Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Yesterday’s News: Denorfia saves the day, Fowler is back

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

INJURY UPDATE:

Both Tsuyoshi Wada and Dexter Fowler left Monday’s game early, Wada with cramps in his left shoulder and Fowler with an ankle injury. Fowler was considered day to day going into the game, but he was able to make a pinch hitting appearance in last night’s game, so it seems like he might be ready to get the start tonight. Otherwise, Wada’s status is less clear. He expressed that he thinks he can make his next start on Saturday, but the injury may prompt the Cubs to seek out a trade partner to fortify their pitching staff. A deal involving Cole Hamels seems more and more likely, given that the Cubs are still very much in contention in the National League, and would have a wild card spot if the season ended today. Another target on their radar might be David Price, but he seems much more like an off season acquisition, given that the Tigers are unlikely to want to trade him as they are in contention themselves. Who knows, if the wheels come off in Detroit, that might change.

WE IS BAD AT GRAMMAR?

I thought this was just kind of strange. While it turns out that Cubs fans do pretty well grammar-wise, we are not as smart as those sage and scholarly White Sox fans (that’s what they’re all known for, right?), but to be honest, I don’t see the point behind a study like this. Maybe seomone else can help me make sense of why anyone would spend their time analyzing (let alone reading at all) the comments section anywhere. Except here, of course. But, while we are not as learned as those south siders, apparently, we can take heart that we are at least in the top 5.

GAME NOTES:

How about the walk offs? They sure are fun when they go our way, and they seem to have done that a lot this season. Last night was a fun game if you like pitching and unlikely heroes. After the short night from Wada on Monday, it was a relief to see Jason Hammel have such a nice outing. 7.2 innings with just 2 hits and 6 strikeouts. You really couldn’t have asked for more from him for the bullpen’s sake. I am beginning to wonder if Hector Rondon has been quietly bumped from the closer’s spot, as the was brought in to finish the 8th inning before Pedro Strop handled the 9th. And, interestingly enough, Jason Motte again pitched the final inning of the game as the Cubs went into extras, ultimately getting the win. Chris Denorfia finished off the game in the 10th inning with a sacrifice fly that brought Matt Szczur in to score.


 

THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY

www.NationalPastime.com

No Cubs news, but I did find this interesting story involving what was then a Cubs single A affiliate. I vaguely remember hearing about this event, but hadn’t seen the video.

2008: The Chiefs and Dragons bench-clearing brawl, which results in 15 players being ejected, although some will be allowed back into the game so that the teams could complete the Midwest League contest, starts when Peoria right-hander Julio Castillo fires a ball toward the Dayton dugout, causing both teams to charge the Fifth Third Field. The 20 year-old Dominican starter will be arrested on a felony assault charge because his errant throw ricochets into the crowd, hitting a male fan.

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Minor League Update: Olt and Ramirez rehabbing, Soler soon

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

REHAB ASSIGNMENTS:

After both made a stop in AA Tennessee, Mike Olt and Neil Ramirez moved up to AAA Iowa to continue their rehab. Olt went 1-2 in his first rehab start on Friday, and will be joining the Iowa Cubs today. The Cubs do not plan to rush his return to the big league club, as it is unclear where he will fit in with Kris Bryant currently firmly entrenched at third base. Ramirez had a very successful time in AA, and it is expected that he could return to the Cubs sooner than Olt.

Otherwise, it looks as though Jorge Soler is about a week away from a rehab assignment himself, which is encouraging news. It will be good to see him in our outfield again very soon. It is sounding as though Soler will probably be back before the All Star break.

SCHWARBER BACK IN THE FARM:

I think you’d have to be under a rock to not be aware of what’s going on with Kyle Schwarber, but he is making his return to the Cubs’ farm system after a 6 game hiatus in the majors, which proved to be quite successful (.364, 1 HR, 6 RBI). He will very likely spend the rest of the minor league season in Iowa, barring something unforeseen with the major league club.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

The short season Eugene Emeralds started last week, and both Eloy Jimenez and 2015 first round draft pick Ian Happ are on the roster. Happ started the season off with a bang, hitting his first professional homerun on Saturday, in just the third game of the Emeralds’ season. Jimenez already has 5 RBI on the season.

