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General Category => Archives => Topic started by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 11:52:37 am


Title: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 11:52:37 am
Discuss the outlook for the Cubs in 2011...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 16, 2011, 12:58:02 pm
88 wins and a division title. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 16, 2011, 01:15:07 pm
I didn't realize Marlon Byrd was working with Victor Conte.  Right now he's the only player in MLB still associated with him.  ESPN's got an article up about their relationship. 

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6127757
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on February 16, 2011, 01:21:33 pm
I didn't realize Marlon Byrd was working with Victor Conte.  Right now he's the only player in MLB still associated with him.  ESPN's got an article up about their relationship. 

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6127757
You might want to see if you can turn off the quote feature because that's gonna turn off some posters.

By the way, isn't the Byrd/Conte relationship old news?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on February 16, 2011, 01:45:12 pm
I didn't realize Marlon Byrd was working with Victor Conte.  Right now he's the only player in MLB still associated with him.  ESPN's got an article up about their relationship. 

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6127757
You might want to see if you can turn off the quote feature because that's gonna turn off some posters.

By the way, isn't the Byrd/Conte relationship old news?

Yeah, the quote feature could turn this into box-in-a-box pretty fast.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 16, 2011, 02:54:13 pm
I didn't realize Marlon Byrd was working with Victor Conte.  Right now he's the only player in MLB still associated with him.  ESPN's got an article up about their relationship. 

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6127757
You might want to see if you can turn off the quote feature because that's gonna turn off some posters.

By the way, isn't the Byrd/Conte relationship old news?

Yeah, the quote feature could turn this into box-in-a-box pretty fast.

You can still use < i > and < /i> in this forum. 

Maybe any post that starts a box in a box should be reported to the moderator . . . like this one for instance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 02:58:32 pm
JR's post with all those boxes is a no-go for me.  It's nice to know who a post is in reply to but that goes too far.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on February 16, 2011, 03:30:47 pm
I think Dave has since turned that off, Cactus.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 16, 2011, 03:51:17 pm
I think Dave has since turned that off, Cactus.

Nope, not yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 03:51:34 pm
I think Dave has since turned that off, Cactus.

I did?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 03:52:56 pm
I did?
test
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 03:53:26 pm
test
test 2
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 03:54:15 pm
Well, that setting apparently limits the quote to one previous one...rather than box after box after box...not as bad, I suppose...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 16, 2011, 03:55:09 pm
Well, that setting apparently limits the quote to one previous one...rather than box after box after box...not as bad, I suppose...

Actually I think that works pretty well.  Saves you from doing the < i > and < /i > thing. 

If it's just one requote, I think that works just fine.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 04:09:09 pm
This post is to test replying to JR's previous post.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 04:09:25 pm
Actually I think that works pretty well.  Saves you from doing the < i > and < /i > thing. 

If it's just one requote, I think that works just fine.

Yeah, it's not so bad...what does everyone else think?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 04:10:11 pm
test - clicked reply instead of quick reply

and it took me back to the topic list...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 04:10:58 pm
I think Dave has since turned that off, Cactus.

This time I'm quoting (not replying) to a post FITS made earlier
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 04:11:13 pm
test - quick reply rather than reply...

that took me back to the bottom of this topic...like we have at WC...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 04:12:32 pm
Test of quick reply
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 04:13:38 pm
Is there a way to make a reply (either standard or quick) and stay in the topic?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 04:14:22 pm
quick reply did that for me?

whoa...that time it didn't...hmmm
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on February 16, 2011, 04:15:19 pm
test
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 04:15:50 pm
Another stab at quick reply
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 04:17:33 pm
This time it worked but it  cautioned me that there had been a new post in the meantime and I should review my pending post.  I can't see this working while the posts are flying fast and furiously during a "Today's Game"
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on February 16, 2011, 07:35:49 pm
Yeah, that's what worried me, Cactus -- Today's Game posts flying fast and furiously as Carlos Silva gave up back-to-back-to-back homers to the Reds in the first inning.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 16, 2011, 11:26:14 pm
Having the most recent post on top saves two ways:
 
Entering a topic by clicking on just it's name avoids having to select the last page and it saves having to scroll to the bottom of that page.
 
But then, the post box is still at the bottom.
 
I used WYSIWYG in this post.  Very nice instead of having to play around with HTML.  About the only thing missing is a spell checker.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 17, 2011, 06:38:26 am
Another test
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on February 17, 2011, 07:01:06 am
Testing reply.....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on February 17, 2011, 07:01:38 am
Reply took me back to topics list.  This is Quick Reply test.....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on February 17, 2011, 07:02:03 am
Both take me back to topic list.   ???
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 17, 2011, 08:16:00 am
Quick Reply test
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 17, 2011, 08:16:43 am
Quick Reply test returned me to the bottom of the topic just like WorldCrossing
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 17, 2011, 08:20:39 am
I'm starting to think this is going to work out pretty well.  This board does work a lot better than the Pro Boards one I think.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on February 17, 2011, 08:22:12 am
My turn to test.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on February 17, 2011, 08:22:53 am
Not bad.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 17, 2011, 08:47:18 am
This time it worked but it  cautioned me that there had been a new post in the meantime and I should review my pending post.  I can't see this working while the posts are flying fast and furiously during a "Today's Game"

On "Look and Layout", there's an option that says "Don't warn on new replies made while posting."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 17, 2011, 11:51:37 am
This photo posted by simply using copy and paste - no tricky HTML necessary
 
     (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-arrow.png) Rotate photo    (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-plus.png) View full size  (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/243198526.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0ZRYP5X5F6FSMBCCSE82&Expires=1297965885&Signature=BrpI%2F8KpG2ZUj8p5Au1AjoVjFGQ%3D)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on February 17, 2011, 12:31:39 pm
Um, maybe not, Cactus. :)

Not showing for me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 17, 2011, 12:42:32 pm
Um, maybe not, Cactus. :)

Not showing for me.

My only guess is that you might not have WYSIWYG turned on.  Can anybody see the photo?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 17, 2011, 12:43:12 pm
Now I can't see the photo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 17, 2011, 01:04:38 pm
The Carlos Pena photo has reappeared.  I copied it from Paul Sullivan's twitter page which indicates he may have been doing something with it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on February 17, 2011, 01:37:41 pm
I still can't see it.  Wonder why.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 17, 2011, 05:17:15 pm
Another attempt to use copy/paste to post a photo
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Boris From Downunder on February 17, 2011, 09:38:46 pm
Will Jiggy tell us any stories about Mexican food in 2011?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 23, 2011, 07:53:51 am
Fred Mitchell:
 
Sights seen: Cubs (http://bbf.createaforum.com/topic/sports/baseball/chicago-cubs-ORSPT000165.topic) catcher Geovany Soto (http://bbf.createaforum.com/topic/sports/baseball/geovany-soto-PESPT004353.topic), who looks muscled up and in great shape, dining at Benihana (http://bbf.createaforum.com/topic/economy-business-finance/benihana-incorporated-ORCRP001799.topic) and at Sapporo in Scottsdale. …
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 24, 2011, 11:32:20 am
Just wondering, why are there createaforum search links for Cubs, Geovany Soto, and Benihana in Cactus's post?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on February 24, 2011, 12:02:07 pm
Just wondering, why are there createaforum search links for Cubs, Geovany Soto, and Benihana in Cactus's post?

They were in the Tribune column I copied that from.  Strange.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on February 25, 2011, 01:09:37 pm
Second-year shortstop Starlin Castro will bat second and third baseman Aramis Ramirez will hit in the cleanup spot. But (Mike) Quade was even hesitant on naming Castro in the second spot.   "He hasn't earned the right to think he is going to hit anywhere," Quade said. "He did hit .300 in the 2-hole. I'm smart enough to think I'll take .300 in the two-hole."

http://tinyurl.com/4gojtcs (http://tinyurl.com/4gojtcs)

Hitting Ramirez cleanup is a mistake, in my opinion, because he's the only hitter on the roster that can actually qualify as a Major League three-hole hitter (when healthy).

Who does Quade think is going to hit third, Marlon Byrd?  Carlos Pena?

Yuck!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on February 25, 2011, 02:21:58 pm
I was about to say I don't remember Ramirez being a very good hitter in the 3-hole at all the handful of times we've tried him there.  Particularly, I remember him hitting badly in 2006 in the 3-hole after Derrek Lee got hurt.  Still, his OPS hitting third that year overall as 1.066, so my memory there is kind of scewed on how bad of a start he had to that season.

I think it's a comfort factor more than anything else, though.  Ramirez has about 7 times as many at bats hitting cleanup as he does hitting third.  He's only had 27 AB the past three years in the 3 hole.  He's used to hitting cleanup, so there's not much sense moving him around unnecessarily when there are other quality options for the 3 hole available.

Marlon Byrd will probably be the 3 hole hitter to start the year, and while he won't be spectacular, he should be adequate there.  Really lineup order doesn't matter much anyway, so whether they decide to hit Ramirez 3rd or 4th, it's not really going to matter a whole lot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on February 25, 2011, 06:03:58 pm
Byrd's OPS last year hitting third was under .600, so hitting him there again is pretty stupid.  He ended up getting over 200 ABs there and was inadequate.

Comfortable or not, Ramirez is the team's best hitter and he should hit in the three-hole.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on March 28, 2011, 08:59:47 am
Cubs players cars being sent from Mesa to Chicago
 
  (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-arrow.png) Rotate photo    (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-plus.png) View full size  (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/265426670.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1301321679&Signature=LtOvB4mlI33T0KYhl6dSV5Jw5b8%3D)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on March 28, 2011, 09:45:13 am
The Cubs are switching back to Vienna Beef hot dogs at Wrigley for 2011.  But they don't say what the price will be.

 (http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/photo/2011-03/60421978.jpg)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on March 30, 2011, 09:12:20 am
Good move.  I want one NOW!  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on March 30, 2011, 01:48:13 pm
Since Worldsucking seems to be circling the drain and could go away at any time, I'll repost this here...Rotoworld says Max Ramirez has passed through waivers and will be going to Iowa.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on March 30, 2011, 04:38:13 pm

By the way, isn't the Byrd/Conte relationship old news?

It was JR.

What did you expect?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on March 30, 2011, 06:29:58 pm
Byrd's OPS last year hitting third was under .600, so hitting him there again is pretty stupid.  He ended up getting over 200 ABs there and was inadequate.

What reason is there to believe that is the result of anything other than coincidence and small sample size?

Seriously, what reason is there to believe that there is something in particularly about the role of standing in the batter's box and hitting in the 3rd spot in the lineup as opposed to the 5th spot in the lineup to rationally explain that kind of a performance difference from his performance overall?

Unless someone can come up with one, I would assume none exists.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on March 31, 2011, 08:35:43 am
Yeah, I'm not a big believer in position-in-the-lineup splits.  It's almost always a small sample size that you're making a judgment on...I mean, when a rookie comes up, it takes a full year or two to make any kind of conclusion on him.  Why should a 200 AB sample be meaningful from one position in the lineup?  This is something that has bothered me this offseason when people have pointed out Fukudome's weaker performance in the leadoff spot last year.  They point out his .611 OPS in the leadoff spot last year in 215 PA...but conveniently ignore his .827 OPS in 162 PA in 2009 and .804 OPS in 67 PA in 2008.

That said, I agree that Byrd in the third spot is a bad idea, mainly because he's just not that good of a hitter.  But I think Quade is pretty smart, and I think the 3-4-5 spots will be filled by Soto-Ramirez-Pena (not necessarily in that order) by the beginning of May.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on March 31, 2011, 01:09:38 pm
That said, I agree that Byrd in the third spot is a bad idea, mainly because he's just not that good of a hitter. 

That is a perfectly reasonable argument, but I am not sure that the Cub roster lends itself to filling the 3rd spot in the batting order, unless you use ARam there, and then have no good option for the cleanup slot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on March 31, 2011, 01:16:18 pm
 (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-arrow.png) Rotate photo    (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-plus.png) View full size  (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/267696867.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1301596264&Signature=fnqDr4S2OHMZz7RvdigVvhCUeMw%3D)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on March 31, 2011, 01:54:42 pm
Broken picture, Cactus.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on March 31, 2011, 02:01:19 pm
Broken picture, Cactus.

I can see it.   ????
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on March 31, 2011, 02:04:35 pm
FITS
 
Do you have WYSIWYG turned on in your profile?  If not, go to the Look and Layout section and give it a try.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on March 31, 2011, 02:05:37 pm
I do.  Or did.....lemme check.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on March 31, 2011, 02:07:25 pm
Yeah, it's set to on.  Not sure what the deal is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on March 31, 2011, 02:10:30 pm
Then the next step is to find out if I'm the only one who can see the photo. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on March 31, 2011, 02:11:58 pm
The little indicators under the "Newbie" or "Jr. Member" titles are broken, too.....for me anyway.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on March 31, 2011, 02:32:13 pm
That is a perfectly reasonable argument, but I am not sure that the Cub roster lends itself to filling the 3rd spot in the batting order, unless you use ARam there, and then have no good option for the cleanup slot.

I'd use Ramirez there, and I think Pena would be fine in the cleanup slot.  Or, if Pena can hit .230-.240, he'd be fine in the 3rd spot.

The best solution might be to use Soto there on the days he plays.  Getting his OBP that high in the lineup would be big.  Other than foot speed, he's a perfect fit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 01, 2011, 12:28:39 pm
If foot speed is something the Cubs want in the 3-hole, I'm afraid no one is going to hit third.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 01, 2011, 01:14:05 pm
Unfortunately, Mike Quade bears a very strong resemblance to Jared Loughner, the Tucson shooter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on April 01, 2011, 05:05:26 pm
to early for cubs in '12 topic yet?  This team is terrible
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brs2 on April 06, 2011, 10:43:42 am
uh oh.... Muskat tweets " wells has strained right forearm, cash has strained right rotator cuff". Both going on the DL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 11, 2011, 12:32:14 am
(http://imgsrv.gocomics.com/dim/?fh=72b0a53966c0c9c1ae08d3d439a67938)  (http://imgsrv.gocomics.com/dim/?fh=72b0a53966c0c9c1ae08d3d439a67938&w=450.0)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 11, 2011, 09:00:35 am
That In The Bleachers cartoon was posted by simply highlighting the cartoon itself, clicking on "copy" and pasting it into the Reply box - no HTML was needed or used.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 11, 2011, 02:10:48 pm
Sewer work outside Wrigley Field - As Paul Sullivan said, "too easy"
 
  (http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/342001878/Sullivan__Paul_reasonably_small.jpg)   @PWSullivan (http://twitpic.com/photos/PWSullivan) Paul Sullivan April 11, 2011           (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-arrow.png) Rotate photo    (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-plus.png) View full size  (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/274917239.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1302549938&Signature=P72saDQHFOo3fd2b8xOQwGW%2FTls%3D)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 11, 2011, 03:50:55 pm
cactus,I tried highlighting,copy, and pasting a pic all I saw was a line of text...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 11, 2011, 04:04:17 pm
cactus,I tried highlighting,copy, and pasting a pic all I saw was a line of text...

You have to be using a regular reply, not a quick reply.  Try again and see what happens.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 11, 2011, 04:05:13 pm
Now my Wrigley Field sewer photo is gone
 
????
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 11, 2011, 04:10:55 pm
And the WorldCrossing method of posting a photograph doesn't work either.   

This place is strange.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 11, 2011, 04:45:16 pm
 (http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2011/04/08/john_lyle.jpg?t=1302298996&s=2)It works cactus, copied this pic of a Tuskegee Airman John Lyle (http://www.npr.org/2011/04/11/135177510/tuskegee-airmen-rock-stars-of-american-history)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 11, 2011, 04:55:45 pm
Those guys were amazing.   :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 11, 2011, 05:02:42 pm
one of the best fighter/escort units in WWII, I believe they never lost a bomber they were escorting to enemy fire...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 11, 2011, 06:15:33 pm
Did you guys see that Marlon Byrd is saying that he got the steal sign and the Quade was saying that he never put the steal on yesterday?

Byrd got testy with reporters after the game when questioned about it.

http://tinyurl.com/3edt3so
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 11, 2011, 06:39:39 pm
yeah I saw is post game interview(?) on CSN and MLB TV he was pretty pissed about the caught stealing,he didn't blame  Quade or DeJesus  directly but a stop or steal sign was missed or not given.No question that it was not a time to attempt a steal, no outs and Aram at the plate...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on April 14, 2011, 09:58:57 pm
I know this sounds crazy but I think it is time to move Soriano up in the line-up.  At least to 5 the way he has started the season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 15, 2011, 11:46:15 am
Sure sign that attendance is down.  Knowng the Cubs, I wonder if they are being paid for using  "Best Buy" as the name.
 
The Cubs have introduced the Best Buy Pack, which includes four tickets to any April or May home game, four Vienna Beef Hot Dogs and four Bud Light, Budweiser or Pepsi fountain beverages starting at just $40. Best Buy Packs may be purchased in different sections within Wrigley Field, subject to ticket availability.
 
 Best Buy Packs start at $40 for Upper Deck Reserved Outfield, or $48 for Upper Deck Reserved Infield during Bronze home games. Terrace Reserved Outfield or Infield Packs start at $56 and $60, respectively, while Upper Deck Box Outfield or Infield start at $84 and $108, respectively. Terrace Box Outfield and Bud Light Bleacher Best Buy Packs start at $88. Prices do not include convenience fees or City of Chicago and Cook County amusement tax.
 
For more information or to purchase a Best Buy Pack, visit
www.cubs.com/bestbuypack (http://www.cubs.com/bestbuypack). Individual and group tickets may be purchased at www.cubs.com (http://www.cubs.com/), 800-The-Cubs (800-843-2827) or at the Wrigley Field Box Office.
 
– Carrie Muskat
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on April 15, 2011, 12:27:54 pm
Four tickets, four hot dogs, and four beers for $40?

That's a really good deal, even for this year's agglomeration of clods.  If I lived near Wrigley and could talk three friends into it, I'd go all the time with that deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 15, 2011, 12:32:52 pm
Heck $40 comes pretty close to how much it costs to buy four beers and four hot dogs at Wrigley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 15, 2011, 12:37:57 pm
wonder what the taxes add to the tab?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on April 15, 2011, 12:42:24 pm
Heck $40 comes pretty close to how much it costs to buy four beers and four hot dogs at Wrigley.

I was gonna say.....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on April 15, 2011, 12:59:21 pm
Heck $40 comes pretty close to how much it costs to buy four beers and four hot dogs at Wrigley.

The food and beer are pretty much guaranteed to be pleasurable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: jacey1 on April 15, 2011, 01:31:16 pm
I am now officially onboard
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 15, 2011, 01:59:19 pm
I say Samardzija's Cubs career should go the way of Worldcrossing.  Instead, we get this news . . .

Jeff Samardzija - R - Cubs

The Cubs could give a spot start to Jeff Samardzija Tuesday.

That would be James Russell's spot in the rotation. Though Russell struggled in his first start earlier this week, failing to get out of the second inning, we're not optimistic that Samardzija would fare much better. The Cubs are scrambling to fill Randy Wells' and Andrew Cashner's spots in the rotation and are eager for Doug Davis to get into game shape.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 15, 2011, 02:42:24 pm
well that sucks....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 15, 2011, 03:24:19 pm
The Cubs have called up Brad Snyder.

Kosuke Fukudome is taking BP so he is not likely to be going on the DL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 15, 2011, 03:28:11 pm
That might mean Pena is going on the DL.  Quade said today he was worried about his thumb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 15, 2011, 03:36:56 pm
Brad Snyder clarification (you can see how my source became confused)
 
 April 15, 2011 Des Moines, IA - The Cubs have added outfielder Brad Snyder to their roster in time for Opening Day in Iowa. Snyder, who had a hairline fracture in a rib, had stayed at extended spring training in Mesa for the first week of the season to complete his rehab.   Snyder hit .308 with 37 doubles, 25 home runs, and 106 RBI in 132 games with Iowa last season. He was the PCL Player of the Week for April 19-25 last year and named to the 2010 All-PCL Team at the end of the season. He was also a September call-up by Chicago, playing in 12 games for them.   In a corresponding move, outfielder Ty Wright has been reassigned to double-A Tennessee. Wright had been hitting .278 with one home run and three RBI in six games played.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 15, 2011, 07:10:04 pm
Patrick Mooney
 
The Cubs haven't decided on a 5th starter for Tuesday - Russell/Samardzija a possibility, along with Ortiz or Coello getting a call-up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 15, 2011, 08:07:30 pm
Good news for  the Cubs -  Andrew Cashner has full range of motion & no pain in his right arm. He'll be re-examined Monday
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on April 15, 2011, 11:09:05 pm
I've been out of the country and haven't been following as closely as I might, but why is Fukudome on the bench for the last week? Colvin is hitting .135.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on April 15, 2011, 11:16:00 pm
Garza has sure been a big disappointment so far.  I sure hope he turns it around soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 15, 2011, 11:18:50 pm
Fukudome pulled a hamstring and is day to day.  Hopefully he'll be back soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on April 15, 2011, 11:21:47 pm
Ah - makes sense, thanks BR.  Guess I don't have to write off Quade just yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 15, 2011, 11:57:08 pm
So far, there's lots of room for regret about trading so many of our best prospects for Garza.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on April 16, 2011, 07:00:45 am
So the excuse for his poor performance in the spring was "the ball is too wet."  And his excuse for his poor performance a few weeks ago was "not enough fastballs."  What was it yesterday?  The obvious one is the altitude, so I'm guessing he went with "between the ball and my hand, there was entirely too much leather. I can't have things that leathery."

Sounds about right.

Matt Garza, you are an excellent candidate for the new whipping boy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: albqcubs on April 16, 2011, 07:45:16 am
What I don't understand is why his velocity is down from previous years.  He's not the type of pitcher that can live at 90 mph.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 16, 2011, 08:48:54 am
Garza's average fastball this year is 93.2 mph.  For his career, his average is 93.3 mph.  His velocity is fine.

His BABIP is also ridiculously high at .474.  Once that gets down to where it should be, he'll be fine.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 16, 2011, 08:55:58 am
If the Minnesota Twins decide they need to sign a veteran catcher to replace disabled Joe Mauer, their best bet might be Bengie Molina.   Molina, 36, is a free agent living in Arizona. He turned down an offer from the St. Louis Cardinals this spring because he didn't want to be a backup. Molina's brother, Yadier Molina, is the Cardinals' starting catcher.   Bengie Molina probably could be signed for $2 million.   Bengie split last season between the National League champion San Francisco Giants, for whom he hit .257 with three home runs and 17 RBIs, and the American League champion Texas Rangers, for whom he hit .240 with two homers and 19 RBIs.   From 2007 through 2009 for the Giants, Bengie Molina averaged 18 homers, 86 RBIs and a .275 batting average.
 
Still might be worth a phone call.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 16, 2011, 09:03:46 am
The one thing I notice with Garza is so many of his pitches are up.  br's right that his BABIP should go down, but when everything is set on a tee up in the zone, it's pretty easy for major league hitters to tee off.  Hopefully Garza can get some of those problems solved soon. 

I'm also starting to wonder how good our new throwing coach is.  He doesn't seem to be making a lot of progress with Dempster, Zambrano, and Garza, and those are three guys who seem to have a lot of issues being consistent.  Are those guys listening to someone who's spent the last 15 years in the minor leagues?

I'm at least a little surprised the Cubs couldn't recruit more of a proven pitching coach this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on April 16, 2011, 10:56:54 am
Hey everyone.  Found my way here. 

I have still not watched one pitch of Cubs baseball this year.  (To do so, I need to subscribe to watch games on my computer, as Dishnetwork doesn't have WGN anymore).  I am amazed that I haven't been moved to pull the trigger yet.  Am I missing anything?

So this leaves the following as the highpoint of my season (and perhaps my life as a Cubs fan):  I am checking my email the other night and I have a "friend" request on Facebook from Ernie Banks!  And a nice note saying something along the lines of the world needs more good Cubs fans like you.  (A friend who knows him arranged it).  So I am feeling especially guilty about my Cubs indifference today!  But not enough to abandon "Madmen" (which my wife and I have been watching on DVD) in favor of my favorite team . . . .
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: chifaninva on April 16, 2011, 11:25:53 am
Dishnetwork doesn't have WGN? WTF??
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: chifaninva on April 16, 2011, 11:40:24 am
I just looked, you have to purchase their top 200 to get WGN..
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Coach on April 16, 2011, 11:58:43 am
Dish has WGN America.  Games for the Hawks shown on the "regular" WGN can't be seen in VA however.  When they show the Bulls and Cubs it makes it out here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest61 on April 16, 2011, 12:23:37 pm
Tyler is struggling.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on April 16, 2011, 01:36:24 pm
Am I missing anything?

Come on, East...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on April 16, 2011, 03:35:20 pm
I've been out of the country and haven't been following as closely as I might, but why is Fukudome on the bench for the last week? Colvin is hitting .135.

He's hurt.  A strained leg muscle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 16, 2011, 11:19:38 pm
James Russell

James Russell will start Tuesday against the Padres.


The Cubs were deciding between Russell and Jeff Samardzija for the opening, and it sure says something about the club's confidence in Samardzija that he wasn't picked. Russell made a relief appearance on Saturday night but is still getting the call
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 17, 2011, 07:08:49 am
From the SunTimes:

Just a few days ago, Pena had trouble buttoning a shirt, never mind hitting with power, especially after a throw from third baseman Aramis Ramirez last Sunday aggravated the already-jammed thumb.

The pain was ‘‘excruciating,’’ Pena said, and then he lost sensation in his lower arm while reaching for a throw in the dirt on the next play.


Guess they didn't learn from Lee and Ramirez last year when they tried to play through injuries.  Should've given him 2 weeks off when he initially injured his hand.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: BullingersEars on April 17, 2011, 09:16:22 am
Encouraging game last night after it looked like another one of those abysmal Colorado road trips after game one. Coleman doesn't have first-rate stuff, but can spot his fastball and little slider enough to get by.  Seems like a good athlete and a good kid.  No shame in him being our fifth starter.

A series win would be sweet. Any scoop on the Rockies starter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: BullingersEars on April 17, 2011, 09:25:42 am
To EastCoast's question... you're missing a lot of the same poor outfield defense and situational hitting you've become accustomed to over the years.

What you are missing, however, is the rise of Starlin Castro, who seems to be the best young Cubs infielder since I can't remember...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on April 17, 2011, 09:52:59 am
Encouraging game last night after it looked like another one of those abysmal Colorado road trips after game one. Coleman doesn't have first-rate stuff, but can spot his fastball and little slider enough to get by.  Seems like a good athlete and a good kid.  No shame in him being our fifth starter.

A series win would be sweet. Any scoop on the Rockies starter?

I also was impressed with how good an athlete Coleman appears to be.  He can run, field his position, and handle the bat.  Those are very helpful qualities for a pitcher who doesn't have overwhelming stuff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 17, 2011, 10:01:15 am
All Coleman does is win. You don't have to light up the radar gun if you can pitch.

As for Castro, it's obvious. He's the best Cub infielder since number 14.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on April 17, 2011, 10:28:08 am
Guess they didn't learn from Lee and Ramirez last year when they tried to play through injuries.  Should've given him 2 weeks off when he initially injured his hand.[/color][/size]

Management decisions on such matters have to depend very heavily on feedback from the player himself.  Sometimes players like ARam last year will deny their is any injury when speaking with the manager or trainer, despite the fact that he knows the injury is there, the pain is there, and that his movement, reaction time or flexibility are reduced.  Other times players will not feel a problem or realize there is a problem until there is an actual game situation.

Quade has seemed to be perfectly willing to sit a player when he has a concern about injury.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on April 17, 2011, 12:35:16 pm
Thanks!  Well then I better check him out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 17, 2011, 01:51:07 pm
It's official - James Russell starts Tuesday night against San Diego.  His pitch count  could be as high as 65-75.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 17, 2011, 02:03:26 pm
I think it may be a little soon to decide that Castro will be better than Sandberg was.

It is nice, however, to see a prospect actually produce right away.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 17, 2011, 02:21:56 pm
Wells and Cashner to be evaluated tomorrow; Wells could start a throwing program this week:

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6375959
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 17, 2011, 03:10:41 pm
I think Starlin Castro is the best young Cubs infielder since Ryne Sandberg.

He's the most exciting home-grown offensive talent I've seen since I started following the Cubs in late 1983 when I first received WGN.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on April 17, 2011, 03:26:17 pm
It's official - James Russell starts Tuesday night against San Diego.  His pitch count  could be as high as 65-75.
It's official - James Russell starts Tuesday night against San Diego.  His pitch count  could be as high as 65-75.

In which inning?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 17, 2011, 03:37:03 pm
Nice Sunday afternoon poll on SB Nation:

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/4/17/2116010/sunday-poll-viva-la-revolucion
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 17, 2011, 03:38:37 pm
That's great!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on April 17, 2011, 03:39:49 pm
I think it may be a little soon to decide that Castro will be better than Sandberg was.

At the moment it is still premature to say Castro will be better than even Dunston was, or Kessinger or Beckert or Manny Trillo, but, just to try to put things in perspective...

Castro turned 21 last month and now has 224 career total bases.  That is two years younger than Sandberg reached that number.

Castro had an OPS+ of 97 last year.  Sandberg was five years older before he did that well.

Certainly Castro could tear a ligament, develop eye problems, forget how to recognize a curve ball, decide he should swing for the fence on every pitch, start smoking crack, gain 45 pounds, or set up permanent residence on Rush Street.  Any of that is possible.

But we need to appreciate just how truly special a talent this guy is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on April 17, 2011, 03:40:22 pm
Castro is a Cub.  Somehow he'll still lose that poll.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 17, 2011, 05:38:25 pm
Paul Sullivan:  Carlos Pena now 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Not what you want from your No. 5 hitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on April 17, 2011, 05:55:37 pm
Don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but Castro has opened up his stance and now bears a striking resemblance to Hanley Ramirez at the plate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 18, 2011, 08:08:18 am
(http://www.thecubreporter.com/files/images/Sleeping%20Air%20Traffic%20Controller.jpg)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 18, 2011, 08:09:58 am
Rotation savior Doug Davis gave up 3 runs in 1 2/3 IP against the Giants extended spring training team.

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2011/04/13/davis-debut-spoiled-cutspec
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 18, 2011, 11:21:22 am
Doug Davis was the definition of mediocrity in his prime as a pitcher.  I always anticipated a high scoring game when he started against the Cubs.  Now that he's old and injured, mediocrity is beyond his reach.  If he ever makes the team, it means we are in big trouble.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 18, 2011, 04:45:29 pm
Just noticed two Cubs updates on Rotoworld:

First, Randy Wells played catch today.  No additional information on his status, but that's obviously a step in the right direction from the "not picking up a ball" status of the last two weeks.

Second, and less importantly, Brian Schlitter has been returned to the Cubs due to a pre-existing elbow injury.  The injury voided waiver claims by the Yankees and Phillies...not really sure why it would void a waiver claim.  But whatever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on April 18, 2011, 04:57:59 pm
A pretty sublime stat:

Since last year's all-star break, Starlin Castro is 114-334.

That's .341
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on April 18, 2011, 05:15:35 pm
Second, and less importantly, Brian Schlitter has been returned to the Cubs due to a pre-existing elbow injury.  The injury voided waiver claims by the Yankees and Phillies...not really sure why it would void a waiver claim.  But whatever.

I'm surprised teams such as the Phillies and Yankees would be the two to put in the waiver claims for him.  Why in the world????
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 18, 2011, 05:42:13 pm
Didn't he used to belong to the Phillies?

If so, that would explain their interest.

And Larry Rothschild is the Yankees new pitching coach, so that could explain their interest.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 18, 2011, 07:33:47 pm
But you'd think the Phillies and Rothschild would know first hand how terrible he is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on April 18, 2011, 08:09:06 pm
where in the heck did mr. frowny face with question marks come from?   lol   It wasn't that big a conundrum...or maybe it was and createaforum itself was throwing in its own "what in the world" emoticon as a show of solidarity and support. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 18, 2011, 09:41:05 pm
10% of the season down, and the Cubs are at .500, despite their starting pitching being a disaster.  Their biggest potential strength has been bad, and they've maintained a .500 record.  Top 3 starters have an ERA around 6.00, and the 4 & 5 starters have combined for 11 2/3 IP.  Once the rotation fixes their problem, this team is going to go on a nice streak.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 18, 2011, 09:51:42 pm
Tonight was the top 3 starters' first quality start, correct?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 18, 2011, 09:53:39 pm
No, Zambrano and Garza each had a quality start their first time through.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 18, 2011, 09:56:48 pm
From Jayson Stark:


Big game for the Cubs on Monday. They've been 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 this season. Since they lost Sunday to drop to 7-8. they need to win their next one to tie the franchise record for this sort of thing with Sherriff Blake's 1930 Cubs, who zigzagged all the way to 8-8 before they got mixed up and won seven in a row.

Let's repeat that.  Let's see 6-7 more wins in a row.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 18, 2011, 09:58:34 pm
Oh, right, duh.

I forgot that Garza's first start was a quality start because all I can remember about it is he gave up a ton of hits and got a ton of strike outs and the Cubs bullpen blew the game late.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 18, 2011, 10:00:11 pm
I would be on board for a 7-game winning streak, br.

If the starters could get their **** together...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 19, 2011, 12:52:40 pm

From Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times.


Batting from the lower part of the order, Soriano has quietly led the team in homers, RBI and slugging percentage, even without going on one of his patented torrid hitting streaks.

The stolen-bases side of his 40-40 history is long gone, but the early going this season could be a glimpse of power and run production to come.

Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo said he sees renewed confidence in Soriano and improved lower-half hitting mechanics that are allowing him to be in a better hitting position sooner and to see the ball longer.

That’s one of the reasons Soriano is second on the team with nearly four pitches per plate appearance (3.88) and is hitting more balls to the middle and the other way.

He gave the Cubs an early lead Saturday night in Colorado with a run-scoring double to the left-field gap, then followed with a solo homer to deep right in the sixth.

‘‘I feel totally different than last year, especially because I’m not worried about my knee,’’ Soriano said.

He’s 19 months removed from meniscus surgery.

‘‘I feel stronger,’’ said Soriano, 35, who put on noticeable upper-body muscle since last season. ‘‘And I’m seeing the ball better and swinging at strikes. That’s the key.’’

He didn’t hit his fifth homer or drive in his 12th RBI until May last season.

And largely because of injuries, his game totals in four seasons with the Cubs have been 135, 109, 117 and 147. He has said more than once that his 24 homers in 496 at-bats last year make him optimistic he’ll have a big power year if he can get closer to 550 at-bats.

At his current pace, 550 at-bats would produce 53 homers.

Meanwhile, manager Mike Quade says he’s open to considering a move up the batting order, depending on how Soriano’s season progresses.

‘‘That doesn’t matter for me,’’ Soriano said. ‘‘The most important thing for me is I want to be in the lineup — 5-6-7, doesn’t matter to me. I just want to do something to help the team win.’’

I certainly don't expect Soriano to hit 50 HRs, but to the extent that there are specific reasons for his performance so far this year (better lower-body mechanics, feeling more confident, stronger), that is a source of encouragement. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 19, 2011, 01:49:39 pm
 a revtialized Soriano can't be a bad thing at the plate and if his outfield miscues can be reduced significantly I'm a happy Cubs fan
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 19, 2011, 02:09:14 pm
They need a good offensive season out of him so they can trade him to an AL team in the offseason.  He's pretty much done as a fielder.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 19, 2011, 02:35:32 pm
They need a good offensive season out of him so they can trade him to an AL team in the offseason.  He's pretty much done as a fielder.

I'm sure the Cubs and Soriano would find that scenario mutually acceptable
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 19, 2011, 03:40:15 pm
Congrats to Kosuke Fukudome.   He and his wife had a baby girl today, their second child
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 19, 2011, 03:42:50 pm
nice
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 19, 2011, 03:49:30 pm
Congrats!

Here's hoping her name isn't Anita.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 19, 2011, 04:08:12 pm
I've been trying to avoid work some this afternoon by looking at some all-time stats.  One thing that really struck me is how historically great Zambrano is at hitting home runs.  He's already 10th all time among pitchers with 22 homers, and he's still 29 years old.  Wes Ferrell is #1 with 38 homers...If Z pitches another 8-10 years in the NL, there's at least a 50/50 chance he'll catch that.

What really makes it amazing is that Zambrano is the only pitcher from this era who is anywhere close (Mike Hampton is the only other pitcher from the last 20 years or so in the top 20).  All the others did it in an era when pitchers were in many more games and got many more ABs.  It would actually surprise me if Zambrano wasn't #1 all time in HR per AB for pitchers.

As JR pointed out this morning, he's not truly a good hitter, just excellent for a pitcher.  Still, I have to wonder just how much value his bat adds.  Last year, the NL average OPS for a pitcher was .353.  If he pitches like a #2 starter and he posts an OPS in the range of his career average (.639), does that make him as valuable as a typical ace?  I mean, .300 points of OPS is huge, even if it's only over ~80 AB.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 19, 2011, 05:03:19 pm
On Intentional Talk this afternoon, they mentioned that Atlanta is 0-for-50 out of the #9 spot in their order, which includes pitchers and pinch-hitters and hitters double-switched into the batting order.

That's just wild.

If the NL ever goes to the DH, I wonder if they would consider make it optional, where the home team could elect to have the pitchers hit.

Having a pitcher like Carlos Zambrano could really give the Cubs an actual home field advantage.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 19, 2011, 05:07:50 pm
How many pitchers who could have cranked a few home runs never got the chance because they were in the AL?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 19, 2011, 05:08:46 pm
And I wonder how many Ankiel would have had if it wasn't for his problem.   I can still remember thinking Wood and Ankiel would have a decade of battles.  Yeah.  Right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 19, 2011, 06:13:52 pm
Just read that Wells and Cashner will both start a throwing program this Friday.  Wells says he expects to be back in about 2 weeks.  Cashner's rehab is expected to be about 2 weeks longer than Wells' is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 19, 2011, 06:26:19 pm
good news...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 19, 2011, 06:28:58 pm
Three.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: ben on April 19, 2011, 11:43:57 pm
Ankiel had a fabulous arm and, seemingly, All-Star future on the hill before he imploded in that playoff game.   Very strange situation.   

It's a tremendous credit to the kid that he worked his way back as an everyday player and has carved out a very nice big league career for himself.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 20, 2011, 07:56:30 am
... with a little help from his friendly chemist.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 20, 2011, 09:14:05 am
The Cubs have had discussions with the Nationals regarding Marlon Byrd.

http://www.bleachernation.com/category/chicago-cubs-rumors/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 20, 2011, 09:27:52 am
The Cubs have had discussions with the Nationals regarding Marlon Byrd.

http://www.bleachernation.com/category/chicago-cubs-rumors/ (http://www.bleachernation.com/category/chicago-cubs-rumors/)

Even though there is certainly some logic to this report, I'm skeptical. If it is true, the Nationals would seem to have some prospect depth, so perhaps something good could come from it ... if Jackson is truly ready for the majors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 20, 2011, 09:38:49 am
It looks like Cubs revenue will be way down this year.  Losing Byrd's salary could be a factor too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 20, 2011, 09:42:08 am
But, but, but...he's our #3 hitter!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 20, 2011, 09:47:11 am
LOL  Maybe that's Hendry's way of getting Quade to stop using him at #3, trading him.  LOL

I still remember some of the stories where GM's have traded people to get their managers to stop using them.  Used to happen to Dusty in SF and it's happened to LaRussa in St. Louis by Jocketty. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 20, 2011, 09:54:54 am
 ::)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 20, 2011, 09:57:07 am
I agree, Steve, yet, even in bad weather Cub fans have been supportive.  Fans around here that I talk to are very lukewarm on the Cubs this year.  They have a very HUGE wait and see attitude.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 20, 2011, 09:57:52 am
They still sold 36000 tickets for Monday nights game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 20, 2011, 10:00:14 am
I doubt there is really anything to this...the Nationals are probably just calling around to everyone who might have an excess outfielder.

Still, it might not be a bad idea.  It gives us a month or two to let Colvin prove himself, and then Jackson can come up as soon as he's ready.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 20, 2011, 10:01:23 am
shheesh...I meant to edit my comment to include the loss of Wells/Cashner to injury and the need for a turn around of Demps/Garza's performances but I hit the icon thing and bam! I lost my original comment somehow...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 20, 2011, 10:08:29 am
It's okay, Steve.  Want me to just go and delete all your posts?  Let me know if I can help.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 20, 2011, 10:10:06 am
LOL...probably improve the flow of commentary...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on April 20, 2011, 02:22:44 pm
Just read that Wells and Cashner will both start a throwing program this Friday.  Wells says he expects to be back in about 2 weeks.  Cashner's rehab is expected to be about 2 weeks longer than Wells' is.

Will the program involve towels?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 21, 2011, 08:57:38 am
Looks like the NL West did a couple years ago

CentralWLPCTGBL10STRKHOMEROADLAST GAMENEXT GAME
Chi Cubs (http://cubs.com/index.jsp)99.500-5-5L15-44-54/20 vs SD, L 4-54/22 vs LAD, 2:20 PM
Cincinnati (http://reds.com/index.jsp)99.500-3-7L46-63-34/20 vs ARI, L 1-34/21 vs ARI, 12:35 PM
Milwaukee (http://brewers.com/index.jsp)99.500-6-4L15-24-74/20 @ PHI, L 3-44/22 vs HOU, 8:10 PM
St. Louis (http://cardinals.com/index.jsp)99.500-7-3W13-56-44/20 vs WSH, W 5-34/21 vs WSH, 1:45 PM
Pittsburgh (http://pirates.com/index.jsp)810.4441.03-7L21-57-54/20 @ FLA, L 0-64/21 @ FLA, 7:10 PM
Houston (http://astros.com/index.jsp)711.3892.06-4W24-63-54/20 @ NYM, W 4-34/21 @ NYM, 7:10 PM
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 21, 2011, 09:58:39 am
Pittsburgh and Houston need to get with it.  There could be a 6 way tie!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 21, 2011, 10:07:26 am
In the AL East 3 games separates the Yankees from everybody else - except the Red Sox, who are 4.5  games back.  And Tampa Bay, in second place, has the same record as the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on April 21, 2011, 10:08:52 am
Pittsburgh and Houston need to get with it.  There could be a 6 way tie!

The NL Central is the very definition of mediocre.  So far, the Cubs fit in nicely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 21, 2011, 10:10:02 am
The NL Central is the very definition of mediocre.  So far, the Cubs fit in nicely.

Kinda like the AL East.   ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 21, 2011, 10:34:18 am
Jes - now that the Cubs are in first place, I imagine you are quite concerned about our bet.  Tell you what.  Being the good guy that I am, I am willing to let you buy out of the bet for just 9 steak dinners.

Let me know.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 21, 2011, 10:49:10 am
Jes - now that the Cubs are in first place, I imagine you are quite concerned about our bet.  Tell you what.  Being the good guy that I am, I am willing to let you buy out of the bet for just 9 steak dinners.

Let me know.
who wouldn't take that deal?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on April 21, 2011, 10:58:17 am
Heh, isn't it great to be following a first-place team? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 21, 2011, 12:34:24 pm
Just think how good the Cubs could be if they weren't throwing in the towel every fifth game by starting James Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 21, 2011, 02:47:25 pm
Any recent word on Cashner and Wells?

By the way, the word on Guzman seems to be promising.  I had really written him off.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 21, 2011, 07:08:11 pm
Interesting stat

The Cubs are 5-8 vs righties and 4-1 vs lefties
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 21, 2011, 07:12:10 pm
CSN article on Cashner.....


http://www.csnchicago.com/04/20/11/Pain-free-Cashners-optimistic-about-reco/landing_insider_mooney_loud3r.html?blockID=507846&feedID=619
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on April 21, 2011, 07:15:47 pm
Does the article touch on the fact that Cashner is a horrible pitcher and yet another wasted draft pick?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 21, 2011, 07:20:08 pm
Does the article touch on the fact that Cashner is a horrible pitcher and yet another wasted draft pick?
no, just update on his physical condition...check it out
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 22, 2011, 09:37:15 am
Jay Jackson pitched 5 innings and threw 70 pitches in his start yesterday.  That means that he's as stretched out as Russell...maybe he should get a shot the next time through the rotation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 22, 2011, 09:47:35 am
Jay Jackson pitched 5 innings and threw 70 pitches in his start yesterday.  That means that he's as stretched out as Russell...maybe he should get a shot the next time through the rotation.
Didn't Jay Jackson just return to the Iowa roster yesterday?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on April 22, 2011, 10:06:27 am
Correct, Jackson returned to action yesterday, was strong for three, then struggled I think for his last inning or two. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 22, 2011, 11:27:01 am
He's not ready.  Give him some time. 

If we'd done that with Samardzjia, he might be an effective pitcher today.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 22, 2011, 03:47:45 pm
Casey Coleman now has a 7.43 ERA, and James Russell now has an 8.00 ERA.

If the Cubs traded Gorzelanny because Ricketts was too cheap to find an extra $2 million to keep him, it almost has to make you question ownership's commitment to win at least a little bit.  And if it was made because Hendry thought those two junkballers were just as good, he made a really dumb decision. 

Either way, that trade doesn't reflect well on somebody in the Cubs organization.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 22, 2011, 04:48:10 pm
Gorzelanny has an ERA of 5.63.  It's not as if he was tearing up the AL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 22, 2011, 05:45:39 pm
When did he pitch in the AL?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 22, 2011, 05:58:57 pm
Fukudome has 14 hits and 9 walks this year...but somehow has only scored 1 run.  That sounds impossible.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on April 22, 2011, 06:16:08 pm
If the Cubs lose tomorrow, their streak of never being more than one game from .500, and of always breaking even in the next game every time they stray one game up or down, will come to an end.

Their distinction of never having had either a winning or losing streak longer than two games will also be gone.  I don't think it's mathematically possible to always be within one game of .500 but never have a three-game streak of any kind.  Doing it would change your over/under-.500 balance by three, meaning that you'd have to be at least two over or under at some point.

So the Cubs really need to win tomorrow to keep all these oddities going.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 22, 2011, 06:25:55 pm
Other boards have pointed out how well Fukudome, Castro, and Barney have been doing getting on base, yet the team doesn't score.  Of course we all know that the #3 batter doesn't matter so I'll drop it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 22, 2011, 08:47:29 pm
Other boards have pointed out how well Fukudome, Castro, and Barney have been doing getting on base, yet the team doesn't score.  Of course we all know that the #3 batter doesn't matter so I'll drop it.

Barney's getting to the point where he's not great at getting on base.  His OBP is now down to .338.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 22, 2011, 08:51:43 pm
Sorry - Washington Nats
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 22, 2011, 08:55:25 pm
Gorzelanny has an ERA of 5.63.  It's not as if he was tearing up the AL.

Actually it's at 4.96.  Still not great, but a lot better than Coleman and Russell. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 22, 2011, 09:53:43 pm
Sorry - Washington Nats

I really wasn't trying to be a smart guy, Dave.  I was honestly trying to figure out when Tom Gorzelanny pitched in the American League. 

Then I realized you were around when Washington was in the American League.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 22, 2011, 09:55:19 pm
Heck, DaveP was around when Washington was alive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on April 22, 2011, 10:02:21 pm
Casey Coleman now has a 7.43 ERA, and James Russell now has an 8.00 ERA.  If the Cubs traded Gorzelanny because Ricketts was too cheap to find an extra $2 million to keep him, it almost has to make you question ownership's commitment to win at least a little bit.  And if it was made because Hendry thought those two junkballers were just as good, he made a really dumb decision. 

Not to pick on JR... but.... this is a prime example of  one of the reasons the Cubs generally suck.

Too many fans are unwilling to accept the growing pains which are generally associated with developing talent, particularly pitching.  While it is entirely possible neither Russell nor Coleman will ever be worth a damn, it is also entirely possible that one or both would be nice middle of the rotation starters for several years, several inexpensive years.  Gorz is never going to be an ace, is a good deal older than they are, and is not likely to be much better than expensive average.  Having him on the team and starting every 5th day might mean a few more wins this season, but the Cubs are not going anywhere this season anyway, and having him start this season simply further delays finding out whether Russell or Coleman can contribute in the future.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 22, 2011, 10:35:27 pm
Ok, Jes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on April 23, 2011, 04:20:10 am
Actually, Jesbeard is right.      :-\
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 23, 2011, 09:00:00 am
James Russell - R - Cubs

James Russell hasn't been ruled out to make Tuesday's start.

The Cubs want to replace Russell in the rotation, but the problem is that they might not have any better options. Of the other candidates, Ramon Ortiz gave up three runs and seven hits in three innings in his last outing, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Thomas Diamond sport ERAs of 7.31 and 8.78, respectively. ‘‘Everything is on the table,’’ manager Mike Quade said. ‘‘I have to sit down with
[general manager Jim Hendry] and [assistant GM Randy Bush]. I’ll talk to [Iowa manager] Bill Dancy and the minor-league guys. They have a better feel than I do [of their pitchers].’’
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 23, 2011, 09:10:52 am
Jeff Stevens to Iowa.  Justin Berg called up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 23, 2011, 09:13:02 am
Justin Berg...Ugh.  Stevens could be more effective coming off his 90 pitch outing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 23, 2011, 09:41:43 am
Like last year, the Cubs certainly aren't getting a lot of help from their farm system arms so far.  Mateo, Stevens, Russell, Samardzija, and Coleman have all been awful.

I'm still a little bewildered why Mateo is having as much trouble as he has, though.  He has some really really good stuff, and he has a 10.8 K/9 IP ratio.  I think he must be going through a stretch of bad luck so far.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 23, 2011, 09:59:43 am
Like last year, the Cubs certainly aren't getting a lot of help from their farm system arms so far.  Mateo, Stevens, Russell, Samardzija, and Coleman have all been awful.

I'm still a little bewildered why Mateo is having as much trouble as he has, though.  He has some really really good stuff, and he has a 10.8 K/9 IP ratio.  I think he must be going through a stretch of bad luck so far.

Mateo seems to do well until the first base runner reaches.  Then he says "here we go again" and tightens up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 23, 2011, 10:17:46 am
Is that the first he goes out of the stretch or is he always in the stretch?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 23, 2011, 10:32:36 am
When one or two pitchers get out of whack it's on them.  When the majority of the staff goes south, it's on the pitching coach.

Letting Rothschild walk was a really bad move.  I wonder if there was more to it than just an opportunity with the Yankees. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 23, 2011, 12:55:02 pm
This is kind of humorous

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/article_27272822-6cf5-11e0-acc6-0019bb30f31a.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 23, 2011, 03:06:39 pm
I think at least some of the problems the bullpen has had recently can be linked to starting a fringe reliever for three weeks.

They have to cover five or six innings every time James Russell goes out there and that's just too much to ask of any bullpen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on April 23, 2011, 05:25:56 pm
Castro once again leads the majors in hits.

Billy Williams tied for the ML lead in hits with Pete Rose in 1970. Outside of that, the last Cub to lead the Majors in hits was Billy Herman in '35.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on April 23, 2011, 05:29:37 pm
Maybe I've missed it, but has anyone else noticed Kerry Wood has pitched once, facing one hitter, over the past 10 days?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 23, 2011, 05:49:40 pm
That doesn't sound right.  I thought he pitched a complete inning this week.  OTOH, he was held back as the closer a time or two as if Russell was going to need a closer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 23, 2011, 05:55:33 pm
Quade joked after the game that Kerry was in line for a start.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on April 23, 2011, 06:27:31 pm
Surely Wood would last as long as Russell can.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 23, 2011, 06:27:54 pm
and probably do better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 23, 2011, 06:28:27 pm
I think they should try Grabow as a starter.  At least he'd be limiting his damage to one day in five.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest61 on April 24, 2011, 02:29:59 pm
Who told you all that Starlin was ready for the majors?

My bet is Brett Jackson probably is too.

He's the leadoff man we sorely lack.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest61 on April 24, 2011, 02:45:32 pm
I really do hate to see Tyler Colvin struggle so much.

He's too talented to be a career AAA guy.

My bet is he does come out of it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 24, 2011, 05:13:56 pm
Who told you all that Starlin was ready for the majors?


Actually...a lot of good baseball people did.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 25, 2011, 12:25:00 am
 (http://imgsrv.gocomics.com/dim/?fh=0063271eab0fa1023a7292e949defd54) (http://imgsrv.gocomics.com/dim/?fh=0063271eab0fa1023a7292e949defd54&w=450.0)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on April 25, 2011, 06:17:12 am
I don't know who that guy was yesterday but he did a pretty cool rendition.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 25, 2011, 01:59:57 pm
Phil Rogers

Have you noticed a lot of people running on Geo Soto? Even though he has thrown out a respectable 32 percent of runners trying to steal, teams keep challenging him. Teams have attempted 28 steals against him, more than any other catcher in the majors so far. You can partly write it off because they've played teams that like to run -- the Padres and Diamondbacks, especially -- but a scout adds another reason. Soto is either favoring a less-than-perfect shoulder or has gotten into a bad habit of slinging the ball to second base from a three-quarters arm slot, which is causing a lot of his throws to sail toward right field. The Cubs' starting pitchers are reasonably quick to the plate but teams look to run on the bullpen, especially Jeff Samardzija.    

The scout Rogers cites may be on to something.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 25, 2011, 02:06:08 pm
Geo's not off to a good start offensively either.  Hopefully there isn't some kind of injury.

Then again, it's Phil Rogers, so his "scout" might have been some 7 year old kid he was sitting beside at the game or Ryan Freel's old friend Farney.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 25, 2011, 02:18:39 pm
I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Cub pitchers can't hold a runner on worth snot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 25, 2011, 02:19:32 pm
Or that Cub pitchers have been giving up a ton of runners so far too.
 
The Cubs pitching staff is dead last in all of MLB in OBP allowed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 25, 2011, 02:22:12 pm
Cubs pitchers not named Carlos Zambrano simply don't hold runners close.

It's a miracle that Geovany Soto can throw out anyone trying to steal considering that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 25, 2011, 02:25:41 pm
Zambrano is great holding players close to the base.  Just about everyone else stinks at it.  Soto seems to be throwing quite well so far this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 25, 2011, 02:46:16 pm
No matter how well the pitching staff is doing at holding runners, a higher percentage of Geo's throws than normal do seem to be going a little high and wide right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 25, 2011, 02:53:15 pm
The Cubs are batting .282, second best in the Majors behind the Cardinals. But Chicago’s .243 average with runners in scoring position ranks 11th in the NL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 25, 2011, 03:21:03 pm
The thing about the Cubs' hitting is that it's feast or famine.  The hitters in the top half of the lineup--Castro, Fukudome, Barney, and Ramirez--are getting on base constantly.  They're not hitting for power, but their collective OBP has to be somewhere around .400.

Unfortunately, the bottom of the lineup is doing nothing outside of a few Soriano homers.  Pena and Soto aren't hitting for power, and their OBPs are well below where they need to be.  Soriano is hitting a bunch of homers, but his OBP is awful.  Colvin and Byrd are adding no value in any way.  Do the 5-8 hitters have a collective OBP over .300?  I'm kind of doubtful.

It's hard to score a lot of runs when you have so many guys who can't extend innings or knock the ball out of the ballpark.  When the top half of the lineup strings together 3 or 4 singles, they still only come away with 2 runs, tops.  And then you have 4 guys who are close to automatic outs.  It's just not a recipe for scoring often, which is why their run scoring is so far behind some of their other stats.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on April 25, 2011, 03:39:38 pm
If the top of the line-up can continue getting on base I would think the power will start to come as the weather heats up.  This has been a brutal "spring" so far in northern IL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 25, 2011, 03:53:34 pm
Ominous sign for the future, but there are only four teams in baseball with a worse run differential than the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 25, 2011, 03:57:14 pm
True, but run differential early doesn't mean that much.  I mean, can't about 90% of the differential be attributed to Russell's first start in Houston and Coleman's most recent start?  Get both of those guys out of the rotation and the future looks much better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on April 25, 2011, 08:02:47 pm
Nobody look at who is leading in run differential.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 25, 2011, 08:07:28 pm
Just like most stats, run differential is next to meaningless this early in the season.  Check it again in a month or two.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 26, 2011, 09:42:59 am
Cubs are 13th in the NL in RISP.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/39/league/nl/sort/avg/order/true (http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/39/league/nl/sort/avg/order/true)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 26, 2011, 09:46:11 am
Cubs are 13th in the NL in RISP.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/39/league/nl/sort/avg/order/true (http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/39/league/nl/sort/avg/order/true)
While they are second in batting average.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 26, 2011, 10:19:28 am
And they lead the league in frustrating.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on April 26, 2011, 12:52:11 pm
It's astounding how Pena is killing the offense.  His overall OPS is .492 with no HRs.  His OPS with runners in scoring position is .480.  Historically, he hits better in hot weather but in the meantime he has been brutal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on April 26, 2011, 01:15:20 pm
It's astounding how Pena is killing the offense.  His overall OPS is .492 with no HRs.  His OPS with runners in scoring position is .480.  Historically, he hits better in hot weather but in the meantime he has been brutal.

Historically (recent history) he has sucked.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 26, 2011, 02:12:43 pm
Since we were talking about run differentials yesterday:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/9666/early-run-differentials-can-be-misleading
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 26, 2011, 03:15:33 pm
I thought it was good risk to take, signing Pena for one year.  But it's increasingly looking like it is not going to work out well.  Maybe we'll all be wrong, but I doubt it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 26, 2011, 03:26:40 pm
I thought it was good risk to take, signing Pena for one year.  But it's increasingly looking like it is not going to work out well.  Maybe we'll all be wrong, but I doubt it.

It might be better in the long run if the Cardinals and Albert Pujols part ways.

(never gonna happen)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 27, 2011, 06:27:14 am
This is one sloppy mess of a team Hendry has put together.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 27, 2011, 09:10:46 am
Well right after I thought Barney was falling back to earth and I thought Quade was slow on the ball to drop him down in the order, he goes 8 for his next 19 with a homer.  You would think I would have learned my lesson about being skeptical of whether he can keep things going.
 
Still, he's almost going to have to hit a decline sooner or later and fall back to his pedestrian minor league numbers.  The one thing that made me have some hope that he may have found a new level of offensive ability was his remarkable contact rate at the start of the season, when he struck out only once in his first 29 AB and 3 K's in his first 50 AB. 
 
Since then, his BB rate (5% BB rate in 2011 vs. 4.8% BB rate in 2010 Iowa) and K rate (12% in 2011 vs. 10% in 2010) are back in line with his minor league numbers.  His percentage of extra base hits to total hits is roughly the same (19% in 2011 vs. 21% in 2010), so I'm doubtful Camp Colvin is having a big effect on his numbers.  Also, it's been 47 AB since he's last drawn a walk. 
 
I'm just having a lot of trouble buying into the idea he's for real and that he's going to remain an offensive asset the rest of the year.  Hopefully this is one of those posts that will get reposted and we can all laugh over when Barney makes the All-Star team and wins the Rookie of the Year award, but I don't see how he's going to keep things going.  I still have to think we likely have a guy who's more of a .690-.710 OPS hitter who's just playing out of his mind right now.   
 
As if the Cubs haven't looked mediocre enough, things are only going to get worse once Barney likely remembers he's not much of a hitter.  Guys like Geo, Byrd, and Pena need to pick things up.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on April 27, 2011, 09:18:09 am
I think there is enough that has been demonstrably bad about the Cubs offense without projecting failure for someone who has actually performed well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 27, 2011, 09:34:17 am
Come on, PlayTwo, can't you find something negative in everything?  I mean it is already 1/8 of the way through the season and the Cubs are already out of the running, 2 full games back in the division.  What kind of BBF Cub fan are you anyway?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on April 27, 2011, 12:51:12 pm
JR, while it may not be substantially reflected in XBH, perhaps Camp Colvin strength is helping Barney's ground balls and line drives to be hit a little more authoritatively, resulting in a real and sustainable boost in BABIP.  A hard ground ball has a better chance of getting through the infield than a softer one. 

A second possibility (I doubt it's really true) might be lefty splits.  I'm not sure how his minor-league splits were.  And I don't know that it's true, but I have a hypothesis that perhaps big-league teams use more LHP.   If he's got strong splits versus LHP, perhaps seeing more LHP in the majors helps him? 

3.  His overall minor league profile is representative:  low K's, low walks, low power, lives off his BA.  But to some degree looking at his .708 minor-league OPS may be misleading.  2008 Daytona was his first full-season year, .682.  Perhaps not surprisingly a lower OPS.  The next year he promoted to AA but then got further promoted to Iowa, .634.  Maybe the real settled Barney is better represented by the .769 and .711 that he showed at Tenn in 09 and Iowa 10? 

4. If he "reverted" to the  .711-.769 range that he showed at Iowa and Tenn the last two years, would that be problematic?  I would suggest that if he was able to sustain in the .711-.769 OPS range over the long haul, while playing a stellar defensive 2B and being an alert small-ball and situational player offensively, that might be pretty satisfactory for a long-term regular 2B. 

I'm not expecting him to end up at .325 batting average or with an .800 slugging percentage.  But I'm not sure that he might not settle out as a .290+ hitter and be a good value as a regular 2B.  Entering the year, I never considered him as more than a potential utility guy.  But now I think he's earned consideration as a long-term regular 2B. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on April 27, 2011, 05:49:37 pm
So far, Barney has an OBP of .310 and an OPS of .698 vs RHP.  He is 7-12 vs LHP with an OBP of .615 and an OPS of 1.365.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 27, 2011, 07:47:45 pm
The Cubs are murdering lefties.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 27, 2011, 08:34:43 pm
and to dogpile on Hendry, Gorzzzelanny with another quality start for Washington.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on April 27, 2011, 09:34:19 pm
This is Kosuke's career line for April:  356-464-544.  His career OPS+ in April is 156.  That's in 345 plate appearances too.   

A 156 OPS+ is better than the overall career OPS+ of Aaron, Mays, DiMaggio, Ott (all at 155), F.Robinson (154) and Honus Wagner (150).

Too bad it's a long season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on April 27, 2011, 09:44:07 pm
I'm not crazy about how Quade is moving Castro around in the lineup.  Sure, the exact spot that a guy hits is overrated and probably not a big deal but I'm concerned that Quade is making the classic mistake that bad managers make (not saying that Quade is a bad manager.....yet):  taking his best players and moving them around to accommodate the lesser players. 

The better players should be placed where they are most comfortable, let them do their thing because they are the most valuable and important, and move around the lesser players because, well, they are the lesser players.  They are less important than the big guys doing what they do.

Instead, Quade is batting Castro leadoff one day, third another day, second the other day.  Leave the kid alone and let him do his thing.

Not to pick on Quade, who is not the problem, really, but I can't recall a manager in some time who makes so few in-game moves.  He lets the starting pitcher stay in the game until he absolutely, positively proves he cannot get anybody out; he lets the pitcher hit when ought to make a move, he doesn't pinch hit for a righty to get a platoon advantage. Quade seems alert sitting in the dugout, I don't know......do something.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 27, 2011, 09:47:22 pm
and to dogpile on Hendry, Gorzzzelanny with another quality start for Washington.

Yeah 3.97 ERA now. 

Either Hendry or Ricketts needs to be dogpiled on that.  If $2 million was way too much money to keep a quality pitcher, that one's on Ricketts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 27, 2011, 09:57:15 pm
Not to pick on Quade, who is not the problem, really, but I can't recall a manager in some time who makes so few in-game moves.  He lets the starting pitcher stay in the game until he absolutely, positively proves he cannot get anybody out; he lets the pitcher hit when ought to make a move, he doesn't pinch hit for a righty to get a platoon advantage. Quade seems alert sitting in the dugout, I don't know......do something.

Probably the area where he does too much is mixing and matching relievers when he finally does pull a starter out of the game.  He burns through relievers (and using a lot of mediocre relievers instead of using good ones like Marshall for a full inning) to get one or two outs a lot more than to my liking. 

But like you say, I don't think Quade is the problem right now.  I honestly don't think he's doing a lot to enhance the team's performance, other than choosing Barney to start at second over the vets and probably being fortunate that he's hitting well ahead of his career norms right now.  But I don't think he's doing a lot of terrible, incompetent stuff either that's costing us a lot of games . . . stuff we saw a lot of from Dusty, Lou the last two years, Baylor, Riggleman, etc.

He's not really a difference making manager either way I don't think.  At least that's my early impression.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 27, 2011, 10:01:47 pm
By the way, nice to see you found your way over here Reb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on April 27, 2011, 10:18:01 pm
Thanks JR.  Nice to see that the group is together.

