Preview: Baseball Diamond News
Baseball Diamond News
This a blog about baseball and the Chicago Cubs. There also will be articles about my family and a simulation league I am in (IBL).
This summer I met up with a few people from the PEBA at the Cubs game. Here are the photos.
Angel Guzman and other news
Well it looks like Angel Guzman doesn't have an angel looking over him. This poor guy has had more injuries derail what was a really promising career. Now it he has a tear
in his shoulder that has an unpredictable recovery rate for surgery or he can try to rehab it without surgery, but that also will take a while. Now what gets me angry is the Ricketts family bought this team and won't spend any money on free agents. Kiko Calero would have been a perfect fit in our bullpen and signed
a minor league deal with the Mets yesterday worth up to 1.5 million if he makes team and hits performance bonuses. Unless it has been Kiko's dream to pitch for the Mets, the Cubs could have offered him 1.5 million with a major league roster and say up to 800K in performance bonuses or even given him 2 years. I am pretty sure he would have taken that deal, it would have had the Cubs covered due to any injury (which they never seem to plan for) and it would have still been better than the deal they gave John Grabow this off-season. The Cubs could sure use Michael Wuertz now as he was given away and has now turned into a pretty solid reliever in Oakland (Thanks Hendry).
Wow, Carlos Silva looked like everything I thought he would out on the mound. Hopefully if he has a few more outings like this they Cubs just let him go. Honestly, if they consider themselves contenders, Carlos Silva should not be anywhere near the final 25-man roster. The good thing about today's game was Carlos Marmol struck out 2 guys and did not walk a batter. That is progress. That is about all I watched today as I had to go to airport to pick up wife and while listening to it on radio, I decided I didn't want to watch what I dvr'ed when I got back.
Well a couple days ago the Cubs signed Xavier Nady to a one year deal. It is not a bad signing as he is a right-handed bat that hits lefties well so Fukodome doesn't have to do it and he can let Derek Lee have a day off here and there in the hot summer months. I know he is coming off his second Tommy John surgery, but I think he can hold up for one year especially since he isn't a pitcher. A guy I was hoping to get was Jonny Gomes, though I know his defense isn't too good.
I think the next free agent the Cubs should focus on is Orlando Hudson and see if they can get him for a 1/6 million dollar deal. There isn't a big market for 2b's right now and it looks like the Nationals are only offering 3 million dollars. This would be an upgrade at 2b, making Baker and Fontenot backups which is a better spot for them on a team if the Cubs want to be contenders.
The Cubs also signed Chad Tracy to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Chad hasn't really been useful in a few seasons and I don't see him sticking to with the final roster.
A pitcher I hope the Cubs really watch this spring is NRI Thomas Diamond. He is best known for being part of the Rangers top pitching prospects DVD (John Danks, Edinson Volquez, Thomas Diamond) a few years ago. Diamond's career got sidetracked in 2007 he had to have Tommy John surgery and since he has been back has had a harder time finding the plate. This winter he looked good in the DWL, but that doesn't really mean he will do well in MLB. I just think that he is only 26 and was once a top prospect, so it can't hurt to give him a serious look in spring.
Congratulations to Andre Dawson for making the Hall of Fame and it was nice to see he wanted to wear the Cubs hat, but I do think the Hall of Fame made the right decision in saying the Expos are the team he was on in his prime. He may have gotten more publicity in Chicago, but he played his first 10 years in Montreal. I just wonder where are they going to find an Expos hat?
What were they thinking?
By now every Cub fan has given their opinion about the Carlos Silva-Milton Bradley trade, so now I will give mine.
I have no idea what Jim Hendry was thinking. I understand that last season Milton Bradley was a bad year for him all around, but these are all grown-ups, right? If this was all the Cubs could get for Bradley, then why not keep him and work out things out like adults. Bradley is primed for a rebound year, while Carlos Silva is well primed to get lit up again. Carlos was good for the Twins in 2005 and had a decent season in 2007, but in 08 he was bad, and in 09 before being shut down he was just awful. I am hoping that the Cubs aren't planning on putting Carlos Silva in the rotation except for if they need to due to injuries.
