A Day Game!

GAME 55 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (29-25) at SAN DIEGO PADRES (34-22) PETCO Park, 3.35pm CT, TV: CSN, Chan4
SP Woody Williams SP Carlos Zambrano
SS #Neifi Perez CF *Dave Roberts
2B Todd Walker 3B *Sean Burroughs
1B Derrek Lee RF *Brian Giles
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 1B Phil Nevin
3B Aramis Ramirez C Ramon Hernandez
LF *Todd Hollandsworth LF Xavier Nady
CF *Corey Patterson SS Khalil Greene
C Henry Blanco 2B Damian Jackson
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
There'll be no Carlos Zambrano versus Jake Peavy, as Peavy has "an upper respiratory infection", which sounds to me suspiciously like a cold. Then again I have about as much medical knowledge as Dr Drake Ramore. Peavy's absence is both good news and bad news. Good because Peavy's typically extremely hard to score runs off, and instead the Cubs will see Woody Williams making what for all intents and purposes is his first rehab start since hitting the disabled list. Bad because Woody Williams isn't anywhere near as much of a delight to watch as the young and supremely brilliant Peavy. Is he better than our Zambrano though? Your call. Go Cubs! In other news, I have a deep and profound hatred of Jim Mecir.
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Ok, Ill bite. Why the profound hatred of Jim Mecir? While we are at it, I truly loathe Fred McGriff, and not just because of his days as a Cub.

You just don't like Jim Mecir because he's injured!

Signed,
John Kruk

To try to bring this back to topicallity, Zambrano walked the first three batters? Wow. Lucky that the Cubs got out of the first without one of them coming home...

I would just like to say that I hate Henry Blanco. I know we need a backup catcher and they will all probably suck at batting. But the man looks worse than a pitcher at the plate and when he strikes out (which he will) he looks thankful that it didnt take to long.

Sorry end of rant, backup catchers suck in general but .147 yowza!

Update: .143 BA for Blanco

This just in: Carlos Zambrano is good. I'm glad he's a Cub and glad he's on my fantasy league team. ;)

Speaking of Henry Blanco hitting worse than a pitcher...

Coming into today's game he had one fewer hit than Carlos Zambrano (7-6). Blanco has 19 more at bats.

booya.

John-- I like the Friends reference in your post. Are you just trying to prove that English people watch the same TV shows as we do?

;) Just kidding.

Good game today, AND while the sun was still out.

Well look at that, the Cubs have the 3rd best record in the NL right now.

If anyone cares, I made this earlier today.

1. Diamondbacks - Justin Upton, SS - High School
2. Royals - Alex Gordon, 3B - Nebraska
3. Mariners - Troy Tulowitzki, SS - Long Beach State
4. Nationals - Ryan Zimmerman, 3B - Virginia
5. Brewers - Cameron Maybin, OF - High School
6. Blue Jays - Ricky Romero, LHP - Cal-State Fullerton
7. Rockies - Luke Hochevar, RHP - Tennessee
8. Devil Rays - Wade Townsend, RHP - Ex-Rice
9. Mets - Mike Pelfrey, RHP - Wichata State
10. Tigers - Jeff Clement, C - Southern Cal
11. Pirates - Andrew McCutchen, OF - High School
12. Reds - Chris Volstad, RHP - High School
13. Orioles - Jay Bruce, OF - High SChool
14. Indians - Ryan Braun, 3B - Miami
15. White Sox - Brian Bogusevic, LHP/OF - Tulane
16. Marlins - Cesar Carrillo, RHP - Miami
17. Yankees - Mark Pawelek, LHP - High School
18. Padres - Craig Hansen, RHP - St. Johns
19. Rangers - Mark McCormick, RHP - Baylor
20. Cubs - CJ Henry, SS - High School
21. Athletics - Trevor Crowe, OF - Arizona
22. Marlins - Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Oregon State
23. Red Sox - Matt Torra, RHP - Massachusetts
24. Astros - Taylor Teagarden, C - Texas
25. Twins - Travis Buck, OF - Arizona State
26. Red Sox - John Mayberry, Jr. - Stanford
27. Braves - Cliff Pennington, SS - Texas A&M
28. Cardinals - Colby Rasmus, OF - High School
29. Marlins - Bryan Morris, RHP - High School
30. Cardinals - Tyler Greene, SS - Georgia Tech