Regarding the discussion about James Russell--I think that the brass is impressed by Russell's make-up and demeanor.  The guy gives up a homer, you look at him, and you'd never know that he gave up a homer (well, unless you look at the scoreboard). 

I'm never been a fan of the guy. 

Maybe Jay Jackson gets  called up for the Monday start?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robert L on April 27, 2011, 10:23:54 pm
has FDISK been on yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 27, 2011, 10:26:16 pm
We should make a list of people missing and then send out emails.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 27, 2011, 10:30:53 pm
FDISK is not on the member list, but several of his friends are, including me, so when he's ready, he'll find us.

I want to tell you guys...we didn't lose many.  There are over 100 members listed, many of them lurkers.  They stuck with us. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robert L on April 27, 2011, 10:34:57 pm
thanks CurtOne 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on April 28, 2011, 12:29:52 am
I'm here, but mostly lurking. I'm down to reading Cubs In '11 and On The Farm, with an occassional post-game glimpse at Today's Game. It's not the new board, it's the mediocre performances. I thought $10 million for Pena was outlandish ($3 or $4 would have been market value, IMHO) when Hendry signed him, and haven't seen or heard anything yet that's changed my mind.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on April 28, 2011, 07:46:32 am
I'm here, but mostly lurking. I'm down to reading Cubs In '11 and On The Farm, with an occassional post-game glimpse at Today's Game. It's not the new board, it's the mediocre performances. I thought $10 million for Pena was outlandish ($3 or $4 would have been market value, IMHO) when Hendry signed him, and haven't seen or heard anything yet that's changed my mind.

I think the posters are actually performing quite well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 28, 2011, 08:29:07 am
P2 with his left coast slant again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on April 28, 2011, 09:17:33 am
Bruce Miles:

Several players are suffering home run droughts of varying lengths. To wit:
• Marlon Byrd has not homered since Sept. 6, 2010.
• Carlos Pena has not homered since Sept. 28, 2010.
• Jeff Baker, who has hit well overall, hasn’t hit a homer since April 8.
• Tyler Colvin, who was in Wednesday’s scheduled lineup, has not hit a home run since April 12.
• Another power hitter, Aramis Ramirez, homered last on April 6.
• And Geovany Soto hasn’t homered since April 8.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 28, 2011, 09:20:35 am
And Soriano is on a pace to hit only 56 home runs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on April 28, 2011, 09:51:56 am
That's very selfish of him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jimmer on April 28, 2011, 11:23:02 am
This is Kosuke's career line for April:  356-464-544.  His career OPS+ in April is 156.  That's in 345 plate appearances too.   

A 156 OPS+ is better than the overall career OPS+ of Aaron, Mays, DiMaggio, Ott (all at 155), F.Robinson (154) and Honus Wagner (150).

Too bad it's a long season.

A guaranteed bar bet question winner.  For the last two seasons, Is Fukodome's 2nd half OPS higher or lower than his 1st half OPS?

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 28, 2011, 12:31:56 pm
It's higher.

Actually, Carlos Pena homered in the playoffs last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on April 28, 2011, 09:16:11 pm
What dufus-communist-jackoff put this current coaching squad together? I think we have been cheated. This is one lousy squad of players and coaches.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on April 29, 2011, 06:48:56 am
You guys still watching this team?  This is the most apathetic I have felt as a Cub fan ever.  The only thing worth watching on this team is Castro and Barney and that isn't even enough.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 29, 2011, 08:10:46 am
One of the things a lot of us have counted on for overcoming the slow start to this season was the rotation returning to form, with Garza, Zambrano, and Dempster getting things turned around and Wells and Cashner coming back from injury.

After watching him last night, I don't see Dempster coming around any time soon, and that's going to be a huge setback for the rest of the season if he's not able to get things righted.  He's a complete mess, and I think he may even be hurt.  When a normally low to mid 90's pitcher is sitting at 86-89 on the fastball and hanging sliders up there like it's tee-ball, something's probably wrong.

To me, it's looking like this is going to be a lost season for him.  I don't think I can stomach much more of the likes of Coleman, Russell, Doug Davis, Thomas Diamond, etc., but Dempster probably needs to be on the DL . . . even if it's for some phantom injury.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 29, 2011, 08:24:27 am
Where have you gone Larry Rothschild?

Cubs nation turns it's lonely eyes to...Mark Riggins????????
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 29, 2011, 08:28:38 am
Cubs nation turns it's lonely eyes to...Mark Riggins????????

Carlos Silva might have been right about that guy.  All I ever see him doing while our pitchers are walking people and tossing batting practice is just sitting around chewing on his sunflower seeds and scratching his crotch.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 29, 2011, 08:33:27 am
By the way, speaking of Doug Davis, I thought he would already be pitching for Iowa by now.  I wonder what's going on with him.

Also, I never thought things would be so bad that I'd be interested in when Doug Davis might be ready to pitch for this team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on April 29, 2011, 08:46:22 am
Where's Okie?  He made me subscribe to mlb.com to watch Castro!  :)  Seriously, this is just awful.  What are the Ricketts thinking?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 29, 2011, 08:54:31 am
This team appears to be ready to replace the Pirates as the bottom dweller of the Central.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 29, 2011, 10:09:59 am
Who hired Riggins?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 29, 2011, 10:16:18 am
Wouldn't be surprised if this guy is starting for the Cubs on Monday, assuming the Yankees cut ties with him today or tomorrow.  Not saying I'd recommend it (there's a pretty good chance Russell is better at this point), but it's someone who is stretched out and has had major league success as recently as 2009.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/28/kevin-millwood-rocked-at-triple-a-done-with-yankees/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on April 29, 2011, 10:19:19 am
Millwood? really?... hmmmm... Must be a quality,quality guy....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 29, 2011, 10:24:00 am
Yeah I doubt Millwood would be much of an improvement either.  This article says he's only been hitting around 86 on the fastball in the minors.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/15/scout-says-kevin-millwood-looks-terrible-at-triple-a/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on April 29, 2011, 12:22:15 pm
I had supported exploring trading Dempster last summer.  I knew he was a capable pitcher at the time and was a nice clubhouse personality, but I felt that at his age he was likely to deteriorate from effectiveness before the Cubs became contenders.  In retrospect I wish they'd done that and gotten some younger talent from him from a team that needed a pitcher. 

The good thing is that he's losing his stuff before Hendry extends him.  He's owed only a little over $30 million for this year and next, assuming he accepts his $14 option for next season.  (Less than $30 for 11-12 originally, but he deferred some to help make some space for Hendry bring in Grabow and Pena).   

With Dempster having an option after this season, if he'd have held up a little longer Hendry might have been tempted to extend him for a couple more years.  So maybe it's just as well that he falls apart before Hendry has the chance to make that mistake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JDub on April 29, 2011, 12:40:59 pm
Riggins has a quality moustache though. That has to count for something, right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on April 29, 2011, 01:52:09 pm
(Less than $30 for 11-12 originally, but he deferred some to help make some space for Hendry bring in Grabow and Pena).   

A lot of good that did.  Thanks for being a team player Ryan!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 29, 2011, 02:01:52 pm
I say fire Mark Riggins and hire Leo Mazzone.

He's got nothing better to do.

But that would involve Jim Hendry admitting a mistake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on April 29, 2011, 02:07:40 pm

But that would involve Jim Hendry admitting a mistake.

Bingo!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 29, 2011, 02:12:43 pm
I hear Mazzone on the radio often driving to and from work.  He has made it clear that he would like to coach again, but only in the right  situation.  I doubt he'd consider the 2011 Cubs to be the right situation.

Besides, Roger McDowell may be fired in the next few days, so Mazzone is probably campaigning to get his Braves job back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 29, 2011, 02:13:53 pm
Mazzone was publicly lobbying for the Mets pitching coach job last fall.

I highly doubt that he wouldn't consider the Cubs job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 29, 2011, 02:16:19 pm
I doubt that McDowell will get fired.

He will probably get a fine and maybe a suspension.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on April 29, 2011, 02:52:03 pm
Dempster and Russell have given up 15 homers in 44 innings.  That's pretty astounding. 

Cubs have hit 17 homers as a team.  For those losing interest in the Cubs, keep an eye on this race to the top.

On the bright side, Cubs are 8-7 in games not started by Dempster and Russell.

I've never seen Dempster throw like that--the most recent start.  Forget about the result--sometimes you can give up a bunch of runs with bad luck and a couple of mistakes--but he was throwing slop up there.  The pitches to the opposing pitcher, Enright, were scary.  What, three pitches with nothing down the middle?  Still, Quade left him in to face another hitter.  Say what you will about Lou, but no way Lou lets Dempster pitch to Chris Young after the way he threw to the opposing pitcher.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on April 29, 2011, 02:56:19 pm
That could have been the worst third of an inning to open a game in Cubs history.  When Dempster was missing, it wasn't even close.

When so many pitchers are going bad, it's on the pitching coach.  So far, Riggins is the worst since Marty DeMerritt, who spent more time hitting the bars on Clark Street than watching video of his pitchers.

We didn't appreciate Larry Rothschild enough until he left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on April 29, 2011, 03:15:18 pm
Didn't Wells give up about hundred hits to start a game last year?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on April 29, 2011, 03:26:14 pm
I may be wrong, but I don't think it's necessarily on the coach.  Coincidental things happen often. 

dempster's an older pitcher who's been worked really hard.  It's hardly unusual for a pitcher to come up with arm trouble, and be the kind of ineffective that Dempster has been when trying to throw with a bad arm.  Rothschild wasn't using an 86-mph Dempster while he was here. 

Garza has been racking up innings for years, and his effectiveness had already dropped last year.  His ERA+ was 101, well down.  He's perhaps at a point in his career where he's not getting better but his arm might perhaps be getting worse.  Is it astonishing that a guy who had deteriorated last year and was basically an average pitcher overall would have a month where he's not been very good?  Happens to average pitchers all the time, even when healthy.  And perhaps after the last few heavy years his arm isn't quite what it was 2-3-4 years ago. 

Zambrano has put a ton of wear on his arm, and had been in a gradual decline for years until his 2nd-hand anti-HR rebound last year.  But that anti-HR spell last summer was quite out of line with how he'd pitched for Rothschild earlier in the year and during the many years previous.  It's hardly surprising that he's not gone all month without a HR. 

Rothschild NEVER had a guy like Russell starting.  I don't think it's on the coach when Russell is bad. 

Next week maybe they'll call up Jay Jackson, who was highly hittable and was a HR-factory last year in the minors.  I don't think it will be on the coach if Jackson comes up and gives up HR's and looks overmatched. 

I thought Rothschild was an excellent pitching coach, by the way.  I thought he was very good.  But I'm not sure the current debacle is Riggins. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 29, 2011, 04:05:39 pm
Garza has been racking up innings for years, and his effectiveness had already dropped last year.  His ERA+ was 101, well down.  He's perhaps at a point in his career where he's not getting better but his arm might perhaps be getting worse.  Is it astonishing that a guy who had deteriorated last year and was basically an average pitcher overall would have a month where he's not been very good?  Happens to average pitchers all the time, even when healthy.  And perhaps after the last few heavy years his arm isn't quite what it was 2-3-4 years ago. 

Garza gets lumped in with the rest of the underperforming staff, but he has actually been really good.  No one is making good contact off him, but his defense and hitters are letting him down.  Consider:
Some (Jes) will point out that a high BABIP may just mean hitters are squaring up a pitcher better than they have in the past.  But I would argue that other stats show pretty conclusively that this is not the case with Garza:
Garza's subpar start is almost 100% bad luck.  Ground balls have been finding holes, and soft liners and pop flies have been falling in front of his weak outfielders.  With a good defense and average offense behind him, he'd have an ERA of about 2.00 and 2-3 wins by now.  Since his team has abandoned him, though, he's 0-3 with a merely decent 4.11 ERA.  His BABIP will normalize, though...and if he keeps pitching like he has so far, he'll have the best season of his career.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on April 29, 2011, 06:00:03 pm
Excellent job by brjones putting garza's season in perspective. And I agree with Craig that The talent level doesn't seem where it was when Larry was here but Riggins has still far from impressed me and I always thought this board immensely undervalued the ole "throwing" coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 29, 2011, 10:33:46 pm
I'm on record as saying that I believe both the Quade and Riggins hires were money-motivated.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on April 29, 2011, 11:16:26 pm
I hope Soriano keeps this up long enough for some contender to consider taking him at the deadline.  Hendry will still have to throw in significant cash but contending can lead to stupid moves.  This would have to be epic stupid but it's been known to happen.  The Gilbert Arenas to the Magic trade comes to mind.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on April 29, 2011, 11:17:16 pm
Hey, Vernon Wells got traded.

Anything can happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on April 29, 2011, 11:29:45 pm
The problem with Soriano is that he just doesn't contribute anything but homers at this point.  His OBP is atrocious at .269.  With Dunn DHing full time now, he's probably the worst defensive outfielder in baseball.  He no longer runs well at all.  Even if he keeps up what he's done so far, he's still not that good and it's going to be impossible to find a trade partner.

Now if he boosts his OBP by 50 points and continues to hit homers at the rate he has, maybe some AL team in need of a DH can be convinced to take on 25% of his salary.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 01, 2011, 07:53:11 am
James Russell will start Monday night in LA.  Then it will be nearly two weeks before a fifth starter will be needed and that could be Doug Davis

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/5105364-573/veteran-doug-davis-building-toward-work-as-cubs-5th-starter.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 01, 2011, 12:58:46 pm
Are Wells and Cashner never coming back?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on May 01, 2011, 01:11:21 pm
If you were them, would you want to?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 01, 2011, 02:52:00 pm
News: Cubs pitchers Andrew Cashner (shoulder) and Randy Wells (forearm) had successful flat-ground throwing sessions on Saturday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Both pitchers will travel with the team rather than going to extended spring training. No timetable has been established for their return.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 01, 2011, 03:20:29 pm
Quote
The Cubs believe Russell was given a bad rap over his last outing, in which he allowed three home runs in four innings on a night with the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field.
What's their excuse for Russell sucking the rest of the time?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 01, 2011, 05:50:42 pm
The wind was blowing in?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 01, 2011, 09:21:47 pm
Hopefully this is one of those posts that will get reposted and we can all laugh over when Barney makes the All-Star team and wins the Rookie of the Year award,

There are some things in life you really don't need to worry about.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 01, 2011, 09:27:49 pm
I'm not crazy about how Quade is moving Castro around in the lineup.  Sure, the exact spot that a guy hits is overrated and probably not a big deal but I'm concerned that Quade is making the classic mistake that bad managers make (not saying that Quade is a bad manager.....yet):  taking his best players and moving them around to accommodate the lesser players. 

The better players should be placed where they are most comfortable, let them do their thing because they are the most valuable and important, and move around the lesser players because, well, they are the lesser players. 

While I agree completely, I would go even further.  For young players, you want to insulate them from pressure and put them in a role which allows them to feel comfortable and grow.  That would not need to me to be batting 3rd.  2nd spot seems about ideal.

Winning a couple more games this year is far less important than have Castro develop to his full potential.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 01, 2011, 10:35:29 pm
You guys still watching this team?  This is the most apathetic I have felt as a Cub fan ever. 

How can you say that?

This team was clearly trying to be competitive.

My only hope is that Rickets soon comes to his senses and tells Hendry to go into full rebuild mode.... which should have been done, oh, back at the end of 2006.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 01, 2011, 10:46:04 pm

[/list]Some (Jes) will point out that a high BABIP may just mean hitters are squaring up a pitcher better than they have in the past.  But I would argue that other stats show pretty conclusively that this is not the case with Garza:

Hey, not just me.  I saw Craig's comments about Barney which essentially amounted to buying into my argument.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 02, 2011, 08:53:02 am
NOTES:Jeff Samardzija had his fifth consecutive scoreless appearance Sunday and extended his streak of scoreless innings to 11 — lowering his ERA more than five full points in the process to 2.76.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 02, 2011, 08:57:40 am
He has been a very pleasant surprise.  From his spring games, I really thought he was cooked.  Good to see.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 02, 2011, 09:01:36 am
If he'd quit walking people, we might have something with Samardzija.  It's hard to make what you have in a guy who has an 18:18 K to BB ratio in 16 IP.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 02, 2011, 09:02:19 am
On the down side, he has still walked 9 during that streak.  That's not a recipe for sustained success unless he can continue avoiding hits like he has (4 hits allowed over the same time period).
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 02, 2011, 09:06:59 am
NOTES:Jeff Samardzija had his fifth consecutive scoreless appearance Sunday and extended his streak of scoreless innings to 11 — lowering his ERA more than five full points in the process to 2.76.
Jr

In those five appearances, Samardzija has pitched seven innings and walked seven while  giving up three hits
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 02, 2011, 09:21:52 am
I guess this is good news.  Anything that might lead to Coleman or Russell leaving the rotation has to be good, right?

Todd Wellemeyer - S - Cubs

Todd Wellemeyer (hip) will make his first start at Triple-A Iowa on Thursday.

Wellemeyer has been sidelined since the middle of spring training by a hip injury. He's ready now to begin making minor league starts and could be in line for a spot outing with the Cubs if everything goes well down on the farm. "I feel stronger than ever, really," the right-hander said Sunday. "Now it’s just a matter of breaking the arm in and getting the durability up."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 02, 2011, 09:30:09 am
Wellemeyer!  Print those World Series tickets now! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 02, 2011, 09:30:57 am
Actually, didn't he have some good stretches for the Cards?  Wonder how much solid pitching coaches had to do with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 02, 2011, 09:39:07 am
Remember Wellemeyer's major league debut?  He pitched a scoreless 14th inning after the Cubs had run out of pitchers, and got the save.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 02, 2011, 09:43:21 am
Remember Wellemeyer's major league debut?  He pitched a scoreless 14th inning after the Cubs had run out of pitchers, and got the save.
In Milwaukee.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 02, 2011, 12:22:33 pm
Struck out the side, he did.

He threw a 95 MPH fastball with a wicked changeup that day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 02, 2011, 12:44:35 pm
It's hard to make what you have in a guy who has an 18:18 K to BB ratio in 16 IP.

Sounds like you would have another Marmol, if you would add in a few WP and beanings....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 02, 2011, 12:51:01 pm
I ws thinking Carlos Marmol Jr myself.  Lol
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 02, 2011, 08:34:17 pm
The savior is on his way . . .

Doug Davis - S - Cubs    Doug Davis is expected to start Thursday for High-A Daytona.Assuming all goes well Thursday, he'll move up to Triple-A Iowa. Davis, 35, was signed to a minor league contract last month. The veteran left-hander would be a perfectly respectable insurance policy should either Andrew Cashner or Randy Wells suffer a setback.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 02, 2011, 11:00:10 pm
Insurance against winning?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 03, 2011, 09:27:52 am
From bleachernation.com:

The Chicago Cubs are now 1-7 in the games that would have been started by Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner. If they split those games instead, they’re 15-13, in a virtual tie atop the NL Central standings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 03, 2011, 09:40:06 am
Even if Samardzija is walking everybody, he probably couldn't be any worse in the rotation than Russell and the other 5th starter suspects.  At least he's striking people out and not allowing home runs.  I might be tempted to put him in there and see what he can do the next time the 5th starter spot is needed. 

At any rate, Russell doesn't need to make any more starts.  Really he probably doesn't even need to be pitching in the major leagues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 03, 2011, 09:47:35 am
From bleachernation.com:

The Chicago Cubs are now 1-7 in the games that would have been started by Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner. If they split those games instead, they’re 15-13, in a virtual tie atop the NL Central standings.

That might be true, but there are still problems with this team that go beyond not having Wells and Cashner.  I still don't see this team contending as long as Dempster and Pena continue to play as horribly as they have, for example, and I'm not sure I see them getting turned around any time soon. 

Also, we've had a really easy schedule up to this point.  We might have had a chance for 15-13 had Wells and Cashner stayed healthy, but only being 2 games above .500 against the likes of the Pirates, Padres, Diamondbacks, Astros, etc. isn't that encouraging when we'll be playing tougher teams more regularly this year.  Right now the cumulative record of Cub opponents is 93-104 for a .472 winning percentage. 

Plus Cashner and Wells probably are still at least three weeks away from returning.  We still have a few starts from the likes of Casey Coleman, Doug Davis, etc. that we'll have to endure before we see those guys pitch again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 03, 2011, 10:19:30 am
Szamardzjia has been jerked around by the Cubs throughout his career.  Up to the NL, back to Iowa.  Starter.  Reliever.  No wonder his development has slowed.  Now that he finally has a defined role and seems to have gotten it together, leave him as a middle reliever for at least the rest of the season.  The Cubs are going nowhere in 2011, and he could be a valuable piece, either in the pen or in the rotation, in the future.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 03, 2011, 10:23:13 am
Szamardzjia has been jerked around by the Cubs throughout his career.  Up to the NL, back to Iowa.  Starter.  Reliever.  No wonder his development has slowed.  Now that he finally has a defined role and seems to have gotten it together, leave him as a middle reliever for at least the rest of the season.  The Cubs are going nowhere in 2011, and he could be a valuable piece, either in the pen or in the rotation, in the future.

I think that's a pretty reasonable argument. 
 
If not Samardzija, I think br's right that Ramon Ortiz or Jay Jackson should at least be given a try the next time we need a 5th starter.  Honestly I don't think I have a whole lot of optimism that Samardzija, Ortiz, or Jackson would be much better than what we've gotten from Russell, but at this point, you need to give it a try.  At the very least, try to find someone who can throw more than 70 pitches and give you a prayer of getting you to the 6th inning.
 
And really Samardzija possibly would be the best of that group (gasp), but like you said clark, it'd probably be for the best that we finally quit jerking him around.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 03, 2011, 11:10:47 am
Now that Samardzija is on a roll of sorts, I'd just leave him alone and hope he continues what he's been doing lately.

And, it seems like his repetoire is much better suited for the bullpen in any case. 

On another front, seems like Pena has been hitting a few long flyball (outs) lately--maybe he's on the verge of some homer production.  As JR notes, we need that from Pena and Ramirez.  You would expect them to have 8-10 homers combined by now. That lack of power is really hurting the club.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on May 03, 2011, 11:34:47 am
I just looked over Ramon Ortiz' previous ML stats.

If he were called up, he might or might not pitch better than Russell, but surely there would be no one more grateful for getting another start in the majors.  He's been bad almost every year he's been in the league, with ERAs over 5 almost every year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on May 03, 2011, 11:43:20 am
The Cubs-Dodgers game tomorrow will feature these truly awesome throwback uniforms:

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0aPN4f6cwvb0V/x610.jpg

http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/attachments/ootp-mods-rosters-photos-quick-starts/199520d1288851984-gambo-t_wil1-photopack-garth_mann_-1944_cubs-_3.jpg
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 03, 2011, 12:58:10 pm
The Dodgers wore those earlier this season, Tuffy, and I could've swore the Royals from the early 80s were playing in Dodger Stadium when I saw them.

Did the Dodgers wear those robin's egg blue uniforms at home when they played in Brooklyn?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 03, 2011, 01:00:53 pm
The Dodgers wore those earlier this season, Tuffy, and I could've swore the Royals from the early 80s were playing in Dodger Stadium when I saw them.

Did the Dodgers wear those robin's egg blue uniforms at home when they played in Brooklyn?
I saw a highlight showing those old Dodger uniforms and, yes, they said Brooklyn on them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 03, 2011, 01:06:37 pm
On replacing James Russell, there has to be someone that can give the Cubs better than a 10+ ERA with a 2 WHIP and about four innings a start.

With Ryan Dempster stinking up the joint nearly as bad as Russell, you have to leave Jeff Samardzija in middle relief, because he's been the only guy down there that's been able to get anyone out.

Kevin Millwood is available.  He could probably be a slight improvement over Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 03, 2011, 01:07:42 pm
I saw a highlight showing those old Dodger uniforms and, yes, they said Brooklyn on them.

But that probably means they were road uniforms.

I probably phrased it poorly but I meant to ask if they wore those at home.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: jacey1 on May 03, 2011, 01:44:30 pm
You need to leave Shark in middle relief...bring up Ortiz for a couple of starts and hope for the best.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 03, 2011, 01:46:45 pm
   (http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/788467262/Cubs_Logo_reasonably_small.jpg)   @CubsInsider (http://twitpic.com/photos/CubsInsider) Chicago Cubs May 3, 2011              
        (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/mini/283148651.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1304449320&Signature=mtpzCWWftpjLe56b8Ym8CpXolFI%3D) (http://twitpic.com/4okuwb) (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/mini/278058476.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1304449320&Signature=M312ljw5kOdY5Dv%2FiTZHlr06WEM%3D) (http://twitpic.com/4ljrak) (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/mini/278054157.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1304449320&Signature=HriNoesVIAxJaiGW19yJt9zG6%2Fw%3D) (http://twitpic.com/4ljnyl)      (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-arrow.png) Rotate photo    (http://twitpic.com/images/hud-img-plus.png) View full size   (http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/290341121.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1304449320&Signature=332OohMDd1Zmy2zlFce6L%2Fy0Y%2F4%3D)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 03, 2011, 01:54:48 pm
I might have to frame that one.  Starlin Castro, Nashville Predators, and Memphis Grizzlies all on the cover.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 03, 2011, 02:04:52 pm
   (http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/190827556/jon_heyman_normal.jpg) (http://twitter.com/#%21/SI_JonHeyman)  @SI_JonHeyman (http://twitter.com/#%21/SI_JonHeyman) Jon Heyman     #cubs (http://twitter.com/#%21/search?q=%23cubs), #orioles (http://twitter.com/#%21/search?q=%23orioles) could be possibilities for millwood. Cubs have the maddux-millwood connection
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 03, 2011, 02:13:34 pm
Sign Millwood, have him start in Coleman's spot later this week, and don't use Coleman again until the 5th starter's spot is necessary.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 03, 2011, 03:03:20 pm
By all means, try to eke out another win or two this season instead of giving Coleman regular starts and seeing if he can be useful.

Gotta "be competitive."

Hopefully Hendry and Rickets are not foolish enough to actually believe the pap they spit out to keep the fan base happy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: grrrrlacher on May 03, 2011, 03:42:10 pm
Pap? Fac? Oh my goc!  Is he cussing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 03, 2011, 05:14:45 pm
Darwin Barney has been named the NL Rookie of the Month.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on May 04, 2011, 02:22:52 am
SZ, the Brooklyn Dodgers did wear those, in 1944.  The real ones were satin -- better visibility under the lights!

(http://www.lelands.com/Auction/AuctionDetail/28794/Spring-2006-Catalog/Sports/Brooklyn-Dodgers/Lot506%7E1944-Leo-Durocher-Game-Worn-Brooklyn-Dodgers-Satin-Jersey-with-Pants)

The real ones, as you might expect with light blue, were road uniforms.  It's too bad the Dodgers didn't choose something other than blue; then the Cubs could have worn their own blue from that era:

(http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/dressed_to_the_nines/images/nl_1942_chicago.gif)

Now those are awesome.  I like our dark blue road jerseys, but these light blue ones are just about as good.  I say dump the dull gray and wear some form of blue on the road all the time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on May 04, 2011, 02:25:03 am
I see my link to the satin Dodgers uniforms isn't showing up.  Here's a link to a monster-sized picture of them:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5028/5557710924_bfbdd18654_o.png
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 04, 2011, 07:17:19 am
It was mentioned that Dempster's velocity was down earlier.  Yesterday he was effective; was that still true?  Or was his velocity just fine yesterday? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on May 04, 2011, 10:46:19 am
During the game Brenly (or Kasper) mentioned that Dempster's velocity was back up to where it should be.  Although, I think they may have also said that it was not on the first couple of batters - not sure if they were talking about them or just the earlier game(s).
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 04, 2011, 10:48:24 am
Rumor has it that Grace may have had a word with him after the Diamondbacks series.  Just suggesting a word: tipping.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 04, 2011, 10:50:27 am
Rumor has it that Grace may have had a word with him after the Diamondbacks series.  Just suggesting a word: tipping.
I suggested that possibility after his debacle in Phoenix.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 04, 2011, 10:54:56 am
Yeah, but did you tell Dempster....noooooooooooooooooooooo.  Not you.  Had to leave it up to Gracie.


Slacker!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 04, 2011, 12:29:57 pm
Maybe Cactus took it up with Grace who talked to Dempster.

Ever think of that, Curt?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: BearHit on May 04, 2011, 12:35:51 pm
Maybe Grace saw  it here
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 04, 2011, 12:49:56 pm
Look at how similar these two lines are.  Barney now has a higher OPS than Castro.
 
NAME           GP (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/gamesPlayed/chicago-cubs)AB (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/atBats/chicago-cubs)R (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/runs/chicago-cubs)H (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/hits/chicago-cubs)2B (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/doubles/chicago-cubs)3B (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/triples/chicago-cubs)HR (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/homeRuns/chicago-cubs)RBI (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/RBIs/chicago-cubs)TB (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/totalBases/chicago-cubs)BB (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/walks/chicago-cubs)SO (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/strikeouts/chicago-cubs)SB (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/stolenBases/chicago-cubs)CS (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/caughtStealing/chicago-cubs)BA (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/order/false/chicago-cubs)OBP (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/onBasePct/chicago-cubs)SLG (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/slugAvg/chicago-cubs)OPS (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/cat/OPS/chicago-cubs)
Darwin Barney (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/29567/darwin-barney)281011532421144341011.317.340.426.765
Starlin Castro (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/30450/starlin-castro)291271840621125341040.315.341.417.758
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jimmer on May 04, 2011, 12:55:13 pm
Maybe it was a pre-sports illustrated cover jinx



https://fbcdn-photos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/228756_216959438316352_110242065654757_844740_1164835_s.jpg
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 04, 2011, 01:30:17 pm
Randy Wells - S - Cubs Randy Wells (forearm) is headed to the Cubs' complex in Arizona to continue his rehab.
Similar to his teammate Andrew Cashner, Wells has resumed throwing this week and it's believed a rehab assignment isn't far away. He should return in the next few weeks. Source: Carrie Muskat on Twitter May 4, 2:13 PM

Andrew Cashner - S - Cubs Andrew Cashner (shoulder) is headed to the Cubs' complex in Arizona to continue his rehab.
Cashner threw off the mound for the first time Monday and was scheduled to throw again Wednesday. The Cubs are hoping he can return before the end of the month.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 04, 2011, 03:33:50 pm
Remember that is a problem Dempster has had in the past and is the reason he developed his hand/glove routine right before he starts his windup.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 04, 2011, 03:51:16 pm
Tipping pitches doesn't account for the increase in walks.  And many of the bad pitches were way out of the strike zone.  It was almost like the Steve Blass/Rick Ankiel syndrome.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 04, 2011, 04:03:18 pm
It doesn't explain why his slider was so flat or why his velocity was down.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 04, 2011, 04:08:07 pm
It doesn't explain why his slider was so flat or why his velocity was down.

I think I heard Bob mention on the broadcast last night that when Dempster's command was so bad in his last start, he purposely took something off to try to get the ball across the plate.  I think that was the only start where his velocity was way down, so that may be a reasonable explanation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 04, 2011, 04:12:18 pm
Man, Brenly is just going out of his way to make excuse after excuse for these guys this year, except when it comes to Alfonso Soriano in the defense and base running departments.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Santo4HofF on May 04, 2011, 04:15:27 pm
Brenly wants the job when Quadie gets fired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 04, 2011, 04:18:19 pm
Give it to him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 04, 2011, 04:55:22 pm
Other than getting pounded was mentally affecting him, Clark and SZ, to the point that he was throwing darts and aiming instead of letting the ball go.  In that first inning, after walking two, he maybe picked up on the fact that at least they weren't guessing right...meaning that he was back, jack.  :)  At some point, he started firing the ball again...confidence?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 04, 2011, 08:44:59 pm
Fangraphs on what's wrong with Dempster:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/whats-wrong-with-ryan-dempster/

Short answer?  Bad luck.  Don't know if I agree, but it's good that it's pretty easy to make that argument.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 05, 2011, 10:03:06 am
Quade lectures Soriano on lack of hustle

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0505-bits-cubs-dodgers-chicago20110504,0,395244.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Coach on May 05, 2011, 11:26:12 am
Quade lectures Soriano on lack of hustle

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0505-bits-cubs-dodgers-chicago20110504,0,395244.story

Bravo Mr. Quade!  Next time he has to do it, change "lectures" to "fines"
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 05, 2011, 11:34:52 am
I'm sure Soriano's never been lectured about his lack of hustle before.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 05, 2011, 11:52:25 am
Quade needs to recognize his bias against Soriano.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 06, 2011, 01:29:13 pm
The Cubs have released Max Ramirez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 06, 2011, 01:34:15 pm
I guess the Cubs don't want him taking at bats from Welington, and it's not like the backup catcher has played enough this year to worry about keeping another one in the organization anyway.  Perhaps it's also a way to clear room for when rotation savior Doug Davis arrives.

BTW Welington Castillo is off to a rough start to the season.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=castil001wel
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 07, 2011, 03:01:06 am
some interesting stat analysis i thought...

after yesterdays game, the cubs are tied for 19th in runs scored, yet are 4th in batting average, even with Pena's albatross of a  bat dragging it down.  They're 15th in home runs, 11th in obp, slugging percentage, and ops and are 8th in total bases.  Run production isn't what it should be right now.  Does lack of a running game make that big a difference?

It just seems to me, if we had even an average first baseman, or if Pena really is heating up a lil(a relative term for him i realize) and we can get a lil more timely hitting(all that clutch stuff evens out over the year), the Cubs might have a chance in this horrid division.  We just really need to get Wells, and Cashner back asap, and hope Cashner's first start is indicative of what we can expect rather than his meltdown last year.  I've always like Randy, and expect him to do ok.  From everything I've seen of Garza, i think he will come around...If we can get good starting pitching, i look at the bullpen as a strength because it will be Wood, Marshall, and Marmol getting the bulk of the innings.

If they stay close, i could see them getting hot in June, July...i'm hoping anyway, they haven't given me very much to root for this year, or for a while i suppose....sigh

Bash away   lol
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 07, 2011, 03:28:27 am
Barney and Castro are about the only bright spots on this team. Dempster and Pena have been horrible. Garza has looked like a #4 or 5 starter. Wells and Cashner have been out. None of the middle relievers or emergency starters have stood out. Soriano is hitting home runs, mostly solo shots, but has done little else. Colvin is having a rotten sophomore year so far. Wood, Marshall and Marmol have been effective, but they don't drive in or score many runs. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 07, 2011, 06:23:24 am
some interesting stat analysis i thought...

after yesterdays game, the cubs are tied for 19th in runs scored, yet are 4th in batting average, even with Pena's albatross of a  bat dragging it down.  They're 15th in home runs, 11th in obp, slugging percentage, and ops and are 8th in total bases.  Run production isn't what it should be right now.  Does lack of a running game make that big a difference?



Actually, Ray, these stats have been quoted on other boards as evidence of Cub futility with situational hitting, hitting under pressure, strategic at bats which also reflects on the manager, line-up management, and, frankly, just Quade.

I'm seeing more and more: there's a reason this guy was a minor league lifer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 07, 2011, 06:38:09 am
Cubs have lost the first game of their last four series.  I guess the good news is they came back to win their last two series.  The bad news is Casey Coleman goes today against the Reds offense.  I wouldn't be parking my car on Waveland or Sheffield today.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 07, 2011, 07:35:33 am
Garza has looked like a #4 or 5 starter.

I think br's been making some good points about Garza.  When you're 2nd in the majors in strikeouts and have only given up 1 home run all season, it's very unlucky that you have a 1-4 record with a 4.43 ERA.  If he keeps striking people out and limiting home runs, sooner or later the results are going to get a lot better. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 07, 2011, 08:11:15 am
Of the 116 major league pitchers who have thrown enough inning to qualify, Matt Garza:

Both of these numbers point to extremely bad luck and/or a defense that is seriously letting Garza down.  Both numbers will regress towards his career numbers, and he'll start getting better results.


On the other hand, Matt Garza has the second highest WAR (2.0) of any pitcher in the majors, only behind that pitching robot the Phillies imported from Canada last year.  Garza's peripherals show him to be a clear ace so far. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 07, 2011, 08:14:11 am
Actually, Ray, these stats have been quoted on other boards as evidence of Cub futility with situational hitting, hitting under pressure, strategic at bats which also reflects on the manager, line-up management, and, frankly, just Quade.

I'm seeing more and more: there's a reason this guy was a minor league lifer.

It could be Quade...but i must admit, after he did such an admirable job on the disaster that was the 2010 season, I actually had high hopes for him as a manager this year. I haven't been able to watch as many games as i normally do because of work, and i haven't read the game thread in a year or two because 97% of it is nonsense(its just too hard to wade through it for the tidbits of good information), so i really can't comment on Quade's job performance.  Either way, right now, I'm just hoping all the situational stuff evens out over the course of the year like it generally does in baseball. 

I just have a gut feeling at some point the cubs are gonna get hot.  If they do, hopefully it happens before it's too late to make something of the season. 

I will say that something that surprised me was that 4rth place in batting average the Cubs were only .269, and i was shocked at the sheer amount of teams under .260.  Philadelphia was 8th place there.  Detroit was 14th at .251.  Tampa was 20th at 241.  San Diego was last at 216...how the crap does a major league team hit .216 a month plus into the season.  I have so been streaming whatever pitcher is pitching against them in my fantasy leagues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 07, 2011, 08:18:46 am
some interesting stat analysis i thought...

after yesterdays game, the cubs are tied for 19th in runs scored, yet are 4th in batting average, even with Pena's albatross of a  bat dragging it down.  They're 15th in home runs, 11th in obp, slugging percentage, and ops and are 8th in total bases.  Run production isn't what it should be right now.  Does lack of a running game make that big a difference?

It just seems to me, if we had even an average first baseman, or if Pena really is heating up a lil(a relative term for him i realize) and we can get a lil more timely hitting(all that clutch stuff evens out over the year), the Cubs might have a chance in this horrid division.  We just really need to get Wells, and Cashner back asap, and hope Cashner's first start is indicative of what we can expect rather than his meltdown last year.  I've always like Randy, and expect him to do ok.  From everything I've seen of Garza, i think he will come around...If we can get good starting pitching, i look at the bullpen as a strength because it will be Wood, Marshall, and Marmol getting the bulk of the innings.

If they stay close, i could see them getting hot in June, July...i'm hoping anyway, they haven't given me very much to root for this year, or for a while i suppose....sigh

Keep drinking that Koolaid, kid.

The Cubs' pythagorean would actually have them having won one fewer games than they have so far, so I don't see this as a team playing thru bad luck.

And the only reason the Cubs rank 19th in runs is because you are looking at both leagues together, meaning you are comparing them to an entire league of teams with the DH.  Limit the look to the NL, and even then focus on the NL East to see not just where the Cubs rank, but how far they are from the league average, from the division leader, and the division laggard.  That will give you a better idea of how the Cubs actually stack up against the division, instead of simply falling back on the old standard that the NL Central is weak and anyone can take it.

In the NL the Cubs rank 10th in runs/game at 4.00, with the league average 4.22, but only the Pirates and Brewers rank behind the Cubs, with the Brewers only .12 behind the Cubs and the Pirates .34 back.  Now, as to those in front.... that is the bad news.  The Cards are leading the league, and doing so without much so far from Pujols.  The Cards are scoring 1.45 runs a game better than the Cubs and the Reds are second in the league, scoring 1.28 runs a game better than the Cubs.

The Cubs' biggest black hole is Pena, and it is entirely possible he will not get appreciably better, and also that he will not be replaced in the lineup for at least another two months.  For every other starter in the Cubs' lineup, you look at what they are doing now, their ages, their career averages, and what they did last year, and it is not hard to see them each individually performing about the same for the rest of the season (except for Fukudome, who will see his numbers fall sharply), and for Soriano, while his performance could remain as strong as it has been, it would also not be surprising to see him fall sharply.

While the Cubs are second in the league in BA, BA is not a particularly meaningful offensive stat, and each of the other teams in the top four in the league are also in the Central, with the 3rd and 4th place teams not far behind the Cubs -- Houston is 3 points behind the Cubs and the Reds are just 6 points back (while the Cards lead the league, batting 23 points better than the Cubs).

In OBP the Cubs are 5th in the league, 39 points behind the Cards and 12 points behind the Reds, and only 4 points ahead of the Astros and 12 ahead of the Brewers.

But when you look at OPS+, which adjusts also for the parks the teams have played in, it appears the Cubs may have benefited from having played in friendly parks so far.  The Cubs rank a nice 5th in the league in raw OPS at .723, though well behind the Cards and Reds (1st and 2nd) at .808 and .758, and the Cubs are only 17 points better than the league average, and 15 points better than the Brewers.  Again, those were the raw OPS #s.  The OPS+ has the Cubs 10th, two places behind the league average.  The Cubs have an OPS+ of 92, only ahead of the Pirates in the Central, with the Cards at 125, the Reds 2nd at 109, the Astros 5th at 98, the Brewers 7th at 95.

The Cubs are next to last in steals, with only 7, compared to a league average of 21, but the Padres are the team leading the league in steals, with 37 (and are last in runs/game at 3.16), so steals are not necessarily a great way to score runs.

The Cubs are 11th in HR, at 26, and that is only 2 below the league average of 28, so they could easily move up there.... but how much of a boost would that give?  Suppose they jumped to 6th in HR (easily possible)... which would only require and additional 3 HR.  What would that give in runs scored?  Let's attribute 2 runs/HR (which is likely a bit high, but let's do it).  Those added 6 runs would increase the runs/game by about .2, which would still leave the Cubs short of the league average and move them ahead of no other team.

And one thing we might want to remember when pointing the finger at Pena, Colvin has actually been worse.  Colvin has 60 PA (Pena 97) and an OPS of .513, compared to .569 for Pena.  If Colvin improves, that could make a big difference, and might provide an option at 1B if Pena continues to s*ck, but it also would not be all that surprising to see Colvin continue to struggle enough he needs to return to the minors to figure things out.

Is it possible that the leaders in the division will come down enough, and the Cubs will improve enough, that the Cubs will actually "be competitive" in September?

Sure.  Just as it is possible to flip a coin 30 straight times and have it come up heads each time.

Of course, I am going to bet against those 30 straight coin tosses coming up heads, and sanity would have management start looking to 2012 and beyond.... which it should have been doing at least after last season, if not after 2010.

Instead, the Cubs tried to make the team "competitive" in 2011, getting a "solid" starter in Garza.... and giving up Guyer (who made his major league debut last night with a HR in his first AB), Fuld (who had no role with the Cubs, but still has an OPS+ of 106 despite his recent slump, and is playing excellent defense), Hak-Ju Lee (who at age 20 is hitting .397 with an OPS of 1.037 as a SS in high A ball), and Archer (who last year looked like one of the best starting prospects in the Cub system.

That is the kind of move which makes a lot of sense for a team on the cusp of winning.... but which seems short-sighted when the team is what we saw last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 07, 2011, 08:38:03 am
Keep drinking that Koolaid, kid.

The Cubs' pythagorean would actually have them having won one fewer games than they have so far, so I don't see this as a team playing thru bad luck.

And the only reason the Cubs rank 19th in runs is because you are looking at both leagues together, meaning you are comparing them to an entire league of teams with the DH.  Limit the look to the NL, and even then focus on the NL East to see not just where the Cubs rank, but how far they are from the league average, from the division leader, and the division laggard.  That will give you a better idea of how the Cubs actually stack up against the division, instead of simply falling back on the old standard that the NL Central is weak and anyone can take it.

In the NL the Cubs rank 10th in runs/game at 4.00, with the league average 4.22, but only the Pirates and Brewers rank behind the Cubs, with the Brewers only .12 behind the Cubs and the Pirates .34 back.  Now, as to those in front.... that is the bad news.  The Cards are leading the league, and doing so without much so far from Pujols.  The Cards are scoring 1.45 runs a game better than the Cubs and the Reds are second in the league, scoring 1.28 runs a game better than the Cubs.

The Cubs' biggest black hole is Pena, and it is entirely possible he will not get appreciably better, and also that he will not be replaced in the lineup for at least another two months.  For every other starter in the Cubs' lineup, you look at what they are doing now, their ages, their career averages, and what they did last year, and it is not hard to see them each individually performing about the same for the rest of the season (except for Fukudome, who will see his numbers fall sharply), and for Soriano, while his performance could remain as strong as it has been, it would also not be surprising to see him fall sharply.

While the Cubs are second in the league in BA, BA is not a particularly meaningful offensive stat, and each of the other teams in the top four in the league are also in the Central, with the 3rd and 4th place teams not far behind the Cubs -- Houston is 3 points behind the Cubs and the Reds are just 6 points back (while the Cards lead the league, batting 23 points better than the Cubs).

In OBP the Cubs are 5th in the league, 39 points behind the Cards and 12 points behind the Reds, and only 4 points ahead of the Astros and 12 ahead of the Brewers.

But when you look at OPS+, which adjusts also for the parks the teams have played in, it appears the Cubs may have benefited from having played in friendly parks so far.  The Cubs rank a nice 5th in the league in raw OPS at .723, though well behind the Cards and Reds (1st and 2nd) at .808 and .758, and the Cubs are only 17 points better than the league average, and 15 points better than the Brewers.  Again, those were the raw OPS #s.  The OPS+ has the Cubs 10th, two places behind the league average.  The Cubs have an OPS+ of 92, only ahead of the Pirates in the Central, with the Cards at 125, the Reds 2nd at 109, the Astros 5th at 98, the Brewers 7th at 95.

The Cubs are next to last in steals, with only 7, compared to a league average of 21, but the Padres are the team leading the league in steals, with 37 (and are last in runs/game at 3.16), so steals are not necessarily a great way to score runs.

The Cubs are 11th in HR, at 26, and that is only 2 below the league average of 28, so they could easily move up there.... but how much of a boost would that give?  Suppose they jumped to 6th in HR (easily possible)... which would only require and additional 3 HR.  What would that give in runs scored?  Let's attribute 2 runs/HR (which is likely a bit high, but let's do it).  Those added 6 runs would increase the runs/game by about .2, which would still leave the Cubs short of the league average and move them ahead of no other team.

And one thing we might want to remember when pointing the finger at Pena, Colvin has actually been worse.  Colvin has 60 PA (Pena 97) and an OPS of .513, compared to .569 for Pena.  If Colvin improves, that could make a big difference, and might provide an option at 1B if Pena continues to s*ck, but it also would not be all that surprising to see Colvin continue to struggle enough he needs to return to the minors to figure things out.

Is it possible that the leaders in the division will come down enough, and the Cubs will improve enough, that the Cubs will actually "be competitive" in September?

Sure.  Just as it is possible to flip a coin 30 straight times and have it come up heads each time.

Of course, I am going to bet against those 30 straight coin tosses coming up heads, and sanity would have management start looking to 2012 and beyond.... which it should have been doing at least after last season, if not after 2010.

Instead, the Cubs tried to make the team "competitive" in 2011, getting a "solid" starter in Garza.... and giving up Guyer (who made his major league debut last night with a HR in his first AB), Fuld (who had no role with the Cubs, but still has an OPS+ of 106 despite his recent slump, and is playing excellent defense), Hak-Ju Lee (who at age 20 is hitting .397 with an OPS of 1.037 as a SS in high A ball), and Archer (who last year looked like one of the best starting prospects in the Cub system.

That is the kind of move which makes a lot of sense for a team on the cusp of winning.... but which seems short-sighted when the team is what we saw last year.

you actually make some good points, though i don't necessarily agree wtih some of your conclusions, and i'm tempted to reply to you, but i just can't do it.  I prefer a give and take conversation and a healthy/debate discussion where people learn things and grow in their way of thinking.  You will turn me into the 20 year old version of myself where i'm closed minded, thought i knew everything and the whole point was to win the conversation.  I grew past that long ago and don't like being that person and, as such, i'm not going there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 07, 2011, 08:48:58 am
 Left-hander Doug Davis will move to Class AAA Iowa for a start Wednesday after working 62/3 scoreless innings for Class A Daytona on Thursday. That will rule him out of the Cubs’ game against the San Francisco Giants next Saturday, when the Cubs next will need a fifth starter.

Quade and general manager Jim Hendry haven’t discussed options for that game yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 07, 2011, 08:54:41 am
. . . a defense that is seriously letting Garza down.   

I'm pretty far from sold on how reliable UZR is, but it doesn't paint a very nice picture for how effective our defense is so far.

The only two players who are actually saving runs on defense for the Cubs so far are Kosuke (+10.5 UZR/150) and Barney (+9.3 UZR/150).  Everyone else is very negative, all the way down to Starlin Castro's -19.5 UZR/150. 

http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=Cubs&pos=all&stats=fld&qual=100&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011 (http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=Cubs&pos=all&stats=fld&qual=100&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011)

The Cubs also have the third worst team UZR in all of baseball.

http://www.fangraphs.com/teams.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 07, 2011, 08:54:48 am
On a side note, I am still at a loss on how Kosuke went from being a well above average RF'er in 2008 at +7.6 to being one of the worst in 2010 at -8.5 and is now one of the best again at +10.5.  I'm also at a loss on how Marlon Byrd can go from being one of the worst CF'ers in 2009 at -15.6 to being one of the very best in 2010 at +10.3 and is now one of the worst again in 2011 at -12.6.  How do you go from being one of the very best fielders in one season to one of the very worst in the next season and then go back to being one of the very best fielders again the year after that (or vice versa in Byrd's case)? 

I still have to think these UZR people have a lot of work to do to get a reliable system, but it seems like its creators and a lot of sabermetric people don't want to admit it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 07, 2011, 09:14:15 am
A lot of it is probably small sample size, JR.  I believe writers from Fangraphs have said in the past that hitting stats are valid 3 times faster than UZR.  In other words, a player's UZR after 150 games is about as valid as OBP is after 50 games.  Even a full season of UZR may be too small a sample size to really judge a player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 07, 2011, 09:23:38 am
A lot of it is probably small sample size, JR.  I believe writers from Fangraphs have said in the past that hitting stats are valid 3 times faster than UZR.  In other words, a player's UZR after 150 games is about as valid as OBP is after 50 games.  Even a full season of UZR may be too small a sample size to really judge a player.

Bingo.

UZR may well be flawed.  But sample size can seriously distort the the stat for any individual player.... though for the team as a whole, it may well be a decent indication by now that the defense is doing some straw sipping....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 07, 2011, 09:27:18 am
A reminder to everyone.  The Ignore feature can be defeated when you quote people.  Respond to them if you must, but please save the rest of us by not quoting them.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 07, 2011, 09:32:00 am
A reminder to everyone.  The Ignore feature can be defeated when you quote people.  Respond to them if you must, but please save the rest of us by not quoting them.  Thanks.

OK
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 07, 2011, 09:35:55 am
I'm not ready to blame Quade for the Cubs' malaise.  A weak roster and injuries to two starters are the culprits to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 07, 2011, 09:55:01 am
I'm not ready to blame Quade for the Cubs' malaise.  A weak roster and injuries to two starters are the culprits to me.

That's what I keep telling myself, too, BUT...when you have a weak roster and lousy talent, you can't be making up some of the horrible lineups, game situation decisions, and constant head scratching loco choices he makes.  Maybe he's trying too hard to win games with his AAAA talent, I don't know, but I think he could make better choices than he does at times.

Sandberg?  I don't know if he'd do any better, and maybe, because he's a favorite of mine, it's a good thing he isn't here to take abuse about Jimbo's incompetence.  Who knows, that may have been Jimbo's secret strategy.  Ignore the guy behind the curtain, ladies and gentlemen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 07, 2011, 10:05:08 am
That's what I keep telling myself, too, BUT...when you have a weak roster and lousy talent, you can't be making up some of the horrible lineups, game situation decisions, and constant head scratching loco choices he makes.  Maybe he's trying too hard to win games with his AAAA talent....

I have not seen the games, so I don't know about some of the game situation decisions or head scratching choices, and I have been bothered by bouncing Castro around a bit in the lineup instead of simply putting him where he is comfortable and performing well and leaving him there to grow, but it would be best if all of Quade's decisions were focused on developing players and performance expectations in order to improve chances for the years beyond 2011, because worrying about another couple of wins in 2011 is pretty pointless.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 07, 2011, 11:10:11 am
A lot of it is probably small sample size, JR.  I believe writers from Fangraphs have said in the past that hitting stats are valid 3 times faster than UZR.  In other words, a player's UZR after 150 games is about as valid as OBP is after 50 games.  Even a full season of UZR may be too small a sample size to really judge a player.

Maybe, but it seems like there's a lot more season to season fluctuation for UZR for a lot of players than there should be for a metric that's gained a quite a bit of acceptance.  I'll be very interested to see where they have Byrd and Kosuke at the end of the season anyway.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 07, 2011, 11:26:33 am
The Cubs need some power in their lineup.  Too bad there is no one in the near minors that can show a little power.

On a different note, Branden Guyer hit a home run in his first ML at bat.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 07, 2011, 11:33:21 am
I don't think Quade's doing a bad job with what he's been given.  I don't like how he manages the bullpen all of the time, I think he's been slow to make lineup adjustments (Byrd hitting in the #3 hole for much of the season for example and not working his bench in the lineup more for struggling players), I don't like a lot of his "gut call" decisions like Baker pinch hitting against Putz or Reed Johnson pinch hitting in the 9th early in the season with Kosuke on the bench, and like Reb's mentioned a few times, he does seem to sit on his hands a lot.

However, I do like some things he's done that I don't think a lot of managers would do.  I don't think there are a lot of veteran managers who would have gone with Barney at second base to start the season, and that's turned out to be a very good decision thus far.  Putting Cashner in the rotation was looking like a good decision before he got hurt, and I think a lot of "old school" managers would have been content to pigeonhole Cashner as a reliever right away after not starting much last season.  He doesn't do a lot of small ball stuff that a lot of managers do that cost their teams runs.  Some of his "against the book" decisions are actually good ones, like not automatically going to a weak left handed bat off the bench when there is a right handed batter who's hitting better. 

I think Quade seems like a solid baseball guy, but I still wonder if he might be a little over his head managing a major league team.  It still doesn't seem all the time like the team is buying into him, and part of his sitting on his hands and being slow to make lineup changes might be due to him being a Triple-A guy who doesn't want to make waves on a team full of veterans.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 07, 2011, 12:10:10 pm
I don't think Quade's doing a bad job with what he's been given.  I don't like how he manages the bullpen all of the time, I think he's been slow to make lineup adjustments (Byrd hitting in the #3 hole for much of the season for example and not working his bench in the lineup more for struggling players), I don't like a lot of his "gut call" decisions like Baker pinch hitting against Putz or Reed Johnson pinch hitting in the 9th early in the season with Kosuke on the bench, and like Reb's mentioned a few times, he does seem to sit on his hands a lot.

However, I do like some things he's done that I don't think a lot of managers would do.  I don't think there are a lot of veteran managers who would have gone with Barney at second base to start the season, and that's turned out to be a very good decision thus far.  Putting Cashner in the rotation was looking like a good decision before he got hurt, and I think a lot of "old school" managers would have been content to pigeonhole Cashner as a reliever right away after not starting much last season.  He doesn't do a lot of small ball stuff that a lot of managers do that cost their teams runs.  Some of his "against the book" decisions are actually good ones, like not automatically going to a weak left handed bat off the bench when there is a right handed batter who's hitting better. 

I think Quade seems like a solid baseball guy, but I still wonder if he might be a little over his head managing a major league team.  It still doesn't seem all the time like the team is buying into him, and part of his sitting on his hands and being slow to make lineup changes might be due to him being a Triple-A guy who doesn't want to make waves on a team full of veterans.

JR, your first sentence is in conflict with almost everything else you wrote.  Remind me not to have you ever act as my attorney.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest61 on May 07, 2011, 04:31:40 pm
Im glad to see Brandon Guyer continue to do well whether he's a Cub or not.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 07, 2011, 06:21:02 pm
Todd Wellemeyer has retired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on May 08, 2011, 02:57:26 am
Didd Wellemeyer even make any minor league starts?  What made him retire?  Injury?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 08, 2011, 06:36:22 am
Suckiness
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 08, 2011, 07:00:31 am
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/grota-cubs/2011/05/whats-wrong-with-tyler-colvin.html


What's Wrong With Tyler Colvin?
AJ Walsh on 05.07.11 at 3:07 PM

Yes, the Fangraphs guys have been all over this subject material with a number of major leaguers, but they say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, don't they?

Tyler Colvin got a rare start on Saturday, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He now sports a .121 batting average from 58 at-bats with six walks -- although he's one of just four Cubs to have more than one home run this season.

But homers aside, .121? What the hell? And it's not because Colvin's pitch selection has gotten worse -- in fact it seems to have gotten better.


Stay classy, Tyler.


Last season, Colvin swung at 38.2% of pitches he saw outside the strike zone; this year, that number is down to 34.4%. His whiff-rate is down, from 14.2% to 11.1%; his walk-rate is up, from 7.6% to 10%; and his K-rate is down, albeit slightly, from 28% to 26%.

So if it's not pitch selection, the next place one should look is at batted balls, and indeed that's where things get interesting for Colvin. Just 10% of the balls he's put into play have been line drives, way down from last year's rate of 17%.

Perhaps that lower LD% is the result of a change in how pitchers are pitching to him. Colvin is seeing more fastballs this year (up from 53.7% last year to 60.4% this year), and more pitches in the zone (up from 42.3% to 47.3%). One theory: maybe pitchers thought Colvin would chase the outside breaking ball last year, but ended up getting burned by too many mistakes (Fangraphs says Colvin was an above-average hitter against the cutter, curve, and change-up last year). Now pitchers are challenging him in the zone with well-located fastballs, and so far Tyler hasn't been able to adjust.

This may be a case of the league adjusting to a young hitter, forcing him to adjust his game to continue having success. Fortunately Colvin has already shown improvements in some parts of his game, namely pitch selection. Hopefully, Quade can keep finding ways to get Colvin into the game, he stays patient and keeps putting the bat on the ball, and starts squaring it up sooner rather than later.


Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/grota-cubs/2011/05/whats-wrong-with-tyler-colvin.html#ixzz1LlGnxKS9
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on May 08, 2011, 11:03:50 am
Seems Jiggy is uncharacteristiclly quiet now that Colvin is struggling.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 08, 2011, 01:07:04 pm
jiggs' posting had actually fallen off even before the start of the season, and at one point had indicated he likely would not make the move, though the has posted here a couple of times.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 08, 2011, 01:12:48 pm
A new strip club must have opened.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest61 on May 08, 2011, 04:02:33 pm
Im here every day and I follow the Cubs just as much as I ever have.

The only problem is I coach baseball and umpire during the Summer and with us sucking I dont really have much to say.

As far as Tyler Colvin goes you all have to understand that Im somewhat new when it comes to evaluating prospects and my judgement isnt by any means the word of God.

I like Tyler but he did struggle for prolonged periods of time in AA so Im not shocked to see him go all to hell now that he's in the majors but I also saw him look like the next coming of Josh Hamilton at times so I became a believer.

Now looking back at the prospects Ive seen that have succeeded and the ones Ive seen that have flamed out I think I have a better understanding of what it takes to be a big leaguer and as much as I like Tyler he might not be.

If I where a betting man though I wouldnt give up on him yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 08, 2011, 04:20:28 pm
"my judgement isnt by any means the word of God."

Never thought I would hear that from Jes's illegitimate son.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 09, 2011, 10:36:10 am
buff, mail
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 09, 2011, 01:15:00 pm
Firing Hendry would be wrong move

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chicago-cubs-have-young-talent-and-should-let-jim-hendry-reap-the-rewards-050811
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 09, 2011, 01:20:59 pm
I presume that article was written by Jim Hendry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 09, 2011, 01:35:20 pm
Just read this in the comments on Bruce Miles' blog...here are some of the major league "leaders" in lowest percentage of walks per plate appearance:

1. Crisp: 1.7 percent
2. C. Johnson: 1.8
3. Pierzynski: 2.7
4. Castro: 2.8
11. Soriano: 3.3
13. Barney: 3.3
16 Byrd: 3.6

Four of the top 16 are everyday players for the Cubs.  That is why the offense sucks...half the offense is hacking away at everything.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 09, 2011, 01:54:58 pm
I presume that article was written by Jim Hendry.

Either him or Scotti.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 09, 2011, 02:02:45 pm
Either him or Scotti.

Nice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 09, 2011, 03:12:43 pm
From the Scotti/Hendry/Rosenthal article . . .
 
Shortstop Starlin Castro (http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player/starlin-castro/720275), second baseman Darwin Barney (http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player/darwin-barney/895982) and right-hander Andrew Cashner (http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player/andrew-cashner/744586) are the vanguard of a wave of young talent that should leave the Cubs positioned to contend for the next several years.
 
I hate saying it, but you're talking about two guys in Castro (patience, fielding, possibly power) and Cashner (lack of proven durability and innings, hasn't shown consistency) who are pretty flawed players and may not ever totally overcome all of them.  And whether you love Barney or still worry if he's a little bit of a fluke, you have to at least admit his ceiling no higher than a role player that you'll be looking to move once he starts becoming expensive.  Basically Barney is Jeff Keppinger or Mark Grudzielanek right now, and while the farm needs to produce players of that caliber, those are not cornerstone type players either. 
 
If two relatively flawed players and a role player make up the "vanguard" of the Cubs farm system talent, while I still like Castro and Cashner's potential, I'm not sure it's making for a convincing argument for keeping Hendry either.
 
As far as there being a wave of young talent on the horizon, about the only two true impact guys we have on the farm right now for the near term are Brett Jackson and Trey McNutt, and it's still questionable what kinds of ceilings those two have.  We may not be talking about two future perennial all-stars there either. 
 
We have fairly respectable farm system production, but this isn't a Kansas City or Tampa circa 2008 wave that's going on here.  Right now at least in 2011, the farm system certainly isn't saving Jim Hendry, and it hasn't done enough to make up for all of the old expensive players that are dragging down the roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 09, 2011, 03:12:54 pm
Basically for the Cubs in the upcoming 3-4 years, our young nucleus will hopefully be Castro, B. Jackson, Soto, Garza, Cashner, McNutt, and Marmol, with hopefully Barney and Colvin being good role players and possibly a guy like LeMahieu or Flaherty becoming another average major league regular.  That's not bad, but it's still going to require very good decision making by Hendry or a new GM to bring in outside talent to surround them.  At least at this point, that's not a nucleus that's going to do it by itself.  If Hendry keeps making mediocre/bad decisions on long term contracts, the young talent isn't going to be good enough to make this a consistent winner.

You're seeing a lot of it play out this year.  We may have Castro, Barney, Garza, Marmol, and Soto already on the roster, but when you surround those guys with mostly garbage, it's not going to be a very good team.  I'm not sure getting a "wave" of B. Jackson, a healthy Cashner, and McNutt exactly elevates the talent level to a 95-100 win team. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 09, 2011, 03:24:09 pm
I'd like to keep wilkin.  Not sure that hiring a new GM would necessitate junking Wilken or the commitment to drafting, scouting, and international procurement.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 09, 2011, 03:25:26 pm
I'd like to keep wilkin.  Not sure that hiring a new GM would necessitate junking Wilken or the commitment to drafting, scouting, and international procurement.

That's absolutely true.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 09, 2011, 04:09:26 pm
The notion that this farm system is a bonanza about to produce a glorious age is ludicrous.  Before the Garza trade, it was above-average.  Now, it's probably charitable to call it an average system, especially in terms of impact players.  It still has a decent quantity of guys who have the potential to make MLB rosters.  It has very few that have a chance to be All-stars.  To say that Hendry should keep his job because the team is about to soar on wings of his genius in an incredibly lame argument, even by Rosenthal's standards.  Hendry has failed - he needs to be fired with extreme prejudice.

You could make a case that Wilkin has been good enough to warrant keeping his job, but for me it's borderline.  He's wasted far too many high picks on guys no other scouting director has ever heard of, most of whom has flamed out already.  I think it's difficult to make a case that any of his first-round picks aside from Brett Jackson look really smart in retrospect.  He's done a decent job stocking the system with pitching depth and he's found a few gems on the international market, as it looks today.  He hasn't been terrible but I'd shed no tears if he were jettisoned as part of a complete housecleaning.

