Give Carpenter Some Splinters

GAME 117 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (73-43) @ CHICAGO CUBS (56-60) WRIGLEY FIELD, 12:15 pm CDT, TV: FOX
Jerome Williams, RHP
3-5, 5.18 ERA
39/24 K/BB, 10 HR in 66.0 IP
Chris Carpenter, RHP
16-4, 2.26 ERA
161/39 K/BB, 11 HR in 171.1 IP
SS David Eckstein LF *Matt Lawton
LF *John Rodriguez 2B *Todd Walker
1B Albert Pujols 1B Derrek Lee
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B #Araham Nunez RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF *John Mabry SS Nomar Garciaparra
2B Mark Grudzielanek C Michael Barrett
C Mike Mahoney CF *Corey Patterson
P Chris Carpenter P Jerome Williams
What a season Chris Carpenter is having. If it wasn't for that 43 year old, he'd have to be the favourite for the Cy Young award.
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Comments

I agree. but are we gonna get this game goin or...anybody know any reports?

Fox says the game should start in 45 minutes.

FWIW, Fox just said they're looking to get the game started in 45 minutes, at 2:30CT. I'm a mile west of Wrigley and it's just about stopped raining here.

The game will start at 3 CT. Go Cubs.

why is the game not on FOX?

any ideas?

gotta get some runs back this inning with leadoff man on.

The Gabe Gross moniker gets me. As a grad of Auburn I wonder why someone would choose such a pseudonym.

Jerome Williams is looking more and more like the pitcher the Giants optioned to Sacramento.

barrett apparently took one in the nads...pat and ron watch the replay in silence until:

RON: "ohhhhhhhhh my gosh..."
PAT: "got him in the groin area."
RON: "oh. my. gosh..."

The Cubs offense needs to kick it up a few notches if they want to win this game...There are only 4 innings left to demonstrate that the last 2 games were not an abberation...This game is still close and the Cubs can come back IF they play smart baseball...;-)

Nothing like mentioning an option to Fresno to stiffen the spine of our starting pitcher.

Always the optimist Scott!!!! good for you

Hawkeye-

It's kind of a convuluted story but...My wife graduated from Northview High in Dothan with Gabe and they were friends. The first time that I met him I asked if his dad was GREG GROSS who used to play for the cubs. It's not, his dad played pro football, not baseball.

Anyway, when I found this site for the first time I saw that mannytrillo used an old cub as a name so I the first obscure cub I thought of was GREG GROSS but must not have been thinking when I typed in Gabe's name and not Greg's. Then I just didn't want to change it.

Apologies to War Eagle (not really though, ROLL TIDE)

what a mess Williamson created for himself!!!!

These walks are painful...we NEED a double play...;-)

Dusty is a fool for using Hollandsworth -- how reliable is his hitting when we NEED to get runners on base...? I liked the line-up 2 days ago MUCH better than what Dusty is using today...Lawton and Hollandsworth just aren't getting hits often enough...I would rather see Murton &/or Macias out there...Use players that are hitting well...The Cardinals are a great team and they don't make many mistakes...Today they are putting the pressure on the Cubs and we need to play good defense and score several runs in the last few innings.

yeah, if dusty didnt use holly the cubs had a sure 10 point victory there...

damn him...

If Holly were injured for the rest of the season who would Dusty use...?

hairston is showing up as DH in Iowa, i didn't realize he was sent down for a rehab assignment. When he's ready, does korey get sent back down?

Unless a trade of Burny, Lawton, or Holly is made that would mean Koronka or Murton would be sent down. Wood could also go under the knife.

CSI: Cubs
_______________

A mixture of poor execution, lackluster relief pitching, lack of leadership and key injuries has essentially killed off the Cubsí hopes of postseason

By Dave van Dyck
Tribune staff reporter
Published August 13, 2005, 10:18 PM CDT

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

{...Most scouts avoided the question of whether Baker is to blame, though one indicted him with his silence and had no praise for the coaching staff. Some believe Baker has done well with the players general manager Jim Hendry provided.

Santo, the most veteran observer of the Cubs, praised Baker and said he hopes he stays past this year and next, when his contract runs out.