Do any of you feel that we are now overusing Dempster. He's gotten the job done and thats great. But he came in against the Dodgers in a non save situation making it his 3rd game in a row and now he's brought in today in a non save. The announcers in the Dodgers game said you bring out whoever will solidify the win. I tend to disagree but I want to know what everyone here thinks. (now my side note against my own gripe on this..Dempster took 10 pitches today and 4 pitches against the dodgers. So all in all it wasn't a laborsome outing minus the warmups)

Josh, he hasn't pitched in three days.

I think the Dodger game was a mistake, but today's game makes perfect sense. He hadn't pitched in three day. Closers need consistent work to stay sharp. Not necessarily a lot of pitches, but game situations. Sometimes you have to risk his not being available three days from now to make sure that he'll be sharp tomorrow and the next day when you might need him.

Personally, I'd take Z over Peavy. But that might have something to do with the man-crush I have for Zambrano.

If you look at their cumulative stats over their first two full seasons in the bigs, 2003 and 2004, they're very similar. I'd give Zambrano the edge since he's been able to keep the ball in the park better, giving up homers on 1.9% of batted balls as opposed to Peavy's 4.4%.

That doesn't tell the whole story though. As good as Zambrano's season was last year, Peavy had a better one statistically (and probably the best statistically in the league). Whereas Zambrano's been consistently good over the two seasons, Peavyís K rate, walk rate, and HR rate all greatly improved last season.

Of course last year he also missed a month due to forearm strain, which is why he wasnít a forerunner in the Cy Young voting. And over the two year period, Zís pitched in 63 more innings (16%) than Peavy.

And thatís why Iíd pick Zambrano over probably any other young pitcher in the game right now: Dusty uses him as his horse and Zambrano has responded by being just that. I almost changed my opinion of him when he left the game a while back with what was said to be tennis elbow, but apparently that was a misdiagnosis.

So as Peavy might have shown last year that heís as good as Zambrano, he has yet to show his durability, so I think you have to give the nod to Z at this point.

Personally, I was thrilled to see Peavy out today. It would have been nice to see such a good pitching matchup, but I don't want anything to derail this recent string of Cub awsomeness.

Draft....I live in Lincoln, NE and have seen Alex Gordon play quite a bit. That guy looks like a major league 3b right now. I would LOVE to see him in Cub blue, but since that won't happen, I guess the next best place is K.C. where we'll never have to see him.

didn't catch the details of the last couple games. Yeah, if he hadn't been used then great. Just as long as we don't lose another closer. Hopefully our run of bad luck is over though.

mitre fucking sucks, hes just plain awful, he gives up a million hits and he doesnt throw enough breaking balls and i am the eggman

Good job cutting down a Padres team that went 21-6 in all of May, taking three of four at their home park to start off their June.

Two teams in passing...

Cubs come out victorious. Let's hope it carries.

I agree. Mitre has not impressed at any time he has been in the bigs. Hasn't he had enough chances?

Let's try somebody new.

there's no one new to try without cutting someone or trading someone...dempster closing and 2 main starters down...there's just not many left on the 40-man.

honestly, i wouldnt mind seeing wellemeyer given a 2nd chance, but im a lot more affraid of koronko's stuff than mitre...he's in love with that fastball and shows little besides that.

looking at this current lineup we have, i have to say that it's pretty darn good. but what do you all think of this little tweak... since we have some pretty good hitting pitchers, why not move the pitcher's spot to #8 and put korey (oops, i mean corey) into the #9 spot? i think it would take a lot of pressure off of him and at the same time, it gives us a sort of dual-leadoff situation, like what they do in the american league sometimes.

An interesting idea, but I think the main point against your idea is that the higher in the order a player is the more atbats he will get. Maybe not in one game, but over time it adds up.

Having the pitcher in the 8-hole creates more atbats for a hitter with a lower average. Corey, despite his love for Ks, will put up a better average than the combined Cubs staff.