Alas, I suspect Ricketts has no intentions of firing Hendry and it wouldn't shock me if he signed him to a new deal after 2012, even if it's another mediocre (or worse) season.  I've seen nothing since Ricketts bought the team that would indicate he has either the inclination, ability, or deep pockets to be a "win at any costs" owner.  He seems to view the Cubs as his personal plaything and to be someone who would overvalue "personal loyalty" such as he sees in Hendry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: grrrrlacher on May 09, 2011, 04:14:44 pm
Anyone here think the Cubs should make a play for Reyes?  And move either him or Castro to 2B?  It would be nice to finally have a legit leadoff man for several years instead of trying a different one every year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 09, 2011, 04:24:01 pm
"He's wasted far too many high picks on guys no other scouting director has ever heard of, most of whom has flamed out already."

I have lost track.  How many have flamed out already?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 09, 2011, 04:26:39 pm
Well, you sure as hell wouldn't move Reyes to 2B to leave Castro at SS.  This would never happen in a million years, but if the Mets were giving him away?  Sure - you'd love to have a guy like that.  If he can stay healthy for the year, though, figure you'd need to pay him $16-18 million per to keep him - and most likely sign a long-term deal that would commit you to him until long after his speed has started to decline radically.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 09, 2011, 05:21:59 pm
Stolen from a friend at another board, regarding the argument to keep Hendry in Rosenthal's article because there's free agents to be signed:

I wonder if Rosenthal is aware of that deal (for Grabow) along with Bradley, Miles and Fukudome when he suggests that the Cubs should resign Hendry because they might have $60 mil to spend in free agency. I'm not a big Rosenthal basher, nor am I a fan, but that line of logic is as convoluted as one can be.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 09, 2011, 05:37:13 pm
Stolen from a friend at another board, regarding the argument to keep Hendry in Rosenthal's article because there's free agents to be signed:

I wonder if Rosenthal is aware of that deal (for Grabow) along with Bradley, Miles and Fukudome when he suggests that the Cubs should resign Hendry because they might have $60 mil to spend in free agency. I'm not a big Rosenthal basher, nor am I a fan, but that line of logic is as convoluted as one can be.


I'm not entirely sure of what this post is intended to mean but,at any rate, here is the operative paragraph from the Rosenthal column:

The Cubs, with nearly $50 million in expiring contracts, are indeed reaching a crossroads - third baseman Aramis Ramirez, outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, first baseman Carlos Pena and left-handed reliever John Grabow all are in the final years of deals.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 09, 2011, 05:43:06 pm
What he intended was that Rosenthal is inferring that the Cubs should WANT Jim Hendry at the controls when we start spending all that free agent money.  He is pointing out that Jimbo Buffet has not had a good track record with free agent spending per $$$ or years for the past three or four years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: ben on May 09, 2011, 05:57:43 pm
"Hendry has failed - he needs to be fired with extreme prejudice."    Bingo!

The assessment that Ricketts appears to be "someone who would overvalue loyalty" also seems increasingly accurate as every day, month and year passes.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on May 09, 2011, 08:15:51 pm
In re the comparisons between the Ricketts and the McCaskeys that are starting to appear:  Wouldn't it be nice if the Cubs were some day as good as the Bears, relatively speaking?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 10, 2011, 08:34:46 am
After 17 home games last season, the Cubs attracted 655,269 fans for an average of 38,545, according to Baseball-Reference.com. After 17 home games this season, the Cubs have drawn 592,281 for an average of 34,840.

Attendance is tickets sold, not fans in the ballpark, so the weather can't be the only reason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 10, 2011, 08:46:28 am
If Starlin Castro does not get a hit in his first AB tonight, his average drops to .298
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 10, 2011, 01:12:24 pm
Well Zambrano is pitching well enough so far that a team might try and trade for him at the break.  If the cubs continue to struggle they need to do everything they can to move him and Dempster while eating as little money as possible.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 10, 2011, 01:40:46 pm
Castro will sign a big contract that will keep him with Cubs until a date to be reported later.

Internet rumor or could there be something to this?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 10, 2011, 01:43:01 pm
Source of that "news" is Sun-Times columnist Joe Cowley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 10, 2011, 02:04:12 pm
Wow, it's a little soon for a move like that, if true.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 10, 2011, 02:57:09 pm
Cowley has about as much credibility as Phil Rogers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 10, 2011, 04:05:38 pm
Go figure.  Samardzija has been tougher to hit than Marmol.

Opposition BA:  Samardzija- .123.  Marmol- .169

Opposition slugging %:  Samardzija- .169.  Marmol- .173.

Okay, a walk an inning but if guys can't hit you, still pretty good.

Seems like Samardzija is doing a real good job working the bottom end and top end of the strike zone--lots of hard stuff way down in the zone (or lower) and hard stuff high in the zone.  Not much of that hittable stuff in the middle of the zone- SO FAR! Can it last?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 10, 2011, 04:09:17 pm
On the bullpen generally, Cubs now at 2.76 bullpen ERA.  That is tied for 4th in the NL (with Giants) and close to 3rd best (Braves at 2.73).  God help me, but even Justin Berg looks better than last year. At this rate, I'll have to shut up about the bullpen.

On the other hand, Cubs starting rotation still DEAD LAST in ERA in NL.  That is an area of potential vast improvement before too long.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 10, 2011, 04:10:30 pm
Four of the top 16 are everyday players for the Cubs.  That is why the offense sucks...half the offense is hacking away at everything.

At least after I pointed out to you twice in a couple of says that the Cubs' OBP is about 5th in the NL and above league average you have slightly changed your mantra, but "hacking away at everything" is not in and of itself a problem.  It can CAUSE the problem of a low OBP, except that it hasn't done that so far with the 2011 Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 10, 2011, 04:15:09 pm

I hate saying it, but you're talking about two guys in Castro (patience, fielding, possibly power) and Cashner (lack of proven durability and innings, hasn't shown consistency) who are pretty flawed players and may not ever totally overcome all of them.

Are you for real?

I'm not sure getting a "wave" of B. Jackson, a healthy Cashner, and McNutt exactly elevates the talent level to a 95-100 win team.

It won't.  Which is why I have been advocating aggressive stocking of prospects and trading off any established players with any value in order to get them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 10, 2011, 04:35:07 pm
Castro will sign a big contract that will keep him with Cubs until a date to be reported later.

Internet rumor or could there be something to this?

This is so we can trade him for a middle reliever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 10, 2011, 05:16:20 pm
Fun with numbers.

Cubs are #10 in the NL in runs scored per game (#13 in total runs).  But, Cubs are #5 in team OPS.

The only NL team who is as out of whack as the Cubs in runs scored/OPS are the Braves.  They are the converse.  Braves are #5 in runs scored but #10 in team OPS.

Not surprsiingly, Braves outperform their runs scored/OPs because they are #1 in team OPS with runners in scoring position.  Cubs, on the other hand, are #15 in team OPS with runners in scoring position.

Diagnosis:  a fluke.

Most teams are pretty close in relative runs scored and OPS. The correlation is not perfect by any means but, for example, top four teams in runs scored (Cards, Reds, Marlins, Dbacks) are 1.2.4, and 3 in overall team OPS.

Braves are laughably out of whack.  They are .697 OPS overall, but .872 OPS with runners in scoring position.
Cubs are .720 OPS overall, but .613 OPS with runners scoring position.

So, here are the Cubs outperforming the Braves in OPS overall but in the roughly 1/4 of total ABs--in which there are runners in scoring positon--Braves are outperforming Cubs by a whopping .259 points!  That is the kind of thing you sometimes see one month into the season and it is a total fluke and will not continue for long.

It's certainly possible or likely that Cubs will not be the fifth best team in OPS for the season, but no way you will see this kind of relative disparity between overall and scoring position for too long.  Ditto for the Braves.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 10, 2011, 05:21:16 pm
Hopefully this means the number of Doug Davis starts will be kept to a minimum . . .

Randy Wells - S - Cubs

Randy Wells (forearm) threw batting practice Monday at the Cubs' minor league complex in Mesa, Arizona.
The Cubs must like what they're seeing, as Wells is now scheduled to throw in an extended spring training game on Thursday. He's running a bit ahead of his teammate Andrew Cashner at the moment, so barring any setbacks, he should return from the disabled list before the end of the month.
Source: Carrie Muskat on Twitter
May 10, 6:03 PM

Andrew Cashner - S - Cubs

Andrew Cashner (shoulder) threw batting practice Monday at the Cubs' minor league complex in Mesa, Arizona.
Cashner continues to make incremental progress from a right rotator cuff strain. The young right-hander is scheduled to throw another live batting practice session on Thursday, after which we'll likely know more about his status moving forward. His teammate Randy Wells is expected to return sooner.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 10, 2011, 07:00:13 pm
Cubs are #10 in the NL in runs scored per game (#13 in total runs).  But, Cubs are #5 in team OPS.

The only NL team who is as out of whack as the Cubs in runs scored/OPS are the Braves.  They are the converse.  Braves are #5 in runs scored but #10 in team OPS.

Not surprsiingly, Braves outperform their runs scored/OPs because they are #1 in team OPS with runners in scoring position.  Cubs, on the other hand, are #15 in team OPS with runners in scoring position.

Diagnosis:  a fluke.

I think there's more to it than that.  I think Fukudome is such an outlier from the rest of the team in OBP that just the raw team numbers don't tell the whole story.  Kosuke has a .468 OBP.  Reed Johnson has a .444 OBP in very limited playing time, and Jeff Baker is at .364.  No one else is better than .336.  Outside Fukudome and Baker, there isn't a good OBP on this team among players who have had any kind of consistent playing time.  And even Johnson and Baker are pretty much useless as OBP guys against RHP...on days a righty starts against the Cubs, Fukudome is the only guy who gets on base consistently.

The Cubs are currently 6th in the league with a .322 team OBP.  But if you take Kosuke out, they drop all the way to .310, which would put them in an 11th place tie with Milwaukee, one point ahead of the 12th place Braves.  That's a pretty severe drop based on just one player, especially when you consider he has missed out on ~40 PA due to platooning and his leg injury. 

Just to provide a little more context, I looked at the Mets...they're 5th in OBP at .325, the closest score to the Cubs.  They have 5 guys with at least 50 plate appearances who have a OBP higher than .336 (including 4 every day players: Beltran, Reyes, Davis, and Wright), plus 3 more with limited playing time who are above .336.  If you take their best OBP guy out (Beltran, .383; with 37 more PA than Kosuke--so he should have a bigger influence on his team's stats), their OBP drops to .318.  That would drop them all the way from 5th to a 7th place tie.  Not nearly as severe a drop.

The bottom line is that the Cubs have been a bad on base team outside Fukudome.  His high OBP may make them look superficially pretty good...but when 8 of the 9 players in your lineup have trouble getting on base, you're not going to score many runs no matter how often the 9th guy is getting on (especially when that 9th guy has gotten himself past first base only 3 times in his 45 times on base).

By the way, I wondered if Soriano had a similar influence on SLG because he's such an outlier...but he doesn't really because his low BA keeps his SLG from being as much of an outlier.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 10, 2011, 11:31:22 pm
Kosuke isn't responsible for the disparity.  He is .933 OPS with runners in scoring position, so he is lifting up Cubs in both categories---OPS overall and OPS with runners in scoring position.  The point is the disparity, not whether Kosuke helps overall team OPS.

Further, if you reduce Cubs OPS by 12 points to reflect Kosuke's impact on OBP, Cubs overall OPS is still out of whack compared to their OPS with runners in scoring position.  They are still better than NL average in overall OPS with the Kosuke reduction and still near the bottom in OPS with runners in scoring position.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 11, 2011, 12:44:00 am
Fun with numbers.

Cubs are #10 in the NL in runs scored per game (#13 in total runs).  But, Cubs are #5 in team OPS.

The only NL team who is as out of whack as the Cubs in runs scored/OPS are the Braves.  They are the converse.  Braves are #5 in runs scored but #10 in team OPS.

Not surprsiingly, Braves outperform their runs scored/OPs because they are #1 in team OPS with runners in scoring position.  Cubs, on the other hand, are #15 in team OPS with runners in scoring position.

Diagnosis:  a fluke.

Most teams are pretty close in relative runs scored and OPS. The correlation is not perfect by any means but, for example, top four teams in runs scored (Cards, Reds, Marlins, Dbacks) are 1.2.4, and 3 in overall team OPS.

Braves are laughably out of whack.  They are .697 OPS overall, but .872 OPS with runners in scoring position.
Cubs are .720 OPS overall, but .613 OPS with runners scoring position.

So, here are the Cubs outperforming the Braves in OPS overall but in the roughly 1/4 of total ABs--in which there are runners in scoring positon--Braves are outperforming Cubs by a whopping .259 points!  That is the kind of thing you sometimes see one month into the season and it is a total fluke and will not continue for long.

It's certainly possible or likely that Cubs will not be the fifth best team in OPS for the season, but no way you will see this kind of relative disparity between overall and scoring position for too long.  Ditto for the Braves.

this is what i was getting at the other day, though you explained it better than I, and why if the pitching gets straightened out with Wells coming back, Garza's luck improving and Cashner hopefully having a decent year, i can see them getting hot in June and July.  I'm also curious to see what McNutt has later in the year after a lil more seasoning. 

I'm sure some of the higher obp/ops's will drop, but some of the lower ones will most likely rise to offset that...thats just baseball.

I, in no way, am guaranteeing they have a run, just saying i can see it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 11, 2011, 07:16:58 am
I think the disparity is interesting.  My fear is that if the rankings are going to meet, it may be more a case of the OBP and OPS moving back towards 10th than of the runs-scored moving up to 5th. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 11, 2011, 07:53:25 am
yep
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 11, 2011, 08:58:41 am
Further, if you reduce Cubs OPS by 12 points to reflect Kosuke's impact on OBP, Cubs overall OPS is still out of whack compared to their OPS with runners in scoring position.  They are still better than NL average in overall OPS with the Kosuke reduction and still near the bottom in OPS with runners in scoring position.

Still, I don't think the raw OPS tells the whole story with the Cubs.  They have one guy getting on base well, and they have one guy (way down in the lineup where he never comes up with Kosuke on base) who is hitting with power.  No one else in the lineup is a plus on the OBP side, and few are even average on the SLG side.  The lineup is not balanced at all, and it makes it difficult to score.

On paper, the OBP and HR output (and SLG and OPS) don't look bad.  But in practice, so much of it is coming from Fukudome and Soriano respectively that it's almost impossible to produce runs.  With no power, they have to string 3 hits together to get even 1 run.  But since the bottom 8 spots in the lineup are having trouble getting on base, stringing 3+ singles together in one inning is a rare occurrence.  And since everyone is struggling to get on base, Soriano's the homers they do get are mostly solo.

If the extra base hits start coming and we find 2-3 more guys who can sustain an OBP over .350, they'll start scoring even when Fukudome and Soriano inevitably regress. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 11, 2011, 09:21:35 am
By the way, I know in my head that things should improve just because their hitting with RISP will regress towards the mean.  But it's still hard for me to believe that because they have been so awful for the last few years.  Ever since the 2008 playoffs, this team has looked like they tighten up and get scared any time things start going well.  I'm not sure how they're going to overcome that...most of the roster has turned over in that time, and they still just don't seem to be able to handle pressure.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 11, 2011, 09:22:24 am
Christina Karhl on the Cubs . . .

“Hurry up and wait” usually gets applied to a different high-expense enterprise, but you can understand how it could be applied to those wondering about the expenditures of the Cubs. For a third straight season, the Cubs will cost more than $130 million to employ, and the 2011 team is no more guaranteed to win anything this year than did the teams in 2009 or 2010, the seasons that followed their “streak” of two first-place finishes in the NL Central.

A critical problem in terms of payroll and performance is that the Cubs don’t have a ton of wiggle room in terms of who they employ. If timing is everything in playing the market, the Cubs’ timing was terrible, which may be the kindest thing you can say about some of their investments. That’s the legacy of the commitments made by general manager Jim Hendry during the team’s 2007-08 run and its immediate aftermath. Hendry was dealing with a caretaker owner and operating on short time and a win-now window. This is just the latest hangover season. The Cubs shelled out eight large per annum deals to Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome in the lineup and to Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster in the rotation. What little maneuvering room Hendry has had on his payroll the last couple of years has involved trying to work around those initial, unmovable investments.

Not that Hendry hasn’t tried. Turning Milton Bradley into Carlos Silva, dispensing with Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee, renting Carlos Pena, and trading away farm-generated depth to get Matt Garza to replace Lilly all boils down to trying to work around and endure the unmovable expenses in the meantime: Sori and A-Ram, Fukudome and the Big Z. That quartet is costing the Cubs almost $67 million this year, but you’d be hard-pressed to rank any of them among the top performers at their positions. All four are imperfect players, useful in isolation if you don’t bring up their price tags, but their value has taken a turn for the worse while the Cubs remain mired around .500 or worse. Hendry’s wriggling has brought no joy to Wrigleyville.

Can much be done with this lot as far as moving them? Not at these prices, and only Ramirez lacks full no-trade protection. Say you want to be generous, and offer the Cubs wholesale mulligans for 2010 -- for Zambrano’s squabbles and needless role changes or for Ramirez’s slow start and injury-ruined campaign. Play make-believe, and pretend those two are who they were before 2010. That still doesn’t make any of them easily swappable commodities because they’re no closer to being the star players their salaries suggest. There is still the inverse relationship between Zambrano’s bulk and performance over the previous five or six years to explain away; he’s a mid-rotation talent making an ace’s wages.

Skip the make-believe and consider the outfield duo. Soriano has degenerated into a latter-day Dave Kingman clone, a fragile bop-or-drop slugger who has posted a below league average OBP (for non-pitchers) since 2008, and someone whose defensive limitations turn every fly ball into an adventure. Fukudome’s little better, saddled with an inaccurate arm and little power for a corner, so his contributions can be measured by his excellent OBP and little else. That’s useful, but is it $13.5 million worth of useful? Between no-trade protection in the last year of his deal and a contract larded with an especially generous helping of a Japanese import’s perks, he’s no more swappable than Soriano.

As a result, the Cubs’ roster is larded up with players they can’t coax anyone else to be interested in. It would be easy to get frustrated and say Hendry needs to trade these vets away, but that would produce little benefit beyond the pennies on every dollar the Cubs would get back -- nobody will be giving up major talent in terms of prospects to get the next four months of Fukudome, let alone the next four years of Soriano.

So how far can the Cubs be left alone as is? The easy answer is “until they’re out of it,” and in the NL Central, that may not be until September. The agony of this particular Cubs season is that with two-fifths of the rotation down they can reasonably complain that they don’t know quite what they’re capable of doing within this division. The Cubs have gone 2-7 in the starts taken by Casey Coleman and James Russell during the absences of Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, with only one quality start to show for those nine turns.

Asking what could be can obscure the main point, though: The Cubs are stuck. Stuck with a lineup without patience or power -- or, as Mike Quade mused last night after 13 singles, without speed -- and a shallow team besides. The only thing top-shelf about the Cubs du jour is the expense of employing them.

Whatever the Cubs are capable of doing in the Central won’t be up to them indefinitely -- the Cardinals and Reds are much better prepared to go off on tears and more closely resemble 90-win ballclubs than these Cubs are. For the Cubs to get into this thing, they not only have to hurry up and wait on their own limited possibilities, they need bad things to start happening to other teams. It beats disassembling the team out of mere disgust, but if they’re closer to mattering come July, disgust might inspire a long-awaited teardown
.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 11, 2011, 09:34:49 am
A true embarrassment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 11, 2011, 09:39:19 am
In past, some posters have been strong bobby Valentine fans.  (Others not, of course.)  I heard him on the radio this week, talking about the continued decline in offense. 

Last year of course offense was way down, and it's down again this spring.  In the NL, more than half of the teams are hitting sub-.250, OBP'ing at .316 or less, and only 3 teams are averaging a HR/game.  Four teams have ERA's of 3.19 or better.  We've been getting a no-hitter a week, and there are several per week who carry a no-hitter through 5 innings. 

Valentine basically blamed it on the whole work-the-count/plate-discipline/take-walks/OBP philosophy.  He said so many hitters try to work the count and take the first pitch, and pitchers know stats too.  So Valentine's take was that hitters need to go up swinging and being aggressive instead of trying to take strikes and work counts.  Pitchers know lots of guys won't swing at the first pitch, and that with HR's down so much so what if they do?  His spin was that basically pitchers throw first-pitch strikes, hitters don't punish them for doing so, and the offensive downturn is the result.  It's nothing new that hitters do worse when they're down in the count, and the take-first-pitch philosophy is making it normal for hitters to be hitting behind most of the time. 

He also criticized the hitting emphasis on waiting back and using short-and-quick hitting.  That you need to start the swing earlier to generate more power. 

Heh, that's Valentine.  Who am I to judge? 

But two thoughts, as those views might relate to the Cubs.
1.  If Valentine is right, perhaps Hendry and Fleita are way ahead of the game.  They have guys hacking and being aggressive and first-pitch hitting, just like Valentine advocates. 

2.  On the swing-earlier swing-harder, I think the Cubs don't seem to emphasize that in the minors.  The Cub profile is the low-K-high-contact-low power hitter in the minors (Vitters, Lemahieu, Cerda, Gibbs, Szczur...) and with kids like castro and Barney. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 11, 2011, 09:40:54 am
Combining spring training and the regular season, Koyie Hill is 3-48.  And one of those hits was a bunt single.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 11, 2011, 10:01:10 am
In past, some posters have been strong bobby Valentine fans....

Would he bring an entirely new roster?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 11, 2011, 10:07:49 am
I was not a Bobby Valentine fan, and I have some doubts that Hendry and Fleita are ahead of the game. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 11, 2011, 10:09:54 am
Hendry and Fleita don't even know there IS a game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 11, 2011, 11:07:38 am
Has it been mentioned here that Doug Davis only threw 59 pitches last night?  That could mean that he's coming back on short rest to pitch on Saturday for the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 11, 2011, 11:29:19 am
Yes, one of the Chicago papers noted that too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 11, 2011, 01:40:56 pm
IF Geo Soto goes on the 15-day DL, he will join Andrew Cashner, Randy Wells, and what other player?

No peeking.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 11, 2011, 02:03:49 pm
Brian Schlitter, the guy we got back from the rule v draft.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 11, 2011, 02:05:32 pm
I used to salivate every time we faced Doug Davis, because it was assured the Cubs would score lots of runs. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 11, 2011, 02:05:43 pm
 :) Only a dedicated fan would remember that, Dave :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 11, 2011, 03:04:01 pm


Geo to the DL

Welington Castillo is at Wrigley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 11, 2011, 03:38:29 pm
You mean Geovany Soto is making another trip to the DL?

 :o

Who could have seen this coming?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 11, 2011, 04:18:37 pm
I used to salivate every time we faced Doug Davis, because it was assured the Cubs would score lots of runs. 

Are there two Doug Davises?  I just checked his stats and he seems to have beaten us as often as we beat him and he has 3 shut-outs against us.  Not saying much.  If my grandmother threw lefthanded, she could shutout the Cubs, but...  I think he'll stink, but my recollection of a lot of these guys is how we would salivate and then "ya just have to tip your cap" time came way too soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on May 11, 2011, 05:41:56 pm
Losing Soto is no big deal. He sucks anyway. Sadly, his replacements are just as good as he is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 11, 2011, 07:06:27 pm
Welington Castillo is wearing #53 - Last worn by Rich Hill, Francis Beltran, and Micah Bowie.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 11, 2011, 07:09:07 pm
They all wore it at the same time?  It must have been spring training.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 11, 2011, 07:12:07 pm
 ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 11, 2011, 07:26:08 pm
Bruce Miles' blog says it's official that Doug Davis will start Saturday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: grrrrlacher on May 11, 2011, 08:50:56 pm
One thing I am glad about is that the Cubs never entertained signing John Lackey.  He's killing my BBFL team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 11, 2011, 09:35:54 pm
Offer Smurf a trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 11, 2011, 09:38:30 pm
maybe that 50 million will come in handy this offseason...will this make the pujols to cubs rumors burn brighter?   http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6529161

I'm still unsure if i want him but only cuz he's getting to be a little bit older...if he's signed i'll be excited, if not, part of me will be thankful, cuz the end of that contract is going to be horrendous.  However, him anchoring that line up will make it so much better...if the young pitching comes through, i'd think i'd have to lean toward paying him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 12, 2011, 12:05:51 am
Koyie Hill has a .803 OPS  :o

So, Shut UP  ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 12, 2011, 01:32:09 am
I think that for the money that is likely to be involved, Prince Fielder will probably be a better sign in they can do it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Boris From Downunder on May 12, 2011, 01:58:32 am
Koyie Hill > Bobby Hill (runs.....)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 12, 2011, 09:14:51 am
Aramis Ramirez will be going home to the Dominican after today's game to take care of a family matter and will miss the game Friday afternoon against the Giants.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 12, 2011, 11:19:20 am
The other day I was looking at Mark Grudzielanek's career statistics, and thought I'd take a look at his minor league numbers.  Outside of an outlier season in 1994 where he hit 11 homers in Double-A, his career minor league numbers are somewhat similar to Darwin Barney's.  They even both have the same career .708 minor league OPS's. 

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=grudzi001mar (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=grudzi001mar)

I think Barney's done a pretty nice Grudzielanek imitation so far.  I might not be giving him enough credit for being able to keep things up. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 12, 2011, 11:53:27 am
I think Barney is the real deal.  He's a Beckert clone (not considering Glenn's outlier season when he hit .340).  A solid, fundamentally grounded player who makes contact.  Ideal number 2 hitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 12, 2011, 12:00:03 pm
I think Beckert is a better comparison than Grudz.  Except that Barney is a better fielder and can play legitimate shortstop.

While I don't expect him to continue to hit 325, I think that as his career progresses, a 290-310 average with a 700-750 OPS is likely to be a typical year for him.

If he could steal 40 bases, he would be an all star.  As it is, he certainly won't be a weak spot on the team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 12, 2011, 12:09:17 pm
Beckert had a lifetime OBP of .318 and OPS of .663.  That's probably realistic for Barney, but I doubt we'd be his biggest fans if it were.  We tend to romanticize the past, but Beckert played in a different era for middle infielders.  With his offense he'd probably have been a utility guy for most of his career in this era.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 12, 2011, 01:03:08 pm
Just out of curiosity, how much did the Cubs batting average with runners in scoring position change as a result of yesterday's game?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 12, 2011, 01:04:01 pm
..While I don't expect him to continue to hit 325, I think that as his career progresses, a 290-310 average with a 700-750 OPS is likely to be a typical year for him.

If he could steal 40 bases, he would be an all star.  As it is, he certainly won't be a weak spot on the team.

I think if he could add anything offensively to his contact/average, we'd like him better.  Whether that be stolen bases, an anti-awful number of walks to boost his OBP, or some HR's.  I think he's like a good-fielding Theriot minus the walks. 

In the new era where BA and OBP are down, I think Barney might be a pretty value.  Grudz is a good analogy.  Useful guy on our playoff team in 03, but not often been a guy contenders were pushing to get or to keep.  Still, Barney's another support player.  We need to somehow come up with some center-piece players offensively.   

Back in 07/08, when Soriano, Aram, and Lee were productive, imagine how welcome it would have been to replace Izturis with Barney?  Or back in 2003, to have Barney batting 8th instead of AGonz?  There have been plenty of times for us where a good-defense .290-hitting SS would have been pretty welcome. 

But guys like that look a lot better when there are some middle-of-the-order studs around which the support guys can circulate.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 12, 2011, 01:15:45 pm
Here is a category where Cubs excel, with several guys among the NL leaders.

Theriot had led NL in this category for three years running, but watch out for the Cubs guys!

http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/getleaders.asp?rank=176
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 12, 2011, 04:14:16 pm
What is causing the Cubs' home field disadvantage?  Since the beginning of last season, the Cubs are 43-58 at Wrigley, and 48-49 on the road.  The major league average home record since the beginning of the 2010 season is 55-45, so the Cubs are about 12 games below average at home.

And the Cubs are tied for the worst home record in baseball over that time period...Seattle is the only other team to play as poorly.  But Seattle was also 34-65 on the road over that time period, compared to the Cubs' respectable 48-49.

I think it's a big enough sample now that it's hard to call it a fluke...so what's causing their record at home to be so drastically out of line with their record on the road?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 12, 2011, 04:19:11 pm
 Alfonso Soriano's lack of effort reached a new low this afternoon.  He played a high fly ball off the ivy when he could have gone back just a few more feet and turned around to catch it.


It's time the Cubs do something more than call him into the manager's office for a chat.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 12, 2011, 04:34:29 pm
I didn't see the play, but that description makes it sound like it had more to do with him being a really poor outfielder than a lack of effort.  Maybe he didn't read it well enough to know that it was catchable?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 12, 2011, 04:48:01 pm
What is causing the Cubs' home field disadvantage?  Since the beginning of last season, the Cubs are 43-58 at Wrigley, and 48-49 on the road.  The major league average home record since the beginning of the 2010 season is 55-45, so the Cubs are about 12 games below average at home.

And the Cubs are tied for the worst home record in baseball over that time period...Seattle is the only other team to play as poorly.  But Seattle was also 34-65 on the road over that time period, compared to the Cubs' respectable 48-49.

I think it's a big enough sample now that it's hard to call it a fluke...so what's causing their record at home to be so drastically out of line with their record on the road?

I'm going to say that lack of power is one cause and that poor pitching is another.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 12, 2011, 04:53:35 pm
But why are the lack of power and poor pitching impacting them more at home than on the road?  They're considerably better than league average on the road, but worst in baseball at home.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 12, 2011, 05:26:39 pm
I didn't see the play, but that description makes it sound like it had more to do with him being a really poor outfielder than a lack of effort.  Maybe he didn't read it well enough to know that it was catchable?
I'll be generous and say it was half lack of effort, one quarter lack of ability, and one quarter fear of the wall.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 12, 2011, 05:31:36 pm
It also came immediately following that inning where the Cubs scored a run, which contributed to killing any momentum they might build.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 12, 2011, 10:02:09 pm
Bruce Levine:

The plan is that Wells will come back to the Cubs in their rotation. Cashner may be either a starter or return to the bullpen, where he was a successful set-up man toward the end of 2010.

Assuming that Levine got this from a legit Cubs source, I suppose that working Cashner out of the bullpen this season makes sense if the club is concerned about his shoulder.   Gotta keep this guy healthy.   I just hope the decision isn't based primarily on whether Doug Davis is effective.  A Cashner role should be totally independent of how a secondary player performs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 13, 2011, 12:00:02 am

And the Cubs are tied for the worst home record in baseball over that time period...Seattle is the only other team to play as poorly.  But Seattle was also 34-65 on the road over that time period, compared to the Cubs' respectable 48-49.

I think it's a big enough sample now that it's hard to call it a fluke...so what's causing their record at home to be so drastically out of line with their record on the road?

My theory: Too many overpaid veteran players who are quite comfortable with the life they're living and enjoy their family and friends more than winning baseball games and trying to earn their salaries. When they're on the road, they have nothing better to do than play baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 13, 2011, 06:50:43 am
Has a non-story like the Hendry-Pujols hug ever gotten more attention?  There's an article on the Trib's website today that tells us what body language experts think the hug means.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 13, 2011, 07:41:28 am
You know what would be even better than Pujols coming to the Cubs?

Hendry joining the Cardinals.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 13, 2011, 10:51:48 am
Randy Wells will make a rehab start Tuesday.  Where is yet to be decided.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 13, 2011, 02:00:28 pm
Randy Wells will make a rehab start Tuesday.  Where is yet to be decided.
It will be in Peoria.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 14, 2011, 09:37:19 am
Quote from: Trib article
Not left out: Thursday might not be the last time infielder Blake DeWitt plays left field, although it was the first.

Quade talked to coach Bobby Dernier about giving DeWitt "work in left and some in right. It makes sense if I want to give (Alfonso Soriano) a day off. He looks OK out there. Given the (blowout loss to the Cardinals), I wanted to give him an inning and deal with the Bleacher Bums."

The move is another blow to struggling Tyler Colvin, especially with Reed Johnson playing well as an extra outfielder.

That seems to be a pretty clear indication that Colvin is on borrowed time in the majors.  Unless he breaks out immediately, I think we'll see someone else in his spot this week...maybe an infielder (Scales?) since Quade is trying to fill Colvin's outfield time with DeWitt.

Also, it sounds like if everything goes well on Tuesday, Randy Wells will start against the Red Sox next weekend.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 14, 2011, 09:43:02 am
That move is long overdue. Colvin is rotting on a major league bench. Blame Fukudome's hot start.

I'd bring up Montanez or LaHair. Both seem to be AAAA players but their development won't be hampered by bench duty like Colvin's is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 14, 2011, 09:48:53 am
A roster move will be made today to make room for Doug Davis.  I doubt if Tyler Colvin will be sent down as the Cubs aren't likely to go with 13 pitchers, but it could happen.

There is an opening on the 40-man roster for Davis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 14, 2011, 09:54:10 am
Can LaHair play anywhere but first base?  I wouldn't mind seeing if he could be decent enough with the bat to be a nice bench player, but it might be nice to have more flexibility defensively.

Montanez is a career .223/.257/.323 hitter at the major league level.  That's basically Zambrano with less power.  As JR pointed out a couple weeks ago...nice for a pitcher, but not what you want from a position player.

Bobby Scales is having another typical AAA season for him, and has hit .248/.342/.401 in his time the majors.  He's probably the best choice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 14, 2011, 10:15:05 am
The 40-man roster actually stands at 38 before adding Doug Davis.   Thomas Diamond was outrighted to Iowa yesterday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 14, 2011, 10:18:25 am
I did not realize this:

With his errorless game Friday, shortstop Starlin Castro tied his career high of going 14 consecutive games without an error. He also had a 14-game streak Sept. 21, 2010-April 3, 2011. Castro's current streak began the day after he made three errors against Colorado on April 25.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 14, 2011, 10:55:04 am
The 40-man roster actually stands at 38 before adding Doug Davis.   Thomas Diamond was outrighted to Iowa yesterday.

That could be more evidence for an upcoming Colvin move.  None of the potential call-ups (LaHair, Scales, Montanez, Snyder) are on the 40 man.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 14, 2011, 11:57:21 am
Colvin needs playing time to fix whatever is wrong.  Iowa is the place to get it.  Does Fuku have a no trade clause?  If he does not have his typical slump this season, he could be a very nice chip at the trade deadline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 14, 2011, 12:07:54 pm
Can LaHair play anywhere but first base?  I wouldn't mind seeing if he could be decent enough with the bat to be a nice bench player, but it might be nice to have more flexibility defensively.

LaHair has about 45 games in the majors, all at 1B except a few as DH.  He 821 games in the minors, with 120 in LF and 23 in RF and another 33 with his OF position unidentified.  http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=lahair001bry  In those 120 OF games he has made 3 errors.  Right now in Iowa he has the following line .391/.461/1.206 with 9 HR.  Bats L, throws R.  He actually had 3 steals last year, so presumably he is not too terribly slow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 14, 2011, 12:38:04 pm
Sports Insanity » MLB » Matt Garza’s Peripherals

Matt Garza’s Peripherals

If I polled thousands of baseball fans of who the best 3 pitchers in baseball were this year, how many would include Matt Garza? Not many. Yet Garza has been the best pitcher for most of this year, and is currently the second best pitcher by a tad. This is because of insanely good his peripherals have been. On the surface, it’s hard to believe a pitcher whose 1-4 record in 7 starts with an earned run average of 4.43 can even be considered a good pitcher. When looking at the advanced statistics available, Garza has been the best pitcher in baseball.

The reason Garza looks like a struggling pitcher on the surface is because of how unlucky he’s been. Garza’s batting average on balls in play is the highest among all qualified pitchers with a.388 BABIP, which is the reason of a high earned run average. Not to say he hasn’t been lucky as well with an extremely low Home Run to Fly Ball ratio. Garza is giving up home run’s 7% less than his career (including this year).

According to FIP (fielder independent pitching), a sabermetric stat which shows exactly how good a pitcher has been thus far in ERA form, Matt Garza puts up a staggering 1.57 FIP. Why is this? Garza is striking out hitters at an incredible rate to go along with few walks and few home runs surrendered.

Garza is fooling hitters incredibly well this year. This is because he’s mixing in his pitches more than ever. For example, Matt Garza is throwing his fastball less to hitters which means he’s throwing his secondary pitches much more. For example, Garza is throwing more sliders, curveballs, and changeups than his career averages. Some of it can also be credited to switching out of the AL East which contained two powerhouse lineups. Usually batters did pretty well against Garza when they swung outside of the strike zone, but this year Garza is getting hitters to swing at 35.6% of his pitches that are outside of the strike zone. This is an increase of over 8% in his career. Garza always established first pitcher strike pretty well, this year is no different. But it’s how well his pitches have transitioned to the NL. Getting hitters to swing and miss 11.5% of the time which is one of the tops in the MLB. All this adds up to nearly 12 strikeouts per 9 innings.

Matt Garza is pitching like an ace and has returned the value of the multiple premium prospects Chicago sent to Tampa Bay. It is incredible to fathom how a pitcher, who’s averaging nearly 12 strikeouts in 9 innings, has a 4.43 ERA. Soon enough, those lucky flare hits will stop falling in.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 14, 2011, 02:52:23 pm
From the BleacherNation blog

1.  Mike Quade is considering putting Aramis Ramirez third in the order.

2.  The radio rumors that Jim Hendry has been fired are not true.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 14, 2011, 02:56:20 pm
1. Good
2. Bummer
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 14, 2011, 02:59:24 pm
The Cubs made room for Doug Davis by sending Justin Berg to Iowa.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 15, 2011, 01:59:15 pm
Bruce Miles

The Cubs will go with Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati.  Ryan Dempster and Casey Coleman will pitch in Florida Wednesday and Thursday.  Doug Davis will get his second start in Boston on Friday.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 15, 2011, 02:39:48 pm
Doug Davis against the Red Sox on Friday?

That game might not end until Monday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: PRCubFan on May 15, 2011, 03:15:14 pm
Glad I'm going to the Saturday game instead of Friday. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 15, 2011, 04:35:32 pm
Welcome, PR.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 15, 2011, 05:42:24 pm
So hard to be at all interested in this team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 15, 2011, 06:04:21 pm
It really is. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: PRCubFan on May 15, 2011, 06:28:48 pm
Thanks Jeff.  I've been lurking for a couple of weeks.  Just haven't had much to say as the Cubs continue their struggles.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on May 15, 2011, 08:48:11 pm
Bad enough watching them on TV let alone going to Boston or anywhere else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jimmer on May 16, 2011, 04:56:30 pm
Per WSCR , per Sullivan Tweet.

Shoulder tightness in rehab work of Cashner, new MRI...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 16, 2011, 05:06:21 pm
That should just about end any chance of Cashner coming back as a starter this year.  If he comes back, they'll probably try to protect his arm as a reliever.

Hopefully Davis' start on Saturday was a sign of things to come with him. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 16, 2011, 05:48:19 pm
that sucks about Cashner....they really needed him back...can't remember such a dearth of minor league rotation guys ready to be called up.  The system may have always had its weaknesses and the minor league starters always didn't work out, but at least they usually used to have some ready. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 16, 2011, 05:51:00 pm
Brief Cashner story

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-cashner-to-get-another-mri-on-shoulder-20110516,0,403318.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 16, 2011, 08:16:31 pm
I don't know what the Cubs can do, but something has to be done about Soriano.  He's not playable in the outfield anymore.  He struggles with routine plays regularly, and his throwing arm and hitting no longer come close to making up for it.  Colvin isn't the answer either, but at least he can catch the ball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 16, 2011, 08:36:32 pm
I think it is time to cut bait.  This team needs to be blown up in the worst possible way.  They need to build around defense and pitching. 

Do whatever it takes to get Soriano off this team.  I hate him more than any player I can remember playing for the cubs.  Do what Colorado did with Hampton and get a third team involved if you have to.  I don't even care if you take back more money in the deal just get his ass off this team so I can start enjoying cubs baseball again.

This team gives up so many extra outs a game not a week or in a month Im talking in a game.  Wheter it be lack of range or just ineptness of the player.  This team isn't good enough to win only giving the other team 27 outs let alone 30 or more a night.  That 7 run inning was complete bullshit and should have been just a couple runs but we can't field the ball for ****.

**** this team is such a damn mess and if you guys don't see it I don't know what to say.  I wish I could just walk away from this team forever but I can't and it kills me because they are not fun to watch anymore and yet I can't stop watching.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on May 16, 2011, 08:39:15 pm
I'm going to Fenway Saturday and Sunday but am having a tough time getting excited.

Can someone elaborate on the radio rumors about a change of leadership?  The Ricketts really should do something to show that they give a damn.  Maybe they could just release Soriano as a symbolic promise that we won't have to watch any more of these veterans (other than Soto) after this year? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on May 16, 2011, 08:42:15 pm
If Jorge Posada continues to struggle as a DH is that a possible home for Soriano?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 16, 2011, 09:21:36 pm
The Cubs are now 6 games out of first place.  It's probably time to start worrying about how much of a hole we're digging for ourselves, especially if we lose tomorrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 16, 2011, 09:33:37 pm
The Yankees desperately need a DH.  Just sayin'.  Of course, you're ridding the team of half it's home runs.  Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 16, 2011, 09:34:08 pm
No JR they need to figure out how to justify a 130 million dollar payroll for a 100 loss team.  This team is putrid.  Why are any of you worried about the cardinals or reds or anybody else in the division.  This team isn't going to sniff a .500 record. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 16, 2011, 09:43:02 pm
The Yankees didn't win 27 championships by luck.  They're smart enough to see past the homers and realize he's still a negative even as a DH with his pathetic sub-.300 OBP and inability to run the bases at anything approaching average baserunning ability.

It's going to take a GM or team that zeros in on one number and gets impressed.  Unfortunately, there aren't many of those GMs left in MLB.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 16, 2011, 09:48:58 pm
It's going to take a GM or team that zeros in on one number and gets impressed.  Unfortunately, there aren't many of those GMs left in MLB.   

I think Andy MacFail is about the only one left of those isn't he?  At least he's the GM of the Cubs dumping ground for toxic junk. 

Too bad the Orioles are in Year 5 of the five year rebuilding plan, or else maybe we'd be able to talk him into taking on about 20% of Soriano's remaining contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 16, 2011, 09:56:01 pm
The Orioles are finally in a position where they might be decent in the next couple of years.  I think even MacPhail is too smart to try that.

The only potential option I can see is if the Mariners are frustrated enough with Chone Figgins yet to dump him.  The Cubs essentially pay what Soriano is owed, and the Mariners pay what Figgins is owed, and you consider getting a guy who may still have value as a supersub a win.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 16, 2011, 10:01:46 pm
The only potential option I can see is if the Mariners are frustrated enough with Chone Figgins yet to dump him.

They might be.  Figgins is pretty much the most unpopular player in Seattle.  One of my good friends is a Mariners fan, and he says he's more hated than Milton Bradley was.  Things were so bad for Bradley at the end of his time in Seattle that he started wearing earplugs to Seattle home games.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 16, 2011, 10:14:16 pm
Of course, I'm pretty sure Soriano has a full no trade clause.  Dumping him somewhere like Seattle is going to take a lot of convincing.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 16, 2011, 10:18:55 pm
Yes, full no-trade as far as I remember.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on May 16, 2011, 10:30:12 pm
Is there anything about that contract that doesn't suck?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 16, 2011, 10:31:27 pm
Rotoworld says Colvin has been optioned to AAA.  Nothing about his replacement...anyone unexpectedly out of the lineup at Iowa tonight?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 16, 2011, 10:50:43 pm
Rotoworld says Colvin has been optioned to AAA.  Nothing about his replacement...anyone unexpectedly out of the lineup at Iowa tonight?

Good, maybe he can get his head on straight.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 16, 2011, 11:02:08 pm
I suppose Scales is a possibility, but I would rather see Campana or Montenez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 16, 2011, 11:04:03 pm
Scott Moore came out of the game early tonight.  That would be a really weird choice if it was him, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 16, 2011, 11:05:51 pm
Also Tony Campana wasn't in the lineup at all for Iowa.

I bet it's him.  Iowa is playing in Reno, and that's a long flight to Cincinnati.  Plus there was a little bit of speculation about him being the guy the other day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 16, 2011, 11:07:38 pm
Ugh, I hope not.  This team needs someone capable of power and/or OBP, not Campana.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 16, 2011, 11:22:48 pm
Then you can bet it's him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 16, 2011, 11:47:10 pm
According to the Trib, the invaluable  :'( "closed door meeting" after tonight's game.

After a leadoff out, the horrible 6th started with a play that a good 3B should make.  Maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there, but it seemed that when the next batter, Renteria, came up, Aramis smiled at him and gestured to a scoreboard--maybe the scoring of the non-play as a hit, not an error?  If so, I guess that maybe shows where Aramis is coming from these days. 

Soriano is not a fun player to watch anymore, obviously, but I don't blame him too much.  We know his defense sucks, so kind of asking too much for him to make a play like the line drive that froze him.  On the out at home play later, a terrible blunder by DeJesus to send Soriano with no outs.  Hard to blame Soriano for that one.  Blame the coach.

I'm not keen on blaming the manager too much, but Quade is behind the curve as an in-game manager too often.  That seems pretty plain.  Not too impressed with the coaching staff either.

The dispiriting games seem to be adding up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 16, 2011, 11:58:15 pm
Bruce Miles:

After tonight's game, the Cubs optioned Tyler Colvin to Class AAA Iowa. No corresponding move was made. I've suggested Lou Montanez, a guy who has played part time in the past three years with Baltimore. Other speculation has centered on prospect Tony Campana, but where and when would he play. Here is what GM Jim Hendry told reporters in Cincy:

"It's something he definitely needs to go play. He had a really good year for us and since the first days of spring training he never played up to that level. We're in the production business.

"It wasn't that he wasn't given enough at-bats. He didn't earn enough at-bats. The other guys here outplayed him, too. He needs to go down and play for a few weeks and once he does we can go back to the plan we had for him. he completely understood and was looking forward to getting some at-bats."

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 17, 2011, 12:07:44 am
Unless Hendry can make a trade with himself, there's no way any other team will take Soriano no matter how much money we eat.  May as well just release him and swallow the rest of the contract.  It's better than letting him kill you on the field every day for the life of the deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 17, 2011, 12:21:14 am
I'm going to Fenway Saturday and Sunday but am having a tough time getting excited.

Can someone elaborate on the radio rumors about a change of leadership?  The Ricketts really should do something to show that they give a damn.  Maybe they could just release Soriano as a symbolic promise that we won't have to watch any more of these veterans (other than Soto) after this year? 
Jim Hendry was fired on Friday, according to ESPN radio personality, Colin Cowherd. Don’t get titillated - Hendry wasn’t actually fired. The whole thing came from a joke/wishful-thinking column by Kent Sterling, which was passed on to Cowherd, who somehow interpreted it as fact, live on the air.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 17, 2011, 01:01:05 am
Since the Cubs didn't announce who was going to replace Colvin, even though there is no obvious reason why they didn't do so, perhaps they are going to make a trade, or sign a free agent.  Is there one worth signing out there?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 17, 2011, 06:24:43 am
The Cubs are now 6 games out of first place.  It's probably time to start worrying about how much of a hole we're digging for ourselves, especially if we lose tomorrow.

The Cubs are now on pace for a 71-91 season.

Is it time to accept the idea of a full rebuild yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 17, 2011, 06:27:03 am
Is there anything about that contract that doesn't suck?


Yes, there is.  It was central to making you and other Cub fans happy in 2007 and 2008.  And fans who are not willing to accept full rebuilds shouldn't complain too much on the out years about moves which worked quite well in the early years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 17, 2011, 06:41:57 am
Ugh, I hope not.  This team needs someone capable of power and/or OBP, not Campana.

How about making moves with a horizon of more than the next couple of weeks?  This season is going nowhere.  Instead of making moves to add power and/or OBP right now to a team which is going nowhere, how about instead making moves now which are intended to help the team in later years.  I don't know if Campana is such a move, but looking to add power and/or OBP now in order to win this season is not.

Bruce Miles:
Here is what GM Jim Hendry told reporters in Cincy:
"He had a really good year for us and since the first days of spring training he never played up to that level. We're in the production business.


With some minor changes in that, Ricketts could make the same statement about Hendry in firing him -- "He had a really good (first) year for us and since the(n) he never p(roduced) up to that level. We're in the production business."

Unless Hendry can make a trade with himself, there's no way any other team will take Soriano no matter how much money we eat.  May as well just release him and swallow the rest of the contract.  It's better than letting him kill you on the field every day for the life of the deal.

If the Cubs cut Soriano, and another team picks him up off waivers, doesn't the new team only have to pay his waiver salary, something like $25K?  And if the Cubs found a trade partner willing to take Soriano if the Cubs ate 90% of his salary, wouldn't the Cubs be better off?  Or are you assuming that any advantage the Cubs might get in that scenario would be more than offset by what it would take to get Soriano to waive his No Trade Clause?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 17, 2011, 06:43:40 am
According to the Trib, the invaluable  :'( "closed door meeting" after tonight's game.

After a leadoff out, the horrible 6th started with a play that a good 3B should make.  Maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there, but it seemed that when the next batter, Renteria, came up, Aramis smiled at him and gestured to a scoreboard--maybe the scoring of the non-play as a hit, not an error?  If so, I guess that maybe shows where Aramis is coming from these days. 

Soriano is not a fun player to watch anymore, obviously, but I don't blame him too much.  We know his defense sucks, so kind of asking too much for him to make a play like the line drive that froze him.  On the out at home play later, a terrible blunder by DeJesus to send Soriano with no outs.  Hard to blame Soriano for that one.  Blame the coach.

I'm not keen on blaming the manager too much, but Quade is behind the curve as an in-game manager too often.  That seems pretty plain.  Not too impressed with the coaching staff either.

The dispiriting games seem to be adding up.

Good post, Reb.

To me, the most disheartening thing is that we have a new owner who appears to be oblivious and clueless.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on May 17, 2011, 06:51:19 am
Let Colvin tear it up at AAA for a little bit.  Then, simply give him the LF job for the rest of the year and waive Soriano.  Waive Ramirez too if he keeps dogging it and play Scales.  Turn your attention to figuring out who the next GM is going to be.  Really, is it so hard to figure out what to do right now?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 17, 2011, 08:05:40 am
Campana almost certainly has to be the guy.  All of the other serious possibilities, like Montanez, played the whole game in Reno, which is a long way from Cincinnati.  The Hendry quote made it sound like this was decided before the game yesterday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 17, 2011, 08:11:41 am
"To me, the most disheartening thing is that we have a new owner who appears to be oblivious and clueless."
I feel that the Ricketts aren't clueless and/or oblivious, but  committed to allowing the course of the season to be determined by their hirelings to whatever record can be achieved with the current roster / payroll and at season's end make the moves to change the future direction of the franchise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 17, 2011, 09:23:18 am
I guess the poor man's Juan Pierre is officially joining the team.  From the Trib:

Colvin's spot on the roster will be filled by Iowa outfielder Tony Campana, who was hitting .342 with eight stolen bases.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 17, 2011, 09:57:35 am
Why the delay in announcing who takes Tyler Colvin's roster spot?

One reason could be his replacement is coming in a soon to be worked out trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 17, 2011, 10:19:48 am
Nice story about Campana, from a few days ago.  Good for him to get to the big leagues.

http://www.press-citizen.com/article/D2/20110508/SPORTS1402/110506025/Mother-s-Day-extra-special-mom-Iowa-Cub
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 17, 2011, 10:34:23 am
Thanks for the link. I would prefer Montanez because he would do better with lots of bench time, whereas Campana might be a real prospect and needs at bats. However he is a great story, and we do need some speed.

Let's face facts. This is a lost year so let's play guys that might help usnin the future. Look at what Barney and Castro are doing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 17, 2011, 10:46:42 am
I keep seeing Montanez's name...and I just can't figure out why anyone has any interest in having him on the major league team.  He's tearing up AAA because he's a AAAA player.  In the majors, though, he has essentially been Koyie Hill.  He's hitting .223/.257/.323 in 266 career plate appearances.  Koyie Hill's career line?  .212/.275/.305.  The OPSes are identical, but Hill's is slightly better because OBP is the more important part of OPS. 

Montanez has no value now or in the future.  There is no reason for him to ever get a major league at bat with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 17, 2011, 10:53:37 am
Montanez is hitting better than he ever has. Maybe a light turned on. Also, he had one good part of a year with the Os.

On another note, I wonder how  much of Colvin's struggles are due to his injury last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 17, 2011, 11:00:50 am
I think we're going to find out that the primary reason for Colvin's struggles is that he's just not that good.  He never did anything in the minors to show that he could do what he did last year.  And if improving that much was as easy as going to "Camp Colvin" for part of an offseason, every fringe major leaguer would do it.

Colvin is looking at a career somewhere between Corey Patterson and Jacque Jones.  He will never be a star, or even a starter on a good team with money.  He's likely to be most useful as a 300-400 AB 4th/platoon outfielder on a contender that can't afford better, or as a second division starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 17, 2011, 11:02:49 am
I agree Colvin isn't very good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: fredr on May 17, 2011, 11:31:57 am
If I had control of the Cubs for 1hour here is what I would Do.
Trade / release: Soriano, Rameriz & Byrd [ the juice has been squeezed out].
They won’t be back next year anyway, so do it now.[ except for Soriano who has nothing left
And is killing the team.
Bring up the best available kids & let them play.
Hill & Fukudome would be on a short leash.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 17, 2011, 11:59:30 am
Hill? I'd be happy to see that guy doing color commentary on MLBN ,ESPN, or CSN not as backup to Soto
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 17, 2011, 12:00:26 pm
In this, the 103rd year of our rebuilding process, here's something to put things in perspective:

http://www.theheckler.com/2011/05/16/chicago-cubs-fans-the-infographic/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 17, 2011, 12:04:01 pm
LOL
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 17, 2011, 12:06:58 pm
Colvin's spot on the roster will be filled by Iowa outfielder Tony Campana, who was hitting .342 with eight stolen bases.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 17, 2011, 12:07:30 pm
In this, the 103rd year of our rebuilding process...

Except that there have been relatively few years of actual "rebuilding" when the moves made sense as ground up rebuilding efforts.  Lots of misguided remodeling, but not much rebuilding.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 17, 2011, 12:21:31 pm
Let's face facts. This is a lost year so let's play guys that might help usnin the future.

Sounds like we have a convert.... though I concluded back in November that the 2011 season was lost.  A true, serious rebuild requires a team to pay little to any attention to its W/L record for two years.  Starting that now is better than nothing, but it would have been better to start late last year.

He's hitting .223/.257/.323 in 266 career plate appearances.  Koyie Hill's career line?  .212/.275/.305.  The OPSes are identical, but Hill's is slightly better because OBP is the more important part of OPS.

I'm sorry, but I see six different figures in those two hitting lines, with none of them being identical (similar, but not identical).  Am I mis-reading, was there a typo in entering the lines, or is this using "identical" to mean, "close"?

Colvin... never did anything in the minors to show that he could do what he did last year.

But he did last year show what he could do last year.  Those were real numbers.  He may never repeat them, but those were not numbers simply drawn out of a hat.

If I had control of the Cubs for 1hour here is what I would Do.
Trade / release: Soriano, Rameriz & Byrd [ the juice has been squeezed out].
They won’t be back next year anyway, so do it now.[ except for Soriano who has nothing left
And is killing the team.
Bring up the best available kids & let them play.
Hill & Fukudome would be on a short leash.

Sounds like another full rebuild convert!!!!

The Cubs keep playing as they have been, and perhaps Rickets will climb on board.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 17, 2011, 12:39:37 pm
Quote
I'm sorry, but I see six different figures in those two hitting lines, with none of them being identical (similar, but not identical).  Am I mis-reading, was there a typo in entering the lines, or is this using "identical" to mean, "close"?

Are you going to now contend that 257+323 does not sum to the same number as 275+305?

Do we get another Jes math lecture?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 17, 2011, 01:38:15 pm
One thing adding Campana does do is it allows Quade to give Byrd a day off or two in the near future.  He obviously doesn't trust Reed, Kosuke or Colvin in CF or else he would have already used one of them to spell Byrd.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 17, 2011, 02:00:43 pm

Are you going to now contend that 257+323 does not sum to the same number as 275+305?   Do we get another Jes math lecture?

Nope, you get an admission of VERY lazy review of the hitting line.  I always use BA/OBP/OPS.  Obviously the numbers here were BA/OBP/Slugging.  I didn't even bother to look at the 3rd set of numbers in either line closely enough to see that it was Slugging and assumed that it was OPS, while also not looking closely enough to see that the numbers were far to low to possibly have been OPS.  I simply saw two hitting lines with different numbers in each slot and didn't bother to think about it any further.

So when I asked, "Am I mis-reading, was there a typo in entering the lines, or is this using 'identical' to mean, 'close'?" the obvious answer is that I was mis-reading.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 17, 2011, 02:13:50 pm
Actually br's probably not going to like this, but if Campana doesn't get overwhelmed at the plate, I bet his place on the roster will be pretty safe the rest of the year.  In Quade's mind, he probably thinks he's been playing without a backup centerfielder all season, and he's also mentioned that we've really lacked speed on this team. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 17, 2011, 02:40:02 pm
Paul Sullivan

(Steve) Stone "congratulates" Hendry on WSCR: "After 20 years in the major leagues, he has figured out that young kids need to get at-bats."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on May 17, 2011, 02:45:57 pm
Campana will be fun to watch. He really gets down the line fast...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 17, 2011, 03:03:46 pm
Stolen from another board.  Thought it was an interesting response to "the division was ours for the taking."

How do you figure the division was there for the taking?  Would Ryno or Bobby Valentine be able to teach Ramirez to hit HR's again?  Or how about teaching Pena not to strikeout...

This is a bad baseball team with aging veterans past their prime (Z, Demp, Wood, Kosuke, Byrd, Ramirez, Soriano) and younger players who will be serviceable but never great (Barney, Soto, Colvin, Marshall)

The Reds are going to win this division by 10 games and win 95 games.  It was NEVER there for the taking with this roster.

Hiring Quade was nothing more than a version of the four corners offense.  Let the contracts expire, let Pujols and Carpenter age, let the Reds be forced to break up the roster.

2013 is the next window for the Cubs.  Clean slate for payroll (minus fonzi) and a weakening division.

Just relax and pretend we're the New York Mets.  Our owners have no money, fans aren't coming, and the other teams in town are more entertaining to follow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 17, 2011, 03:04:02 pm
Love this line:

Hiring Quade was nothing more than a version of the four corners offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 17, 2011, 03:06:00 pm
I think that sums things up pretty well.

I hope Soto will be more than just a serviceable vet and will play in a few all-star games before he's through, but he's going to have to learn how to stay on the field eventually and quit being so damn inconsistent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on May 17, 2011, 03:31:46 pm
Quote
2013 is the next window for the Cubs.  Clean slate for payroll (minus fonzi) and a weakening division.

I got news for whoever said this. Just because you clear players with big contracts off your roster doesn't make your team good. You still need talent, and it doesn't appear by magic.

I can assure you the Cardinals and Reds won't be using this formula to get better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 17, 2011, 03:44:28 pm
Marcos Mateo also gets booted from the roster after yesterday's disaster.

Scott Maine - R - Cubs

Cubs recalled LHP Scott Maine from Triple-A Iowa.
He'll replace Marcos Mateo on the active roster. Maine had a 2.84 ERA and 21/8 K/BB ratio over his first 19 innings at the Triple-A level this season. The 26-year-old southpaw will contribute in middle relief.
May 17, 4:20 PM

Marcos Mateo - R - Cubs

Cubs optioned RHP Marcos Mateo to Triple-A Iowa.
Mateo gets the boot after posting a 5.74 ERA and 17/9 K/BB ratio over his first 15 2/3 innings of work this season. The 27-year-old right-hander will probably be back at some point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 17, 2011, 03:48:23 pm
I think that now gives us four lefties in the pen . . . Marshall, Grabow, Russell, and now Maine.

I can't imagine that lasting for too long, especially since that will severely limit Quade's ability to use one mediocre reliever to get one out as he likes to do.  I wonder if the Cubs might eventually admit their mistake with Grabow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 17, 2011, 03:53:21 pm
I got news for whoever said this. Just because you clear players with big contracts off your roster doesn't make your team good. You still need talent, and it doesn't appear by magic.

I can assure you the Cardinals and Reds won't be using this formula to get better.

I don't think he meant 2013 was a sure thing.  I think he meant that would be the first opportunity to put a team together again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest61 on May 17, 2011, 03:58:04 pm
Tony Campana can flat out fly and hits a for a very good average too.

He's a leadoff man in every sense of the word.

He'll be a fan favorite from day 1.

As far as Tyler Colvin goes I hate to see him get demoted but he has no one to blame but himself.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on May 17, 2011, 04:03:21 pm
Quote
I think he meant that would be the first opportunity to put a team together again.

I think that's what he meant too. You can't wait until then to start making the roster better though. Teams aren't put together overnight.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 17, 2011, 04:16:43 pm
Actually br's probably not going to like this, but if Campana doesn't get overwhelmed at the plate, I bet his place on the roster will be pretty safe the rest of the year.  In Quade's mind, he probably thinks he's been playing without a backup centerfielder all season, and he's also mentioned that we've really lacked speed on this team. 

That's what I'm afraid of.  Campana is likely to be another .280/.330 BA/OBP guy with much less power than the powerless bunch we have now.  Castro, Barney, Johnson, DeWitt, Byrd, Fukudome...they all have Babe Ruth-like power compared to Campana.  So we'll have another high, empty average that doesn't really do that much to help the Cubs score runs.

Campana has never hit a professional home run, and has only 49 doubles/triples in over 1,300 professional plate appearances.  He may be a nice guy and a good coach someday...but he's another Joey Gathright at best.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 17, 2011, 04:38:22 pm
If Campana can hit .280 consistently, the Cubs should bat him cleanup.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 17, 2011, 04:39:37 pm
I knew I was too charitable calling Mateo Cubs 5th best reliever.  I guess the last three spots are fluid based on the most recent horrible appearance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 17, 2011, 04:41:47 pm
What has Russell done to keep his spot?  I know Mateo has had 2-3 huge blowups, but he has also been mostly good in his other outings.  Russell has just been awful all year.

I was surprised when Berg went out instead of Russell or Mateo on Saturday, and I'm even more surprised Russell survived the next cut.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 17, 2011, 04:48:12 pm
Scott Maine will wear #57, the same number he had last year.  Tony Campana has been given #41, Lou's old number.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 17, 2011, 05:24:35 pm
In this, the 103rd year of our rebuilding process, here's something to put things in perspective:

http://www.theheckler.com/2011/05/16/chicago-cubs-fans-the-infographic/
someone have a 204 year rebuilding process?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: BearHit on May 17, 2011, 05:32:02 pm
My son's team has lost every game so far this year - but I still enjoy watching the games - and discussing it with him afterwards - it is simply a game - even if you are "professional"
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 17, 2011, 05:47:21 pm
Cashner update: MRI says he aggravated same injury. Back to square one in rehab. Likely out til after AllStar break.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 17, 2011, 05:54:42 pm
Not good.  We'll be having Casey Coleman or Doug Davis starting for this team until the all-star break and probably longer. 

How's Gorzelanny doing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 17, 2011, 05:56:22 pm
Randy Wells pitches tonight in Peoria.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: BearHit on May 17, 2011, 05:57:43 pm
I'm curious about his past history...

I've seen these little leaguers get pushed to the limit (by league rules and their parents)

I've seen some talented teenagers that will likely flame out in high school because they've been through 6 or 7 years of little league domination
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 17, 2011, 07:10:31 pm
How would a pitching staff of Gorzellany, Nolasco, Lohse, Marquis, and Lilly look right now?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on May 17, 2011, 07:33:29 pm
Mediocre?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 17, 2011, 07:41:59 pm
You may be right, JR, though Fuku, Reed and Colvin all seem perfectly adequate to handle CF on a fill-in or backup basis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on May 17, 2011, 08:08:58 pm
Quote
How would a pitching staff of Gorzellany, Nolasco, Lohse, Marquis, and Lilly look right now?

With this offense and defense? Just as bad as what is here now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 18, 2011, 05:04:54 am
All I'm going to say is no matter what happens this year with changes and I think there needs to be a complete overhaul.  Jim Hendry should not be allowed to make those moves.  His time has come to an end and Ricketts needs to pull the plug as soon as possible.  That needs to be the first step and untill then nothing else should be touched.  Let Wilken stay throught the draft then if the new GM wants to make changes there give him full authority to make whatever changes he deems. 