Elsewhere, Mark Zagunis is putting together a very nice season in high A ball in Myrtle Beach. So far, his batting average is 40 points higher than what he hit in single A at Kane County last year, and he is showing power in his swing that wasn’t there in years past either. So far, Zagunis has 5 HR this season, compared to just 2 across 3 levels of the minors last year, both of which came in short season Boise.

And finally, if you weren’t already watching the box scores in South Bend for Gleyber Torres, it would be a good idea to start doing so. Torres, in spite of being just 18 and 3.5 years younger than the league average, has torn up single A pitching in his 61 games there so far. If not for his age, I’d expect him to move up to Myrtle Beach soon, but he might not, given the fact that he’s already at an advanced level for his experience as it is. Even still, he has clearly demonstrated that he can handle single A, so I would be interested to see what he can do at the high A level at some point this summer.

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Yesterday’s News: Scary weather, Wada leaves game

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

SZCZUR COMES UP:

We knew it was happening, but the Cubs announced today that Matt Szczur would be taking Kyle Schwarber‘s place as Schwarber heads back to the minors to continue working on becoming a full time catcher. Szczur is no stranger to the trip between Des Moines and Chicago as he has already been recalled to the majors several times this season. Schwarber has spent all of his time defensively behind the plate in AA Tennessee and it is expected that he will continue to do so in Iowa. He has some experience playing in LF (36 games in 2014), but at this point, it does not appear as if he will spend any time in the outfield this season. Before you lament the loss of Schwarber too much, Szczur put one over the fence in the 7th inning last night, adding an insurance run to what had been a 2-1 lead.

MONTERO BELIEVES IN SCHWARBER:

Starting catcher Miguel Montero had some interesting things to say about Schwarber after spending the last week with him in the majors. Obviously, the bat is ready, but Montero was very outspoken about the fact that he thinks Schwarber’s future is behind the plate. When the AAA season ends in early September, it is likely that Schwarber will return to the majors, so it will be interesting to see if he spends some time behind the plate at the major league level.

GAME NOTES:

The weather forecast for last night’s game made things interesting, as did Kris Bryant, with his two run homerun off of Clayton Kershaw in the third inning, and then another . The game went into a delay in the 6th inning because of issues with the lights and the Cubs actually informed the league that they were playing under protest due to that problem. Prior to that, starter Tsuyoshi Wada left the game in the third inning after feeling cramps in his left shoulder. Wada is supposed to start next against the Cardinals on Saturday, but it would not be surprising to see him miss at least a start after this. Wada had been perfect through the first 2 innings before a homerun from Enrique Hernandez to start the third inning. Dexter Fowler also left the game during the 5th inning with a sprained left ankle. In the last few innings of the game, I thought it was interesting that Joe Maddon brought Hector Rondon in to pitch the 8th, rather than giving him the save opportunity. Jason Motte came in for the 9th inning, and in spite of giving up a homerun to Joc Pederson, held on to preserve the lead for a 4-2 win.


THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY

www.NationalPastime.com

1946: At the Polo Grounds, Eddie Waitkus and Marv Rickert hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs in the fourth inning. The Cubs, however, still lose to the Giants, 15-10.

1984: In a nationally televised game, Cubs’ second baseman Ryne Sandberg hits a lead-off solo home run in the ninth off Cardinal reliever Bruce Sutter to tie the score 9-9, then hits a two-run, two-out homer in the tenth, knotting the game at 11. Chicago wins the Wrigley Field contest, 12-11, in the next frame on an RBI single by Dave Owen.

1984: In a game that will be best remembered for Ryne Sandberg’s two late-inning game-tying home runs, Willie McGee hits for the cycle in St. Louis’ 12-11 loss in 11 innings to the Cubs. With his triple in the second inning, a fourth frame single, a sixth inning home run, and a RBI double in the tenth, the Cardinals center fielder drives in six runs in the Wrigley Field contest.