Right now I see the rotation in April, it looks like Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Tom Gorzelanny, Randy Wells and Jeff Samardzja/Carlos Silva. I have left out Ted Lilly due to his surgery and don't think he will be ready until May. This is not a Division winning rotation, let alone a Championship rotation. This is going to be a LONG LONG SEASON...
Neal Cotts and other news
Neal Cotts was non-tendered which is no big surprise. Neal had gotten plenty of chances to prove himself as the Cubs lefty reliever, but never stepped up to the opportunity. This move saves the Cubs 1 million dollars and gives them an extra spot on the 40 man roster (currently at 37).
I read somewhere (rotoworld.com, I think), that the Cubs have some interest in Matt Capps. I know he had an awful year for the Pirates last year, but that was because he had an abnormally high hr/9 rate (1.66) and BABIP (.370). Neither is consistent of what he has done throughout his career and he even increased his k/9 and he increased the ground balls batters hit against him. Now after saying all that, as long as the Cubs don't brin him in to close, I think it would be a great move. Especially since he was non-tendered by Pirates and would probably cost the Cubs about 1.7-1.9 million a year and if he puts up his past numbers, than he would definitely be worth it.
Just an idea
I saw the other day that the Atlanta Braves designated OF Ryan Church for assingment. I think he would be a great fit for the Cubs. He can step in and start when needed without hurting the team and would fill many needs. He would be a good lefty bat off the bench, a good baserunner and lastly he isn't bad on defense. I know in past he has had some injuries, including the lingering concussion problem, but it is not like he will command 10 million dollars a year.
I have also read lately that the Milton Bradley trade talks haven't progressed and if the Cubs want to get anything useful for him, it is becoming more evident that they will need to eat more of his salary. I would almost say with his talent the Cubs should keep him if they can't get anything for him, but this is a time where I would say it is definitely "addition by subtraction". I know Luis Castillo isn't much these days, but he may be better than putting Mike Fontenot at 2b as the starter.
Mike Cameron and other tidbits
I have been reading that the Cubs are interested in getting Mike Cameron to take over the Center field spot. With Mike, you know not to expect too much in hitting for average, expect a lot of strike outs, and get some above average defense in center field. The problem is that he will command a bunch of money and Hendry will probably want to give him a 3 year contract. He will be 37 in a month and if Bill James predictions amount to anything he expects him to decline to the point offensively he won't be worth the money Hendry is going to offer.
Instead of going for Cameron, how about this, sign a RF that produces some runs, keep Fukodome in CF and re-sign Reed Johnson to platoon with Fukodome in CF. Reed can't hit righties too well and Fukodome can't hit lefties at all. Then trade Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell (if that rumor has any legs to it) and then either keep Burrell for 4th OF and ph or trade him for another player with more mobility or ability to start at 2b.
The Cubs have also been rumored to be interested in either Mike Gonzalez or Rafael Soriano from the Braves. While both have been offered arbitration, it would be worth signing one of the to split the duties with Carlos Marmol in the late innings. I am not sure if the Cub's first round pick is protected, but even if it is not signing one of these guys would tremendously upgrade the Cubs bullpen.
I am back!!!
