits and 33 runs batted in. In 2011, Zapata age 18 spent the season with two minor league affilates with the Cubs (AZL Cubs and Boise Hawks). He combined to hit .278/.383/.412 where his walk to strikeout rate was almost even since he had 32 walks and 33 strikeouts over both affiliates. As with mentioned below Ty Wright he struggled with the second level in the 2011 season after being promoted to the Boise Hawks. His stats at Boise really tell the story .224/.287/.388 compared to the .324/.453/.431 at the Arizona Fall League. Surprisingly after Zapata’s poor season at Short Season Affiliate Boise he still got promoted to the Peoria Chiefs.

2012-2013 Season’s: Once Zapata got promoted to Peoria to start the season he ended up playing the full year there where he put up a sub par line of .225/.302/.282. The batting average worried me at first glance as I would like to see him hit somewhere around the .250 to .260 mark where he can realistically hit. When looking at Fangraphs.com I found that his BABIP or Batting Average on Balls Put in Play was surprisingly elevated at .286 which begs the question is Zapata really struggling this badly. Usually the numbers are flipped where a certain player has an elevated average due to a higher BABIP or a lower batting average due to a low BABIP. Zapata becomes an intriguing case as he fits in neither of those categories. Presently Zapata is at Kane County the Low A Affiliate of the Cubs refining his skills and playing a solid left field for the club. His line has greatly improved since last year where he is now hitting .243/.316/.378. Most likely Zapata will finish out the year at Kane County and be in the discussion for a call-up to Daytona next year. If his average creeps up to the .260 mark I can see him being moved up although with Almora being on the watch list for Daytona we’ll have to keep an eye if their is room for Zapata to play everyday.

Sleeper Prospect: Ty Wright

Bio: Wright was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 7th round of the 2007 amateur draft. Over the course of 2007 Wright jumped right into Short Season A Boise where he contributed a line of .317/.408/.529 which adds up to an OPS of .937. He was able to register 60 hits over 189 at bats, 22 of those went for extra base hits. Another impressive stat Wright had at Boise was his walk to strikeout ratio where it was 23 walks to 22 strikeouts which is unheard of in today’s game at any level. After Wright’s impressive start to his career he earned a call-up to Low A Peoria. Wright played 19 games there and had the line of .284/.329/.378 while stealing 5 of 6 bases.

2008-2009 Season’s: Wright continued his impressive run through the Cubs system as for the next two years he went from Daytona in (2008), Tennessee (2009). In comparison to Wright’s season at Boise he performed just as well producing a line of .300/.371/.411 while contributing 30 extra base hits. Wright also knocked in 72 runs. In 2009, Wright got the call to Double A where he did what he always did just plain hit. The line at Tennessee was .290/.349/.412 while achieving 34 extra base hits and 58 runs batted in.

2011-2013 Season’s: Iowa Cubs left fielder Ty Wright has had an amazing story throughout his six years with the organization. Wright is a loyal player, who has been in the Cubs system since 2007 and still hasn’t got up to the majors. For the past four seasons, he’s bounced between Tennessee and Iowa, filling in where he’s needed and not complaining. Moving on to the 2011 season Wright split the year between Double A Tennessee and Triple A Iowa. He combined on the season to hit .322/.382/.487 also getting 24 extra base hits on the season. The numbers really don’t tell the story as Wright tore it up at Tennessee after getting the second year of experience while he did struggle a bit at Iowa only hitting .240/.284/.309. His 2013 season has been just like his past four season splitting the time between Tennessee and Iowa. The line at both clubs is .260/.319/.396 where he has 28 extra base hits and 48 runs batted in.

  • PLCB3

    Name him after your favorite Cub. If I ever have a kid, I’m going to name my first son Woody for Kerry Wood. It actually will have a triple meaning. Woody Hayes and Sheriff Woody from Toy Story as well.

    • Joe Aiello

      Yeah, don’t have a kid.

      • PLCB3

        What’s wrong with naming my son Woody?

      • Joe Aiello

        Nothing

      • PLCB3

        Then why did you say I shouldn’t have kids?

      • Seymour Butts

        Really? You want to open this can of worms?
        We could start with your oft repeated “I’m never having kids” refrain, and progress to your lack of utility for science.
        And don’t forget, all those imbecils in line at Disney… they had kids.

      • PLCB3

        You are correct you do not intend to have kids (or get married) at this stage in my life. But it is something I do give thought to what I would do if I had kids. At age 25, I don’t want marriage or kids. At age 35, I might feel different about it. Thus, part of why I think about what I would do if I had kids.

      • Kids are great CAPS…you can teach them to hate the things you hate, and they practically raise themselves with the internet and all!

      • PLCB3

        Thanks, Homer!

      • PLCB3

        Well, perhaps it is time. I have noticed that this country is dangerously under-populated.

      • Jedi

        I love how the mother of your (possible) future children is ancillary to the whole thing.

      • PLCB3

        I’ve never even been in a relationship. Honestly I don’t care, because single life is great

    • Joe Aiello

      Yeah, don’t have a kid.

  • PLCB3

    August 10 and 11, 2002 was Sosa’s tear. 3 3-run HR on August 10, then an RBI single and a grand slam the next day

  • PLCB3

    Just looked at the box score for that game, I never knew Juan Pierre was on that Rockies team. I had him pegged as a Marlin the entire time before he came here.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Why in the world did the Cubs trade Sori. We all knew this was going to happen. We should have gotten more back in the deal. Theo and Jed should be fired for making such a bone headed move.
    Bazinga

    • Joe Aiello

      Why?

