Wilken being promoted to role as special assistant for Epstein
Longtime scouting director's new deal may run through 2015
That perception couldn't have been more wrong. Wilken, who built a terrific resume with the Blue Jays and Rays, not only stayed as scouting director under McLeod for this season but is being promoted to a role as a special assistant for Epstein.
Contract details are being finalized but Wilken said it's possible his new deal will run through 2015, putting it on the same timetable as the five-year deals that Epstein and Hoyer received. He might need an office in Chicago, too, as he will be consulting with Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod on a variety of player personnel matters, not just the potential of high school and college players.
Wilken's last draft under then-general manager Jim Hendry produced two dynamic hitters in shortstop Javier Baez and first baseman Dan Vogelbach, and Wilken is excited about the direction of the organization under Epstein, with prospects like Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, Arodys Vizcaino and Juan Carlos Paniagua being added since March.
"I really feel blessed," Wilken said. "This comes at a time when everything is directed toward getting this organization to reach the championship level, to win the World Series. It's pretty exciting. That sounds kind of funny the way we're playing, but I'm seeing the inroads that have been made. I'm excited to see what it will look like down the road. Hopefully we'll be able to keep adding to it."
Wilken's promotion accompanied the hiring of 36-year-old Jaron Madison as scouting director. He had been in that role with the Padres.
Power plant: Vogelbach is on quite a roll. He has had back-to-back two-homer games for Boise and had at least one homer in five consecutive games entering one Saturday night. He has hit eight homers in 16 games since being promoted from the Arizona League, and 15 homers in 40 games overall this year.
Extra innings: Shawn Camp, who leads the majors with 57 appearances, was unavailable out of the bullpen Saturday but hopefully will be good to go Sunday. … The Cubs activated Lendy Castillo, the Rule 5 pick from the Phillies who has been sidelined since May 16 with a strained groin, and optioned left-hander Scott Maine to Triple-A Iowa.