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Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:20 am
 

Three Cubs Make AFL Rising Stars Game!

Three Chicago Cubs prospects have made the Arizona Fall League Risings Stars All-Star game set for Saturday at 7pm on MLB Network. The three Cubs set to play in the game are pitchers Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt, and Infielder Junior Lake.

 Chris Carpenter (25) was drafted by the Cubs in 2008 and made his Major League Debut this year. Carpenter was named the Cubs #3 prospect by mlb.com. He also was named an Arizona Fall League Rising Star last year. He is currently 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA with 16 K's and 2 BB's in 11.2 innings. 

Trey McNutt (22) who has been rumored in the Theo Epstein compensations talks was drafted by the Cubs in 2009. He was tabbed a Top 50 prospect, and is the Cubs #4 prospect according to mlb.com. He is currently 0-0 in 5 starts with a 6.75 ERA. He has 6 K's and 5 BB's in 12 IP. 

Junior Lake (21) was signed by the Cubs in 2008. He is currently hitting .298 with 5 HR, 15 RBI, and 15 Steals.

Other Cubs in the Arizona Fall League are:

Andrew Cashner, Marcus Hatley, Josh Vitters, and DJ LeMahieu.  

Cashner (25) was drafted by the Cubs in 2008. He also was in the Cubs rotation to begin the year before he got hurt and was shut down for the rest of the season. He is currently 0-0 with a 12.60 ERA in 5 IP. He also has 3 K's and 1 BB.

Hatley (23) a 2006 draft pick is 1-3 with an 11.91 ERA in 11.1 innings with 3 K's and 3 BB's.

Vitters (22) was drafted in 2007 and is hitting .347 with 3 HR's 13 RBI and 2 SB. 

LeMahieu (23) was drafted in 2009 and made his Major League Debut this year is currently hitting .277 with 1 HR, 12 RBI and 10 SB.

Remember all these games are played in Spring Training Sites in Arizona so many of the pitchers numbers may be skewed because it is very hitter friendly.

Other notable players taking part in this all-star game are Bryce Harper, Gerritt Cole, Mike Trout, and Matt Domniguez. It should be a great game full of future MLB Stars so you might want to check it out I know I will. 

For more information on the Arizona Fall League here's a link: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/afl/i
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Posted on: November 3, 2011 7:53 am
 

Pressure on Cubs, To Win Now?

I'm hearing a lot of talk about the new management team of the Cubs, feeling the pressure to win right away. Sure the Cubs haven't won a World Series in over a 100 and some odd years, (I stopped counting after 100) why can't we The Fans wait a little longer and allow Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyers, and Jason McLeod to build this team the right way. Theo stated in his press conference that to sustain success is to build from the ground, up. So when I read all the columns about free agency and where players might go and I read the Cubs section all the columnists and baseball insiders are saying Theo will have pressure to win right away and might overpay for a big free agent. 

My real question is where does this pressure to win right away come from is it us the fans? or is it from the media? I personally believe it's a little of both. There are some Cubs fans out there who don't understand how the farm system works or even who our minor league affiliates are, that want the Cubs to win right now and don't understand why we're losing or how baseball really works at all. These are most of the irrational Cubs fans, and often give most of us Cubs fans a bad rap, there also the same fans that still blame Bartman for 2007. But does the media create these kinds of fans, do these fans read articles that say the Cubs must win now with Theo Epstein in charge and are they influenced by these articles? In this way I think this is why both are the reason for the culture of must win now!

Personally I hope Theo keeps to his word and focuses on building up the farm system, a system that has been in the bottom half of organization rankings since 2009. In 2009 the Cubs had a dismal organizational ranking of 27th out of 30 according to Baseball America, in 2010 after the Rickett's family took over the Cubs in November of 2009 they ranked 15th, and this year the moved back a spot to 16th. Without a strong farm system we'll be back right where we are now. Sure Lou Piniella led us from a 90 loss team in 2006 to the playoffs in 2007 and another playoff berth in 2008, but that was a quick fix and a must win now mentallity and now look where we are, two straight 5th place finishes in the NL Central. 

