#Cubs Almora, De La Cruz honored

The Cubs named Double-A Tennessee outfielder Albert Almora Jr. and Class A Eugene right-handed pitcher Oscar De La Cruz the Minor League player and pitcher of the month for August, respectively.

Almora, 21, batted .352 with 14 doubles, one triple, one home run, 22 runs scored, 15 RBI and 11 walks in 31 August games. He posted a .413 on-base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage, good for a .917 OPS. Almora had a 13-game hitting streak from Aug. 4-16, including seven-straight multi-hit games. He finished the month with 14 multi-hit games and hit safely in 28 of his 31 contests.

Almora also led the Southern League in average and doubles in August, ranked tied for first in hits, second in runs scored, fourth in OPS and seventh in OBP and slugging percentage.

De La Cruz, 20, went 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA (9 ER/29 2/3 IP) in five starts with Eugene, striking out 32 batters and walking five. He held opponents to a .209 average (23-for-110) and a .250 on-base percentage while posting a 0.94 WHIP. He allowed zero earned runs in three of his five outings and did not walk more than one batter in four of his five starts.

De La Cruz led the Northwest League in August in innings pitched, strikeouts, opponents average and WHIP, while tying for the lead in wins and ranking sixth in ERA.Β After spending each of the last two seasons with the Cubs Dominican Summer League team, De La Cruz is in his first season with Eugene.


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Hi Isabel! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Where have you been? Who is your favorite player this year? Hope you have been getting to some games. I got into tons of trouble yesterday for calling Lester a “spoiled brat”. Geez – I call my kitty the same thing when she wakes me up at 3 in the morning for breakfast . πŸ˜€

Talk Cubs baseball for once

White, Jon Lester is an accomplished, very good major league pitcher with an impressive history. Although he can justifiably be criticized for being unable to keep base runners in check (because the vast majority of ML pitchers can do this), being unable to throw with precision to first base (again, because the vast majority of ML pitchers can do this) and being needy if not demanding regarding throwing to a specific, personal catcher (because the vast majority of ML pitchers don’t require this) calling him a spoiled brat is rather…harsh? Beneath you? After all, if a high quality, competitive, playoff experienced, ML pitcher can’t throw accurately to first base…we can assume there is some “head issues” which may call for some empathy? Especially from one such as you White? Always so nice and considerate. Lester can be criticized in the context of baseball but he is not deserving of name calling. Right? C’mon now…right??? Pretty simple, there are two major factors that will affect Lester’s rather lengthy Cubs career. One is his overcoming his throwing to 1B issue and the other is being able to pitch like the ace is thought to be…to a catcher other than Ross. The jury is out but no reason to be upset about having him as a SP. In fact as I have stated before we should be almost giddy that he will soon enough be the Cubs #3 SP. What team would not be considered a formidable, contender with Jon Lester as their #3 SP?

Hey white! My favorite player? Schwarber without a doubt, he has been great and also LaStella, I was waiting for him to come back and I knew he would do sooo well because he was doing great before he got injured. But then he hasn’t done as great as I hoped but he’s doing well

Would it not be awesome if Almora can be a legit consideration for CF next season?

Next season is a stretch… Best case maybe an August or September call up …. He’s struggled initially at each level

I here ya’ petrey10, a stretch, I agree, awesome if he is. More like a nice feel good story out of ST if he gets noticed. But…really nice to see the kid have a good run. Hopefully he can keep it going into next year and he will at least be in the mix. I love the idea of the Cubs having tough decisions regarding having quite a few young, highly regarded minor league players. It bodes well for 2016 when it comes to deciding whether to package some in a trade for some much needed proven ML talent (SP/closer i.e.) vs. going the FA route. Both would be nice for a contending club. Some nice options for the FO.

Well Petrey – what a surprise! I thought Lester was a Cub. I thought Isabel having a favorite player was about the Cubs. I thought being able to attend Cub’s games was about the Cubs. I talk Cub’s baseball, I am a Cubs fan.

Hi Fonzie – Does that mean I can’t call my kitty a “spoiled brat” too? πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Meant no disrespect for Lester, Thank you for pointing my bad out to me. I want to hurt no one ever.

That is what I thought. No, please continue to call your cat anything you like. Just don’t call it over near my German Shepard, you wouldn’t like the odds….
My apologies to petrey10 for this non-baseball little chit chat…it had to be done. I hope you understand?

Someone needs attention.

Lester has been a big waste so far, I hope he improves otherwise the Cubs are going to regret his huge contract

How has he been a huge waste so far? He’s the second best starting pitcher on a likely playoff team. Please back up what you say with actual facts.

