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Soler’s Hot Start Just One of Many for the Cubs This Season

September 2nd, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 yesterday and, rookie, Jorge Soler turned in another stellar performance. Soler went 2-4 with two more doubles, moving his average to .526 and his extra-base hit total to seven on the year. Soler’s hot start is just one of many incredible debut performances put on but various members of the Chicago Cubs organization in 2014:

Player

First # games @…

.ave

HR

X-base hits

Schwarber

5, A-

.600

4

6

Soler

5, MLB

.526

3

7

Soler

7, AA

.522

5

7

Alcantara

5, MLB

.391

1

5

Baez

3, MLB

.286

3

3

Bryant

6, AAA

.208

5

5

No one likes change and it’s common to struggle at first when in a new environment but clearly the Chicago Cubs organization has figured out a solution to that problem. But getting off to a hot start is something that Jorge Soler has done often this year. In addition to his hot starts in the MLB and at AA, Soler also went 7-12 with two doubles and a home run in his first four games in rookie ball after coming off the DL in late June.

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September Call-Ups Set to Join Cubs

September 1st, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

September is now upon us, which means it’s time for September call-ups. The Chicago Cubs plan to bring up a total of seven players but most of them won’t join the team until tomorrow, at the earliest, as the Iowa Cubs’ end their regular-season today. They did not make the playoffs.

We will have to wait and see who the other six call-ups are but RHP Blake Parker was with the team for today’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Parker, 29, has seen limited action in the big leagues this year after being one of the Cubs’ best arms out of the bullpen in 2013.

Year (MLB)

Games

IP

ERA

.oba

K/BB

2013

49

46.1

2.72

.220

55/15

2014

10

13.1

6.08

.264

15/4

(stats per cubs.com)

Parker hasn’t been able to find his footing in the major leagues this year (he has pitched in the majors in every month except for June), but he was lights-out in AAA. In 35.2 innings, Parker converted 25 of 27 saves and posted an ERA of 1.77.

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The Eternal Struggle: Trying to Pronounce “Alcantara”

September 1st, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Being a professional broadcaster is not an easy job and there is a lot of work that goes into it that most fans don’t realize. In order to be a good broadcaster you need to do your homework on the teams and the players and be able to talk intelligently for the duration of the game. The Chicago Cubs broadcasting duo of Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies has done a solid job this year, but we have one small critique; please learn how to pronounce Arismendy Alcantara’s name!! It’s bad enough that our own guys can’t say the kid’s name right, but it’s gotten to the point where other team’s broadcasters are butchering the name as well. The correct pronunciation of Alcantara is \al-cahn-TAH-rah\; as in, my friend AL is a ex-CON who says TAH, tah when he waves good bye and screams RAH, rah when the team scores. Get it? Good. And for the record, the pronunciation currently flying around out there, \AL-KAHN-TRAH\, actually has a different meaning in Spanish. Phonetically, \al-KAHN-trah\, or “al contra” is roughly translated to “against” or “the opposition”.

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Sunday Spotlight: Cubs’ Player/Coach Manny Ramirez

August 31st, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

It looks like Manny Ramirez’s time with the Iowa Cubs has come to a close. According to Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register, Ramirez reported to Arizona for an MRI for a knee injury that landed him on the disabled list last week and he will not rejoin the team for their final four-game series. On the field, Ramirez was unimpressive:

Player

Games

At bats

.ave

.obp

HR

RBI

Ramirez

24

72

.222

.273

3

10

However, according to Iowa Cubs skipper, Marty Pevey, Ramirez’s presence on the team was beneficial: "He's been awesome . . . Done a great job. Been great in the clubhouse and he's been such a good teammate."

The Chicago Cubs brought Ramirez in to mentor some of the team’s promising young prospects, such as, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara. Seeing as how all three are now in the big leagues, it isn’t terribly surprising that Ramirez will not be returning to Des Moines this summer. As for his future with the team, that remains unknown. Pevey said that Ramirez plans to play winter ball this off-season but he is skeptical of a return the Pacific Coast League; “the travel just killed him,” Pevey said.

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Yard Work: Chicago Cubs’ Rookies Show Some Pop!

August 30th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

The Chicago Cubs’ rookies had a great showing in the team’s 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals last night. Jorge Soler hit two home runs, Arismendy Alcantara added another and Javier Baez had an RBI double; combined, the trio went 5-11 with three home runs, six RBI’s, and 15 total bases. The power shown by the Cubs’ youngsters should come as a surprise to no one, as the trio combined for 48 home runs in the minor leagues this season alone, but it is so exciting to see their potential manifest itself at the big league level.

However, Soler, Alcantara and Baez may have more pop than we had originally thought:

Player

Games

At bats

HR

Projected HR

Soler

3

11

3

37*

Alcantara

45

181

6

16

Baez

24

99

7

44

*Based on PETCOTA Projection for 2014 and extrapolated to 500 at bats

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