1996: In a 5-4 Cubs’ loss in San Diego, Brant Brown continues his torrid pace at the plate, collecting two hits in three at bats at Jack Murphy Stadium. The rookie first baseman has collected 15 hits, including four home runs, in his first 34 career major league at-bats.

 

 

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Looking Back at Week 10 of MLB

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Max Scherzer throws his first career no-hitter, former “Bash Brother” Kyle Schwarber bashes baseballs in his debut and Alex Rodriguez joins elite company. Week 10 of Major League Baseball had a number of memorable moments, so let’s recap:

Scherzer Throws No-Hitter

Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer tossed a no-hitter Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the first of his career. The recently acquired Scherzer has been the premiere pitcher in baseball so far this season, leading the league in earned run average and strikeouts. His $210 million contract drew some skepticism when he initially signed it, but Mike Rizzo has looked like a genius for it through the first few months. Scherzer’s last outing, at Milwaukee, he allowed one hit in a complete game effort, and struck out 16. For those not mathematically inclined, that means that over his last 18 innings, Scherzer has allowed one hit and fanned 26. The debate now, which is meaningless, really, is whether Scherzer was robbed of a perfect game when on a 2-2 count with 2 outs, he hit Jose Tabata in the arm. Tabata certainly made no effort to get out of the way of the pitch and some will argue that he leaned into the pitch. If this is a case, though, Tabata was able to decide to lean in to the pitch in less than half a second.

Rodriguez Joins 3,000 Hit Club

Alex Rodriguez joined another elite club this week, notching his 3000th career hit. His opposite field home run off of Justin Verlander moved him into 29th place all time on the career hit list. Ironically, the last Yankee to reach the 3000 hit mark also hit a home run to accomplish the feat. Rodriguez also managed to homer for his 3001st hit, and passed Roberto Clemente for 28th on the all time hit list. Rodriguez now has a .283 average, .386 on base percentage and 14 home runs through the first few months of the season. His 40 runs batted in have been a welcome contribution, as well, as the Yankees offense was considered to be a bottom-dweller coming in. On a related note, DJ Short of Hardballtalk has an interesting story about the season ticket holder that caught the ball, and how he has no intention to release it, whether to Rodriguez or anyone else that wants it.

Mariners Bring Back Familiar Face

The Mariners have hired seven-time all star Edgar Martinez to be their new hitting coach. It is believed that their now former hitting coach Howard Johnson will remain with the organization in another capacity, possibly as a hitting coach at a lower level. Even with the additions of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz over the last two offseasons, the Seattle offense has been towards the bottom in most offensive categories. The Mariners have used Martinez as an instructor in spring training, and he obviously made a name for himself with the bat. Safeco Field has always been known as a pitcher’s park, but hopefully Martinez can break the low scoring trend.

Rookie Watch

The Cubs made big news this past week, bringing up stud hitter Kyle Schwarber for a short stint against American League teams. Schwarber has flashed his incredible potential, waiting until just his second Major League game to have a four hit night. He hit his first career home run, as well, a two-run shot off of Indians’ pitcher Danny Salazar. The catcher is now eight for his first 22. In other rookie news, super prospect Byron Buxton is two for his first 22, while Carlos Correa is 11 for his first 32. Among more established rookies, Joc Pederson has put some distance between himself and Kris Bryant. Pederson now leads all rookies in on base percentage and home runs. Bryant is near the top in every offensive category, and is tied for the league lead in hits among rookies.

Cubs Watch

A .500-week won’t do much to help the Cubs in the divisional race, but that probably wasn’t where the focus was this week. The temporary addition of Schwarber has been the big story, and he has been fun to watch through his first 22 at bats. Questions still remain as to whether Schwarber can stick behind the plate or if he will end up in left, but his bat should make a huge impact regardless of where he plays. Jon Lester has rebounded nicely after a two rough starts, and has allowed just two runs over his last 13 innings. The Cubs two frontline starters now have earned run averages of 3.80 (Lester) and 3.40 (Jake Arrieta). The team has a home series against the Dodgers this week, followed by a road series against Saint Louis.