"I really mean this--you have to have continuity," Santo said. "I don't care how things go, you can't be switching managers and coaches."

One equally veteran observer said Baker "has never been through anything like this before. He was never criticized in San Francisco and he's having a tough time handling it. He doesn't have the veteran players in the clubhouse to help him through the tough times."...}

"One equally veteran observer said Baker "has never been through anything like this before. He was never criticized in San Francisco and he's having a tough time handling it."

what planet does this vetern observer live on?

one that doesnt have a media outlet near san fran evidently.

i dunno whether to laugh or hope this guy isnt a cubs scout.

He also don't have veterans (i.e. he can't fall back on Barry Bonds) to help him through hard times.

In an article listing the problems with the 2005 Cubs (CSI:Cubs) - compiled with input from "baseball people" and "veteran observers" around MLB, mind you - the phrases "on-base percentage" and "walks" each appear only once.

That's like writing an article on why the Titanic sank and only once using the word "iceberg."

CFC,

You have to remember these are scouts who care more about a guy's power or whether his a** can fit into a pair of size 32 jeans rather than does a guy have good plate discipline.

Cleveland recalled JASON DUBOIS from AAA Buffalo where he hit 3 HR and 7 RBI in six games.

Dubois this year: 9 HR, 24 RBI, .239/.298/.460 176AB

To put that in perspective>>

Korey Patterson: 11 HR, 25 RBI, .235/.272/.377 332AB
Sammy Sosa: 14 HR, 43 RBI, .228/.306/.396 351AB

Um, hi CUBFANCHAD,

Thanks for posting. Just one request...

I speak for only myself, but is there anyway you could change your 'handle'? You see, we already have a 'CUBFAN' and we already have a 'CHAD' not only that but Cubfan and I...well lets just say putting those two names together at his board is creating quite the un-holy alliance.

Just a request.

FIXER UP SPECIAL:
1) Jim Hendry, please get some players made for the leadoff and #2 slots in the batting order. Their abilities should be so obvious that even Dusty knows where to hit them. . The Cubs have won when this happens, and are usually below .500 when they don't.

2) Work the count should be a mantra. Any team that is last in the league in walks doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as playoffs. The coaching staff that gets their players to understand this gets the offense succeed. Jerome Williams had over 100 pitches in 5 innings, was it him or the opposition that knew how to approach their at bats? C'mon Dusty, "why not us"

3) Fix the bullpen. It takes 3 solid performers minimum, this year the only one who has been good is Dempster. Hawkins was the attempt to do this but if failed for reasons we all know. Go back to the drawing board Jim Hendry.

3) Don't let the defense get sloppy...that kills your pitching staff; when this team had to resort to Hairston/Macias in CF, it was an example of what happens to a team without defense.

4) Use strategy instead of hoping for a 3 run homer. I loved the way the cardinals scored off of Williamson yesterday. Back to back hit and run plays (one with the pitcher on 1st base). We don't have to steal bases (it would be nice) but even a team without speed can hit and run.

Yesterday's game might have been 2-2 going into the late innings had we given up as many walks as the Cardinals (or gotten as many as them) and played better defense (Ramirez missed a DP, with a bad throw). Sign of a team that doesn't understand why fundamentals are important to win games.

CWTP:

You say, to put that in perspective but the examples you give don't give ANY perspective. You compare DuBois to Sammy Sosa, who is not a Cub nor was he this year and Korey Patterson, who plays a different posistion and plays much better defense in a much more important defensive position. To give perspective you should show the stats for Todd Hollandswort and Jeromy Burnitz.

sorry about post #29's numbering...I kept adding to my list of gripes

it's a long laundry list

No, I am not Gary Gillette from ESPN.COM. In a contrast and compare of the NL Central, he had this to say about our heroes.

Chicago Cubs
With the Cubs on a staggering bender of Foster Brooks-like proportions, the rumor mill is grinding away 24/7, expecting manager Dusty Baker to become history following another disappointing season on the North Side.
The real conundrum is how a team with the Cubs' starting rotation and All-Star infielders Lee and Ramirez can be so bad. The Cubs are second in the NL in slugging percentage, so how can they be ninth in runs? Why is the ERA so poor, especially on the road?