AQC:
"I agree. Mitre has not impressed at any time he has been in the bigs. Hasn't he had enough chances?

Let's try somebody new."

Forward ahead 2 years, June 6, 2007. Here is a post randomly pulled from a TCR thread:

Guzman is hurt again, his shoulder is in shreads. I wish we still had Mitre. We really never gave him a legit shot. See, Dusty doesn't play any younger guys. He did the same thing with Juan Cruz. Fire Dusty!!!

AQC, I am just poking some fun here and not calling you out. Many on here think Cruz did not get a fair shake, but he had his chances too. Mitre is slowly falling into that category.

Kyle:
"since we have some pretty good hitting pitchers, why not move the pitcher's spot to #8 and put korey (oops, i mean corey) into the #9 spot?"

Dusty would never do that, nor should he or any manger ever do that. That is the biggest slap in the face to a hitter and by doing something like that you will lose respect of your players very fast. You would be embarassing the player and the players will turn on you very fast as a manager. It makes zero sense to do it.

Not great news:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-k...

I haven't been following Prior's status that closely, but "sometime this season" scares me a bit.

Before we start a dump on Mitre thread, let's remember that he should have been through the 5th on Saturday with only one run scored for the game. The throwing error with two outs led to four runs, which were only considered earned because of a technicality: "you can't assume the double play". Well I'm sorry, but I'm assuming the double play on a good throw since it would have beaten the runner by a step. Of course, Mitre wasn't able to recover from the error and the two subsequent walks didn't help the cause any. But itís not reasonable to expect youíre number six or seven starter to pitch effectively when his defense fails him at a critical time in the game.

Forward ahead 2 years, June 6, 2007. Here is a post randomly pulled from a TCR thread:
Guzman is hurt again, his shoulder is in shreads. I wish we still had Mitre. We really never gave him a legit shot. See, Dusty doesn't play any younger guys. He did the same thing with Juan Cruz. Fire Dusty!!!

TCR posters won't be saying fire dusty in 2007, he'll be long gone by then.

Mitre's not great, nor do I ever think he will ever be anything more than a 4/5 starter, but saying he's never done anything in the big leagues is simply not true. He started last year off nicely, before the league got wise to him, and he would have had a very nice start last time if Neifi could have thrown the ball to 1st base. Yes, he was rattled after that, but remember he's a 24 year old whose started all of 14 big league games.

And Cruz did get screwed over, its not even debatable.

Blue:
"TCR posters won't be saying fire dusty in 2007, he'll be long gone by then."

Some said he was going to be fired after last year not making the playoffs, then early this year when they were 5 games below .500 people were calling for his head, now some say that he will quit/be fired after this year, others say he will not renew his contract or be let go when it ends after next year.

The firing of Dusty has been long debated and so far only a dream. Nothing right now shows me so far why he would not be the manager of the Chicago CUbs for years to come. I understand many want him gone or can try and spin ways to hope he is gone, but nothing concrete tells me he won't be here in 2007.

"And Cruz did get screwed over, its not even debatable."

Yeah, in 2002-03, his 2-10 record and 4.46 ERA in 15 starts should of gotten him the #1 starter slot. Or was it his 1-4 record and 6.75 ERA as a reliever should of put him in the closer role? Yeah, damn you Dusty Baker, we could of had Cruz in our bullpen this year with his 8.55 ERA.

Cruz was no good, Baker and Hendry both knew it and unloaded him.

I don't know anyone who said Dusty would be fired last year for not making the playoffs. Many people said he should have been fired, but most everyone knows TribCo isn't going to eat Dusty's 4 million a year contract. That said, unless the Cubs make the World Series next year, I don't see anyway that Dusty sticks around after his contract is up. Quite frankly, I expect the spilt to be mutual, because I don't think Dusty particulalry likes being in Chicago either.

As far as Cruz goes, its not debatable. If you have a pitcher, any pitcher, sit without pitching for WEEKS at a time, send him to the minors for a few days, before bringing him back up where he sits again for weeks without pitching, he's going to fail. We've been over this ground a million times, and Manny, even you knew it was a boneheaded move back in 2003.

