November 2010

11/10 Winter Leagues

Updated Cubs prospects Winter League statistics:


Tony Campana .283, 20 games, 1 double, 1 triple
Jason Dubois .274, 22 games, 2 doubles, 5 homers, 13 RBIs
Marwin Gonzalez .376, 22 games, 8 doubles, 2 homers, 20 RBIs
Brandon Guyer .348, 19 games, 3 doubles, 1 homer, 7 RBIs
Marquez Smith .245, 16 games, 3 doubles, 4 homers, 14 RBIs

Austin Bibens-Dirkx 1-2, 1.90 ERA, 5 games, 23 2/3 IP, 6 BB, 12 K
Eduardo Figueroa 1-0, 5.59 ERA, 5 games, 9 2/3 IP, 6 BB, 1 K
Craig Muschko 2-1, 4.11 ERA, 4 games, 15 1/3 IP, 2 BB, 9 Ks
Carlos Rojas 0-0, 13.50 ERA, 3 games, 3 1/3 IP, 2 BB, 1 K

Dominican Republic

Welington Castillo .172, 9 games, 1 homer, 2 RBIs
Junior Lake .250, 3 games, 1 double
Nelson Perez .250, 6 games, 2 doubles

Mexican League

Marco Carrillo 1-2, 6.75 ERA, 5 games, 21 1/3 IP, 12 BB, 19 Ks
Oswaldo Martinez 0-0, 7.11 ERA, 9 games, 12 2/3 IP, 3 BB, 12 Ks

— Carrie Muskat

11/10 Snyder now a free agent

Outfielder Brad Snyder cleared waivers and was outrighted off the Cubs’ 40-man roster. He is now a free agent. The Cubs’ 40-man roster is now at 36 players. Snyder, 28, appeared in 12 games with the Cubs, and batted .185 with five RBIs. In 132 games at Triple-A Iowa, he hit .308 with 25 homers, 37 doubles and drove in 106 runs. A left-handed hitter, he has a career .279 average in eight Minor League seasons.

— Carrie Muskat

11/10 Spring Training

The Cubs have yet to announce their 2011 Spring Training schedule, but the Brewers did, and they will open the Cactus League season Feb. 28 with a game in Mesa, Ariz. The Cubs and Brewers also will square off March 2 in Maryvale. The Indians also have released their schedule, and they will play the Cubs March 10 in Mesa and March 28 in Goodyear. We expect to get Cubs full schedule soon.

— Carrie Muskat

11/10 AFL update

The Mesa Solar Sox rallied for six runs in the ninth inning to beat the Surprise Rafters, 7-5, in Arizona Fall League play Tuesday. The Pirates’ Andrew Lambo hit a walkoff grand slam for the win. Ryan Flaherty was the only Cubs prospect to play, and he entered as a pinch-runner and scored. He’s batting .317, including a .409 average with runners on. The Solar Sox play host to Phoenix on Wednesday, and Cubs prospect Jake Muyco (0-2, 9.18 ERA) is slated to start.

— Carrie Muskat 

11/9 Sandberg to Phillies? – 2nd UPDATE

Ryne Sandberg isn’t giving up on his dream to manage in the big leagues. He is reportedly among the candidates for the Phillies’ managerial vacancy at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

“I’m committed to baseball and what I’m doing,” Sandberg told the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald. “My goal is to reach the Majors again, just like everyone else in the Minor Leagues. But I want to coach and teach and continue to do that, whether it’s in the Minors or the Majors. I’m committed to that. I always have been. I never stopped.”

Sandberg’s agent Jim Turner told the Daily Herald: “Ryne felt it was in his best interests, and [Cubs] ownership’s best interests, to not accept the job at [Triple-A] Iowa. He did not want ownership or the fans or Mike Quade to feel he was sitting there waiting for a disappointing result and an ax to fall in Chicago. That’s not how he’s built.”

Sandberg has talked to the Ricketts family about pursuing other managerial openings. Cubs GM Jim Hendry did give Sandberg the option of returning to Triple-A Iowa but he chose not to. Sandberg is under contract with the Cubs until Dec. 31, but the team will not get in the way of his pursuit of a job.

