#Cubs Minor League report: Szczur hits 2 HRs

Saturday’s games

Matt Szczur hit two home runs and Junior Lake smacked his sixth to lead Iowa to a 10-4 win over Memphis. Szczur finished with three RBI. Felipe Paulino gave up one run over five innings for the win.

Tennessee lost, 2-1, in 10 innings to Montgomery. Bijan Rademacher and Wes Darvill each had two hits. Rob Zastryzny gave up one run over 5 2/3 innings.

Jeremy Null gave up three runs over five innings in Myrtle Beach’s 7-4 win over Potomac. Jordan Hankins had two hits,
including a three-run homer, and Jacob Rogers drove in four RBI.

Jeffry Baez homered for the second straight game as South Bend beat West Michigan, 5-3. Gleyber Torres had two hits,
including a RBI triple. Gioskar Amaya had two hits and drove in two.

Eugene beat Vancouver, 4-3, in 11 innings. Adonis Paula had two hits, including a double and a triple, and one RBI. Eloy
Jimenez had two hits and one RBI. Ian Happ hit a double.

Mesa lost, 10-2, to the Athletics. Yohan Matos drove in two runs.


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It’s too bad about both Lake and Szczur both being AAAA players??? And failing to grab the wide open left field spot. Although Coghlan does an admirable job I would not think he is “enough” of a player to say LF is not a problem. Still hoping Theo pulls a rabbit out of his hat and acquires a middle of the order, potent bat left fielder to shore up the offense via a trade that none of us see coming at the moment while most of the talk is about adding a top line pitcher….we need an established HITTER to help us avoid frustrating, low scoring losses.

Yes, fonzie. There is hope for Szcur yet. I`ve given up on Junior. How about Herrera yesterday? He did not look `terrible,` if you follow my drift. In fact, he`s had a decent July. The Braves broadcast yesterday reported that he has 8 hits in 21 ab`s in the month or some such. I also heard that our starting pitchers had the best ERA of all major league teams in July entering yesterday`s contest, and yesterday`s effort by Arrieta could only improve on that number.

I follow your drift! The team’s starting pitchers’ era in July is one reason I am hoping Theo does not forsake the need for an additional bat yet this season. I am grateful for the nice season we are having, am pleasantly surprised….yet the greedy side of me wants to nail down a wild card spot AND go far into the playoffs and with the offense struggling and the bench weakened by Ross’s ability to hit just a little better than his attached at the hip ace Lester….well.Have you noticed even Bryant has cooled off? Of course you have. This team needs an offensive boost and the sooner the better. When one would prefer a relief pitcher such as Travis Wood in a critical pinch hitting opportunity rather than the #2 catcher David Ross, that speaks volumes regarding the limitations Maddon faces while Ross keeps a roster spot.

The whole team has cooled off. Starting with Castro and his Barney like OBP.
Then you have the FA signing of Fowler who last year had an OBP of 370, this year cant hit LH Pitchers and a OBP of 310.
Why not put Szczur in CF for 14 games and see if he can handle it in CF and at leadoff. Its not like he don’t have some speed and Fowler is not stealing enough anyway.
Bryant may be slowing, Soler, Russell, but their getting the experience and the Cubs are still 8 games over 500.
The next 14 games are against sub 500 teams, they have a chance to make a run now. They may not even have to face Cueto this series.

Jasper I agree regarding Bryant, Soler and Russell. These guys are part of the core future and although they are not hitting lights out they are performing and contributing and as you said gaining experience for the years ahead. As far as your comment claiming Castro’s OBP being akin to Darwin Barney’s I have to disagree due to Baseball Reference having Castro’s career OBP at .320 and Barney’s at .230. Even Castro’s current 2015 OBP is .278 still much better than Barney’s career .230 so a little fact checking……However, you want to talk bad OBP? Ross needs to be relegated to coaching duties asap freeing up a roster spot for a hitter….even a hitter like the much critically targeted Barney would be a huge improvement over Ross’ current .173 BA and career OBP of .233. I know I get on Ross quite often like some others have gotten on Barney in the past, but come on…. .173 ba? One automatic out after another? Ross’ contributions seem to be getting less likely by the day. I would have to say as of late Jackson actually contributed more from the bullpen than Ross has in his “Lester starts” or off the bench as a pinch out. Fowler on the other hand is a somewhat surprise disappointment, similar to the south sides’ Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrerra. All 3 were legitimately expected to perform closer to their career numbers and all three disappoint. It certainly would make sense to allow Szczur a shot at CF considering he could defend, run and hit at least as well as Fowler so the gamble he would hit better is justified. Plus we could find out if he is part of 2016 plans or not. We already know Fowler is not.