 Cy Young of the Week: There isn’t a whole lot of competition for the nomination this week, as Max Scherzer allowed one hit and no runs over his last 18 innings. Just about as impressive is the fact that he has struck out 26 batters over that stretch.

MVP of the Week: This should probably go to Scherzer as well, but that seems like taking the easy way out. Manny Machado will take it this week, after he totaled a .500 on base percentage and three home runs over the last seven days. He tied for the league lead in total bases over that stretch.

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Yesterday’s News: Maddon is tech savvy, errors costly in Minnesota

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

PAPELBON IS STILL OUT THERE:

The Cubs and Blue Jays are still the two teams most linked to Jonathan Papelbon in a trade, though lately it seems like Toronto is a more likely landing spot. I am actually fine with this possibility, as I think I would rather see the Cubs make a stronger pursuit of another starting pitcher as the trading season heats up. It seems quite likely that the Cubs will make a move of some kind before July 31, as they have maintained a very real shot at contending. They may have fallen 3 games behind the suddenly red hot Pittsburgh Pirates and remain 7 games back from that team in Missouri, the Cubs would grab a wild card spot with Pittsburgh.

MADDON’S LINEUPS:

I thought this was pretty interesting, and have only grown to appreciate Joe Maddon‘s approach with the team more and more. By texting the lineups to the players like this, I think it is one very important way of working with a team that is very, very young. Not only because of the obvious technological connection, but also because this sort of relaxed approach is crucial with a Cubs team that is contending again, regardless of the level of major league experience, but especially so when you consider the average age on this roster and just how little major league experience they collectively have.

GAME NOTES:

The Cubs went to Minnesota after a mostly successful series against the Indians that was split between Chicago and Cleveland, and the first game of the three game series was definitely a dud. I didn’t see it happen, but an error by Starlin Castro very early in the game proved costly, and our offense was never able to figure out Phil Hughes. Anthony Rizzo was the only bright spot on the offense, hitting two solo homeruns, but everyone else, other than Miguel Montero and Addison Russell, was kept hitless.

I do want to point out that Edwin Jackson had a very nice 3 innings when he came in relief for starter Kyle Hendricks, and he’s actually been a very reliable reliever for the most part this season. In his last 7 games, he has a WHIP of just 0.97. I don’t know if I’d trust him starting games again, and I actually wonder if he’s found his niche.


THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY

www.NationalPastime.com

2007: Connecting on a fifth inning hanging breaking ball thrown by Cubs’ hurler Jason Marquis, Sammy Sosa becomes the fifth major league player to hit 600 career home runs. The Rangers’ designated hitter, who missed the entire season last year, joins Hank Aaron (755), Barry Bonds (748), Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (660) in reaching the milestone.

2009: A major league oddity happens when two games end on walk-off wild pitches in extra innings on the same day. Jason Jennings‘ errant throw allows Nate Schierholtz to score the winning run for the Giants with two outs in the 11th inning to beat Texas, 2-1, and Andres Blanco comes home on Kerry Wood‘s miscue, giving the Cubs a 6-5 victory over Indians in 13 innings.

 

 

 

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Back In Time to 2015

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

I apologize upfront…I am going to sound a bit like an ogre…or at least an angry old man in this post.  This column may also seem irreverent to those of you looking for the usual nuggets of Cubs’ history that I typically write about…but this week I am hopping on a (very sarcastic) soap box.

The Cubs are NOT going to win the World Series in 2015.  I hope I am wrong, yet at this moment in “time”…I just don’t see it.  This team is light years ahead of the 2011-2014 versions …and extremely fun to watch.  The Cubs are an exciting young team with much promise. However they also possess a shaky defense, a very strikeout-y offense, and they are looking up at a Cardinals team that might win 130 games (unless they are all in white-collar cyber-criminal prisons by September).  I think the Cubs have a better than average shot of getting in as a wild card… I just can’t see them getting past the Nationals, the Giants, or the Dodgers. The “future” is bright however…yet part of me will actually be relieved when they don’t win in 2015.

