Jermaine Van Buren

Low-90s fastball, fine slider, side-arm herky-jerky motion, and these minor league numbers...
YearIPHHRBBKERASV
Double-A West Tenn200453.023224641.8721
Triple-A Iowa2004/0546.227617581.9319
Pringles Park, the home of the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, plays very much like the pitcher's park, and the Southern League as a whole is a pitcher's best friend too. But Van Buren, a former Rockies top prospect, now 25 and just over a year and a half removed from the Independent Leagues, has taken the same kind of success to Iowa and the Pacific Coast League, which is very much hitter friendly. With our bullpen in Chicago not exactly dependable, what's not to like? And what's to lose? The flagrant underemployment of Sergio Mitre, who's thrown just 3 innings since the All-Star Break? Send him to Iowa, or preferably elsewhere today via trade, anywhere where the innings will come thicker and faster, and give Van Buren the shot that he deserves.
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The way the bullpen has been this year, I would be willing to try anybody else especially someone that is having success so far. What is up with Mitre and those 3 innings? Absolute waste of a roster spot while the guy just gets rusty and cob-webbed. Trade him, send him back down, whatever; just put that spot to better use.

In Dusty they Rusty!

I bet Mitre will be sent down, but to make room when Wood/Williamson/Nomar are added.

Dream a little dream...

http://tinyurl.com/avk23

John H: I posted this on another thread yesterday, but it also applies to this thread...

#75 of 118: By Arizona Phil (July 30, 2005 10:58 AM)
Although I hope the Cubs stay away from Alfonso Soriano, face it... He's Dusty Baker's kind of player... Power, speed, first-ball/fast-ball hitter, eschews the walk. So if the deal gets done, figure Dusty was pushing for it.

But I want no part of Alfonso Soriano. He would not make the Cubs a better team.

What I would prefer to see Hendry do is to trade Glendon Rusch to a team in need of a starting pitcher in exchange for a true reliever. Rusch is best served as a starter. He gives up too many hits to pitch in relief, where there is a small margin for error.

I also wish the Cubs would bring up Jermaine Van Buren (the closer at Iowa) and see what he has to offer, and send Sergio Mitre (needs to pitch every fifth day as a starter) and Michael Wuertz (needs to work on his control) to AAA. I know Williamson and Wood will (probably) be joining the Cubs bullpen in a few days, but it would be useful to find out before then if Van Buren can get major league hitters out on a consistent basis. As I've posted before on other threads, the Cubs can make room on the 40-man roster for Nomar, Williamson, and Van Buren (they have obne spot open right now) by recalling Angel Guzman (out for the year with a sore arm) and placing him on the 60-day DL, and then DFA Richard Lewis.

If Lewis were to clear waivers (which seems likely), he would not be a six-year minor league free-agent until after the 2007 season, so the Cubs would have him under control for a couple more seasons in case he masters AAA pitching. Or if they don't want to DFA anybody, Adam Greenberg could be transferred to the 60-day DL, and then play Winter Ball if the Cubs want him to get more ABs before Spring Training.

Also, since being moved to the bullpen, Bobby Brownlie has been outstanding at Iowa. Middle relief looks to be his future, although maybe not with the Cubs, and probably not til next year. If the Cubs fail to place him on their 40-man roster after this season, he will almost cerainly be selected in the Rule 5 Draft. A proven AAA reliever with a 1st Round pedigree would be attractive to a lot of the "have-not" clubs. If the Cubs do not see him as a future member of their own bullpen, better to protect him on the 40-man roster and then trade him later, rather than lose him in the Rule 5 Draft for $50,000.

i would love to see JVB up here, and have been saying so for a while. his stats are ridiculous.

also, 3-way trade rumor that comes from a radio station in houston (take that how you wish)

Cubs get: Jacque Jones, Kyle Lohse
Twins get: Alfonso Soriano
Rangers get: Rich Hill

i know you might want to get more from Hill, but jones would be a decent fit in LF. career OBP of 331, but it's 354 this year. he also has 15 or more homers in 5 of the last 6 years (assuming he gets at least one more the rest of this year....)

not sure what i think of this deal. lohse plugged in as your 5th starter with hill gone is OK, but i'm hesitant to give up hill if i don't get a little more talent back....

