The Chicago Cubs have claimed 25-year old righty reliever R.J. Alvarez off waivers from the Oakland A’s. Alvarez pitched in 3 games (0 starts) in A+AAA-ball for the A’s this year and he was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.55 WHIP. Alvarez has pitched in 31 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the show and he is 0-0 with a 7.39 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.
The Chicago Cubs have dealt 23-year old lefty swinging outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr. to the San Francisco Giants for cash. Dunston Jr. played in 37 games in A-ball for the Cubs this year and he was 24 of 114 (.219 avg, .641 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 0 homers, 5 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. He has played in 264 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 246 of 938 (.262 avg, .696 OPS) with 136 runs scored, 6 homers, 92 RBIs and 55 stolen bases. He has never made it above A-ball.
The Chicago Cubs have signed 40-year old righty reliever Joel Peralta to a minor league deal. Peralta pitched in 26 games (0 starts) earlier this year for the Mariners and he was 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He gave up 24 hits (7 homers) and 7 walks while whiffing 28 batters in his 23 1/3 innings for the Mariners earlier this year. Peralta has now pitched in 615 games (0 starts) in his first 12 years in the show and he is 20-34 with 15 saves, a 4.00 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon probably had a hand in this signing as Peralta was one of his most dependable relievers when he was the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Chicago Cubs have placed 27-year old lefty swinging infielder Tommy LaStella on the 15-day D.L. due to a sore hamstring. LaStella has played in 38 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 23 of 79 (.291 avg, .871 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 2 homers and 7 RBIs. LaStella has now played in 71 games in his first two years with the Cubs and he is 41 of 146 (.281 avg, .806 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 3 homers, 18 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. The Cubs hope that LaStella will only have to miss another couple of weeks, as he was having a solid year for them.
The Chicago Cubs have acquired 30-year old lefty swinging 2B/3B/OF Chris Coghlan from the Oakland A’s for 24-year old switch-hitting 2B/OF Arismendy Alcantara. Coghlan played in 51 games for the A’s this year and he was only 23 of 158 (.146 avg, .487 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 5 homers, 14 RBIs and 1 stolen base. That being said, he played well for the Cubs in both 2014 and 2015. In those two years with the Cubs, Coghlan played in 273 games in which he was 219 of 825 (.265 avg, .793 OPS) with 114 runs scored, 25 homers, 82 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Coghlan has now played in 717 games in his first 8 years in the show and he is 625 of 2,402 (.260 avg, .734 OPS) with 325 runs scored, 51 homers, 213 RBIs and 46 stolen bases. Alcantara played in 53 games in AAA-ball for the Cubs this year and he was 52 of 197 (.264 avg, .751 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 5 homers, 21 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. Alcantara played in 81 games in parts of two years with the Cubs and he was 59 of 304 (.194 avg, .594 OPS) with 36 runs scored, 10 homers, 30 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. The Cubs hope that Coghlan will get back on the right path for them.
The Chicago Cubs have released 34-year old righty reliever Jean Machi. Machi pitched in 20 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Cubs this year and he was 2-1 with 1 save, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. He has pitched in 189 games (0 starts) in his first four years in the show and he is 12-2 with 6 saves, a 3.47 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. The Cubs won’t miss Machi too much moving forward.
The Chicago Cubs have placed 24-year old righty swinging outfielder Jorge Soler on the 15-day disabled list due to a left hamstring injury. Soler has played in 50 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 29 of 130 (.223 avg, .699 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 5 homers and 13 RBIs. The Cubs have called up 22-year old righty swinging outfielder Albert Almora to replace Soler on the active roster. Almora came into this season as the Cubs’ #6 prospect according to Baseball America. Almora has played in 54 games in AAA-ball so far this year for the Cubs and he is 68 of 214 (.318 avg, .779 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 3 homers, 30 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. But, he has only walked 7 times this year, so he likes to swing at everything. That being said, he has also only whiffed 29 times…so he makes a lot of contact. Almora has now played in 379 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 442 of 1,516 (.292 avg, .745 OPS) with 243 runs scored, 23 homers, 178 RBIs and 33 stolen bases.
21-year old righty starting pitcher Duane Underwood came into this season as the Chicago Cubs‘ #4 prospect according to Baseball America. But, he is having a rough time in AA-ball so far this year. He has pitched in 8 games (all starts) in AA-ball so far this year for the Cubs and he is 0-3 with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. He has given up 41 hits and 21 walks while whiffing 31 batters in his first 35 2/3 innings so far this year. Underwood has now pitched in 65 games (61 starts) in his first five years in the minors and he is 15-15 with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. The Cubs can afford to take things slowly with Underwood.
The Chicago Cubs have not been getting quite enough out of their catchers so far this year. 32-year old lefty swinging Miguel Montero is off to a very slow start with the bat for the Cubs so far this year. Montero has played in 27 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 17 of 83 (.205 avg, .687 OPS) with 13 runs scored, 2 homers, 12 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Luckily for the Cubs, 39-year old righty swinging David Ross is showing that he still has something left in the gas tank. Ross has played in 29 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 19 of 79 (.241 avg, .787 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 4 homers and 17 RBIs. If Ross keeps playing as much as he is right now, he is going to wear down. That is part of the reason why the Cubs are carrying three catchers right now. 28-year righty swinging Tim Federowicz has played in 12 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 5 for 25 (.200 avg, .511 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs.
Lefty swinging 1B Mark Grace was a outstanding defensive player and he had a sweet swing for the Chicago Cubs. Grace played in 1,910 games in his 13 years with the Cubs and he was 2,201 of 7,156 (.308 avg, .832 OPS) with 1,057 runs scored, 148 homers, 1,004 RBIs and 67 stolen bases. Grace played on some lousy Cubs’ teams but he never let it effect his play. He also played in 8 games in the post-season for the Cubs and he was 12 of 29 (.414 avg) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer, 9 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Grace was an All-Star three times with the Cubs and he won four Gold Gloves. He also hit .300 or better nine times for the Cubs! Grace is currently still tied for 13th in Cubs’ history with his .308 batting average. He is still also #9 in games played (1,910), #5 in hits (2,201), tied for #10 in OBP (.386), tied for #33 in SLG (.445), #21 in OPS (.832), #2 in doubles (456), tied for #37 in triples (43), #9 in runs scored (1,057), #14 in homers (148), #8 in RBIs (1,004), tied for #49 in stolen bases (67) and he is #4 in walks (946) in Cubs’ history!