The answer to question one is simple: nobody gets on base. The Cubs' .325 on-base percentage is 13th in the league, and they've drawn far fewer walks than any other team in baseball. Every player on the club, even the "good" ones (save Lee), is deficient in this regard. Baker's decision to employ the especially impatient Corey Patterson and Neifi Perez at the top of the batting order just killed the offense.

Question No. 2: As for the vaunted starting rotation, counting on the oft-injured Kerry Wood was dicey, as Wood and to a lesser extent Mark Prior have struggled with injuries. Greg Maddux continues to decline, and the lack of decent starters at the end of the rotation has overexposed and worn out an already mediocre bullpen."

I note that Van Dyck's column did not mention the way the Cubs' rotation has become unhinged. Also, he did not mention the our RF instead of being still something of an offensive force in 2003 is now also at best league average. Gillette rates the Brewers as better than the Cubs right now.

I also note that while taking some well aimed shots at Dusty, Jim Hendry must be wondering if this article represents the first shive in his back from the corporate suits in Tribune Tower. Hopefully they won't bring Jim Frey back to GM the team.

"You say, to put that in perspective but the examples you give don't give ANY perspective. You compare DuBois to Sammy Sosa, who is not a Cub nor was he this year and Korey Patterson, who plays a different posistion(sic) and plays much better defense in a much more important defensive position. To give perspective you should show the stats for Todd Hollandswort(sic) and Jeromy Burnitz."

I don't know what to make of unsolicited inane comments like the one above.

Had Sosa not been traded, Dubois (+Holey), Patterson and Sosa were slated to be the Cub outfield at the start of this year.

That's the perspective.

It may be interesting to some to look at what the projected Cub outfield has done and compare it with the changes the Cubs have made so far this year (which I leave up to the readers). TCR deals in hypotheticals all the time if you haven't noticed.

Oh yeah, Thanks Chad for pointing out that Sosa isn't a Cub anymore, that these three play different positions, and that some are better defensively (Sosa and DuBois are pretty much exclusively DH's however and don't affect the defense) than others .

Who knew?

You are the one with the inane posts. What does comaparing DuBois stats to Sosa show? Your point SEEMED to be, "boy Jason wasn't all that bad" but you compared his stats to two players that did not take his place on any roster. To show perspective you should be making a comparison to people that played INSTEAD of him. Why not compare him to say, Tino Martinez or Bucky Dent? By the way, your pointing out spelling mistakes is obnoxious and makes me (sic).

JOE BOROWSKI, EXCUB, pitched 2 scoreless innings to pick up his first win as lowly Tampa Bay beat Cleveland 1-0.

JoeBo's ERA is down to 2.73!! Check it out he hasn't allowed a run since joining the
Devil Rays.

And in the same game JASON DUBOIS, EXCUB (mentioned above) played right field and went 0/3, striking out all three times!

cubswinthepennant...you seem absolutely obsessed with Cubs players traded away this year...especially mediocre ones who were absolutely awful with the Cubs.

The perspective you provided on Dubois shows that his numbers are right in line with 2 other horribly underachieving pros. I guess your perspective shows me that if Sosa, CPat and Dubois were the outfield for the Cubs, we'd still suck.

Good for JoeBo...again. It's nice that he is thriving in an empty stadium without any pressure whatsoever on a terrible team with no hopes of the playoffs and no media scrutiny. He is a great guy, it's great for him.

He served no purpose for the Cubs for 2004 and 2005, and so it was a win/win situation to let him work somewhere else.

borowski...

besides pissing off the brass for refusing to have surgery after rehab attempts repeatedly failed his HR totals killed his worth to any team.

if you're released by your club in a season like this where relief pitching is at a premium...and cuz no one wants to trade for you even for cash/ptbn...and cuz all your agent can find work for you in the majors is tampa bay...well...cubs werent the only people scared of what borowski brings.

he actually had a decent run with the cubs...except for the homers, which is pretty much the biggest reason he was gone.