Today's trade deadline has me feeling out of sorts. If the Cubs really want to be contenders, they have to do something about the bullpen and the offensive difficulties.

If Hendry assumes us to be out of contention, then he needs to be a seller to get us ready for next year.

Especially with so many teams in contention, to do nothing rather than sell is to give away all of the profits available by selling a high demand commodity during a time of great consumer demand.

I'm beginning to come to grips with the likelihood of this happening and its extremely unsettling. With articles clearly being floated by Cubs management like this and this, it seems Hendry and co.'s intention to are pretty evident. Moving up Van Buren from AAA is not going to get use to the WS and the return of Wood, Williamson, and Nomar is simply not enough.

If tomorrow Hendry says "I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be," I'll really have a case of the Mondays.

Baker must be *really* eager to bench Hee Seop if he's going to follow him to L.A. :)

Also, Whipple, you bring up an excellent point: if they're not adding, they should be subtracting since the bounty would be attractive. There's no shame in flipping Burnitz.

I know this is best placed on another thread, but this is the frsshest one going, so I sam putting it here.

There has been talk all weekend about the Mets attempt to acquire Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox and Danys Baez from Tampa Bay, with various other players going in different directions.

How about Jim Hendry getting involved, to wit:

Red Sox would get:
1. Mike Cameron
2. Jerry Hairston, Jr
3. Aaron Heilman
4. Aubrey Huff
5. Glendon Rusch

Cubs would get:
Johnny Damon

Mets would get:
1. Danys Baez
2. Manny Ramirez

Devil Rays would get:
1. Yusmeiro Pettit (from Mets)
2. Kelly Shoppach (from Red Sox)
3-4. Any two pitchers from Cubs organization (other than Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Williams, Hill, Dempster, or Maddux), probably two from amongst Wellemeyer, Guzman, Pinto, and Aardsma.

About Van Buren, wouldnt we have to drop someone off the 40 man to bring him up?

I sure don't like that 3 team trade, and I don't see how any of the teams would make it.

The Twins would benefit the most, getting both the infielder and the power hitter they desperately need. Baker could come up and fill the 5th starter spot, but, with Hunter now gone for a month, I don't know if they are ready to give Michael Ryan a starting OF job.

The Rangers would get a decent pitcher, but probably not enough to give up Soriano. Hell, if Rich Hill is all it takes, let Soriano come to the Cubs - even though I don't see where he would fit in.

The Cubs would be the big loser in the deal. They would get a mediocre "veteran" pitcher to replace Rich Hill, which Dusty would love but would be a downgrade in quality, and they would add yet another average to below average outfielder who can't hit leftys. Jones would improve the Cubs defense, particularly if Dusty played him in CF (but he wouldn't) - but unless Jones, Holly, and Gerut can somehow morph into one above average Left-Handed Outfielder, I hope Hendry isn't giving this "idea" any serious thought.

I for the life of me cannot understand why Rusch was pulled from the starting rotation. This year and last he had some good starts. Mitre had two good starts also and throws nasty stuff. Dusty thinks you can switch from starting to short relief with no problem. Big mistake one of many for Dustball.

Ryan Dempster and his 27 pitch ninth innings is not a stopper, too much excitement, and too many runners.

I just happened to be checking on Corey's Iowa vacation yesterday and noticed JVB's numbers. BB/K ratio is excellent. Pretty impressive, he deserves a try.

IENPW: Yes. Eventually. The Cubs have one opening on their 40-man roster right now, but will need two if and when Williamson and Garciaparra are activated from the 60-day DL (possibly next Friday). And then they would need an additional spot for Van Buren.

