Bricks & Ivy: Quick notes from the Winter Meetings


Bricks & Ivy: Quick notes from the Winter Meetings

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010
3:45 PM

By Luke Stuckmeyer

Who's on First

Great question with no answer right now. It's clearly Jim Hendry's top priority this week. Lance Berkman is gone. D-Lee isn't coming back. James Loney is not happening. At least for now. That leaves three names: Carlos Pena, Adam LaRoche and Tyler Colvin. Tuesday morning the Cubs spoke to Scott Boras who represents Pena. The biggest problem might be fitting him into their price range with other teams interested. That leaves LaRoche as reportedly the newest possibility or Colvin. Manager Mike Quade believes Colvin CAN do it, if that's the direction Jim Hendry goes.
Prospect Poachers

The Cubs are hoping to stockpile and produce young talent in the future. It's already starting to show results just based on the amount of teams checking to see who's available. That's a good sign that things are looking up. Sources tell me that while the Starlin Castro and Andrew Cashner calls are expected...the Cubs are also getting plenty of interest in their position players and especially one young catcher. The Cubs would love to add another arm, but not if it costs their best young pitchers.

Lou Returns

Former skipper Lou Piniella was here Tuesday for a special event with Cito Gaston, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox. He's done managing but he won't rule out a role as an adviser sometime in the future. For now, he's busy riding his bicycle and relaxing. "Right now I'm enjoying what I'm doing, which is nothing," said Piniella.
Sights Seen

Former Reds star Tony Perez waiting for a cheeseburger at The Fountain.'s Patrick Mooney eating a ham sammich in the hallway. Lou Piniella and Cubs Media Relations Director Peter Chase filling out one last crossword puzzle for old times sake - allegedly.

Luke Stuckmeyer covers the Cubs for Comcast SportsNet. Follow him on Twitter @CSNStucky.

Nico Hoerner makes great catch in first game with South Bend

Nico Hoerner makes great catch in first game with South Bend

Cubs first-round pick Nico Hoerner made his debut with the Class-A South Bend Cubs, and he did not disappoint.

The 23-year old shortstop showed off impressive hops during an acrobatic grab in the topf of the second inning in his first game with the South Bend Cubs. Hoerner will surely be an exciting defensive prospect with ability like this.

As far as offense goes, through four at-bats at South Bend, Hoerner is batting .500, and this comes after he hit .318 with a home run and two RBI through seven games with the Eugene Emeralds, the Cubs Class A short-season affiliate.

Here is to hoping we continue to see big-time plays from Hoerner.

Jose Quintana can't wait to face Eloy Jimenez someday

Jose Quintana can't wait to face Eloy Jimenez someday

One year after arguably the biggest trade ever between the Cubs and White Sox, both sides are feeling pretty happy with their returns.

Jose Quintana has had a bit of a disappointing 2018 campaign overall, but he's been really solid lately, posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.27 WHIP since April 22 — a span of 14 starts.

He struggled in two starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series last fall, but shut the Nationals down in two games (one start, one relief appearance) in the NLDS, allowing only 3 hits and a pair of walks in 6.1 innings.

All told, Quintana is 15-9 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 185 strikeouts in 182 innings a Cubs uniform.

Meanwhile, the White Sox boast one of the strongest farm systems in the game thanks to Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, the main pieces from the Cubs for Quintana last summer.

Jimenez has a .313 average, .912 OPS, 12 homers and 46 RBI in 65 games this season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. The 21-year-old outfielder was ranked the No. 4 prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to the 2018 campaign.

Cease is a bit further away from Chicago, but the 22-year-old is also having a strong season. He's 10-2 with a 2.95 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 10.7 K/9 in 16 starts this year, with his last 3 outings coming for Double-A Birmingham.

Some Cubs fans may be expecting an ace out of Quintana, but there's enormous value in a guy that's under team control through the 2020 season and due just over $30 million for the 3.5 seasons' worth of contributions.

Still, Quintana understands it was a hefty cost the Cubs paid for his services and he embraces the challenge.

"These guys are gonna be All-Stars,"  Quintana said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "I've heard good things. I want to continue to do the best I can, but I know it was a huge trade. I know [the Cubs] paid a lot for me. That's a good feeling, you know? 

"It helps that [Jimenez and Cease] are doing good. I know they're younger, but it's amazing to be in that trade. I'm more happy right now to be here. Best of luck to them. 

"One time I'm going to face Jimenez, too, so I'm going to enjoy that."

We may not have to wait long to find out: The Cubs head to the South Side Sept. 21-23 for a 3-game set, when Jimenez could be getting his first taste of MLB life as a September call-up for the White Sox.