CWTP:
"And in the same game JASON DUBOIS, EXCUB played right field and went 0/3, striking out all three times!"

Wow, that is a shocker....

Unreal. First we have 2 on no out and the heart of the order up and get no runs. Next half inning Mike Mahoney hits a HR. Nomar just doubled lets see if this leads to something.

CP just hit a 2 run shot.

Corey hits a HR with a runner on base?! Maybe that trip to Des Moines did help a little.

Looked fair...no?

camera angle directly behind home plate that looks down the left field line CLEARLY showed the ball was left of the foul pole before, during and after it past the foul pole....foul ball.

What I think they have to find a way to do is pitch games with fewer than 20 pitches per inning. 120+ in 6 innings is just unacceptable.

I'll tell ya what, Ramirez is one dumb fuck! Same shit he did yesterday, can he take any longer to run to 3rd trying for a DP? My first thought when ball was hit was go home and get lead runner with pitcher on deck! I'm tired of watching million dollar players play like idiots! If the Cubs are The Wizard of Ozz, Ramirez is deff. the scarecrow!!!

Too bad it missed Morris' face!!!

You know what, I think Dusty should win Manager of the Year just because he has to deal with this crap every day. This game is totally on the players so far.

It's not even that they make millions. It's that they should know the game by now. This team seems to make poor decision after poor decision on the field. You can't blame all that on the manager.

I'm thinking, please God, not Macias. Murton, Hollandsworth, anyone: not Macias.

Now batting for Mark Prior...

(shudder)

AND HE SINGLES!!!!

I guess that's why Dusty makes the big bucks.

sweet swingin' macias

JOSE MACIAS is a GOD!!!

I was a fool* to doubt the power of Jose F.! Macias. Not to mention Dusty, in whom, it's my understanding, we trusty.

* = A fool!

JOSE MACIAS is a GOD!!!

if any credibility was there before...it definitely was blown with that statement.

Cubfan-
Just trying to keep up with you...:)

hopefully that single by jose "clutch" macias won't give dusty the crazy idea to play him everyday, but knowing dusty ramirez will be on the bench tommorow in favor of macias

Are you kidding? Ol' boy Jose "Money" Macias is hitting .348 in August. He's Dusty's #1 pinch hitter until Hendry DFAs Macias or the sun burns out, whichever comes first.

In all seriousness, though, I love Todd Walker. Works counts, consistent, seems like a smart, straightforward guy from the interviews I've read. Not the best guy on the roster by any stretch, but my personal fav Cub this year.

Morgan discussing Aram : 'possibly best cubs 3B since Santo.' I know we all like Santo. But would anyone besides me rather see Madlock at 3rd?

who is morgan kidding macias is the best 3B since santo

who is morgan kidding macias is the best 3B since santo

WOOD = NASTY!!!!!

I still think Hendry needs to seriously sit KWood down and tell him his future is as a closer. I was as skeptical as anybody but MAN HE LOOKS DIRTY as a relief pitcher. Did you guys see that strike three slider to Eckstein!!! To Eckstein who never Ks. He just watched it after getting it at 98 and 99.

He's the answer in the pen. Now GO FIND ANOTHER STARTER!!!!

that dude makes 12m next year...

i think i'd rather see him throwing 200 pitches a year insted of 50-70 esp. if he's in his last year and esp. if he can do it physically.

if there was some young starter he was cockblocking i'd be about it, but the last thing i honestly wanna see is good money going to any starter before the pen/OF issues are addressed fully.

Wood is RED HOT tonight...We need some good pitching from Dempster and some smart defense...Lets close out the Cardinals and build momentum going into Houston...;-)

That's what I'm saying. With Wood, Williamson, Novoa, Rich Hill, Ohman, and Wellemeyer, the pen problem is kind of solved.

We move Rusch into the rotation with Prior, Maddux and Z then go get a front line starter like Zito or Morris (preferably Zito) and sign him for a couple of seasons.

Then we'd still have lots of cash to throw at DLee, Prior, Z and OFs Johnny Damon and Austin Kearns.