As I stated in my earlier post (see Post #4 on this thread, which I re-posted from a thread from yesterday), the Cubs can make room on the 40-man roster for Williamson, Garciaparra, AND Van Buren by recalling Angel Guzman and then placing him on the 60-day DL (he could still go out on a 30-day rehab at West Tenn or Iowa before the end of the minor league season if he is able to pitch), and/or transfer Adam Greenberg to the 60-day DL, and/or DFA Richard Lewis (who probably would not be claimed off waivers). The Cubs also could DFA John Koronka, but if they do, Koronka could be an immediate free-agent (his option) because he was sent outright to the minor leagues earlier in his career (when he was returned to Cincinnati by Texas after the Rangers had selected him in the Rule 5 Draft). Or the Cubs could try and outright Russ Rohlicek or Jon Leicester, but either would be more likely to get claimed off waivers than Richard Lewis. So if the Cubs DFA anybody, they should DFA Richard Lewis.

Whats up with Dusty Baker trying to manage Dodgers??

Am I the only one who wishes Arizona Phil were the Cubs' GM..?

Even though the Cubs don't look too good right now, I can't see Jim Hendry being a "seller" with the Cubs just four games out of the Wild Card.

Hendry would get vilified if he started to dismantle the team with two months to go and 1/3 of the season left to be played. Remember the PR nightmare the White Sox faced with the so-called "White Flag" trade (Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez, and Danny Darwin to the Giants for six prospects) on July 31, 1997, when the Sox were only 5 games out (albeit playing poorly)? Hendry would be crucified if he called the season right now.

I believe Hendry will probably make a deal today, but I just hope it's not for Alfonso Soriano (or the three-team deal with the Twins). But Soriano IS Dusty Baker's kind of player (power, speed, and a first-ball/fast-ball hitter), so, it's possible...

Bleeding,
Good post, I agree. And, we don't need a 5th starter. If you go to the store wanting to buy apples but only oranges are for sale, you don't have to buy them.

Regarding Rich Hill, granted he has only shown two pitches, but when one of those pitches is that plus-plus yacker, you keep him. With his ability to locate that curve, he just needs to hit the corners with the fastball. The majority of hits off of Hill are fastballs mislocated (i.e. Glaus' knock yesterday). Having two qulaity pitches is better than having several average pitches. Look at Zambrano, when he can locate his pitches, he only needs two. He beat the Brewers earlier this year, allowing one hit over 7, throwing essentially nothing but four-seemers.

If we want a player like Jones, we should get Lawton. A couple of years older and a couple million more, but better for the Cubs.

Soriano is in the line-up for Texas. This could be a sign he is staying in Dallas.

Lawton?

Buster is on Baseball Tonight saying that the Cubs are considering Lawton from the Pirates.

I gotta ask - why? I mean he's an okay player - career 269/371/422; and a 276/382/438 line this season. I like the consistently high OBP, but he doesn't have much power, nor a particularly high batting average.

I mean, isn't this almost exactly what we expect from Matt Murton? Maybe the only difference is that Dusty might play Lawton since he's a "veteran". I'd rather spend the $2M on something other than Lawton.

If the Cubs can't get a good trade today, I think we should take a page out of Jocketty's book and look at waiver wire deals over the next few months. Might be a good way to pick up relief help if nothing else.

MICHAEL CROSS: Personally I think Matt Murton is a protypical #2 hitter, and that's where he should be hitting. Even now, he has the plate discipline, speed, willingness to use the entire field, and bat-on-ball skills necessary to bat second. Even if he develops power at some point later in his career (a la Ryne Sandberg), I still don't peg him as a "run producer."

I actually would rather see Hairston-Murton (or even Walker-Murton) hitting 1-2, or maybe even Hairston-Murton-Walker (or Damon-Murton-Walker!--see my earlier post) 1-2-3 (with Lee-Ramirez-Burnitz-Garciaparra-Barrett/Blanco hitting 4-5-6-7-8). I think that kind of lineup would produce more runs.