Why? Why would a life-long Cubs’ fan say something so blasphemous…I shall explain:

I am a child of the 70’s and 80’s…so I love pop culture of that era.  Consequently, I am a fan of the “Back to the Future” films. (Well…at least the first two)  I may be one of the rare individuals who favor the second installment in the series. I love the “alternate” Biff Tannen 1985, where Biff is this rich American icon who amassed his empire through gambling…using Grays’ Sports Almanac…a book that has the score of every sporting event ever from 1955-2000! (Yet is remarkably thin)  He stole Marty’s idea for wealth and fame…and where did Marty get this idea?

Marty sees a hologram which congratulates the Cubs on winning the 2015 World Series over Miami…and a bystander says “if only you could go back in time and put some money on the Cubbies” and Marty’s scheme is hatched.

Now here in the actual 2015 I am tired of hearing about this silly connection. Apparently some have taken this as some sort of a prophecy (I realize some of it is tongue in cheek) but I have read dozens and dozens of posts, blogs and articles about this.  I also constantly hear “the Cubs are gonna win…Back to the Future said so” …comments from friends and co-workers.  Enough….please stop…it may have been kind of cute or funny the first 33 times I heard it, but now I find it annoying.  So here is my attempt to put this “prophecy” to bed- I will now point out what Back to the Future 2 also predicted about 2015:

-that the Cubs will play Miami in the World Series…yes I know there wasn’t a Miami franchise at the time, so the film did predict that correctly…but guessing that Miami would eventually have a baseball team does not qualify one as Nostradamus.

-Flying Cars?!….boy they were way off on this one…not only do we not have flying cars in 2015, we basically have the same cars we had in 1985.  Sure the designs are sleeker, mini-vans replaced station wagons, and we get about .1 more miles to the gallon…but no flying ability.  Rich people and the Military (they always get stuff 20 years before us) don’t even have flying cars in the real 2015…yet Doc Brown was stuck in bad aerial traffic in Back to the Future 2.

-Hydrating a Pizza? The McFly family hydrates a Pizza in seconds for dinner in their hydrating machine that looks suspiciously like a microwave. The movie did correctly predict that Pizza Hut would still be in existence in 2015. (I am guessing that a hydrated version would taste better than actual 2015 Pizza Hut does.)

-Marty’s Nikes…they were kind of close on this one…there have been advances in footwear in the last 30 years that have lessened the need for shoelaces. Frankly, I am surprised that shoelaces have made it this long…I can only attribute it to the historically strong aglet** lobby.

-the prevalence of Fax machines…I really can’t help but to burst out laughing at this one! A joke in the film has Marty’s boss say “Read My Fax!”…and it’s even on that old time computer spool paper! This might have worked had they traveled to 1995…but not 2015.

-Hover Boards…I actually did see an episode of Pawn Stars where they purchased one of these…so they get some credit here…but what I watched Chum Lee try to navigate was not anywhere near what Marty was flying around on.

-A “Café 80’s”…I want one of these in my town now!  I would frequent the place all of the time…in many ways I am stuck in the decade anyway….however I would want Pac Man, Tempest and Donkey Kong video games and not the lame, plot-foreshadowing, made-up “Wild Gunman” game that Marty plays.

- 2 ties as a fashion for men-I don’t fault them for this miscalculation…I still think it’s a very funny concept.

-Clothes that dry themselves-I do think I saw an infomercial about some kind of jacket that did this (maybe I was dreaming?)…just not to the extent that Marty’s clothes do.