Nomar rushes a throw and that costs us big time...These Cardinals are dangerous late in a close ballgame...Time to contain the damage...Steady as she goes Dempster.

Way to go Dempster...CUBS WIN A SERIES against the number one team in their division...Now it's time to go to Houston and take care of business...;-)

Houston has struggled lately, maybe cubs can take advantage and get a sweep!

Who are Houston's probables?

We will miss Clemens because he pitched yesterday.

I agree on Wood. I was telling my wife this is the best he's looked since the playoffs versus Atlanta. I love the idea of just going out there and giving it his all for an inning. I think he can change the closer role also. There is no reason he can't pitch an 8th and 9th inning automatically. That means with Dempster or someone else strong in the 7th, we can cut a game to 6 innings. That would be HUGE.

CUBS WIN!!!!! IN DUSTY WE TRUSTy!!!!!!

Keep it going.....

Probables are:

Mon: Rusch (5-4 3.98) V. Rodriguez LH (7-5 6.18)

Tue: Maddux (9-9, 4.54) V. Pettitte (10-8, 2.62)

Wed: Z (9-5, 3.17) V. Oswalt (14-9, 2.57)

Tommrrow is a must win! that plus a split against Pettite and Oswalt would put us 5.5 games back a sweep would put us 3.5.

In just a minute WSCR (AM 670 in Chicago) will re-broadcast this morning's interview with Cub's GM Jim Hendry.

JOSE MACIAS is a GOD!!!

Let me guess, That isn't praise for Macias either Manny?

From the 'I hope you like the trip across I-80' file:

Kornoka Sent back down to Iowa, Wellemeyer brought up to avoid having an empty seat on the bullpen bench.

Now this series is what the whole god damn year was supposed to be (We hoped)...solid starting pitching, great relief, big contributions from Lee and Ramirez...and the role players including Cpat, Nomar, Lawton, and even Macias getting big hits throughout the series.

It's as simple as this...we sweep the Houston series and we are right in the hunt with some momentum that can hopefully put us back above .500 by weeks end...Still chasing 4-5 teams though so we'll need to stay hot for much longer to make a real run...and we'll knock the Astros out of a playoff position

We win the series 2-1, we still have a very outside chance of making a run...and need to have several more wins to get us to the point of even thinking about a meaningful September

We lose the series 2-1...as good as dead....might as well put Wood under the knife and play the rookies to the end.

We get swept...Well better luck next year.

I don't know if Wood could consistently go two innings a night but I like your enthusiasm Brian.

I think if Woody does move to closer we should let Dempster go (unless we can get him for 2-3 million), even though I like him a lot. I'm not sure why so many on this board think Wood HAS to start because of the money. I agree that it's not the best economically but it makes sense for the team. And I say, hell, if you have to pay him 12 MM anyway, why not get use out of him in a role in which he is excelling rather than run the HIGH HIGH HIGH risk of him getting hurt and then he's shelved again?

We've done pretty well against Clemens but not against Oswalt so that scares me. Our bombers hit lefties pretty well too (petitte) so it should be a gigantic series

Ahhhhh if we only had lost 12 of 15. Where would we be now? 2 out? 1 out?

Blue-
"Let me guess, That isn't praise for Macias either Manny?"

It called being sarcastic and a small shot at the peopel who cry when Macias gets an AB. becasue if macias makes an out there, i am sure there are 20-30 posts on how stupid Dusty is for using him there. Instead those 2 RBI won the game for us today.

In Dusty We Trusty!!!

Blue-
"Wellemeyer brought up to avoid having an empty seat on the bullpen bench."

Actually he was brought up as the long relief guy since Mitre is gone and Rusch is now a starter. It is an important role as to nopt blow through a bullpen if a starter gets shelled. Hopefully he isn't needed much.

I love it, an ounce of hope in a ocean of tears. One game at a time, folks.

Just wanted to add that I pointed out the microphone on Matt Lawton (why it was there was obvious and turned to gold for ESPN with that great HR chat) but before they mentioned it pointed it out to my wife and she said she thought it may be there as part of an undercover steroid sting. I bought fell out of my chair.

