Archive for the ‘ Vine Line ’ Category

Cubs promote Russell; Alcantara optioned to Triple-A


(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs selected the contract of infielder Addison Russell from Triple-A Iowa and optioned infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara to Triple-A on Tuesday. To make room for Russell on the 40-man roster, infielder Mike Olt was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Russell, who will wear uniform No. 22, will be available for the Cubs tonight in Pittsburgh. The 21-year-old was hitting .318/.326/.477 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with one home run and nine RBI in 46 plate appearances at Triple-A Iowa this season.

He entered 2015 ranked as the third-best prospect in the game by Baseball America and the second-best prospect in the Cubs farm system. He was also named the top prospect in Oakland’s system heading into both the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. A first-round pick in the 2012 Draft (11th overall), Russell was acquired by the Cubs along with outfielder Billy McKinney and right-hander Dan Straily from Oakland for right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel last July 5. Russell also entered 2015 ranked as the second-best prospect by in the game by Baseball Prospectus.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Russell joins the Cubs after batting .301 (289-for-961) with 57 doubles, 20 triples, 38 home runs and 159 RBI in 244 minor league games covering the last four seasons. The right-handed hitter has posted a .377 on-base percentage and a .520 slugging percentage, good for an .897 OPS.

Russell played across three levels in his first pro campaign in 2012, earning All-Star honors for two clubs. He spent most of the 2013 campaign at High-A Stockton as a 19-year-old, recording 29 doubles, 10 triples and 17 homers to become one of only 12 minor leaguers to reach double digits in all three categories. Russell was named to the U.S. Futures team, earned postseason California League All-Star honors and capped 2013 by playing in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the AFL All-Star team.

Last season, Russell combined to bat .295 (76-for-258) with 14 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs and 45 RBI in 68 games between Stockton, Double-A Midland and Double-A Tennessee. He also played 11 games in a return trip to the Arizona Fall League.

Alcantara, 23, is hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five runs scored and one RBI in 11 games for the Cubs this season.

Olt, 26, continues his recovery from a hairline fracture in his right wrist.

Cubs Lineup: 4/21/15

Cubs at Pirates – PNC Park
First Pitch: 6:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Travis Wood
Pirates Starter: Francisco Liriano
TV: WGN; Radio: WBBM 780 AM
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Jorge Soler, RF
4. Kris Bryant, 3B
5. Starlin Castro, SS
6. Chris Denorfia, LF
7. Welington Castillo, C
8. Travis Wood, P
9. Addison Russell, 2B


Cubs Minor League Recap: 4/20/15

Myrtle Beach poured it on in extra innings, South Bend put an end to a losing streak, and Iowa salvaged a doubleheader split on Monday. Tennessee struggled on defense and couldn’t get the bats going in a loss. Here are some notes from yesterday’s minor league Cubs action:

Iowa Cubs (5-6)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Third Place (-3.5)

Game 1: Iowa managed just two hits in an 8-0 loss vs. Oklahoma City.

  • 2B Addison Russell (.300) went 1-for-3, singling with two outs in the seventh inning to break up ex-Cub Scott Baker’s perfect game.
  • 1B Mike Baxter (.391) went 1-for-3 with his third double of the season.
  • RHP Michael Wagner (0.00) tossed 3.0 scoreless innings of relief in his Iowa debut.

Game 2: Iowa snapped a three-game losing skid with a 4-3, nine-inning win vs. Oklahoma City.

  • RF Junior Lake (.235) recorded a walk-off sacrifice fly to drive in Baxter in the ninth.
  • C Taylor Davis (.273) went 2-for-4 with a sixth inning solo home run.
  • 2B Addison Russell (.318) went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.
  • LHP James Russell (1-0, 0.00) struck out three in 2.0 scoreless innings to earn his first win of the year.

Tennessee Smokies (6-4)
Southern League (Double-A)
T-First Place (–)

Tennessee managed just three hits and committed four errors in a 7-1 loss at Jackson.

  • RHP Frank Batista pitched 4.2 scoreless innings, striking out six in the no-decision. He has allowed just one run in 10.2 innings of work this season.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.457) went 1-for-4 with a second inning solo home run.
  • 2B Stephen Bruno (.393) and RF Bijan Rademacher (.286) each recorded a hit.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (7-3)
Carolina League (High-A)
First Place (+1.0)

Myrtle Beach scored three runs in the 11th inning to beat host Salem, 7-4.

  • DH Billy McKinney (.296) went 2-for-5 with a sixth inning solo home run.
  • 1B Jacob Rogers (.323) went 1-for-2 with three walks and an eighth inning homer.
  • CF Jacob Hannemann (.270) and C Victor Caratini (.292) had two hits apiece.
  • RHP Tayler Scott (1-0, 1.50) tossed 3.0 scoreless innings to earn the win.
  • RHP Matt Brazis (3.86) earned the save with a scoreless 11th inning of work.