Aloha Chad- I would not say he has been a waste but he did receive “elite-pitcher” money. So I wanted to check out the “Quality Start” stat which is not the best metric because you could pitch a minimum of 6 innings and give up 3 earned runs and it is considered a “QS,” though that is a game ERA of 4.50. Having said that, again Lester is getting “elite” status money I wanted to see for the Rankings of pitchers up through now, where he ranks on the list. Currently, Lester is #28 on the list, he has 17 quality starts out of 26 games started. I did not have the time to look up everyone’s contracts and salaries for 2015 but I bet Lester’s is one of the highest for this 2015 season. The number 1 & 2 spots are owned by the Dodgers Greinke (25Q.S. out of 27 games started), Kershaw (23Q.S./27G.S). The Cardinals have 3 pitchers above Lester in the rankings, the Pirates have 2 pitchers above Lester. Number 3 overall in this list is Arrieta with 23Q.S./27G.S.), he is right there with Kershaw. The tough thing is that when you give out a huge contract to a pitcher with many years on it, the organization is hoping that the first 3-4yrs are the strongest years. Lester still has 5-6 games left in this season and hopefully he will dominate in them and end on a high note. The interesting thing is, if the FO is successful in getting a David Price for next year, based on this year’s stats, Lester would be #3 behind Arrieta and Price. So you do have to wonder what the Cubs would have to give/pay to get a Price on the roster? Take care now. Mahalo!

Aloha k.g. Gracias for doing the research on those `quality starts` stats. I believe it`s accurate to say there are just five major league pitchers who are receiving higher 2015 salaries than Jon Lester. In order they are as follows: Kershaw, Scherzer, Verlander, King Felix, and Sabathia. Tanaka is actually tied with Lester for sixth place. As Petrey10 suggested recently, we overpaid for Lester, and I think he predicted we`ll overpay for pitching this coming off-season. If he did not say that, I will. If the conversation involves David Price, it`s almost guaranteed we`ll have to overpay to sign him.

I used to wonder why sign anyone to huge contract. Most will remember I was against signing Lester.
It’s not my money or our money. There is no we as fans have no say. So now I just trust this Management to do what’s best for the team.

Aloha jhosk- you are welcome. I checked the “stats today and Lester has moved from #28 down to #30. The reason why I looked today was because of the folks you mentioned, so that sparked my interest with this highly-paid pitchers. We already know the first person you listed – Kershaw is at the top, still #2. Scherzer is at the #17 spot with 19 Quality Starts out of 27 Games Started. The rest of your list: Verlander #101 with 9Q.S./14G.S., Felix #30 has 17Q.S./26G.S. Tanaka is at #51 and CC is at #108 on the list. My concern last year was that it was a “sellers” market because only so many good free agent pitchers became available and out of those, less lefty’s. So LHP would command a premium. I will never forget the Barry Zito signing in December 2006, it was the largest contract given to a pitcher at that time. That market had less pitching and Zito being left-handed, helped him tremendously. Fast forward to end of season 2014, the Cubs FO knows that the organization is still a year away from major contention but will test the market, especially because of the relationship between the FO and Lester. Many times I can see this as a positive. I think what was tough was that Lester wanted 6yrs plus Ross; I thought the FO could get him for 5yrs or possibly less with an option. But just like Zito the winning team has to agree to a guaranteed 6yr contract. I hope we see a determined Lester in his last 5-6 starts of this season as it will serve to not only lift his spirits but the teams’ as well. Now let’s look at this coming off-season, 2015: Lots of good free agent arms become available. It would be ironic if the Cubs could get a Price for less years guaranteed along with a lower salary, just because this coming off season will be a “buyers'” market. Not saying it will happen but it could! Well, tomorrow is another day and the team needs a Q.S. from Hendricks! Take care now. Mahalo!

Thanks for all that, k.g. As you suggest, we especially want Hendricks to pitch well, because one of my favorite bartenders is going to be in attendance at Wrigley for tomorrow`s contest, after attending tonight`s Notre Dame/Texas football game in South Bend. She`s on a trip and a novice when the subject is major league baseball, but assured me she`ll be wearing a Cubs` shirt and will be pulling for our side. Did you hear about the Mets` Matt Harvey`s inclination to submit to agent Scott Boras`s wishes and may indeed shut down his season before the playoffs? Mets` fans will be apoplectic if that transpires, I suggest. I imagine you and other Cubs` fans are grateful we do not need to confront such troublesome circumstances with our starters. What a revolting development this is for Mets` fans!

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