So when I read all these articles about Theo needing to win right now I just shudder and hope that my fellow Cubs fans can wait a couple more years so we can win multiple championships when the time comes! We've waited for over 100 years what's another 2 or 3 more we've made it this far it's almost here. With more money spent on the draft this year than any other things are looking better and better for the Cubs everyday and I haven't even mentioned the firing of Mike Quade! 
Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:15 am
 

My Take on Theo Epstein Compensation Talks

Although talks about compensation between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs over GM Theo Epstein are taking place, a deal seems to be inevitable. I believe the Cubs have the upper hand in the deal and shouldn’t give up any of their top prospects such as Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, or Matt Szczur. The reason I feel the Cubs have the upper hand in the negotiations is because it’s obvious Theo Epstein doesn’t want to be in Boston, and do you really believe the Red Sox would want to keep a GM who doesn’t want to be there, for a whole year? I sure don’t! The Red Sox should be looking to move on they already have Ben Cherington waiting in the wings to take over for Epstein. If I were Randy Bush I would offer a marginal prospect or two and cash for Epstein and put the pressure on the Red Sox to make a decision to either keep an unhappy GM for another year or to move on. There should be a deal done by Tuesday because the MLB doesn’t allow moves to be made during the World Series. I just hope none of the Cubs top prospects are involved in the compensation for Theo Epstein!



chicubs2424
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:14 pm
 

Houston Astros to the AL?

There are reports that with the Houston Astros being sold to Houston businessman Jim Crane would mean the team moving to the AL West. Crane met with Bud Selig in Milwaukee and a November 30 deadline is set for a deal to be made to make Crane the new owner of the Astros. Reportedly MLB has asked Crane to move the Astros to the American League when he becomes owner.

This is huge news to baseball fans and baseball overall, if the Astros move to the AL that means both the AL and NL will have 15 teams which will result in interleague games everyday. This could also mean an expanded playoff format with an additional wild card team in each league. The final result that could come out of this is the DH in either both or neither league.

I think this is a huge mistake by the MLB. I think the league should stay the way it is. Interleague play is great the way it is. It's a celebration and something to look forward to, but having interleague games would dilute the experience, it would also make it more like the NBA or NFL.

I also don't like the idea of an expanded playoff format. The MLB playoffs are perfect the way it is, I don't want to be like the NFL or NBA where half the teams make the playoffs even if they are at or under .500. The MLB playoffs are the best because only the elite teams make the playoffs it leads to better and more exciting baseball.

Lastly the thing that I hate the most in baseball is the DH. With interleague games being played everyday it's only a matter of time before the DH rule will be changed. I hate the DH baseball is meant to be played with 9 players not 10.  

Besides my opinions I don't think the move to the AL makes sense for the Astros either. First they would move to the AL West which would mean more late night starts for them since they are the only team in the CST Time Zone in the AL West.

The 2012 schedule is already set so the earliest we would see this change is in 2013. But I really hope for the sake of baseball this does not happen. 



chicubs2424 
Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 8:34 am
 

My Thoughts on Theo Epstein

Theo Epstein becoming the new GM of the Chicago Cubs almost being a done deal has gotten me very excited for the upcoming MLB Season! When I first heard the news I sent texts to several of my friends saying we are going to win a World Series! When will this World Series happen, I don't know! I know it won't happen next year, Theo comes into a mess with the Chicago Cubs Organization, with bad contracts and a pretty weak farm system. These bad contracts he will have to deal with include Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Dempster, and what to do with Carlos Zambrano. Theo will also have to deal with how to rebuild the farm system that was ranked 16th by Baseball America. 

The very first thing Theo has to and should decide is who will be the manager in 2012! Should he retain Mike Quade, hire Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg, or bring an old friend in Terry Francona?

Personally I believe Mike Quade has to go, I liked the hire at the beginning of the year only because the players wanted him as manager, the Cubs did not perform with him as manager so he must go.

I also think Terry Francona is a long shot, this is because Theo was still in charge of making decisions when the Red Sox decided to let go of Francona. Although management may have had a voice in letting Francona go it was still Theo's decision.

I think Ryne Sandberg has the best chance of becoming the Cubs new manager in 2012 he was and still is the obvious fan choice. But what most people might not know is that Theo tried hiring Sandberg as the Red Sox Triple-A manager this year!

I am very excited about Theo becoming the new GM of the Chicago Cubs it has gotten me even more excited about the 2012 Chicago Cubs especially after a very disappointing 2011 season. Although I know it's going to take some time for the Cubs to be competitive again, I'm hoping for some signs of life next season and with so much money coming off the books for 2013, I think that is when we will see what Theo can do. It should be a very interesting off-season for the Cubs and I will be telling my opinions on all the Cubs moves throughout. 

In Theo I Trust,


chicubs2424
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com