Well just like the Cubs, I decided to take last year off. I was disgusted with the way the sale of team was going, the management and the players, so I watched them from afar. Also I have to admit I was really really wrapped up in Chicago Blackhawks hockey. I was going to wait until New Year to come back, but over the last few weeks, the Cubs have made a few moves that I disagree with. First was signing John Grabow to a 2/7.5 million or something type deal. John Grabow walks too many batters. In 2008 he walked 4.38 per 9 innings and then in 2009 he walked 4.98 while only striking out 7.09 per 9 which was his lowest in his major league career. I understand that he was better than any lefty we have had over last few years, but that isn't saying much. The Cubs could have signed him for a lot less or found a replacement for about 3 million less over 2 years than what they are paying Grabow.Second, not offering salary arbitration to Rich Harden. I understand we have a huge salary, but that was a what 8-10 million dollar for a starter that we will try and replace and surely get someone that will underperform. And that was assuming he would sign the contract, had he signed elsewhere we could have gotten compensation of picks for him. If we weren't going to offer him arbitration, then in July or August he should have been traded for any prospect we could get as it was very obvious to anyone in June that the Cubs weren't going anywhere. If this is the cheapness the new ownership is going show us, I would almost wish we were back in the Tribune's control.The last transaction that has me perplexed is the trading of Jake Fox and Aaron Miles (he I don't care is gone, very happy actually) to the Oakland Athletics for RHP Jeff Gray, RHP Ronny Morla and INF/OF Matt Spencer. Jeff Gray will help out in the pen and is a hard thrower though it doesn't translate into many k's per 9. He does however not walk anyone and that was a major problem last year. The other 2 may or may not ever turn out to be spare parts, but not much about them out there. What I don't like is the Cubs never gave Fox a chance, and I mean ever. Since they drafted him all they did was find flaws or a reason not to play him. All he ever did was hit, especially last year. The Cubs should have kept him to play a utility role, but a very active one. Giving a rest to Soto, Ramirez, Soriano, Lee, and whoever we put in RF once a week. He probably would have helped put up nice numbers, but we won't know.I also read that the Cubs have asked Theriot if he would move to 2nd base in case Starlin Castro can start at SS. Well Theriot was a +7.7 UZR, while the year he was at 2b was a 4.1, so he is better at SS it shows. Secondly Theriot weak bat suites him more at SS than 2b. Lastly, if you are a contending team, you should not count on a 19 year old SS to be your starter with no more than a 122 pa's in AA. Things like this make me question why Hendry is still GM.Things I am glad about now:First, next year Kevin Gregg is not going to be on team. It was very obvious before the trade that he was overrated, but after the trade, it proved that he was utterly useless.Next is I am happy the Cubs are going to dump Milton Bradley. While he can get on base, he is such a headcase he needs to go. All I have read lately is that the Rays might be sending Pat Burrell to the Cubs for him. If that is the case, hopefully we can quickly trade him or trade Soriano as we don't need 2 high paying left fielders, but I'd rather have Burrell than Bradley.I am also very happy that the Cubs got Rudy Jaramillo as hitting coach. I know some of his stats were padded by Arlington, but he still has a good reputation and good results as hitting coach. Another move that tickled me is no more Aaron Heilman as the Diamondbacks were so kind to take him off our hands for Ryne White and Scott Maine. Ry[...]
Sorry for being gone
Dell has had my computer for 2 months and still has it, but tonight I am writing from wife's laptop.
Since I have been gone Cubs got rid of DeRosa, Hill, Pie all for nothing which I still can't understand. I also don't understand trading Cedeno for Heilman, but at least they got something for him. A good thing is that Jason Marquis is off the team. Nothing against him as a person, but he wasn't very good for the Cubs.
I am happy about the signing of Milton Bradley and truly hope that Lou can keep Bradley under control. I also know that getting about 120-130 games a season is the most too expect, butif he can do that and hit like he does it will be a major improvement in the Cubs lineup. I also understand why the Cubs wanted another switch hitter, but paying Miles that salary and dumping DeRosa for nothing just wasn't a good trade off.
What the Cubs were thinking with Pie, I don't know. If they weren't sold on him last year, then trade him then, not after the season when teams know you have no option to dump him, waive him or sit him on bench all year, none of which were good options.
Why sign Joey Gathright?
I am not sure in what category the Cubs think that signing Joey Gaithright was an upgrade anywhere? He has never been good offensively and with Felix Pie out of options, it isn't likely he can help.
Rumors about the Cubs trying to sign Milton Bradley make more sense to me than the above signing. Milton will bring a switch hitter to the lineup and when healthy is one of the top hitters in the league. He has a problem with self control at times, but I have a feeling that Lou Pinella will be able to help keep him in place.
As I said 2 years ago when the Cubs signed Jason Marquis that in his 3rd year of the contract they would be begging anyone to take him. It looks like that is true now, but I don't take any credit because almost everyone else in the baseball world said the same thing.
Welcome Gregg and goodbye Wood
Today the Cubs traded for relief pitcher Kevin Gregg from the Florida Marlins. In return the Cubs gave them Jose Ceda. Ceda has the talent to be an effective reliever in the near future, but the Cubs were looking for a pitcher to take the place of Bob Howry (who wasn't too effective last year) and Kerry Wood who now looks like he isn't going to be back. Kevin Gregg is a pitcher who was a closer for the Marlins, but really isn't much more than a 7th inning reliever. He unfortunately has too many meltdowns to be effective.