Bottom line is we can't and shouldn't fix the major league roster untill we revamp the front office.  Every sports caster and writer should be calling for the Hendry regime to end after the latest embarrassment last night. 

At least when the cubs were truely bad there was always something to hope for somebody to cheer for.  Who is on the horizon?  Who is there to cheer for?  Most will say Castro but man he makes so many boneheaded plays in the field he is hard for me to cheer for at his point.  Most fans are so cynical anyway  anymore and I think the reason is there is no belief from any of us that Hendry can get the job done.  The time has come to put pressure on Ricketts to make that first move and get rid of the idiot pulling the strings.  Hwndry must go before anything else positive can happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 07:08:27 am
But, buff, Hendry and Pujols are bff's, huggers, and who knows what else!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 18, 2011, 09:04:24 am
The Ignore function is pretty cool on here, isn't it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 09:21:03 am
yup
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 18, 2011, 09:30:08 am
The only problem with the ignore function is that the main board still shows there are new posts in a topic if the new post is from someone you have on ignore.  But I guess that's a minor problem.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 18, 2011, 09:46:19 am
Paul Sullivan on Twitter:

         LaTroy at Shea Stadium in 2004? Rock Bottom. 0-14 in 1997? Rock Bottom. Neifi Perez Era? Rock Bottom. This is just a speed bump

Sorry, Quade. Having spent 12 years covering Cubs, I know Rock Bottom. This, sir, is nowhere near Rock Bottom.

________________________________________________________________________

This might be a good subject for a poll.  I'd vote for:  "if it's not the bottom, it's close"

I don't know why my comment keeps coming out in italics.  I've tried a number of ways to get rid of them and nothing works, just like the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 18, 2011, 09:52:31 am
 "if it's not the bottom, it's close"

 
And that is almost exactly what Mike Quade had to say.

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 09:59:29 am
br, agree.  It would be sweet if they would disappear altogether, but the real key is not yielding to the temptation to peek at what was posted.  Once you discipline yourself to truly ignore it is SWEET.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 18, 2011, 10:17:37 am
I will tell you going back to about 1980 this is my rock bottom.  I've never felt this way about the cubs.  I can't find anything or anyone to keep my interest.  Yet whether it be habit or what I also can't not read the board or look at the box score either.  It is rock bottom there is just no hope, it is miserable right now. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 10:29:24 am
It's hard to be enthusiastic, that's for sure.  And I don't see what a new owner, new gm, new manager, or even a few new players would do to change it.  It's that bad.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: rjzebra on May 18, 2011, 10:49:25 am
"going back to about 1980"  How would you rate the intensity of someone who began following the Cubs in 1943.  NEVERMIND!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on May 18, 2011, 10:56:49 am
At least you saw a world series in 1945
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 18, 2011, 12:17:23 pm
The Cubs defense and fundamentals this year have been horrible, but the most frustrating thing is where it is coming from.  Soriano is terrible in the field, and we have come to expect Castro to be erratic, but it goes far beyond that.

Last night, it began when their gold glover, Pena missed a ground ball that most first basemen would have gotten.  Then the pitcher threw wildly to home plate when he seemed to have plenty of time.  Then later old veteran Kerry Wood threw wildly to third base on one of the easiest plays he will have as a pitcher.  And, of course, the "fundamentally sound" Fukudome missed the cut off man for the 4th or 5th time in a crucial situation.

I think it is time to make some big changes.  Trade Byrd, (he is one of the few that is tradable).  Move Castro to CF.  Move Barney to short.  Play Baker at second (or bring up LaMehieu if he is ready).  Move Ramirez even if you have to eat his salary, and sit Soriano at least 3 times per week.

It probably won't make the team better, but it can't make it worse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 18, 2011, 12:23:22 pm
I've missed the last two games, and I'm glad I did. I've been a long-term Hendry supporter, but I've finally given up. Ten million to Pena was pretty much the last straw, and Pena's performance since was the clincher.

I was also very disappointed with the Garza trade. Mortaging the future when you're close to postseason is one thing, but this team is comprised of a bunch of fat, lazy underachievers, and is probably going to finish fifth in a weak six-team division.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 18, 2011, 12:35:59 pm
There is no hope for a decent 2011 season for Cubs fans.  >:(
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 18, 2011, 12:41:56 pm
There is no hope for a decent 2011 season for Cubs fans.  >:(

We could all start rooting for the Pirates. They have a decent chance to finish fourth in the division, and could even move up to third if Milwaukee falters.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 12:49:45 pm
CubSin, fifth?  That high?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 18, 2011, 12:55:07 pm
You don't have much faith in the Cubs.  I think there is a reasonable chance that they can finish sixth.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 01:01:32 pm
There is no hope for a decent 2011 season for Cubs fans.  >:(

What's depressing me is that I'm not sure how many years away from actual hope we are.  What could anyone do to make even NEXT year better?  Not much.  Yes, they could jetison bad contracts, but, realistically, who can take that kind of financial hit? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 18, 2011, 01:11:45 pm
Bruce Miles blog

Will Cubs go winless on this trip?

Think it’s impossible? If so, you didn’t watch the two games in Cincinnati

The natives are getting extremely restless. Go to any media outlet, and you’ll find that out quickly. How many empty seats will there be at Wrigley Field next homestand?

Cubs fans have seen enough of it.


http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5704
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 18, 2011, 01:27:24 pm
Quote
But if you fire Hendry (and Fleita and Wilken follow him out the door) whom do you bring in, and do you trust Ricketts and team president Crane Kenney to hire the right people? Think about that for a sec.

That's the part I worry about.  For goc's sake, Andy MacPhail was once the hotshot exec that was going to turn the ship around!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 18, 2011, 01:33:26 pm
At this point, I think 2013 is really the first realistic chance the Cubs have at serious contention.

If everything breaks right next year (injuries and free agent losses in the division, career years for the Cubs, etc.) the Cubs could have a shot at the Central or wild card but they probably wouldn't have a realistic shot at 90+ wins unless they sign both Albert Pujols and CC Sabathia (if he opts out of his Yankees contract).

I don't think it's a total long shot for the Cubs to be better next season but they have to get rid of the coaching staff and the general manager as soon as possible.  This bargain basement, patchwork approach to assembling a staff for a team full of veterans is clearly not working.  The veterans don't respect them, don't respond to them and it shows.

Mike Quade seems like a great guy but he's over his head.  Mark Riggins is obviously out of his league here.

If the Ricketts want people to fill their ballpark, they're going to have to put a Major League product on the field and they can't do that with a bush league coaching staff or a GM that's proven he can't assemble a solid top-to-bottom Major League roster.

They need to hire a club president that will install an organizational philosophy and stick with it.  There can be no more of Hendry's constant changing of lanes from "guys who catch the ball" to "speedy leadoff guys" to "left-handedness" or whatever wild hair he finds the morning after the World Series ends.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 18, 2011, 01:37:58 pm

Ten million to Pena was pretty much the last straw, and Pena's performance since was the clincher.


I was also very disappointed with the Garza trade.


There is a lot to dislike about Hendry, and a lot he has done wrong over the years.  But I still don't really understand the outrage over these moves.  I think the Pena deal was the right move for a couple of reasons:
As far as Garza goes...give him an average major league defense, and we're talking All Star Game/early Cy Young candidate right now.  He has pitched like a legitimate ace...and if he continues to do that, he'll be worth every prospect the Cubs gave up.


If you want to really blame Hendry for something recent, blame him for taking a month to replace Wells/Cashner with someone like Davis. I know spring training robbed him of a lot of the depth he expected to have (Wellemeyer, Looper, & Silva), but I have trouble believing it would've been hard to come up with someone who might be able to post a 5.00 ERA within a week.  Tim Redding, Rodrigo Lopez, Claudio Vargas, Jeff Suppan, Micah Owings, and Dontrelle Willis (among others) are all pitching in AAA right now...doesn't it seem like most of those guys would be available for a fringe player like, say, Jeff Stevens or Justin Berg?  Not that any of them would've been good...but I feel confident that all of them could've improved on what we've gotten out of Russell and Coleman.  If the Cubs win 2-3 more of those starts, they don't look nearly as hopeless right now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 18, 2011, 01:54:01 pm
It sucks that the Cubs are digging themselves such a hole, because this division is weak.  The Reds are the only good team, and they have to overcome a manager who sacrifices with Brandon Phillips after 4 straight hitters reach base, plays for 1 run when he's down by 2 runs in the 8th inning, and regularly gets credited with shredding pitchers' arms.   

If the Cubs could get their heads out of their asses and not beat themselves for a 3 week stretch, there's enough talent on this team to get them back in the middle of the race.  But they have yet to keep their heads straight for longer than 2 games in a row, so 3 weeks is probably too much to ask.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 18, 2011, 02:01:19 pm
They need to hire a club president that will install an organizational philosophy and stick with it.  There can be no more of Hendry's constant changing of lanes from "guys who can catch the ball" to "speedy leadoff guys" to "left-handedness" or whatever wild hair he finds the morning after the World Series ends. (StrikeZone)

I've given BenSF a hard time in the past for his constant calls for the Cubs to hire someone is "smart" and has a "plan" like Sandy Alderson.  And I do think he's vastly oversimplified things in his comments on those subjects.

That said, I have to admit that there seems ample evidence that the Cubs do lack a consistent philosophy/approach regarding developing players who are strong on the fundamentals and have a balanced approach to the game of baseball.  The same seems true, too often, in the players that have been acquired through trades or free agency.  That stuff is easier said that done, but it does seem that the Cubs do this less well than some others.  Given the number of years Hendry has had to put his stamp on the organization, it's fair to hold him responsible problems in that area.



Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 18, 2011, 02:08:13 pm
How do you suppose Boris now feels about traveling all the way from Australia to see a team masquerading as a major league ball club?

I wonder if he is on the way and hasn't seen the results from Cincinnati yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 18, 2011, 02:23:32 pm
As to Hendry and Ricketts ...

If the contracts that are currently burdening the Cubs are really the result of prior pressure from ownership to try to goose up the value of the team for sale, then I can't blame Hendry too much for them.  But if that’s the case, I do blame the Ricketts family for both keeping Hendry in place and at the same time not giving him some financial flexibility within which he could operate, given the burden of the existing contractual load from that period. 

I have no idea how the Ricketts family views things, and we’ll probably never really know what the factors were in entering into those contracts. 

But as someone who has supported Hendry, for the most part, over the years, even I think it’s time to make a change at the top – assuming this team doesn’t turn things around in a very big way.  And I don’t think there is much likelihood that’s going to happen this year.  Bruce Miles raises very good questions about the risks associated with that, but if the Cubs end up having three straight bad years in a row with such a huge financial investment, something very fundamental has to change.  And that probably needs to start with Hendry.  The Cubs franchise is clearly a highly valued one in baseball, so I suspect the challenge would be a welcome one, if the right person could be found to turn things around.

I hope the Cubs make everyone, including me, look foolish for the gloomy assessment for this season and beyond.  After all Samardzjia has certainly performed far better than expected - so as the kid in Angels in the Outfield liked to say, "It could happen."  But I'm thinking that's not very likely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 18, 2011, 02:32:23 pm
If I was forced at gunpoint to play cello with a punk rock band, I'd turn in a better effort than Soriano, Byrd or ARam have, despite their wonderful paychecks. I'm ashamed that The Quade doesn't have the cojones to bench these guys until they grow a pair.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on May 18, 2011, 02:32:36 pm
If this keeps up the Ricketts are going to have to do "Undercover Boss" for real.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 18, 2011, 02:36:13 pm
as the kid in Angels in the Outfield liked to say, "It could happen." 

Yeah, but it's the other kid that ended up in Inception.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 18, 2011, 02:57:41 pm
No doubt that Hendry is not a "visionary" kind of GM.   It's pretty much mend and fix each year--and that depends on who's out there available at a given point in time. I suppose if you consistently makes good decisions, you can win that way.  But, the bottom line is the bottom line.  I'm not a Hendry basher.  I think he's a smart guy.  But you have to win.

Most of the current guys on the club have this strength and that deficiency.  But, really good clubs have guys like that all over the place. What's missing on this club are a few stars. Arguably, the only guy on the club who is among the very best at his position  is Marmol at closer.  We need a few impact players.

There will be money to spend next year to get a guy like that at 1B.  Sign Fielder or Pujols.  An impact guy at 1B.  The two biggest offensive holes are at #3 and #4, you fill one of those right there.  A year more experience and maturity, maybe Castro can be more of a #3 guy next year.  I don't know, but I could see that.

Either Kosuke or Byrd will be gone after this season--and B. Jackson takes over in CF--probably at leadoff.  That adds to overall team speed, a big deficiency of the current club.  That's Jackson-Barney-Castro-Fielder, top 1/2 of the lineup.  Kind of interesting.

If you sign Fielder or Pujols at 1B, maybe not a bad idea to see if Flaherty/LaMahieu can take over at 3B next year from day one.  They're not youngsters in terms of age.   Spend some more of cleared payroll on pitching.

Somebody recently compared the current version of Soriano to Dave Kingman.   Three or four years ago, that would have seemed ridiculous, but it's kinda true now.  Funny thing is that, for a time, Kingman was one of the Cubs best players.  I guess there are worse things than a bad defensive LFer who can slug .500.  The two comps to Kingman at baseballreference are Greg Vaughn and Frank Howard.  I think you can live with a LFer of that ilk at #6 or #7 in the lineup, even with poor defense.  By the way, is Soriano any worse defensively than Ryan Braun?   We' d all love to have Braun.

Give me stars at #3 and #4  in the lineup and a true ace #1 starter, a bit more overall team speed, and better defense---and you have a nice ballclub.   Presto!   ;D

That brings me to Garza.  Not saying that he's a #1, but I think Garza has been terrific this season.  Love the guy.  And, he's 27.  I can't embrace the "mortgaging the future" argument when you get back a pitcher like this at that age.  He has really good stuff and he's tough-minded and durable (knock on wood).  He's far and away the best starting pitcher on the staff.  Glad to have him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 18, 2011, 03:20:11 pm
If I was forced at gunpoint to play cello with a punk rock band, I'd turn in a better effort than Soriano, Byrd or ARam have, despite their wonderful paychecks. I'm ashamed that The Quade doesn't have the cojones to bench these guys until they grow a pair.

Yes, Soriano is annoying at times.  Maybe that's too soft a word too. 

But, he has played with this "style" his entire career.  Soriano had a career year in DC and I know a few folks around town who, even that season, hated his game back then.

Lou, a tough guy, managed this guy, playing this "style", and Lou did nothing, at least publicly.  If he did something privately, it was not visible in terms of Soriano's "style."  My theory for that is that Lou knew that baseball is not football.  In football, all-out intensity is almost always good. In baseball, every player has to play at a certain state of relaxation to suceed and each player does that in some individual, personal way.  This is true for the guys who everybody agrees "play the game the right way,"   Rolen or Jeter or Pujols or what have you.  So,  Soriano plays in his own personal relaxed way.  Lou knew that, probably because he has seen other good players do the same things that Soriano does.   Even Pujols does not always run hard to !B on routine grounders that are "sure" outs.  So, yes the "style" is annoying at times, but this is what he does to play baseball.

The overriding thing with Soriano is 8/$140 or whatever the number is.  Think of him as Dave Kingman with a smile (and without the rat).
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 18, 2011, 03:21:08 pm
Ok, since everyone wants to get rid of Hendry, let's start hearing some names to replace him.  I'll start:

Kim Ng has paid her dues.  She's been an exec with the Dodgers and Yankees and seems to know the job well.  And she's available.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on May 18, 2011, 03:29:32 pm
Some of you folks are being pretty negative...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 18, 2011, 03:34:00 pm
Let's call it constructive criticism.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 18, 2011, 03:52:03 pm
As to Hendry and Ricketts ...

...

Hi, Ron, welcome back!  Long time no see.  Good to have your measured input. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 04:07:52 pm
How do you suppose Boris now feels about traveling all the way from Australia to see a team masquerading as a major league ball club?

I wonder if he is on the way and hasn't seen the results from Cincinnati yet.

Cactus mail.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 04:13:47 pm

If I was forced at gunpoint to play cello with a punk rock band, I'd turn in a better effort than Soriano, Byrd or ARam have, despite their wonderful paychecks. I'm ashamed that The Quade doesn't have the cojones to bench these guys until they grow a pair.
[/quote]

Quotes like that one and "Quade's the Cubs' equivelent of the four cornered offense" are what keep me reading this board.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 18, 2011, 04:27:37 pm

That brings me to Garza.  Not saying that he's a #1, but I think Garza has been terrific this season.  Love the guy.  And, he's 27.  I can't embrace the "mortgaging the future" argument when you get back a pitcher like this at that age.  He has really good stuff and he's tough-minded and durable (knock on wood).  He's far and away the best starting pitcher on the staff.  Glad to have him.

I have nothing against Garza. He's a good pitcher. It's just that there's so much deadwood on this team that I expect him to be long gone through free agency before the Cubs play their next preseason game. So I'd much rather we'd kept Lee and Archer.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Dave23 on May 18, 2011, 04:31:19 pm
It's just that there's so much deadwood on this team that I expect him to be long gone through free agency before the Cubs play their next preseason game.

Steak dinner bet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 18, 2011, 04:39:06 pm
No doubt that Hendry is not a "visionary" kind of GM.   It's pretty much mend and fix each year--and that depends on who's out there available at a given point in time. I suppose if you consistently makes good decisions, you can win that way.  But, the bottom line is the bottom line.  I'm not a Hendry basher.  I think he's a smart guy.  But you have to win.

Most of the current guys on the club have this strength and that deficiency.  But, really good clubs have guys like that all over the place. What's missing on this club are a few stars.....

Very good points. 
1.  I'm not that concerned about the "philosophy" or "visionary" side.  I do actually think that Hendry has had a strong philosophy, that draft-and-develop is the way to go.  So I think that has been an excellent "big picture" philosophy over his 15 years with the Cubs.  MacP had that nice philosophy too, it was excellent and very well intentioned. 

2.  Personally think a case-by-case, mend-and-fix type approach is entirely appropriate for a big-league team.  Every player and roster and situation is unique.  Respond appropriately to what the realities are.  An appropriate response in 2004 might have been one thing.  An appropriate response now might be very different.  It wouldn't be at all philosophically inconsistent for the same GM who was going for Maddux in 04 or Harden in 08 to pursue that full rebuild that jes (imo correctly) advocates today. 

3.  I think removing Hendry, and hopefully with him Fleita, would be appropriate.  Those two guys have had their 15 year opportunity, and I think a change in command is not unreasonable.  If they stay, I hope things work out.  I think it's possible. 

4.  I don't think the primary issue is "philosophy", I think the primary issue is simply good case-by-case decision making.  The philosophy can be excellent, but when you spend your cash on Pena and Soriano and they aren't any good, it's a case of individual decision making rather than of big-picture philosophy.  Same goes with the draft-and-develop, you can have a nice philosophy, but it comes down to cases and individual player evaluation.  Ha looks like a really good sign, Choi like a bad sign; I don't think the philosophy differed. 

Hendry biggest FA signings of late have been Pena, Grabow, Byrd, and Bradley.  He's been missing.  His biggest trades have been for Garza, Rich Harden, and Juan Pierre.  Garza looks good, but he hasn't been hitting on enough acquisitions. 

To large degree Hendry has ridden his 2003/2004 personnel.  Z, Lee, Aram, and Dempster.  Since then he and Fleita just haven't added enough talent.

5.  Reb, I completely agree with your "stars" point.  We don't have any.  There were times when Aram and Lee were really good players, and Zambrano, and for a season Dempster.  But it seems the roster is mostly a collection of guys who might be support players on a top team, but nobody special.  When the current version of Starlin Castro is in discussion as your best player, how do you expect to win 95 games? 

They need to get some really, really good players, and Hendry hasn't gotten any since he pulled the Aram and Lee magic many years ago. 

6.  I still think that is largely on the farm system.  To come up with a Soto or a Theriot or a Randy Wells every once in a while, that's not good enough.  Every talented pitcher either is either Zambrano or else flubs (Pawalek) or gets hurt (Wood, Prior, Brownlie, Hagerty, Guzman, Cashner...)  Procurement and development just hasn't been able to produce players who are going to be the best players on a championship team. 

I hope Jackson blossoms into a useful support player, but I don't imagine him being special.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 18, 2011, 04:46:18 pm
Jim Hendry is the 2011 Cubs.  He does enough right to please a number of casual fans, but when it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position, he fails miserably.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 05:17:10 pm
It's just that there's so much deadwood on this team that I expect him to be long gone through free agency before the Cubs play their next preseason game.

Steak dinner bet?
I'll do the bet.  Need an excuse to come to Memphis and see you again anyhow.  Or is Beale St. under water?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 18, 2011, 05:19:33 pm
I don't think Garza's going to be a free agent by the Cubs next preseason game.

Congrats on winning the easiest steak dinner bet ever there Dave.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 05:23:31 pm
It's a no lose bet, JR.  Go eat more White Castle burgers and let the big boys alone.  If the Cubs are in the pre-season before Garza, great!  I'll gladly pay for Dave's steak.  If they don't, well, frankly, honestly, when you think about it, it won't taste that hot no matter who buys it.  I guess it does have a down side.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 18, 2011, 05:55:00 pm
Ok, since everyone wants to get rid of Hendry, let's start hearing some names to replace him.  I'll start:

Kim Ng has paid her dues.  She's been an exec with the Dodgers and Yankees and seems to know the job well.  And she's available.

I brought up Kim Ng last year as a suggestion for a Hendry replacement.  Jiggy, predictably, was dismissive but no one else even bothered to comment.

I've also suggested Larry Beinfest and Andrew Friedman.

However, I would want the Cubs to replace Crane Kenney as well.

I think building a structure similar to what the Braves had with Stan Kasten, John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox would be ideal.

It's important, in my opinion, to have a baseball executive at the top.  Kenney doesn't know a baseball from a Super Pinky Ball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 18, 2011, 05:59:19 pm
Former Twins GM Terry Ryan would be worth considering except he stepped down because he didn't like being in the spotlight all the time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 07:36:52 pm
Is Kim Ng hot?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 18, 2011, 07:41:31 pm
Not so much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 07:42:59 pm
Well, I assume she's hotter than Jimbo.

Although Pujols looked happy with his hug...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 18, 2011, 07:49:27 pm
Jim Hendry probably has bigger bewbs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 08:06:40 pm
Oh, that's a lot better looking than Hendry.  Make the move, Tom!

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://blackathlete.net/artman2/uploads/1/Kim_Ng.jpg&imgrefurl=http://blackathlete.net/artman2/publish/mlb/Ng_interviews_for_Padres_GM_job.shtml&h=200&w=200&sz=28&tbnid=TA6S32EWm0sljM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=104&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dkim%2Bng%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=kim+ng&usg=__Gc3MlpbEKEz2O4xymf798PpxO3Q=&sa=X&ei=wmzUTYicBo_pOef4hJcE&ved=0CCwQ9QEwAg
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 18, 2011, 08:19:10 pm
May well be that Castro can't handle short, tho most his age are still working out the kinks in the minors...I just hate to lose such a possible plus position in the future by moving him from a difficult to play position if the Cubs aren't going to do anything this year...how would Barney rate as a shortstop?  I've seen as few games this year as i've ever seen in my life.  Think I've seen like 3 or 4 games total.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 18, 2011, 08:22:51 pm
I believe the most difficult thing to do in the game of baseball is play plus defense at shortstop.

Leave Castro where he is and let him improve.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 18, 2011, 09:10:38 pm
It's a no lose bet, JR.  Go eat more White Castle burgers and let the big boys alone.  If the Cubs are in the pre-season before Garza, great!  I'll gladly pay for Dave's steak.  If they don't, well, frankly, honestly, when you think about it, it won't taste that hot no matter who buys it.  I guess it does have a down side.

Curt - I suspect that you mis-spoke. The Cubs almost certainly will be in the pre-season come next March.  Perhaps you meant the post-season?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 18, 2011, 09:43:21 pm
Don't criticize the pride of the NEA.  He said pre-season, and he meant pre-season.  One steak coming up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 18, 2011, 09:43:54 pm
I've been tricked!

Bamboozled!

This means I can never again go to Memphis!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 19, 2011, 07:16:49 am
Cool to have speedy Campana having stolen a base and created a run yesterday.  Really fun.

Lots of buzz on the speed, fastest since Lou Brock, talk like that. 

Not to be a downer, but it's interesting that no matter how fast he may be, that Campana wasn't all that great of a base-stealer in the minors.  This year in 30 games at Iowa, he stole only 8 bases.  So it's not like a single is really as good as a double.  If you're stealing a base only once every four games, that's not THAT big.  Likewise he reached base at least 47 times (H + BB), 37 of those times reaching 1B.  But he attempted only 9 steals.  So it's basiclaly only about a 25% chance at the minors steal that he'll even try to steal when he's on base.  Not quite like a walk is an automatic double....

In AA, he attempted to steal more frequently, and stole 48 bases, and attempted 68, so that's some serious volume.  68 steal attempts and he reached base 200 times, so it's still not much off from a 1-chance-in-3 that he'll try to steal.  And as fast and quick as he may be, he succeeded at 70.5%.  I think typically 67% is considered to be the break point for whether it's even worthile.  So his stealing was barely useful, if at all, in AA. 

My point is that if his whole value is primarily as a base-stealer, and he didn't steal very frequently in AAA and his stealing was barely useful in AA, that he might not steal very often and might not steal very usefully here. 


Hope I'm wrong.  I think stealing is one of the most fun and exciting plays in baseball, so even if a guy is getting thrown out 30% so that it's arguably useful, I still love to watch and want him to try every time.  (We aren't contending anyway, so who cares how it impacts wins   :) )  One of the reasons I love it is because you can anticipate it.  A HR is exciting, but in the 150 pitches a team throws in a game, I can't totally hang on every one of them thinking it might be a HR.  It's so rare and random.  But when a volume base-stealer reaches 1B, it's kind of obvious:  there's a fair chance he's going to try to steal.  So then I want to watch every pitch, is he going to go on this one?  But, if a guy only steals once every four times he's on 1B (Campana at Iowa), then the odds on any particular pitch aren't all that high and it might not be that worthwhile to stop everything to watch the next pitch. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 19, 2011, 08:10:39 am
Man, that guy Craig can be a downer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 19, 2011, 08:12:36 am
Yeah can't we at least go a couple of days thinking Campana could be the next Ty Cobb before dousing us with reality?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 19, 2011, 08:29:59 am
Cobb?  Lou Brock.  The Curse Begins to Reverse!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JDub on May 19, 2011, 08:36:09 am
Maybe Campana is just the fastest Cub since Ced Landrum.

I've been reading you guys since the late 90's, and I have to say that Cincy series is probably the most upset I've seen everyone with the team & mangement since those Lynch/Riggleman/Don Baylor/Rick Aguilera trade days.

That said, I'm right there with you. I'm becoming more apathetic towards this team on a daily basis
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 19, 2011, 08:58:09 am
Over the years I've begun to appreciate how many "lurkers" we have who never or hardly ever post, for whatever reason.  Thanks for checking in!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 19, 2011, 09:00:41 am
Does everyone have access to the Membership list, or is that just an Administrative function?

If you can all access it, just check it out.  Look at all those logged on who have fewer than five posts or who have NEVER posted.  We had that at World Crossing, too, although Dave and I realize you couldn't see it there, but we could.  This board has a broader following than most.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 09:10:12 am
ChicagoCubsOnline

If you do not like Reed Johnson, then I assume you do not like cheeseburgers. Or pizza.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 09:15:41 am
Does everyone have access to the Membership list, or is that just an Administrative function?

If you can all access it, just check it out.  Look at all those logged on who have fewer than five posts or who have NEVER posted.  We had that at World Crossing, too, although Dave and I realize you couldn't see it there, but we could.  This board has a broader following than most.
There do not appear to be any restrictions

One name with zero posts:  GeorgiaCub
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 19, 2011, 09:38:56 am
Is Campana faster than Fernando Perez?  And has Perez learned to steal first base?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 09:44:49 am
Naked Man Runs Across Field During Marlins vs Cubs Baseball Game!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiMcd4tya88&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 09:55:42 am
It's been years since TV cameras showed fans on the field, clothed or not.  I don't know if it helped or not, but knowing you are going to be on YouTube might be encouragement enough for some of the idiots.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 19, 2011, 09:56:47 am
I think that guy who streaked the field in Houston and evaded capture a week ago has probably also inspired some copycats out there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 09:58:26 am
I think that guy who streaked the field in Houston and evaded capture a week ago has probably also inspired some copycats out there.
I saw that somewhere - MLB Network?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 19, 2011, 10:11:16 am
The Houston guy was fully clothed, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 19, 2011, 10:58:08 am
Quote from: mlbtraderumors.com
The Angels and Cubs are among the teams showing interest in free agent starter Kevin Millwood, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Heyman also confirms Peter Gammons' report that the Red Sox are interested.

Seems a little late to be doing that now, doesn't it?  Millwood isn't likely to want to spend much time in the minors, Davis is probably a better bet to be decent given the scouting reports of Millwood this spring, and Wells is supposed to be back if his next rehab start goes well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 19, 2011, 11:33:18 am
Hey, if the world ends on Saturday, does that mean the Cubs won't go 103 years without winning a World Series?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 19, 2011, 12:11:58 pm
We gave up a lot to get Juan Pierre, so we could have a "true" lead off man.

Pierre stole 58 bases in 78 tries, a success rate of about 74%

Pierre got on base 236 times and attempted to steal 78 times, which means he attempted to steal about 30 % of the time.

Neither of those numbers seem to be out of the reach of Tony Campana.

And nobody much liked Juan Pierre.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 19, 2011, 01:07:53 pm
I don't know, Clark, but I moved my dentist appointment from tomorrow morning to Monday, because I figured, hey, why go through something unnecessarily.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 19, 2011, 01:14:07 pm
These days, someone in the 20s would be the far and away leader in stolen bases for the Cubs.

In fact, weren't the Cubs the last team in the National League to steal a base?

If Tony Campana stays with the Cubs for the rest of the year and is the "designated runner" for Alfonso Soriano or one of the other slugs on the roster, I could see him reaching 20+ steals easily, if he gets a start or two per week and isn't totally overmatched at the plate.

You have to figure he'll get at least one start this weekend against Boston and they don't have anyone that can throw behind the plate.  Plus, I think I saw that Tim Wakefield is going to pitch one game.  If Campana gets on base with Wakefield pitching, that's a gimme, or it should be, anyway.

I don't think anyone here would suggest that Campana should start over any outfielder every day but as a pinch runner and defensive replacement he could be a useful piece.  It's also refreshing to see a different kind of player than another right handed swing-and-miss slow-footed guy who has seen better days.

As fans, we're pretty much grasping at straws for something worth watching this team these days.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 19, 2011, 01:32:04 pm
Neither of those numbers seem to be out of the reach of Tony Campana.

And nobody much liked Juan Pierre.

I'll say one thing for Pierre, he was a good player for the Cubs in the second half of that year, and if we ever found someone who could play like that for a whole season, I'd love to have him. 

Pierre's slash line during the second half of 2006 was .310/.340/.418 with 28 steals BTW.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 01:49:39 pm
The complete dictionary of reasons to fire Jim Hendry

http://www.bleachernation.com/2011/05/19/the-complete-dictionary-of-reasons-to-fire-jim-hendry/

The author does a little cherry picking and ignores some of what has gone right but it's still worth reading.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 19, 2011, 01:55:19 pm
P should have stood for the Production Business.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 01:58:52 pm
And Q could have been "He's a quality quality guy."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 19, 2011, 02:00:13 pm
K – Koyie Hill. Hill’s making almost $1 million when he should probably be making $8.75 an hour in a wood shop somewhere.
 
That's pretty offensive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 19, 2011, 02:13:18 pm
Sums up a lot of it.  He should have had Y for Years and T for Too Righthanded.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on May 19, 2011, 02:35:54 pm
Curt, I see no need to complete my grading until next week for the same reason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 19, 2011, 02:43:23 pm
A big problem with the Hendry regime that always seems to get overlooked (and was overlooked in that article) is lack of consistent farm system production.

We still haven't produced a geniunely great franchise player during the entire term he's been here.  Sure we've had guys who flashed greatness for a short period of time like Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.  We had some guys who were good for one year or two like Rich Hill and Corey Patterson.  We've had good complimentary players like Sean Marshall, Ryan Theriot, Randy Wells, and most recently Darwin Barney.  We currently have guys like Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto who show great potential but for one reason or another haven't reached it yet.  We've produced decent but overrated trade bait like Hee Seop Choi, Bobby Hill, Sean Gallagher, Justin Jones, etc.  We've produced some pitchers who have done decent but not great things for other teams like Dontrelle Willis, Jon Garland, Ricky Nolasco, and Kyle Lohse. 

But the only two guys during the entire Hendry regime that have come up through the farm and have proved to be long term assets thus far are Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Marmol.  Unfortunately Zambrano has spent as much time being an overpaid and erratic headcase as he's been a true frontline pitcher for us, and while Marmol is certainly terrific, you need more than a good closer to be a consistent year to year winner. 

This is the biggest reason why the Cubs have to give 8 years to Soriano, 3 years to Bradley, 3 years to Marquis, $10 million to Pena, $12 million per year to Dempster, $13 million per year to Fukudome, etc.  Our farm system hasn't done a good enough job of filling holes for a long period of time, and so Hendry has to go overpay veterans to keep his job and to keep the team afloat.  Overpaying veterans for too many years is a lot of times a good short term fix, as '07 and '08 showed, but it can cripple a franchise when they start becoming less effective, which is where we've been these last three years.

Maybe we do have a bumper crop of prospects coming up, although we've heard that one before.  But lack of farm production up to this point is still one of the biggest reasons why Hendry is on the hot seat, and if this bumper crop does actually turn out to be good, it may still be too little too late for Hendry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 19, 2011, 02:51:28 pm
My biggest problem with Hendry is the band-aid, reactive approach.  There seems to be no long term plan, no guiding philosophy, no system wide approach to the game. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 19, 2011, 03:16:16 pm
JR- Your point is well taken, but Hendry would also say that drafting and player development is also for using those guys to acquire other guys in trades.  So, in his eyes, you should take that into account and Aramis and D.Lee and Garza are essentially products of the farm system.  Aramis was awfully good for several years, D.Lee great for one year, and Garza--remains to be seen.  Castro has a pretty decent chance to be great or near-great, so maybe he will be the jewel of the Hendry era. Still, the Stockstill period set the Cubs back for quite awhile. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 19, 2011, 03:33:05 pm
That's true Reb, but while we're producing attractive trade bait, the main problem is we're just not producing enough great players for ourselves.  While producing trade bait is important, it isn't as beneficial as producing those star players for yourself, since you're acquiring those players as they are already becoming more expensive. 

If you look at the most successful teams recently, Boston (Pedroia, Lester, Youkilis, Buccholz), Philadelphia (Howard, Rollins, Utley, Hamels), Colorado (Tulowitzki, Holliday, Jimenez), and Tampa (Longoria, Price, Crawford) have produced star players for themselves.  We haven't been doing that.  We've managed to trade for other team's stars using the farm, but when you do that, you lose the benefit of getting cheap years out of them.  When we traded for Lee and Ramirez, they were already starting to get expensive.  Garza I think will turn out to be a fine acquisition too, but again we're getting him while he's starting to become expensive.   

A farm needs to do three things . . . 1.)  Produce star players for your own team, 2.) Produce trade bait for other teams, and 3.) Produce complimentary players.  We've done good things on #2 and #3.  We aren't doing that with #1, and that's really the most important thing a farm can do.  Boston and Philadelphia, in contrast, have been very good at all three of those areas.  If Colorado or Tampa had higher payrolls, they would be good at #2 as well.
 
Hopefully Castro, Cashner, Jackson, McNutt, and maybe Soto will fulfill criteria #1 in the next couple of years for us.  But it really has been coming a little too late after all this time of Hendry, and it's still no guarantee that any of those guys will emerge as true franchise players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 19, 2011, 03:47:59 pm
A big problem with the Hendry regime that always seems to get overlooked (and was overlooked in that article) is lack of consistent farm system production.

We still haven't produced a geniunely great franchise player during the entire term he's been here.  Sure we've had guys who flashed...  We've had good complimentary players ....  We currently have guys like Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto ....  We've produced decent but overrated trade bait ....  We've produced some pitchers who have done decent but not great things for other teams ..... 

But the only two guys during the entire Hendry regime that have come up through the farm and have proved to be long term assets thus far are Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Marmol.  ....

This is the biggest reason why the Cubs have to give 8 years to Soriano....  Our farm system hasn't done a good enough job of filling holes for a long period of time, and so Hendry has to go overpay veterans ....  Overpaying veterans for too many years is a lot of times a good short term fix, as '07 and '08 showed, but it can cripple a franchise when they start becoming less effective, which is where we've been these last three years.

Maybe we do have a bumper crop of prospects coming up....  But lack of farm production up to this point is still one of the biggest reasons why Hendry is on the hot seat, and if this bumper crop does actually turn out to be good, it may still be too little too late for Hendry.

excellent points, absolutely true.  Hendry's became the farm director in 1995 and first ran the draft in 1996.  So he's had 15 years of procurment-and-development.  And the farm just hasn't produced long-term assets for us.  The farm has not produced players who were worth keeping and who could be build-around cornerstone players.  It has not produced consistent long-term assets who you could count on being an asset every year, who you weren't looking to upgrade; and who you'd be willing to pay market for as a FA. 

1.  Cub-signed pitchers who have pitched at least 150 innings in a season more than three times for the Cubs:    Carlos Zambrano.   Kerry Wood reach 150 innings three times, Mark Prior and Randy Wells twice each. 

2.  Cub-signed players who have had more than three 500AB seasons for the Cubs:  zero. 
*The best long-term contributors as regulars that Hendry has produced for the Cubs have been Theriot (three 500 AB seasons), and Corey (two 500 AB seasons.) Neither were good enough to want to keep beyond their arb years. 

3.  Guys signed during Hendry's 15 year tenure who have been good enough/healthy enough to earn 1500 AB's for the Cubs:  Two, Theriot and Patterson. Soto has 1333

4.  Another angle is to think about players that we brought up that we still wanted to keep when they were at or approaching FA?  Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall.

We just haven't been filling spots with good players from the farm that are sustainably good, that you want to keep around for long, and that are able to build up a volume of production. 

I admit I am an optimist, so I hope that somehow the current farm players will be different. 
*Soto, maybe, although with his injuries and his defensive issues, I'm not sure he'll age very well. 
*Castro, hopefully, in some role.  He's so talented, he should be a long-term guy in some capacity.  I wonder if he'll ever get a lot better?
*Barney?  I could see him being a long-term guy, although he's never going to be a star.  Also possible that by the time he's approaching FA, he'll look kinda like Theriot. 
*Brett Jackson? 
*DJ Lemahieu?
*Ryan Flaherty?
*Ha? 
*Vitters?
*Bour?
*Szczur?

Hard to know who might settling in as a long-term keeper.  Always guys to hope for.  But not sure these are guys who are likely to be the best player on a championship team.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 19, 2011, 04:10:24 pm
Link below shows Garza's career GB/FB ratio per season--a remarkable change (so far) this season in his profile to a GB pitcher. He is now among the NL's top 20 GB ratio pitchers.  This partially explains why Garza has only given up ONE homer this season, a dramatic reduction from years past.  I also suggest clicking on the Pitch/FX stats within this link.  Garza is throwing 1/2 has many fastballs as years past.  Pretty remarkable makeover. Also, as has been discussed before, his BABIP is ridiculously out of whack with NL average--lots of bad luck so far.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=3340&position=P&page=9&type=full
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 19, 2011, 04:30:52 pm
And you thought it could not get worse--Cubs plan to fix Saturday's game so Red Sox can win.

http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/10931/sox-cubs-to-wear-1918-throwbacks-saturday

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 19, 2011, 05:02:05 pm
Cubs are almost exactly at the 1/4 point of the season. 

Just looking at runs and RBIs, here is the final season totals figuring a full season, for a few guys.

Fukudome:  40 runs and 12 RBIs--yes he has 10 runs scored and 3 RBIs now--how is that possible with a .439 OBP?   :'(

Byrd: #3 hitter deluxe:  36 RBIs.   :'(

Aramis: #4 hitter deluxe:  40 runs and 60 RBIs.  :'(

The good news. Darwin Barney:  96 runs scored and 84 RBIs.  Rookie of the Year.   :o
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 19, 2011, 05:05:23 pm
Former first baseman Bill Buckner will fill in for WGN's Cubs analyst Bob Brenly during the May 20 interleague game in Boston, where he is both loved and hated for letting a ground ball go through his legs during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

  Buckner, of course, was an all-star first baseman for the Cubs before playing in Boston.

  Brenly will be absent while watching son Michael, who is a catcher for the Cubs' Class A Daytona team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 19, 2011, 05:11:22 pm
dang I gotta work so I'll miss Buckner's debut(?)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 19, 2011, 11:47:15 pm
Anyone think Casey Coleman would make a decent reliever?  I just went through his boxscores and out of 7 starts the only start in which he gave up a first inning run was his first one, April 10th against the Brewers when he gave up 2, assuming i didn't miss one, as i didn't double check.  Of course, it could just be small sample size.

On the farm development thing, do I remember seeing a statistic talking about the top organizations for producing hitters and pitchers over the last decade/15 years or some such?  it seems I remember the Cubs being toward the top of that list in pitching, and, of course, dang near bottom in hitting.  This list included productivity for not just the Cubs but prospects they traded away before they had a chance to contribute to the Cubs.  I think I remember seeing it posted on the other board anyway.

I know this question is pointless, but i'm curious.  On Juan Pierre, i know a lot on this board disliked the trade, as i did myself.  But, if he had come through our organization as a prospect, understanding this board's love for prospects(and mine too  lol) and not been someone we acquired in a trade that no one liked, would anyone here have looked at him differently or is he a guy you would have disliked anyway? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 20, 2011, 12:06:26 am
My main recollection of Pierre's season with the Cubs is that throwing OF:  J. Jones-Pierre-Murton.  That was one of the all-time worst rag OF arms collection in the history of MLB. Really.  Teams ran on the Cubs that year like crazy.  It was ridiculous. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 20, 2011, 12:55:27 am
Jones is another on my list of most disliked Cubs, tho there are many that rank higher.  I think Alfonseca would have to lead the list tho, even tho there were many that performed worse...i just could not stand him for some reason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 20, 2011, 08:04:59 am
"I think Alfonseca would have to lead the list tho, even tho there were many that performed worse...i just could not stand him for some reason."....
because he 11 or 12 fingers?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 20, 2011, 08:08:22 am
"I think Alfonseca would have to lead the list tho, even tho there were many that performed worse...i just could not stand him for some reason."....
because he 11 or 12 fingers?

could care less bout that....thought that was actually sorta cool.  lol
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 20, 2011, 08:22:06 am
He was a moron. He would celebrate a strikeout after giving up the lead.  He was mediocre at best but thought himself an all-star. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 20, 2011, 08:47:52 am
Jones is another on my list of most disliked Cubs, tho there are many that rank higher.  I think Alfonseca would have to lead the list tho, even tho there were many that performed worse...i just could not stand him for some reason.
A vote for Todd Hundley
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 20, 2011, 09:03:52 am
Notes from the BleacherNation blog

We’re two weeks away from the Draft. The Cubs pick 9th in the first round, and most mocks have them taking uber prospect Bubba Starling, and then throwing a ton of cash at him to keep him from playing football (which is the Cubs’ MO) at Nebraska.

Assistant GM Randy Bush sounds like he would probably disagree with me about firing Jim Hendry. On the subject of the farm system, Bush says continuity is the reason things are looking up. “We’ve got the right [scouting director] in place. And we’ve got some continuity now, with the people underneath [Wilken] that he feels real comfortable with. I think a lot of other [successful] organizations will tell you one of their keys is continuity of people in key evaluation positions.” We know that Randy reads Bleacher Nation, so maybe the Hendry article nudged him a bit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 20, 2011, 10:39:12 am
Carlos Pena is hitting .333/.470/.667 this month, good for a 1.136 OPS.  Among the 207 major leaguers who have at least 50 PA this month, that is good for third best behind Jose Bautista (1.345) and Matt Joyce (1.226).

Among the 104 NL hitters with at least 50 PA, Carlos Pena ranks #1, which is 100 points ahead of the second place hitter (Carlos Beltran, 1.035).

It's probably time to start thinking about giving him some games hitting #3.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 20, 2011, 10:53:19 am
Pena is now at .237 BA and .373 OBP for the season.  I'd take that right now if he can end the season there.

He just needs to get his slugging % up by 100 points.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 20, 2011, 11:40:31 am
No list of worst Cubs should exclude Mel Rojas or Milton Bradley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ray on May 20, 2011, 12:08:52 pm
Actually the one guy that came to my mind was Estes when i made that post, though i left him out.  I remember Jes wanting him(think it was Estes) to bomb so bad that they would actually waive him and i actually sorta started doing that myself(even if on days he pitched i couldn't help but root for him and be happy if the cubs won the game)...i was a big picture thinker till the game actually started.  lol

Thinking back on past trades, I didn't really like the Lee trade because I wanted to see Choi succeed.  I loved the Ramirez acquisition at the time, however and had been rooting for that for some months.  Hated Karchner trade along wtih everyone else i believe.  I still can't believe they did that.

I started watching the Cubs in 1989, spending most of my summer with my grandpa who died the next year.  I loved playing the game but at first found it boring to watch.  There was one play that summer that turned me into a Cubs fan and made me look forward to watching them.  It was a defensive play by Shawn Dunston.  It was a high chopping ball that he jumped up and fielded with his bare hand and made the throw to first as he was coming down.  He was my all time favorite Cubs player until Kerry came along. Anyone recall that play, or know where to find it?  I'm curious if the play was anywhere near as good as the memory of the lil boy that i used to be claims it to be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 20, 2011, 12:58:41 pm
As noted by Jayson Stark:

It's supposed to be an NL Central-versus-AL East year. But the only AL East teams the Cubs get to play are (lucky them) the Red Sox and Yankees. Meanwhile, the Cardinals play every AL East team EXCEPT the Red Sox and Yankees.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 20, 2011, 12:59:20 pm
And yet I'm sure Tony will cry about the schedule not being fair to the Cardinals.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 20, 2011, 01:08:51 pm
What a joke the schedule is with interleague play.  The Cardinals get the Royals 6 games while the Cubs get the White Sox. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on May 20, 2011, 01:12:31 pm
I can understand that with the intercity and interstate rivalry but the Yankees/Redsox thing defies explanation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 20, 2011, 03:03:42 pm
An Atlanta blogger thinks the Braves are interested in Aramis Ramirez

http://www.bleachernation.com/2010/08/17/rumor-atlanta-braves-are-trying-to-land-aramis-ramirez/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest61 on May 20, 2011, 03:04:30 pm
I dont want any part of a woman GM.I dont care how good or smart she is.Im just being real with you all.

Casey Coleman's fiance coaches a t ball team in my hometown and Im the umpire.

She's way out of his league.

He was at the field a couple weeks ago.

I probably know Casey at this point better than any former Smokie Ive ever met.

He really is a great,polite,well mannered dude.

And the all time worst time of me being a Cub fan was easily the Bartman/NLCS mess.

I was absolutely devastated and was for months.

That's when I posted the post that you all say was the all time best.

I must admit that does make me proud but I was just being real.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 20, 2011, 03:31:07 pm
Cactus - check out the date of the blog.

Rumor: Atlanta Braves are Trying to Land Aramis Ramirez

By Ace on August 17, 2010
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 20, 2011, 03:50:38 pm
Cactus - check out the date of the blog.

Rumor: Atlanta Braves are Trying to Land Aramis Ramirez

By Ace on August 17, 2010
When I make mistakes, I don't make small ones.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 20, 2011, 04:00:48 pm
Rotoworld:

Andrew Cashner - S - Cubs
Andrew Cashner will get a second opinion on his shoulder Sunday from Dr. Lewis Yocum.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 20, 2011, 04:08:20 pm
I'm sure a torn rotator cuff is in the future for Cashner. 

Seems like that happens to the majority of our most promising young pitchers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 20, 2011, 04:46:01 pm
Come on.  At least you didn't post the rumor that Boston was thinking of selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Curt posted that one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 20, 2011, 04:53:45 pm
88 years ago.  I posted it at the post office.  Where else?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 20, 2011, 05:07:49 pm
Actuallly, there are trade rumors involving Aramis floating around. But, Jayson Stark shot that down in today's column.  See below.

If the Cubs don't get back on track, one potential trade target we've heard people speculating about is Aramis Ramirez. But you can wipe him off your list right now.

First off, Ramirez has complete veto power over any trade. Second, if he gets traded, it vests his $16 million option for next year, but still gives him the right to opt out of his contract in search of a multiyear deal. So any team interested in trading for him would, essentially, have to pay him long-term free-agent-market dollars to get him to stick around, plus give the Cubs a significant prospect or two. Chances of that happening? None, we'd say.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 20, 2011, 05:10:18 pm
Christ, Hendry is a ****ing moron. Not only did he sign these guys to mega deals he made them also impossible to trade.  Good work Jimbo now go actually do something positive for the organization and choke on a chicken bone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 20, 2011, 05:31:27 pm
Randy Wells will make a rehab start for Iowa Sunday afternoon against the Tucson Padres.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 20, 2011, 05:31:40 pm
**** seems to be a popular word whenever Hendry's name comes up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 20, 2011, 05:50:32 pm
Randy Wells will make a rehab start for Iowa Sunday afternoon against the Tucson Padres.
And return to the rotation Friday or Saturday against Pittsburgh.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 20, 2011, 06:08:10 pm
As much as Hendry gets criticized for all the big contracts now, doesn't it seem likely that Hendry would've been gone long ago if he had not given out those contracts?  And not just because of how much those players added in 2007-08...think how bad the backlash would've been if he'd let the best third baseman since Santo walk 4 years ago when he was still in the prime of his career.  Think how much criticism he would've gotten for letting the best pitcher the Cubs have developed since Maddux walk at age 27.  Hell, everyone would probably still be criticizing him now for letting go of a pitcher who has still never posted an ERA above 4.00 in 9 years in the league.  Both the Ramirez and Zambrano deals were considered extremely fair at the time, maybe even a little team friendly.  If they'd gotten the same contracts somewhere else, Hendry would've been thrown out of town 2-3 years ago.

I still say only the Soriano deal was really awful at the time it was signed.  It is just unfortunate that not a single player who got a big contract was able to maintain his value all the way to the end, and that contract values crashed because of the economy pretty soon after they were all signed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 20, 2011, 06:14:42 pm
"think how bad the backlash would've been if he'd let the best third baseman since Santo walk 4 years ago when he was still in the prime of his career. "

I just hate that phrase.  It's a myth that gets repeated over and over.  We had  a two time batting champ at 3B that the Cubs were too stupid to hold on to.  It was one of the worst moves ever, right up there with the Brock deal.  Sheesh.  His name was Bill Madlock and both the Giants and Pirates found it was very easy to win with him anchoring third.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 20, 2011, 06:15:42 pm
And after ARam is gone, we'll still hear that the Cubs haven't had a 3B since Santo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 20, 2011, 06:20:27 pm
Ok...so he was the second good third baseman since Santo, and the first who stayed longer than 3 years.  The point remains...fans would not have been happy if the third baseman who was perceived as the first (or second) good one in 30+ years had been allowed to walk.  We'd probably still hear about how it was terrible to let Ramirez go.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 20, 2011, 06:23:52 pm
Of course, we'd get on his case.  It's what we do.  And we're good at it.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 20, 2011, 07:29:05 pm
I have more of a problem with every deal having clauses and stipulations that never benefit the cubs but the player.  All I read is how teams around baseball are locking up there young stars to avoid arbitration and most of these deals seem to have team options or beefits the team.  We have all these deals most of which I agreed with by the way but there is no protection for the cubs.  Every deal has automatic options being picked up or full no trade clause.  It is assinine to give the player full no trade protection in this day and age.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on May 20, 2011, 10:36:36 pm
I have tickets for tomorrow and Sunday.  Do I have to go?

Seriously, it will be fun.  But I am thinking that these may be the only two Cubs games I watch from beginning to end all year.  That's never happened before.

I know the Red Sox make many of you sick.  But watch this weekend how hard they make the pitchers work.  I was talking to the middle school team that I manage last night about having a game plan for each at bat and letting the rest take care of itself.  The Red Sox are a model of this. They have a lot of guys who just battle and grind every at bat.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 20, 2011, 10:59:11 pm
An Atlanta blogger thinks the Braves are interested in Aramis Ramirez

http://www.bleachernation.com/2010/08/17/rumor-atlanta-braves-are-trying-to-land-aramis-ramirez/

That was from last August. IMHO, posting it now was downright cruel.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: ben on May 20, 2011, 11:39:40 pm
True, east...the Red Sox hitters grind away EVERY AB...they'd be tough to pitch to!  Hats off to that crew and their mgmt!

brjones, the moves of GMs SHOULD be considered with the benefit of hindsight...that's the world we live in.   There's WAY too much subjectivity to do it otherwise.   Yet, i believe you are correct that Hendry would have been blistered by Cub fans had he let ARAM walk and/or not signed Soriano etc etc.   Of course, that's part of the problem.   Fans don't have the kind of baseball saavy or smarts that really good GMs possess...and neither does our GM.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 21, 2011, 02:08:55 am
But watch this weekend how hard they make the pitchers work.  I was talking to the middle school team that I manage last night about having a game plan for each at bat and letting the rest take care of itself.  The Red Sox are a model of this. They have a lot of guys who just battle and grind every at bat.

That was one of my favorite things about the 2008 team--watching them take pitches and work counts and make pitchers work.  That we're back to the same old hackaway Cubs is just one of the things that makes this team practically unwatchable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 21, 2011, 02:15:05 am
Are there any rumors about Gorzelanny not being a Quality-quality guy?  Or being bad in the clubhouse or uncoachable or anything like that?  Pittsburgh had him buried in the minors, but wasn't that Littlefield Pittsburgh, so who knows? 

Without anything like that, trading him looks pretty stupid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 21, 2011, 02:52:51 am
Tom Gorzelanny got the Mike Wuertz treatment in Pittsburgh.  He got on the wrong side of the manager and/or pitching coach and they just kept him in AAA his final season with the Pirates to teach him a lesson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 21, 2011, 06:52:04 am
The Cubs traded him to save a couple of million bucks. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 21, 2011, 09:06:33 am
Alfonso Soriano on playing left at Fenway vs Wrigley

"Chicago, as soon as I hit the warning track, I start to get scared because I know the wall is not easy to hit"

At least he's being honest.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 21, 2011, 09:15:05 am
Whenever the ball is hit his direction I get scared.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 21, 2011, 10:19:03 am
As a former OFer, I would think that the LF wall in Fenway would be scary only from the point of view of caroms.  You would play deep enough in general (relatively speaking) that it would be pretty unusual to have to race back and crash into the wall to catch a ball.  The concern is to get a good enough read on the ball to assess whether to prepare to play a carom or go for the catch.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FDISK on May 21, 2011, 11:51:28 am
Or be Yastrzemski.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 21, 2011, 12:26:35 pm
FDisk!  Woo hoo, good to see your name. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 21, 2011, 01:26:06 pm
FDisk!  Woo hoo, good to see your name.
Could be an imposter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 21, 2011, 02:04:02 pm
Craig must have FD on Ignore.  All's he sees is his name.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 21, 2011, 02:47:19 pm
Whenever the ball is hit his direction I get scared.

So does he.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FDISK on May 21, 2011, 04:28:18 pm
Hey Craig!  I'm here...lurking...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 21, 2011, 04:57:34 pm
Matt Garza has elbow tightness.  James Russell will start Sunday night.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 21, 2011, 05:23:35 pm
Dear lord.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 21, 2011, 05:35:36 pm
You can't tell me there isn't a kid in the system to bring up for one stinkin' start.  We have to have a half dozen better than Russell.

If we don't, fire Hendry now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 21, 2011, 05:36:44 pm
Maybe Selig will institute a Slaughter Rule for that game.  20 runs after 5 or something.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 21, 2011, 05:43:15 pm
Matt Garza says he's been pitching through the elbow problem his last couple starts and isn't worried.   It was the very cool weather that got to him now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 21, 2011, 07:52:57 pm
Yeah, because it's been so warm up until now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 21, 2011, 07:55:41 pm
How can the Cubs seriously use Russell for another start?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 21, 2011, 07:56:39 pm
Because they want to lose.

There is no other explanation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 21, 2011, 07:57:13 pm
I'd rather see Estes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 21, 2011, 07:59:36 pm
I'd rather see Rob Estes of Silk Stalkings "fame" start instead of James Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 21, 2011, 08:02:13 pm
Apparently it came down to Russell or Jeff Samardzija.  Randy Wells was thought about but deemed not ready.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 21, 2011, 08:07:06 pm
They pretty much have to call someone up for tomorrow, don't they?  Maine, Russell, and Samardzija all threw a lot of pitches last night, and it looks like the bullpen is probably going to have to get at least 9-12 outs tonight. 

Depending on how bad Byrd is, I guess they could DL him and call Berg back up to pitch in long relief...at least I'm assuming you can bring up a pitcher back up this quick with a position player injury.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 21, 2011, 08:09:01 pm
They pretty much have to call someone up for tomorrow, don't they?  Maine, Russell, and Samardzija all threw a lot of pitches last night, and it looks like the bullpen is probably going to have to get at least 9-12 outs tonight. 

Depending on how bad Byrd is, I guess they could DL him and call Berg back up to pitch in long relief...at least I'm assuming you can bring up a pitcher back up this quick with a position player injury.
No, for a player to come back up before ten days, the injury has to be at the same position.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 22, 2011, 12:16:37 pm
How about some respect for Darwin Barney?  He's a contact hitter, ideal for the #2 hole.  Through 7 weeks of the season he's continued to hit.  I look at him as a .300 hitter, not .260.  He's got a shortstop's range at second base.  He's way out in front of major league rookies in most hitting stats.

Has defeat made us so cynical that we don't appreciate a good, solid major league ballplayer when we have one in right in front of us?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 22, 2011, 12:39:40 pm
Why is it automatically cynical to not be convinced that Barney is going to be able to maintain what he's done so far?  We got the same attitude last year when we dared to question whether or not Colvin's performance was sustainable, and we've seen how that one has turned out so far.

I appreciate what Barney has done so far, have been impressed, and am more optimistic about him being able to maintain his performance than Colvin.  But he still barely OPSed .700 in the minors, and is far from a sure thing.  I hope he can keep it up.  But a player with as little margin for error as he has still has to prove himself for a longer stretch than a month and a half.  That's not being cynical...that's just realistic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 22, 2011, 12:43:32 pm
I think if Castro was used this year like Colvin was used, he'd look like a failure too.  I'm not counting on Colvin amounting to anything, but Cub treatment is an equal culprit to his level of talent.  JMO.

But if how he was used this spring helps you fulfill your prophecy, fine.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 22, 2011, 01:22:48 pm
I think if Castro was used this year like Colvin was used, he'd look like a failure too.  I'm not counting on Colvin amounting to anything, but Cub treatment is an equal culprit to his level of talent.  JMO.

But if how he was used this spring helps you fulfill your prophecy, fine.

I don't know how else Tyler Colvin could have been used, Curt.

He only plays four positions (LF, CF, RF, 1B) and three of those spots (LF, CF, RF) were at least to some degree productive for the first month.

The manager didn't seem to like Colvin's (or anyone's) defense in center field over Marlon Byrd.

Colvin doesn't have a ton of experience at first but he did play there against righties when Carlos Pena tweaked his wrist/thumb/whatever early but Colvin didn't hit.

When Fukudome strained his hamstring, Colvin played and didn't produce.

Alfonso Soriano hit a bunch of homers early so Colvin wasn't going to get much playing time in left as long as Soriano was the only Cub hitting for power.

Once the calendar flipped to May, Carlos Pena has been the Cubs only slugger, so Colvin wasn't going to get much time at first base.

Things just didn't break the right way for Colvin to get a lot of time in the lineup and when he did get some time, he didn't play well enough to earn more.

It made sense to send him down to get every day ABs and hopefully he can get something going in Iowa.  His confidence probably needs some repairing.

I think he'll get himself straightened out and turn things around but it's probably going to take a while because, as someone pointed out earlier, he's never played AAA ball before.

I'd like to see him finish the year in AAA and put up some solid numbers... and then get traded because I don't see him as an every day regular in the Majors for the Cubs but that doesn't mean he can't carve out a nice career as a fourth or fifth outfielder somewhere else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 22, 2011, 01:28:44 pm
I think he could have been given a few more at bats, but, generally I agree with you.  There's no place for him.  But I don't understand how things keep getting twisted.  IF Barney was used as seldom as Colvin, IF Castro was used as seldom at Colvin, what kind of stats would they have?  How sharp would they look when they came into games?  Not much better.  Colvin should never have been kept with the big club if he wasn't going to get more use.

br states that we all know how Colvin faded from last year's stats and Barney may too.  Sure.  And if Barney sits and watches others play 2nd next year, I think you have self-fulfilling prophecy.

Let it play out.  Using Colvin to justify Barney bashing just doesn't work.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 22, 2011, 01:54:49 pm
Oh, OK, I see what you're saying with regards to Darwin Barney.

I think if Barney didn't hit from the beginning of the season, he might be at Iowa right now, too.  If Blake DeWitt didn't have a Cactus League from hell, Barney might be starting at second base or shortstop for Iowa.  Actually, Barney would probably be riding the bench for the Cubs because no one else on the 25-man roster can play shortstop.

Remember, the Cubs are in the "production business" (unless your name is Koyie Hill).

Fortunately, Barney has hit really well and been one of the Cubs best players  He has been a pleasant surprise.  Everyone is rooting for him to keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 22, 2011, 01:54:50 pm
Let it play out.  Using Colvin to justify Barney bashing just doesn't work.

But why is it considered "bashing" to bring up concerns with these players?  Barney has a low walk, low power profile, and that often makes it hard for a player to succeed.  That's not bashing, it's a legitimate concern.  No one has said Barney sucks, or that they want him to fail...just that he doesn't have a large enough margin for error to anoint as the everyday second baseman for years to come at this point.

I bring up Colvin because he was (and always had been) a low OBP guy whose value relies on power that looked unsustainable.  That concern was labeled as cynical or negativity just for the sake of negativity, much like concerns about Barney are now.  But in retrospect, it appears that there was more to those concerns than just blind bashing.  And there is more than just cynicism involved in Barney criticisms now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 22, 2011, 01:58:51 pm
Yep, now you got it.  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 22, 2011, 02:03:52 pm
Justin Berg has been spotted at Fenway Park.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 22, 2011, 02:09:55 pm
So, we're forfeiting?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 22, 2011, 02:43:00 pm
I wonder how much of Colvin's problems stem from lingering results of his injury.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 22, 2011, 03:19:22 pm
They pretty much have to call someone up for tomorrow, don't they?  Maine, Russell, and Samardzija all threw a lot of pitches last night, and it looks like the bullpen is probably going to have to get at least 9-12 outs tonight. 

Depending on how bad Byrd is, I guess they could DL him and call Berg back up to pitch in long relief...at least I'm assuming you can bring up a pitcher back up this quick with a position player injury.
Apparently that rule has been changed.  It used to be that the injury had to be at the same position before the ten day limit was waived.  If so, it sounds like the PTBNL rule changes - anything to get around the rule is fine.

Several sources suggest that Justin Berg is taking Marlon Byrd's roster spot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 22, 2011, 04:13:02 pm
But why is it considered "bashing" to bring up concerns with these players?  Barney has a low walk, low power profile, and that often makes it hard for a player to succeed.  That's not bashing, it's a legitimate concern.  No one has said Barney sucks, or that they want him to fail...just that he doesn't have a large enough margin for error to anoint as the everyday second baseman for years to come at this point.