So if the Cubs DFA anybody, they should DFA Richard Lewis.

Over Jose Macias? Do both.

How about Jim Hendry getting involved, to wit:
Red Sox would get:
1. Mike Cameron
2. Jerry Hairston, Jr
3. Aaron Heilman
4. Aubrey Huff
5. Glendon Rusch

Cubs would get:
Johnny Damon

Mets would get:
1. Danys Baez
2. Manny Ramirez

Devil Rays would get:
1. Yusmeiro Pettit (from Mets)
2. Kelly Shoppach (from Red Sox)
3-4. Any two pitchers from Cubs organization (other than Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Williams, Hill, Dempster, or Maddux), probably two from amongst Wellemeyer, Guzman, Pinto, and Aardsma.

You want to give up 4 players to get a half-year rental? Are you kidding me? Even if you want to sign Damon to an extension, which I doubt, knowing your love of Felix Pie, that's a preposterously high price to pay.

DFA THE MF JOSEMACIAS!!!

We could be a Buyer or a Seller today, but those aren't the only two choices. We could also be a Stand Patter, which I prefer in our case for three reasons:

(1) We don't have a great chance at the wildcard due to the number of teams involved in the hunt. There is just too much luck involved, and we have too many games left against STL to call it a "good" chance. The rest of the year will be fun to watch, because you never know what will happen, but I don't want us to give up anything of value in order to improve our chances only marginally.

(2) The market values of potential trade candidates are inflated this year due to the disproportionate number of teams in contention. By my count, all but 5 NL teams can legitimately consider themselves in the hunt. So, the lack of Sellers (and therefore supply) has driven the prices out of whack.

(3) We have three guys coming back in the next week who have a real chance to fix glaring needs. It's reasonable to expect that one (and probably two) of them will be successful -- not sure who, but the one or two will be a great help. We will be a better team in one week.

(4) Rich Hill's emergence means it's unnecessary to trade for a starter. Each starting pitcher only has around 12 starts left. It's reasonable to project based on recent performance that the Cubs will win 5-9 of Hill's games. The starting pitchers on the market will give you a 6-10 range, at best; not enough of an improvement to be worth the price.

um, make that 4 reasons

Az Phil - Get realistic dude. The Redsox are going to trade Manny Ramirez AND Johnny Damon and get only get Cameron, Huff, Heilman, Hairston and Rusch? The Redsox want to WIN another World Series not give up on the second half of the season.

That is just an unbelievable amount of crap for 2 of the best position players in baseball. And someone said they want Az Phil for GM? In what fantasy world? That trade may go down in MVP Baseball 2005, but you have a better chance of the Earth getting swallowed by a blackhole before the Redsox trade Manny and Damon.

So, the lack of Sellers (and therefore supply) has driven the prices out of whack.

Isn't this the reason to become a seller? If this year is lost (and I truly think it is), why hang onto Rusch in our bullpen when a team shilling for starting pitching would give us some nice prospect in return?

Same is true for Hairston, Perez, Grieve, Rem, and hell, even Burney. They're all out at the end of the year (Burney's got a $500K buyout), so they're perfect for the rental market. So you say Rem, Perez, and Grieve have no value? The current "sharks in the water" mentality says otherwise.

Additionally, we could conceivably make some nice trades involving players/prospects with whom we've lost patience: Patterson, Mitre, Leicster, etc.

So many teams are in a feeding frenzy that you can get a lot more in return for these players than they'll get you in the off season.

Re: Hendry's popularity, if he's to succeed, he's going to have to tune out the critics and do what's best for the Cubs regardless of what it does to his reputation in the local media. Some of Epstein's moves were heavily criticized in the Boston media, but there ain't much antipathy now.