-Using your hand-print to open the door-I am pretty sure this technology exists (I bet the military has it)…it’s just not readily available in all 2015 homes like say…fax machines! (giggle, giggle)

Even if the Chicago Cubs do happen to win the 2015 World Series(doubtful)…it will have nothing to do with BTF2 predicting it.  Like most conspiracies, prophecies, and oddities…my guess is there is a perfectly logical explanation for the Cubs’ inclusion in the 1989 film.  Let me ask you this-what other team could the filmmakers have used that would have gotten more of a reaction/laugh than the Cubs? Maybe the Red Sox because they were also still stuck in their own historical streak at the time…but they are not seen as “losers” as much as our beloved team is.  The White Sox could have been used as well…but no one cares about the White Sox.  I can’t think of any team that would have gotten the same reaction…it was a good choice by the filmmakers. It’s just not as sexy of an explanation as if they were really predicting this…sorry.

So back in our real 2015 where the Cubs are an improved bunch, cars don’t fly, and my lack of scientific knowledge prevents me from knowing if “hydrating” is even a thing, let’s put to bed the whole Cubs/Back to the Future connection.  If by some miracle the Cubs do win their first title in 107 years it will be just a fun, silly coincidence…and if they do win…the Hover Boards are on me!

** an aglet is that little plastic tip at the end of your shoelace…which has a lifespan of about a month after the purchase your shoes.

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Did We Witness a Hall of Fame Debut?

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

DEBUT OF A HALL OF FAMER?

Last night, Kyle Schwarber made his first start in the Majors at DH and let’s just say it went well. His first at bat resulted in an RBI triple and he finished the night with four hits, two runs scored and two RBI. My question to you today is twofold. First: If you had to place money right now on a yes or no answer, is Schwarber in the Hall of Fame thirty years from now? My second question is: What would it take for him to do over the next few games this weekend for Jed and Theo to not option him back to AAA and instead leave him with the big club the remainder of the year?

ROSSCUP TO THE DL

As Jared mentioned yesterday, Zach Rosscup injured his shoulder and had to be placed on the DL. In his place, Yoervis Medina was recalled. He was promptly asked to pitch last night and threw two scoreless innings to close out the game. Medina was brought in from the Mariners for Welington Castillo in May and has appeared in 10 games for Iowa, producing a 2.57 ERA in his last six relief appearances dating to May 31. Hopefully he will be the lightning in the bottle the pen needs as we wait for Neil Ramirez to return.


THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY

www.NationalPastime.com

2002 – In the first major league game to feature four players with 400 career homers, the Cubs beat the Rangers, 4-3, when Alex Gonzalez hits a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. Sammy Sosa (475), Fred McGriff (459) and Juan Gonzalez (401) watched Rafael Palmeiro add his 460th home run to the total.

2005 – Derek Jeter, who will average 15 home runs during 20-year career, hits his only major league grand slam in his 156th plate appearances with the bases loaded. The 30 year-old All-Star shortstop, who collects two round-trippers in the Bombers’ 8-1 victory over the Cubs at Yankee Stadium, clears the bases in the sixth inning with a blast off Joe Borowski that clears the the fence in left-center field.

2006 – In a game in which veteran hurler Kenny Rogers wins his 200th career victory, the Tigers go yard eight times to set a club record. Cubs starter Mark Prior, who recently returned from the 60-day disabled list, gives up three of the home runs in the 6-run first inning of the 12-3 barrage at Wrigley Field.

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Yesterday’s News: Stanley Cup visits Wrigley, Cubs get blanked

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

STANLEY CUP VISITS WRIGLEY:

After the Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup championship in the last six years, they brought the Cup to visit Wrigley as one of their stops on the Cup tour around Chicago. It’s just too bad that none of that championship magic rubbed off on the Cubs, at least for last night. It was cool to see pictures of the Cubs players interacting with the Blackhawks players and even if it didn’t affect their performance last night, I would be lying if I said I didn’t see some parallels between the Cubs now and what the Blackhawks were in around 2008 or 2009. Like I said yesterday, I am not a diehard hockey fan, so maybe the comparison isn’t perfect, but I can see the possibility of a Cubs team that, as they mature together, can really dominate in a few years. In fact, the NL Central is really an anomaly this year, so if you look around the league, the Cubs would be much closer in every other division in baseball. Blame that Cardinal Devil Magic.