I would say this would be a step up for the Cubs if I knew that they would sign Kerry wood or Francisco Rodriguez from LAA, but neither will be happening while Mr. Zell still owns the Cubs. In other news I don't think that the Cubs will get Jake Peavy with what names I have heard mentioned, but it would be a step up over Ryan Dempster who is also looking like he is leaving.
Was I wrong
Boy was I wrong in that last column I wrote. I have been taking time to reflect on what happened and all I can come up with is that the Cubs need a total REHAUL of the whole team. This team has proven it cannot handle the pressure in the playoffs. Why? I have no clue, they win all year, get paid enough cash, but come crunch time they just suck.
My next question, is why did Lou have the rotation that he had? You need to put your BEST pitcher starting first, so why didn't Rich Harden start g1? They had plenty of time to set that up with their record in regular season. Then throw Dempster 2nd because he was lights out in Wrigley. Game 3 should have been Ted Lilly with Zambrano going g4 or Harden if his arm was up for it. Don't worry about how Carlos feels by not going in the top 2 guys starting, this is al about winning and winning now and the Cubs staff wasn't put in the best situation to do so.
There were many other problems, like not taking pitches, walking other guys, not hitting, awful fielding, so there are many things that need fiing.
Cubs Will Win Tonight
I have been very very quiet lately, but I am going to come out and yap during the playoffs. I missed writing yesterday, but I won't miss any more days before games during the Cubs playoff run.
Last night the Cubs looked overwhelmed out there. It was almost as if they were camera-shocked. I think Big Z will shine tonight, though in his last 8 starts besides the no-no, hasn't been that good. I also think Mr. Soriano will have a much better night at the plate. Hopefully Big LOU put Fukodome lower in the order, but I do like him out in RF as he plays decent fundamental defense in right field.
The key for the Cubs, is Zambrano throwing strikes. Dempster last night couldn't get out of the fifth due to the lack of control he had out on the mound and while I know it is easy to second guess, maybe Lou should have taken him out 2 batters earlier and put in either Marshall or Marquis at that time. There is no reason to carry them if you aren't going to use them in situations that your starter is struggling.
My prediction Cubs 5 LA 3.
Time to Re-Group
Well I was being quiet because they Cubs were on a streak and I didn't want to do anything that would change their luck, but that seems to have happened without me writing.
What has gone wrong? Well with Zambrano and Harden both out with injuries and hopefully with Harden they were just being on the safe side or if they weren', if the Cubs make the postseason it will be a short run. Also Fukudome has lost all confidence in his swing and looks like a Single A player at the plate. Hopefully the Cubs are letting him regroup and working with him, he needs to stop trying to pull the ball and lay off the curve ball (easier said then done).
I am hoping Carlos Zambrano injury is not serious, but I have a feeling the truth isn't all coming out. Why would he miss his MRI? What makes me more worried is that he hasn't looked good since July and already had his start delayed due to a "dead arm" and we all know the Cubs honesty with pitchers and their injuries.
Tonight the lost to the Cardinals in the bottom of the 9th on a close play at the plate. I was sitting on the couch and told my wife when Mr. Pujols was coming up with men on, why not walk him, he is only batting .360 and always kills the Cubs. Well we all know what happened next. I am not saying walking him, would have let to the Cubs winning, but it seems that when you are struggling you don't let the best hitter in league beat you.
The only good thing is that the Brewers keep sucking and losing to teams that they probably should be beating. As they lost tonight 5-4.
Cubs acquire Harden
Cubs today acquired 2 pitchers that will help solidify their playoff quest. Today they acquired Chad Gaudin and Rich Harden for only Matt Murton, Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson and Josh Donaldson. I can't begin to start to say how happy I am. I know Harden has a history of being as brittle as a 95 year old's bones, but hey when he is healthy (and he is currently) he is a top of the line pitcher. With Chad Gaudin the Cubs get a good swing man who will be more dependable than Jon Lieber is.