I bring up Colvin because he was (and always had been) a low OBP guy whose value relies on power that looked unsustainable.  That concern was labeled as cynical or negativity just for the sake of negativity, much like concerns about Barney are now.  But in retrospect, it appears that there was more to those concerns than just blind bashing.  And there is more than just cynicism involved in Barney criticisms now.
br, I think you make a valid point.  I thought that Colvin's pitch recognition would improve and that he would quickly develop into a solid MLer given his apparent fundamental soundness.  You always expressed concerns about him, and his performance so far this season justifies those concerns.  I like Barney, particularly the way he does the little things so well.  But I acknowledge that his current BA is not sustainable, and that it is unclear whether his offensive production will be enough to make him an asset as a starter.  In the meantime, I plan to enjoy his success and hope for the best.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 22, 2011, 04:28:21 pm
Justin Berg for Marlon Byrd is now official.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 22, 2011, 04:56:38 pm
How about Theriot as a potentially instructive model for Barney?

Don't get me wrong.  I'm really enjoying Barney as one of the few things worth watching about this team, but that in itself is telling.  With little power or patience at the plate, his average doesn't have to drop all that much for him to become 'awful.'
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tom Hudson on May 22, 2011, 05:17:16 pm
Theriot and Barney may (or may not) be similar in terms of their hitting, but otherwise they are vastly different.  Barney is a far better defender and he is waay better on the fundamentals - he seems to have  very good baseball intelligence.  No one is going to accuse Theriot of that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 22, 2011, 05:22:45 pm
DMF and BR are Barney Bashers!  Deny it all you want!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 22, 2011, 06:56:43 pm
Apparently that rule has been changed.  It used to be that the injury had to be at the same position before the ten day limit was waived.  If so, it sounds like the PTBNL rule changes - anything to get around the rule is fine.

Several sources suggest that Justin Berg is taking Marlon Byrd's roster spot.

That rule only applies to post-season roster swaps.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 22, 2011, 06:59:48 pm
Byrd is DL'd with "facial fractures" and will be evaluated in Chicago.  That sounds like something that could take a while to come back from.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 22, 2011, 07:09:11 pm
According to Mike Quade, during his pre-game show, Geovany Soto is on schedule to return from the DL around May 26 or 27.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 22, 2011, 07:10:20 pm
That rule only applies to post-season roster swaps.
That may be true now, but it did apply to the regular season until very recently.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 22, 2011, 10:36:55 pm
DMF and BR are Barney Bashers!  Deny it all you want!

It's true.  Barney just isn't grizzled enough.  What's Fernando Vina doing these days?  Or maybe they could get Mickey Morandini to play 2nd.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 23, 2011, 06:07:00 am
LOL  Hey, I spent several hours with Fernando in January...he looks like he's still in playing shape!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 23, 2011, 07:46:59 am
Naked Man Runs Across Field During Marlins vs Cubs Baseball Game!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiMcd4tya88&feature=player_embedded

I can't even remember the last time I saw as many empty seats at a Cub game as are seen in that video.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 23, 2011, 08:25:03 am
Last night, it began when their gold glover, Pena missed a ground ball that most first basemen would have gotten.

Though I have only seen a few games and a couple of "hi-lights" this season, I have been VERY disappointed with Pena as a "gold glover."  One of the most important functions of a first baseman is to catch the damn ball when it is thrown to first base, and too many times I have seen him make lame stretches as if he is anchored to the bag instead of being willing to come off the bag to catch a ball which is just short or just wide.  A good first baseman gives up on trying to keep his foot on the bag and catching the ball to beat the runner on throws that are wide or low and instead simply stops the ball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 12:13:40 am
Iowa Cubs manager Bill Dancy has confirmed that Montanez has been called up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 24, 2011, 05:42:05 am
I'm curious who Quade is going to actually play in CF now.  Paul Sullivan suggests it will be Reed Johnson, and I guess that's probably the best option - even though I expect playing regularly will expose Johnson's weaknesses far more than playing irregularly has. 

I hope it will not be Fukudome, who has shown he's a better RF than CF.  And while Byrd isn't a great CF, he's better than Fukudome, seems to me. 

I think I would like for them to give Campana a chance to show that he can or cannot handle it.  This season seems destined to be, at best, a transition one in any event.  Too bad Jackson isn't ready to move up. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 24, 2011, 06:25:00 am
I think I would like for them to give Campana a chance to show that he can or cannot handle it.  This season seems destined to be, at best, a transition one in any event.  Too bad Jackson isn't ready to move up. 

I'd like to see Campana get some time too.  Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of light hitting leadoff men who don't walk very regularly like most around here, but if he can hit .290 or .300, he'd add a different dimension to the offense that we could really use.  If nothing else, it'd add at least a little more entertainment value to an offense that right now can only score when it strings 4 or 5 singles in an inning together.

If he does hit for average, maybe we can talk a team that really values the Juan Pierre's and Rajai Davis's of the world to give up something good for him, or perhaps we find out he can be a cheap source of anti-awful for a year or two.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 08:43:23 am
I'd like to see Campana get some time too.  Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of light hitting leadoff men who don't walk very regularly like most around here, but if he can hit .290 or .300, he'd add a different dimension to the offense that we could really use.  If nothing else, it'd add at least a little more entertainment value to an offense that right now can only score when it strings 4 or 5 singles in an inning together.

If he does hit for average, maybe we can talk a team that really values the Juan Pierre's and Rajai Davis's of the world to give up something good for him, or perhaps we find out he can be a cheap source of anti-awful for a year or two.
Phil Rogers

Left-hander Jonathon Niese starts for the Mets tonight at Wrigley, and that probably means Reed Johnson starts in Marlon Byrd's spot. But right-hander Dillon Gee goes Wednesday, so Mike Quade should give rookie Tony Campana his first start. The horrific beanball suffered by Byrd opens a spot for at least a month-six weeks and it's a great chance to give the under-sized Campana a real look. Very few scouts ever looked at him and saw a big-league regular in center field and the leadoff spot; he's been viewed as an extra guy, at best. But as recently as the start of spring training that same chorus was being raised about Darwin Barney and he's hitting .315 looking the part of long-term second baseman. Now's the time to find out if Campana can follow in his (size 9) footprints. ESPN's Bobby Valentine called Campana arguably the fastest player in the majors. Wouldn't it be nice if the Cubs finally had some speed?     
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 24, 2011, 08:48:15 am
My biggest problem with Hendry is the band-aid, reactive approach.  There seems to be no long term plan, no guiding philosophy, no system wide approach to the game.

That is also true of most, if not all of the WS winners over the last 10-15 years.   The Giants certainly seemed to have no "guiding philosophy" in 2010.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 24, 2011, 09:32:32 am
The corner outfield version of Koyie Hill will be joining the Cubs:

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5747
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 24, 2011, 09:50:36 am
Bruce Miles' blog also says Brett Jackson is rehabbing in Arizona so he can get controlled ABs, and will be back at Tennessee by the end of the week.  I wonder if they'd consider bringing him up in a couple of weeks if he picks up where he left off at AA.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 24, 2011, 10:02:00 am
I keep seeing Montanez's name...and I just can't figure out why anyone has any interest in having him on the major league team.  He's tearing up AAA because he's a AAAA player.  In the majors, though, he has essentially been Koyie Hill.  He's hitting .223/.257/.323 in 266 career plate appearances.  Koyie Hill's career line?  .212/.275/.305.  The OPSes are identical, but Hill's is slightly better because OBP is the more important part of OPS. 

Montanez has no value now or in the future.  There is no reason for him to ever get a major league at bat with the Cubs.

br, I meant to respond to this one a while back, but I still don't think it's appropriate to be writing off Montanez as a Koyie Hill hitter just yet.  He might turn out to be a failure just like he was the last two cups of coffee he had with Baltimore, but he's become a proven minor league hitter and late bloomers do happen.

Andres Torres, for example, had put up Koyie Hill type numbers during his stays in the majors up until his age 31 season, and now he's a productive regular for the Giants.  (Too bad the Cubs didn't give Torres the kind of chance they're giving Montanez when Torres was putting up strong numbers with Iowa in 2008, BTW.)

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/torrean02.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/torrean02.shtml)

Raul Ibanez was a bad major league hitter up until his age 29 season.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/i/ibanera01.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/i/ibanera01.shtml)

Those are a couple of examples of why you shouldn't just totally write off a guy who has put up weak stats early in his career.  These two guys could just as easily have written off as a Koyie Hill type as well, but you'd be missing out on someone who eventually became a productive player in his 30's.

We probably shouldn't have great expectations for Montanez, obviously, but I think there's a very reasonable chance he can be a productive right handed bat off the bench.  The guy is OPS'ing over 1.000 in Triple-A, and he has the tools that once made him the 3rd overall pick in the draft.  You don't just do that without some level of talent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 24, 2011, 10:46:18 am
And don't forget the current phenom in Toronto.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 24, 2011, 12:00:18 pm
Nice post, JR.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on May 24, 2011, 12:03:25 pm
And don't forget the current phenom in Toronto.

Corey Patterson?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 24, 2011, 12:12:54 pm
Of interest to me was that, at least in the game immediately after Byrd's injury, Iowa had Montanez in center.  I didn't notice if he played there previously, but perhaps he is another alternative.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 24, 2011, 12:51:18 pm
Montanez also played a handful of games in CF when he was up with the Orioles.  No idea if he's a viable guy in CF, but hard to see Reed Johnson productive out there for a bunch of weeks as an everyday guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 24, 2011, 01:28:57 pm
I don't know if this is revisionist history...but as time goes by, it seems like Hendry is taking less of the blame for Soriano.  We've heard in the past that upper management forced him to go from 6 years to 8 years.  But in Bruce Levine's chat on ESPN, it sounds like it may have been more than that:

Hendry did not sign Soriano. That was management above Hendry who signed that deal when Jim was on an airplane. Refer your regrets to them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 24, 2011, 01:32:43 pm
I have no faith in Quade to correctly use the guys on the roster to fill the void left by the injury to Byrd.

My preference would be a straight Campana/Johnson platoon in center and a straight Fukudome/Montanez platoon in right.

Somehow, Quade will find a way to DH Koyie Hill against the White Sox.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 24, 2011, 01:34:24 pm
Hendry did not sign Soriano. That was management above Hendry who signed that deal when Jim was on an airplane. Refer your regrets to them.

That sounds like Levine is Hendry's agent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 03:52:53 pm
Matt Garza is on the DL

No word on how room was made for Montanez on the 40-man roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 03:55:19 pm
Garza has a bone contusion.

Soto will rehab at AA on Thursday and could be back by Saturday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 24, 2011, 03:57:25 pm
Bone contusion sounds good for a pitcher...bruises heal.  I wonder how he got it.

I'd guess either Cashner or Schlitter will be going to the 60 day DL to make room for Montanez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 03:59:26 pm
Andrew Cashner does not need surgery.

Randy Wells will start Saturday vs Pittsburgh.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 24, 2011, 04:00:01 pm
I hope to Goc that James Russell doesn't continue to get starts in Matt Garza's absence.

I suppose that Randy Wells will take his spot, which means that Casey Coleman stays in the rotation for now.

Man, three starters down before Memorial Day.

1985 minus the good record pre-injuries.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 24, 2011, 04:11:27 pm
There have been rumors in the last few days that Kevin Slowey is available from the Twins.  He could be an option to start if they'll give him away for cheap.  Probably shouldn't trade any more than someone like Maine or Stevens at this point, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 04:22:57 pm
Brian Schlitter has been moved to the 60-day DL.

Kerry Wood has been fined for hitting Jed Lowrie.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 04:30:25 pm
It's Mon-tuh-nez.  No  ñ
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 24, 2011, 05:26:28 pm
Garza might be back pretty soon and, as noted already, Cashner not headed to surgery.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-elbow-bone-bruise-lands-cubs-garza-on-dl-20110524,0,2407215.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: BearHit on May 24, 2011, 05:48:24 pm
Kerry Wood has been fined for hitting Jed Lowrie.

Anyone receive a fine for beaning the Byrd?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 24, 2011, 06:06:14 pm
I wonder if the hard feelings didn't start Friday night when Carlos Pena kept stepping out of the box on Jon Lester.  One of the few good comments Bill Buckner made was when he said "If Bob Gibson was on the mound, the next pitch would be inside".
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on May 24, 2011, 06:06:50 pm
Why not bring Colvin back up and let him play center?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 24, 2011, 06:22:38 pm
I admit I am an optimist, so I hope that somehow the current farm players will be different. 
*Soto, maybe, although with his injuries and his defensive issues, I'm not sure he'll age very well. 
*Castro, hopefully, in some role.  He's so talented, he should be a long-term guy in some capacity.  I wonder if he'll ever get a lot better?

It's a good thing you are an optimist when you are talking about Castro.  I mean given how erratic he is, and how he looks compared to other SS, you do have to be an optimist with the guy... who turned 21 two months ago, and is now the same age Derek Jeter was hitting .317 and making 29 errors in 29 games in the minors.

When Jeter was 22, in hist first full year in the majors, he hit at about the level Castro did last year.  When Jeter was 19 he made 56 errors in 126 minor league games.

The principal thing that needs to be done with Castro is not to shift him to another position, but to let him finish developing.  The idea that he is an "in some capacity" ignores how special he is already and is likely to become.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 25, 2011, 09:25:09 am
Garza might be back pretty soon and, as noted already, Cashner not headed to surgery.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-elbow-bone-bruise-lands-cubs-garza-on-dl-20110524,0,2407215.story

Really positive news (I think) in both cases. 

I'm pleasantly surprised in Cashner's case.  I still think he's got a chance to be a very central figure in the Cubs pitching plans.  I also admit my cashner confidence is somewhat guarded.  I'm probably jaded by the number of times that Prior had his arm examined by MRI's, Cub doctors, Yocum, and Andrews without identifying the need for more than rehab. 

Q:  has the medical technology advanced in the last 7 years much, in terms of diagnostics?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 25, 2011, 10:17:38 am
Really positive news (I think) in both cases. 

I'm pleasantly surprised in Cashner's case.  I still think he's got a chance to be a very central figure in the Cubs pitching plans.  I also admit my cashner confidence is somewhat guarded.  I'm probably jaded by the number of times that Prior had his arm examined by MRI's, Cub doctors, Yocum, and Andrews without identifying the need for more than rehab. 

Q:  has the medical technology advanced in the last 7 years much, in terms of diagnostics?
No, but the towels are more aerodynamic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 10:43:28 am
Don't forget to bring a towel!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 25, 2011, 11:29:36 am
One advance is that pitchers are willing to speak up that there's a problem without the perception that they're "soft" or the like.  That has to help.  It's in everybody's interest to shut a guy down, check him out, and then hope for the best. 

It makes sense to be a bit wary of Cashner's ability to hold up over the long haul.  I suppose that Cashner is #2 in overall player value to the organization, after Castro.  So, it's a really big deal if he can be a rotation impact guy.  Maybe Cubs will get lucky with him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 25, 2011, 11:45:24 am
Phil Rogers passes on speculation from Jim Bowden  that Ryan Dempster could be a July 31 trade candidate.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-your-morning-phil-dempster-byrd-buehrle-20110525,0,2789066.story (http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-your-morning-phil-dempster-byrd-buehrle-20110525,0,2789066.story)

And there's more:

Bowden also speculates about Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena and Carlos Zambrano. He doesn't mention the guy whom the Cubs would most love to trade -- Kosuke Fukudome -- and the guys who generate the most interest -- Reed Johnson and Wood. Alfonso Soriano? In your dreams.

This is all from Bowden's ESPN blog which I don't have a link for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 25, 2011, 11:52:31 am
Unless Ramirez starts hitting for his normal amount of power, no one is going to want him.  His $16 million option becomes guaranteed if he gets traded, and no one would take that on.

Zambrano may be fickle, but he's said many times that he doesn't plan on waiving his no trade rights.  Plus, given the trouble the Cubs currently have with their rotation, I think it's pretty doubtful that they'd have any interest in forcing themselves into finding a replacement for Zambrano this coming offseason.

Bowden is a perfect guy for Rogers to quote, because neither of them seem to have a clue.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 25, 2011, 11:53:50 am
Phil Rogers and Jim Bowden make a nice pair.  One is about as credible as the other.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 25, 2011, 12:03:25 pm
Regarding Dempster---it seemed to me that he didn't actually pitch as well last night as his pitching line looked.  He made a lot of terrible pitches early in the game--catching too much of the plate--that Mets fouled off or the like.  He got away with a lot of poor pitches.  Mets played an all-around terrible game. 

I'm not sure what's going on with Dempster's command.  Maybe he'll be fine from here on out, but he seems to just lose it at some point in the game, sometimes early.  He's 34 and I'm worried that he could be done as a #2 or #3 guy.  The way he is pitching, it's hard to see another organization take on that contract for 2012 as a back-end type of rotation guy.  Hope I'm wrong about him.  He's very valuable in a lot of ways when he's right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 25, 2011, 12:20:01 pm
I am hopeful that Dempster does well for the next two months and a team like Cleveland stays in the race and decides that they need another solid starter.

All anyone needs to know about Jim Bowden is that when the Matt Garza trade happened, he hated the trade for Tampa Bay.  He ranted about it on MLB's XM radio show saying that the Rays should have held out for Josh Vitters.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 25, 2011, 12:22:26 pm
It says something about the state of the Cubs major-league roster that even if they decided to back up the truck, they can't.  They could leave this garbage by the side of the curb and no one would bother to haul it off.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 25, 2011, 12:27:43 pm
Well, I suspect if the Cubs would just release any of their expensive players (Soriano, Ramirez, Fukudome, or whomever), there are teams that would be happy to pick them up for the major league minimum.  In fact, if the Cubs were willing to eat enough of their salaries, I expect that they would find plenty of interest.  The problem would come in trying to get significant talent in return, I imagine. 

Aside from the reluctance Ricketts and his family probably have about eating many millions of dollars, the other complication is that someone would have to replace anybody they got rid of.  Presumably the more promising minor leaguers aren't really ready yet. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 25, 2011, 12:42:35 pm
Aside from Soriano, there's not much tangible benefit in simply releasing players and eating their salaries.  The whole point of a fire sale is actually making a few bucks.  Between simple awfulness and no-trade clauses, the Cubs basically have no marketable veteran talent whatsoever apart from Wood, Marshall and Marmol.  They have the option of releasing players or suffering through the end of their contracts and starting over.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 25, 2011, 12:46:28 pm
Regarding Dempster---it seemed to me that he didn't actually pitch as well last night as his pitching line looked.  He made a lot of terrible pitches early in the game--catching too much of the plate--that Mets fouled off or the like.  He got away with a lot of poor pitches.  Mets played an all-around terrible game. 

I'm not sure what's going on with Dempster's command.  Maybe he'll be fine from here on out, but he seems to just lose it at some point in the game, sometimes early.  He's 34 and I'm worried that he could be done as a #2 or #3 guy.  The way he is pitching, it's hard to see another organization take on that contract for 2012 as a back-end type of rotation guy.  Hope I'm wrong about him.  He's very valuable in a lot of ways when he's right.
good post Reb, Dempster got lucky that it was the Mets he was facing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 25, 2011, 12:56:42 pm
Wood gave the Cubs an immense hometown discount because he wanted to play for the Cubs.  It would be a disgusting betrayal if they were to trade him without his consent, contract clause or not.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 25, 2011, 01:16:25 pm
Rogers and Bowden are doing what Peter Gammons was often accused of:

If you throw enough "stuff" at the wall, some is bound to stick.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 25, 2011, 01:16:48 pm
Mets played an all-around terrible game.

It's a good thing the Cubs are playing a Mets team that is as underachieving and as disappointing as we are.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 25, 2011, 01:21:22 pm
Here's the Bowden blog - he does qualify some of his speculation

http://espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-office/post/_/id/128/top-5-potential-sellers-at-trade-deadline (http://espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-office/post/_/id/128/top-5-potential-sellers-at-trade-deadline)

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are 20-25 and already seven games behind the first-place Cardinals. The most exciting parts of this team are the young double-play combination of Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro and righty Carlos Marmol, one of the best young closers in the game. The problem is they just don’t have enough good young players around them and need to continue to make trades to get younger, faster. More pop wouldn’t hurt, either. Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena are both free agents at the end of the season and should be moved. Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano could be dealt, too. However, Cubs ownership better be prepared to eat a significant amount of salary from all their bad contracts if they want to make trades.

1. Aramis Ramirez
He has one home run and 17 RBIs. Last year, he hit 25 home runs. He has been a huge disappointment for the Cubs. Teams such as the Rockies, Marlins or Angels could take a chance as a stop-gap if he starts hitting for power between now and the deadline.

2. Carlos Pena
His bat is not performing consistent with his $10 million contract. However, there could still be trade interest if the Cubs eat most of the salary and he can start driving runs in. The Rays might consider taking him back and the Angels might consider if Trumbo doesn’t hit enough.

3. Ryan Dempster
He is 2-4 with a 6.91 ERA. Dempster had a terrible start to the season, but he is pitching better of late, yielding just two runs or less in three of his past four starts. This is a high-character, great-makeup pitcher who can win 12-15 games and throw 200 innings when healthy. He is one of the few who could handle pitching in baseball’s toughest markets, such as New York or Boston. The Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers are possible matches if they need starting pitching come July.

4. Carlos Zambrano
He is staying. The Cubs won’t swallow enough salary, and a contender is not going to take the risk of trading mid-level prospects. This contract will have to expire on the North Side at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

San Diego Padres
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on May 25, 2011, 01:46:03 pm
I think Bowden's thing is both obvious and true.  The Cubs need to get better, and riding Pena, Aram, and Dempster isn't likely to get them anywhere we want to go. 

2.  Several of these players, as Ron alluded to, would get picked up if released.  More baseball value than an AAA guy. 

3.  The prospect of trading one or more is potentially feasible and desirable. 

4.  July is two months off.  If Dempster puts together a healthy and effective month, and Aram hits 7 HR in June, not all GM's will care how they were doing in April/May. 

5.  As always it comes down to dollars, evaluation sense, and no-trade protections.  The players will need to decide if they want to stay and will obstruct trades, or would like a chance to go to a contender and will accept or authorize trades.  GM's will need to decide how much cash and/or prospect talent any of these guys is worth. And Hendry will need to decide if it's enough.  Last year he got a little talent and a little cash relief on both Lilly and Lee, and decided that what little he got was better than not dealing.  He didn't get enough cash/talent for Fuku to make a move.  The same types of issues apply in each of these cases. 

I do think that Dempster is a factor, though.  Pitching could be in short supply, and as was suggested he's a personality that would be welcomed in any clubhouse and would not likely be scared silly by a big market.  He's been good enough over recent years, and has pitched some capable starts recently, that I could imagine a contender being willing to taken on a non-trivial amount of his salary. 

As usual, it seems the Cubs are a little late.  Last summer they could have gotten a lot for him.  Now, it's iffy whether they'll get enough to make any difference. 

I do think the terminal guys are all fair game, though.  If you trade Pena and get an A-ball reliever and half a million in payroll relief, it's better than nothing.  If it's July and somebody gives you the kind of fringe prospect we got for fontenot last summer, while picking up $1.2 of Fuku's remaining costs, why not, it's better than nothing. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 25, 2011, 02:23:39 pm
Pena might actually be a tradeable asset.   He's overpaid, but only for this season.  He's a lefty with power, a decent glove and a good clubhouse guy.  Contenders tend to have interest in guys like that in August.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 25, 2011, 02:41:16 pm
I would be shocked if the Cubs traded Dempster, or even listened seriously to offers for him.  I think he's woven into the fabric of the franchise through 2012, due to his strong sense of identification with the team and the community, as well as his leadership within the team.  He wouldn't want to leave and I don't think the Cubs would want him to anyway.

Ramirez is a different story.  I could definitely see the Cubs trading him if a decent deal could be done - even though there is not anyone obvious to replace him right away.  Over the winter the Cubs had hopes of competing this season, but the clearer it is that's not going to happen, the more open they would be to letting Ramirez go, given that his performance makes it virtually certain they won't exercise their club option to bring him back for 2012.

Pena is an interesting question.  If a contender found themselves in need of a 1B, as the Braves did last year, I could see a deal being made.  But I don't see the Cubs trading him just to dump salary, given that he's gone after this year anyway, and there is no one being blocked by his presence (unless the Cubs decide to convert Colvin to a 1B in the next few weeks).

I would think that Fukudome would have some value as well, but who are the Cubs going to put in RF (again, unless Colvin convinces them he's ready to bring back up and that he can perform well).

I was a big fan of Soriano when he first came to the Cubs and believe he was a very important contributor the first two years here.  But those days are gone.  I don't think they would do it, but I'd like for the Cubs to be prepared to eat a huge chunk of his remaining salary in order to trade him to an AL team where he could DH.  But unfortunately that's not going to happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 25, 2011, 02:43:39 pm
Ramirez and Soriano have to go before their lousy attitudes spread to other players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 25, 2011, 02:45:43 pm
If Montanez continues to hit 500 with a 1,250 OPS, he could be an adequate replacement for Fukudome.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 02:56:42 pm
If the choice is to pay X million to a guy to play terribly or to release him, play somebody with a future, and lose X million, isn't it the same X million?  What you gain is insight as to whether the new player can handle the job while giving him the valuable experience at the same time.  The only reason to keep the terrible veteran is if he's popular and draws $$$ and butts into the seats.  Right now, I can't think of a single veteran that does that.

Now, then, we come down to the same problem.  Do we really trust Jimbo to make the judgment as to which guys fit the above parameters?

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 25, 2011, 03:02:00 pm
The loss in salary may be the same, but how many seats would go empty if the team was playing 350 baseball rather than 450 baseball?  I, personally, would rather have a terrible team this year with the chance of a good one in the future.  But an awful lot of fans, even those that feel like I do, would not bother to go tot the ball park until the good years come around.

If I were the owner, I am not sure I would be willing to take that big a hit this year, and possibly next.  Especially if I had debt payments that had to be covered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on May 25, 2011, 03:16:46 pm
I don't see a big difference in attendance if we are c r a p p y  or slightly less c r a p p y. Die hards will come...the casual fam stays home.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 25, 2011, 03:23:24 pm
If Montanez continues to hit 500 with a 1,250 OPS, he could be an adequate replacement for Babe Ruth.

Fixed that for you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 25, 2011, 03:40:37 pm
CubsInsider:

We spoke to Lou today.  He said either pronunciation is correct: Mon-tuh-nez or Mon-tan-yez. He prefers the latter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 25, 2011, 04:42:25 pm
I think anyone expecting to get any value in trades at the deadline is kidding themselves.  Other than Byrd, no one on this team who the Cubs would want to trade that would bring back anything better than the next Jeff Stevens.  Even the guys that could bring back some value if the Cubs paid part of their contract (specifically Dempster & Zambrano) are probably guys the Cubs would prefer to keep.

I'm sure they'll deal some guys, but it will be unproductive.  They'll get 2-3 AAAA guys for Fukudome, Johnson, and maybe Grabow.  They'll give someone like LaHair or Smith or Colvin 100-150 AB, which will prove nothing.  And they'll still fill all their needs (3B, 1B, maybe OF) through free agency and trades in the offseason.

Bottom line, this trade deadline is not going to be worth getting worked up over unless the Cubs really turn it around and become buyers instead of sellers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 25, 2011, 05:53:04 pm
A-ram is untradeable, so no point in even discussing it.  No GM in baseball - well, maybe one and he doesn't count - would want to be on the hook to him for $16 million in 2012.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 25, 2011, 06:00:42 pm
Maybe Pena can go on the dl with some unspecified injury so we can find out if LaHair is a AAAA player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 25, 2011, 06:04:51 pm
A-ram is untradeable, so no point in even discussing it.  No GM in baseball - well, maybe one and he doesn't count - would want to be on the hook to him for $16 million in 2012.

I had not realized the 2012 club option vested if he was traded, but I see it would.  Agree that would effectively make him untradeable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 25, 2011, 06:14:32 pm
Bruce Miles on Aramis Ramirez' isolated power numbers

 2011: .090
 2010: .211
 2009: .199
 2008: .229
 2007: .239
 2006: .269

A Geo Soto update and a few other items

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5760
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 08:36:25 pm
I may have my boards messed up and this discussion was on this board: Quade is being roasted for Garza's injury.  It was pointed out that Garza's last game was that long rain delay that he came out and pitched again. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 25, 2011, 08:39:42 pm
I may have my boards messed up and this discussion was on this board: Quade is being roasted for Garza's injury.  It was pointed out that Garza's last game was that long rain delay that he came out and pitched again. 
But his injury is a bone bruise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 08:40:36 pm
So?  They still ripped him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 08:41:09 pm
BTW, do you believe everything the Cubs tell you about a pitching injury?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 25, 2011, 08:41:57 pm
That was actually two games ago, Curt.  He has started once since then.  In any case, Garza said the soreness had been an issue in his previous two starts anyway, so it was hurt before the rain delay incident.

I think the whole coming back after the rain delay thing gets overstated.  I just can't believe a pitcher who regularly throws 100-120 pitches every 5 days (plus does regular throwing between starts) is going to get hurt because he throws another 40 pitches after a one hour rain delay.  I just don't think arms are that delicate.

Plus, it's a bone bruise...I'm no medical doctor, but I don't think that's a throwing injury.  It sounds like something that occurred as a result of a specific trauma.  Maybe he took a ball off the arm when fielding balls in batting practice a couple weeks ago.  Or maybe it happened in a game...I know he also made a diving play in one of his recent starts where he hit the ground pretty hard.  He could've done it then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 08:43:26 pm
br, what do the facts have to do with it?  I'm just telling you that Quade is getting ripped for it on another board.  Sheesh.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on May 25, 2011, 08:44:07 pm
A-Ram could waive that provision in his contract and try to move onto a new team and play for a contract.  The cubs just need to make it clear that he is never going to see that money and leave it at that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 25, 2011, 08:44:45 pm
I blame you and you alone for Quade getting ripped on that board.  Sheesh.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 08:48:45 pm
Well, that's different then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 08:49:16 pm
For a minute there I thought I was going to have to put this entire board on Ignore.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 25, 2011, 09:05:18 pm
According to a doctor in the TCR, the "bone bruise" is really a stress injury, rather than a trauma injury.  He says it is really a pre-stress fracture, and should heal in a couple of weeks, if the reports are accurate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 09:09:08 pm
Dave, are you going to send me your cell number or do you have me on ignore?  Well, I guess that's silly because if you had me on ignore, you'd never see this.  In that case, dave you are a **** **** *** ***** ************.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 25, 2011, 09:28:43 pm
Andrew Cashner won't return to the rotation when he returns to the team.

Andrew Cashner - S - Cubs

Cubs GM Jim Hendry said Andrew Cashner (shoulder) is likely to return this season as a reliever once he's healthy.It's probably the wise move, as the Cubs want to play it safe with the 24-year-old. "No decision has been made on what type of a role he will have long term with us," Hendry said. "I will leave all of that up to Dr. Gryzlo and Dr. Yocum who are treating him for his shoulder injury. I will tell you that I think that if he is out for a while it is probably unrealistic to think that he will just go right back into the rotation when he returns. When you miss a few months with an arm injury you cannot just go right back to pitching six innings or more when you return so I would think that he would be in the pen when he does come back this season."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 25, 2011, 09:39:40 pm
Some educator.  **** **** *** ***** ************ only has 27 *s.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 25, 2011, 09:44:30 pm
* before * except after *, moran.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 25, 2011, 09:46:08 pm
Sorry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 26, 2011, 06:48:43 am
The loss in salary may be the same, but how many seats would go empty if the team was playing 350 baseball rather than 450 baseball?  I, personally, would rather have a terrible team this year with the chance of a good one in the future.

The converts to the total rebuild approach just keep growing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 26, 2011, 07:05:14 am
I think anyone expecting to get any value in trades at the deadline is kidding themselves.  Other than Byrd, no one on this team who the Cubs would want to trade that would bring back anything better than the next Jeff Stevens.  Even the guys that could bring back some value if the Cubs paid part of their contract (specifically Dempster & Zambrano) are probably guys the Cubs would prefer to keep.

I'm sure they'll deal some guys, but it will be unproductive.  They'll get 2-3 AAAA guys for Fukudome, Johnson, and maybe Grabow.  They'll give someone like LaHair or Smith or Colvin 100-150 AB, which will prove nothing.  And they'll still fill all their needs (3B, 1B, maybe OF) through free agency and trades in the offseason.

Bottom line, this trade deadline is not going to be worth getting worked up over unless the Cubs really turn it around and become buyers instead of sellers.

The worst thing that could happen is for this collection of talent, including the minors, to become buyers instead of sellers.  Trade possibly several productive years for a marginally improved chance of just barely making the playoffs this year, while becoming even more hamstrung in future years.

But trade deadline moves can bring more for a hot hitting or pitching player than you might sometimes expect -- IF the guy has actually gotten hot for a few weeks before the trade, and impressions of players can change quite quickly.  Ten days ago the perception of Byrd was that he had become utterly worthless, and now he is seen as a player who could bring a good deal in a trade deadline move.

As to simply getting 4A players in return, referring to someone as a 4A player generally implies that they are 27-28 and doing reasonably well in the minors, but not when you adjust for their age, and that they are never likely to meaningfully contribute in the majors.  I would disagree that that is the best the Cubs could get from players they now have on the roster, particularly if trades were sweetened with cash.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 09:01:57 am
Fourteen of the Cubs’ 24 home games have been played in game-time temperatures below 50 degrees, including both games on this homestand and the finale of the last homestand.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 26, 2011, 09:05:53 am
Fourteen of the Cubs’ 24 home games have been played in game-time temperatures below 50 degrees, including both games on this homestand and the finale of the last homestand.
bleepin' brutal...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 26, 2011, 09:42:23 am
But just wait until it becomes too hot to play well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 26, 2011, 09:49:52 am
I guess it never warmed up last year when the Cubs finished 11 games under .500 at Wrigley.

Their inability to win consistently at home the last two years is baffling.  Only team in professional sports that plays with a home field disadvantage.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 26, 2011, 09:51:04 am
But just wait until it becomes too hot to play well.
an oblique reference to Dusty Baker's explanation of player performances or lack thereof based on racial differences? ::)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 09:53:16 am
an oblique reference to Dusty Baker's explanation of player performances or lack thereof based on racial differences? ::)
Not sure, but wasn't that Don Baylor?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 26, 2011, 09:55:30 am
ummm, I thought it was a "Dustyism",but I could be wrong...still some kinda crazy :P
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 09:56:33 am
ummm, I thought it was a "Dustyism",but I could be wrong
One of our trivia experts like JR or Dave23 will know.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 26, 2011, 09:57:19 am
yessir...just occured to me if they make it a Trivia question one of us could get a point... ;D
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 26, 2011, 11:09:38 am
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/cubs/2003-07-07-baker_x.htm
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 26, 2011, 11:29:05 am
it was Baker,thanks P2...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 11:39:40 am
it was Baker,thanks P2...
Darn, I was wrong once last year, too.  (I assume that is what the link said - I don't look at links that don't say what they are).
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 26, 2011, 12:04:46 pm
Darn, I was wrong once last year, too.  (I assume that is what the link said - I don't look at links that don't say what they are).
Being wrong once a year is praiseworthy,exceptionally so. I can only hope to achieve that lofty plateau through hard work, excercise,prayer, and eating my Wheaties. ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 26, 2011, 01:43:51 pm
"The converts to the total rebuild approach just keep growing."

Hardly a convert.  As a fan, I have always maintained that I would rather come in last place than third of fourth.  For the high draft choice, of nothing else.

However, as a fan, it isn't MY money that is at risk.  If I were the owner, and heavily in debt, the last thing I would do is gut the team to the extent that you advocate.  From the point of view of a continuing business, Ricketts seems to be doing what he has to do.  Build for the future, but stay in business so there IS a future, at least for the Ricketts family.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 02:49:44 pm
Paul Sullivan:

Hope Hendry's name doesn't come up in Blago testimony. Blago bragged to NY Times last year that he gave trade ideas to Cubs GM.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 26, 2011, 03:47:08 pm
It would be easy to pick Blago's tips...they would be the only one or two decent trades.  There were one or two, no?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 06:33:55 pm
Today's attendance was 33,378.  That means 8,000 fans did not buy tickets before they knew how bad the weather was going to be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 06:35:43 pm
Justin Berg is on his way back to Iowa.

The Cubs made a minor league deal with Atlanta for Rodrigo Lopez who will be in Chicago Friday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 06:37:26 pm
Paul Sullivan story on the deal

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-cubs-acquire-lopez-for-pitching-help-20110526,0,4794288.story

The Cubs send Ryan Buchter from Daytona to the Braves.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 26, 2011, 06:39:24 pm
That's an odd little deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 26, 2011, 06:43:51 pm
If Hendry had done this a month and a half ago, the Cubs might still be in this race.

I wonder what this means for Davis once Wells and Garza are both back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 26, 2011, 06:54:15 pm
The 40-man roster spot for Lopez will probably be cleared by moving Andrew Cashner to the 60-day DL.  He went on the 15-day DL effective April 6 and he won't be ready before June 5.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 26, 2011, 07:12:32 pm
Rodrigo Lopez went 7-16 with a 5.00 ERA last year.  The 16 losses led the National League.

Unfortunately, this represents a significant upgrade over the guys we've been using in the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 26, 2011, 07:33:13 pm
That's an unfair comparison, JR.  Last year Rodrigo didn't have the spectacular offense and the slick airtight defense he'll enjoy with the Cubs.  He'll improve to at least 8-15 with us.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 26, 2011, 11:41:50 pm
Lopez led the NL in earned runs allowed and homers allowed (37) last season.

I think that both Lopez and Russell should always pitch when the wind is blowing out at Wrigley this summer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on May 27, 2011, 07:46:07 am
Lopez led the NL in earned runs allowed and homers allowed (37) last season.

I think that both Lopez and Russell should always pitch when the wind is blowing out at Wrigley this summer.
Yeah the Cubs could bring back the SWA "How Far Did It Fly" campaign...$$$$
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 08:37:52 am
Yeah the Cubs could bring back the SWA "How Far Did It Fly" campaign...$$$$
400 happy feet
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 08:42:40 am
Our esteemed GM:


 "I haven't seen it this bad in a long time but it still is not as bad as it was in 2004 when we lost Kerry Wood (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/kerry-wood-PESPT008072.topic), Mark Prior, Mark Grudzielanek (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/mark-grudzielanek-PESPT002832.topic), Todd Hollandsworth, Sammy Sosa (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/sammy-sosa-PESPT008519.topic), Joe Borowski, Aramis Ramirez (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/aramis-ramirez-PESPT006037.topic), Todd Wellemeyer, Tom Goodwin (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/tom-goodwin-PESPT002676.topic), Kent Mercker, Alex Gonzalez (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/alex-gonzalez-PESPT002656.topic) and Mike Remlinger (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/mike-remlinger-PESPT006128.topic) all to extended stays on the DL," he said. "I actually feel pretty good about this team because with Randy Wells (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/randy-wells-PESPT000010498.topic) coming back and Matt Garza (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/matt-garza-PESPT000010059.topic) on track to be back next week we should be in position to get some stability with our starting pitching."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 08:47:46 am
Aramis Ramirez admits to hamstring trouble

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/5615980-573/cubs-aramis-ramirez-admits-hamstring-giving-him-trouble.html

It’s why manager Mike Quade held back bench guy Blake DeWitt on Tuesday night when he used Carlos Zambrano to pinch-hit and why Ramirez got Thursday off on a 42-degree day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 27, 2011, 08:48:43 am
I don't think this has been posted here, but I could be wrong...I seem to miss posts occasionally since we moved to this board...

Ramirez was out yesterday due to a tight hamstring that has been bothering him since the last homestand.  I had assumed it was just a routine day off because I didn't hear otherwise.

Zambrano had a stiff neck after his start yesterday and is going to see a doctor.  Hendry says it's no big deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 27, 2011, 08:51:38 am
It's embarrassing that these "athletes" can't play a non contact sport like baseball without being hurt over and over.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 27, 2011, 09:00:04 am
Our esteemed GM:


 "I haven't seen it this bad in a long time but it still is not as bad as it was in 2004 when we lost Kerry Wood (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/kerry-wood-PESPT008072.topic), Mark Prior, Mark Grudzielanek (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/mark-grudzielanek-PESPT002832.topic), Todd Hollandsworth, Sammy Sosa (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/sammy-sosa-PESPT008519.topic), Joe Borowski, Aramis Ramirez (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/aramis-ramirez-PESPT006037.topic), Todd Wellemeyer, Tom Goodwin (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/tom-goodwin-PESPT002676.topic), Kent Mercker, Alex Gonzalez (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/alex-gonzalez-PESPT002656.topic) and Mike Remlinger (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/mike-remlinger-PESPT006128.topic) all to extended stays on the DL," he said. "I actually feel pretty good about this team because with Randy Wells (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/randy-wells-PESPT000010498.topic) coming back and Matt Garza (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sports/baseball/matt-garza-PESPT000010059.topic) on track to be back next week we should be in position to get some stability with our starting pitching."

I knew the injury excuse would be coming out sooner or later.

Granted, there's a little bit of truth in that, but our GM could have done a lot better job planning for injury contingencies and maybe keeping one of the pitchers he gave away this offseason instead of relying on Casey Coleman, James Russell, and Doug Davis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 09:06:48 am
I knew the injury excuse would be coming out sooner or later.

Granted, there's a little bit of truth in that, but our GM could have done a lot better job planning for injury contingencies and maybe keeping one of the pitchers he gave away this offseason instead of relying on Casey Coleman, James Russell, and Doug Davis.
You mean plan ahead like a couple years ago when the Cubs went into spring training with only one player who could play third base?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 27, 2011, 09:11:19 am
It's embarrassing that these "athletes" can't play a non contact sport like baseball without being hurt over and over.

Because, of course, players on other teams never get injured.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 27, 2011, 09:11:36 am
Or have a better backup than Koyie Hill for your starting catcher who has missed 57 and 60 games the last two years?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 27, 2011, 09:22:20 am
If Hendry had done this a month and a half ago, the Cubs might still be in this race.

I wonder what this means for Davis once Wells and Garza are both back.

One of Hendry's more serious failings as GM is his inability to react in season in a timely manner to a glaring personnel need.  He has made some very good moves during his time as GM, but I don't believe he has EVER done even a decent job quickly reacting to a glaring roster need which developed as a result of either injury or a surprising failure to perform to expectations.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 27, 2011, 09:26:13 am
"The converts to the total rebuild approach just keep growing."

Hardly a convert.  As a fan, I have always maintained that I would rather come in last place than third of fourth.  For the high draft choice, of nothing else.

However, as a fan, it isn't MY money that is at risk.  If I were the owner, and heavily in debt, the last thing I would do is gut the team to the extent that you advocate.  From the point of view of a continuing business, Ricketts seems to be doing what he has to do.  Build for the future, but stay in business so there IS a future, at least for the Ricketts family.

Yes, Scotti posted the same thing several times, and while I understand that it is their money and that they can do with it however they please,  the savings in payroll, not just during a full rebuild, but also during the first several years after ending it and relying on the talent pool of prospects inexpensively filling the major league roster, and then having a strong winning team for several years without relying greatly on FA signings (not to say there would be none, but not to the extent the Cubs have needed), should actually end up being a net positive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 27, 2011, 09:33:08 am
Rodrigo Lopez is not good.  But when we look back on this season, I suspect taking a month and a half to get him will be Hendry's biggest failure this year (and maybe the reason he gets fired).  It'll be at least as bad as taking a month to get Nevin in 2006...possibly worse, because this team was in a better position to contend than the 2006 team.

The Cubs have a bad run differential of -23 right now.  But if you look just at games started by the intended starting five, the run differential is +21 with a record of 19-14.  The team only has a negative run differential when Garza pitches (because his starts are when the defense goes on vacation). 

But when Davis, Coleman, and Russell start, the run differential is a putrid -44 with a record of 3-12.  If Hendry had gotten Lopez in here within a few days after Wells and Cashner went down, they could easily be 5-10 or 6-9 right now...still bad, but that would have the Cubs at or just above .500.  Given the Braves' depth at starter, I have little doubt that a trade could've been worked out a month ago.  Just inexcusable for a GM to let things be that bad for that long.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 09:59:18 am
 
Quote from: Phil Rogers
  Here's hoping we see more of Tony Campana this weekend against the Pirates. His 3-for-4 on Thursday in his first start continued a trend in which he's produced no matter how Mike Quade uses him. He should be in the lineup on Friday and Sunday, when the Pirates are starting right-handers -- although in fairness to Campana, you don't hit over .300 in the minors without being able to hit lefties and righties. Quade has to balance Reed Johnson's experience and strong early contributions vs. Campana's potential. Few in the organization ever argued that Campana could be an everyday big-leaguer, but as recently as mid-March conventional wisdom had Darwin Barney's ceiling being as a backup shortstop and utility infielder. He's looking like a guy who could be a regular at second base for years to come. You never really know how a guy is going to play in the big leagues until you let him play a while.   


 
That is true with some, but not all, players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 27, 2011, 10:02:02 am
Perhaps for true bums, but there is little certainty about most players who actually have the ability to make it to the majors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 27, 2011, 10:31:29 am
I'm always amazed how a couple of extra hits or a couple of more extra base hits can really make a difference in a player's stat line. 
 
Look at Darwin Barney's stats in April and May.  Same number of AB's, but he has 2 fewer base hits in May and 6 fewer of his hits going for extra bases.  Yet, that's difference between a strong looking .800 OPS in April and a pretty punchless .660 OPS in May. 
 
I think it also gives a lot of credence to br's concerns a while back.  A guy like Barney without walks and much pop doesn't have a big margin for error.  Hopefully the "true" Barney has some extra base pop that falls somewhere between what he did in April and what he's done in May.

 
By Day/MonthABRH2B3BHRRBIBBHBPSOSBCSAVGOBPSLGOPS
April89152942114401011.326.351.449.800
May8811272001031520.307.330.330.660
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 10:34:35 am
 
Team          W L    Pct      GB    Last 10  Streak
St. Louis     30 21 .588     -       8 - 2      L 1
Milwaukee   27 23 .540    2½    8 - 2      W 6
Cincinnati    26 25 .510    4       2 - 8      L 2
Chi Cubs     22 26 .458    6½    5 - 5      W 1
Pittsburgh   22 26 .458    6½    4 - 6       L 3
Houston      19 31 .380  10½    4 - 6      W 1
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 27, 2011, 10:47:12 am
I'm always amazed how a couple of extra hits or a couple of more extra base hits can really make a difference in a player's stat line. 

Yeah, I think that's something that is really good to keep in mind with Ramirez.  On the first couple of homestands of the year, he had 4-5 balls that would've been home runs later in the season but were caught on the warning track.  If two of those had gone out and nothing else changed, he'd be hitting .302/.360/.426 right now.  Certainly not anything spectacular, but that would be well above average for a major league third baseman. 

And given that he's always been a second half home run hitter (136 HR in 3,181 AB in the first half; 154 HR in 2,716 AB in the second half), he'd be pretty much on track to have the kind of season you'd expect from a guy with his history entering into the decline phase of his career.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 12:23:12 pm
To make room for Rodrigo Lopez on the 40-man roster, RHP Robert Coello was designated for assignment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 27, 2011, 12:53:34 pm
That's kind of surprising.  Not that Coello seems to be any big loss, but you'd think they'd try to push off the decision for a while by moving Cashner to the 60 day DL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 27, 2011, 01:12:14 pm
It looks like they expect Cashner to be back before the end of July.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 27, 2011, 01:14:13 pm
I guess they may as well DFA Coello now while he's looking bad, since that will reduce the chances he actually gets taken.  If you wait a while and he miraculously starts pitching well, sneaking him through waivers might be a little trickier.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 01:14:56 pm
Rodrigo Lopez will have #50, last worn by Larry Rothschild.

Some pitchers who have had 50:

Les Lancaster(1987-91)
Phil Norton(2000,2003)
Julian Tavarez(2001)
Kent Mercker(2004)
Will Ohman(2005-06)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 27, 2011, 01:16:04 pm
That's not exactly an illustrious group of pitchers there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 01:20:12 pm
My memory of Les Lancaster is from 1991 when he pitched several days in a row and Jim Essian had a completely rested pen but used Lancaster again.  He wasn't all that bad.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 27, 2011, 01:21:27 pm
That's not exactly an illustrious group of pitchers there.

And he won't change it any.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 27, 2011, 01:22:15 pm
I think he had an ERA under 2 in 1989.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 27, 2011, 01:23:47 pm
I think 1989 was a few years ago.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 27, 2011, 01:29:11 pm
1.36 in 1989.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Tuffy on May 27, 2011, 02:43:43 pm
Fond memories of Lester Lancaster in 1989!

He with his #50 was the highest-numbered player on the Cubs (and the Mets, whom I got to watch daily, had Sid Fernandez with #50), so for me all numbers higher than 50 seem unnatural and ugly.

Despite not liking numbers over 50, I guess I'm happy to see Lopez wearing that and not the 37 that Yahoo had him listed as earlier today.  Thirty-seven would imply that Angel Guzman won't be back to wear it again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 27, 2011, 02:45:40 pm
Why do so many pitchers sport facial hair? I seldom see a position player with a mustache or beard.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 02:48:59 pm
Why do so many pitchers sport facial hair? I seldom see a position player with a mustache or beard.
Doug Davis has the worst soul patch ever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 27, 2011, 02:53:38 pm
Doug Davis has the worst soul patch ever.

Scott Spiezio begs to differ.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ldevf2U9ZS4/TGFo4T1MaeI/AAAAAAAAC5g/cT1XLN9EpCk/s1600/05.spiezio%282%29.jpg)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 02:55:45 pm
I'll concede that, SZ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 06:05:49 pm
Both Carrie Muskat and Bruce Miles expect Rodrigo Lopez to start against the Astros on Monday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 27, 2011, 06:53:22 pm
Casey Coleman optioned to Iowa to make room for Randy Wells.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 28, 2011, 12:25:39 am
Because, of course, players on other teams never get injured.

I don't think he was talking about just Cub players, but about all baseball players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 28, 2011, 06:27:40 am
Yessir.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 28, 2011, 11:34:43 am
Don't ever tell Jes what you meant because he'll be the judge of what you said.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 28, 2011, 11:42:58 am
Lopez to start Monday.  Garza will have a throwing session tomorrow.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-rodrigo-lopez-will-start-monday-for-cubs-20110528,0,2386599.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 28, 2011, 12:01:09 pm
Hate to point the obvious out to you, StrikeZone, but what a person says is an objective matter.  It is there.  It can not be altered after the fact.  It can be clarified, repudiated, corrected, affirmed, rebutted, reinforced or denied.  But what is said is an objective fact, and anyone reading or hearing it can come to his or her own conclusions about it, and argue what it it meant or expressed or what was intended.

What was in fact meant is entirely subjective.  I seldom make efforts to tell a person what he meant.  At the same time, I do not hesitate to point out what the words used, or how they were used, meant, because that is all we have to go on until a person launches into some of that clarification, repudiation, correction stuff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 28, 2011, 12:09:52 pm
Aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd ignore.

I'm just not in the mood for you today, Jes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 28, 2011, 12:16:22 pm
Join half the board, SZ.  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 28, 2011, 12:32:07 pm
I know I was one of the last holdouts, Curt.

Lack of sleep + migraine + Jes  just isn't a good combination.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 28, 2011, 04:48:01 pm
I mentioned this to Davep, Boris, and Badger yesterday and so I thought I'd post it here.

Yesterday morning I'm up at 5:00 to go down and catch Amtrak in Springfield to go to the game at Wrigley.  On the platform are Cub fans of all ages, some born b.c. like Davep, families of five kids--six, counting dad, for mom to take care of, guys in their twenties, business/professional looking guys, college age girls...all dressed in Cubbie colors, caps, jackets, jerseys.  And all just excited not only about the fact that they're going to Wrigley but the Cubs have actually won a couple.  "Maybe we got this thing turned around and we'll still catch the Cards!" and other nonsense flowing from their lips.  Praise of Soriano and Barney and Marmol...worship.

These were fans and they didn't want to hear what a jacka$$ Hendry is or that the team has pitchers that most teams would DFA or that most of the hitters are having horrible years or that so many of Quade's moves are head-scratchers.  They didn't care.  They were going to Wrigley to watch their Cubs.

It provoked two thoughts.  One, away from a cynical board--and almost all of them finally become cynical--because we all become like family and we rant and bare our souls to family and we're all knowledgeable fans, some with inside info, but many with baseball backgrounds, so it's easy to forget this is supposed to be fun when we overanalyze roster moves and OPS's.

Two: we're f******* doomed because the sheep will keep going to Wrigley, so meaningful changes won't happen.

But, man, the pain keeps outpouring at other boards.  Stuff like this:

I bought these tickets 4 good seats back in Feb.  Paid $280 for them after tax.  Paid $30 to park today, traffic really stunk.  Had one old style, bought my wife and two daughters burgers and cokes.  By the time I was thinking about ordering a 2nd beer, it was 5-0. We got our first hit around the time my 7 year old started asking if we could leave.I left in the 7th.  Didn't even want to stick around and see what reject they had sing the stretch (that has to go Ricketts...please!)Total damage for the day was around $400.I will not be back any time in 2011 and won't even think about buying tickets again until this team shows me its worth my hard earned money.  I love Wrigley, but I've been there enough times to not need to go anymore. Walking in I heard a "scalper" offer upper level reserved seats for $5 a piece...wow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 28, 2011, 04:52:34 pm
I live in San Diego. Usually I'll spend a week in Mesa for spring training and make a couple of trips to Chicago when the Cubs are in town.

This year I skipped Mesa and have no plans to go to Wrigley.

They've burned me too often.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 28, 2011, 06:09:06 pm
I've never been to Wrigley and don't expect to ever make a trip there, even if they win the World Series.

I did make it to one Cubs Convention in 2008.

That's about all I will ever do as far as Cubs events.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 28, 2011, 06:25:43 pm
I live in San Diego. Usually I'll spend a week in Mesa for spring training and make a couple of trips to Chicago when the Cubs are in town.

This year I skipped Mesa and have no plans to go to Wrigley.

They've burned me too often.
Clark, ST is a blast no matter how awful the Cubs are during the regular season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 28, 2011, 09:57:12 pm
Cubs are now on pace for a 71-91 season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 28, 2011, 11:30:30 pm
Don't look now, but Barney's OPS is down to .710.  Carriage looks to be turning back into a pumpkin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 28, 2011, 11:34:33 pm
Yeah, he needs to start making better adjustments.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on May 28, 2011, 11:47:06 pm
I last saw a game at Wrigley around 1955. when I was a young lad and my parents were visiting Chicago every summer. I used to see the Cubs play the Cardinals in St. Louis several times a season, back when tickets were reasonably priced and 20,000 was a big crowd. The last time I paid to see the Cubs play was in Houston, in 1976. I've seen them a couple of times since, on freebie tickets.

I still follow the team but, like my parents, I don't expect them to win a World Series during my lifetime.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on May 29, 2011, 12:32:26 am
Who can be moved in any hopes of being better by 2020?

1. Carlos Zambrano - You might get a pretty good player or two
2.  Marlon Byrd - not likely getting much
3.  Kosuke Fukudome - he's probably getting dealt to a team that appreciates good D and high OBP.
4.  Jeff Baker - getting nothing for him, but whatever
5.  Sean Marshall - probably your most marketable player.  A lefty reliever, with a knockout curve, and young for a reliever.  Might be time to move him before he gets hurt or walks.

This team is going no where any time soon ... they have no power ... outside of Wood/Marshall/Marmol their pen is garbage.  No one will take Soriano, so you've got a substandard left fielder for the next 4 years.  You can't move Ramirez, because of his fantastic contract clause, and if you resign him your a fool.  Pena is actually playing well, statistically, relative to the last few years ... but you'll get squat for him, too.

Wow.  This team is just atrocious.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on May 29, 2011, 12:49:02 am
Look at what the Cards are going through:  Pujols is struggling.  They lost one of their best pitchers.  Carpenter isn't throwing well ... but it doesn't matter.  Friken Berkman is having a career renaissance, with an OBP of over .460.  Double friken Kyle Lohse has an ERA of around 2????  They bring up pitchers from the minors, and they are lights out:  Jaime Garcia, 1.93 ERA.   I'm sorry ... the Cubs are cursed.  It's cursed with crappy management, crappy coaches, and a lot of the time, crappy fans.

And luck.  This organization has none.  Pretty much every top pitching prospect for this team, what happens to them?  Wood, Prior, Cashner, Guzman, Harkey, Dickson .... it's getting old.  You've got a few long time soap operas being canceled ... pull the plug on the longest running one.  The Chicago Cubs.

I think this is yet another low point for the Cubs.  There is no real hope for them any time soon.  There are NO stud position prospects in the system (I don't think you can call Brett Jackson a "stud" prospect), and Trey McNutt is your only top tier pitching prospect.  They spend all this money on a magical hitting coach:  how's that working out? 

@#$#.  Go Cubs!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on May 29, 2011, 12:53:37 am
This sums up the Cubs perfectly:

"I was talking with my agent about 10 days ago about teams that were interested in me, and he said nobody was interested."
—Pitcher Rodrigo Lopez on being traded to the Cubs
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 29, 2011, 12:58:50 am
The worst organization in professional sports.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 29, 2011, 10:06:10 am
Brad Snyder is at Wrigley.

Reed Johnson to the DL?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 29, 2011, 10:22:19 am
Brad Snyder is at Wrigley.

Reed Johnson to the DL?
ESPN Chicago says yes

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6605081
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 29, 2011, 10:23:59 am
Snyder is not on the 40-man roster so they put Cashner on the 60-day DL for a week or so?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 29, 2011, 10:34:49 am
Geovany Soto is also at Wrigley this morning.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 29, 2011, 11:22:04 am
Snyder is not on the 40-man roster so they put Cashner on the 60-day DL for a week or so?

Can you move a guy from the 60 day DL back to the 30 day DL.  I thought once you are on it, you are on it until you are reactivated. 

Not that it has any practical effect, but I wonder what the answer is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 29, 2011, 12:27:32 pm
Snyder is not on the 40-man roster so they put Cashner on the 60-day DL for a week or so?
Yes, they did.  I think he is eligible be activated June 5.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 29, 2011, 01:32:57 pm
And luck.  This organization has none.

Not really.  Plenty of luck.  Just BAD luck.  Born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl....
If it wasn't for bad luck, wouldn't have no luck at all....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RECUlpVPzN4&feature=related


I think this is yet another low point for the Cubs.  There is no real hope for them any time soon.  There are NO stud position prospects in the system....

Wouldn't Guyer and Hak-Jue Lee look nice on the horizon right now?  Guyer is now at .324/.405/.554/.959 in AAA ball, and Lee, 20 years old all season long, is in the Florida League with a line of .368/.446/.510/.956   

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on May 29, 2011, 01:50:14 pm
http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-cubs-send-johnson-to-dl-recall-brad-snyder-20110529,0,7393679.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 29, 2011, 01:59:15 pm
When WGN fist came on the air they showed a bit of Mike Quade's pre-game press conference.  Somebody in the background asked Quade about Alfonso Soriano.  It turns out that it was Bruce Miles

I asked Q about Soriano in left field and whether it just is what it is.


“I believe so,” he answered. “I feel bad for him from the standpoint of his legs just not being what they were and not allowing him to get to balls. I think sometimes it looks worse than it is. I’d love for him to be able to get to some of those balls. I watch him work with (coach Ivan DeJesus) every day. Being an inexperience guy who didn’t play outfield from the get-go, he has a tougher time around the wall than a lot of guys who have done that for their entire life. This outfield here is not easy. I watched McCutchen, who is pretty damn good, get himself caught in the same situation. Granted, he’s 400 feet but has the speed to get back there.”

In politics,, they call that "spin".  I'd use a different term.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on May 29, 2011, 02:01:57 pm
Quade should just retire while he is in good health.  He is in way over his head.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: ben on May 30, 2011, 12:28:32 am
Over this many seasons, it's not bad luck...it's bad management!

Kidding ourselves to think otherwise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 30, 2011, 09:05:54 am
BleacherNation on the LeMahieu callup

Number three is the one that really perplexes me. The Cubs are using an option year and starting the arbitration clock on a kid whom they believe has a future – in a year or two – as a starter on the Cubs. And they’re doing that so they can have him on the bench for a couple weeks? Unless there’s a plan in place to get him some starts, then this seems to be a really brain-dead move. And, with apologies to the Cubs, they don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to properly handling and promoting prospects.

http://www.bleachernation.com/2011/05/30/jeff-baker-to-the-disabled-list-and-what-dj-lemahieu-to-be-called-up/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 30, 2011, 09:07:39 am
Posted in another topic Saturday

May 30
 On Monday, May 30, the Major League schedule will dip below the 122-day mark. It was determined that the Super 2 date for potential arbitration in 2012 would be two years, 122 days. While it is impossible to determine with the Super 2 date for 2014 will be (the year players brought up this season would be eligible), it is a good yardstick to clubs who want to roll the dice with their top prospects.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 30, 2011, 10:34:05 am
I am far less concerned with the arbitration issues than I am with the player development issues.

If LeMahieu is a bright, observant guy, someone extremely coachable and who is likely to learn from being in the majors simply by being there, and getting some infrequent playing time, then the call-up may make a great deal of sense.  If he is going to get a good deal of playing time, and is not someone who will suffer serious confidence problems if he initially struggles, then the call-up may make a great deal of sense.  But if he is still seriously raw and needs a good deal more time to develop the smoothness in the field and the pitch recognition and discipline at the plate required to be of serious value in the majors AND it is believed that he has the potential to acquire those skills with regular playing time, and the Cubs do not give him that playing time in the majors, then it is idiotic.

Hard to have a meaningful opinion on whether it is a good idea or a bad idea without knowing more about the team's scouting report on him (both physical tools and psychological/emotional makeup) and how they intend to use him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 30, 2011, 11:09:21 am
To make room for D J LeMahieu, Jeff Stevens has been DFA'd.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 30, 2011, 11:11:48 am
LeMahieu (Leh-MAY-hugh) will have #33, last worn by Esmalin Caridad, Daryle Ward, and Glendon Rusch.  His #26 was "not available"
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 30, 2011, 12:10:53 pm
BleacherNation on the LeMahieu callup

Number three is the one that really perplexes me. The Cubs are using an option year and starting the arbitration clock on a kid whom they believe has a future – in a year or two – as a starter on the Cubs. And they’re doing that so they can have him on the bench for a couple weeks? Unless there’s a plan in place to get him some starts, then this seems to be a really brain-dead move. And, with apologies to the Cubs, they don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to properly handling and promoting prospects.

http://www.bleachernation.com/2011/05/30/jeff-baker-to-the-disabled-list-and-what-dj-lemahieu-to-be-called-up/

For what it is worth, the Cubs are not using an option year on LeMehieu until they send him back down.  If he stays up for the rest of the year, no option year is used.

Granted, the likelihood of his staying up all year is close to zero.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 30, 2011, 12:48:49 pm
Matt Garza Garza says he felt "great" after throwing for first time in more than a week. He'll throw a side session in another couple days and may start  Sunday in St. Louis
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 30, 2011, 01:19:37 pm
To make room for D J LeMahieu, Jeff Stevens has been DFA'd.
That leaves only John Gaub from the DeRosa trade as far as the 40-man roster goes. The Cubs used Chris Archer to get Matt Garza.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 30, 2011, 01:22:00 pm
Jeff Stevens has never been anything special, but he sure never seemed to get much of a chance with the Cubs.

I wonder if he has some sort of problems with his "makeup".
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 30, 2011, 07:29:09 pm
Perhaps his mascara runs when he sweats.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 30, 2011, 10:11:58 pm
So if Sori goes on the DL, I wonder if Flaherty gets the call.  He should.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 30, 2011, 10:58:10 pm
Unfortunately, it is more likely to be Colvin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on May 31, 2011, 06:14:02 am
Blake DeWitt in LF after Soriano is injured?  Seriously, what's the plan here?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 31, 2011, 06:43:03 am
Unfortunately, it is more likely to be Colvin.

In 50 AB at Iowa, Colvin has a slash line of .260/.283/.500/.783
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 07:00:46 am
So if Sori goes on the DL, I wonder if Flaherty gets the call.  He should.

I hope nobody gets fooled into thinking injuries were the cause of all of our problems this year once the season is over. 

You know Hendry will at least be mentioning the injury bug a couple of times whenever he discusses "what went wrong" this season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 08:05:25 am
At least jes will be getting his wish on getting a young "rebuild" type lineup out there.  If Soriano goes on the DL, the only old guys in the lineup would likely be Pena, Ramirez, and Kosuke.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 31, 2011, 08:29:19 am
Not that injuries are the only problem, but they are a big part of it.  The Cubs are still well over .500 when their top 5 starters start.  If Wells and Cashner had been healthy and they'd gotten at least a .500 record out of them (which doesn't seem that hard), they'd be right in the middle of the race.

