#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Pierce Johnson gave up four runs over 4 2/3 innings in Iowa’s 4-2 loss to Oklahoma City. Matt Murton had two hits and two RBI. Dan Vogelbach and Albert Almora also each had two hits.

Jeimer Candelario drove in six runs, hitting a three-run home run, in Tennessee’s 11-2 win over Mobile. Jen-Ho Tseng gave up two runs over five innings for the win. Chesny Young had three hits and one RBI. Anthony Giansanti hit a solo home run.

Jonathan Martinez gave up five runs over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 7-4 loss to Potomac. Daniel Lockhart had two hits, including a double and a triple.

Daniel Spingola had two hits and two RBI and Eloy Jimenez had two hits and one RBI in South Bend’s 7-5 win over Quad Cities. Preston Morrison started, and gave up four runs over five innings.


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Candelario continues to impress. With the latest health issue with Montero, I choose to repeat a question I`ve posed a while back. If a catcher needs to be summoned from the minors at some point this season, is it likely to be Willson Contreras? I think most will agree his bat is probably ready for the majors, but is his defense? Perhaps there is a veteran catcher in the organization who would make more sense. Btw, not only do I believe the need for such a catcher is likely at some point, I see it as inevitable. What position player is more vulnerable to injury than that of catcher?

jhosk, I stated earlier I thought we might see Contreras the end of May, beginning of June. Now with Schwarber gone for the season and Montero having back pain, I might have made a good call?
However I changed my mind. Contreras is a huge talent and will Management take a chance rushing him? I hope not.
The Cubs have Tim Federowicz, 28 y/o with 247 games of ML experience. It would make sense that he be called up if they need a Catcher.
The Cubs are doing so well, so far, that this would not hurt much and Contreras can continue his progress not being rushed.

That sounds very prudent, jasper. I recall Tim F. being with the club in spring training. To reinforce the point I was trying to make, did you notice both the Mets and White Sox placed catchers on the DL?

Yes, k.g. Anyone who has been paying attention knows I`ve had concerns about Strop since last season, if not before. He`s inconsistent, to put it politely. Recall that game last season when Bob Costas called one of Pedro`s performances “atrocious” as Pedro left the mound and headed for the dugout after ” pooping the bed.” {There`s another word I`d prefer to use, but it would probably be censored. It begins with `sh.`} But I digress. Costas apologized to Pedro later that week, but I do not know why. Strop was atrocious during that outing. I`ll shed no tears if Pedro is traded.

I meant to add those two catchers were placed on the DL just yesterday.

Aloha jhosk and jasper, with all these “backstops” going down, watch some team make a play for Lucroy! Hint, hint..He is playing at a discount, salary-wise; is a very good pitch-framer and manager of a bullpen. But as you said jhosk, I digressed! Thank the Lord Ross is holding up well but he will need a rest too. Tonight is a big game. Take care now. Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk, I think jasper brought up a good point in regard to Wilson, probably best not to rush him if possible. Tim F, is not a bad option and he gets to work with Ross. I would not panic, the team has a lot of options. One person that concerned me last year and is concerning me again…Strop(sp). I understand that it is the beginning of the season, the night game is cold, etc. As Castro showed moments of aloofness last year, Pedro seemed to be unaware of his surroundings. It is too early to speculate but I wonder if the right type of offer comes around could Pedro be a part of a package? Kudos to Hendricks and Warren, Russell, Soler last night. Mahalo!

If memory serves, Lucroy is not shabby offensively either, k.g. Isn`t it highly unlikely the Brewers would be willing to help a division rival, however?

Aloha jhosk! LOL! Yes, it is unlikely they would want to help out a rival but let us dream for a moment and the Cubs give the Brew-crew Federowicz, Strop (and cash to cover his salary for this year) for Lucroy and take on the rest of his salary for 2016 plus pay the Brewers for their option if they would exercise it on Lucroy for 2017, this would save the Brewers almost $9mil right there. Then they get Strop for free (which for the entire year his salary would be $4.4mil). This way, the Cubs have the catching backup for the year and depending on what happens with Montero, gives the FO options for possible trades. Montero is costing $14mil this year and next year. Lucroy is $4mil this year and if option is exercised would cost $5.25mil for 2017. At least for 2017, that is almost a 10mil savings and Lucroy is 3yrs younger. For all Cubs fans I am not advocating getting rid of Montero. I like him a lot and believe he is part of the reason for this team’s success as well as a much needed veteran. I am just “thinking” out aloud what if this thing with Montero’s back becomes more problematic? I am just hoping it is the “cold” that the whole team has to deal with at the beginning of the season. I cannot predict where the Brewers will end up but an educated guess would say close to the bottom of the pack, which would give them a high pick next year. With my scenario they save a ton of money today, which could be spent as a signing bonus for their “new” backstop via the draft and have some leftover for the FA market. But I digressed a lot there and will come back to earth now. I hope Montero comes back soon, I have enjoyed his approach at the plate thus far this year both offensively and defensively. And we will see what happens to Strop over the season. Oh, and yes, I remember your comment about him and Costas last year, was that a game against the Cardinals/Pirates/Braves? Take care now. Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk, as you have probably read, Montero is on the DL, so “Fed,” is coming up. I know we bantered a bit yesterday about possibilities but who is not to say that Theo could have contacted the Brewers about Lucroy? Ross is doing great and I hope he gets some rest soon. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., that Costas game involving Strop is fixed in my head permanently, I`m afraid, the same way that black cat and Ron Santo at Shea Stadium in August 1969 are. {Don`t recall the opponent for that Costas game. Very well could have been Pirates or Cards.} Here are the observations I have of your last comment: you like that word “digress,” as you`ve utilized it or one of its forms twice tonight. You have done your homework on the subject of contracts for Lucroy and Montero. {Am ever so grateful we have you and others who have the patience for that, as I confess I surely do not.} If you can persuade the FO to consider your argument, and act on it, it`s all good. It will mean we will have acquired another solid catcher for a minor league receiver, a reliever whose value is suspect, and cash considerations. (smiling)

That black cat incident at Shea was in September 1969, not August. The Costas comment about Strop took place Friday June 26, 2015 on the MLB Network, and the opponent was St. Louis. I`m astonished at the wealth of information one can find online about the subject.

Aloha jhosk- that is cool about both the black cat incident and Strop and the Cardinals. I confess, I do like numbers and different ways to look at them: comparables, correlations, elasticities, variants, means testing and the like. I am always curious about any number associated with a player and that includes salary. I do consider age more with a backstop just because of the position. If Ross had always been a starter from day one and played 140+ games a year, he would most likely not be playing today. But because he averaged only 54 games behind the plate per year, over his 15yr career, he is still in the game! Yes, I do like the word “digress,” and was trying to remember where I heard it and then your use of it encouraged my choice as well. As I mentioned, I like Montero very much and thought I should look at his numbers; I had forgotten the cost of his salary but that would only become an issue if he is unable to play this year. Thus the reason I was curious as to what options the FO might have to fill a need. Well, the Pirates and Cardinals are not slowing down so this game tomorrow is crucial. I am sure Carrie will give us the update as to when Wednesday’s postponed game will be made up. Take care now. Mahalo!

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