I have no idea why the A's would do this deal, except that Mr. Hendry must have some good pictures of Billy Beane doing things he isn't suppose to. While I was worried the Cubs would not be able to hold off CC and Ben Sheets, with this acquisition I think the Cubs might be able to. They still could use a dependable lefty in the pen (though Neal Cotts has improved lately) and one more bench player.
Cubs keep on trucking
When the Cubs lost Soriano earlier this month once again due to a pitch that hit him in his hand and then lost their Ace Carlos Zambrano due to a sore shoulder, one would think that things would start falling apart, but no. Minus the awful series the Cubs played in Tampa Bay, they have been winning and looking like a contending team. Dempster has been unbeatable at home, Edmonds this month has been a God-send (Stop hating on him Rob George) and while not spectacular Eric Patterson has done well since his last call-up.
So what does this mean for the Cubs? It should bring them the extra confidence they need that they can overcome the bumps in the road and still succeed. The players know that Soriano will be back after the All-Star break and hopefully Carlos will be back soon too. If they continue to play well with the addition of both of them, the Cubs hopefully can start to pull away from the Cardinals and the Brewers.
I expect the Cubs to look for another experienced bat off the bench, a lefty and maybe another SP before the trade deadline. Doesn't that look familiar? I seem to say that every year, but every year that is what they are looking for. Scott Eyre and Neal Cotts both have been disappointments since joining the organization and I doubt either will be back in 09.
Cubs still winning
Well since my last post when I called Edmonds washed up and the Cubs mediocre, they have played pretty decent ball and Edmonds has refound his hitting stroke somewhat. Also Jason Marquis pitched a beautiful game last night (but I will wait and see if he can repeat before giving him accolades). Another good thing is that Lou has seemed to learned from his mistake earlier this year leaving Soriano out in the 9th inning on defense and has been replacing him with Reed Johnson late in games.
The Cubs still need to find another starting pitcher and another reliable reliever wouldn't hurt either. Off the top of my head I have no idea who they should acquire or who is available, but the sooner they address the problems the better off the team will be.
Note to Ronny Cedeno: Learn to slide into 2nd base and not overslide it..
The best trade not made this year: At the moment the Cub's not acquiring Brian Roberts from the Orioles.
Sorry it has been so long since I have written. I have been trying to watch the Cubs and decide what I think of this team. At times I think that they look like contenders and could be a real threat, then they go and lose easy fly balls that cost games verses teams like the Pirates. So what I have decided is that they are just mediocre. Unless they make some changes they won't really improve much either. One of those is improving the CF position. I think that without a major trade, the Cubs should put Fukudome in CF and bring Matt Murton up to play RF. Heck Murton is only batting around .350 in the minors and Fukudome has shown that he is fundamentally sound and has the range and smarts to play CF. This then would let Cub fans be out of the misery that is Jim Edmonds in CF. I wouldn't mind him on the team if he was good, but since he sucks now, isn't going to get much better and is a hated Cardinal player, it is just time to release him.
Also the Cub's need to acquire another starter that is consistently good. Ryan Dempster has exceeded all my expectations this season and until he reverts back to old form over and extended period of time, I am not going to use the nickname I have been using for him. Along with Ryan the Cubs have Carlos Zambrano (who is looking better this year) and Ted Lilly (been very below par this year) as their top 3 (in no order). Sean Gallagher has shown ability and if he puts in a few more performances half as good as today's, he will have a believer in me as at least a 5th starter, but what about the 4th? Jon Lieber has sucked when he started and Jason Marquis is too inconsistent and been too awful in the second half of the season throughout his career to depend on him. Who should they get? I am not sure, maybe Greg Maddux back as my dad suggested, but I do know they need someone.
I promise to write more soon.
The Cubs are off to a decent start this year compared to last season, but they still have a long way to go. There are a bunch of fundamental mistakes being committed by the team and a bunch of people's heads not being in the games at the right times early. I am hoping that this will pass soon, but these are major league players and it feels like I am saying this about the Cubs every year.