The Cubs have used 9 different starting pitchers this year, tied with the Rockies for most in the majors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 31, 2011, 08:45:09 am
When your plan for injuries is Casey Coleman, James Russell, Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez, then it's your fault as a GM regardless of the injury bug hitting you.  Especially if you gave away a servicable starter for nothing to save a couple of million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 31, 2011, 08:50:13 am
Gorzelanny certainly would have helped.  For a while.  But he's on the DL now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 31, 2011, 08:56:44 am
Given Soriano's past problems with his quads, I'd think the Cubs would want him on the DL to make sure it heals.   It's too bad that Jackson is just now coming back from his injury, and not really in a position to be called up.  It would be fun to see an outfield that included both Jackson and Campana.  When's the last time there was that much speed in a Cubs' outfield?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 09:44:01 am
If Wells and Cashner had been healthy and they'd gotten at least a .500 record out of them (which doesn't seem that hard), they'd be right in the middle of the race.

I wonder how many wins we've really lost because of Wells/Cashner.  I don't think you can assume a .500 record for those starts, though.  Before yesterday, the Cubs were only averaging 3.12 runs per game in injury replacement starts, and were held to 3 or fewer runs in 10 of the 17 games.  With such little run production, I don't think you can safely assume a .500 record at all for games started by your 4th and 5th starters.

We're 3-14 in games started by injury replacement starting pitchers.  We've lost 3 games where we've scored five or more runs.  Maybe with regular starters, we go 2-1 in those games (hopefully would have won yesterday's game)?  We've lost 2 games where we've scored four runs, so maybe we go 1-1 in those?

So maybe 3-4 wins is what losing Wells and Cashner have cost us perhaps?  Granted that would put us only 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 games out of the lead in the division, but we'd still only be looking at a team that was a .500 level team or slightly worse. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 31, 2011, 09:45:52 am
I know people love to watch guys who are scrappy, run fast, try hard, and look athletic.  But I just can't get excited about Campana.  No power, low walk guys shouldn't be playing regularly for teams that want to win.  A .650ish OPS just doesn't cut it in the majors at any position in modern baseball...especially when you're already carrying a couple other no walk, no power guys.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 10:15:10 am
It's too bad that Jackson is just now coming back from his injury, and not really in a position to be called up.  It would be fun to see an outfield that included both Jackson and Campana.  When's the last time there was that much speed in a Cubs' outfield?

I'm probably in the minority, but I'm kind of interested in seeing what Snyder and Montanez can do with a real opportunity.  We already have Jackson as a big part of our plans for the future anyway.  I seriously doubt either Snyder or Montanez will amount to much, but you never know unless you give them a chance.  It'd be nice if we did get pleasantly surprised by someone like that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 31, 2011, 10:27:16 am
Snyder has such trouble making contact that he's probably not worth wasting time on.  Montanez might have a future as a RH backup outfielder, but those aren't too tough to find.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 31, 2011, 10:35:58 am
Obviously, Cubs biggest problem has been the starting pitching.

Cubs' starting pitchers have an ERA of 5.61.  That is dead last in the majors----dead last by a mile.

#29 is KC at 5.26.  But, the second worst starting pitching ERA in the NL is the Reds at 4.95.  So, Cubs are well over 1/2 run worse than the second worst team in the NL.

Average starting pitching ERA in the NL is 4.02.  Cubs are over 1 1/2 runs per game worse than the average NL team.  Amazing.

Cubs relievers are NL average.  Although #10 in relief ERA, Cubs relievers are 3.38 and NL average for relief is 3.39. 

While we all get upset about the offense, Cubs are #5 in NL in runs scored per game.  Thanks to batting average, Cubs are #3 in NL on-base % . But, Cubs are #13 in NL in OPS with runners in scoring position (#5 in OPS overall).
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 31, 2011, 10:51:17 am
Starting pitching may be the biggest problem (and the terrible defense is a huge part of that, of course), but the lack of home runs is also a big issue.  The Cubs are 12th in the NL in homers, but only 5 HR ahead of last place (and only 1 ahead of both the Mets and Giants--meaning they could drop into 14th with a bad day).  And it's not going to get any better with increased playing time for Campana and DeWitt.

Pretty much everyone who is in 10th place or below in homers sucks (Pirates, Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Astros, Padres) or only succeeds because of an exceptional pitching staff (Giants).  But the only truly awful team in the top 9 is the Nationals.  Getting some guys into the lineup who can knock the ball out of the park more regularly is essential.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 31, 2011, 10:54:33 am
Obviously, Cubs biggest problem has been the starting pitching.

The Cubs biggest problem has been - and continues to be - their GM.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on May 31, 2011, 12:40:42 pm
Starting pitching may be the biggest problem (and the terrible defense is a huge part of that, of course), but the lack of home runs is also a big issue.  The Cubs are 12th in the NL in homers, but only 5 HR ahead of last place (and only 1 ahead of both the Mets and Giants--meaning they could drop into 14th with a bad day).  And it's not going to get any better with increased playing time for Campana and DeWitt.

Pretty much everyone who is in 10th place or below in homers sucks (Pirates, Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Astros, Padres) or only succeeds because of an exceptional pitching staff (Giants).  But the only truly awful team in the top 9 is the Nationals.  Getting some guys into the lineup who can knock the ball out of the park more regularly is essential.

No.  It is not.  On offense the goal is to score runs, and the Cubs are 5th in the league.  The goal is NOT to hit HR, though that is a very efficient way of scoring runs.  If the Cubs are 5th in scoring, the are doing okay on that side of the ledger.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on May 31, 2011, 01:05:28 pm
Who says the Cubs are trying to be competitive?  If this is trying then I would hate to see not trying.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 31, 2011, 01:38:51 pm
When your plan for injuries is Casey Coleman, James Russell, Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez, then it's your fault as a GM regardless of the injury bug hitting you.  Especially if you gave away a servicable starter for nothing to save a couple of million.
It all fell apart when Carlos Silva was let go.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Santo4HofF on May 31, 2011, 02:02:11 pm
I think Hendry has negotiated a sweet heart outclause in his contract and is actually trying to get himself fired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 31, 2011, 02:40:21 pm
Tyler Colvin is at Wrigley Field.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 31, 2011, 02:41:43 pm
If Colvin is at Wrigley Field, does that mean that Soriano is on the DL?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 31, 2011, 02:56:52 pm
If Colvin is at Wrigley Field, does that mean that Soriano is on the DL?
Yes, the official announcement was just made.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 02:59:40 pm
I would rather have waited until Colvin found his groove again before calling him back up. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 31, 2011, 03:01:55 pm
I would rather have waited until Colvin found his groove again before calling him back up. 
I wish we had spies in Des Moines like we do in Tennessee.  Maybe Colvin has been hitting the ball hard but right at somebody.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 31, 2011, 03:10:49 pm
I'm no Colvin fan, but I hope Quade just puts him in the lineup everyday and leaves him there.  We need to find out what we have.  Campana, DeWitt, Snyder, Montanez...none of these guys are long term (or are even likely to be short term) solutions in the outfield.  Colvin probably isn't either...but none of them should take an AB from him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 03:20:25 pm
Yeah I agree.  If Colvin is up, he should get most of the starts in left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on May 31, 2011, 03:42:25 pm
Tyler Colvin is now the primary backup for Carlos Pena at first base.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 31, 2011, 04:13:45 pm
I'm no Colvin fan, but I hope Quade just puts him in the lineup everyday and leaves him there.  We need to find out what we have.  Campana, DeWitt, Snyder, Montanez...none of these guys are long term (or are even likely to be short term) solutions in the outfield.  Colvin probably isn't either...but none of them should take an AB from him.

Agreed.

I like some of these dudes but only as role players.

Actually, only DeWitt and Campana among that group interest me at all and only as 24th or 25th man type guys.

As far as Colvin goes, maybe he can get hot and get his stock back up with regular playing time.

One thing is for sure, the defense in left field just got upgraded.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 31, 2011, 04:21:18 pm
The reason I was hoping they would not call up Colvin is because I don't want him to sit on the bench.  It looks like he will mostly sit on the bench.  Foolish move, unless they play him almost every day.

Naturally, they are playing DeWitt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 04:22:44 pm
Pretty much, DeWitt is the last guy they ought to be playing in LF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 31, 2011, 04:25:38 pm
For crying out loud, they've got DeWitt in left field again?

Really?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 31, 2011, 04:40:27 pm
Seems that Quade is not a manager who feels that he should get recent call-ups out on the field.  Lou was different.  From Quade's recent comments, seems like he feels that the guys who have been around all season should get first crack at the ABs.

If it turns out that LeMahieu only gets a handful of ABs and is sent to Iowa in a couple of weeks, you have to wonder why he got the call-up instead of Scales.  Now, with the call-up, LeMahieu has to take a spot on the off-season 40-man--which would not otherwise have been the case.  That's one less guy that can be protected from the Rule 5.  Only makes sense if they were going to call him up anyway in September to give him a good look for 2012.  I suppose he'll be back for sure now.  Then it will be interesting to see how much LeMahieu plays in September or whether Quade feels he has to be "loyal" to Aramis in his final month as a Cub.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 31, 2011, 04:40:44 pm
Can't bench DeWitt...then you'd hurt the Cubs' attempt to fill a lineup with only no walk, low power guys.  We're up to five on days Zambrano doesn't pitch (Castro, Barney, Campana, DeWitt, Pitcher), and you could argue there are six if you think Ramirez's power is gone for good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 31, 2011, 04:44:03 pm
If it turns out that LeMahieu only gets a handful of ABs and is sent to Iowa in a couple of weeks, you have to wonder why he got the call-up instead of Scales.

Because Hendry's a dope?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on May 31, 2011, 04:47:50 pm
Here's what Bruce Levine said in response to a question about bringing up LeMahieu:


Matt (Chicago)

Bruce, Why would the Cubs call up LeMahieu if they just plan on keeping him on the bench in a backup role? Wouldn't a career AAAA player like Scales be more appropriate so DJ could move up to AAA and continue to develop? Also does he have potential at 3rd or will his power numbers not be what's expected for the position?Bruce Levine
  (1:04 PM)


Bruce:

With all due respect to Scales and the other vets at AAA, I think the Cubs want to move the timetable up on some of their young players. It didn't hurt Castro last year when they brought him up. It's a short term idea.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on May 31, 2011, 04:55:34 pm
They've got to realize now that this season is over.  So it's time to play the new guys.  What difference does it make if we finish ahead of or behind the Astros.  That's all that's left to play for. 

Might as well get a higher draft pick next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 31, 2011, 05:11:32 pm
What's the point of playing DeWitt in left field then?

And why bring up Brad Snyder before Tyler Colvin?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 31, 2011, 05:41:23 pm
This from ESPN.  Fukudome is weak defensively?  I thought that was his most consistent part of his game.  He has a no-trade?  Really?

Kosuke Fukudome has had a strong season thus far, batting .315 with a .440 on-base percentage. He's 34 years old and hasn't been much better than fringy defensively, if even that, but could be a bat contending team covet this summer.

He'll be a free agent at season's end, though the exact provision stipulates that the Cubs have to re-sign or release the right fielder by November 15, and he's making $13.5 million this season, about $4.5 million of which is already off the books being 50-plus games into the schedule.

He gets on base and makes contact, and it seems at the expense of some pop, but could fill a role in Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta or Los Angeles -- both the Dodgers and Angels -- if he's willing to waive his no-trade clause.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on May 31, 2011, 06:05:25 pm
Why is Flaherty in the doghouse, I wonder?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 31, 2011, 07:06:02 pm
I didn't know he was there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on May 31, 2011, 07:06:16 pm
Fukudome is bad defensively according to UZR.  Given how it grades out the Cubs' outfield, I really have to question UZR's usefulness.  Fukudome has a -5.0 UZR, while Soriano is at +0.8.  Any system that grades Soriano as better than average while grading Fukudome well below average is wrong. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on May 31, 2011, 07:13:01 pm
See, there's another reason not to trust defensive metrics.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on May 31, 2011, 07:50:20 pm
Fukudome is not a great right fielder, but he is certainly better than average.

And any system that rates Soriano better than average should never be consulted again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 31, 2011, 07:54:29 pm
Fukudome is bad defensively according to UZR.  Given how it grades out the Cubs' outfield, I really have to question UZR's usefulness.  Fukudome has a -5.0 UZR, while Soriano is at +0.8.  Any system that grades Soriano as better than average while grading Fukudome well below average is wrong. 

Thanks, br.  I agree with you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on May 31, 2011, 07:55:22 pm
But I don't recall him listed as having a NT.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 07:59:36 pm
Kosuke has some sort of no-trade protection, but it doesn't appear to be a full fledged no-trade clause.

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/chicago-cubs_112114177768677294.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on May 31, 2011, 09:43:09 pm
There are times I wonder if Quade is too afraid to make moves that might make his players mad or if he's too cozy with the players.  Like tonight, Marmol had absolutely no business facing Hunter Pence, and he still leaves him in there to face him.  There are just too many times it seems that he's afraid to make a move that needs to be made to give us the best chance to win.

And when your manager talks like this, is he trying too hard to be a player's manager and get along with everybody?

Manager Mike Quade went through every nickname in the book during one short span in today's pregame. We got: Lopey (Rodrigo Lopez), Dougie, Samardz, 'Bow (John Grabow, a new one), Russ, Cassie, Campy, Colv, Sori, Fuke and Snyds. Quade even referred to Astros manager Brad Mills as "Millsie."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on May 31, 2011, 09:45:48 pm
It's becoming quite clear that Mike Quade is nothing but a **** cartoon character.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 31, 2011, 10:48:16 pm
Good point from SI's Tom Verducci:

This sums up {Cubs} ineptitude: They have taken the fewest walks in the league while giving the most, resulting in a net deficit of 71 walks in 52 games.





Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on May 31, 2011, 10:58:27 pm
One thing that bothered me about the Marmol non-move tonight is that it was unfair to Marmol to leave him out there to pile up six runs when he had nothing.  My hunch is that it won't sit well with the guys in the bullpen and is not going to help Quade's credibility with the players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 01, 2011, 04:48:29 am
You are talking about this season as though it has a chance to go anywhere.   Marmol blew up ... oh well.  We'll be happy when the Cubs pick 4th instead of 5th because of it.

Can this new owner just clean house already.  No one should be retained.  And while you're at it, start trading anyone who has value and DFA those who don't (there's no way it will happen, but Soriano is done.  His OBP is below .300 and he's a liability in the field).  This "team" is an embarrassment.  These are the 2000-2008 Chicago Blackhawks .....

Good thing they have a good farm ... oh .... right, they don't.   Much like those Blackhawk teams, they couldn't draft worth a damn either and amongst the few decent prospects, half got traded.

Go Cubs!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 01, 2011, 05:01:37 am
I wonder if San Fran would have any interest in Soto?  He's not a problem, but he's likely the most trade able player, in terms of value to other teams and possible value returned.

Start talking to Zambrano and see who he'll waive his NTC for.

See if anyone will take on Dempsters contract.

And PLEASE ... no more starts from Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez?  Bring up Dolis and see what you've got.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 01, 2011, 05:24:30 am
If LeMahieu doesn't get the start today, this is one of the dumbest callups in recent memory.  You should have just brought up Ojeda for the fans to cheer. 

Can you remember the last time the Cubs lineup was this bad?  Injuries haven't helped, but they played Blake Dewitt as an outfielder?  A guy who got beat out by a rookie for the second base job was your starting left fielder?  @#$#@.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 01, 2011, 05:45:38 am
Colvin is a career .270 hitter in the minors, with an OBP around .320.  I have no idea what any of you see in that guy .... he's a strike out machine.  By all means, start him over Dewitt ... but he's a AAAA player, at best.  Hopefully Brett Jackson will fair better ... his numbers are more impressive .. aside from one.  He's a K machine, too.

And why is Castillo blocking Clevenger at Iowa?  If anything, Welington should be sent back to AA and Clevenger should be at Iowa.  And when Soto was out, why the hell not give Clevenger those starts?  You're talking about a catcher whose minor league BA is over .300 with an OBP over .370.  Right now, his OBP is .410?   

This team is going NOWHERE.  Why are they wasting time on Koyie Hill, Doug Davis, Rodrigo Lopez, Blake Dewitt ... etc.?????
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 01, 2011, 08:12:07 am
I wonder if San Fran would have any interest in Soto?  He's not a problem, but he's likely the most trade able player, in terms of value to other teams and possible value returned.

Soto to the Giants for Brandon Belt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 09:14:14 am
Everybody's favorite columnist, Phil Rogers, has reached a new low:

It's going to be interesting to see if anyone other than Mike Quade (http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/topic/sports/baseball/mike-quade-PESPT00008863.topic) really misses Soriano. The numbers suggest that, as shaky as he is in left field, he'll be missed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 01, 2011, 09:16:14 am
Well he's really the only guy who's hit for power on the team so far, so we will be missing that.

Then again, he's only had one homer since May 3, so it's not like he's been knocking the ball out of the park lately either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 01, 2011, 09:25:34 am
Carlos Pena hit for plenty of power in May. 

Ramirez has slugged .513 (5 2B, 1 HR) in his last 10 games, so hopefully his power is starting to come around.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 01, 2011, 09:34:44 am
This is the least fun team to watch since Ive been a fan (1982).  I've never had this disinterest in my team before. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 01, 2011, 09:37:17 am
It's pretty hard to believe it was only three years ago we had the best record in the National League isn't it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 01, 2011, 09:46:08 am
Having this team improve enough that the Cubs become buyers instead of sellers at the trade deadline . . .

Oh I don't think we have much to worry about there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on June 01, 2011, 09:51:20 am
This team is a hard pill to swallow. When I think back to how excited and optomistic I was when I learned the Trib was selling and we were getting new ownership that were lifelong Cub fans....well, it just adds to the disillusionment now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 09:54:04 am
Just once I'd like to hear someone in the Ricketts family say "We've got our work cut out for us" instead of "We're really excited".
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 10:01:28 am
The only teams to receive fewer intentional walks than the Cubs (5) are the Twins (4) and the White Sox (3).

The Cubs are dead last in both leagues in number of pitches.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 01, 2011, 10:01:32 am
I'd like hearing anything from the Ricketts family. All that I've seen of the Ricketts family is #1 Ricketts walking through the stands handing out baseballs,caps, autographing stuff,shaking hands and holding prayer vigils with a dwindling number fans actually coming to the park.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 01, 2011, 10:03:18 am
Well, the good news is that the Cubs' minor league teams are having some success (the ones with actual prospects anyway).  Tennessee is 33-19, in first place by 3 games with the best record in the league.  Daytona is 39-13, in first place by 6 games, with the best record in the league.  Peoria is bringing up the rear 28-24, in second place, with the fourth best record in its league.   

This is the first year in a very, very long time that I have begun to pay much attention to the minor leagues.  I've been, in the parlance of BBF, a Nowacrat since at least 2003, probably earlier.  No more.  For the first time since I don't know when, I find myself wishing that the Cubs would start calling up promising youngsters as soon as they seem possibly ready. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 10:07:14 am
I'd like hearing anything from the Ricketts family. All that I've seen of the Ricketts family is #1 Ricketts walking through the stands handing out baseballs,caps, autographing stuff,shaking hands and holding prayer vigils with a dwindling number fans actually coming to the park.
Tom Ricketts was out in the bleachers with Len and Bob on Memorial Day.  He talked a lot and said nothing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 01, 2011, 10:17:19 am
Well, the good news is that the Cubs' minor league teams are having some success (the ones with actual prospects anyway).  Tennessee is 33-19, in first place by 3 games with the best record in the league.  Daytona is 39-13, in first place by 6 games, with the best record in the league.  Peoria is bringing up the rear 28-24, in second place, with the fourth best record in its league.   

This is the first year in a very, very long time that I have begun to pay much attention to the minor leagues.  I've been, in the parlance of BBF, a Nowacrat since at least 2003, probably earlier.  No more.  For the first time since I don't know when, I find myself wishing that the Cubs would start calling up promising youngsters as soon as they seem possibly ready. 

Yes.  Well, I'm always interested in the minors, but I share that feeling. 

To some degree I think it's potentially somewhat harmful.  I think optimal development takes a lot of repetitions and riding out some of the highs and the lows.  (How to extend the hot streaks and lock those in; how to shorten the cold spells and figure out how to get back to doing well.)  So to some degree, I emotionally want guys moved up because I want to see them and want to have somebody new and interesting and promising to watch, as opposed to Soriano and Doug Davis and Lopez.

But I'm not sure that's actually good for the system or the prospects.  I'd have preferred to have the promising AA guys stick together, keep winning, keep getting locked into hitting and winning.  Not sure the aggressive promotions will really benefit Lemahieu, or Junior Lake, or Colvin.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 01, 2011, 10:36:28 am
Agree, Craig.  I'm just being a selfish, short-term oriented fan in wanting to see the kids called up sooner rather than later. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 01, 2011, 11:20:34 am
Before the season, most of us thought that the strength of the club would probably be starting pitching.  As it turns out so far, the major weakness of the club is starting pitching. 

Also surprising is that Cubs currently lead the NL in batting average (.275), that this is a whopping 21 points better than NL average (.254), and has propelled Cubs to #3 in the NL in OBP.

What has been entirely predictable is that Cubs have very bad overall team defense and poor team speed.  Indeed, it is almost stunning to watch a guy with blazing speed (Campana) come up and play for the Cubs.  Too bad he's not a very good player.

I guess what I'm saying is that, to those who were pessimistic about the season going in, Cubs are predictably bad but not for all the reasons one would expect.  It's like getting the right answer but with a strong bit of faulty reasoning. 

To those who thought the primary vice of the club was that too many key players collectively are just plain old, it seems that is correct two months into the season.   And, the Quade hiring seems to be turning out poorly too.  Still, I would like to see a turnaround in the 2nd half so that 2012 will require less of a dramatic turnaround.  Hopefully, the players don't go into the tank in terms of trying to win.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 01, 2011, 11:26:10 am
Mike Quade = Jim Essian
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 01, 2011, 11:30:52 am
I've run out of blue Kool-Aid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 01, 2011, 11:43:49 am
Before the season, most of us thought that the strength of the club would probably be starting pitching.  As it turns out so far, the major weakness of the club is starting pitching. 

Also surprising is that Cubs currently lead the NL in batting average (.275), that this is a whopping 21 points better than NL average (.254), and has propelled Cubs to #3 in the NL in OBP.

What has been entirely predictable is that Cubs have very bad overall team defense and poor team speed.  Indeed, it is almost stunning to watch a guy with blazing speed (Campana) come up and play for the Cubs.  Too bad he's not a very good player.

I guess what I'm saying is that, to those who were pessimistic about the season going in, Cubs are predictably bad but not for all the reasons one would expect.  It's like getting the right answer but with a strong bit of faulty reasoning. 

To those who thought the primary vice of the club was that too many key players collectively are just plain old, it seems that is correct two months into the season.   And, the Quade hiring seems to be turning out poorly too.  Still, I would like to see a turnaround in the 2nd half so that 2012 will require less of a dramatic turnaround.  Hopefully, the players don't go into the tank in terms of trying to win.

Let's see, I thought their pitching would suck.  Got that one.  I thought players being counted on heavily were too old.  You give me that one.  I thought their defense would suck.  Check.  I thought they would have no meaningful speed.  Yup.  I also thought they would not score well.  Missed that one, but that does not quite qualify as getting the right answer based on faulty reasoning.  I remember in the off-season when some were discussing the projections PECOTA(?) and others were producing for the Cubs and how so many here scoffed at them, convinced the individual players would do better.  I was not so convinced as to join the crowd.

If the team does well the rest of the season all it will do is result in a lower draft pick and less pressure to finally do things differently.

I would much rather they end up at 62-100 than 81-81.

Everyone is tired of hearing it, and I am tired of pointing it out, but this team needs a full rebuild, dedicated to collecting and developing prospects and allowing them to percolate up until the roster is simply stocked with talent and the team has a strong shot of being dominant for several years.

You will always have teams like the 2011 Giants who defy everyone's expectations and convince people that their team can similarly get lucky and win it all.  But that is a foolish course to pursue.

Build a strong team, then supplement the talent as needs develop and opportunities appear.

Do NOT make foolish moves like signing Soriano and a host of others in order to make a crappy team into a winner over night.  It is like a sugar high.  Feels good for a few minutes, but the after-effect is prolonged and negative.  The only FA I would like to see the team sign for the next couple of years are scrap heap players who are unable to find anyone offering real money and who might inexpensively fill a roster spot as a placeholder where the team has no 4A player like Bobby Scales to fill in for a year or two.  Do NOT sign a Pujols and hope he rebounds.  And do NOT worry about the W/L record for at least a couple of years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 01, 2011, 11:45:14 am
One thing that bothered me about the Marmol non-move tonight is that it was unfair to Marmol to leave him out there to pile up six runs when he had nothing.  My hunch is that it won't sit well with the guys in the bullpen and is not going to help Quade's credibility with the players.

This organization is broken from the top down.  How long have we been terrible at drawing walks?  How long has it been since we've had a real organizational philosophy?  Hendry defenders really would be hilarious if the situation weren't so depressing.  And none of it will change - Ricketts will go status quo after this season.  Hell, he'll probably pick up Ramirez' option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 11:59:29 am
Asked what's wrong, Tom Ricketts told the Sun-Times: "We've got a lot of injuries. We'll be fine."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 12:06:04 pm
Dugout tunnel

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/311604182.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1306948865&Signature=p5zAUInjwHTH%2FJKyYyRIUOdBZN0%3D)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 01, 2011, 12:23:46 pm
Byrd is on track to return in early July.  In time for the playoff push.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-byrd-hopes-to-return-in-early-july-20110601,0,5504873.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 01, 2011, 12:42:35 pm
Well, if Byrd comes back and plays well, maybe some contender will pony up a half-way decent prospect for him by the deadline.

Asked what's wrong, Tom Ricketts told the Sun-Times: "We've got a lot of injuries. We'll be fine."

Hendry said something similar to this last week and it seems Ricketts is buying it.

As to the Cubs stinking at taking walks, there are three players on the team that take walks -- Fukudome, Pena and Soto -- and two of them are not going to be Cubs next year.  Think about that and how terrible the 2012 Cubs could be in that category if they don't do something to replace those walks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 01, 2011, 12:46:38 pm
Asked what's wrong, Tom Ricketts told the Sun-Times: "We've got a lot of injuries. We'll be fine."

$800 million buys an awful lot of Kool-Aid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 01, 2011, 12:49:08 pm
Tom Ricketts has pretty much been the bizarro world George Steinbrenner.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 12:53:51 pm
Q and Z on the broken bat last night

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0602-cubs-astros-chicago--20110601,0,4281482.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 12:56:47 pm
Q said he talked with Carlos Pena about chasing first pitches last night against rookie Jordan Lyles, making his first big-league start.

“That’s the thing I find ironic about it,” Q said. “He, without question, has been our most disciplined guy, and he got after 3 first pitches. OK, he liked the pitches to hit. I was a little disappointed in the approach. We’ve got some guys who walk and some guys who don’t. We’re third in the league in on-base percentage. I’ll take that all day long.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on June 01, 2011, 12:57:04 pm
"Zambrano said Tuesday night he was going to do whatever he wanted to do."

Sure glad Quade has the respect of the players

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 01, 2011, 01:08:43 pm
Anyone with a good memory will recall that I warned y'all about Ricketts back when this sham of a "bidding process" was happening.  A North Shore popinjay, a rich kid who wants the Cubs as his personal bragging point at the country club dinners.  With some guys like Cuban, the ego compels them to want to win at any cost.  With guys like Ricketts, that will never trump the bottom line.  He's a "responsible businessman", you see.  He'll do everything he can to wring pennies out of the franchise and winning will never be more than a tertiary priority.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 01, 2011, 03:33:49 pm
http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/chi-cubs-logo-photo,0,3009176.photo
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 01, 2011, 03:41:11 pm
That's hilarious, P2.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 03:41:52 pm
http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/chi-cubs-logo-photo,0,3009176.photo

See post 1047
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 01, 2011, 03:42:00 pm
I'm convinced that Tom Ricketts has to stfu.  Every time he opens his mouth, all hope disappears.  Seriously.  It's totally depressing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 01, 2011, 03:42:29 pm
Oh...s-t-f-u gets the asterisk treatment. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: grrrrlacher on June 01, 2011, 04:42:21 pm
I think you all are going overboard on Ricketts.  What were they supposed to do with this mess they bought?  If everything went LIAB, then they could have made the playoffs.  Cashner and Wells going down didn't help and the crap they trotted out there didn't help.  But in a LIAB world signing Pena to a one year deal was an okay deal.  Who were they going to get to take Soriano, Fukudome, and Zambrano off their hands.  They just had to hold on to the cards they were dealt and hope for the best.

And what do you expect him to say in front of the media about his players.  Don't you think it looks better to prospective players that the owner has your back.  That doesn't mean he's going to re-sign everyone, but as long as they are under contract, by gosh support them.  I'd expect nothing less.  You didn't see Cuban bashing Dirk all those years they couldn't win it. 

Let's wait until after these terrible contracts are off the books and let's see what they can do.  Now if you want to say Hendry has done a terrible job then I'm with you on that.  He has a track record of underwhelming performance.  I just hope he can pull off some trades to bring in some worth while prospects and that the draft has better results as well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 01, 2011, 04:51:18 pm
Ricketts has behind Hendry since day one,that doesn't make me feel all that confident that he wants to change the culture of this team, bad deal after bad deal seems to be Jimbo's forte.I wish that I could feel better about the Cubs future.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: DelMarFan on June 01, 2011, 05:04:48 pm
Are there any Hendry defenders left?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 01, 2011, 05:07:29 pm
Hendry was on a pretty good roll coming into the season...I still think this was his best offseason, and he hadn't done anything really questionable since the Grabow deal.  But he killed all that good will by failing to do anything about the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation when Wells and Cashner went down.  He didn't learn anything from the no-Lee-replacements debacle in 2006, apparently.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 01, 2011, 05:10:04 pm
I think you make valid points, grrr.  I just wish I could shake the feeling that Ricketts is clueless.  Of course, you are right that he can't badmouth his players publicly.  That's a no-brainer.  That's why I said he needs to just shut up, because the "world's wonderful and rosy" is wearing thin.  Sit in your field box and shut up.  If he really isn't oblivious to what's happening and is starting to boil a bit inside, saying all nicey nicey things isn't going to play well for long and will make him look wishy washy when he finally has to take action.  Just shut up.  That's his best move, IMO.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 01, 2011, 05:18:04 pm
Hendry was on a pretty good roll coming into the season...I still think this was his best offseason, and he hadn't done anything really questionable since the Grabow deal.  But he killed all that good will by failing to do anything about the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation when Wells and Cashner went down. 

Doing nothing after the loss of Wells and Cashner could have actually made sense, if the team have moved into rebuild mode.  But attaching great significance to "the Grabow deal," is strange.  Without trying to defend anything associated with Grabow, focusing on Grabow is like focusing on the size of a gnat on an elephant's a** when you need to clear space out of a room with an elephant in it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 01, 2011, 05:27:25 pm
Ricketts has behind Hendry since day one,that doesn't make me feel all that confident that he wants to change the culture of this team, bad deal after bad deal seems to be Jimbo's forte.I wish that I could feel better about the Cubs future.

If Ricketts continues to commit to Hendry, I honestly wouldn't say I'd be totally pessimistic about the Cubs' future.  After all, Hendry built a team in 2008 that had the best record in the National League, and I still think the team he had put together by the end of 2003 was the best team in baseball.  I'm sure Jeff will tell me I'm an idiot for what I'm about to write next.  Still, I think Hendry is fully capable of putting together a World Series caliber team every so often, and I think if he stays on for the long term, he'll eventually be able to put together another team that can do what we did in 2003-2004 or 2007-2008. 

But what I want is year in and year out consistent success, and that's what I don't think we'll ever really have under Hendry.  I'm really tired of the roller coaster ride of 1-2 good years followed by 3-4 years of lousy years that we've had since MacPhail took over and has pretty much continued under Hendry.  He's just too reliant on needing a big payroll to make up for mistakes in farm system development, aging players, and other personnel mistakes, and a big market team should be able to put out a winner more consistently than I think Hendry is capable of doing. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 01, 2011, 05:36:47 pm
If Ricketts continues to commit to Hendry, I honestly wouldn't say I'd be totally pessimistic about the Cubs' future.  After all, Hendry built a team in 2008 that had the best record in the National League, and I still think the team he had put together by the end of 2003 was the best team in baseball.  I'm sure Jeff will tell me I'm an idiot for what I'm about to write next.  Still, I think Hendry is fully capable of putting together a World Series caliber team every so often, and I think if he stays on for the long term, he'll eventually be able to put together another team that can do what we did in 2003-2004 or 2007-2008. 

But what I want is year in and year out consistent success, and that's what I don't think we'll ever really have under Hendry.  I'm really tired of the roller coaster ride of 1-2 good years followed by 3-4 years of lousy years that we've had since MacPhail took over and has pretty much continued under Hendry.  He's just too reliant on needing a big payroll to make up for mistakes in farm system development, aging players, and other personnel mistakes. 

Those are mistakes which most teams and most GM's make, because few are able to sustain spending as the Yankees have, and because most teams and GMs make an awful lot of LIAB moves.

Change the approach from once of having "being competitive" as a goal, or from trying to win RIGHT NOW, and instead take a rebuild approach, only making a real dip into the FA market once the prospect eggs start to hatch, and Hendry would be just fine.  Without either sustained big bucks for FA moves, or a lot of luck, or a true rebuild, it won't make much difference whether Hendry is GM or anyone else is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 01, 2011, 05:38:28 pm
  I'm sure Jeff will tell me I'm an idiot for what I'm about to write next.

You don't have to write anything for us to think you're an idiot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 01, 2011, 05:55:33 pm
It isn't so much what Tom Ricketts says, it's what he doesn't say.  On Monday when Len and Bob spent several innings talking to him out in the bleachers, he never answered a single question.  He was on both sides of interleague play and everything else they asked him about.

No, he's not going to publicly rip Jim Hendry, Mike Quade, or any of the players but could say something like "We aren't doing as well as I hoped" instead of trying to make us believe everything is coming up roses.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 01, 2011, 08:06:52 pm
From my perspective, we should be glad that the owner is (1) visible and accessible and (2) isn't micro-managing baseball personnel matters of which the owner is a rank amateur. 

Here, in DC, we have the invisible Lerner family--who drove fairly smart guy team president Stan Kasten out of town because the Lerners had to sign off on every accounting matter from A to Z and continue to keep the team payroll at basically the same level as when the Nats were owned by MLB---AND we have Dan Snyder micro-managing the Redskins into oblivion year after year.

If Tom Ricketts wants to greet every fan in Wrigley and say sweet nothings to them and the media about the club, that doesn't bother me in the least.  Just keep up the player payroll to hefty levels and let the professionals do their job. 

It is way too early to know if Ricketts will pull the plug on anybody when the proper time comes or whether he's going to keep the payroll where it needs to be.  At least the guy is always talking about developing the farm system and player development which, on its face, seems okay by me. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 01, 2011, 08:49:21 pm
I'm OK with Ricketts so far.  He's hamstrung by the big contracts, so let's see what happens this off season when 50k comes off the books.

I'm sure he knows the Cubs suck this year and probably knew it before the season started.  That might be one reason why Sandberg wasn't hired.  But I like that he's not going Steinbrenner on us and ripping his players in the press. 

I'm guessing Kenney will be replaced by a baseball guy very soon, and Hendry will probably get one of those Arizona scouting jobs for the remainder of his contract.

Rickets ain't dumb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 01, 2011, 08:50:57 pm
Agree with Clark.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 01, 2011, 08:52:29 pm
Agree with Deeg.  Disagree with Clark.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 01, 2011, 08:59:18 pm
That might be one reason why Sandberg wasn't hired.


Maybe.  But a more likely reason Sandberg wasn't hired is probably the most obvious...outside of Cubs fans, it's pretty likely that no one takes him seriously as a managerial candidate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 01, 2011, 09:02:00 pm
From my perspective, we should be glad that the owner is (1) visible and accessible and (2) isn't micro-managing baseball personnel matters of which the owner is a rank amateur. 

We don't know to what extent he IS managing personnel matters.  It seemed he had very active roles in the unloading of Bradley, and also in the trade for Garza, including, in the case of Garza, pressing for such a move.


I'm OK with Ricketts so far.  He's hamstrung by the big contracts, so let's see what happens this off season when 50k comes off the books.

Thinking the 50K coming off the books will make a major difference suggests that the way to make major improvement is thru the FA market (or resigning of our own FA)... which is how we got into the current mess.  It makes no sense to believe pumping that money back into the FA market will change things for any longer period than the two years it helped the last time, or that it would not be accompanied by similar problems in the later years of any contracts.  That is simply not the way to create a winner for any sustained period.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 01, 2011, 09:05:17 pm
Now on pace for a full season record of 69-93.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 01, 2011, 09:08:02 pm
OK.  I'll let you off the hook for only 5 steak dinners.  You can finally get a good night's sleep.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 01, 2011, 10:19:26 pm
I had actually even forgotten our bet, Dave.... what exactly was it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 01, 2011, 10:31:35 pm
I bet you that the Cubs would not be more than 40 games behind the first place team by July 1, 2011.

You gave me 100 to 1 odds.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 01, 2011, 10:31:53 pm
At least that is how I remember it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 01, 2011, 10:34:13 pm
I think it was 10-1 odds that the Cubs would not win 90 games.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 01, 2011, 10:41:05 pm
Agree with reb that having an interested but hands-off owner is good, if the owner provides payroll and gets good baseball personnel to run the baseball stuff. 

It remains to be seen whether he will provide good payroll, or get good baseball personnel. 

I admit I haven't been particularly impressed with what he says when he talks.  It's not just a matter of talking vague when he's trying to avoid being critical.  He just doesn't seem to sound that sharp.  The ability to say anything thoughtful or analytical, some guys always sound that way when they talk even if they are being diplomatic.  But he doesn't to me, and doesn't always seem like he remembers the question or answers the question even when doing so would do no harm. 

 

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 01, 2011, 11:13:34 pm
Actually, it was 10 - 1 that the Cubs would not win their division.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 02, 2011, 06:37:18 am
JR, I love that picture!

I am not saying that I think TR is smart; I just think that it is impossible for him to keep Hendry et al. after this year.  I think the pressure will be enormous to appoint a real president and let him set up his own team.

If he stays with this same arrangement after this year, well, then, there simply are no words.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 02, 2011, 07:18:02 am
Which is why I said he needs to keep his mouth closed.  Was it Franklin or Twain: Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: FITS on June 02, 2011, 07:46:51 am
Actually it was Abe Lincoln who said that, Curt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 02, 2011, 07:51:01 am
Actually it was Abe Lincoln who said that, Curt.

And thus, Curt proves his point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 02, 2011, 07:57:25 am
FITS wins a point!  And since Abe Lincoln was once in my kitchen!...

And JR, you prove the point on a regular basis.  :)~~~
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 02, 2011, 08:04:19 am

I am not saying that I think TR is smart; I just think that it is impossible for him to keep Hendry et al. after this year.  I think the pressure will be enormous to appoint a real president and let him set up his own team.

If he stays with this same arrangement after this year, well, then, there simply are no words.

I suggest you prepare for a sustained period of silence then.  While I think it is conceivable that Hendry would lose his job after this year, I doubt there's better than a 50-50 chance of that, maybe far less. 

There are loads of people here who have thought Hendry to be a lousy to mediocre GM for a long time.  That's clearly not been Ricketts' view, and I doubt that one season - a season in which Ricketts himself placed severe limits on Hendry's options - will change that.  While Ricketts has talked about wanting to be competitive in the short run, his emphasis has been on building a strong organization for the future.  If his priority had been the short run, he wouldn't have reduced the major league budget this season. 

And I don't think external pressure is going to mean much to Ricketts.  I think his decision on Hendry will probably rest primarily on whether he believes that the guy has put into place a system that is likely to create a strong major league team over the coming years (presumably sometime beyond 2012).  And frankly, I think that ought to be his primary concern - not quieting frustrated fans or judging Hendry on this year.

I say this not because I want Hendry retained.  At this point, assuming the right person replaced him, I'd like to see someone else take a crack at the job.  I just think that the decision whether to keep Hendry as GM will be made based on Ricketts' assessment of the future, not the present or past.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 02, 2011, 08:18:41 am
We can all agree that the Cubs have been lousy so far.  I would give the majority of the blame to the injuries to our starting pitching.  A lot of blame goes to the poor defense, mostly attributable to having a roster of players who by and large are weak to mediocre in this area.  Quade deserves some blame, but not nearly as much as many here seem to think.  Although the mental mistakes seem to be a bit less than what we saw most of last season, I'm disappointed that Quade hasn't been able to tighten this area up even further.  But I doubt that any manager would be doing a whole lot better with the cards Quade was dealt.  As far as Ricketts, I still think it's too early in his regime to make a judgment.  One thing's for sure- he's not likely to make any mistakes as a result of knee-jerk reactions.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 02, 2011, 08:34:18 am
Fire them all and kill all the lawyers!

(That last bit was from Shakespeare.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 02, 2011, 08:38:39 am
leave it to Curt to bring culture into the conversation ::)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 02, 2011, 08:42:55 am
My doctor says he's never seen so many cultures in one person.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 02, 2011, 08:52:17 am
aye there's the rub...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 02, 2011, 10:46:52 am
You might be right, Ron.  But I think, unless things turn around and there is reason for optimism by the end of the year, keeping Hendry will suppress attendance and revenue.  In the face of that, you would have to be an awfully strong believer in "the system" that Hendry has in place to make the investment that keeping him would entail.  So what data would support such a belief and investment?  He has had 15 years to implement a successful system and he has failed rather dramatically.  And our farm now -- while perhaps providing a basis for some guarded optimism -- isn't THAT promising.

The respected Bruce Miles has already been beating the "hire a baseball man as President" drum.  I think that this theme will likely catch on big time by the end of this year.

But then again, Nostradamus I am not.  It is hard to find people who are more frequently wrong in their predictions than I am.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 02, 2011, 11:04:44 am
Hendry has.... had 15 years to implement a successful system and he has failed rather dramatically.

While I know it has been established more than once that I am sometimes math-challenged, how does the period from 2003 to 2011 become 15 years?

Whatever role Hendry had, or however he executed his role, before 2003, it was not a role where he determined what the "system" would be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 02, 2011, 11:41:48 am
Yeah, meddling owners like Steinbrenner and Cuban are the worst.  Thank God for Ricketts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 02, 2011, 11:44:27 am
Fire them all and kill all the lawyers!

(That last bit was from Shakespeare.)

Abe Shakespaeare
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 02, 2011, 11:45:23 am
It's amazing to me that the Cubs have done such a good job sabotaging Zambrano's value (through bad PR and the unnecessary bullpen debacle last year) that he is perceived as being close to immovable in a trade.  If you list his accomplishments, he should be one of the hottest commodities on a potential trade market if the Cubs throw in a couple million dollars.  121-76, 3.53 ERA (39-21, 3.78 ERA over the last 3+ years).  Never had an ERA over 3.95 in a full season.  Compared to other pitchers, he adds real value with the bat in the NL.  Even though he's been around for 10 years, he just turned 30 yesterday. 

Yes, he has issues.  But despite his on-field antics, his teammates have consistently said he's a good teammate behind the scenes.  His craziness doesn't translate to the locker room like it does with Carlos Silva or Milton Bradley.  I have no doubt that if the Yankees or Red Sox PR people were behind Zambrano, his faults would be perceived as nothing more than intensity and acceptable quirks for a player as productive as he is.  And he'd be positioned as the marquee pitching name on the potential trade market in July.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 02, 2011, 11:46:15 am
Hendry took control of the farm system in 1995, and the draft in 1996.  When he became GM, he replaced himself with farm and draft bosses of his choosing.  He's had a full 15 years to implement a successful procurement and development system. 

It may be that he's just had an unlucky 15 years.  It may be that after 15 years to kind of get acclimated, that now he's ready to have it produce.

It may be that he's had a great system, but that two things have gotten in the way.  He's had some bad luck, and upper management hasn't allowed him the resources needed to operate a successful procurement-and-development operation. 

Or it may be that the procurement-and-development operation should be viewed as a strong success.  Or as a flower that doesn't look that great right now, but is just about ready to blossom. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 02, 2011, 11:48:16 am
I have no doubt that if the Yankees or Red Sox PR people were behind Zambrano, his faults would be perceived as nothing more than intensity and acceptable quirks for a player as productive as he is. 

Just Z being Z . . .
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 02, 2011, 01:06:49 pm
And thus, Curt proves his point.

Post of the week!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 02, 2011, 01:28:33 pm
Only five teams have had a more significant drop in per game attendance than the Cubs 

Cubs      - 3644
Braves   -  3857
Mariners - 3959
Rays      - 3086
Mets      - 4057
Dodgers  - 7161

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml)

Cubs
2011 - 34,818
2010 - 37,814
2009 - 39,611
2008 - 40,743
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 02, 2011, 01:53:13 pm
Yeah, meddling owners like Steinbrenner and Cuban are the worst.  Thank God for Ricketts.

Peter Angelos.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 02, 2011, 01:53:33 pm
This is the first Barry Rozner column I've read in a while, and honestly, I think a lot of it is spot on for once.
 
Quade can start managing Cubs any time
 
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110601/sports/706019764 (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110601/sports/706019764)
 
But now you can count me among those wondering if he was ready for this, who think he's going to have a very short major-league career if he doesn't stop being pals with the players and start understanding he's their boss, not their friend.
 
-------------------------------
 
No wonder the players wanted him back last fall, with Ryan Dempster saying, “He's one of us.”
 
So far, he has been one of them. He's their friend. He lets veteran starting pitchers decide how long they want to stay in games, and he's reluctant to move former stars out of key spots in the order despite poor performance. He doesn't bench the lazy and unproductive.
 
-------------------------------     
 
He seems unwilling to criticize or discipline, and when players know this they take advantage, which is what they've done.
 
There have been dozens of examples so far this year with “Demp,” “Garz,” “Z,” “Sori,” and “Rami,” to name just a few of his buddies.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: jacey1 on June 02, 2011, 02:10:46 pm
I have no problems with Ricketts at all...He ain't no dummy and he'll do what he has to do when the time is right and if that means dumping Hendry, he won't be afraid to do it.

As far as Hendry is concerned, I still don't think he has been a bad GM. Mistakes? Yes, some certainly. Totally incompetent? Absolutely not. He is a great baseball guy who knows his stuff and the good has far outweighed the bad during his tenure. Face it, alot of the decisions that are made are hit and miss for all organizations and it just so happens we ain't hitting on all decisions. That is not 100 percent Hendry's fault.

I think Hendry realizes that despite his good moves and decisions, the bottom line is winning and if we don't win, he'll be gone. I still personally feel, he's been the best GM the Cubs have had in eons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 02, 2011, 02:20:52 pm
I've never been a Hendry basher and I think he's a smart baseball guy, but I'm also kind of curious what a younger, more "modern" type of GM could do with the franchise.  I know that some of those types have not panned out, but I'd be curious how a different approach might work for the Cubs.  I'm also fine with keeping Hendry on for the time being too, probably because I remember Jim Frey and Ed Lynch and Larry Himes and you can do a whole lot worse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on June 02, 2011, 02:53:29 pm
Rickets ain't dumb.

If the Cubs were a ship, they would be the Titanic.

He bought the worst franchise in sports history.

He may not be dumb but he ain't smart.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 02, 2011, 03:41:14 pm
I've never been a Hendry basher and I think he's a smart baseball guy, but I'm also kind of curious what a younger, more "modern" type of GM could do with the franchise.  I know that some of those types have not panned out, but I'd be curious how a different approach might work for the Cubs.  I'm also fine with keeping Hendry on for the time being too, probably because I remember Jim Frey and Ed Lynch and Larry Himes and you can do a whole lot worse.
I really haven't seen any evidence that Hendry is a smart baseball guy.  He's a good horse trader and is good at keeping players that he wants to keep.  But I'm not convinced that he understands the blend of talent that is required to win consistently.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 02, 2011, 03:48:18 pm
I really haven't seen any evidence that Hendry is a smart baseball guy.  He's a good horse trader and is good at keeping players that he wants to keep.  But I'm not convinced that he understands the blend of talent that is required to win consistently.

Good post.  Agree
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 02, 2011, 04:48:17 pm
It's amazing to me that the Cubs have done such a good job sabotaging Zambrano's value (through bad PR and the unnecessary bullpen debacle last year) that he is perceived as being close to immovable in a trade.

You have no idea how Zambrano is viewed by other teams.

Hendry took control of the farm system in 1995, and the draft in 1996.  When he became GM, he replaced himself with farm and draft bosses of his choosing.  He's had a full 15 years to implement a successful procurement and development system.

Let me make sure that I understand.  When Hendry has been GM, HE, and not is farm director or scouting director, not Stocksill or Wilkins, has been responsible for the farm system  And before Hendry was GM, and while McPhail was GM, Hendry was also responsible for it, and not McPhail.  So apparently the organization changed once Hendry became GM so that the autonomy he had as scouting director (or director of player development or farm director or whatever it was called) ended and the full responsibility of the farm remained his.  I understand that as he moves up the food chain, so does his responsibility, but he was not autonomous before he was GM, and when we have many here convinced that several draft picks have been less about talent evaluation than about budget decisions, it would appear that I am not the only one with serious questions about his degree of autonomy even now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: grrrrlacher on June 02, 2011, 05:11:46 pm
Yeah, meddling owners like Steinbrenner and Cuban are the worst.  Thank God for Ricketts.

No cherry picking there.  Why didn't you mention Jerry Jones, or Al Davis, or Dan Snyder.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 02, 2011, 05:35:13 pm
Jes, I think that upper management entrusts responsibilities and choices to employees.  That's why it's so important to hire effective people.  The employer shares some credit when the hireling proves effective, and bears responsibility and blame if the employee proves ineffective. 

In the case of Stockstill and Fleita, both were hand-picked guys who were trained for their jobs under Hendry.  And in the case of Fleita, Hendry has had ten years to evaluate his excellence as the farm supervisor. 

Hendry has had plenty of opportunity to correct his employees or replace his employees if he didn't think they were doing things the right way. 

So I think basically yes, he's responsible for what he did himself and for the guys he hired to do the jobs after he moved up. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 02, 2011, 05:43:01 pm
And in the case of Fleita, Hendry has had ten years to evaluate his excellence as the farm supervisor. 

craig, you're awesome.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 02, 2011, 06:30:06 pm
Quote
he's reluctant to move former stars out of key spots in the order despite poor performance. He doesn't bench the lazy and unproductive.

He has to put 8 guys in the lineup.

BTW, it's interesting that the criticism of Quade is that he's too buddy-buddy with the players and won't crack the whip. Didn't the Cubs just lose a guy who was the antithesis of this, and weren't most fans pretty thrilled they did?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 02, 2011, 06:32:56 pm
Bruce Miles

Is it time for Cubs to consider regime change?

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110602/sports/706029870/#ixzz1OAG6s0EP

Whether it’s a new GM or not, something needs to change here. And soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 02, 2011, 08:29:35 pm
I agree with Bruce Miles 100%.

I want the Ricketts to hire a club president that will bring in his own GM and manager.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 02, 2011, 08:42:52 pm
Well, Schuerholz is available, I suppose.


But I don't think anyone should hold their breath.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 02, 2011, 08:56:33 pm
What's Branch Rickey doing these days?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 02, 2011, 08:56:55 pm
I want the assistant from the Dodgers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on June 02, 2011, 09:29:25 pm
Probably should move that post to the Under the Bleachers topic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on June 02, 2011, 09:30:44 pm
I agree with Miles' article as well.  I want the Cubs to hire a baseball guy as president and if he wants to bring in a new GM, great.  If the new pres decides to stick with Hendry, I'm good with that too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 02, 2011, 10:03:49 pm
Hendry has had plenty of opportunity to correct his employees or replace his employees if he didn't think they were doing things the right way.

On this point, which appears to be your central point, you and I have no disagreement.  But the extent to which decisions made before he became GM were entirely his is not really known.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 02, 2011, 10:04:18 pm
I'm not OK with a new president sticking with Hendry.

If that is what a new president wants, that's the wrong president.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 02, 2011, 10:13:26 pm
From Miles' column: "Wilken’s drafts have been interesting, and he’ll be conducting his sixth for the Cubs in a few days. He has deepened the Cubs’ farm, but there is no projected superstar working his way up."

I would project Castro to be a superstar.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 02, 2011, 10:37:46 pm
Castro isn't in the farm system.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 02, 2011, 10:48:16 pm
No, but he was signed when Wilken was the director of scouting.  The draft is not the only way to bring prospects into the organization.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 02, 2011, 10:53:53 pm
But Miles is talking specifically about drafted players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 03, 2011, 12:43:56 am
 Cubs on list in violation of MLB debt service rules

 
 They are one of nine franchises in violation of MLB's debt service rules, according to information presented in a confidential briefing at the owners meetings last month and confirmed to the Los Angeles Times by three people familiar with the presentation.

 
 http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0603-mlb-cubs-chicago--20110602,0,344709.story

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 03, 2011, 12:50:10 am
Let's see if I have this right:

The Ricketts' problem has more to do with buying the Cubs and Wrigley Field than how much is owed to players under contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 03, 2011, 06:58:47 am
SB Nation concludes Darwin Barney is the third least feared hitter in baseball this year:

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/6/2/2203886/the-ten-least-feared-hitters-of-the-2011-season-to-date

Also in the top 10: Ryan Theriot (5th) and Sam Fuld (8th).
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 03, 2011, 07:14:03 am
That's one reason why he never walks -- no one is afraid of him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on June 03, 2011, 07:15:07 am
Hmmmm, those three have something in common but I can't quite place it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: BearHit on June 03, 2011, 07:26:52 am
They are not on the juice?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 03, 2011, 08:24:24 am
Right or wrong, Wilken is not in charge of the international signings.  I believe the international scouting is under Fleita's domain.  Wilken and his staff do domestic scouting only. 

So however good Castro is going to become, he doesn't really go on wilken's credit list. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 03, 2011, 08:44:02 am
Cubs on list in violation of MLB debt service rules

  They are one of nine franchises in violation of MLB's debt service rules, according to information presented in a confidential briefing at the owners meetings last month and confirmed to the Los Angeles Times by three people familiar with the presentation.
 
 http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0603-mlb-cubs-chicago--20110602,0,344709.story


From the link:

The rules, intended to ensure clubs have the resources to support their financial obligations, generally limit a team's debt to 10 times its annual earnings....

This might indicate that even if the Ricketts wanted to spend aggressively, they might well lack the money to do so.   And beyond that, when the team's debt load is greater than ten times earnings at a time when the economy is still in the crapper and showing no signs of leaving any time soon, and when monetary policy is likely to bring inflation and higher interest rates.... the prospect of spending its way out of its current weak position on the field by diving deep into the FA pool is not likely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 03, 2011, 08:50:07 am
Right or wrong, Wilken is not in charge of the international signings.  I believe the international scouting is under Fleita's domain.  Wilken and his staff do domestic scouting only. 

So however good Castro is going to become, he doesn't really go on wilken's credit list. 

While that is literally true it also misses the fact that Wilken was not Miles' target.  Miles was targetting Hendry, and at that point Miles was doing so by saying the Cubs simply have not developed any superstar talent or anyone who even projected as superstar talent.  And Castro certainly should be credited to Hendry.  That is not to say that Hendry has done enough, but merely pointing out that ignoring Castro amounts to cherry picking.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 03, 2011, 09:24:30 am
I'm no fan of Paul Sullivan, but he can be pretty funny now and then.


Jackson watch: One of the most anticipated days remaining is the eventual call-up of Double-A outfielder Brett Jackson, a left-handed hitter with power. It's only a matter of time before Jackson gets called up to sit on the Cubs bench and watch the veterans play.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 03, 2011, 10:33:12 am
SB Nation concludes Darwin Barney is the third least feared hitter in baseball this year:

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/6/2/2203886/the-ten-least-feared-hitters-of-the-2011-season-to-date

Also in the top 10: Ryan Theriot (5th) and Sam Fuld (8th).

If the pitchers fear Barney less than they fear Hill, the pitchers are stupid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 03, 2011, 01:03:28 pm
I don't think Hill had enough AB to qualify.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 03, 2011, 01:09:08 pm
There's little to be happy about with the Cubs this year, but their SS-2B combination is one thing.  There's a piece on the pair at chicagocubsonline.com that has a number of video clips of the two guys.   It's really nice to have guys who can make really outstanding plays in the middle infield positions (when is the last time that was true?), and have hit well to boot. 

http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2011/06/cubsvideo060211.php#more (http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2011/06/cubsvideo060211.php#more)


Len Kasper thinks that Barney is for real and is a keeper.  I hope he's right, because it would be a very good thing to have really solid middle infielders in the coming years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 03, 2011, 01:15:52 pm
Len Kasper thinks that Barney is for real and is a keeper.  I hope he's right, because it would be a very good thing to have really solid middle infielders in the coming years.
Len Kasper is the ultimate company man and wouldn't say **** if he had a mouthful.

Bob Brenly is a lot more objective.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 03, 2011, 01:46:46 pm
One value with Barney as the 2B starter is that you don't have to keep a crappy utility SS on the bench as a backup SS.  Barney is a legit SS defensively, so you can move him over there if necessary.  Instead of the crappy SS bench guy, you can keep a different kind of bench guy around (who may be crappy too, but maybe not).

I see Barney as a #8 hitter long-term.  It's true--he does "play the game right" but liikely that he's always going to be a limited offensive player.  With two strikes, he's a severe hacker--seems like he gives up too many potential walks by swinging at balls out of the zone deep in the count.  But, good defense, good baserunning, good fundamentals.  I like the guy but hopefully other guys like B.Jackson, Szuzur, Castro will be good enough to push Barney down in the order.  And, I would still always be looking toward finding a real offensive 2B to replace him down the road.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 03, 2011, 01:53:40 pm
If Barney keeps his stats pretty strong all year, I hope the Cubs have the foresight to sell high in the offseason. 

Unfortunately, I think we're about a month away from it becoming obvious that DeWitt and Baker should be playing more.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 03, 2011, 02:19:38 pm
Quote
I see Barney as a #8 hitter long-term.  It's true--he does "play the game right" but liikely that he's always going to be a limited offensive player.  With two strikes, he's a severe hacker--seems like he gives up too many potential walks by swinging at balls out of the zone deep in the count.  But, good defense, good baserunning, good fundamentals.  I like the guy but hopefully other guys like B.Jackson, Szuzur, Castro will be good enough to push Barney down in the order.  And, I would still always be looking toward finding a real offensive 2B to replace him down the road.

That pretty much sums up my view of Barney.  Good kid, valuable roster player.  Probably not a starter on a good team, unless you're content with someone whose OPS is never likely to rise about the 600's.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 03, 2011, 02:19:59 pm
If Barney keeps his stats pretty strong all year, I hope the Cubs have the foresight to sell high in the offseason. 

Unfortunately, I think we're about a month away from it becoming obvious that DeWitt and Baker should be playing more.

But DeWitt will be playing every day behind the plate and Baker will be the closer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 03, 2011, 02:28:50 pm
One value with Barney as the 2B starter is that you don't have to keep a crappy utility SS on the bench as a backup SS.  Barney is a legit SS defensively, so you can move him over there if necessary.  Instead of the crappy SS bench guy, you can keep a different kind of bench guy around (who may be crappy too, but maybe not).

I see Barney as a #8 hitter long-term.  It's true--he does "play the game right" but liikely that he's always going to be a limited offensive player.  With two strikes, he's a severe hacker--seems like he gives up too many potential walks by swinging at balls out of the zone deep in the count.  But, good defense, good baserunning, good fundamentals.  I like the guy but hopefully other guys like B.Jackson, Szuzur, Castro will be good enough to push Barney down in the order.  And, I would still always be looking toward finding a real offensive 2B to replace him down the road.
I think Barney shows an appropriate amount of patience at the plate.  He's generally very selective when ahead in the count.  Perhaps he goes too far in trying to avoid K'ing in 2-strike counts, but that isn't a terrible flaw.  I agree that he needs to either increase his BB rate or maintain a high BA.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 03, 2011, 03:09:07 pm
Barney is on a pace for 21 walks in near 650 plate appearances.   Seems to me that he really expands the zone on 3-2 counts to put the ball in play.  Granted, he sees a lot of strikes because 85% of his hits are singles but he could walk more.  Not an ideal #2 guy with the low walks and meager power.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 03, 2011, 03:41:17 pm
But he puts the bat on the ball.  And he's one of the better Cubs hitters with runners in scoring position.  I think he's an excellent #2 hitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 03, 2011, 03:42:22 pm
I actually really like Darwin Barney.  I think he has a place on a championship team.

Of course, when he is one of your amateur player procurement and development organization's great successes, it may be time to admit that your farm system stinks and consider a change in your baseball operations leadership.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 03, 2011, 03:44:47 pm
For every Barney basher I've heard other people say, including Brenly, that right now who else do you want up with the game on the line?

Yes, Barney's a weak player.  So I find that he's the guy many would want up there right now as downright sad.

On another board I'm being  accused of not being a diehard fan because I'm disgusted with this product.  I guess it boils down to whether I diehard will tolerate even this level of ineptitude or whether a true diehard will refuse to tolerate it. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 03, 2011, 04:33:59 pm
FWIW, Barney is hitting .286 with two strikes on him.  In 23 AB with an 0-2 count, he is hitting .348.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 03, 2011, 04:59:19 pm
His OPS in May was only .658 and he's causing worm genocide with all his ground outs.

He needs to pick it up a lot now that pitchers have figured out he won't take a walk and that he can't hurt them with any real power.

He can't hide behind that .300 batting average forever.  He's going to have to be more productive.  He's been pretty good so far but he has to prove he belongs in the Majors as a regular and not just as a utility infielder with a decent glove that can give you an empty .300 average.

His defense has slipped a little recently, as well.  He has made some really bad mistakes and hasn't gotten to all the balls that he was getting to early in the season.  Maybe he's tired.  I don't know.

I hope he gets straightened out and can remain productive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 03, 2011, 05:32:31 pm
Here's the problem with Barney. Right now he's 13th among NL starting 2B in OPS.  And that's his upside.  Is there anyone who'd argue he hasn't outperformed expectations?  Yet even without reverting to the expected, you're still losing ground at the position offensively.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 03, 2011, 06:52:33 pm
Mat Garza will start Monday in Cincinnati.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 03, 2011, 08:41:23 pm
FWIW, Barney is hitting .286 with two strikes on him.  In 23 AB with an 0-2 count, he is hitting .348.

Obviously unacceptable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 03, 2011, 10:27:32 pm
The Cubs have the worst run differential in the NL and the second worst in all of baseball.

We're also staring at 10 games out of first with a loss tomorrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 03, 2011, 10:37:45 pm
Here's the problem with Barney. Right now he's 13th among NL starting 2B in OPS.  And that's his upside.  Is there anyone who'd argue he hasn't outperformed expectations?  Yet even without reverting to the expected, you're still losing ground at the position offensively.

Barney's OPS is now below the .700 mark after tonight's game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 03, 2011, 10:53:22 pm
Okay, I'm convinced.  If Barney got run over by a cement truck tomorrow, the Cubs would quickly move to the top of the Central Division.  Yep.  He's definitely the weak link.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 03, 2011, 10:58:45 pm
Yes, that's exactly what everyone's been trying to say.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 03, 2011, 11:03:18 pm
I know, SZ, I'm just slow, like Davep.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 04, 2011, 12:04:44 am
I sure am glad I have CurtOne on ignore.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 04, 2011, 12:18:19 am
I know, SZ, I'm just slow, like Davep.

C'mon, Curt, no one is THAT slow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 04, 2011, 07:02:44 am
Davep, six people have me on Ignore, including Mrs. CurtOne who isn't even registered on this board.

Somebody tell Dave I said that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 04, 2011, 12:03:28 pm
Who said that?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 04, 2011, 04:01:08 pm
Has this been posted before?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac6h2wczxGA  Give a bit of background and perspective on the Ricketts ownership
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: ben on June 04, 2011, 07:21:53 pm
"...change in baseball operations leadership."

I'm wondering exactly what has to happen to cause Ricketts to make change.

