Results tagged ‘ Mike Olt ’
The Cubs’ Jed Hoyer talked to reporters in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday, the last day of the general manager meetings, and discussed a variety of topics. Here is a sample, courtesy of MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, who was covering the meetings.
Q: What are the Cubs looking for pitching-wise?
HOYER: “I felt like last year, we traded a couple of guys away, but I did feel like if we had a strength on that team, that was probably it. The starters’ ERA and rank in quality starts was pretty good. We’ve done a really good job. We’ve signed guys like [Paul] Maholm and [Scott] Feldman and they’ve come in and got better. We don’t sign those guys looking to trade them. I think we want to have that stability, but I feel that’s a strength of our team, that we can sign guys and they’ll come in and have success.
Q: With pitching, is the emphasis on quality or quantity?
HOYER: “You’re always looking for high quality starting pitching. Everyone wants the guy who can start Game 1 of a playoff series or stop a losing streak. You also know the attrition of a season, it gets ugly. When you don’t have enough depth, that’s when teams really feel the pinch of a lack of pitching. You’re always looking for both but certainly I feel like we’ve worked hard to increase the pitching depth in the system. Maybe that’s slightly less of a concern than it has been in the past.”
Q: What about third baseman Mike Olt?
HOYER: “Mentally, he’s doing well. I think with a prospect like him, this is a guy who was a top 20 prospect. He had a down year and I think in this business, if you try to buy guys at the high point of the market you’re not going to have a lot of success. You need to always be looking for guys that had a down year. Maybe there’s a reason behind it and you can hopefully bounce back. We liked where he was mentally at the end of the year. We’ve been in contact with him. I know he’s working hard on his conditioning. We just hope that he looks back at a long, successful career and 2013 is the nadir.”
Q: Have teams asked about outfielder Nate Schierholtz?
HOYER: “We were proud of Nate. He was a guy that was non-tendered that we signed. He liked our opportunity, he came in and a lot of people asked about him in-season. We chose to hold on to him. That interest remains, but give him a lot of credit. I think he proved to a lot of people that he is an everyday player. He did that through hard work.
Q: What would be a successful Cubs season?
HOYER: “I always define it the same way. You want to win, but I think where we are as an organization, you want to be closer to the World Series. Closer to that team that is a sustained winner that comes to Spring Training every year with a chance. I think if we’re a lot closer when we’re talking next year, wherever these meetings are, then it was a good season. If we move that forward, obviously you can never answer that question without talking about winning. You want to win in the big leagues. But we also want to move our timetable closer to being the organization that we want to be.”
Q: Will the Cubs’ top prospects get to the Majors in 2014?
HOYER: “There’s a chance. We also want to be patient. The last thing we want to do is short-circuit their careers or harm them long-term by rushing them. I think when they’re ready, we’ll bring them up. It’s nice that they’re a year closer. Hopefully next year at this time, they’re one year closer and in Wrigley pretty soon.”
– Carrie Muskat
Javier Baez may not be playing in the Arizona Fall League but he will make at least two trips to Mesa, Ariz., to work with Cubs hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce and others. Baez, the top prospect on MLB.com’s list of Cubs’ 20 prospects, also will play some second and some third base, but do so “at the right time,” Theo Epstein said Friday.
Baez, who be honored on Saturday as the Minor League Player of the Year, was on the Mesa Solar Sox roster for the AFL but the Cubs decided the shortstop needed a break from a long season at Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. He hit 37 home runs and totaled 111 RBIs in 130 games combined.
“What I really like about him is his insincts of the game,” Epstein said. “[It's impressive] for a high school kid to show up in pro ball … to show a feel for the game, a feel to be a winning player. On defense, he’s got a great internal clock, and he knows how fast the runner is at first, he knows what he needs to do, how quick his release has to be on his throw. He was born with it. He showed that in high school and has carried that over into pro ball.”
Jason McLeod, director of scouting and player development, said if Baez did have to move from shortstop, that he felt second would be an easier transition.
“I don’t think any of us envisioned he’d hit 37 home runs,” McLeod said of Baez. “There are very few 20 year olds who did what he did.”
Kyle Hendricks will be honored as the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year on Saturday as well in pre-game ceremonies. McLeod said the right-hander showed a strong ability to “dissect the plate” with his pitches. McLeod also was excited to see how C.J. Edwards, Corey Black and Pierce Johnson developed after strong seasons in the Minors.
As for third base, Kris Bryant, the team’s No. 1 pick in the June First-Year Player Draft, will play in the AFL. He will open next year in either Daytona or Tennessee. The Cubs have two other talented third baseman in Christian Villanueva and Jeimer Candelario. McLeod said Villanueva may be the best defensive third baseman in the organization. The Cubs also are eager to see what Mike Olt can do. He was acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal, and will spend some time working out in Mesa.