I agree with Bleeding Blue. I believe Dusty will be gone by the end of 2006, and the departure will be mutual. My impression is that Dusty is not particularly happy in Chicago (although he IS happy with the money he's making!).

I expect a change in Dusty's coaching staff at some point this year, or before the start of next season at the very latest. As I've posted before, I expect Dick Pole to replace Larry Rothschild as pitching coach, Sonny Jackson to replace Pole as bench coach, and Vince Coleman to replace Gary Matthews, Sr, as 1st base coach and base-running instructor.

When Dusty leaves after 2006, I would like to see Joe Girardi be the next Cubs manager, with Greg Maddux (if he wants to stay in baseball) as his pitching coach, Mark Grace (if he gives up his broadcasting gig in Phoenix) as hitting instructor, Lloyd McClendon (presuming he gets fired by the Pirates at some point in the next couple of years) as 3rd base coach, Shawon Dunston as 1st base coach, and Scott Servais as bullpen coach.

"As far as Cruz goes, its not debatable. If you have a pitcher, any pitcher, sit without pitching for WEEKS at a time, send him to the minors for a few days, before bringing him back up where he sits again for weeks without pitching, he's going to fail."

Cruz has had two years to get over that. He's continued to perform in mediocre fashion. Personally, I think Dusty put a hex on him. Dusty's just the kind of person to do that.

Perhaps it was because of that time a fan at Wrigley threw popcorn at Cruz. Didn't he know that Cruz has a popcorn phobia? Those fans at Wrigley need to get more class.

Or maybe it was the time Hendry came into the bathroom and used the urinal next to Cruz, who was nervous and couldn't finish until Hendry left. That sort of thing can scar a man for life. Yep, that's it, Hendry's to blame.

I assume Doug Dascenzo will be the bullpen catcher?

didnt know where else to post this- but espn has a great article about an old fellow who, inspired by Ron Santo, is walking from arizona to Wrigley Field to raise money for juvenile diabetes research. its a great read about a great cubs fan...
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?pa...
( i tried hyperlinking it, but it used the comment box to open in, and i didnt want to limit folks readshere at cub reporter)

Speaking of replacement starters, hereís Jerome Williamsí line for Iowa Sunday in a no decision:

6 IP, 2 earned, 3 hits, 1 HR, 3 BB, 3 K

For his two starts in Iowa:

1-0 W-L, 12 IP, 4 earned, 11 hits, 3 BB, 7 K.

Rich Hill is going to the mound tonight.

For those of you who are concerned about Sergio Mitre and/or John Koronka as even short-term solutions for the Priorless and Woodless starting rotation, another solid performance by Jerome Williams yesterday for Iowa might mean we'll see him sooner rather than later:

6 IP
3 H
2 R (2 ER)
3 BB
3 K
1 HR

And Rich Hill goes tonight.

As to how the Cubs can make room on 40-man the roster for Rich Hill (or Raul Valdez), the answer is to place the retired David Crouthers on the Restricted List, which would open up a spot on the 40-man roster. Or Richard Lewis could be DFA'd. Lewis couldn't even crack the Mendoza Line (.200) at Iowa before being sent back to AA for the 3rd year in a row, and he has no future with the Cubs and would have no value in a trade.

Speaking of David Crouthers, I would imagine if and when the Cubs get a "replacement" from the Orioles for Crouthers, it won't be one of the O's top three pitching prospects (Hayden Penn, John Maine, or Chris Ray). Rather, I would think James Johnson, Chris Britton, or Brian Fincn (all at Hi-A Frederick) are the mosr likely candidates.

Personally, if I can't get Penn, Maine, or Ray, I'd take a flyer on LHP Eric DuBose, who is pitching "lights out" at AA. DuBose was a rotation starter for the Orioles in 2003 and 2004, before having his '04 season cut short by elbow surgery (bone chips). But he's healthy now, and I'd rather have him in the Cubs starting rotation than John Koronka. At least DuBose has quality stuff. The reason DuBose is pitching in AA instead of in AAA right now is because the Orioles AAA affiliate is in Canada (Ottawa), and the Canadian government refused to grant DuBose a work permit due to a DUI bust he incurred in Florida during Spring Training.