South Bend Cubs (5-7)
Midwest League (Low-A)
T-Fifth Place (-4.0)

South Bend snapped a two-game skid with a 3-0 win over visiting Great Lakes.

  • RHP Ryan Williams gave up no earned runs in 5.2 innings, fanning three in the win.
  • 3B Jesse Hodges (.250) went 2-for-4 with a season-high-tying three RBI.
  • 2B Chesny Young (.293) went 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
  • RHP James Norwood (6.75) tossed 2.0 scoreless innings to earn his first save of the year.

Brockmeyer named Midwest League Player of the Week

South Bend Cubs catcher/first baseman Cael Brockmeyer has been named the Midwest League Player of the Week for his efforts from April 9-19.

Brockmeyer is hitting .444/.524/.694 (AVG/OBP/SLG) on the season, ranking in the top three of the Midwest League in each of those categories. His 16 hits, seven extra-base hits and 25 total bases are also tops in the Low-A league, while his six doubles are tied for the most.

Brockmeyer was picked in the 16th round of the 2013 draft out of California State University.

In 77 games at Low-A Kane County last season, the 23-year-old hit .297/.366/.461 with eight homers and 14 doubles.

Cubs Lineup: 4/20/15


(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs at Pirates – PNC Park
First Pitch: 6:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jake Arrieta, RHP
Pirates Starter: A.J. Burnett, RHP
TV: CSN+; Radio: WBBM 780 AM


1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jorge Soler, RF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Kris Bryant, 3B
5. Miguel Montero, C
6. Starlin Castro, SS
7. Chris Coghlan, LF
8. Jake Arrieta, RHP
9. Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Vogelbach named Southern League Player of the Week

Tennessee Smokies infielder Dan Vogelbach was named the Southern League’s Player of the Week for his efforts between April 9-19.

In nine games, the 22-year-old is hitting .484/.579/.613 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 15 hits, four doubles, three RBI and three runs scored. His batting average ranks third of all players in the minor leagues, while his on-base percentage is second. Entering Monday, his 15 hits also lead the Southern League.

The 2011 second-round pick has reached base in all nine games this season and has seven walks versus just three strikeouts to his credit in 38 plate appearances.

According to, Vogelbach is the No. 8-ranked first base prospect in baseball and the organization’s No. 15 prospect overall.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 4/19/15

Iowa couldn’t get the bats going, and South Bend blew a late lead Sunday. Meanwhile, Tennessee and Myrtle Beach were both rained out. Here are some notes from yesterday’s minor league Cubs action:

Iowa Cubs (4-5)
Pacific Coast League (AAA)
Third Place (-3.5)

Iowa was blanked by Oklahoma City 4-0. The game was called due to rain with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. The I-Cubs will round out the series with the Dodgers in a doubleheader today.

  • RHP Barret Loux struck out five in five innings of work, giving up one earned run.
  • CF Adron Chambers (.269) hit his fourth double.
  • RF Rubi Silva (.240) also recorded a double.
  • The I-Cubs were held to a season-low two hits and did not draw any walks Sunday.

South Bend Cubs (4-7)
Midwest League (Low-A)
Seventh Place (-4.0)

South Bend fell to Great Lakes, 4-1, after the Loons scored four runs in the ninth inning for the second consecutive day. Sunday marked the fourth time this season the SB Cubs have surrendered the lead in the final three innings.

  • RHP Trevor Clifton pitched five scoreless innings, striking out seven and giving up just one hit.
  • 3B Jesse Hodges (.222) went 2-for-3, plating Jeffrey Baez in the fifth to give South Bend the lead.
  • SS Gleyber Torres (.278) also finished 2-for-3, marking his fourth multi-hit game this season.

Cubs Lineup: 4/18/15

hendricks2014Cubs vs. Padres – Wrigley Field
First Pitch: 1:20 p.m. CST
Cubs Starter: Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Padres Starter: Tyson Ross, RHP
TV: CSN; Radio: WBBM 780 AM


1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jorge Soler, RF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Kris Bryant, 3B
5. Chris Coghlan, LF
6. Starlin Castro, SS
7. Miguel Montero, C
8. Kyle Hendricks, RHP
9. Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Cubs Minor League Recap: 4/15/15

Iowa captured a win in New Orleans, and Tennessee was victorious in its home opener Friday. South Bend was on the losing end of a one-run contest, while Myrtle Beach was rained out. Here are some notes from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (4-3)
Third Place (-1.5)

Third baseman Kris Bryant (.321) crushed his third homer of the season and drove in his 10th RBI, helping the I-Cubs to a 10-7 victory at New Orleans. The second game of the doubleheader was rained out.

  • 2B Addison Russell (.355) went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored. He has brought in a run in three of the last four games.
  • CF Junior Lake (.250) went 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored.
  • RF Rubi Silva (.263) went 2-for-4 with a sixth inning, run-scoring double.
  • 1B Jonathan Mota (.500) went 2-for-3, driving in a run and scoring twice. He is 7-for-12 with four runs in his last four games.

Tennessee Smokies (4-2)
Second Place (-1.0)

Tennessee topped Pensacola 5-4 in its home opener. Three Smokies players had multi-hit games.

  • C Willson Contreras (.500) went 2-for-4 with a double and scored once. This is his third consecutive multi-hit game.
  • 2B Stephen Bruno (.389) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.476) went 2-for-3, walked once and scored once. He is 7-for-11 with three runs
    in his last three appearances.
  • RHP Michael Jensen (0.00) earned the win, pitching 2.0 shutout innings, giving up two hits and
    fanning two batters.

South Bend Cubs (3-5)
Sixth Place (-4.0)

South Bend got out to an early lead with a two-run homer from 3B Jesse Hodges (.207) in the second inning, but Fort Wayne rallied in the eighth, topping the Cubs 7-6 in extras.

  • C Cael Brockmeyer (.423) had his third multi-hit game of the season, walked once and scored twice. He has a four-game hitting streak.
  • 2B Jason Vosler (.304) went 2-for-4, hit a double and scored once.
  • LF Charcer Burks (.296) went 3-for-4 and plated one.
  • CF Trey Martin (.290) had his third consecutive multi-hit game.
  • RHP Jeremy Null (1.64) tossed a quality start, giving up two earned runs off seven hits and fanning six batters.

Cubs bring up Kris Bryant; activate Chris Denorfia from DL

Bryant_Kris_Horiz.JPGThe Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of infielder Kris Bryant from Triple-A Iowa and activated outfielder Chris Denorfia off of the 15-day disabled list. Infielder Mike Olt was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 15) with a hairline fracture in his right wrist, and right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 16) with right shoulder inflammation.

Bryant, who will wear uniform number 17, and Denorfia will be available for the Cubs this afternoon when they begin a three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.

Bryant, 23, joins the Cubs after hitting .321 (9-for-28) with three homers and 10 RBI in seven games with Iowa. He was Chicago’s first-round pick in the 2013 Draft (second overall) and entered 2015 ranked as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. He earned 2014 Minor League Player of the Year honors from Baseball America, USA Today and the Cubs after hitting .325 and leading the minors with 43 homers, 78 extra-base hits, 325 total bases, a .661 slugging mark and a 1.098 OPS, while ranking third with 110 RBI between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa.

After being selected by the Cubs out of the University of San Diego, Bryant combined to hit .336 with 14 doubles, two triples and nine homers in 36 games across three minor league levels that summer, culminating with a 2013 Florida State League Championship and 2013 Arizona Fall League Joe Black MVP honors after leading the league with six homers, a .457 slugging percentage and 56 total bases.

Bryant began the 2014 campaign with his first stop at Double-A and batted .355 with 22 homers and 58 RBI in 68 games with Tennessee to earn a spot on the Southern League All-Star team and a promotion to Triple-A on June 19, just a little more than a year after he was drafted. He batted .295 with 21 homers and 52 RBI in 70 games with Iowa. Bryant also started at third base for the U.S. Team at the All-Star Futures game in Minnesota. Overall, he has turned in a .327 batting average with 55 homers and 152 RBI in 181 minor league games.

As a junior at San Diego, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Bryant won the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, was the Baseball America Player of the Year, the 2013 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and the 2013 Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year. Bryant is a native of Las Vegas and a graduate of Bonanza High School.

Denorfia, 34, began the season on the 15-day disabled list due to a mild left hamstring strain. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder split the 2014 campaign between San Diego and Seattle and combined to bat .230 with 12 doubles and three homers in 121 games. He played in two rehab games for Single-A Myrtle Beach, going 1-for-3 with a double.

Overall, Denorfia is a career .272 hitter in 705 games covering all or part of nine seasons with Cincinnati (2005-06), Oakland (2008-09), San Diego (2010-14) and Seattle (2014). He has averaged 21 doubles, four triples, nine homers and 13 stolen bases per 162 games played while turning in a career .331 on-base percentage and a .394 slugging mark.  Denorfia has played 352 big league games in right field, 248 games in left field and 164 games in center field.

Olt, 26, is hitting .133 (2-for-15) with one homer and one RBI in six games for the Cubs this season.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,265 other followers