Hard to imagine worse ownership/leadership than our franchise has had during the six decades I've (and others here have) been following!

Highest payroll in the division (by a lot AGAIN this season)...worst team in the division now and VERY little reason for optimism in the future based on the current farm/development system.

MAYBE we will draft well this year...   

Ridiculous!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 04, 2011, 07:37:47 pm
Well, there's no reason to make a change this close to the draft.

After the draft, however, there will be no excuse to stick with the current front office.

The Quade contract was only a 2-year commitment, and it's not a whole lot of money, so they could even make that change if they wanted.

However, nothing is going to save this season.

It would still be best to get a new president in ASAP and let him hand pick a new GM before the trade deadline.

If they wait until after the season, the new regime will have to wait until the spring before they can see the players (Major League and minor league) first-hand.

Letting everyone twist in the wind for the remainder of 2011 is just cruel and it makes it harder to move forward next year and beyond.

Plus, it might finally get the fans excited about something.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: ben on June 04, 2011, 11:57:24 pm
Agreed, Strike...and it's not as though the situation is likely to get a lot worse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 05, 2011, 09:22:27 am
Just surfing other websites/boards:
Common Themes:

TR is clueless, needs a baseball man fast

Not watching anymore, just looking at highlights and boxscores

Not attending any games this year

Quade has been exposed as weak but there is considerable sympathy that nobody could do anything with this roster

Anger at Ramirez, Dempster, and Soriano.  (Nobody elsewhere defending Dempster last few starts)

Lot more love elsewhere for Fukudome and Barney.

Most hoping Hendry fired after draft, bring in new people to make trades and reshape this season for next.  (No real explanation of how to do all that.)

Don't shoot the ****ing messenger!

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 05, 2011, 09:39:12 am
It really is time to start fixing this team.  The first thing that must be done is to show Hendry the door.  Get a team president if you have to but get a new GM in here and let him have the 2 months before the deadline to evaluate and try to move guys that need to be moved.  I would revamp the whole minor league system as well.  Wilken all or them show them the door and start over.  Pay whatever you need to to get Soraino off the team.  Pay Dempster to either void his player option or promise not to exercise it.  Ditto for A-Ram.  If both those guys did that we might actually be able to move them for some value. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 05, 2011, 09:53:45 am
I don't see any need to replace Wilken. During his regime, he's lost several draft picks due to all the free agent signings, and has recently suffered from severe budget limitations. Similarly, I have no beef about our Asian scouts. I'm more upset about our player development and  our underperforming veteran players with ridiculously long guaranteed contracts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 05, 2011, 09:54:09 am
I mean Dempster has a 14 million dollar player option for next year.  Is it legal to tell Ryan to not pick up the option and we will make the difference up on any contract you sign next year to do so.  So if he would sign next year at 8 million we throw in 6 million so he wouldn't lose his money?  What else would it cost us to get Ryan to agree to that? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 05, 2011, 09:59:51 am
The cubs should be on the phone right now with the Giants about Soto.  I'm skeptical about Soto and think we should deal him before he gets expensive and has real trade value. 

I just don't think he is great defensively and gets injured too much.  Those injuries will begin to mount as he gets older.  I just don't see him aging well. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 05, 2011, 10:34:36 am
I mean Dempster has a 14 million dollar player option for next year.  Is it legal to tell Ryan to not pick up the option and we will make the difference up on any contract you sign next year to do so.  So if he would sign next year at 8 million we throw in 6 million so he wouldn't lose his money?  What else would it cost us to get Ryan to agree to that? 

That would be a major violation there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 05, 2011, 10:45:51 am
I don't like the idea of trading Soto.  Yeah he's inconsistent and yeah he gets hurt.  Still it is tough enough to find quality catchers in this league just to trade one with Soto's upside away.  Think about all those years with guys like Hundley, Girardi, Bako, Servais, etc.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 05, 2011, 10:45:59 am
That would be a major violation there.

It would not, however, be a violation if Dempster would agree to exercise his option at the time of the trade (assuming the team trading for him would want him for 2012 at $8).  Then the Cubs could send $6 to the team trading for Dempster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 05, 2011, 11:13:43 am
Curt, I've noticed many of the same criticisms here and in other places too.  The one that seems a little over the top to me is the over the top anger with Ramirez.  Not that he's been good...but he's far from the biggest problem. 

Outside of homerun power, his hitting is pretty much in line with his career numbers.  He has always been questionable defensively...he hasn't declined that far this year.  Basically, if he had 3-5 more homers (which he could have had with a little better weather in early-mid April), he'd be right where you'd expect for a player of his ability and injury history going into decline.

Again, not saying he's good...but he's far from the same category as Soriano, the rest of the non-fukudome outfield, the starting staff outside Zambrano & Garza, etc.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 05, 2011, 11:17:01 am
Outside of homerun power, his hitting is pretty much in line with his career numbers.

lol

That's like saying, "Other than this cancer ravaging my body, I'm enjoying the same robust health I always have.".
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 05, 2011, 11:21:24 am
It's tough to be too mad at someone like Ramirez who is just getting older and just doesn't have the skills he used to have.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 05, 2011, 11:21:52 am
I think You try and deal Soto.  He isn't a guy who is going to age well.  As for Soriano I'm to the point that even if they just release him it would almost be better for the franchise. 

Hopefully Zambrano remains good and you can deal him to the Yankees. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 05, 2011, 11:51:28 am
The main problem I have with ARam is my perception that he spends his offseason time in his Barcolounger, rather than in the gym. He can't help getting older, but he could work harder to be in the best possible physical condition.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 05, 2011, 11:54:21 am
ARAM reminds me so much of Bobby Bonilla.  Bonilla was a guy that seemed like once he got his huge payday he pretty much stopped working at staying in shape and lacked drive to keep working. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 05, 2011, 01:11:07 pm
Bruce Miles

Darwin Barney needs a rest.

The Cubs have the dubious distinction of having four players in the bottom six of BB percentage in baseball. The tops are Vladimir Guerrero (2.2), Marlon Byrd (2.7), Orlando Cabrera (2.9), Barney (3.1), Castro and Alfonso Soriano (3.2).


Mandatory reading


http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5817 (http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5817)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 05, 2011, 01:14:24 pm
Perhaps we should fire the hitting coach and hire a walking coach. It'll get much worse next year, after Fuku and Pena leave.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 05, 2011, 01:20:33 pm
Statheads: what kind of walk ratio did the Rangers have when the current hitting coach was there?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 05, 2011, 01:47:52 pm
Miles is really stellar - one of the best at one he does.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 05, 2011, 02:09:33 pm
That would be a major violation there.

Why would there be a violation?  Dempster would not be hurt, nor would the team signing him, and effectively it would be little different from the Dempster picking up the option and the Cubs then trading him, even if the trade required the Cubs to eat a major chunk of the contract.... a chunk which would end up being about what the Cubs would have to make up in the difference between Dempster's current option and whatever he could sign for.

Why would anyone care, particularly care enough to include it in the basic agreement between MLB and the MLBPA?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 05, 2011, 02:23:28 pm
It really is time to start fixing this team.  The first thing that must be done is to show Hendry the door.

Hendry has generally seemed to do well at satisfying his immediate superiors.  I see no reason to believe that is changing or has changed, and doubt that he will be removed.  At the moment I am not saying that is good or bad, but simply that I doubt that Ricketts will do it.

I would revamp the whole minor league system as well.

How?  Seriously.  Revamp it in what way?  I would like to see the Cubs add a couple of minor league affiliates and aggressively add prospects to increase the talent pool.  But that is not really a revamping.  What do you suggest?

Pay whatever you need to to get Soraino off the team.

How would that improve the team?  How would burning $15M a year to get rid of him help the team?  I would rather the Cubs simply use him as he now should be used, as a PHer and 5th OFer, which would likely limit his plate appearances to 100-150 a year.  If, given those playing conditions, he wanted to relieve the Cubs of their contract obligations and go elsewhere, that would be wonderful.  If he retired, that would be great.  If he accepted the role in order to get the contract payments, so be it.


Pay Dempster to either void his player option or promise not to exercise it.  Ditto for A-Ram.  If both those guys did that we might actually be able to move them for some value.

Contract like these are the consequence of essentially trying to quickly build a strong team thru FA signings (or what amount to FA signings) when the team s*cks to start with.  It is the consequence of the moves nearly everyone here praised after the 2006 season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 05, 2011, 02:26:15 pm
That's like saying, "Other than this cancer ravaging my body, I'm enjoying the same robust health I always have.".

But even his other extra base hits are in line with where they should be.  He has rarely ever tripled, of course.  But he has 14 doubles, which puts him on pace for 40 this year...that would tie the second best total of his career.  Basically, his hitting problems come down to two things: not hitting with RISP (which is likely a fluke of a small sample size, given that he's always been good at it in the past) and lack of home run power (not power in general, just home run power).  His season would be right on track if he got hot for a week and hit about 4-5 homers.  Again, hasn't been that good...but he's far from deserving the level of criticism he's receiving.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 05, 2011, 02:35:00 pm
I don't like the idea of trading Soto.  Yeah he's inconsistent and yeah he gets hurt.  Still it is tough enough to find quality catchers in this league just to trade one with Soto's upside away.  Think about all those years with guys like Hundley, Girardi, Bako, Servais, etc.

All the more reason to trade Soto, because very few catchers age well, particularly those who get injured often.  By the time the Cubs are worth a hoot, Soto is likely to have lost most if not all of his value, not just as a player for the Cubs, but any trade value (the two tend to be strongly related).

There are teams right now who consider themselves actual playoff contenders, and who have a need for a catcher.  The Giants are a good example.  Soto would have much greater value to the Giants than he does to the Cubs.  Exploit the difference in value and get some prospects.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 05, 2011, 04:42:46 pm
stolen:

In the end, I don't feel sorry for us.  We can go fishing, shopping, or mow the lawn.  We can find a minor league team to follow or, gasp, temporarily follow our second choice whoever it might be.

I don't feel sorry for TR.  If he's such an oblivious dumba$$ as to think this is acceptable, let him lose money.

I don't feel sorry for the players.  IMO, some of them are trying too hard or not at all.  Some of them have run out of time.  All of them have contracts and will be paid regardless of how much they stink.

I feel sorry for all the people who rely on the Cubs for their livelihood and cannot control any of this.  Like the people who work at Wrigley, own rooftops, do concessions, and run businesses around Wrigleyville.  They can't do anything about the mess than Hendry has made and yet they will suffer the most.  TR's got bucks; the Ricketts family will survive huge losses, but some of the restaurants and businesses reliant on the Cubs are going to have bad years and hard times.  Even as far away as China or the Dominican where they make all those cute Cubbie things, they're going to feel the pinch, and they're the ones who can afford it least.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 05, 2011, 04:55:51 pm
Jim Hendry, the Barack Obama of Major League Baseball.

No one is excepted from the misery he brings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 05, 2011, 06:24:54 pm
If Marmol can manage to avoid torpedoing his trade value before the end of the season, the first call Hendry (or whoever the GM is at that point) should make in the offseason is to see if the Mets would be interested in trading Wright in a deal built around Marmol.  Who knows, maybe they can even convince the Mets that Barney is for real and throw him in too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 05, 2011, 06:28:13 pm
So, you want to take one of the few holes on the team and make it another hole.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 05, 2011, 06:31:26 pm
It's tough to be too mad at someone like Ramirez who is just getting older and just doesn't have the skills he used to have.

Isn't the same true with Soriano?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 05, 2011, 06:33:23 pm
I don't see any need to replace Wilken. During his regime, he's lost several draft picks due to all the free agent signings, and has recently suffered from severe budget limitations. Similarly, I have no beef about our Asian scouts. I'm more upset about our player development and  our underperforming veteran players with ridiculously long guaranteed contracts.

Cubsin, what's this bit about the severe budget limitations?  When has that been true, and who told you that?  2009 they didn't superslot much, so coming off the really good 2008 season they drafted late and mostly paid mostly slot, other than Raley and some limited overslots. 

But they spent plenty last year, and have usually had plenty to spend. 

It may be that Wilken is a liar, many such guys are.  But he claimed that Simpson was NOT a signability pick.  So it seems to me that he's consistently been provided at least an industry-normal budget and often far, far above that. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 05, 2011, 06:33:53 pm
If Marmol can manage to avoid torpedoing his trade value before the end of the season, the first call Hendry (or whoever the GM is at that point) should make in the offseason is to see if the Mets would be interested in trading Wright in a deal built around Marmol.  Who knows, maybe they can even convince the Mets that Barney is for real and throw him in too.

Why would the Mets want to devastate their team to acquire a CLOSER?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 05, 2011, 06:37:12 pm
I've said it for years...Marmol is a huge time bomb.  Most closers are (look at Soria in KC, for example).  And given his inability to throw strikes, all Marmol has to do is lose a little off his stuff and he is going to flame out fast.  I said all last year that the Cubs should make Marmol available.  His reputation exceeds his value to the Cubs.  This isn't a new thing from me...just something I'm repeating now after two ugly appearances this week.

I don't consider Marmol that much of a non-hole.  He's very good, sure.  But he's not a Trevor Hoffman or Billy Wagner or Mariano Rivera.  He's more of an Eric Gagne, and his collapse is no more than 1-2 years away.  He'll bring a ton in a trade this offseason (assuming he pitches fine the rest of the year)...but the Cubs will be regretting his extension before it is over.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on June 05, 2011, 06:39:21 pm
Jim Hendry, the Barack Obama of Major League Baseball.

No one is excepted from the misery he brings.



Funny...he doesn't look Kenyan    ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 05, 2011, 06:43:28 pm
Since their 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, ---, 10-10 start, the Cubs are 13-24.

Houston trails San Diego 4-1 in the fourth.  An Astro comeback and the Cubs would be within ½ game of the worst record in the National League.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 05, 2011, 06:51:14 pm
Carrie Muskat:


“The problem wasn’t Pujols,” Zambrano said. ” The problem was the previous at-bat. We should know better than this. We played like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing, embarrassing for the team, for the owners, for the fans. Embarrassing. That’s the word for this team. We should know better than this, we should know better than we did on the field. We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter. We should know that as a team. We should play better here. We stink. That’s all I’ve got to say.”


In case you weren’t watching, Theriot hit a game-tying RBI double in the ninth off Marmol, hitting a slider. Marmol apparently shook off catcher Koyie Hill, who wanted him to throw a fastball.


Paul Sullivan:


"If Zambrano doesn't waive his no-trade clause after this incident, he probably never will."


Koyie Hill

 "I think he's obviously frustrated... I don't think he means the guys in here are Triple-A players, or dogging it."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 05, 2011, 07:27:43 pm
You're right, Koyie.

You have no business being in AAA.

You should be on someone's beer league softball team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 05, 2011, 07:32:42 pm
An Astro comeback and the Cubs would be within ½ game of the worst record in the National League.

Finally something to hope for....
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 05, 2011, 07:42:17 pm
Zambrano showing up Marmol, basically calling him an idiot.

Unlike Z who is the pitching equivalent of Greg Maddux.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 05, 2011, 07:50:20 pm
I don't think it was so much pitch selection in the Theriot AB as execution.

Marmol hung that slider and that's the only reason Theriot was able to hit it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on June 05, 2011, 08:10:42 pm
If Colvin doesn't overthrow the cutoff man the whole point might be moot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 05, 2011, 08:12:27 pm
With the team in freefall, the last thing we need is Zambrano being a headcase again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 05, 2011, 08:14:45 pm
He is the only one on the team with his head not in the sand.  Just saying what everyone is thinking.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 05, 2011, 08:34:45 pm
I'm sure nobody else on the team realizes they haven't played well.

I'm also certain Zambrano would've selfishly ripped his closer had Dempster been in line for the win.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 05, 2011, 08:39:00 pm
With the team in freefall, the last thing we need is Zambrano being a headcase again.
He is the only one on the team with his head not in the sand.  Just saying what everyone is thinking.

I agree with Buff.  Would you rather Zambrano said nothing?  The only player on the team who has been a Cub longer than Zambrano is Wood, and Wood had been gone for two years.  If someone on the team is to take the team to task for poor, and stupid play, it should be Zambrano.  That said, hopefully he is upset enough he will be eager to waive that NTC, go to a contender, and let the Cubs have some prospects in the deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 05, 2011, 08:52:27 pm
I'd rather see anyone else speak out about it besides Zambrano.  It just seems like history shows whenever Zambrano opens his mouth, bad things usually follow.

Someone who says things like that in the media needs to be a team leader that people take seriously, and Zambrano by this point in his career has pretty much shown he's anything but that.  All he does is whine, and all this comes across to me and I'm sure to the rest of the team is Big Z whining again.

This is pretty much the last thing anybody needs right now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 05, 2011, 08:59:07 pm
Guys, we WANT bad things.  We want this season to be the worst in Cub history.  One of the worst seasons in MLB history.  110+ losses.  Fights in the locker room.  Off-field scandals.  Lots of things that hurt the integrity of the brand.

Whatever it takes for major, wholesale changes to be made.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 05, 2011, 09:08:15 pm
I agree with Buff, and mostly, I agree with Zambrano.  He is the first to say what everyone should be saying.  The exact quote - "We stinks".

The English isn't perfect, although he probably said it better than I would have said it in Spanish.  But the operative word there was not "stinks", but "we".

The Cubs are playing badly as a group.  Marmol didn't get the job done today, but each yesterday had it's own screw ups.

And Zambrano has the right to be the one to say it.  He has done his job better than anyone else on the entire team, with the possible exception of Barney.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 05, 2011, 09:28:47 pm
Outside of Wood, is there anyone on the team with greater seniority?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 05, 2011, 09:37:29 pm
Outside of Wood, is there anyone on the team with greater seniority?

Sadly, Hendry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 05, 2011, 09:47:18 pm
Zambrano gave up the right to be the voice of reason by acting like a spoiled nut-job for the last four years.  He should be pitching, keeping his mouth shut and thanking the stars for the ridiculous contract Hendry gave him and leave the analysis to someone who hasn't disqualified himself from being listened to.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 05, 2011, 10:21:58 pm
The Cubs did not play a horrendous game. They did nothing overly embarrassing on the field.  This is nothing more than Zambrano selfishly complaining because he had another personal victory taken away.

And it's not close to the first time he has put himself ahead of his teammates.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 05, 2011, 11:49:21 pm
Zambrano has been by far the Cubs best pitcher this year.  He has earned the right to criticize a badly playing team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 12:07:15 am
Actually, Garza has been the best pitcher, but who cares?

Zambrano called out his closer in the press. That's pathetic and indicative of a selfish person.

And it's quite ironic that Zambrano didn't bash his team after any of their other losses, most of which were far more embarrassing than Sunday's. Probably had nothing to do with him losing his second straight win via a blown save.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 06, 2011, 12:09:19 am
Zambrano has been by far the Cubs best pitcher this year.  He has earned the right to criticize a badly playing team.

It's debatable whether or not he's been their best pitcher.  Matt Garza has also earned some consideration in that discussion, I think.

The media is going to rip Zambrano apart and Jim Hendry is going to be at the front of the mob with pitchfork in hand.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 12:12:38 am
Quote
Afterward, the human verbal grenade that is Zambrano exploded in the clubhouse, taking Marmol and the rest of the Cubs with him.

"The problem wasn't Pujols,'' said Zambrano, who, according to the Chicago Tribune account, spoke in a loud voice and kept looking at Marmol's locker. "The problem was [the pitch to Theriot].

But he wasn't done, of course. Nobody points a finger better than Zambrano.

.....


What a hypocrite. Zambrano leads the Cubs, maybe the majors, in tantrums, dugout confrontations, clubhouse fistfights, Gatorade cooler smashings, bat breakings, anger management therapy and calling out teammates in public. During his career he has been placed on the major league suspended list three times and the restricted list once. He has won a grand total of 25 games in the last two-plus seasons.

If it were any other veteran Cub throwing his teammates under a fleet of buses -- say, Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood, Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, even Alfonso Soriano -- it might have meant something. But it came from Zambrano, so it doesn't.

If this was Zambrano's first meltdown, not his -- sorry, I've lost count -- it might have meant something. Or had the criticism been useful, rather than another accusatory rant, it might have meant something.

But it wasn't. Instead, it was Zambrano proving once again that he's a crummy teammate and can't be trusted.

....


The Cubs weren't Triple-A quality in Sunday's 3-2 loss. Their closer got beat on his best pitch. And the next Cubs reliever got beat by the best player in the game. There's no shame in that.

Zambrano didn't care. Marmol had cost him two consecutive wins, so he popped off. When it comes to the blame game, Zambrano has filthy stuff.


http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&page=wojciechowski/110605&sportCat=mlb
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 06, 2011, 01:12:00 am
Cubsin, what's this bit about the severe budget limitations?  When has that been true, and who told you that?  2009 they didn't superslot much, so coming off the really good 2008 season they drafted late and mostly paid mostly slot, other than Raley and some limited overslots. 

But they spent plenty last year, and have usually had plenty to spend. 

It may be that Wilken is a liar, many such guys are.  But he claimed that Simpson was NOT a signability pick.  So it seems to me that he's consistently been provided at least an industry-normal budget and often far, far above that. 

My perception is that the Cubs' total spending on the draft last year was below the MLB average. Part of that could be due to drafting late in each round, but I don't recall as many well-over-slot guys as usual. That might be due to (Larry) Bud and his stupid rules, of course.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 01:16:06 am
Quote
Summing up the way so many people on the North Side probably felt Sunday night, Jim Hendry just sighed when he answered the phone. On the eve of Major League Baseball's amateur draft, Hendry took precious time away from preparing for the Cubs to pick ninth overall to compare Carlos Zambrano's shenanigans.

....

"You don't want Carlos to break his bat over his knee in frustration with himself (as Zambrano did Tuesday night) and risk getting hurt, but if it's not directed at his teammates, I'm OK with that from time to time,'' Hendry said in a phone interview from Arizona. "But what I'm not OK with is calling out teammates publicly and even privately if somebody's giving their best effort.''

.....

"I see it as the height of frustration,'' Hendry said. "Obviously Marmol has done a tremendous job for a long time. He had a bad week, and unfortunately Zambrano was the victim of that and it cost him a couple victories. (But) Carlos' is not behavior I would ever condone. You have to be a good teammate in these situations. When times are the toughest, you have to be above that, and he clearly wasn't today.''

No, Zambrano was the same immature hothead he swore he wouldn't be again.

....

Zambrano's latest outburst wasn't a sign of leadership. It was another symptom of the immaturity that has made Big Z's career a big disappointment given his physical potential. Sunday just reminded us he's never going to reach it in Chicago for reasons that have little to do with his right arm.

Sure, he verbalized what many Cubs fans think about how bad this team is. But Zambrano didn't say it to motivate teammates. He said it to cover himself. From the shoulders down, Zambrano is a potential ace. From the shoulders up, he is a potential case study.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0606-haugh-zambrano--20110605,0,6141835.column
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 06:54:22 am
Interesting reading the comments on that Haugh article.  It sounds like about 90% of fans are taking Zambrano's side.

It was another symptom of the immaturity that has made Big Z's career a big disappointment given his physical potential. Sunday just reminded us he's never going to reach it in Chicago for reasons that have little to do with his right arm.

I wish the Cubs could develop just one more pitcher whose career was a "big disappointment" like Zambrano's has been.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 06, 2011, 07:01:25 am
Yeah, it's a huge disappointment when a guy:

1. Has never had arm surgery of any kind.
2. Takes the ball every fifth day.
3. Has never had an ERA over 4.00 in any season.

I get that he's a headcase but calling Carlos Zambrano a "big disappointment" is a real stretch.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 06, 2011, 07:19:36 am
Too much gets made of things like Zambrano's comments.


Sensationalism reigns in our culture right now.  To me, that's more disgusting than anything Zambrano has ever done or said, or even than the Cubs' season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 06, 2011, 07:19:41 am
Just a thought but does Carlos even get interviewed when it isn't his day to pitch? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 06, 2011, 07:31:01 am
Just a thought but does Carlos even get interviewed when it isn't his day to pitch? 

Agree. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 07:35:17 am
Tend to agree with Ron.  Even Pujols has made comments in the heat of the moment of frustration.  Last year, for example, he made some biting comments regarding Rasmus, but they quickly blew over.  It happens.  When Z does it, it makes banner headlines, like when Bradley got tossed by an ump, it was blown out of proportion each time.  (Not defending Bradley, just that the media latches onto story lines and can't let go.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 06, 2011, 07:37:34 am
He's right in what he said, but wrong in that he said it.  There's nothing to gain by saying your team sucks, unless you want to get traded ... and I am ALL FOR Zambrano finally getting moved.  Maybe this is the year.  Red Sox lost Matzusaka.  Any chance they have $ for Zambrano?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 06, 2011, 07:39:04 am
My perception is that the Cubs' total spending on the draft last year was below the MLB average. Part of that could be due to drafting late in each round, but I don't recall as many well-over-slot guys as usual. That might be due to (Larry) Bud and his stupid rules, of course.

If you include the Szczur money, this past draft spending was I believe somewhere in the 12-16 area of the draft.  The international spending was considerably higher.  So I believe the total procurement spending was likely top 10. 

I might be wrong.  Obviously a key to what they spent was that they spent little on Simpson.  It may be that they had a limited budget, and the savings on Simpson may have enabled some of the overslotting later. So maybe the average spending reflected that they were limited to an average draft budget and a high overall procurement budget.  But it's also possible that the only reason the spending average was only average was because Wilken honestly and sincerely thought the discount guy was BPA and he happened to come very cheap.  Add an extra million and they'd have been in the top dozen at least in draft spending too. 

I may be wrong, of course.  But my sense is that while they haven't had massive spending, it's certainly not been low.  They might not have like Boston budget, but it's not like Wilken's been getting shorted. 


The Jackson draft was low spending.  Drafting last, mostly slot or modest overslot, Raley the only major superslot. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 08:21:59 am
The Cubs did not play a horrendous game. They did nothing overly embarrassing on the field.  This is nothing more than Zambrano selfishly complaining because he had another personal victory taken away.

And it's not close to the first time he has put himself ahead of his teammates.

So he should limit his comments to "horrendous games"?

And his comments made clear that he was only talking about the last game and not the entire season?

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 08:43:32 am
This is exactly the type of situation that should be handled in the locker room. 

No media, no coaches, just players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 08:54:07 am
 Bruce Miles

 
Zambrano is right — partially. He's right in saying the Cubs should be embarrassed. He's wrong in saying the Cubs are playing like a Triple-A team. It's more like the Cubs are playing like a first-year expansion team, as they're on a pace to finish this season 65-97.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 09:05:15 am
I just saw the video of Z's comments for the first time.  It seems to be very calculated by him...he never calls anyone out by name or uses a pronoun like "he" or "him"...it's always "we".  I agree with those who are saying that if these comments came from Dempster or Wood or Byrd that the media would be praising them for their leadership and courage to tell it like it is, and they'd point the the "we" language as a major plus.  Here is the video:

http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/cubsvideo?PID=T_SWu5_LILtv6L6Z0L84eAgp9pwRz_on (http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/cubsvideo?PID=T_SWu5_LILtv6L6Z0L84eAgp9pwRz_on)

There's a poll in the Tribune's site about whether the Cubs should suspend or applaud Zambrano for his comments.  89% are saying they would applaud his comments.  The media (except for Bruce Miles) and the Cubs (Hendry in particular) reacted quickly and extremely negatively after the comments...I'm sure they thought popular sentiment was going to be against Zambrano (which is more evidence of just how out of touch they are). 

It'll be interesting to see how much backtracking is done in the next couple of days.  You think fans are mad now?  Think how bad fan reactions will be if one of the few guys who is actually doing his job this year is punished for making comments that everyone perceives as truth.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on June 06, 2011, 09:08:34 am
Since it was Zambrano's win on the line I'm sure in his mind  it magnified the overthrown cutoff man on Theriot's double. Calling that throw a AAA play was being generous. That shouldn't happen in rookie league ball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 09:12:23 am
Hendry probably loves it.  Again he gets to point fingers at someone other than himself.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 09:18:47 am
 

 
The media (except for Bruce Miles) and the Cubs (Hendry in particular) reacted quickly and extremely negatively after the comments.

 
Here's what Miles had to say at the end of his column and a link to the column.

 
Now, he's left looking like the bad guy again because he told the truth about a bad team.

 

 
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110605/sports/706059828
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 06, 2011, 09:37:16 am
Hendry probably loves it.  Again he gets to point fingers at someone other than himself.
Cub management has to be delighted by any distraction.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 09:47:10 am
 Buster Olney

There is no more ineffective group of veteran players, in terms of leadership and matching production to dollars, than those of the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 06, 2011, 09:47:38 am
Zambrano merely said what most of us had been thinking and posting for the past month. He's absolutely right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 09:56:50 am
Here are the current results of the poll brjones referred to.

Nothing like giving you only one extreme or the other to vote on.


Zambrano ... applaud him or suspend him? Carlos Zambrano calls out the Cubs (Triple A team) and Carlos Marmol (threw a slider to Ryan Theriot). You would ...
  2598 total responses
(Results not scientific)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 11:25:19 am
Fans letting their frustration and anger of the season cloud what Zambrano did here.

This was a selfish act by a notoriously selfish player. He's a hero because he said the team is playing poorly? Yeah that's quite the newsflash. Again, if it isn't his wins lost by Marmol, he doesn't say anything about the team or throw Marmol under the bus.

Some of you seem to be ignoring what he said about Marmol. That is the ultimate evidence of how this rant was self-centered garbage.





Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 06, 2011, 11:30:39 am
Remembering that the A's back in 70's having altercations in the clubhouse (Joe Rudi vs Sal Bando??) so from the standpoint of clubhouse turmoil can't see Cubs current situation as unique in part. Z's outburst is an echo of a lot of Cubs fans complaints about this team's lack of making any improvement on the field play,playing smart, managerial moves(or lack thereof).Clearly Z has had his moments of poor pitching,silly-ass temper tantrums,etc. but I think this latest episode is within the bounds of a teammate's reaction to poor play...just sayin' :(
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 11:37:11 am
Steve, you're right about him echoing a lot of fans' frustrations. That's why they are defending him. But what he did to Marmol had nothing to do with the team's play or season. He called Marmol out with a nonsensical attack because he's bent out of shape that Marmol had blown Zambrano's previous two games in the 9th. The first thing he said was about Marmol. The rest of the rant followed simply as an addendum.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 06, 2011, 11:53:36 am
Since it was Zambrano's win on the line I'm sure in his mind  it magnified the overthrown cutoff man on Theriot's double. Calling that throw a AAA play was being generous. That shouldn't happen in rookie league ball.

And the real problem is not that it happened in that game, but that it has happened over and over again for the past three seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 12:05:54 pm
Brenly comments:

Quote
In an interview on WSCR-AM 670, Brenly said, “Big Z is just expressing what a lot of fans feel, what a lot of us broadcasters feel, and as usual, doesn’t always choose his words properly, doesn’t always choose his forum properly, but I applaud the emotions.

“This has been, once again, another dead-ass team. You’ve got some guys that look like they’re just playing out the string, and we’re only in the first (week) of June here, and we know from past experience that Carlos is not on e of those guys that can sit by idly and keep his mouth shut and just let things continue to spiral downward. He’s going to express his opinion, he’s going to be emotional about it when he does it.

"I don’t view this as a suspendable offense or anything like that. I just think it’s a guy who is frustrated with the way the season has gone, he’s frustrated with the way his teammates have approach their daily business … I’m sure there are times when Carlos is just as guilty as anybody on that roster.

“For me, it’s time. It’s about time that somebody stood up and said ‘Enough is enough. I’m tired of watching this.’”

----

“He said some things that ultimately were meant to be for the good of the ballclub,” Brenly said. “But because of the circumstances, because of the timing, it’s going to come off as selfish once again. ... If Big Z maybe had a chance to calm down a little more, maybe 15-20 minutes after game-time, rather than 10 minutes, who knows? Maybe he would’ve settled down a little bit. But yeah, it’s not the right way to throw your teammate under a bus and divert attention away from the other shortcomings of this ballclub.

“Carlos Marmol has been as good as anybody on this team in his role. To single him out as the guy that cost the team the game is unfair to Marmol. But once again, I think it’s coming basically from a good place with Zambrano. But because of his past record, because of some of the things he said in the past, it’s not going to come off that way, But somebody has got to do it. For God’s sake, this team just can not continue to spiral the way it has been.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/cbsports-brenly-applauds-zambranos-stance-rips-cubs-as-disinterested-20110606,0,5950695.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 12:24:04 pm
But once again, I think it’s coming basically from a good place with Zambrano.

How on earth can anyone believe that?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 06, 2011, 12:26:30 pm
Amen.  Brenly will probably be fired by the end of the week
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 06, 2011, 12:29:08 pm
In Brenly's comments, he said "this team just can not continue to spiral [down] the way it has been." He must be an incurable optomist.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 12:34:22 pm
How on earth can anyone believe that?

Well, Brenly also has regular direct one-on-one contact with Zambrano...so he probably has a better idea of Zambrano's intentions than anyone on a Cubs' messageboard.  And it is coming from Brenly, who was obviously not sugar-coating things in that interview.  This isn't Tom Ricketts or Jim Hendry trying to convince us that Zambrano is coming from a good place.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 12:42:13 pm
I'm sure Brenly and Zambrano spend lots of time together. They have so much in common.

Anyone who has followed Zambrano's antics for years knows plenty about him. Ask Todd Walker, Michael Barrett or Derrick Lee for starters.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 12:44:41 pm
Bruce Miles

Zambrano is right — partially. He's right in saying the Cubs should be embarrassed. He's wrong in saying the Cubs are playing like a Triple-A team. It's more like the Cubs are playing like a first-year expansion team, as they're on a pace to finish this season 65-97.

And they are doing that without anything resembling a coherent rebuilding plan.

Yea, can't write off a season to rebuild.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 12:51:53 pm
I just saw the video of Z's comments for the first time.  It seems to be very calculated by him...he never calls anyone out by name or uses a pronoun like "he" or "him"...it's always "we".  I agree with those who are saying that if these comments came from Dempster or Wood or Byrd that the media would be praising them for their leadership and courage to tell it like it is, and they'd point the the "we" language as a major plus.  Here is the video....  The media (except for Bruce Miles) and the Cubs (Hendry in particular) reacted quickly and extremely negatively after the comments.

Was Miles the one who wrote that during his entire comment Zambrano was staring in the direction of Marmol's locker?  Whoever wrote that should be fired.  Seriously.  Zambrano did nothing of the sort on the video, and most of the time appeared be be looking directly at the reporter who asked the question.  Crap like that simply should not be accepted in reporters or columnists.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 12:57:15 pm
Why is this crap coming from Brenly, Zambrano, Miles or anyone else.  The guy who's losing money out the yazoo, TR, should be the one sounding off.  And Hendry should also be up front, but he's probably too embarrassed to try and justify the mess he's made.

All I hear is crap to cya from Hendry.  Ah, I didn't want to sign Soriano, the Trib made me.  I didn't want to sign Bradley, Lou wanted him.  Ah, I didn't want to trade Lilly instead of getting picks, TR made me.  You know, Jimbo, if you are being micro-managed that much, have the balls to quit.  Sheesh.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 01:01:09 pm
Curt, people in the press may have claimed them, but I don't think Hendry has said any of those things.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 06, 2011, 01:02:39 pm
Why is this crap coming from Brenly, Zambrano, Miles or anyone else.  The guy who's losing money out the yazoo, TR, should be the one sounding off.  And Hendry should also be up front, but he's probably too embarrassed to try and justify the mess he's made.

All I hear is crap to cya from Hendry.  Ah, I didn't want to sign Soriano, the Trib made me.  I didn't want to sign Bradley, Lou wanted him.  Ah, I didn't want to trade Lilly instead of getting picks, TR made me.  You know, Jimbo, if you are being micro-managed that much, have the balls to quit.  Sheesh.

Hendry has already commented on Zambrano's statements - he did so right away.  And I've never ever heard Hendry say anything like that other stuff.  There's plenty to criticize Hendry for without making stuff up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 01:08:39 pm
 Ken Rosenthal

 
The Cubs are bad and getting worse.

 
About a month ago, I argued that the team should retain general manager Jim Hendry, who is in the last year of his contract. I can’t see it happening now.

 
 
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chicago-cubs-mess-just-getting-worse-ken-rosenthal-notes-analysis-060611
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 01:18:27 pm
Hendry has already commented on Zambrano's statements - he did so right away.  And I've never ever heard Hendry say anything like that other stuff.  There's plenty to criticize Hendry for without making stuff up.

But making things up is so much more fun.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 01:23:57 pm
But what he did to Marmol had nothing to do with the team's play or season. He called Marmol out with a nonsensical attack because he's bent out of shape that Marmol had blown Zambrano's previous two games in the 9th. The first thing he said was about Marmol. The rest of the rant followed simply as an addendum.

No.  The FIRST thing he said was that the Cubs played like a Triple A team.

And how often have folks here complained that Marmol often falls in love with his slider, despite his utter inability to control where it is going, and that he should more often use his fastball, which he can control better and is still pretty much unhittable for most batters?  Facing someone who can't hit a decent fastball, it would seem Marmol should have thrown another fastball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 01:31:18 pm
My bad...those are things being tossed around.  I have no idea whether Hendry is encouraging them or not.  I was wrong to attribute them directly to him.  I was trying to point out that the pro-Hendry forces seem to be mobilizing to cover for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 01:33:09 pm
Quote
No.  The FIRST thing he said was that the Cubs played like a Triple A team.

Nope. First thing he said was "the problem wasn't Pujols. The problem was the previous at-bat."

Facing someone who can't hit a decent fastball, it would seem Marmol should have thrown another fastball.

Well, of course it does. Marmol should've thrown something other than what he throws 70% of the time and what has made him a good closer. Especially since the slider is his strikeout pitch and the count was 1-2.

And of course all pitchers should be publicly opining on what specific pitches they think their closers cost them a win with. It's SOP.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 06, 2011, 02:13:51 pm
I'm with Brenly on this one.  It's time somebody quit the happy talk and called this stinking ballclub what it is. 

I just hope Ricketts and Hendry are paying attention.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 06, 2011, 02:58:31 pm
A lot of posters are really facing a difficult choice right now.  They have to decide who they hate more, Zambrano or the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 03:09:58 pm
My bad...those are things being tossed around.  I have no idea whether Hendry is encouraging them or not.  I was wrong to attribute them directly to him.  I was trying to point out that the pro-Hendry forces seem to be mobilizing to cover for him.

Want to apologize again for attributing all those to Hendry.  Thanks for the catch.  It's my paranoia.  When I hear those things popping up on rumor boards and on mlb talk stations like ESPN and Cowherd, I go...now who would know that and what's the point of bringing it up now.  So, I'll remain suspicious, but, yes, nothing is proven.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 06, 2011, 03:19:11 pm
This is exactly the type of situation that should be handled in the locker room. 

No media, no coaches, just players.

Veteran leadership can be overrated in baseball, but as much approval as there has been from the fans over Zambrano (of all people) speaking out, I think this incident has really highlighted the lack of leadership there is on this team.

Are there any veterans on this team who could call a players only meeting with credibility?  Basically the only ones I can think of who could do it are Kerry Wood (your 7th or 8th inning reliever), Marlon Byrd (with a fractured face and a .765 OPS), and Ryan Dempster (with a 6.32 ERA).  Matt Garza might have some leadership qualities, but he's only been with the team for a little over two months.  Maybe Kosuke, but with the language differences, maybe not.

Other than those guys, there really isn't anybody on the team with any leadership credentials.  Soriano and Ramirez are two guys whose salaries and spots in the lineup ought to make them leaders, but as lazy and as disinterested as they play, they obviously aren't.  Zambrano obviously isn't a leader (and I still agree with Deeg, this guy gave up his rights to speak out with credibility a long time ago, even if as fans we agree with what he's saying).  Castro's been a leader in the minors, but he's obviously too young and too erratic at this point.  Everyone else is either a spare part or hasn't been in the league long enough to speak out.

If Derrek Lee was still on the team, we'd probably have a players only meeting by now, but this team no longer really has anyone like him who could do it. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 06, 2011, 03:28:05 pm
Pretty much if Carlos Zambrano is your team's main source of veteran leadership and smart knowledgeable fans can reasonably argue he has the most rights of anyone to speak out about the performance of the team and approve of him doing so, then your team is suffering from a serious serious lack of leadership.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 03:28:23 pm
Think of everything Kosuke's witnessed on this team and in the majors.  Compare it to Ichiro's experience.  Kosuke has got to go back to Japan with stories that will scare many a player from even considering the Cubs in the future.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on June 06, 2011, 03:31:13 pm
I don't think the method or timing of delivery was the greatest but I agree with Zambrano on this one. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 03:31:29 pm
Serious question:

Can those who think there should be a team meeting explain what they believe that will accomplish? It certainly isn't going to improve the talent level.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on June 06, 2011, 03:35:15 pm
Team meetings are stupid.  They pretty much never work.  I always know when I hear of a team meeting that that team just sucks. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 03:40:22 pm
Serious question:

Can those who think there should be a team meeting explain what they believe that will accomplish? It certainly isn't going to improve the talent level.

We will magically play gooder and win the World Serious!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 06, 2011, 03:43:17 pm
Serious question:

Can those who think there should be a team meeting explain what they believe that will accomplish? It certainly isn't going to improve the talent level.

Oh I don't give a damn if they call one or not.  Like you said, it won't do any good.

I was just wondering if this team really has any true veteran leaders on it.  Do we have someone who could call a meeting if they thought it would do any good?  I don't see anybody.  Heck, Carlos Zambrano might be this team's greatest veteran leadership presence.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 03:45:24 pm
We will magically play gooder and win the World Serious!

Damn. Why weren't there any team meetings decades ago?  >:(
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 03:46:36 pm
We will magically play gooder and win the World Serious!

Damn. Why weren't there any team meetings decades ago?  >:(

We had no team leaders then either!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 06, 2011, 03:50:02 pm
I'm with Brenly on this one.  It's time somebody quit the happy talk and called this stinking ballclub what it is. 

I just hope Ricketts and Hendry are paying attention.
I agree, clark.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 03:57:43 pm
Okay, another weird thought that goes through my mind...is Brenly trying to get fired?  Is he weary of watching this crap day after day like us and trying to stay positive about it because of some dictate from on high?  Is he thinking, if I can get out of here, maybe my son will be given a shot with another team...cuz I sure don't want him playing for this one.  I doubt he wants to be manager.  And like Stone and Caray, he's going to be on the players' wrong side real quick.  We know how that turned out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 03:58:37 pm
oh oh, another thought...what if it's struck Brenly that if he wants to manage again, he's better off free and available than in a broadcast booth?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 06, 2011, 04:00:32 pm
Well, the key words in Brenly's comments are, "This is another dead-ass team."

Meaning we've all seen this movie before and no one is taking steps to change the ending.

That seems, to me, to be a strong criticism of Jim Hendry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 06, 2011, 04:01:46 pm
Ladies and Gentleman, your Chicago Cubs - Darwin Barney is your biggest bright spot and Carlos Zambrano is your team leader.  Thank you, Tom & Jim - why anyone is advocating change is beyond me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 04:03:13 pm
Bruce Miles:

Quote
UPDATE: My ear-to-the-ground research indicates that field manager Mike Quade will handle/address the Z situation in Cincinnati later today and that no suspension for Big Z is in the cards. That's a good thing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 04:04:00 pm
Brenly's probably miffed that the guy he spent the weekend ripping got the tying hit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 04:04:06 pm
Darwin Barney is your biggest bright spot

The way things are going, we've got about another week until that storyline changes.  He's getting alarmingly close to 2005 Neifi Perez  territory.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 06, 2011, 04:04:28 pm
Well, the key words in Brenly's comments are, "This is another dead-ass team."

Meaning we've all seen this movie before and no one is taking steps to change the ending.

That seems, to me, to be a strong criticism of Jim Hendry.
Maybe Brenly would like to replace Hendry as GM?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: guest118 on June 06, 2011, 04:05:13 pm
Amen to Bob Brenly. He speaks the truth. This team is a complete mess, top to bottom!!!! It's the worst I have seen and I saw the late 1970's teams.

Big Z spoke the truth. You have to love it!!!! He pitches 7 strong innings and then, of coure his teammates blow it again.

Has Quade been fired yet?????? Didn't he learn ANYTHING fro mthe day before???? Pitch around Poo-holes dummy. Oh yeah, this is AAA.

How does Hendry still have a job???

Stick it to the Ricketts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 04:07:28 pm
As expected, the Cubs made room for Matt Garza by optioning Scott Maine to Iowa.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 06, 2011, 04:08:56 pm
Marmol doesn't seem to have a problem with Z:

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cubs/cbsports-latest-zambrano-incident-could-blow-over-20110606,0,7898284.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 04:10:50 pm
Pitch around Poo-holes dummy.

I've read this several times today, and I have to say this is possibly the most ridiculous criticism of a manager I've ever seen.  So you're arguing to put the winning run on first base for free with no outs in the 10th inning?  That's just stupid, no matter who the hitter is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 04:12:26 pm
The hint that they're losing patience is your ticket is Amtrak rather than United.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 04:13:58 pm
Remember the Maine.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 06, 2011, 04:16:30 pm
Remember the Maine.
How long before you can say "Tippecanoe and Tyler Colvin too"?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 04:16:52 pm
Marmol's a classy kid. Zambrano could learn something from him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on June 06, 2011, 05:26:10 pm
Marmol sucks. Overrated closer.  Matter of fact, they all suck. I hope Z beats them all into next month, including Quade and Ricketts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 06, 2011, 05:31:28 pm
The way things are going, we've got about another week until that storyline changes.  He's getting alarmingly close to 2005 Neifi Perez  territory.

But didn't Neifi save us in 2005?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 05:32:02 pm
I've read this several times today, and I have to say this is possibly the most ridiculous criticism of a manager I've ever seen.  So you're arguing to put the winning run on first base for free with no outs in the 10th inning?  That's just stupid, no matter who the hitter is.

Consider the source.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 06, 2011, 07:17:50 pm
But didn't Neifi save us in 2005?

I thought that was 2004.

Which is like saying that the iceberg saved the Titanic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 07:19:42 pm
Zambrano apologized to Marmol. Strange.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Akrp8oKJY1eKxEyrmrmVPPwRvLYF?slug=ap-cubs-zambrano
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 06, 2011, 07:21:38 pm
“It’s not over yet. Believe me guys, it’s not over for the Cubs.”

Evidently he's been talking to TR.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 06, 2011, 07:22:44 pm
Why is that strange?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 07:27:41 pm
I keep hearing he did nothing wrong. What's there to apologize for?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 06, 2011, 07:27:50 pm
http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6629129
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 07:30:45 pm
I keep hearing he did nothing wrong. What's there to apologize for?

To satisfy ijits like you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 06, 2011, 07:33:14 pm
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano went ballistic on the team, and particularly teammate Carlos Marmol, after another crushing loss resulted in a St. Louis Cardinals' sweep on Sunday

Is "ballistic" really the word Levine is looking for?  Levine was standing right there...nothing Zambrano did amounted to "going ballistic" on the team or Marmol.  He calmly made some frustrated comments, most of which were indisputably true.  Maybe you don't like how Zambrano handled it, but Levine is really overstating what happened.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 07:33:39 pm
http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6629129

The first paragraph reads:  "ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano went ballistic on the team, and particularly teammate Carlos Marmol, after another crushing loss resulted in a St. Louis Cardinals' sweep on Sunday."

Went "ballistic"?

The video showed a perfectly calm Zambrano.  Not happy, but calm.  His comments were anything but "ballistic."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 06, 2011, 07:35:55 pm
not ballistic,p-i-s-s-ed to an extreme, nowhere gatorade machine destroying ballistic >:(
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 07:51:49 pm
To satisfy ijits like you.

Says the guy who has already been corrected today on one easily verifiable fact and could've been on a second if it weren't so tedious talking to you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 06, 2011, 08:32:51 pm
Tyler Colvin is batting .088.

He isn't even half the player Koyie Hill is.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 08:50:10 pm
Chris, I don't know what error you are talking about correcting, but there is a major difference between making mistakes, and being an idiot.

It is idiotic to be upset with Zambrano's comments or to demand an apology.  That is not a mistake about a matter of fact, but is simply idiotic.  What he said was not only reasonable, it was needed.  Chastizing him for it, and demanding an apology for pointing out the team's poor play, which it appears likely Hendry/Quade insisted on, is to essentially bless the poor play and to condemn those who point it out.

Zambrano did not call out any individual, and, as I said earlier, it is even likely the pitch call came from Quade, but criticized the entire team, and by using "We," he included himself in the criticism.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 09:31:34 pm
It is idiotic to be upset with Zambrano's comments or to demand an apology.

That is your ironically idiotic opinion. Your description of what actually occurred is also an opinion, one that is also not particularly steeped in reality. In fact, I can't  believe you had the courage to type the sentence Zambrano did not call out any individual though I'm sure you could parse it such a way as to actually convince yourself of it.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 06, 2011, 09:50:47 pm
Chris, the only thing which was even arguably critical of Marmol was Zambrano's criticism of the pitch call.  As I pointed out, Quade earlier in the game had been calling pitches from the dugout, and in one sequence called either two or three consecutive pickoff attempts when Marshall was pitching, and if Quade was not calling the pitches to Theriot, the next most likely person to have called the pitch was Hill, still not Marmol.

You don't like Zambrano.  I don't think that is nothing new, but it might make sense to have your criticism of him grounded in reality.  I believe you were the one who earlier imagined what Zambrano would have done if things had been different.... and then quite seriously criticized him for that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 06, 2011, 09:54:43 pm
I'm not a fan of Zambrano, but I could care less about this.  This team blows, we all know it ... who cares.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 06, 2011, 10:06:30 pm
All that's left for this year is for GM Hendry to send twit pics of his beer gut to a few Northwestern chicks.

Make it so.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 06, 2011, 10:46:09 pm
the only thing which was even arguably critical of Marmol was Zambrano's criticism of the pitch call.

Arguably? He whined that "we have to be smarter" while talking about the supposed mistake of Marmol throwing a slider on 1-2. Zambrano was selfishly venting because he had his win blown for the second straight time. As for pitch calls, Marmol shook off Hill before the slider so he was obviously calling his own pitches.

You don't like Zambrano.

You don't know what you're talking about which means speaking for others isn't a very good idea.

I believe you were the one who earlier imagined what Zambrano would have done if things had been different.... and then quite seriously criticized him for that.

No, you were wrong about that too which I pointed out at the time.

That's at least four things you have gotten wrong, plus assertions such as Zambrano didn't personally call anyone out. Quite a day's work.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 07, 2011, 08:37:31 am
All that's left for this year is for GM Hendry to send twit pics of his beer gut to a few Northwestern chicks.

Make it so.

If he did, TR would just claim Jimbo's gut was injured and everything would be just fine.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 07, 2011, 03:23:31 pm

I believe you were the one who earlier imagined what Zambrano would have done if things had been different.... and then quite seriously criticized him for that.

No, you were wrong about that too which I pointed out at the time.

Chris, here is the post of yours about which you say I was wrong --

Again, if it isn't his wins lost by Marmol, he doesn't say anything about the team or throw Marmol under the bus.

So you are right that you did not criticize Zambrano for what you imagined him to have done, but you DID base your criticism in part on what you imagined he would NOT have done.  Distinction without much of a difference.

You don't like Zambrano.

You don't know what you're talking about which means speaking for others isn't a very good idea.

Regardless how good or bad an idea it might be, I notice you do not deny what I wrote.... which would be kind of hard, considering....

This was a selfish act by a notoriously selfish player.

Anyone who has followed Zambrano's antics for years knows plenty about him.

That's pathetic and indicative of a selfish person.

This is nothing more than Zambrano selfishly complaining because he had another personal victory taken away.  And it's not close to the first time he has put himself ahead of his teammates.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 07, 2011, 03:36:30 pm
but you DID base your criticism in part on what you imagined he would NOT have done.

Incorrect yet again. As I've said three times now, I criticized him for what he did. Period. If you think it was a coincidence that Zambrano personally slammed Marmol after Marmol had just blown a second straight win for him, I've got property in the Caymans to sell to you.

I notice you do not deny what I wrote....

Making it clear that you don't know what you're talking about constitutes denial of your assertions.

And if you think that calling Zambrano selfish, something he has shown himself to be repeatedly, is proof of hatred then Carlos must have millions of haters out there.

Your attempt at giving me an agenda in order to explain my opinion failed.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 07, 2011, 03:58:02 pm
It's a moot point since his option would vest if traded...but Ramirez will not waive his no trade clause:

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/07/agent-says-aramis-ramirez-wont-waive-no-trade-clause-to-leave-cubs/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 07, 2011, 04:11:57 pm
It's a moot point since his option would vest if traded...but Ramirez will not waive his no trade clause:

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/07/agent-says-aramis-ramirez-wont-waive-no-trade-clause-to-leave-cubs/

Then maybe the Cubs should just waive him.  Does his option vest if he's claimed off waivers?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 07, 2011, 04:41:44 pm
I'll be cheering for Angel Guzman, but sooner or later, its unfortunate, but he's going to get hurt again.  There's just too much Chad Fox in Angel Guzman.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 07, 2011, 05:54:23 pm
Then maybe the Cubs should just waive him.  Does his option vest if he's claimed off waivers?

Not sure, but his NTC allows him to refuse to join his new team and still be paid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 07, 2011, 09:25:20 pm
On pace now for a 63-99 season... and that is without a commitment to rebuilding.

Gotta love having the goal of "being competitive."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on June 07, 2011, 11:14:04 pm
LOL!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Keysbear on June 07, 2011, 11:15:50 pm
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/powerRankings

dead last in the power rankings
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 08, 2011, 12:28:36 am
Alfonso Soriano, Reed Johnson, and Jeff Baker are getting ready to rehab with Iowa.  There is supposed to be a story in the Des Moines Register but their link doesn't work.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 08, 2011, 12:43:45 am
Alfonso Soriano, Reed Johnson, and Jeff Baker are getting ready to rehab with Iowa.  There is supposed to be a story in the Des Moines Register but their link doesn't work.
Works now

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110607/SPORTS1402/110607039/1003/ (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110607/SPORTS1402/110607039/1003/)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 08, 2011, 08:36:36 am
 Doesn't this conflict with what we've heard in the past?

 
Around Town Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan
7:04 p.m. CDT, June 7, 2011


Although the Cubs may consider a youth movement if their struggles continue, Aramis Ramirez's agent tells us the veteran third baseman isn't inclined to waive his no-trade clause.

Ramirez is in the final year of a five-year, $75 million contract, making $14.6 million this year. The Cubs hold the option in 2012 for $15 million.

Agent Paul Kinzer, who also represents Sox outfielder Alex Rios, told us Tuesday that Ramirez hopes to play for the Cubs again in 2012.

"He doesn't even want to take a trade. He took less years and less money to stay in Chicago (in 2006), so that is definitely his first option," Kinzer said via phone from Florida.

Asked if he has had discussions with Cubs management regarding Ramirez, Kinzer replied: "No, they've got other problems right now."

The Cubs must pay Ramirez a $2 million buyout if they do not pick up that 2012 option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 08, 2011, 08:40:05 am
No, that's correct.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 08, 2011, 08:42:18 am
No, that's something that's been discussed before.  When Ramirez picked up his player option for this season, that gave us a player option for 2012 if we wanted to pick it up.  Ramirez also has the right to void the 2012 club option, but he would be forfeiting his $2 million buyout.

I'd say it's highly doubtful we'll be picking that team option up.

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/chicago-cubs_112114177768677294.html (http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/chicago-cubs_112114177768677294.html)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 08, 2011, 08:45:06 am
Quote from a scout from BP's John Perrotto:

Quote
Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano: "I don't know why some people were so shocked about him saying the Cubs were a Triple-A team. If we're going to be brutally honest, he's right. The Cubs are awful. Secondly, he's always been a guy who has spoken his mind and, anger management classes aside, everyone should have known it was only a matter of time before he'd have enough and do something."
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 08, 2011, 08:53:49 am
 Bruce Miles does not paint a very rosy picture in this column.

 
The Cubs have a record of 23-36. At this pace, they would finish 63-99.

And that does not consider the 10-10 start.  Included is what I'd have to consider as a crack at Jim Hendry.

 
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110607/sports/706079737
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 08, 2011, 09:01:40 am
 Manager Mike Quade is happy to give Marmol a couple of nights off, as he faced 11 hitters in the extra-inning losses Saturday and Sunday in St. Louis, throwing 27 pitches each. But Quade doesn't want Marmol to spend too much time mulling over the sloppy slider Ryan Theriot hit to tie Sunday's game.

 
"You want to pitch him as soon as he's feeling good but you hate to use him in a non-save situation because you could need him three days in a row.''

Quade needs a good therapist.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: AZSteve on June 08, 2011, 09:12:43 am
 Regarding Quade, it is possible doesn't have what it takes to shake up the "country club" mentality of the vets on this team,they love the money,hate the work.The young guys on this team are getting exposed, daily, to the poor veteran leadership(if any).
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 08, 2011, 09:37:50 am
Steve Clevenger just turned 25.  Ryan Flaherty will turn 25 next month.

They are both hitting a ton.

Koyie Hill and Brad Snyder are on the big league team.

Why aren't Clevenger and Flaherty up?

That, of course, is a rhetorical question.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 08, 2011, 09:46:58 am
Because we're in the production business?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 08, 2011, 09:55:31 am
The only hope is that while Clevenger and Flaherty are both hitting well, management believes both have something to learn which they can learn better, perhaps more quickly, and perhaps without the concern about failure and loss of confidence that might come in the majors, and that the decision to leave them in the minors right now is in fact part of a reasoned approach to rebuilding.

Not that I believe the reason they are still in the minors is the result of anything other than a bad decision, but there is always a hope....

This season is lost.  It was lost long before it began.  It should have been dedicated to rebuilding with no concern about the W/L record, with that in mind from the very start of the season.

Though starting that approach now would delay the time when the team develops a strong nucleus, it is never too late.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 08, 2011, 11:32:35 am
Facing Halladay, Lee, and Oswalt this weekend.  Given the Cubs' fear of the walk, will we even see the Phillies bullpen after tomorrow?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 08, 2011, 12:07:05 pm
Why is LeMahieu riding the pines in Chicago? Send him to AAA and call up Bobby Scales. We're going to need a new 3B next year, so LeMahieu needs to play every day. Scales isn't one of the contenders for the 2012 job, but LM is. Colvin needs to go back to Iowa to play 1B. Vitters should be moved permanently to 1B and Flahrety installed at 3B for Tennessee.

We have a vast stockpile of AAA and AAAA players. Using them instead of our real prospects won't help or hurt much this year, but might help in 2012.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 08, 2011, 12:54:37 pm
Why is LeMahieu riding the pines in Chicago? Send him to AAA and call up Bobby Scales. We're going to need a new 3B next year, so LeMahieu needs to play every day. Scales isn't one of the contenders for the 2012 job, but LM is. Colvin needs to go back to Iowa to play 1B. Vitters should be moved permanently to 1B and Flahrety installed at 3B for Tennessee.

We have a vast stockpile of AAA and AAAA players. Using them instead of our real prospects won't help or hurt much this year, but might help in 2012.

I also would like the Cubs to do whatever they can to figure out if they have a 3B in the system to replace Ramirez next year. I was glad to see that Flaherty has been playing 3B, and seems likely to be a better bet than LeMahieu - if he can handle it. 

I think sending Colvin down to play 1B is an interesting notion as well.   Seems like he's made some nice plays when he has played 1B, and it would be good for him to just get as many ABs this year as possible to see if he can bounce back (but not at the major league level, where his confidence is probably being deteriorated even further). 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 08, 2011, 01:01:56 pm
Sad Fact of the Day:

The Cubs have not won three games in a row all season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 08, 2011, 02:42:56 pm
I also would like the Cubs to do whatever they can to figure out if they have a 3B in the system to replace Ramirez next year. I was glad to see that Flaherty has been playing 3B, and seems likely to be a better bet than LeMahieu - if he can handle it. 
....

Flaherty has appeared in only 3 games this season at 3B.  He'd appeared there once during the first month.  Sp during the ten days that Lemahieu hasn't been on the team, they've used Flaherty at 3B only twice. 

It doesn't appear that Fleita views Flaherty as a real factor in the 3B scene. 

I think one 3B option is Aramis Ramirez.  The Cubs aren't going to pay him $16.  But that doesn't mean that Hendry might not be willing to do a renegotiated $7 mill deal. 

Imagine (this is just off the top of my head):  $12/2 contract, Cubs with option the 2nd year, $2 buyout.  Essentially Hendry would have a short-term roster-fill veteran for 3B while Lemahieu or Flaherty or Vitters or whomever have opportunity to prove they are actually ready.  A deal like that would cost Hendry only $4 for next year (pay $6 for Aram to play or pay $2 to make him go away), so he might think it was a better value deal than any other one-year contract guys available, and Aram would cost no draft picks or prospects.  And quiet low-key Aram wouldn't need to move to a new home.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 08, 2011, 06:52:30 pm
Phil Rogers speculates that Hendry's days as GM are numbered.  He also suggests a couple GMs that wouldn't be better: Allard Baird and Ned Colletti.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0609-cubs-reds-chicago--20110608,0,4670099.column (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0609-cubs-reds-chicago--20110608,0,4670099.column)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 08, 2011, 06:58:10 pm
Phil Rogers speculates that Hendry's days as GM are numbered.

Phil Rogers is wrong.  Very, very wrong.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 08, 2011, 06:58:30 pm
Ned Colletti?

Allard Baird?

Those are two terrible suggestions.

The Bruce Miles plan of choosing a club president who then chooses a GM is far superior speculation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 08, 2011, 07:02:22 pm
As Rogers notes, Hendry is in Arizona for the draft.  Tom Ricketts is probably the type of guy who would want to do the firing in person and is only waiting for Hendry's return.   ???   ???
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 08, 2011, 07:04:20 pm
Crane Kenney is in Chicago, though.

Can his ass now.

Why wait?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 08, 2011, 07:55:39 pm
Phil Rogers is wrong.  Very, very wrong.
It might be a very high number.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 08, 2011, 09:34:53 pm
I think one 3B option is Aramis Ramirez.  The Cubs aren't going to pay him $16.  But that doesn't mean that Hendry might not be willing to do a renegotiated $7 mill deal. 

Wouldn't be at all surprising.  Would be foolish, but not at all surprising.  The team needs to rebuild, and if Vitters or DJ or others are not ready to show their stuff in the majors, or lack the makeup to allow real learning there, put Bobby Scales there, or some other version of Bobby Scales.  There is no reason to put ARam out there in 2012, even if he will take one year at $6M.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 08, 2011, 11:54:11 pm
I think there is zero chance that the Cubs bring back Ramirez next year at any price.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 09, 2011, 12:08:14 am
If Hendry is back, Ramirez will be back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 09, 2011, 07:51:41 am
Despite many here arguing that Hendry gets too emotionally attached to certain players, he appeared to have no trouble cutting ties with Wood a couple of years ago.  I can't imagine that he is closer to ARam than he was to WOod.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 09, 2011, 09:12:24 am
Chicago Tribune Poll

  How much do you blame GM Jim Hendry for the Cubs' problems?
  2622 total responses
(Results not scientific)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 09, 2011, 09:29:49 am
Crane Kenney is in Chicago, though. ..

What baseball-performance role does a team president really have?  I honestly don't know. 

My assumption all along is that the president has two and only two baseball-influencing roles:
1.  I assume he hires the GM once and then disappears.  The GM makes all the baseball decisions and all the hirings of baseball-related management and players. 
2.  The president spends the rest of his time on business-type stuff.  If he's creatively producing revenue, that can help the baseball budgets.  But otherwise how many beany-baby days or decisions about signage or ticket prices, that's not important to the team.  Other than enabling bigger budget or forcing smaller budgets. 

So to me, Kenney might be a dope, but Hendry was GM before Kenney.  So I don't see how Kenney has made one bit of difference for good or bad in terms of how the Cubs stand. 

Am I wrong? 

If the GM is really the guy overseeing all the baseball decisions, and hiring the people who coach and draft and develop and all that, the GM is the guy.  But what difference does it make who's pres? 

Or is the idea simply that they need to hire a fabulous president simply because that's the only way that the next GM can be any good? 