fonzie, I really cant say anything bad about Ross. The game Friday night, I seen a TV shot of Ross yelling at Schwarber, then Schwarber went to the mound. You are right, he is a backup, but more importantly a coach. Do I hate to see him come in as a PH, hell yes. I don’t think any fan will ever know the importance of Ross, especially with a youngster like Schwarber coming up.
Now you take a 5 year VET at SS, who is on track to make over 30 errors with a very low OBP, on a winning club that needs just a little improvement, I would think every Cub fan would have a problem with that.
And yes, I would love to see them put Szczur in CF for at least 14 games, to give him regular At Bats and see what he can do.

Fowler finally had a good game.
Grimm although only giving up his 2nd HR of the season was disappointing. It was not the HR that was disappointing, it was the walk before the HR.
When will the BP stop walking people? When?

Aloha Jasper- that is very true. Walks more often than not come back to haunt you. I am sure Grimm was thinking, this is the guy that just won the Home Run Derby and I do not want to give him anything good. With two outs I think as long as he did not make a mistake pitch he could have challenged him more. Mahalo.

That’s exactly right Jasper, that walk was infuriating. I was also completely dismayed by Grimm not getting his first pitch over for a strike. He must get that first strike over or else he sets himself up for a battle…which he lost with Frazier and had to then give in to Bruce.

Aloha Folks- Nice to see Jasper’s comment. Tonight was a difficult game to watch. 2-11 RISP is not going to cut it. I admit I was frustrated with Grimm and his mistake pitch which gave the Reds the lead but what is just as disheartening is that the Red’s bp is not good except for Chapman and the team could not score. I also thought there was a lot of sloppy play in the field, though no errors. Jasper is right, they should be able to make a run and would love for them too. So, the question becomes do you make trades to get short-term rentals (maybe if you were clearly in contention like the Pirates) or are you willing to give away some pieces now for things that could bring bigger payoffs next year? Before they let EJax go I thought he would be able to be a piece of a trade, knowing the would have to eat his salary but packaged with a Castro and possibly other players/prospects the organization could get something big in return. Fowler did all right tonight but he could also be a part of a package, then Szczur/Lake could play and/or platoon CF. We will soon find out. Hope the team can come back and take back this series. Mahalo.

Aloha k.g., I can’t help but wonder why you would think the Cubs would get something big in return for a package of players containing Jackson, Castro and Fowler??? None of the three would help entice a deal. The other players/prospects you mention (whoever they would be) would bring a bigger return than the aforementioned Moe, Larry and Curly. It is the young prospects I hope the Cubs don’t trade for a short term rental player but would not mind seeing them traded for a player the Cubs can control for at least two if not three years. For example, if the Cubs can trade with Detroit for Cespades who is now being shopped by offering a package of high prospects I would think that would solve LF for years to come….IF the Cubs are allowed to hammer out a contract with Cespades during the trade negotiations that is and Cespades remains a Cub for the next few years of playoff runs. Cespades seems to be an ideal solution for the Cubs lack of outfield offense and a caliber of player worth some prize prospects that may never find a position with the Cubs anyway.

There was no market for EJax, k.g., and I`ve heard it said there is no market for Castro either. How about that play Phillips made on the ball struck by Soler; one game does not mean a helluva lot; am referencing Fowler. We can do better next season with a lead off batter who produces, meaning has a high OBP and gets knocks far more regularly than this guy. And let`s find a closer equivalent to Chapman; this guy is `lights out.` Our batters all looked `overmatched` in the ninth.

Aloha jhosk & fonzie, I was thinking about how the FO “threw” in Hammel last year with the Shark trade to the A’s. Not saying that EJax had much value, he was doing Ok in the bp. I know Castro is not playing up to his potential but a team that needs a ss would have control over him for a few years and the cost is not so great. I mentioned Fowler in passing. Of course the FO would have to add in a bigger piece if they were hoping for something big in return. fonzie I know you would like a bat to be added to this lineup, depending on the person and team would dictate what would have to be offered. For example. There is a lot of talk in my area about Zobrist possibly up for trade but Beane and the A’s would want a lot for him, prospects-pitching. The folks I originally mentioned I know would not be the “centerpiece” of a big trade but could be part of the trade, if that makes sense. Take care now. Mahalo!

