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  • Cubs' Minor League News and Notes

    The Cubs have been very busy the past week not only on a major league level but on a minor league one as well. Shuffling rosters around due to promotions, demotions and signing draft picks.

    One of our farm hands has thrown a no hitter and we even signed an ex-Cardinal. For more in depth news and Bob’s take read on…


    The biggest news thus far is that the Cubs have signed Josh Donaldson, their 48th overall pick (1st round supplemental). He’s the recently converted catcher for Auburn with an offensive bat and questionable defense. But the Cubs think his athleticism will win out and he’ll stay at the position. It’s not the first time the Cubs took a “catcher” with a bat and questionable D in the draft nor will it be the last. Donaldson’s bat is suited for Boise but his glove needs some serious work. So it wouldn’t be suprising that he starts 2007 in Mesa (Rookie ball).

    Onto other signings, the Cubs are close to signing their third overall pick Josh Vitters. Vitters’ agent is waiting on other top draft picks to sign so a priceline is set. But make no mistake, the Cubs will have him signed by the August 15th deadline, he just might take a little longer the rest of our early picks. The Cubs have also signed lefty OF Clark Hardman out of Cal State Fullerton. Hardman strained his calf during the College World Series, so he won't report immediately to the Mesa Cubs (Rookie) or Boise (Short A).

    The Cubs have now signed 27 of their 50 selections, 22 coming within the first week. They still plan on signing 3B Vitters, 2B Tony Thomas (3rd Rd), SS Darwin Barney (4th Rd), and hopefully high schooler RHP Ryan Acosta (12th Rd). The Cubs apparently will follow Texas Jr. James Russell (14th Rd), CA. high schooler 3B Victor Sanchez (25th Rd) and Texas Jr. C Preston Clark (33rd Rd) this summer and make a decision late in the signing process. All three will likely go unsigned, it’s in their best interest in terms of draft slot and money. It’s quite possible that Clark and Russell could be first rounders next year.

    Smokies’ starter Mark Holliman also threw a no-no in the past week. Of course it was only a 7 inning game in a doubleheader, still Holliman looked great. Early in the season, Holliman was HOT but hit a dry spell, this could be an early signal that Holliman is ready for a promotion to AAA.

    The Cubs 2006 first rounder Tyler Colvin has be promoted to AA Tennessee. Colvin is advancing rapidly but it’s not due to being pushed. His talents are definately better than High A level. If his plate discipline were more advanced Tyler would be considered one of the minor league’s top outfielders. As it stands right now, Tyler is working a walk about every 17.5 at bats, a horrendous rate. Yet Colvin plays a solid CF covering adequate grass featuring a strong arm, a bat with extrabase talent, plus contact at the plate, and plus speed.


    Colvin gets to move up due to 25 year old outfielder Josh Kroeger getting the call to AAA. Josh’s talent level was always too great for the Southern league since his minor league free agent signing. Kroeger was a 4th round pick by the D-backs out of high school in 2002. He soared through their system showing great hitting skills, advanced contact, solid plate discipline, along with a developing power stroke. Kroeger even got his MLB cup of coffee in 2004 but that was short-lived. He then spent 2005 (D-backs org.) and 2006 (Phillies) in AAA hitting poorly. The Cubs started him in AA to build up his confidence and it worked as he led the MiLB in average and tops the lists of many other offensive categories while in AA. Since joining Iowa, Josh has been starting in LF, with Murton in RF and Coats in CF, but has not adjusted to the pitching difference. The outfield promotion of Kroeger is only able due to Soto going back behind the plate (Geo was at 1B) and Hoffpauir going back to his best position at 1B (Micah was in LF). Hopefully Kroeger starts adjusting to more advanced breaking balls, if so he’d be a nice 4th outfielder in the future.

    The baseball season is close to halfway over, and many leagues have started naming their midseason All-Star teams. The biggest to note is the Future’s Game where Iowa’s Geovany Soto was selected to the Worlds’ team as a 1B not as a C. During the first half, Soto was playing mainly 1B due to back spasms but now is Iowa’s everyday catcher again. In AA, RHP Mark Holliman, 3B Matt Craig and OF Jake Fox were selected to the All-Star team. In High A, Daytona, RHP Mitch Atkins, OF Tyler Colvin, IF Matt Matulia, OF Jesus Valdez, and OF Chris Amador. In Low A Peoria, RHPs Jake Renshaw, Al Maestri and Rocky Roquet.

    In recent roster shuffles, RHP Sean Gallagher joins Iowa in rotation and quickly becomes the ace. The Iowa Cubs are looking for a starter to take them deep into ballgames and hold runs down. Struggles by Cotts and O’Malley as rotational starters, makes Gallagher’s transition easier as Cotts is forced to pen.

    Former top prospect righty Billy Petrick was added to the 40 man roster and promoted to the big leagues. To make room for him, Wade Miller was sent to the 60 day DL and Dempster was committed to the 15 day DL. Petrick will add more bullpen depth to an oveworked staff due to Lou. Odds are Billy won’t last too long in Chicago. Still I have a scouting report in the works on him.