– Carrie Muskat
Mike Olt went 4-for-4, hitting a double, a home run, and driving in two runs in Iowa’s 8-5 win over Memphis. Dave Sappelt, Brad Nelson and Tim Torres each had two hits. Alberto Cabrera picked up the win in relief of Casey Coleman, who gave up three runs over five innings.
Dae-Eun Rhee gave up two runs, none earned, over 6 1/3 innings in Tennessee’s 4-3 loss to Mobile. Justin Bour and Rubi Silva each hit home runs.
Corey Black gave up three runs, two earned, over five innings in Daytona’s 7-3 win over Tampa. Kris Bryant had two hits and two RBIs.
Tayler Scott gave up three runs over six innings in Kane County’s 5-3 win over Wisconsin. Oliver Zapata had two hits, including a double and a triple. Trevor Gretzky had two hits, including a triple.
Duane Underwood gave up one run over five innings in Boise’s 2-1 win over Hillsboro, which moved the Hawks into a first-place tie. Jacob Rogers had three hits and one RBIs.
Ryan Sweeney was 0-for-2 in a rehab outing in Mesa’s 4-2 win over the Angels. Rafael Dolis, sidelined all season with a strained right forearm, walked one and struck out one in one inning. Jesse Hodges had two hits, as did Alex Sanchez.
Josh Vitters and Mike Olt each homered to help Iowa beat Sacramento, 2-1. Justin Grimm picked up the win, giving up one run over 5 1/3 innings. It was Vitters’ first game back from being on the disabled list. Edgar Gonzalez had two hits, including a double.
Javier Baez hit a game-tying solo home run in the sixth and Taylor Davis smacked a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh to lift Tennessee to a 3-2 win over Montgomery in the first game of a doubleheader. Christian Villanueva hit a three-run homer and Jonathan Mota added a two-run shot in the second game, a 9-4 Smokies win to complete the sweep. Jeff Antigua picked up the win in relief in the nightcap.
Ivan Pineyro gave up one run over six innings in Daytona’s 5-4 win over Tampa. Anthony Giansanti had two hits, including a double.
Dan Vogelbach had two hits to help Kane County snap a three-game losing streak and beat Cedar Rapids, 4-3. Reggie Golden and Rock Shoulders each drove in a run. Vogelbach was promoted to Daytona after the game.
Boise had Monday off, and will resume play Tuesday against Eugene. Third baseman Kris Bryant was promoted to Daytona on Monday, but prior to that, he was named the Northwest League Player of the Week. The Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick was 9-for-17 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBIs in five games.
Erick Leal threw five shutout innings in Mesa’s 7-0 win over the Mariners. Brian Bogusevic had one hit, a double, and one RBI in his fourth rehab game. Jeffrey Baez had three hits, including a double and a triple, and one RBIs. Jesse Hodges had two hits and one RBI.
Instead of pitching for the Cubs Monday night, Matt Garza is headed to the Rangers.
The Cubs will receive four players, and possibly five, in return for Garza, including third baseman Mike Olt and right-handed pitcher C.J. Edwards. Olt, 24, was Texas’ first-round pick in 2010 (49th overall). He was batting .211 in 61 games at Triple-A Round Rock with nine home runs and 14 doubles. Edwards, 21, the Rangers’ 48th round pick in the 2011 Draft out of Mid-Carolina High School, was 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA in 18 starts at Class A Hickory with 122 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings.
The Cubs also will get right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm and a player to be named later. Minor League right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez could be added in the deal if he has no further issues with his right shoulder. The Cubs could also choose two other Minor League pitchers instead.
Grimm is 7-7 with a 6.37 ERA in 17 starts this season and 2-4 with a 9.91 ERA in his last eight starts. He left his last start against the Tigers on July 12 with some stiffness in his right forearm but has been available to pitch since the All-Star break. Olt was No. 2 among the Rangers’ top 20 prospects, as ranked by MLB.com, while Grimm was No. 10 and Edwards No. 20.
The Rangers, who trail the Athletics in the American League West by three games, had been the most aggressive in pursuit of Garza, who was 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last six outings.
Texas had five starting pitchers on the disabled list (Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, Nick Tepesch and Colby Lewis), and opened the second half with Derek Holland, Ross Wolf and Martin Perez in the rotation. Darvish was expected to come off the DL on Monday, and Ogando could do the same Tuesday.
Last year, the Cubs helped the Rangers rotation when they dealt starting pitcher Ryan Dempster for Minor League right-hander Kyle Hendricks and third baseman Christian Villanueva. Dempster went 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA for Texas, then signed a two-year, $26.5 million deal with the Red Sox.
– Carrie Muskat