Friday, May 18, 2012

Goodbye 34 and Other Rumors and Notes...

------UPDATE!-  The Cubs have sent Chris Volstad to Iowa and called up Blake Lalli.  Travis Wood will take Volstad's start on Tuesday when he is called up from Iowa.

3 straight days with blog updates… Signs of the Apocalypse!
  • A hard day for Cub fans when Kerry Wood announced he would retire (likely after today’s game) but will be made official tomorrow. Kerry still hopes to pitch one more time out of the pen and go out on good terms. Some reports say he will pitch today while others say he will pitch sometime during this cross-town series. One thing is for sure Kerry Wood will be missed and it is going to be hard to say goodbye to one of my favorite Cubs of all time.
  • Chris Volstad is likely out of the rotation after his consecutive bad outings streak. Guys that could replace him are Casey Coleman, Chris Rusin, Randy Wells, and the favorite Travis Wood.
  • Geovany Soto will under go arthroscopic surgery and will likely be out 3-4 weeks. He as a torn meniscus which is hard on a catcher but recover time is usually pretty good.
  • Welington Castillo will likely get the bulk of the starts until Clevenger is healthy. The Cubs could and will likely call up Blake Lalli to replace Soto who is headed for the DL.
  • When Clevenger proves he is healthy he will likely get the bulk of the playing time unless Castillo can prove something within the week.
  • One great thing that comes from a Soto injury is we get to see the future together behind the plate. If both Castillo and Clevenger prove they can handle the duties then Soto instantly becomes trade bait (if he is not already) if back by the trade deadline. If not then you can expect the Cubs to non-tender Soto who will likely make $6.5M next season.
Until Next Time…

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Coming Up, Coming Back, and Could Be Moving On..

- Scott Maine was called up yesterday to replace Lendy Castillo who is on the DL with a sore groin.
- Blake DeWitt cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA.  He decided to take the money and report to Iowa.
- Clevenger fans like me can rejoice! He is swinging the bat pain free and is hoping to return to the Cubs by May 25th. Better news is he will go on a minor league rehab stint next week.
- BleacherNation has the BIG story today about Joe Ricketts which you should read.
- Pauly Sullivan says the Cubs and Matt Garza are not close on an extension and said they have not even talked dollars.
- Sullivan thinks the Cubs would like to trade Soto. But would like to keep Dempster for a year or two.
- The Cubs called up Blake Parker and have sent Scott Maine back to Iowa.
- Doug Padilla has some great tidbits today-
· Doug says if Dempster is dealt he will bring back a prospect or two. Depending on how much money the Cubs chip in will determine how good that prospect is.
· Brett Jackson may have fallen back to a September call up with this play but lucky for Jackson numbers don’t mean everything.
· Dolis is the closer right now.
· Rizzo will likely be called up around the All-Star break in Doug’s opinion.
· Right now Soto is a likely salary dump at the deadline.
· No news on Soler.
· The Cubs could package Wells in a deal in July stated Padilla.
· Padilla says what I have been saying for a while. If you have the chance to have Rizzo and LaHair together you take chances in other areas to make that happen.
- This rumor just strolled in… The Cubs and Angels have been discussing a possible Geovany Soto trade the past few days. But it is currently in a holding pattern until the Cubs see the progression of Steve Clevenger. The Cubs are likely to receive a decent prospect for Soto but will likely have to pay a bigger some of his salary to do so. The Rays and Nationals have also been linked to Soto as well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Some Small Cub Notes...

- The Cubs and Red Sox completed the Marlon Byrd trade by acquiring Hunter Cervenka. Hunter is a 22 year old left-handed pitcher who can strike out guys but also gives up a ton of runs. This year he is sporting an 8.04 ERA with 13.8 K/9 and a 6.9 BB/9 in 15 innings.
- Rosenthal says the Cubs are more likely to trade Dempster if the extend Matt Garza. But of course Dempster has the right to veto any trade but he is still unlikely to stay in Chicago at a discount.
- Rosenthal also says the Cubs have no immediate plans to call up Rizzo who figures to stay in Iowa until a spot opens.
- Ken also stats releasing Soriano does not appear to be an option. I think right now it does but by July? That is a different story.
- Marmol is not expected to be off the DL in the minimum 15 days. He will rest for several days and start building up the hamstring again then move to rehab.
Until Next Time…

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Extensions, Trades, and Signings... OH MY!

Please excuse the lack of updates via my blog; I have had a busy two months. But here is some updates as rumors heat up-
  • The Cubs and Matt Garza extension talks are going well and it seems like they will eventually ink a deal. A 5 year deal around $85M has been tossed around but a hang up seems to be the no-trade clause. Which that could be significant considering Theo and Co. do not hand those out.
  • Dale Sveum said he had Castro bunt yesterday so they would stay out of the double play even though he knew they would walk LaHair if Castro was successful. The he comes out with the other reason ”Some poor bunting, but it wasn’t as much the bunting as you have to pull back and slash in those situations when they’re charging. It’s hard to get guys to understand that. It’s something you work on and work on, but it kind of speeds up a little during the game. That’s something we have to work on as much as anything because it’s such a prevalent part of the game.”
  • The Washington Nationals have loss 2 catchers in 3 days so insert the Soto rumors. Now while the fit seems obvious there are complications. First; Steve Clevenger has not started swinging a bat yet and it seems Castillo is not going to be an everyday catcher right now. Second; Geovany Soto has been struggling and why would the Nationals want him when they have Jesus Flores along with a lot of “other” catchers in the minors hitting better and fielding better than him. Third; Soto is making $4.3M this season and could make about $6.5M next season which is not good for a fill in spot for the Nationals. They would likely want the Cubs to pay some of his salary which I see the Cubs saying no way. But after saying all that a deal does seem possible if not likely. The Cubs could be planning to cut Soto after this season rather than pay him 6+ million dollars and if they can save some cash this season along with getting a player back they may just do it. Only time will tell.
  • Rumors are circling that Dempster could be drawing interest from several teams but mostly the Red Sox. While it does seem like a fit for the Sox; the Cubs seem unlikely to pull a trigger with the Red Sox weak farm system. But I have been surprised before. Two other teams that have some rumored interest in Dempster are the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays.
  • The Cubs have signed Mike MacDougal to a minor league deal to add depth in Iowa. He was released by the Dodgers Sunday.
  • It is likely that Chris Volstad could be on his way out of the rotation but he would have to pass through revocable waivers to be optioned. So it is more likely him landing on the DL or maybe traded if the Cubs grow tired of him. The Cubs have Travis Wood, Casey Coleman, and Chris Rusin who could fill the void if Volstad gets bounced from the rotation.
  • Junior Lake could make his way to Iowa this season if and when Rizzo and/or Jackson get called up. Lake is currently hitting .296 with a .457 OBP a homer, 2 doubles, and 4 runs in 36 plate appearances. Most of his work after the DL stint. Lake is an unusual guy because he has yet to develop defensively or grow into his body at the age of 22. Lake is currently playing SS and 3rd because of his plus-plus arm. If Lake continues to hit, makes it to Iowa this season, and improves defensively at 3rd while seeing some time at 2nd and OF you could see him up in Chicago sometime in 2013.
  • Another side not on Lake (and even Vitters) is the Cubs are going to look really left-handed if they decide to call up BJax, Rizzo, rid them of Soriano, and put LaHair in the outfield. So if you are a young, right handed good hitter that can play 3rd, 2nd, and/or OF then you may find yourself in Chicago a lot sooner.
Until Next Time…