Last night Alfonzo Soriano hurt himself doing his stupid hop, which in the past I have questioned. The Cub's have no one to blame but themselves for this injury as there is no reason for them to continously let him hope without them correcting it. In the past Soriano has said it helped him concentrate on the ball to the glove better, but if a 130 million dollar man has to do that to keep concentration on the ball, well he probably isn't worth 13 million let alone 130 million. This would be a great time to call up Matt Murton, but for some reason I hear the Cubs are going with Eric Patterson. This is stupid and hurts the Cub's. Murton's numbers as a MLB are about the same as Alfonzo's since he joined the Cubs. I don't know why the team doesn't like him, but if they aren't going to bring him up they might as well trade him soon so he doesn't just rot in minors. He has talent and is a good hitter who minus a one month stretch for Dusty has been pretty reliable.
In other news Rich Hill will get another chance to prove he is worthy of being a starter, but I have a feeling if he doesn't perform well, it will be a long time before we see him starting for the Cubs. Though the Cubs should be more worried about Ted Lilly because not only is he getting hit, but his velocity is down and he hasn't been able to get through five innings.
Today was opening day again and unfortunately the Cub's came up just short. In an exciting 9th inning newcomer Fukudome hit a 3-run homer to tie it up, but the pen who had given up 3 runs in the top of the 9th, then gave up another in the tenth and could not overcome that.
What I observed today is that Theriot and Soriano batting 1-2 is probably not the best idea. I didn't like it when I heard it, but I really don't like it after getting to see it in motion. The Cubs think too highly of Theriot and by putting him at the top spot in the order are setting him up for a big fall. Though I am not a fan of Soriano leading off, if the Cubs are so determined to get him to bat at top of lineup I think he should be 1 and Theriot should bat 2nd.
Another thing, what is up with Zambrano and his forearm cramps? I ask this because today was not a warm day by any means and yet Carlos cramped up again. I am not sure what is happening but I know that it can't be a normal thing. I have no idea what would be causing it. Though I thought I saw him looking at his finger more than his forearm, but what do I know and when have the Cubs ever lied to us fans?
A random thought, why is Matt Murton not on the team? I think it is silly that he is in AAA. The man can simply hit and even early in spring training he even said Matt had one of the best swings on the team. I don't get it. Management must not like him much. He is a way better option to have to pinch-hit then Fontenot is.
Well as soon as I said a nice thing about Neal Cotts he has to go out and pitch of a stinkner of a game. Now he finds himself being optioned back to Iowa with Sean Gallagher and Jose Ascanio who both were optioned a few days earlier. Also Koyie Hill was reassigned today. Koyie didn't have much chance to make the team from his performance with the Cubs last year and didn't do much to impress in camp. I doubt we ever see him in a Cubs uniform again, unless we get a major injury at the catch position.
Another player that was reassigned was Josh Kroeger. At one point he was a very good prospect for the Diamondbacks, but now is just a Quad-A player. If Felix Pie fails this year and the Cubs need an emergency guy, Josh might get a look if puts up good numbers in AAA, but I doubt that he will get the chance and if he does I don't think he will be able to do anything meaningful for them.
The roster is now down to 36 and there are 3 players that are non-roster invitees that still have a good chance to make the roster. They are Casey McGehee, Micah Hoffpauir and Alex Cintron. If Alex makes the team, it will be at the cost of Ronny Cedeno going to AAA with a very unimpressive spring and the fact that he has been hobbled with a minor injury lately hasn't had much chance to turn things around. McGehee and Hoffpauir both won't make the club, but one of them might make it for a bat off the bench as they are hitting the heck out of the ball, but it isn't clear who wouldn't make it if one of them does.
Well I have been under the weather the last 10 days so sorry for not writing.
Since the last time I wrote, the Cubs first cuts were sending these non-roster invities back to minor league camp Esmailin Caridad and Jose Ceda and left-handed pitcher Geoff Jones. Outfielders Tyler Colvin and Andres Torres, infielder Bobby Scales and catchers Welington Castillo and Josh Donaldson.
In that all were young and really had no shot to make the team and were kept around for the split squad games to get some big league exposure.
Then the Cubs optioned Adam Harben to AA. Who?