“He was always welcome to do whatever he wanted,” Hendry said Tuesday night.

Could Sandberg manage in the Phillies system? Sure.

“By not accepting the Des Moines job, Ryne’s sending a clear signal to the 29 other teams,” Turner said. “He’s serious about reaching his goal, and that goal can be reached with any Major League team.”

Sandberg, 51, has spent the last four years in the Cubs’ Minor League system, managing Triple-A Iowa last year. He was named Pacific Coast League manager of the year after leading the Iowa Cubs to a tie for first at 82-62. Sandberg was a candidate for the Cubs’ manager’s job, but Hendry picked Mike Quade, who led the team to a 24-13 record in the final six weeks of the regular season.

Sandberg does have ties to the Phillies. He began his career with the team, which selected the infielder in the 20th round of the 1978 Draft. He was included in the deal which sent shortstop Larry Bowa to the Cubs in exchange for shortstop Ivan DeJesus.

— Carrie Muskat

11/9 AFL update

Cubs prospect David Cales pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief Monday in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 8-3 loss to the Scottsdale Scorpions in Arizona Fall League play. Cales, a Chicago native who graduated from Mount Carmel High School, walked one and struck out two of the five batters he faced. He now has a 2.16 ERA. Ryan Flaherty was 1-for-3, and is batting .317. The Solar Sox play host to Surprise on Tuesday at HoHoKam Stadium.

— Carrie Muskat

11/8 Derrek Lee has surgery

Former Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee had
surgery Monday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. According
to Yahoo Sports, the surgery repaired damage Lee sustained on April 5,
Opening Day. Lee batted .260 with 19 homers and 80 RBIs this season, and played 148 games with the Cubs before he was traded in August to the

“I think [the injury] had an enormous impact on his 2010 season,” Lee’s
agent Casey Close told Yahoo Sports on Monday. “To try to gut his way
through it, it had a huge influence on his statistical measurements.
It’s amazing he played the whole season on it.”

Lee, who turned 35 in September, is a free agent. He was expected to recover in time for Spring Training.

— Carrie Muskat

11/8 Touchdown

Crews installed bright yellow goal posts at Wrigley Field on Monday, positioning them in front of the Cubs’ dugout and the right field bleachers. The field is being converted for the Nov. 20 college football game between Northwestern and Illinois. The ballpark has been decorated with purple banners to announce the game. This will be the first football game at Wrigley since 1970 and first collegiate game there since 1938. The Chicago Bears called Wrigley Field home from 1921 to 1970. However, the field at that time ran north-south. The field for the Nov. 20 game will be east-west.

— Carrie Muskat

11/6 AFL Rising Stars game

Cubs prospect Chris Carpenter struck out two and gave up one hit in one inning of relief work in the “Rising Stars” Arizona Fall League game Saturday night in Surprise, Ariz. Carpenter threw 20 pitches, 14 for strikes. Josh Vitters entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and went 0-for-2. The West squad beat the East, 3-2, on Tampa Bay’s Leslie Anderson’s walkoff homer. The AFL squads have Sunday off. On Monday, the Mesa Solar Sox faces the Scottsdale Scorpions.

— Carrie Muskat

11/5 Roster decisions

The Cubs brass is not only discussing which free agents to pursue during their organizational meetings this week in Mesa but also which Minor Leaguers to keep on the 40-man roster. The roster is at 37. One player who could be available for the Rule 5 Draft if he isn’t added, according to the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, is third baseman Marquez Smith, who is playing for the Tigres de Aragua in Venezuela. Smith was batting .271 with four homers, three doubles and 14 RBIs so far, including a 4-for-6 game Oct. 31. Smith began the season with Double-A Tennessee and batted .182 in 16 games but then hit .314 with 26 doubles, 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 91 games at Triple-A Iowa. A right-handed hitter, he batted .357 against lefties, .297 against right-handers. He also hit .326 with runners in scoring position. Smith, 25, was selected in the eighth round of the 2007 Draft; he played at Clemson.

— Carrie Muskat