Or is it the case that in some organizations where there is a baseball-oriented president, for example one who had been a GM before, that he might take some of the baseball decision-making away from the GM?  He might be hiring the draft director or the farm boss, he might be setting procurement and development budgets, stuff like that? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 09, 2011, 09:38:26 am
One thing that might discourage a team president like Schuerholz (or anyone else who is going to be close to the commissioner and asked to serve on committees) is this...from one of Keith Law's mock drafts about the Braves:

One thing you can take to the bank is Atlanta sticking to slot, with team president John Schuerholz sitting at the head of MLB's draft reform committee.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 09, 2011, 10:11:03 am
Basically you need your president to be smart enough to pick the best GM from the group of candidates your headhunter organization presents.  Perhaps a baseball insider president would have more connections in the industry to know who the hot candidates are, but I'm sure whatever search firms handle most of the recruiting for GM's in baseball are also pretty well aware of who's up and coming.

I'm not sure why someone would necessarily have to be a baseball insider to be a good judge of a prospective new GM. You basically need to know what you're looking for in a GM and be a good judge of people.  While Ricketts has kept an old school guy like Hendry on since becoming the owner, he's expressed a lot of appreciation for advanced statistics and has emphasized scouting and development as being important to the success of a team.  Ricketts sounds to me like a guy who knows what he would want in a new GM.  Just hopefully he's a good enough judge of people to select the person who will carry out what he wants in a GM.

Now maybe Kenney doesn't have all of those qualities and may not be as defined in what he wants in a GM as Ricketts, but I have to figure hiring a GM isn't going to totally be 100% Kenney's call either.  It may not even be much of his call at all.  He may be the one selecting a headhunting firm, initiating the search, presenting Ricketts the list of GM prospects he and the headhunting firm view as the most promising, and handling contract negotiations once the new GM has been decided upon, but you have to believe Ricketts is probably going to make the final call on an important hire like this.   

By the way, there are probably quite a few downsides to hiring an ex-GM as President as well.  Like with Schuerholz, he might push for some of his old Braves assistants ahead of more qualified candidates.  He may not be good at running the finanical side of the organization.  He may not care to schmooze with a bunch of Chicago politicians or Wrigleyville neighborhood leaders to get projects done to make Wrigley Field more of a moneymaker. 

I think the whole idea of hiring a baseball guy as president might be pretty overrated honestly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 09, 2011, 10:19:47 am
It depends entirely on the organizational structure and what role the owner assigns to (or allows for) each position.  But if the team president is responsible for hiring the GM, he also is, presumably, responsible for firing the GM, or deciding not to fire the GM, meaning the fact that Kenney did not hire Hendry would not really be relevant in determining whether Kenney has any responsibility in whether Hendry remains.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 09, 2011, 10:22:08 am
Here is a list of team presidents of some successful organizations in baseball.  I'm not sure I see many people who were "baseball" insiders in their previous endeavors on this list.

Yankees - Randy Levine, Esq.   
Red Sox - Larry Lucchino
Rays - Matt Silverman
Angels - John Carpino
Philadelphia - David Montgomery
St. Louis - William O. DeWitt III
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 09, 2011, 10:26:33 am
Folks, this discussion is irrelevant.  Hendry isn't going anywhere.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 09, 2011, 11:50:38 am
When Kenney was brought on board, he loved to schmooze with the players. 

In my coaching days we used to call those guys jock sniffers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 09, 2011, 12:03:52 pm
My understanding is that in most cases, the President is rather irrelevant to the day to day operations, including signing free agents or trades.  (Steinbrenner was an exception).  He would usually have a veto power over major moves that affect long term financial situations (Soriano signing) or short term over-budget decisions (July trades that put you substantially over budget), but beyond that, his most powerful influence is hiring the GM, and secondly, determining or approving the size of the budget.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 09, 2011, 01:19:46 pm
And determining whether to keep or fire the GM?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 09, 2011, 01:21:43 pm
My understanding is that in most cases, the President is rather irrelevant to the day to day operations, including signing free agents or trades.  (Steinbrenner was an exception).  He would usually have a veto power over major moves that affect long term financial situations (Soriano signing) or short term over-budget decisions (July trades that put you substantially over budget), but beyond that, his most powerful influence is hiring the GM, and secondly, determining or approving the size of the budget.

And JR is suggesting that with an interested owner like Ricketts, that Ricketts himself might be heavily invested both in the budget determinations, the big-contract authorizations, and perhaps the GM hiring as well.  In which case, what does the pres do? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 09, 2011, 01:24:01 pm
And JR is suggesting that with an interested owner like Ricketts, that Ricketts himself might be heavily invested both in the budget determinations, the big-contract authorizations, and perhaps the GM hiring as well.  In which case, what does the pres do? 
That fits with the suggestion I made a couple days ago that Tom Ricketts may consider himself capable of performing the president's job and delegating everything else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 09, 2011, 01:25:07 pm
In which case, what does the pres do? 

Hold's Tom's hand and shows him the way to the little boy's room.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 09, 2011, 01:29:59 pm
I really think Rickets is in way over his head.

In the video I post a few days ago, of papa Rickets speaking to a group of folks about his sons affection for the Cubs and the "family decision" to buy the Cubs, it was described much along the following lines:

Tom Rickets fell in love with the Cubs when he was in college, cutting classes and attending games at Wrigley, never really had done much of anything on his own in the way of operating or managing anything, but when the Cubs were put on the market he approached pops, who apparently is the one who truly controls the family wealth, and talked him into buying the Cubs so Tommy would have something to do with his time.

Perhaps my perspective on the video was overly negative, but I was frankly pretty frightened by it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac6h2wczxGA&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jack Birdbath on June 09, 2011, 01:40:41 pm
I really think Rickets is in way over his head.

In the video I post a few days ago, of papa Rickets speaking to a group of folks about his sons affection for the Cubs and the "family decision" to buy the Cubs, it was described much along the following lines:

Tom Rickets fell in love with the Cubs when he was in college, cutting classes and attending games at Wrigley, never really had done much of anything on his own in the way of operating or managing anything, but when the Cubs were put on the market he approached pops, who apparently is the one who truly controls the family wealth, and talked him into buying the Cubs so Tommy would have something to do with his time.

Tom Ricketts founded and is the CEO if Incapital which is a fairly significant investment bank which has underwritten and distributed hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate bonds in the past 10 years.  I don't know what his  siblings have done but Tom Ricketts certainly has done plenty on his own.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 09, 2011, 02:17:30 pm
And JR is suggesting that with an interested owner like Ricketts, that Ricketts himself might be heavily invested both in the budget determinations, the big-contract authorizations, and perhaps the GM hiring as well.  In which case, what does the pres do? 
That fits with the suggestion I made a couple days ago that Tom Ricketts may consider himself capable of performing the president's job and delegating everything else.

No, I might be wrong, but I have my doubts a billionaire owner like Ricketts is all that interested in running the day to day business operations of the franchise and being his own president.  Sure he's interested in how his business is performing and wants it performing well, but for the most part, I think he'd rather enjoy being the owner of the team and leave things like accounting, finance, marketing, and other operational responsibilities for the most part up to his team president. 

And I think in terms of a GM search, yes he'll be interested in how it's conducted, and yes he'll have a significant say in the final result.  But the operations of conducting that search, like hiring a search firm and such, I think he'd rather leave to his president.

Here in my limited expertise of executive decision making by a baseball franchise is how I'd imagine a search for a new GM would go.

1.  Tom Ricketts and Crane Kenney discuss what kind of GM Ricketts wants to hire. 

(By now, I'm sure Kenney knows what kinds of things Ricketts wants in a GM, like someone with a statistical background and someone who emphasizes farm development.  He may even make it a point that he wants someone who will be comfortable retaining Tim Wilken and working with him.)

2.  Ricketts delegates to Kenney the task of selecting a search firm to recruit GM candidates. 
 
(Again like everything else with baseball operations, he's interested in the big picture of how well the team is performing, but in the day to day stuff like regular communications with a search firm, he leaves that up to Kenney.)

3.  Kenney selects a search firm and handles most of the daily back and forth with them.  Kenney is the one that makes it clear to the search firm what kind of GM they're looking for (years of experience, having statistical background, scouting and development background, willingness to work with Wilken, etc.).   

4.  Search firm meets with both Ricketts and Kenney to go over prospective GM candidates that meet their criteria.  Together they pick 4 or 5 guys they want to interview.   

5.  Ricketts and Kenney meet with the top 4-5 candidates.

6.  They both come to a decision, which by this point in the process will probably be one they're both on the same page with or at least will be mutually agreeable to both.  Ricketts obviously has the final call on this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 09, 2011, 02:44:22 pm
Craig - From what I have read, Ricketts seems to be filling what would be described Chief Executive Officer duties, while Kenny seems to be acting as Chief Operating Officer.  He seems to have turned business affairs over to Kenny, while reserving to himself the right to set overall policies, ie recruiting prospects over buying free agents, and the associated budgets thereof.

That is pretty much what I would expect of a reasonable owner.  I suspect he would also closely supervise the firing/hiring of the GM, as well as set the overall budget of the club.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 09, 2011, 02:50:22 pm
Agree, Dave.  Which is why I don't think the president makes much difference to the success of the Cubs in terms of W-L.  The pres might be involved and have at least some input in hiring/firing decisions regarding the GM, but that's about it. 

Other than trying to favorably influence things that involve club revenue, which of course trickles down into what the GM's baseball budget is allowed to be. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 09, 2011, 02:54:39 pm
Something tells me Kenney isn't going to fire Jim Hendry unless he gets the OK on it from Ricketts.

And I imagine if Ricketts wants a new GM, he's not going to care much about what Kenney thinks about it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 09, 2011, 03:19:19 pm
I agree, Craig.  I doubt that Kenny has any direct effect on the won-lost record of the Cubs.  Nor would a new president, unless he was given much more extensive responsibility than Kenny has been given.

JR - I agree that Kenny will not decide who is the GM next year, other than to give Ricketts advice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 09, 2011, 04:41:04 pm
If Kenney is the guy who set the ticket prices and asked the city and state to pay for rehabilitation of Wrigley Field in the midst of a recession, he ought to get fired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 09, 2011, 07:08:05 pm
Carrie Muskat:

Since coming off the disabled list on May 29, Geovany Soto is 4-for-26 with 10 Ks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Clarkaddison on June 09, 2011, 07:14:49 pm
Soto and Colvin both back way too soon. Panic moves.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 09, 2011, 07:17:17 pm
I think Colvin was a bad move.  They should have kept him in Iowa until his confidence was all the way back.

Soto . . . well it wasn't like he was playing very well before he went on the DL anyway.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 09, 2011, 07:18:10 pm
Why do I see Gary Scott whenever I watch Colvin?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 09, 2011, 07:22:06 pm
You shouldn't.

Tyler Colvin had a pretty productive year in 2010 and Gary Scott never came close to approaching productive for the Cubs.

Scott had a great Spring Training once and hit a grand slam after an incredible at-bat and that's about it as far as his usefulness.

At least the Cubs got 20+ homers from Colvin one year.

It's not his fault that they didn't sell high on him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 09, 2011, 07:40:26 pm
30. Chicago Cubs (24-36; Previous: 25) – So, eventually Hendry and Quade probably get fired, and you get the feeling it’ll be the equivalent of planting a fern in your backyard in order to stem global warming.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: ben on June 09, 2011, 11:53:08 pm
Jes, Hendry's record is Hendry's record.

I doubt mgmt ever told him to lose, whether in regular season (we've not won enough) or in playoffs (Hendry teams have NEVER won).   Whether mgmt told him to go on a spending spree or Hendry talked them into it is irrelevant.

If he couldn't persuade those he's reported to to do things better, oh well.   His record is HIS record....he's had a VERY LONG TIME to get things done...and he hasn't been real successful, in my opinion...certainly not in recent years, particularly given the tremendous budget he's had and largely squandered.

Hendry seems like a great guy, who is easy to root for, but he's gotta go...he should have been gone LONG ago!

I do agree that the transcript of Papa Ricketts is disturbing for those of us who continue to suffer through each lousy season.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 10, 2011, 06:37:39 am
ben, I don't recall writing that Hendry's record was not Hendry's record, though in 2003 his team did win, just not enough.  As to the relevance of management telling him to go on a spending spree, doesn't the relevance depend on the question?  I did not suggest that Hendry SHOULD be kept, just that I would not be at all surprised if he IS kept.

As to the transcript of Joe Ricketts' comments.... what happened to it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 10, 2011, 06:47:38 am
Strange.  The transcript was posted as post 1374... which is now a Cactus post of a Carrie Muscat comment, and the transcript I prepared of Joe Ricketts' comments is gone.  I am cutting and pasting it below:
*****************************

Quote
Quote from: Cletus on Today at 01:40:41 pm
Tom Ricketts founded and is the CEO if Incapital which is a fairly significant investment bank which has underwritten and distributed hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate bonds in the past 10 years.  I don't know what his  siblings have done but Tom Ricketts certainly has done plenty on his own.



From the video:
Five years ago my son Tom called he and he said, Dad, uh, the Tribune has just changed hands, they own the Cubs, and they're going to be selling the Cubs, so we ought to get ready to buy 'em.  And I said why would I want to buy a baseball team, or any sports team.  I'm not a fan.  I'm not a spectator.  I've got ADD -- I can't watch a whole game of anything for very long.  And he said, 'I'll tell you Dad, the sell every ticket, every game, win or lose," and I said, "Now you're talking about a business.  Now you got my interest." 

So, with Tom as our leader, we went down the road to buy the Cubs, and it was a long hard road, and if you did not looove the Cubs the way my son does, you would not have stayed the course.  It was a huge amount of work.  Of course as you know what happened to the economy, and what happened with all of them going bankrupt, all of that happened in those negotiations.  It was really, really a difficult time. 

And over the next few months he got down to the price where he wanted, but then my son Pete and I said, "Huh, we're done.  Tom, listen, we're not behind you any more.'  This was on a Friday afternoon.  'We're not behind you any more.  You either draw a line in the sand, and they come over and settle, and take this thing, or you have to give up, 'cause we're not going to do it.'   

Well, that forced Tom into saying, 'That's it.  We're done."  And so on Monday they said, "Okay, we'll accept your offer," and we moved on to closing, uh, which was again very difficult, because a lot of things came up that were not foreseen.  That was the most complicated transaction I've ever seen....  But we finally got it done. 

Tom's got his dream job -- he started his own business and he loves that business.  It's a bond business, unique it its market segment.... And so he loves it, and it's just starting to do well now.  He's been at it, oh, maybe ten or 15 years, but I said, 'Tom, listen, if you take my money, and you... buy this baseball team, you have to come over and run it, because I don't want to be exposed to risk.  I know what it's like to run a large business, which a baseball team is -- you have to eat, drink, think, sleep 24 hours a day your business.  You've got to come here and take care of that.  I don't want you distracted by your first love.' 

And he was reluctant, but he said he would do it.  So he's made arrangements for his second in command to take over as CEO, and he got some other people to come in and buy out some equity so he's going to have some money, to, ugh, so he's financially independent, and he's spending his full time with the Cubs....  He does tell me that, 'We've got the ingredients, Dad.  We've got the management and we've got the players, so we've got the ingredients to win a World Series, if we just concentrate on getting to the World Series every year, we'll win a World Series before too long.'


Now, what I take from that is that Hendry did exactly as the Trib wanted when he spent heavily after the 2006 season in order to make the team LOOK as if it was strong and to help dupe some idiot into paying more than the franchise was actually worth.  I also take from it that Tom Rickets, because he was so foolish as to sincerely believe that the Cubs had "the management and... the players... to win a World Series," was in over his head, and that he is running the show because his family insists that he run the show, despite the fact that he really doesn't know the show.  Pops is more concerned with having a family member in place to assure that no one is stealing any of the beans and presumably to assure that they are counted accurately than he is in having someone running the show who has a clue what he is doing.

I actually am more frightened by the video after transcribing it and allowing all of it to sink in than I was initially, because from the concerns his father voiced, I doubt that the family would accept having anyone other than a family member running the show, and because Tom Rickets seems like someone who may actually believe that trying to "be competitive" is all that is needed to fill the seats (since those foolish fans buy up all the tickets win or lose) and to believe that the only problem for this season is those unlucky injuries.... he might not even direct Hendry to make any serious effort to sell at the trading deadline, since it was just those injuries that are a problem this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 10, 2011, 09:55:15 am
 Wrigley is a dumpthat could be a bigger problem than expected for new Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, according to MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons.

 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-gammons-wrigley-dump-tying-ricketts-hands-20110610,0,701998.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 10, 2011, 11:02:27 am
It's been a dump for a long time.  Bulldoze the place and start over.  Play in soldier field for a year or 2.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 10, 2011, 04:05:14 pm
Quote
Now, what I take from that is that Hendry did exactly as the Trib wanted when he spent heavily after the 2006 season in order to make the team LOOK as if it was strong and to help dupe some idiot into paying more than the franchise was actually worth. 


This may well be true. 


I imagine that rolling up scads of bad long-term contracts that would be a millstone around the franchise during the new owner's term might not have been that great for sale, though.  There have been other franchises sold where it was usually assumed that the selling group would try to cut payroll to make it easier on the new owner and thus make the team more attractive. 


I suppose it also may be that Hendry was given money and encouraged to spent it to help the team, but that they didn't explicitly tell him to use it on bad contract and bad players?  He might have came up with that notion on his own? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 10, 2011, 04:37:09 pm
Fangraphs interview with Darwin Barney:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-darwin-barney/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 10, 2011, 08:41:11 pm
I imagine that rolling up scads of bad long-term contracts that would be a millstone around the franchise during the new owner's term might not have been that great for sale, though....

I suppose it also may be that Hendry was given money and encouraged to spent it to help the team, but that they didn't explicitly tell him to use it on bad contract and bad players?  He might have came up with that notion on his own? 

Watch the video of Joe Ricketts which I posted, or just read the transcript of it, which I also posted.  It is clear that Tom Ricketts was not bothered by those contracts, and in fact thought they were for "the right players."  The 2007 and 2008 seasons were window dressing.  And, yes, someone who followed the game a bit more closely than the Ricketts clan would have known that.... but the Ricketts clan did not.

As to the "bad players" part of your comment, they were not bad at the time.  The contracts were bad, but any time a team makes a major effort to produce a major improvement via the FA market, the later years are going to be painful.  As I recall, very few here complained about the approach or the contracts at the time, because so many wanted to win quickly.  We are suffering the consequences of that.

I understand that virtually anyone can pick any dozen moves Hendry made, or did not make, and assign blame and attribute the move to stupidity and blame him for the current mess, and there is no question that the mess is of his making, but the primary problem is far less how good or bad any individual moves might have been, but instead the natural consequences of the 2006-2007 spending spree as the team was going to get good fast.

I thought it was misguided then, because it seemed to me that the consequences we are now living with were quite likely, but my goal was to see the Cubs field a strong team for several years running, and and not to gussy up a pig to bring a better price at auction.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 11, 2011, 12:58:54 pm
Casey Coleman is back.

Brad Snyder has been designated for assignment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 11, 2011, 01:05:15 pm
I wonder if they're going to continue to start Coleman or if they're going to try him in a bullpen role.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 11, 2011, 01:07:36 pm
Brad Snyder has been designated for assignment.
Who are they making room for on the 40-man roster?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 11, 2011, 01:22:07 pm
Who are they making room for on the 40-man roster?

No one.  Snyder is out of options.  If he isn't on the 25-man roster, he can't be on the 40-man roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 11, 2011, 01:50:47 pm
A move like that makes one wonder if Matt Garza will make his next start.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 11, 2011, 02:03:01 pm
OR maybe I should check to see who's starting today's game before I post a comment.

Dumbass.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 11, 2011, 02:23:11 pm
OR maybe I should check to see who's starting today's game before I post a comment.

Dumbass.

Easy post to agree with.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 11, 2011, 02:54:11 pm
So they're going with a 13 man pitching staff?  Seems a little excessive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on June 11, 2011, 07:02:16 pm

Hilarious headline from Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

The starting pitching staff for the Cubs have the highest ERA in the majors and the lowest amount of quality starts. As an insurance policy to take some stress off the bullpen, the Cubs called Casey Coleman back up from the minors on Saturday.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 11, 2011, 08:26:31 pm
Wow, the Cubs aren't just losing; they are regularly getting killed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 11, 2011, 08:28:46 pm
Calm down, East, it's just the injuries.  We'll be fine.  Jimbo assured TR and TR passed it along to the rest of us.  Didn't you get the memo?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 11, 2011, 08:32:51 pm
Like Aram, I was too lazy to read it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 11, 2011, 08:39:44 pm
Yeah, to believe it, you'd have to take a dive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 12, 2011, 12:18:12 am
Apparently Reed Johnson was hit in the helmet in tonight's Iowa game.    He was taken to a hospital with a cut. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 12, 2011, 12:22:29 am
Des Moines Register story on Iowa's DH.  It doesn't add much about Reed Johnson

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110611/SPORTS1402/110611018/-1/LIFE04/Cubs-Johnson-sent-hospital-after-being-hit-by-pitch-rehab-start
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 12, 2011, 09:37:22 am
Apparently Reed Johnson was hit in the helmet in tonight's Iowa game.    He was taken to a hospital with a cut. 

You have to know major leaguers absolutely hate rehab assignments for this very reason.  They're facing minor leaguers who have no idea what they're doing.

Oh well.  I guess that means a couple of more weeks worth of Tyler Colvin in center.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 12, 2011, 11:30:22 am
Alfonso Soriano begins his rehab in Iowa this afternoon.

Jeff Baker will be in the lineup against Milwaukee Monday night.

Reed Johnson will be re-examined Monday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 12, 2011, 12:01:16 pm
Any chance Soriano will face the guy who beaned Johnson?

Any chance we could arrange for that?

Shouldn't Soriano have a prolonged rehab assignment?  Perhaps rehabbing his fielding, and pitch selection, and baserunning?  Those things have unquestionably been injured.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JBN on June 12, 2011, 05:28:40 pm
Kerry Wood going back home. To the DL that is.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6654544
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 12, 2011, 05:57:29 pm
The Twins have won 8 of 10 and are getting Mauer back soon.

The Astros may be the only thing standing between the Cubs and the #1 pick.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 12, 2011, 07:48:41 pm
So I walk into a room and the Cubs are batting in the 9th down one with two out.  And who is batting?  Koyie Hill!  Did I really see that?  Was the rest of the bench unavailable?  I know Soto was available because he batted next.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 12, 2011, 07:52:25 pm
It's our minor league manager going for the win instead of the tie, East.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 12, 2011, 07:54:18 pm
So I walk into a room and the Cubs are batting in the 9th down one with two out.  And who is batting?  Koyie Hill!  Did I really see that?  Was the rest of the bench unavailable?  I know Soto was available because he batted next.

Not only that, but when Koyie actually did get a hit, our manager brings in LeMahieu to pinch run for him!

So if our manager has such little confidence in LeMahieu that he'd rather have Koyie Hill hit instead of him, why is LeMahieu even still on this roster?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 12, 2011, 09:01:45 pm
To pinch run for Hill.  Sheesh, JR, the answer was right in front of you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 13, 2011, 12:23:41 am
Coolstandings.com gives the Cubs a .2% chance of winning the NL Central.   That's not 2%, it's 0.2

http://www.coolstandings.com/baseball_standings.asp?sn=2011 (http://www.coolstandings.com/baseball_standings.asp?sn=2011)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 13, 2011, 01:55:37 am
Jes - with your extensive understanding of math, I am sure you realize that it according to Coolstandings.com, the Cubs are odds on favorites to win the pennant.  But as a favor to you, I am willing to let you out of our bet for only 3 steak dinners.

Obviously, I need an answer quickly.  I can't let an offer like that to sit on the table for too long.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 13, 2011, 06:30:30 am
Coolstandings.com gives the Cubs a .2% chance of winning the NL Central.   That's not 2%, it's 0.2

http://www.coolstandings.com/baseball_standings.asp?sn=2011 (http://www.coolstandings.com/baseball_standings.asp?sn=2011)

They must be nuts.  How can they seriously give them ANY chance?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 13, 2011, 08:05:50 am
No kidding, JR!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 13, 2011, 09:36:54 am
Michigan Avenue

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/320766583.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1307976609&Signature=6ugjQgNE5VwJx9H5xEdQGdCPM%2FI%3D)

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/320780666.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1307976632&Signature=czhw5lgy05x8iBnvMJuFE7f3OuY%3D)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 13, 2011, 10:04:56 am
OPS:

Geovany Soto - .687
Koyie Hill - .656
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 13, 2011, 10:10:11 am
On pace for 63-99.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 13, 2011, 02:26:41 pm
Has there been any talk lately about how long it is going to take for Byrd to come back?  MLBTradeRumors has an post up right now about how the Phillies are looking for a RH outfielder.  I know the Braves would also like to add a RH hitting centerfielder, and have shown interest in Byrd in the past.  If he could come back and play well, maybe we could get a pretty good bidding war going between those two teams. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 13, 2011, 02:43:22 pm
Has there been any talk lately about how long it is going to take for Byrd to come back? 
According to The Byrd's Nest, it will be at least three weeks

http://marlonbyrd.mlblogs.com/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 13, 2011, 03:12:06 pm
The Cubs have made room for Jeff Baker by putting Kerry Wood on the DL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 13, 2011, 03:17:19 pm
That means Wood likely wasn't available Friday when everyone was upset Zambrano wasn't removed prior to the 7th.  Samardzija and Russell would then appear to have been the only alternatives with 2 innings to pitch to get to Marmol.

Actually, that assumes the Cubs come back from 3-0 down.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 13, 2011, 03:26:03 pm
I'd like to see Castro and Barney get a few more days off, since 2011 obviously isn't going to be the Cubs' year to win anything. But I suppose it may earn Q a few more weeks in the big leagues, and may help in the September push to finish behind the Astros.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 13, 2011, 03:42:40 pm
According to Moreland last night, Byrd hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the next few weeks.

A rather vague estimate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 13, 2011, 04:02:03 pm
That means Wood likely wasn't available Friday when everyone was upset Zambrano wasn't removed prior to the 7th.  Samardzija and Russell would then appear to have been the only alternatives with 2 innings to pitch to get to Marmol.

Actually, that assumes the Cubs come back from 3-0 down.

So saying "oh well" and throwing a good starter to the wolves (potentially risking his health in the process) is preferable to finding a way to get through 2 innings with Samardzija and Russell?

I am under no illusion that the Cubs would have had much of a chance to win that game if they'd pulled Zambrano.  If Samardzija/Russell had pitched well, Halladay stays in for at least the 8th inning, and the Cubs probably don't rally.  But whether they were able to pitch any better or not, it was clear Zambrano was done.  At some point, you have to take a chance with your relievers...and that point came long before Polanco hit the grand slam.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 13, 2011, 04:26:01 pm
Quote
and throwing a good starter to the wolves (potentially risking his health in the process)

How were they risking Zambrano's health? He's been used and abused far worse than that many times over the course of his career.

Quote
But whether they were able to pitch any better or not, it was clear Zambrano was done.

Not sure why you think that was clear. He had thrown 4 consecutive shutout innings. Why was he any more done in the 7th than in the 6th or 5th?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 13, 2011, 04:43:22 pm
br and Chris, did you hear Brenly and Kasper explaining the Z situation?  The Cubs have the lowest number of innings and average number of innings in the majors.  Quade's bullpen is shot.  It's overworked and overextended.  He is trying to squeeze one more inning out of each of the starters, but, basically, the starting staff's failure to go deep into games is killing us. (Among a dozen other things.) 

Brenly was defending the move, saying, sure it's not ideal but the bullpen is beat up.  (Of course, he may have known about Kerry's injury.)  Notice how ineffective Marshall has been the last couple times out.  Quade's out of options.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 13, 2011, 04:47:44 pm
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2011/06/12/in_an_overhaul_cubs_should_try_to_put_sox_on/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 13, 2011, 05:13:15 pm
No Curt, I didn't hear them discussing it.

Considering all the circumstances involved, I just don't think it was a decision that warranted such derision. When you have a bad roster, you often end up in no-win situations.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 13, 2011, 05:15:07 pm
Bringing in the Red Sox staff would only help if they also brought in the Red Sox 175 million dollar salary budget and their superslot draft budget.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 13, 2011, 06:31:27 pm
Jim Hendry on spending rumors, Mike Quade's job status, and his own job status

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-hendry-denies-cubs-wont-spend-in-2012-20110613,0,784734.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 13, 2011, 06:39:11 pm
Depressing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 13, 2011, 07:07:39 pm
A font of gibberish, as usual.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 13, 2011, 07:43:54 pm
From the article Cactus posted:
 
 
Quote
Nobody's fault.

 Translation:
 
 "I refuse to take responsibility for this train wreck!"
 
 
Quote
It's a historic franchise. It took a long time to sell.

 Translation:
 
 "It's not my fault."
 
 
Quote
three division championships...

 Translation:
 
 "Hey, I'm the only Cubs GM to ever win three division titles.  Do you want Ed Lynch back in here?"
 
 
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 13, 2011, 07:51:16 pm
The answer to that would be no.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 13, 2011, 07:59:59 pm
The Milwaukee announcers just said that Castro will have to move off shortstop because he is 6 foot 2.  The cubs list him at 6 foot even.  Anyone know if there is any chance the Milwaukee guys are right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 13, 2011, 09:40:25 pm
Gee, I wish this were college football.

The Brewers beat the Cardinals yesterday.

The Cubs beat the Brewers today.

Therefore, the Cubs are better than the Cardinals.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 14, 2011, 12:39:53 am
 David Schoenfield with an in depth analysis of Jim Hendry:


He lists Hendry's positives and negatives and ends his article with this conclusion:


So the Cubs can fire Mike Quade if they want. But that’s not going to fix things.

http://espn.go.com/blog/SweetSpot/post/_/id/12347/forget-quade-look-at-hendrys-record
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 14, 2011, 12:42:21 am
Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago

You know things are going bad for your fifth-place team when your outfield, from left to right, on a cool June evening is Luis Montanez, Tony Campana and Jeff Baker, when your first baseman is DJ LeMahieu and your high-priced third baseman is playing like he's in-between six packs of Old Style at the Lincoln Park fields.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/columns/story?columnist=greenberg_jon&id=6659088
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 14, 2011, 08:28:30 am
Overall, I thought that was a fairly good article by Greenberg.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 14, 2011, 08:41:48 am
I really like this quote from Hendry.
 
"Nobody has got four right-handed hitters than can come up and replace the guys you just lost...."
 
Two of the right handed hitters he's talking about are Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker.
 
As Tom Jackson would say, "Come on, man!!!!"
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 14, 2011, 09:58:21 am
To be fair, both Johnson and Baker have been effective RH hitters this season, up to now.  So they were real losses.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 14, 2011, 01:47:47 pm
For some reason, Chris Carpenter is being promoted.  He hasn't been good in the minors this year, and I don't think he's on the 40 man roster...but what the hell, bring him on up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 14, 2011, 03:37:35 pm
Hey we have to show the farm system is producing!
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 14, 2011, 03:43:11 pm
...the death throes of Jimbo the donut boy
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 14, 2011, 03:48:18 pm
Casey Coleman is back to Iowa where reports are that he will go back to starting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 14, 2011, 03:48:36 pm
Casey Coleman is back to Iowa where reports are that he will go back to starting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 14, 2011, 04:32:46 pm
Cubs new fashion statement, from Bruce Miles:


(http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/321816142.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1308087959&Signature=dNAZu0%2B71%2BlP0SU6cZzjHz1d3aw%3D)


Zambrano will probably take crap for this tomorrow (even though there are at least 8 Cubs wearing the shirts) because he's the easy target and the only identifiable player in the picture.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 14, 2011, 04:36:16 pm
That's not Z.  That's Ronnie Woo Woo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 14, 2011, 04:37:11 pm
I believe that in Greece that would not be an obscene shirt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 14, 2011, 05:25:59 pm
Tuffy will love this:  Chris Carpenter gets #60, last worn by Mitch Atkins.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 14, 2011, 06:09:32 pm
Tyler Colvin has been sent to Iowa to make room for Reed Johnson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 14, 2011, 06:18:43 pm
Tyler Colvin has been sent to Iowa to make room for Reed Johnson.

That's a good move.

I wonder how much longer LeMahieu will be riding the bench, though.  You would have thought he would have been sent down once Baker or Johnson returned.  He really needs to get back to Double-A getting his reps in instead of pinch running for Koyie Hill.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 14, 2011, 06:23:58 pm
Someone said that Barney was hurt.  Perhaps they are keeping LeMahieu until they are certain of Barney's status.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 14, 2011, 10:58:59 pm
The Cubs have picked up 2.5 games on the division leaders in the last week.  First place, here we come!

Of course, they're still 2.5 games behind where they were two weeks ago...
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 14, 2011, 11:13:17 pm
Quote
Sales are so slow, I think I saw a bison dog hang itself with a licorice rope.

*crickets*
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on June 15, 2011, 07:15:21 am
Shortstop Starlin Castro and second baseman Darwin Barney have 158 combined hits, the most among middle infielders on one team in the Majors. The Yankees' double-play combination of Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter (now on the disabled list) is second with 139 combined hits.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Robb on June 15, 2011, 07:20:21 am
Darwin Barney will be placed on the 15-day DL Wednesday with a Grade 1 PCL strain in his right knee. Barney suffered the injury Monday night sliding into home with the eventual winning run.

Barney does not think he needs more than a week to be back at full strength but feels it is best for him and the team to spend the next two weeks on the shelf.

Alfonso Soriano is expected to be activated from the DL before Wednesday night's game against the Brewers. With Barney headed to the DL, the roster decisions should be a little easier for the Cubs on Wednesday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 15, 2011, 07:50:58 am
The good news is that Barney will get some time off.  The bad news is that this will make it even harder to get Castro any time off.  I suppose he'll have to get injured before Quade will rest him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 15, 2011, 07:51:53 am
Bizarre article about the goat t shirts:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0615-haugh-cubs-chicago--20110614,0,6200408.column

Talk about much ado about nothing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 15, 2011, 07:59:06 am
Darwin Barney will be placed on the 15-day DL Wednesday with a Grade 1 PCL strain in his right knee. Barney suffered the injury Monday night sliding into home with the eventual winning run.

Barney does not think he needs more than a week to be back at full strength but feels it is best for him and the team to spend the next two weeks on the shelf.

Alfonso Soriano is expected to be activated from the DL before Wednesday night's game against the Brewers. With Barney headed to the DL, the roster decisions should be a little easier for the Cubs on Wednesday.


So basically LeMahieu will be playing backup to Jeff Baker for another two weeks, which means he'll be going a full month as a backup player? 

This is why Bobby Scales is the one who should have been called up.  Hopefully this is something the Cubs will correct once Soriano comes off the DL and when Montanez likely gets DFA'ed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 15, 2011, 08:12:35 am
Actually once Soriano returns, that probably means DeWitt and Baker will start platooning at second, so it's hard to imagine LeMahieu will be needed at that point.

Like Ron says, we'll need a backup shortstop, which might mean the return of Augie Ojeda or probably the promotion of someone like Jonathan Mota or Marwin Gonzalez. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 15, 2011, 08:13:24 am
This is why Bobby Scales is the one who should have been called up.  Hopefully this is something the Cubs will correct once we have a new GM.

Fixed that last part for ya, JR.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JeffH on June 15, 2011, 08:19:16 am
By the time we have a new GM, Bobby Scales will be long retired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Playtwo on June 15, 2011, 11:56:42 am
It doesn't look as if Barney is definitely going on the DL at this point.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110614&content_id=20481874&notebook_id=20512410&vkey=notebook_chc&c_id=chc

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-mri-shows-barney-sprained-knee-dl-likely-20110615,0,4144344.story
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 15, 2011, 04:07:01 pm
Darwin Barney has a grade 3 sprain of his PCL and will be out for two weeks.  Alfonso Soriano is back and available for tonight.
 
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 15, 2011, 05:20:10 pm
Cubs new fashion statement, from Bruce Miles:


(http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/321816142.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1308087959&Signature=dNAZu0%2B71%2BlP0SU6cZzjHz1d3aw%3D)


Zambrano will probably take crap for this tomorrow (even though there are at least 8 Cubs wearing the shirts) because he's the easy target and the only identifiable player in the picture.
Tom Ricketts has put the kibosh on players wearing the goat shirts while fans are in the park.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 15, 2011, 05:26:27 pm
Tom Ricketts has put the kibosh on players wearing the goat shirts while fans are in the park.

If that's the case, they'll soon be able to wear them during games.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 15, 2011, 05:43:19 pm
Quotes from Ricketts from Bruce Miles' blog.  Vote of confidence for Hendry.

Quote
"The fact is, I have 100 percent confidence in Jim," he said. "We're just going forward right now. We'll see what the off-season looks like. We're comfortable with Jim. I'm confident in his ability to keep us moving forwars."

--Ricketts said he has "never bought into, 'I should have a baseball guy to watch my baseball guy and his baseball guys.' Then what do you get, a baseball guy to watch the baseball guy who's watching your baseball guys?"
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 15, 2011, 06:21:27 pm
Yes, why should he adopt the structure that other organizations have adopted to, you know, win more baseball games?  I think that the idea should be ridiculed just like he did.  The Cubs clearly know better than other teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 15, 2011, 08:48:27 pm
That's just flat out depressing.  Even the national media is saying that the damage is overwhelming.  Sigh.

Cowherd interviewed Chub Feeney today.  He explained why baseball doesn't want Mark Cuban type owners.  Yeah, someone like Cuban with the Cub resources would scare shiite out of the other owners.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 15, 2011, 09:49:14 pm
That's just flat out depressing.  Even the national media is saying that the damage is overwhelming.  Sigh.

Depressing isn't the right word anymore.  What's worse than depressing?

Other than "Cubs," I mean.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 15, 2011, 10:09:00 pm
Quote
Ricketts said he has "never bought into, 'I should have a baseball guy to watch my baseball guy and his baseball guys.' Then what do you get, a baseball guy to watch the baseball guy who's watching your baseball guys?"

Yes, why should he adopt the structure that other organizations have adopted to, you know, win more baseball games?  I think that the idea should be ridiculed just like he did.  The Cubs clearly know better than other teams.

I have to admit I still think the whole idea of hiring a "baseball" guy as president or to oversee the GM is a little overblown.  Yeah there are a few good organizations who do that (I guess the Braves, Rangers, Angels, and Marlins are the only four that come to mind?), but there are a lot of really good organizations that don't (Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Phillies, Cardinals, etc.). 

Not to say it's an easy thing to hire a smart GM, but I still don't think it takes a baseball insider to identify one.  Ownership needs to have a good idea what it's looking for in a GM, and a lot of the things Ricketts has said he thinks are important to having a winning organization are just about all the things I agree with - farm system development, scouting, understanding statistics, etc.  If he sticks to those ideas when searching for a new GM, he should be able to identify some very promising candidates with or without the aid of a Pat Gillick or John Schuerholz.  There will be plenty of promising candidates who will be knocking on the Cubs' door who are strong in all of those areas.

I guess it's still a little disappointing to read he has "100% confidence" in Jim Hendry.  Still, it will be interesting to see if he still feels that way in September when we're staring in the face of a 90+ loss season. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 15, 2011, 10:18:08 pm
Losses smoshes.  Wait until he sees how much revenue from ticket sales and concessions has dropped off.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 15, 2011, 10:41:23 pm
Boring presidential candidate . . .

(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSJJjYtvZWHyES0laA1IDkilZOiinqV1uBb5-oEGYd275ma5HWLWw)

Boring baseball owner . . .

(http://www.dailyherald.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=DA&Date=20110615&Category=SPORTS&ArtNo=706159712&Ref=AR&maxw=248&maxh=199)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 15, 2011, 10:45:10 pm
OK here's a more bothersome Ricketts quote . . .

Quote
“We do have a lot of money coming off the books,” Ricketts said when asked about spending on player payroll. “Whether or not that goes back into a large free-agent contract will be Jim’s decision.”

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110615/sports/706159712/
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 15, 2011, 10:47:59 pm
That quote is going to launch a ton of columns, especially with the Yankees visiting Wrigley this weekend.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 15, 2011, 11:04:41 pm
“We do have a lot of money coming off the books,” Ricketts said when asked about spending on player payroll. “Whether or not that goes back into a large free-agent contract will be Jim’s decision.”

That's too bad.  If that money goes into a big FA contract, it will only delay the time this becomes a strong club for any sustained period.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cubsin on June 16, 2011, 12:01:59 am
I hate to agree with Jes, but I really don't want the Cubs to sink a big chunk of their available funds on a large free-agent contract to Pujols or Fielder this winter. I don't expect the Cubs to be serious contenders in 2012 or 2013, and I don't see either one of them earning their money after that. Spend the money on prospects, better major and minor league coaches and managers, and revenue enhancers at Wrigley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 16, 2011, 01:46:38 am
I don't think there is a chance they even talk seriously to Pujols.  they may take a run at Fielder. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 16, 2011, 06:28:47 am
I think you are right, JR, about the necessity of a baseball president.  What I didn't like was the tone of the answer, which basically ridiculed the notion of a different approach.  I would like to think that TR is open-minded about different approaches than the one his management team is taking, given what is unfolding on the field. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 16, 2011, 07:19:37 am
On the one hand, it's understandable that an owner doesn't want to publicly undermine either the executive leadership of the team or the manager less than 1/2 way through a season.  And given the fact that both Quade and Hendry have praised the players' efforts, it's understandable that he doesn't want to criticize the players.

On the other hand, the Cubs are 13 games under .500.  If the Cubs continue as they have this season, it will be the third straight year in which the Cubs have gotten worse.  Meanwhile the Nationals,  who had to nearly start over as a franchise and to overcome Jim Bowden's leadership to boot, now are 4 games under .500 even though their best position player has been out for most of the year and their best pitcher is out for the entire season. 

One would hope that at some point in the relatively near future, at least once the season is over, there would be some rationale provided for why people should believe that 2012 and beyond will be better, not worse.  But I'm not counting on that happening.

At some point accountability should require someone to be held responsible.  The obvious candidate is Jim Hendry.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 16, 2011, 07:52:31 am
TR also seems not to understand that baseball is also a business and there may come a time that there must be a sacrifice someone to the anger and disgruntlement of the fans and supporters.  No, that's not fair, but it's life.  Even if Hendry had no hand in the current mess, if revenues nosedive, someone may have to walk the plank.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 16, 2011, 08:07:36 am
TR also seems not to understand that baseball is also a business....

That may be because to him it really is not a business.  The Cubs are his personal play toy.


Even if Hendry had no hand in the current mess, if revenues nosedive, someone may have to walk the plank.

Lower revenue would not even be the test if the Cubs were being operated strictly as a business.  The goal would not be to maximize revenue, but to maximize profit, the difference between revenues and expenses.  If revenues fall sharply, but expenses fall by even more, profits increase.  But beyond that, TR does not have to fire anyone because revenues or profits fall.  That might make sense if the Cubs were a publicly owned business, accountable to shareholders, but the Cubs are now a privately owned business, accountable only to the Ricketts family.  There is no requirement that they make any GM move to satisfy upset fans.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 16, 2011, 08:14:26 am
I think you are right, JR, about the necessity of a baseball president.  What I didn't like was the tone of the answer, which basically ridiculed the notion of a different approach.  I would like to think that TR is open-minded about different approaches than the one his management team is taking, given what is unfolding on the field.

TR likely ridiculed the suggestion of a baseball president because he sees it as suggesting that he is not capable of doing the job he is doing, which he likely has come to love, and which his family (or at the very minimum his father, according to the video I posted of his father) insisted he take after the purchase.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 16, 2011, 08:58:36 am
Cubs should try and sign Scott Kazmir.  He can't be any worse than most of the other guys we have thrown out there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: mO on June 16, 2011, 09:02:28 am
He had a 12+ ERA in AAA.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Eastcoastfan on June 16, 2011, 09:39:13 am
From Phil Rogers new column:

-- Convince Aramis Ramirez he'd really rather spend August and September in some place like San Francisco, Milwaukee or Detroit. Ramirez isn't the guy he once was but with a strong run between now and then he could still be a valuable commodity at the trade deadline, provided he backs away from his position on using his no-trade clause to stay in Chicago. Third base is a wasteland around the major leagues. Consider this: With Ramirez as the primary guy, the Cubs have a .743 OPS at third, which is the sixth best in the majors. Given that the Cubs aren't going to exercise their $16 million option on Ramirez for 2012, Hendry has to find a way to get a prospect or two for him.

Even I know (admittedly, from reading this board) that he would need to waive his right to have his option vest.  You would think that the Trib's Cubs beat writer would know this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 16, 2011, 10:09:56 am
You'd also think a Cubs writer would know Ramirez has already said he won't be waiving his no-trade clause this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 16, 2011, 10:15:11 am
But he could be right when he picks Matt Kucher to win the U.S. Open
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 16, 2011, 11:07:55 am
Cubs should try and sign Scott Kazmir.  He can't be any worse than most of the other guys we have thrown out there.

Why sign a player like Kazmir?

Even if he helps the team win a couple more games (which he likely would not), that is going to make no difference, other than perhaps causing the Cubs to draft a couple of slots lower next year.

Better to suffer thru starts from someone like Coleman to see if he develops enough to be serviceable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 16, 2011, 11:10:30 am
You'd also think a Cubs writer would know Ramirez has already said he won't be waiving his no-trade clause this year.

Yea, and I'm betting that he has also said he would hustle during games.

He said he won't waive it.  That is not the same as refusing to waive it.  He might refuse, but it would make sense to try.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 16, 2011, 11:22:56 am
The primary point that Phil Rogers made is pretty interesting, actually.

3B is the lowest performing offensive position in the NL with a .681 average OPS.  That's lower than SS and C.  It's .681 in the AL too.

Naturally, we have been comparing the new Aramis to the old Aramis and that's a pale comparison.

But, I had no idea how poorly performing the 3B position is around MLB this season. 

One thing to conclude from that is that you better have a masher at 1B.

Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 16, 2011, 11:53:13 am
No problem.  We can put LeMahieu out there again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Deeg on June 16, 2011, 11:58:02 am
I think I saw Ryan Flaherty's face on the side of a milk carton.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: craig on June 16, 2011, 12:00:13 pm
I think the point about how weak 3B is overall is fascinating.  What are the numbers in LF, I wonder?  How about 1B? 

As a prospects guy, I think these issues especially pertinent.  Prospect boards often take the attitude that if some guy ends up underqualified to play SS/2B defense, that if he doesn't project to hit 20 HR and hit .280 that he's worthless as a 3B prospect.  So that Lemahieu or Flaherty, for example, are only useful if they can stick at 2B (or perhaps SS or 2B in case of Baez.)  And that Vitters only chance to be useful is if he somehow magically and impossibly makes himself into an acceptable 3B, but that if you move him to 1B or LF that he's got no chance to be useful. 

Maybe we over-expect production at some of these positions, and as a result undervalue prospects who might need to end up at 3B, LF, or 1B but won't be able to be .900-OPS guys. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 16, 2011, 12:28:18 pm
Craig-  Go to "splits" in the link below and you can find stats for each position (among other things).

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/81/sort/OPS/order/true
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 16, 2011, 01:05:32 pm
Craig-  Go to "splits" in the link below and you can find stats for each position (among other things).

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/81/sort/OPS/order/true (http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/81/sort/OPS/order/true)

Thanks for the link, Reb.

Interesting results.  In only one position are the Cubs in the top 9 in OPS (besides 3B), and that's LF, where they are #5.    I was surprised to see the Cubs (that is, Soriano) that high. SS is #10, 2B is #12 and RF is #13.

It seems to me that most people here primarily evaluate players based on their offensive numbers.  That's the only reason someone could suggest that DeWitt (or anybody else on the Cubs) is a better 2B than Barney.  Yet, by position, Soriano is outperforming every other Cub, offensively, by a long ways.

I totally get the frustration with Soriano, who is something of a shadow of the player he was when the Cubs got him, before he started getting injured and getting older.  He can often be maddening at the plate,  his defense is bad (though not as bad as Adam Dunn for example - who some wanted the Cubs to acquire), and his contract is horrible.   But still, the antipathy toward him among many here seems to me to be over the top.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 16, 2011, 01:39:58 pm
The problem with Soriano is that the Cubs' LF OBP is 24th.  Most of the teams behind the Cubs in LF OBP (Dodgers, Angels, Twins, Mariners, Blue Jays) have had complete disasters in LF this year.  Since OBP is the more important component of OPS, the fact that Soriano is so poor in that area (.296) outweighs his positive contributions on offense.

You evaluate his defense differently than I would...he looks every bit as bad as Adam Dunn to me.  He's scared of the wall, looks tentative on everything, gives the other team extra bases much more often than an outfielder should, and doesn't have any kind of speed or range.  He cannot handle playing in the field, and shouldn't be allowed out there after this season.  Basically, he doesn't do anything well at all anymore except hit the ball out of the ballpark. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 16, 2011, 01:52:58 pm
Br - I appreciate much of what you contribute here.  I really do.  But you have been one of Soriano's harshest critics since before he became a Cub, I don't thing you had much favorable to say about Soriano even when he was leading the league in OF assists and carrying the team toward a division championship. So you are one of the last people I'd look to for a fair assessment of the guy.  To suggest that Soriano is as bad defensively as Dunn confirms that to me.  Dismissing his OPS because of a low OBA is another.  You can acknowledge the relative value of the guy without undermining your legitimate criticisms of him.



Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 16, 2011, 01:55:59 pm
br hates Soriano?

Who knew?

I know he hearts Zambrano, but...

And Darwin.  He is head over heels in love with Darwin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 16, 2011, 02:24:26 pm
Instead of "outweigh" to describe the realtionship of Soriano's OBP to OPS, I guess I would go with "mitigate."  It's true that OBP is the more important component, but Soriano is currently slugging .525 (after his first AB today) and that's pretty darned good.  So, yes, parhaps the OPS is somewhat higher than his actual offensive value--given the low OBP--but it's still pretty decent offensively.

He is a limited player these days.  As to defense, just look at the great player in LF for the Brewers--from a defensive standpoint.   I'm very skeptical whether Braun, defensively, is any better than Soriano.  You put up with it because the guy hits a ton.  Soriano does not hit a ton, so it sticks out more.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 16, 2011, 04:04:01 pm
At what salary and how many years should we be willing to sign Fukudome to a new contract.  One that has NO no trade contract?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 16, 2011, 04:09:19 pm
Oh, I think we should do a No Trade to Fuku.  Definitely.  And 5 years.  We might not get him otherwise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 16, 2011, 04:13:27 pm
I'd give Fukudome a year at about $5-7 million with some kind of option for 2013.  I really like him as the leadoff hitter for another year so Brett Jackson can break in lower in the lineup.

There's not much room for Fukudome if Byrd, Soriano, and Colvin are all still in the mix next year, though.  I'd prefer having him around to all of them, but I doubt the Cubs feel that way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 16, 2011, 04:27:48 pm
There is nothing practical that they can do about Soriano, and they would be nuts to give up on Colvin at this point.  If Byrd comes back healthy and does well, he is tradable.  Fukudome has been an excellent leadoff man, if you believe that OBA is the most important criteria for leadoff.  His major weakness has been that, although he has streaks of great offense, he also goes through extremely long periods where he really stinks at the bat.

I doubt he will sign for one year, and if I understand correctly, The Cubs must sign him or release him.  He can not be given arbitration.  Other than that, he would be an excellent candidate for arbitration.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 16, 2011, 04:39:19 pm
Makes sense to trade Byrd, but likely only a couple weeks before the trade deadline to show that he's healthy and not gun-shy from the beaning.   Not sure if that will be enough time.

Assuming he's okay, I think he has added trade value because he is signed for 2012 at a reasonable $6.5.  He would not just be a 2-month rent-a-player. We might get some value for him.

Unloading Byrd's contract would basically pay for a Kosuke return.  Kosuke would seem to be more valuable to the Cubs in 2012 than Byrd, given B. Jackson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 16, 2011, 04:51:40 pm
I think the Cubs have done a good enough job pointing out Fukudome's faults over the last 4 years that he's going to have trouble getting more than one year.  Not many outfielders in their mid-30s have gotten big contracts in the last few years, even former stars like Vlad and Abreu. 

I'd still call the Mariners about a Soriano/Figgins swap...that's the only place I can see a Soriano deal being somewhat practical.  As bad as the fans are turning on Figgins, he's probably pretty likely to be released after this season unless he really turns it around.  I like his chances of being a decent supersub over the next 3 years better than I like Soriano's chances of being a decent everyday outfielder, so I don't think it would be a bad deal if the money could be worked out.  Plus, it seems like it would be a lot easier to cut a sunk cost that was signed by someone else if it came to the point where he just needed to be released.

What kind of value would a healthy and performing Byrd bring back in a trade?  Since he's not a rental, I could see it being substantial.  I know the Braves would be interested in at least talking...is someone like Mike Minor a possibility?  He's more of a #3/#4 starter prospect, and is about 7th on the Braves depth chart when everyone is healthy.  I don't think he's untouchable, even for pretty modest return.  It would be nice to fill either a back-end starting spot or an everyday position for next year through a Byrd trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 16, 2011, 07:16:32 pm
At what salary and how many years should we be willing to sign Fukudome to a new contract.  One that has NO no trade contract?

The only thing I might offer Fuku is arbitration, and that would be simply to get the draft picks, IF he would bring any. 
Because of language barriers, he would have limited value to mentor younger players, and he would consume a
roster spot that could better be used by a much less expensive young player to either evaluate or develop.

If the Cubs were reasonably likely to seriously contend next season, it would be a different story, and 1 year at $5-6M
might seem reasonable.  But the Cubs are not going to contend next season.  Clear the roster spot and the salary.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 16, 2011, 07:29:06 pm
What I didn't like was the tone of the answer, which basically ridiculed the notion of a different approach.

I totally agree, Eastcoast.

He implied that a team president would only be there to "spy on" the general manager, who would still be Jim Hendry (for reasons known only to Tom Ricketts at this point).

He acted like the only function of a president, or any personnel in a baseball operations capacity, is simply to "watch your baseball guy."

What the hell is that about?

Maybe the Red Sox organization he keeps talking about modeling the Cubs after is the Dan Duquette version.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 16, 2011, 07:43:02 pm
There is nothing practical that they can do about Soriano, and they would be nuts to give up on Colvin at this point.  If Byrd comes back healthy and does well, he is tradable.  Fukudome has been an excellent leadoff man, if you believe that OBA is the most important criteria for leadoff.  His major weakness has been that, although he has streaks of great offense, he also goes through extremely long periods where he really stinks at the bat.

I doubt he will sign for one year, and if I understand correctly, The Cubs must sign him or release him.  He can not be given arbitration.  Other than that, he would be an excellent candidate for arbitration.

Kosuke Fukudome would be a horrible candidate for arbitration because of the rule that you can only cut a guy's salary by 20%.

His agent would accept that in a heartbeat and the Cubs would be stuck with him at about, what, $12 million?

If it's true that the Cubs can't offer him arbitration, it's moot, but offering it to him would be a monumental mistake, I think.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: CurtOne on June 16, 2011, 07:49:26 pm
Besides a baseball president would have overruled Jimbo on some  of these moves and probably would have fired him by now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 16, 2011, 08:30:16 pm
And so begins the backlash of the "Baseball leadership?  We don't need no stinkin' baseball leadership" Ricketts comments from the other day.

Barry Rozner chimes in:

http://tinyurl.com/6fga6qf

Quote
But for the time being you're reduced to watching a minor-league team, as Carlos Zambrano called it, with a manager whose postgame news conferences are something right out of SCTV.
So either Ricketts has gone round the bend — and really believes he doesn't need a baseball guy to run his baseball team — or he thinks Cubs fans are dim enough to believe this gibberish.
So there's your Chicago Cubs, with their Des Moines-level team and Des Moines-style manager, 12 games under .500 with the second-worst record in the National League.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are the Yankees, 11 games over with the second best record in the American League, and a World Series-winning manager in Joe Girardi.
This weekend's series is cute and will garner much attention because it brings together two teams that have been playing baseball for a very long time.
But for all the commotion this will cause, the reality is that's about all they have in common.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 16, 2011, 08:42:40 pm
Kosuke Fukudome would be a horrible candidate for arbitration because of the rule that you can only cut a guy's salary by 20%.

If that's the rule, I have to agree arbitration would be a major mistake for Fuku.

If it's true that the Cubs can't offer him arbitration, it's moot, but offering it to him would be a monumental mistake, I think.

Why could they NOT offer him arbitration?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: davep on June 16, 2011, 09:14:04 pm
Kosuke Fukudome would be a horrible candidate for arbitration because of the rule that you can only cut a guy's salary by 20%.

/quote]

Is that accurate?  I thought it only applied to auto-renewal players.  If true, then it is a good thing he is not eligible for arb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Reb on June 17, 2011, 10:32:11 am
One more note about Soriano.   At .538 slugging %, he would be 6th in the NL if he had the required plate appearances, trailing only Kemp, Berkman, Fielder, Braun, and Stanton.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 17, 2011, 11:33:18 am
One more note about Soriano.   At .538 slugging %, he would be 6th in the NL if he had the required plate appearances, trailing only Kemp, Berkman, Fielder, Braun, and Stanton.
I had to check - Albert Pujols is slugging .491
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: StrikeZone on June 17, 2011, 11:34:15 am
Cubs tickets aren't so hot:

http://tinyurl.com/3vafkgv

Quote
Cubs fans, it seems, have finally had enough.


Not from their team's eternally forgivable performance on the field, but rather high ticket prices and sales policies of recent years.

Local ticket resale companies are reporting a historic decline in demand that not even the weekend series against the New York Yankees or next week's crosstown games with the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field are helping to rebuild.


“People are just not interested like they were,” said Max Waisvisz, owner of Chicago-based Gold Coast Tickets. “It's too-high ticket pricing and fans not getting value for their money. We thought it was invincible. We were wrong.”


Demand for baseball is generally down, Waisvisz added, but the White Sox policies are a bit kinder to their fans and season-ticket holders. The Cubs, on the other hand, are alienating their season-ticket holders by offering deep discounts on individual games, he said.


Cubs officials did not respond to a request for comment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 17, 2011, 11:46:56 am
Interesting stuff from Levine...first, on the Yankees being interested in Cubs pitchers:

Quote
The one name that keeps coming up in baseball circles is Carlos Zambrano. Yankees scouts watched him pitch on the Cubs' recent 10-game road trip. These were not advance scouts who prepare teams for the next series, because the Yankees do video work on the next opponent instead of using scouts. These were top advisers to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Zambrano, who has a full no-trade clause, has said on numerous occasions he wants to stay with the Cubs until his deal expires after 2012. But Zambrano, like any veteran, wants the opportunity to perform in a World Series before his career is over. If the Yankees, who are in need of starting pitching, decide to approach the Cubs about Zambrano's availability, the veteran pitcher could change his mind. Losing is not fun for any player, but for a 10-year veteran like Zambrano, this might be his last shot at playing in a World Series.

-----

Some of the Yankees top evaluators have more interest in Ryan Dempster than Zambrano, but the Cubs would not be interested in dealing Dempster. Zambrano may be another story, considering his volatility and inconsistency over the last 2 ½ years. Dempster is considered more consistent by some scouts, but Zambrano has pitched more innings this season. What the Yankees and other teams like about Dempster is he's averaged over 200 innings over the last three years.

And a Soriano quote on his no trade clause:

Quote
"I expect to stay here," said Soriano, who also has a full no-trade. "This is my fifth year, but if they say they want to trade me, then why wouldn't I want to go somewhere else. I wouldn't stay here."

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/4932/with-n-y-in-town-let-big-z-speculation-begin (http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/4932/with-n-y-in-town-let-big-z-speculation-begin)
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Ron on June 17, 2011, 11:57:18 am
Interesting, indeed. 

I would, in some ways, hate the see the Cubs trade Zambrano, because he's still relatively young and remains a very good pitcher.  Those are hard to find.  But if the Cubs could get some really good young talent in return - talent that fit the Cubs' real needs going forward, then that would make a  lot of sense.
There may not be any other players who have the same potential to return good young talent in a trade.

But I'm not convinced that the Cubs are very interested in trading Zambrano.  This season has underscored how fragile the starting rotation is, and if you remove Zambrano, it is substantially worse.

It's also encouraging that Soriano says he would not block a trade, if one were to somehow materialize.






Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 17, 2011, 12:15:42 pm
ChicagoCubsOnline

The Cubs must start receiving something from Doug Davis. The Cubs are 2-19 this season in games started by Doug Davis, James Russell, Casey Coleman and Rodrigo Lopez. If Davis cannot win games or at least eat innings, the Cubs should use this spot in the rotation as an audition for pitchers in their system.

Hard to argue with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: JR on June 17, 2011, 12:25:51 pm
I don't know.  We used that spot to audition Casey Coleman and James Russell, and they sucked.

Besides Trey McNutt, who can't pitch more than 5 innings in a game, is there anyone in the system that's worth looking at in that spot? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 17, 2011, 12:54:58 pm
If the cubs could trade Dempster tho the Yankees for a real nice package of players they better damn well do it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Cactus on June 17, 2011, 12:59:30 pm
Would Rob Whitenack have been given a chance by now?  That would've been a real stretch.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 17, 2011, 01:03:14 pm
It is really amazing how awful Cubs starting pitching has been.  They have the highest ERA of any rotation in the NL at 5.42, and the next highest is 4.59.  The difference between the Cubs and 15th place is 0.83, which is roughly the same as the difference between 15th and 6th.

Cubs starters also have the fewest innings pitched of any starting rotation at 371 2/3 IP, with the next lowest being 405 2/3.  They have allowed the highest opposing batting average at .282, while the next highest is .267.  They haven't just been the worst...they've been the worst by a huge margin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 17, 2011, 01:04:57 pm
Trade them both.  This team is going nowhere in the next 3 years, at least.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: buff on June 17, 2011, 01:05:07 pm
In fact the 5 guys in order I would try to deal would be

1. Dempster
2. Soto
3. Zambrano
4. Marmol
5. Marshall

Obviously if you could deal Soriano or Ramirez you do it but I just don't see it happening. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: bitterman on June 17, 2011, 01:08:49 pm
I have no problem trading anyone on this roster, even Castro.  Trade 'em all. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Chris27 on June 17, 2011, 01:25:17 pm
even Castro.

Why is there no "laugh until I cry" icon?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 17, 2011, 01:34:52 pm
Interesting, indeed. 

I would, in some ways, hate the see the Cubs trade Zambrano....But if the Cubs could get some really good young talent in return - talent that fit the Cubs' real needs going forward, then that would make a  lot of sense.

And at what position would good young talent NOT fit the Cubs' real needs going forward?
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 17, 2011, 01:36:29 pm
This team is going nowhere in the next 3 years, at least.

You say that...but as poorly as this team has played, they're 25-20 when their top 5 starters pitch.  If they'd merely gotten a bad record (say 8-13) out of the Davis/Coleman/Lopez/Russell group instead of their historically bad 2-19 record, they'd be right at .500 and the injuries would seem like a legitimate excuse.

Bring in a big bat at either first or third, another good supporting bat, and a starting pitcher, and this team could compete next year if they stay healthier.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 17, 2011, 01:37:54 pm
ChicagoCubsOnline

The Cubs must start receiving something from Doug Davis. The Cubs are 2-19 this season in games started by Doug Davis, James Russell, Casey Coleman and Rodrigo Lopez. If Davis cannot win games or at least eat innings, the Cubs should use this spot in the rotation as an audition for pitchers in their system.

Hard to argue with that.

Well, actually....

Even if Davis were to start turning in outings with an ERA of 2.00, the Cubs should trade Davis for prospects to some team foolish enough to think Davis would continue doing that and "use this spot in the rotation as an audition for pitchers in their system."

This team is going NO WHERE this season.  Keeping ANYONE simply because they are doing well this season (or start doing well) would be the height of foolishness.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: Jes Beard on June 17, 2011, 01:45:10 pm
In fact the 5 guys in order I would try to deal would be

1. Dempster
2. Soto
3. Zambrano
4. Marmol
5. Marshall

Obviously if you could deal Soriano or Ramirez you do it but I just don't see it happening.

Anybody but D.J. and the C kids -- Castro, Cashner, Colvin (only because his value would be so low right now), Castillo, Carpenter, and Campana.

I would aggressively try to move everyone else on the roster for prospects, and if the prospects were not ready to learn in the majors, there are always plenty of guys like Scales who can be had for a song who can fill space until they are ready to learn in the majors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '11
Post by: brjones on June 17, 2011, 01:45:13 pm
From Jayson Stark: