Posted on 10 December 2012 by Lou
The Cubs opted to re-sign 3B Ian Stewart to a 1-year deal this weekend. Stewart will have a base salary of $2 million and there are incentives in the deal that could net Stewart an additional $500,000. With the free agent market thin at the third base position, and with the lackluster performance from young prospect Josh Vitters in 2012 (.121 batting average in 99 at-bats in 36 games), the Cubs were kind of “forced” to re-sign Stewart despite his paltry 2012 numbers. Stewart racked up only 202 at-bats in 55 games in 2012 due to a wrist injury. He had a surgery on the wrist to fix the nagging problem and is on track to be ready for Spring Training 2013. Let’s hope so. He hit just .201 with 5 HR’s, 17 RBI’s and a pathetic .292 on-base percentage. Looks like GM Jed Hoyer and President Theo Epstein are still looking for their 3rd baseman of the future in the coming seasons…
Posted on 07 October 2011 by Lou
The Cubs will likely be looking for a new 3rd baseman for the 2012 MLB season and beyond. Aramis Ramirez declined his player option for $16 million for the 2012 MLB season. Ramirez is looking for a long-term deal and at the age of 33, the Cubs will not be a bidder in that war. Ramirez hit .306 with 26 HR’s and 93 RBI’s in one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. His 80 runs scored and .361 on-base percentage make him an attractive player, but if you watch him play everyday, you know that his career is on the decline. His fielding has deteriorated over the years and he’s just not the player that the Cubs want to waste extra money on, especially since they are still strapped with several other “bad” contracts that they can’t wait to get “off the books” (see Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Zambrano).
That leaves the Cubs with a battle between two prospects – DJ LeMahieu and Josh Vitters. LaMahieu played in 37 games for the Cubs this past season, hitting .250 with 4 RBI’s and 2 doubles. He struck out 12 times while walking only once in 60 at-bats (good for a .262 on-base percentage). Not great. Vitters had a good minor league season, but is still considered to be a year or two away because of past injury issues. At Double-A Tennessee, Vitters had a .283 batting average, he hit 14 HR’s and 28 doubles and he drove in 81 runs. Vitters was the 3rd overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player draft and the Cubs would like him to get some time at the major league level before they commit to him as the long-term 3rd baseman of the future. He had 2 HR’s in his 1st game of the AFL this October and looks to use a good fall to get ready for a productive 2012 spring training with the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything new on the 3rd base position front.
Posted on 06 March 2010 by Lou
Carlos Zambrano cruised through 2 scoreless innings in his spring training debut on Friday. The Cubs rallied to defeat the D’Backs with a 2-run 9th inning that gave the Cubs an 8-7 win to the delight of the “Wrigley Field West” faithful in Mesa.
Zambrano worked 2 innings and did not allow a hit or a walk. He had 1 strikeout.
Jeff Stevens and John Gaub – both contenders for a spot in the Cubs bullpen – did not look good in their spring debuts. Stevens gave up 4 ER on 3 hits and 1 walk in 1 2/3 innings pitched. He did have 3 K’s. Gaub gave up an earned run on 2 hits in 1 1/3 innings pitched. Not what we want to see from our relievers, especially with Angel Guzman and Jeff Gray sidelined with injuries early this spring.
On a positive note, the Cubs position player stars of the future excelled in the win. Tyler Colvin was 3 for 3 in Thursday’s opener and followed that fine effort up with 2 more doubles and 2 RBI’s in Friday’s win. Josh Vitters had 2 hits and scored 2 runs, while Starling Castro also had 2 hits with 1 run scored. These are the stars of the future for the Cubs, so look for them to see some extended action this spring and plenty of action at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field in the near future.