    In other news, the Cubs signed former “gritty” super utility Cardinal Bo Hart and side-armer Brett Prinz to AAA deals. Former lefty 2005 first rounder Mark Pawelek has a broken right arm, and will likely miss the remainder of the season, or close to it.
    Last edited by Bob Sacamento; 06-27-2007, 04:26 PM.
    What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
    Line Drive: .356
    HBP: .342
    Non-Intentional Walk: .315
    Intentional Walk: .176
    Outfield Fly: .035
    Groundball: -.101
    Bunts: -.103
    Infield Fly: -.243
    Strikeout: -.287
    It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

  • #2
    Very nice report Bob, I didn't know that Soto had been playing 1st.

    I was at Wrigley today and saw Petrick's major league debut. From my seats he looked good, mowing through his first inning of work. He walked the leadoff man in his second inning, and subsequently gave a 2-out 2-run homer to Garrett Atkins, but was throwing in the mid-90s and seemed to have good control. He got a few nice ovations from the always-intelligent Wrigley crowd: entering the game, finishing his first inning, and a standing O after Lou took him out in the 8th.
    A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

    Comment


    • #3
      I thought Petrick looked good too, much as I thought Gallagher looked good when he was up. The game didn't seem beyond him or anything.
      Senior Editor/Featured Writer for Home Of The Chiefs

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by nathanKent View Post
        I thought Petrick looked good too, much as I thought Gallagher looked good when he was up. The game didn't seem beyond him or anything.
        Petrick has long had the talent to pitch on the MLB level. It's just getting him healthy, after his 2004 Lansing season the Cubs had him pegged on the fast track. But a labrum surgery halfway through the 2005 season cost him much of his 2006 season as well. This year with Petrick healthy, the idea was to start him as a reliever and to work him in as a starter later in the year. So far this year at both Daytona and Tennessee, he's only worked as a reliever. As a pen arm, he's able to throw his sinker with more velocity along with his nasty breaking slider. Petrick also features an advanced changeup that he'll work in if he's extended.
        What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
        Line Drive: .356
        HBP: .342
        Non-Intentional Walk: .315
        Intentional Walk: .176
        Outfield Fly: .035
        Groundball: -.101
        Bunts: -.103
        Infield Fly: -.243
        Strikeout: -.287
        It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Bob Sacamento, good information.

          Petrick looked good in his first inning, throwing strikes and challenging batters. How we needed that from the 'pen earlier in the season.
          Touching from a distance, further all the time...
          25th May 1967
          1907... 1908... errr... thats it... :dismay:

          Comment


          • #6
            That was a good read as usual Bob. Thank you. I agree Petrick did look good. Anyone else like what Marmol is doing? I think he could take Dempster's job, but we'll see. I noticed the other night he was being clocked @ 92 mph or so, but I swear it looked alot harder than 92mph. Is their anyway that WGN is posting slower speeds to surprise opposing teams when we play them?
            Last edited by Lipsander; 06-28-2007, 04:12 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lipsander View Post
              That was a good read as usual Bob. Thank you. I agree Petrick did look good. Anyone else like what Marmol is doing? I think he could take Dempster's job, but we'll see. I noticed the other night he was being clocked @ 92 mph or so, but I swear it looked alot harder than 92mph. Is their anyway that WGN is posting slower speeds to surprise opposing teams when we play them?
              Doubtful. That would require WGN to have it together. They struggle just to keep track of pitch counts, outs, and which bases are occupied. They also struggle to maintain a constant video and audio feed for anything longer than 20 minutes at a time. But yeah, Marmol looks great from the pen. I don't see him taking Dempster's job simply because there isn't a need, but I think he's still the ideal choice to replace Rusch as a long reliever/swingman (Rusch was only good as a starter when he wasn't expecting to start). Basically he's the only guy in the pen I want on in the 5th and 6th when the starter gets pulled early.
              Senior Editor/Featured Writer for Home Of The Chiefs

              Comment


              • #8
                Barring a major meltdown by Dempster in the second half, I can't see Marmol taking his closer's role, but in the future, I do think Marmol has a chance at closing here in Chicago.

                For now, I think he's one of the most trustworthy relievers the Cubs have, and he's proven that he can fill any role in the pen (well, maybe not left-handed specialist, but that's a genetic thing).
                A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by E.Banks#14 View Post
                  Barring a major meltdown by Dempster in the second half, I can't see Marmol taking his closer's role, but in the future, I do think Marmol has a chance at closing here in Chicago.

                  For now, I think he's one of the most trustworthy relievers the Cubs have, and he's proven that he can fill any role in the pen (well, maybe not left-handed specialist, but that's a genetic thing).
                  I think he also has a shot of being in the rotation again if one of the current starters isn't around.
                  Senior Editor/Featured Writer for Home Of The Chiefs

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nathanKent View Post
                    I think he also has a shot of being in the rotation again if one of the current starters isn't around.
                    Marmol is one of the many Cub arms that can start but is better suited as a reliever at the time being. By throwing only an inning or two or three, Marmol is able to ramp up his high octane fastball and frisbee slider, both of which are already MLB pitches. As a starter you need at least three pitches and/or change speeds, both things that Marmol needs to work on. When watching the Cubs vs. Mariners series with a M's friend, he couldn't believe he had never heard of Marmol. His immediate comparision was to K-Rod on the nasty'o'meter.
                    What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
                    Line Drive: .356
                    HBP: .342
                    Non-Intentional Walk: .315
                    Intentional Walk: .176
                    Outfield Fly: .035
                    Groundball: -.101
                    Bunts: -.103
                    Infield Fly: -.243
                    Strikeout: -.287
                    It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

                    Comment

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