CARDINALS INVESTIGATED BY FBI:

Speaking of Cardinal Devil Magic, I can’t resist the opportunity to touch on this subject. I don’t want to make too light of it, because it could very well result in people going to jail, but the fact that it’s the Cardinals who are being investigated by the FBI does put a smile on my face, just a little bit. If you missed this news yesterday, the Cardinals are under investigation for allegedly hacking the player database system of the Houston Astros. And before you scoff at the fact that it’s the Astros, that organization is quietly amassing quite a group of young talent itself. Before we gloat too much, it’s very hard to tell what effect this will really have on the team, because something like this is mostly unprecedented. If Rob Manfred emails me for suggestions, I’ll start with banishing the Cardinals from baseball.

GAME NOTES:

It was just a stinker. Our bats were totally quiet last night. The one bright spot might be that Kyle Schwarber made his debut, and actually got to catch an inning. He lead off the 9th inning by striking out on 3 straight pitches, but we can forgive him for that. Otherwise, the Cubs managed just 4 hits off of Trevor Bauer, with Kris Bryant and Chris Denorfia each collecting a single, and Addison Russell chipping in a pair of hits as well. Jake Arrieta had a rare bad start last night, getting particularly abused by Carlos Santana, and the Cubs never really had a chance from there. Of real concern is the fact that Zac Rosscup left the game with a shoulder injury last night, and he will probably hit the disabled list today. Brian Schlitter, turn that plane to Des Moines around.


THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY

www.NationalPastime.com

1915: In relief, Cubs right-hander George Washington Zabel throws 18 and 1/3 innings of the Cubs’ 4-3 victory over the Robins at West Side Park. ‘Zip’, establishing the major league record for the longest relief stint in one game, beats Brooklyn starter Jeff Pfeffer, who tosses a 19-inning complete-game.

1970: At Candlestick Park, Willie Mays (615) and Ernie Banks (504) both homer in the Cubs’ 6-1 victory over the Giants. It is the first time in baseball history two players with 500 career home runs have gone deep in the same game.

1971: Don Kessinger goes 6-for-6, stroking five singles and a double. The Cubs leadoff hitter’s perfect performance at the plate contributes to the team’s 7-6 ten-inning victory over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

1993: Baseball owners vote overwhelming, 26-2, in favor of expanding the playoffs for the first time since 1969. The new system, beginning in 1994, will double the number of teams that qualify for postseason play to eight by realigning each league to three divisions and adding two wild card teams.

 

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Minor League Update: Happ signs, Ramirez returning soon?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Last night’s news that Kyle Schwarber is, at least temporarily, headed to the majors caused quite a stir in the farm system and will continue to do so when he moves from the majors back to AAA after Sunday’s game, which is what our front office has made clear will happen, regardless of his performance. The hope is that he gains some experience and a chance to face major league pitching before going to Iowa to work on his catching. Otherwise, there are a few other bright spots in the minor league system.

RAMIREZ BEGINNING REHAB:

Though technically not a minor leaguer, the news that Neil Ramirez is beginning his minor league rehab assingment in AA Tennessee is very encouraging. Our bullpen has looked very strong lately, but having him return would mean Brian Schlitter would be less necessary as the automatic call up when we need bullpen help. Ramirez is expected to make his first rehab appearance tomorrow while the Smokies are hosting the Mississippi Braves.

CUBS COME TO TERMS WITH HAPP:

In a pretty quick turnaround, the Cubs have already signed first round draft pick Ian Happ. They were able to sign him at a $3 million bonus, which is under slot and could mean more money for other picks as they work to sign them. This also means that he could start right away with the short season Eugene Emeralds as they start their season on Thursday. The hope is that Happ can move pretty quickly up through the levels of the minor league system on a trajectory similar to that of Kris Bryant. With that in mind, his stay in Eugene could be very short, so look for him in South Bend before too long.

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