CUBS NERD: Man, we think alike, don't we? But how come you didn't mention Eric DuBose?

#32 of 36: By Jim (June 6, 2005 09:07 AM)
I assume Doug Dascenzo will be the bullpen catcher?

Or Hector Villanueva.

#32 of 36: By Jim (June 6, 2005 09:07 AM)
I assume Doug Dascenzo will be the bullpen catcher?


Or Hector Villanueva.


in a cost-cutting move, the tribune company will have girardi both manage and catch the bullpen sessions.

DuBose DuBois? Way too confusing.

AZ Phil,

DuBose, Maine and Penn are all on the O's 40-man roster, so obtaining them as Crouthers compensation would probably force the Cubs to DFA Richard Lewis.

I don't think DuBose is obtainable -- and as a 29 yr-old with MLB experience beating up on AA hitting, you have to be careful looking at his stats now. And I don't think Penn or Maine are obtainable as Crouthers compensation, they are both miles ahead of Crouthers in development potential.

The ones AZ Phil listed that is most interesting and possibly obtainable is Chris Ray, who continues to improve his strikeout rates. Another Oriole pitching prospect I am interested that I think we are more likely to obtain than DuBose, Maine or Penn is Cory Morris. Consistently high strikeout rates (8.97 K/9 career), reasonable home run rates (0.72 HR/9) but a big problem with walks (4.62 BB/9 career). This year his K's have stayed up along with his walks (56 K's, 28 BB's, and 4 HR's in 51.2 IP). His ERA is 2.79 this year.

I am always intrigued by pitchers with high K, low HR, and high BB rates, perhaps I am a bit of a Pollyanna in believing that control can be coached. If you look at Morris's career numbers, they are comparable to Crouthers (7.90 K/9, 0.71 HR/9 and 4.14 BB/9) and the two are the same age.

There is no reason for the Cubs or the O's to make a decision on any player until after the amateur draft. The draft may fill perceived system holes or possibly even shake out position player prospects for the teams.

hell, the cubs are taking their sweet time "scouting" the O's system for headcase's replacement. looks like they might be waiting til the O's restock on some youth so some kids who look fringe important might be expendable soon...*shrug*

and about this manager stuff...its a manager...

ive been listening to absolute crap being talked by fans in NY blaming torre for NYY losses...

*cough*

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA

okay, whatever...

210m teams run themselves, period. torre isnt losing those games, his players are. who gave the yanks those players...brian cashman and georgie boy.

replacing dusty wont give this team magical wins outta nowhere or teach patterson how to not be timid on the bases or enable dubois to be the stud some people want him to be...etc etc

the main pisser is people blaming dusty for crap he didnt even do...dusty didnt pull kerry wood aside at age 17 and tell him he should torque his elbow across his body (it works for d.willis, even though his motion is more violent...gee, i guess baseball players arent video games and cant be treated as universal truths)...dusty didnt tell everyone hendry signed the past 2 years to get injured...dusty's "abuse" of pitchers is unheralded and unwarrented if you check in on his SF years...dusty's "hatred of youth" is also VERY unwarrented, both in SF and CHC...dusty's use of macias/etc. is not only average, its below average compared to a lot of his peers on other clubs...

yeah, he makes a few boneheaded moves occasionally according to MY LOGIC...but that's perspective. some of the ideas the dusty bashers have on how to run this club would make me wanna fire whoever enacted those ideas, honestly.

the thing im most upset about dusty with...how much he's getting paid. sure his players are happy and understand their roles and show up ready to play...but damn...that's a lotta loot for a manager.

#36 of 41: By Arizona Phil (June 6, 2005 11:02 AM)

"CUBS NERD: Man, we think alike, don't we? But how come you didn't mention Eric DuBose?"

Sorry Phil but Eric DuBose is currently out of my scope. Iím having enough trouble figuring out the inner workings of our own farm system without worrying about those of other teams.

