Cubs

Down on the farm: Cubs, White Sox weekly minor league report

Down on the farm: Cubs, White Sox weekly minor league report

Each week, CSNChicago.com goes down on the farm for a minor-league report from both the Cubs and White Sox system, presented by Service King.

CUBS

The Cubs signed Joe Nathan to a major-league deal earlier this week, but if they're looking for some bullpen help, they don't need to look any further than Triple-A Iowa.

Spencer Patton was called up to the big leagues when Neil Ramirez went on the bereavement list and surrendered a hit to the only batter he faced. But in the minors, Patton hasn't allowed a run in 13 innings, picking up five saves.

Patton and Carl Edwards, Jr. have combined to strike out 42 batters in 27.1 innings.

Edwards (2.51 ERA, 1.256 WHIP in 14.1 innings for Triple-A Iowa) was also promoted to the big leagues for the Cubs' doubleheader last week, but did not appear in either game. 

He had a 3.86 ERA and 1.286 WHIP in five games with the big club last season and figures to be one of the first names called up to Chicago if the Cubs need bullpen help down the line.

To boot, the Iowa Cubs also have a trio of other relievers turning heads with Felix Pena (1.86 ERA, 0.724 WHIP, 11.6 K/9 in 19.1 innings), Brandon Gomes (2.76 ERA in 16.1 IP) and Jean Machi (3.10 ERA in 20.1 IP).

WHITE SOX

Tim Anderson's hot streak continued over the past week.

The White Sox shortstop was named the International batter of the week on Monday.

In the last 10 games, Anderson is batting .426 with three homers, six RBIs, a triple and four stolen bases. His season average has also jumped from .231 to .300 during that span.

If he continues at this pace, he could reach the majors this season.

The White Sox acquired 26-year-old pitcher Anthony Ranaudo last week in exchange for reliever Matt Ball.

In Ranaudo's first start for the Charlotte Knights, he pitched four innings, allowing three hits, one run and striking out four. He earned a no decision.

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

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USA TODAY

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

The Cubs are just a couple of weeks away from a pivotal offseason that could see a lot of change coming to Chicago's North Side.

Then again, we thought the same thing a year ago and it turned out Theo Epstein's biggest move last winter was signing Daniel Descalso to a two-year deal.

But after missing the playoffs in 2019, the Cubs are now at a crossroads as an organization. 

The NBC Sports Chicago crew previewed the offseason on the latest CubsTalk Podcast with some bold predictions for the winter.

Listen here and check out the fearless calls below:

(Note: Rationale and more context on each bold prediction in the podcast.)

David Kaplan

1. Cubs are going to take a page out of the Yankees' book and retool on the fly rather than go all-in to contend in 2020.
2. Jose Quintana has thrown his last pitch as a Cub.
3. This will be the second-to-last offseason for Theo Epstein as the Cubs president of baseball operations.

Kelly Crull 

1. Cubs re-sign Nick Castellanos and trade away Kyle Schwarber.
2. Tyler Chatwood will be in the 2020 rotation.
3. John Lackey will be named quality assurance coach on David Ross's coaching staff. (Kidding, but only kind of...)

Tony Andracki

1. Before the Cubs play a Spring Training game, Javy Baez will sign an extension that will keep him in Chicago through at least 2023.
2. Willson Contreras will be traded this winter and the Cubs will get some much-needed pitching help in return.
3. Cubs sign Howie Kendrick this winter as the professional bat and lefty-masher they craved in 2019.
4. Ben Zobrist will return on a one-year deal and finish his playing career in a Cubs uniform.
5. David Bote, Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell will all be traded or non-tendered this winter as the Cubs remake their bench/depth.

Jeff Nelson

1. Willson Contreras will sign a contract extension.
2. Ben Zobrist will return as a player/coach.
3. Jose Quintana will be traded for minor league depth.
4. Terrance Gore will be signed to be the 26th man on the roster under the new rules.

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

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USA Today

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

In the midst of an intensive hiring process for the new Cubs manager, Theo Epstein is being sued by an Arizona couple claiming Epstein’s dog, Winston, damaged their house. The cause of damage? Peeing excessively inside the property Epstein rented for spring training in 2015.

Yes, you read that right, Epstein’s dog peed so much he’s being sued.

The lawsuit was filed this Tuesday in Maricopa County, according to the Phoenix New Times, citing Epstein’s dog left “a terrible odor and urine-stained carpeting” in the Paradise Valley, Ariz., home where he and his family stayed.

Winston is a rescue mutt, weighing in at around ten pounds. He can’t pee that much, right?

The lawsuit states the dog "peed prolifically in the $1 million house, staining tile and stone flooring, wood door jams, cabinets, and furniture."

John and Mary Valentino referenced a 2017 quote by Epstein as proof that Winston had a peeing problem. When asked about being named the world’s greatest leader by Fortune magazine after the Cubs 2016 World Series win, Epstein said: “I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing in the house.”

Epstein left the rental property two weeks early due to a scorpion infestation later was shown a repair estimate of $51,405, according to the report.

Julian Green, the Cubs vice president of communications, told the New Times the lawsuit was “baseless.” He also said that an exterminator discovered 45 scorpions on the property that “put (Epstein’s) family at risk every time they put their children to sleep.” The Epsteins moved into a different house for the last two weeks of spring training.

The owners kept the $5,000 security deposit, and according to a source the Epsteins did not hear from them again for more than four years until the suit was filed Tuesday.

When asked about the lawsuit, Epstein replied, “As I said, we have no untouchables. Winston is definitely available in the right trade.”

We’ll be keeping tabs on this story as it unfolds. In the meantime, it’s good to see Epstein still has a sense of humor, even with a dog urine lawsuit and a Cubs managerial search on the line.

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