Next the Cubs sent Jake Fox and Juan Mateo to AAA and Jeff Samardzija to AA. None of these were a surprise as Samardzija is in only his 2nd year and has a way to go. Jake Fox has no where to play on the Cubs as his defense isn't good enough behind the plate to beat out Henry Blanco as a backup and Juan Mateo is coming back from surgery last year so wasn't expected to make the team.
The same day the team re-assigned these non roster players pitcher Ed Campusano, infielder Luis Figueroa and catcher JD Closser. I was a little surprised that JD didn't get a longer look, but I guess that is how far his stock has fallen in a few years. The team then released Shingo Takatsu. This was a signing that no one in Cubs nation could understand why it was made, any of us fans would have signed a contract for 1/10 of the price.
Then today the Cubs reassigned infielder Andres Blanco. I thought he might have a small chance to make the team if the Cubs had traded Cedeno and Fontenot had completely stunk, but neither has happened.
Now why is Ryan Dempster even in the running for a spot (4 G, 10.2 IP, 8 ER, 6 bb, 6 k), not just in the rotation, but on the roster? Marquis is putting up a good spring (3GS, 9 IP, 9 hit, 2 ER, 4 bb, 3 k), but I am sure come 2nd half he will be the same Jason. Sean Marshall is putting up good numbers (3 G, 8.1 IP, 8 hit, 3 ER,4 bb, 6 k) and Jon Lieber's numbers are real good (3 G, 10 IP, 7 h, 2 ER, 1 bb, 8 k). So with this the Cubs should pick Lieber and either Marshall or Marquis and forget Dempster as a SP. Now let's look at pen:
We have Wood, Marmol, Howry, Eyre, Wuertz all making the pen without much debate. That then leaves 2 spots right? The Cubs need 2 lefties out of pen this year and Neal Cotts who got hammered in his first outing this spring has put up 4 scoreless innnings since, so unless he melts down that leaves 1. Why not Kevin Hart, who did well last year and is putting up decent numbers this spring (6 G, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER,0 BB, 4 K)? That then leaves Ryan Dempster off the roster. I know he is due 5 million dollars this year, but isn't it worth eating that contract if it will help you win 5-7 more games this year when you are trying to win the division and also the World Series?
Spring Training Update
The Cubs got bad news yesterday when it was announced Alfonzo Soriano has a fracture in his middle right finger. He is only expected to miss a few days and not a serious injury, but any injury to your franchise player (at least paid that way) is not good. I expect it to bother him for a little while, but should be normal before the season starts. This also should give Matt Murton some more PA’s and maybe he can peak the interest of another team (if the Cubs are still looking to move him), though I hope he stays in Chicago.
Also in the news is Jason Marquis sounding off that he doesn’t want to go to the pen and should be traded if that is where he is goig to end up. Well then I say trade him. To ANYONE!!!! He is the biggest waste of 20 million dollars since the Cubs signed Todd Hundley back in the 90’s. Heck even Ryan Dempster would be a better starting pitcher over the course of a full season then Marquis is. Marquis has this uncanny ability to suck after the all-star break for the past few years and no matter where he goes it still happens. So get rid of him now (if possible) to prevent him from being a cancer in the clubhouse.
Neal Cotts has pretty much put the final nail in his coffin with that last performance unless he can somehow get everyone else he faces out from now until end of camp (not likely). Also Shingo hasn’t looked too good in his two appearances so far (imagine that) and his chances are fading quickly.
In other good news for the Cubs and their fans, Mark DeRosa is back on the field and doing fine after surgery was down to correct his irregular heart beat. He is not likely to play until March 10, but until then he will be hitting and fielding.
Baseball Season starting
Spring Training has started and now it is time for me to start writing again. Unfortunately on Friday I did not get opening day tickets so once again I will be forced to buy it from a scalper, fun stuff.
The Cubs Mark DeRosa was rushed to the hospital
today from camp due to an irregular heart beat. According to the reports it seems as though Mark is going to be fine, but I am no doctor and the Cubs have been known to lie.
Besides the start of spring has been quite so far besides the fact that Pinella said that Fukodome will bat 3rd, Lee 4th and Ramirez 5th, which I think isn't a bad idea. Does this mean that DeRosa is going to bat 2nd or Theriot? Theriot might make more sense.