>>The reason DuBose is pitching in AA instead of in AAA right now is because the Orioles AAA affiliate is in Canada (Ottawa), and the Canadian government refused to grant DuBose a work permit due to a DUI bust he incurred in Florida during Spring Training.

Impressive level of info and detail for a fan board. Go to PayPal and pay your dues, folks. Keep the stream alive. Signed-- NOT a shill.

DC TOM: I'd be curious as to how the Sammy Sosa trade negotiations went down. Obviously, once the Orioles & Cubs agreed on the financial arrangements, Jim Hendry certainly wasn't going to sabotage the deal by insisting on getting back certain players the Orioles weren't going to trade. But just who exactly did the Cubs have the opportunity to acquire when they selected Jerry Hairston, Jr, Mike Fontenot, and David Crouthers from (presumably) a list or lists of players provided to the Cubs by the Orioles.

From what I've read, supposedly Hairston was on a list of "major leaguers" that included Jay Gibbons, but I don't know who else might have been on that list... Probably Luis Matos, maybe David Newhan, but probably NOT Brian Roberts.

And Fontenot would have probably been on a list of position player "prospects" that probably did NOT include Nick Markakis, Val Majewski, or Mike Fiorentino, but MIGHT have included players like Eli Whiteside, Walter Young, and Tripper Johnson. Given those choices, I would have opted for Fontenot, too.

And Crouthers was probably on a list of pitching "prospects" that would NOT have included Aaron Loewen, John Maine, Hayden Penn, and Chris Ray, because if Ray had been available, I would think he would have been the Cubs' choice (over Crouthers) since Ray was a teammate of Brendan Harris at William & Mary and would have been heavily scouted by Cubs Virginia super-scout Billy Swoope (he's the guy who scouted & signed a whole slew of Cubs prospects, including Jason Dubois, Brendan Harris, Sean Marshall, Justin Jones, Nic Jackson, Matt Craig, Mike Mallory, Josh Arteaga, et al).

So if Crouthers stays retired, the Cubs are probably gonna be given a chance to select a different pitching prospect off the SAME original list they were given five months ago, and I think it likely that Cory Morris (as you suggested) as well as James Johnson, Chris Britton, and Brian Finch (who has the highest ceiling of the group), and just about any other pitcher in the O's farm system (other than Maine, Penn, Loewen, and Ray) were on that list and will still be available if the Cubs are interested.

But if the choice is between a long-shot prospect who has never pitched higher than AA and who probably won't be good enough to make the Cubs 40-man roster after this season anyway, and a pitcher with major league experience like Eric DuBose, I would select DuBose, because he can help the Cubs RIGHT NOW, when they most need a rotation starter with major league experience and quality stuff. If he fails or is a bust, then so what? At least the Cubs will have given it a shot. It's not like DuBose would be in the rotation once Prior and Wood return from the DL.

There are lot of similarities between Jerome Williams and Eric DuBose. Both were #1 draft picks in the late 1990's (Williams by the Giants, DuBose by Oakland), both had fine rookie seasons in 2003, both had arthroscopic elbow surgery in mid-season 2004, both had "personal" set-backs in Spring Training 2005 (Williams with his father's illness, and DuBose with a DUI arrest), both are trying to get back to the mjor leagues, and both have been throwing the ball pretty well recently.

So if the Cubs have the opportunity to get Eric DuBose as the replacement for David Crouthers, and IF the other choices do not include John Maine, Adam Loewen, Hayden Penn, or Chris Ray (and I doubt those pitchers would be available), then I'd take DuBose over Morris, Johnson, Britton, or Finch for the same reason the Cubs took Jerome Williams back in the LaTroy Hawkins deal... DuBose (like Williams) had success in the major leagues before the elbow surgery, and now he's healthy again.

Actually Dusty Baker's performance as a manager of the Cubs has been remarkably steady. Taking into consideration all games from 2003-date he has a winning percentage of .546 which is nearly identical to the Cubs .545 this year and in 2003.

Man, I hope the Cubs shellack Chacin tonight, if for no other reason than he looks like a jackass.

Are those Blue Blockers?

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