08/29/12 7:55 PM ET
Slumping rookie Rizzo not in starting lineup
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Rizzo was batting .211 (8-for-38) in his last 11 games, with one double as his only extra-base hit and three RBIs.
"He's not feeling right at the plate and it's snowballing a little bit now, so you want to stop that from snowballing any further and let him kick back and work with [Rowson] today and get things ironed out," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Part of the problem, Sveum said, is Rizzo may be "thinking too much and trying to do too much all the time instead of just letting it happen."
Rizzo was the National League Rookie of the Month in July, batting .330 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 25 games. He's hit one home run in August.
"Who knows the reason why," Sveum said of the dropoff in power numbers. "To me, it's more a young man who got here and was obviously on top of the world and doing everything, and unfortunately, sometimes in this game, if you try to tell some young guys that for some reason, when you're going good, you're putting yourself in line for a slump sometimes. Why that happens is a million-dollar question in hitting -- why all of a sudden you're on top of the world and the next day you feel like you're on ice skates in the batter's box. That's why you give guys day off and give them a chance to regroup."
Rizzo was batting .283 overall with nine home runs in 55 games since he was promoted in late June.
Baez, Szczur to play in Arizona Fall League
CHICAGO -- Infielder Javier Baez, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, will join top prospect Matt Szczur in the Arizona Fall League, which starts Oct. 9.
Baez, 19, began the year at Class A Peoria and batted .333 in 57 games before he was promoted in early August to Class A Daytona. He was batting .153 in 17 games there. Szczur, 23, a fifth-round pick in 2010, was in the Cubs' Major League Spring Training camp, and began the season at Daytona, where he hit .295 in 78 games. At Double-A Tennessee, he was batting .202 in 30 games.
They'll be joined on the Mesa Solar Sox team by infielder Rubi Silva and pitchers Dae-Eun Rhee, Nick Struck, Tony Zych, Zach Rosscup and Kevin Rhoderick. Rhoderick will be on the taxi squad.
The Arizona Fall League celebrates its 20th anniversary season this year. The six-team league, owned and operated by Major League Baseball, plays six days per week, Monday through Saturday, in six Cactus League stadiums, including HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.
Jorge Soler, who signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs in late June, was expected to play in the Cubs' instructional league in Mesa this fall. Soler, 20, was batting .305 with two home runs and five doubles in 15 games with Class A Peoria.
"Jorge hasn't played much baseball," said Brandon Hyde, the Cubs' Minor League field coordinator who was promoted Wednesday to the club's director of player development. "We're excited about the start he's had in Peoria. He just hasn't played much and we want to get him in instructional league and get him five weeks to get this legs underneath him and get in playing shape. He was short on experience this last year. He's a special talent."
Silva, 23, a Cuban who signed with the Cubs in December 2010, hit .302 in 111 games at Daytona, and was batting .276 in 15 games at Tennessee.
Rhee and Struck were both starters at Tennessee, with Rhee, 23, posting a 9-8 record and 4.95 ERA in 26 games, while Struck was was 13-10 with a 3.30 ERA. Struck, 22, a 39th-round pick in 2009, threw a no-hitter at Class A Peoria in 2010, and has five quality starts in his last eight games.
Zych, 22, a fourth-round pick in 2011, was 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 18 games in relief, Rosscup, 24, had a 4.64 ERA in 10 games, and Rhoderick had a 4.87 ERA in 43 games. Rosscup was acquired from the Rays in the Matt Garza deal, and also pitched in three games for Class A Peoria.
Rhoderick, 24, was a ninth-round pick in 2010, and posted a 1.35 ERA in 21 games in the first half of the season. He has a 7.92 ERA in 22 games in the second half.
Hyde tabbed as player development director
CHICAGO -- The Cubs promoted Brandon Hyde from Minor League field coordinator to the club's director of player development on Wednesday, replacing Oneri Fleita, who was dismissed earlier this month.
Hyde, 38, spent the last season evaluating the Cubs' Minor League system and said he was excited about some of the talent in the organization.
"The bottom line for us is we're trying to develop impact big leaguers, whether that's pitchers or hitters, we're looking at the whole package," Hyde said. "Our job is to get as many players to play at Wrigley Field as we can who are impact players."
Hyde joined the Cubs last offseason after spending the previous nine seasons in the Marlins' organization, most recently as the club's Major League bench coach from June 23, 2010, through the end of the 2011 season. He said former Marlins manager Jack McKeon was a mentor.
Before working at the big league level, Hyde was the club's Minor League infield coordinator to begin 2010 and spent the previous seven seasons as a Minor League manager and coach in the Marlins' system.
In 2009, his last full season as a Minor League manager, Hyde guided Double-A Jacksonville to the Southern League championship and later that year managed in the Arizona Fall League, leading a team that included Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro.
Hyde will work under Jason McLeod, senior vice president of scouting and player development, and get plenty of input from Cubs manager Dale Sveum on what they want the Minor Leaguers to work on.
"We want to build this Minor League system to where we have complete players when they get here, and there are a lot of things we'll talk about," Sveum said.
That means coming up with a philosophy for the program that everyone follows.
"I think organizations have to have that kind of stuff etched in stone and 'This is the way we want things done and you're not moving up different levels until these things are done,'" Sveum said.
Hyde was headed to Boise on Monday to watch the Class A team, which has made the playoffs. The Cubs' Rookie League team in Mesa also made the playoffs.
"I think it's exciting," Hyde said. "We'll have two lower level clubs in the playoffs, and a lot of them have shown improvement in the second half."
Hyde played four seasons in the White Sox organization from 1997-2000 as a catcher/first baseman, and played independent ball in 2001.
Fleita had overseen the Cubs' Minor League organization and international scouting operations for 12 seasons before he was dismissed on Aug. 15.
Left-handed pitcher Scott Maine was claimed off waivers by the Indians. Maine was designated for assignment on Monday to make room on the Cubs' 40-man roster for catcher Anthony Recker, who was acquired from the Athletics for catcher Blake Lalli.
Maine compiled a 4.79 ERA in 21 games for the Cubs, giving up 11 earned runs over 20 2/3 innings.
In 28 games with Triple-A Iowa, the left-hander served up 11 earned runs over 34 1/3 innings, and converted five of six save opportunities.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.