    • Seymour Butts

      I think it’s great that Alf is thriving, just hope the Yanks don’t make the play offs. He is better off, we are better off.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I also have been rooting for him.

      • PLCB3

        I predict that Soriano will have a monster game on Sunday against Dempster. I almost wish I hadn’t gotten rid of my Soriano jersey. Almost.

  • Eddie Von White

    I would name him Axel. People don’t mess with kids with names like that. Congrats btw. And…don’t feel sorry for Joe, it was our treat to read his posts every day.

    • Joe Aiello

      The check is, once again, in the mail.

      • Eddie Von White

        Umm, I talked to my mail man about that and he’s playing dumb.

  • Are you saying the Tigers need another bat?

    • PLCB3

      Are you saying you have no use for reading?

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I’m still voting for Abe Froman Johnson.

  • Joe Aiello

    It’s gotta be Harold. Name the kid Harold.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    How about naming him Alfonso? Just remember though if you do, he won’t be all that productive in April.

  • I really don’t think you can top Max Johnson. That is the manliest name I’ve ever heard.

    • Joe Aiello

      It has porn star written all over it.

      • All over what?

      • Joe Aiello

        Well played, sir

      • Jedi

        That’s my two-year-old you’re talking about!

  • Doug S.

    Josh Johnson has a nice ring to it.

  • Bryan

    My wife and I named our son Colvin (after former Cub not-so-great Tyler Colvin) and he responded by taking a shard of bat in the chest so I am monitoring my son’s heart health closely.

    • PLCB3

      Last year I worked for a guy named Greenberg, who is a Cubs fan. He had a kid, and I asked him what his son’s name was, he said Adam. I was like you named your kid Adam Greenberg? He was like, yup, I lost that argument with my wife, she doesn’t care about sports.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Let’s bring back a good old Scandinavian name like Waldameir

  • BANE

    Walt Heisenberg Johnson sounds good to me. Or Bo, Bo Johnson, which is easier to spell.

    • Jedi

      So you think he’s going to be a drug kingpin out of the womb?

  • Seymour Butts

    Hugh G Johnson.
    It will intimidate other boys and provide that self esteem boost most kids now a days seem to require.
    If you don’t like that, try:
    Doc Johnson- already a famous name
    Miles Long Johnson- would become a famous name
    Steele Derek Johnson- Solid foundation of a name
    Raymond Jay Johnson- you can call him…
    President Johnson- commands respect right off the bat

    • Doug S.

      Hugh G Johnson.
      Winner winner, chicken dinner

    • Jedi

      Knew this would happen; knew it would be you. (But if you’d put them in separate comments, maybe Lizzie wouldn’t have counted separately).

      • Since you haven’t really shut down the idea of Hugh, let’s kick the tires on Jazz as a middle name. Hugh Jazz Johnson. Sounds pretty legit.

      • PLCB3

        Uh, yes, I’m looking for a friend of mine. Last name Jass. First name Hugh.

      • Seymour Butts

        It’s better if you are the first one to say something.

    • Sherm

      Well, since you started this “vein” —-
      It’s a great baseball name, but for obvious reasons I suppose PeeWee is out.
      Seymour would just induce beatings. As would Spanky.
      Les. No.
      Peter. Redundant.
      Dick. See Peter.
      Jimmy. Too NASCAR.
      Bernie. Nah.
      Dwayne D. Absolutely not.
      That leaves Spartacus. Or Graham.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    How about Major, Major Johnson!

    • Eddie Von White

      How about Reed? Reed Johnson.

      • Seymour Butts

        I hear he play hard.
        Speaking of which, where has Katie been?

      • Jedi

        I just figured EVW was using up their combined family comment allotment (like I do to Jeremiah).

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        We could go with Reed Major Johnson, but that would condem the kid to playing a woodwind instrument.

      • PLCB3

        Flutes are woodwinds and don’t use reeds.

      • Platypuses are mammals that lay eggs.

      • Eddie Von White

        Whales nurse their young.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        And a number of zoos including our national zoo tried mating an olingo with an olinguito accidentily.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    How about Major, Major Johnson!

  • Doc Raker

    Waveland Johnson sounds nice. In order for CAPS to have kids someone would have to sleep with him. I think the world is safe from Jr CAPS.

    • PLCB3

      Speaking of naming kids after the streets, I went to high school with a guy who said him and all his siblings were named after Wrigley streets. His name was Addison.

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1001348/posts

    • Eddie Von White

      There is someone out there for everyone. I can hear the pitter-patter of little lower case CAPS now.

      • PLCB3

        I will never turn to eHarmony or Craigslist to find someone. I find the concept dumb.

  • BANE

    Soriano went 4-5, all singles with 1 of the Yankees’ 2 rbi’s today. Love watching Sori when he’s on fire, great guy.

  • Chuck

    I almost named my middle son James Alexander. Then my wife gave me the side eye and that was that.

    • PLCB3

      What’s so significant about the name James Alexander?

  • SBardo

    Congratulations! You should name him Nick. Nick’s a real name. Nick’s your buddy. Nick’s the kind of guy you can trust, the kind of guy you can drink a
    beer with, the kind of guy who doesn’t mind if you puke in his car,
    Nick!

    • Eddie Von White

      I have a nephew named Nick. His mom calls him Nicky. His grandma calls him Nicky-honey. The name Nick makes me want to puke.

  • Kris

    One of the first times I’ve managed to get back here this season, and as odd as this conversation is it’s nice to see familiar faces and banter. 🙂

    Congrats on the impending little one! Been here enjoying time with my little Cubs fan (little dude just turned one, which seems impossible). Thankfully I’m not missing much this season while I chase him around.