From the LA Times today

"Dusty Baker would like to return to Los Angeles to manage the Dodgers, according to a person close to the Chicago Cub manager.

Baker, who played eight seasons for the Dodgers, is unhappy in Chicago, where he has managed the Cubs for 2 1/2 years, the source said. Baker has 1 1/2 years left on a contract that coincides with current Dodger manager Jim Tracy's, though Tracy could opt out of his contract after this season.

According to the source, "Dusty wants desperately to manage the Dodgers Ö and [supporters] would love to get a buzz going about Dusty in case the Dodgers were thinking of letting Tracy go at the end of the season.

"He would love the Dodgers to come calling and then hope the Cubs would let him go."

That would be a departure from Baker's previous feelings about the Dodgers.

When he left the organization for San Francisco after the 1983 season, Baker believed he had been betrayed by rumors of drug involvement and once vowed to never work for the Dodgers again.

Presumably, Tracy will manage the Dodgers for at least another season.

While there are signs that Tracy and General Manager Paul DePodesta don't always share common baseball philosophies (Hee-Seop Choi's participation, for one), DePodesta appears satisfied with Tracy's work.

The body of evidence, so far, says Tracy stays through 2006, the end of his two-year extension.

Baker managed the San Francisco Giants for 10 seasons that included three postseason appearances and one World Series.

After the 2002 season, he signed a four-year, $15-million contract to manage the Cubs, and came within a win of the World Series in his first season in Chicago.

Those who know Baker often have put his final job in Arizona, where he would work for Jeff Moorad, his longtime friend and agent who now is a general partner there. "

Baker had to deny this on WGN this morning--but it was less than convincing. He didn't deny he was unhappy in Chicago...just that he denies anything about the LA job.

I thought Baker's denial on cubs.com appeared failry genuine, but you never really know. The problem is that once the rumor is out there, even a denial makes it look like fuel is being added to the fire.

Lineups

Hairston, CF
Walker, 2B
Lee, 1B
Burnitz, RF
Ramirez, 3B
Gerut, LF
Perez, SS
Barrett, C
Maddux, P

Counsell, 2B
Tracy, RF
Gonzalez, LF
Clark, 1B
Glaus, 3B
Green, CF
Clayton, SS
Snyder, C
Webb, P

AZ PHIL: Who would you like to Manage the Cubs IF Dusty makes a move to Los Angeles...?

conspiracy theory:

The LA Times is owned by the Tribune.

Is the propaganda machine beginning to warm-up? Not to mention why would they even ask him about it in the leadoff man? Was it just a general press conference or was he Bob or Len's guest? Cause if it was the latter, that's a bit odd.

I can't imagine Depodesta hiring him anyway, Baker and Tracy are practically the same manager.

I think Dusty starts next year as the Cubs manager, but if the Cubs go through anything resembling what happened over the last 2 years, even with injuries, I can see him getting fired.

At this point, almost ANYBODY would look better at the helm than Dusty. Speier, Brenly; and there's someone the Cubs interviewed at the time Dusty was hired... I'm not sure, but I think his name was Fredi Gonzalez or something like that... (Arizona Phil probably knows who he is!).. Hell, I'd be willing to give HIM a shot!

IMHO, the next Cubs manager would have to go a long way to be considered WORSE than Dusty.

Here's ONE rumor I pray comes TRUE!

#31 of 33: By Scott (July 31, 2005 11:21 AM)
AZ PHIL: Who would you like to Manage the Cubs IF Dusty makes a move to Los Angeles...?

----

SCOTT: Joe Girardi (currently bench coach with the Yankees) would be my choice. I know he doesn't have any experience as a manager, but experience is overrated. What's important is that Girardi is intelligent, that (as an ex-catcher) he certainly must understand pitchers and what makes them "tick," and that he has a history with the Cubs and no doubt grasps the angst felt by Cubs fans, something Dusty Baker does not seem to understand.

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