You are 100% correct jhosk on Fowler and a lights out closer.
Still I don’t want to get to excited about this year, if they are going to really compete, they need to go on a roll now. They had 17 games against sub 500 teams starting last Friday. Thus far they are 2 & 2 against those teams. The next 13 will tell a lot.
The best thing so far this season, the Cubs have found a #1 starter in Arietta. They have found another very good starter in Hendricks, only his first full season and still learning.
Management has given young players opportunity and experience. The bonus is, they are playing over 500 while growing and learning.

k.g. I just disagree that Jackson and or Fowler would even be considered “throw ins” in any deal, there value is so low. I think the Cubs have 3 positions that not only have much room for improvement but SHOULD be improved. Those being LF, CF and SS. Whether Improved via internal options or outside options there is no doubt all three spots need to be addressed prior to the start of 2016. If any of the three can be improved during this season it will only help our chances of capturing a wild card slot and going deeper in the playoffs. For example, if a player such as Cespedes can be acquired, that solves LF and decides Bryant will stay at 3B leaving only CF and SS as concerns for 2016 but the one addition of a player of Cespedes caliber goes a long way for this year and the future. Certainly I am implying such a deal be made only if a player such as Cespedes is signed beyond the rent year of 2015. I doubt Schwarber will be a left fielder after reading the recent comments regarding him remaining a catcher. I wait patiently for Ross to be removed from the equation and more offense is gained at catcher, but patience will have to be afforded. Castro and Fowler have “just enough” in them to contribute some how, some way for the remainder of the season. I think it makes sense to add a left fielder with a more potent and RELIABLE bat than either Coghlan or Denorfia. Although Casto’s OBP is pretty damn low it is no where near as bad as Barney’s as Jasper suggested and Castro as I said still contributes. He is not the weakest link in this team’s chain. Would I prefer an upgrade? Hell yes, but I would rather upgrade the offense at the expense of LF and deal with Castro rather than upgrade at SS and deal with the revolving door in LF. The one run loss to the Reds is indicative of the need for one more bat in the middle of the order. Too many of these close games have been stolen away for lack of a hit or two. Good day k.g.

Aloha fonzie- I am with you on a lot of the concerns you have. The reason why I even brought up EJax (and I have been very hard on his performance as many others here have been) is for example the Soriano acquisition. It may not be apples to apples but in this case, Maddon wanted to take a chance on the 35yr old because their relationship in the past and the success they had. Kind of like what I shared with jhosk when it came to the Giants picking up Peavy at the time because of the relationship between he and Bochy. I was hoping as the Cubs were willing to take a chance on Soriano that there would be a team out there, manager that would want to with EJax. I read somewhere that his velocity was up this year and that was a positive. Anyhow, this is old news now because the FO DFA’d him. I would love to have a bat like Cespedes too. But like Jasper said, what would he cost and does he go bye-bye after the season? Even though this is a little bit of a frustrating season, there are so many young folks on the team, it is going to take time and this may not be the year so do you trade for a high price rental or can the organization wait til the end of the season to make moves. This next bunch of games are against teams below .500 and if the team does not do well, it should give pause as how the FO responds before the deadline. Take care now. Mahalo!

fonzie, so Barney had a career low OBP. he once had a OBP of around 270, maybe 2012, I don’t know? That was what I was comparing Castro’s OBP too. I hope I can be forgiven for using a yearly number and not looking up career STATS??
So I stand by the comment I made about Castro’s OBP. I would love to see Baez at 2nd and Russell at SS. I would love to see Castro gone.
The Cubs have Soler, Bryant, Russell and now Schwarber, all Rookies still playing over 500. I know that’s way more than I expected this year and looks even better for next. Will there be more prospects on the way? You bet there will be.
Should they trade for a guy like Cespedas, what do they have to give up? Plus, he will be taking and blocking a spot in LF that may go to a more productive bat, saying that, I think McKinney is on the fast track and may take over LF next year.
fonzie is right on CF, I don’t see anyone close. Alcantara is over his slump that lasted all through April& May. Can he get it together and play CF next year?
It will be awhile on Almora, he is constantly on the DL.

OKY DOKY Jasper, all is forgiven and we agree Castro is having a pretty miserable year….yes?

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