Friday, April 27, 2012

Concepcion, Rizzo, LaHair, and More...

  • Gerardo Concepcion was called up to Peoria in the past couple days and they did not waste time to see how he will fair. Concepcion was roughed up in this first start giving up 5 runs in the first inning but then calmed down to pitch another 4 innings. He gave up 8 hits, 5 ER, 1 homerun, 1 BB, and 2 K’s. I talked to a person at the game and he says he has a nice fastball and all his pitches have good movement but control will be an issue right now.
  • The Cubs front office is coming around to the idea of having both Rizzo and LaHair here in by summer time. One source said LaHair actually could see more time in the OF in the next couple of months to see how he does defensively. The Cubs are hoping he can handle one of the two corner spots and continue to hit because that will determine their moves by the deadline.
  • If and when the Cubs do bring up Rizzo and BJax they may have a lefty problem if they decide to have LaHair starting in LF (Soriano trade, released, or benched). 6 potential lefties in the lineup! Check it out-
    1. Brett Jackson CF
    2. David DeJesus RF
    3. Starlin Castro SS
    4. Anthony Rizzo 1st
    5. Bryan LaHair LF
    6. Ian Stewart 3rd
    7. Steve Clevenger/Welington Castillo/Geovany Soto C
    8. Darwin Barney 2b
    • Wood will not be back this weekend when he is eligible to return from the DL.
    • One source told me today that the Dodgers have been scouting Soriano for the past week (unfortunately he has not been on one of his famous hot streaks). MLBTR reported recently that Colletti could be looking to add another bat before July 31st. The only way Soriano makes sense for the Dodgers is if the Cubs pick up a ton of money left on his contract and they are not sold on Juan Rivera starting in LF for them anymore.
    • Carlos Marmol’s role as closer is secure for now.
    • The Cubs may have an in house alternative to Marmol named James Russell who looked like he has the makings of a great reliever.
    • The Cubs DFA Rodrigo Lopez and he cleared waivers and was sent to AAA Iowa for added depth.

    Monday, April 23, 2012

    Bowden the New Cub, Byrd and Lopez Gone, and More Notes..

  • The Cubs did trade Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox for Michael Bowden and a PTBNL.
  • The PTBNL will not be significant according to sources and will be determined in middle May. The Cubs have a list of 10 players to choose from and will likely select a pitcher from that list.
  • Michael Bowden will join the Chicago Cubs rotation today and Rodrigo Lopez was DFA to make room for Bowden.
  • Want to know more about Bowden? Check Bleacher Nation.
  • Bleacher Nation also has the info on the Tampa Bay Rays once again looking at Geovany Soto as a possible trade target. The Nation says Soto does have good trade value regardless of his start and I agree. If talks do progress I can see the Cubs targeting several players like Wade Davis (whom has been rumored before), EnnyRomero,Tim Beckahm, Felipe Rivero, and/or Drew Vettleson.
  • Starlin Castro is fine after getting hit in his elbow but he felt like his arm was broken at the time.
  • Cubs Den says the Cubs could target June for phase 2 of rebuilding and boy do I hope we see some drastic changes by then if we continue down the road we are on.
  • Sources tell me that Theo and Jed are both working hard to trade some pieces to open up opportunities for other players. One source says Soriano and Soto are two players they are discussing the most with other teams. But the moves don’t mean that the Cubs are giving up or they are ready to call up Rizzo or Jackson or even Castillo for that matter. It means player like Luis Valbuena, Adrian Cardenas, and/or David Sappelt could be brought up to Chicago given how they have played in Iowa. It also means (in the case of Soto) they could move for a veteran backstop for the remainder of this year and give the starting nod to Steve Clevenger to finish the season. This would leave Castillo in AAA to get regular at bats and see if Clevenger is the real deal. Some veterans that could be available via trade or free agency are Henry Blanco, Ramon Castro, Josh Bard, or Francisco Cervelli.

  • Until Next Time..