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Which Lefty Should the Cubs’ Deal?

July 30th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

James Russell from Flickr via Wylio? 2012 spablab, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The July 31st trade deadline is inching closer by the minute and it is time for the Cubs to make a move. There has been significant speculation that the Cubs will trade one of their two left-handed relievers, James Russell or Wesley Wright. Russell and Wright, both second-year arbitration eligible after the season, are two of the best southpaws available right now, but which one should the Cubs keep and which one should they deal?

Let’s take a look.

James Russell:

Year

Appearances

W-L

ERA

WHIP

2014

43

0-2

3.73

1.245

career

315

10-16

3.90

1.293

 (Stats per baseball-reference.com)

James Russell, 28, always seems to pitch lights out early in the year and fade late. This year is no exception. Russell pitched his way to a 2.82 ERA (6.1 IP) in May and a 0.00 ERA ( 11 IP) in June but has turned in a 8.64 ERA (8.1 IP) in the month of July, according to ESPN.com. Russell has spent his entire five-year career with the Cubs and has been a significant part of their bullpen in recent years, making more than 70 appearances in each of the last two seasons. 

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The Significance of Wada’s Strong Start

July 29th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Third Strike 05-29-05 from Flickr via Wylio? 2005 Rick Marshall, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The Chicago Cubs 33 year old rookie, Tsuyoshi Wada, turned in another solid start last night against the Colorado Rockies, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings. It is exciting that Wada pitched well last night but the real prize is what his success means for the Cubs going forward. Wada’s emergence as a legitimate starting pitcher gives the Cubs a formidable trio along with Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks heading into 2015. All three are under team control until at least 2018 and compliment each other very nicely. Arrieta projects as the ace who is entering his prime, Hendricks is the developing rookie and Wada serves as the seasoned vet with more than 10 years of experience (both in Japan & the MLB) under his belt. The last two spots in the rotation would go to Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson through 2016 and by that point the Cubs’ top pitching prospect, CJ Edwards, will be more than ready to join the staff and make an impact.

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Trade Deadline: Chicago Cubs’ Trade History

July 29th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Cubs vs. Braves 4-7-2013 from Flickr via Wylio? 2012 Doug Anderson, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The July 31st trade deadline is just days away and many Cub fans are waiting with baited breath to see who will be the next Cub to go. So far in 2014, the big moves have been the blockbuster that send Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily and yesterdays move that sent Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later. The last few years have been exciting, right down the last minute, but we may be waiting on a lame finale this year as the Chicago Cubs have already traded away their two biggest assets (Samardzija & Hammel). Here are the big deals the Cubs have made at the deadline since 2002.

 

Date

Trade Partner

Received

In Exchange for…

July 26, 2013

New York Yankees

RHP Corey Black

LF Alfonso Soriano

July 22, 2013

Texas Rangers

RHP C.J. Edwards, 3B Mike Olt & Player to be named

RHP Matt Garza

July 31, 2012

Texas Rangers

RHP Kyle Hendricks & 3B Christian Villanueva

RHP Ryan Dempster

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Breaking Down Arismendy Alcantara’s First Two Weeks

July 28th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Arismendy Alcantara practice relay from Flickr via Wylio? 2011 Joel Dinda, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Arismendy Alcantara has now spent a full two weeks with the Chicago Cubs at the major league level (14 games), so lets take a look at how the 22 year old has done thus far. With the Iowa Cubs (AAA) Alcantara was a Swiss army knife of production, putting up good numbers in all facets of the game.

Level

Games

.ave

2b

3b

HR

RBI

SB

AAA

89

.307

25

11

10

41

21

MLB

14

.254

4

1

2

7

4

(stats per baseball-reference.com)

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Darwin Barney Acquired by LA Dodgers

July 28th, 2014 at 2:35 PM
By Tim Duxbury

STCHC13_Barney_006 from Flickr via Wylio? 2013 Mike LaChance, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Breaking New: Former Chicago Cubs' second baseman Darwin Barney, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week, has been acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs will receive a player to be named later as part of the deal.

Barney hit .230 in 217 plate appearances for the Cubs this spring and was just beginning to shake off his ice-cold start but due to the emergence of Arismendy Alcantara and the return of Emilio Bonifacio from the disabled list, there was simply no room for Barney on the roster.

It may feel like the Cubs are dumping Barney for nothing but you never know, sometimes players to be named later can turn into fine ball players (See ESPN.com's top 'players to be named later').

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