Dusty's moves did indeed pay off today...everything from getting Cpat in there, to sticking with Wood for 2 innings, to Macias pinch hits. Unfortunately, the games where his moves backfire still significantly outweigh the games where they work out...players fault for not executing or managers fault? dunno.

I still think as primarly a guy off the bench, Macias is better than many others we have had in similiar situations in years past...But, the guy should never, ever play center field.

Cardinals pitcher Matt Morris, whose season began on the disabled list after he had shoulder surgery on Dec. 1, recommends that Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood have surgery NOW on his fraying rotator cuff.

DUMB STUFF FROM DUSTY

"With Kerry going one inning, Williamson basically going one inning and Novoa going one inning ... we really don't have a long man. We need a long man just in case, so we don't tear up our whole bullpen."

Dusty said yesterday when he used Wood for two innings.

The last thing that the Cubs should be doing is taking advice from notorious Cubs-hater Matt "Someone Needs To Drill Prior" Morris.

I don't have any data to back it up...but it seems to me the Cubs bullpen blows more games by either giving up a lead...giving up a tie..or having the deficit grow to a larger amount within 2 innings of the starter being taken out...regardless of if the starter comes out in the 5th-8th innings. And it seems all the relievers are suspect to this but Dempster seems to be the one with the wildest ride BUT seems to get out of the mess okay.

That said, I think Wood would be a more valuable asset as a reliever--WHEN the game matters. Not so much as closer but when you need to protect a small lead for 2 innings. So if the game is on the line in the 7th inning....you might bring him in to finish it off and then go back for the 8th...or if it is the 9th...then use him there.

The situation for Wood shouldn't be which inning you are in--rather it should be when the situation likely is at it's most critical and that critical momement is not always the 9th.

And as far as his salary that to me is not an issue.

12 million a year for a reliever who can pitch 120 games a year or 12 million for a starter who will be moderately effective and have 2-3 bouts on the DL each year.

It's a no-brainer.

Cubfan:
"And as far as his salary that to me is not an issue.

12 million a year for a reliever who can pitch 120 games a year or 12 million for a starter who will be moderately effective and have 2-3 bouts on the DL each year.

It's a no-brainer."

Who the hell pitches 120 games a year? Even the most rubber armed reliever pitches about 80-90 games a year. Last year the leader was Jim Brower of SF with 89 games. At 120 games, that would mean Wood would have to pitch 3 out of every four games. That is insane to think it is feasible.

Cubs.com mentions Baker and Rothschild are talking about skipping Williams spot in rotation since they have an off day on Thursday. I like that idea and after seeing Williams Saturday, I think it should definately be done.

Mon @ HOU: Rusch
Tue @ HOU: Maddux
Wed @ HOU: Zambrano
Thr: OFF
Fri @ COL: Prior
Sat @ COL: Rusch
Sun @ COL: Maddux

both scenarios in 86 Manny was a stretch..to show the point of how different a pitcher Wood probably would be as a reliever as opposed to a starter. I doubt Wood would be on the DL 3 times either...but you got the point and don't seem to be arguing the point I was making...just the "specifics"..

So Manny, is Wood more valuable using in critical moments in 80 games?? or starting in 34 games (IF he isn't on the DL 8 times that year) and being mediocre as a starter?

I don't mind the idea of skipping Williams either...but at this point you have to ask

1. For how long do you keep skipping him?
2. If your confidence is that low in him why is he not down in AAA?
3. Do you put your staff on a 4 man rotation from here on out?

Cubfan:
"So Manny, is Wood more valuable using in critical moments in 80 games?? or starting in 34 games (IF he isn't on the DL 8 times that year) and being mediocre as a starter?"

If he is healthy, I would rather him be a starter. Also, I don't know where you com eup with with him being "mediocre as a starter". His career numbers are 70-43 with a 3.66 ERA. You might think he has underperformed, but those numbers are not mediocre. He is just injury prone.

But if you could tell me he could pitch the entire year out of the bullpen and not get injured, but get injured 2-3 times starting, I would say have him in relief. But if he could be healthy either way, I would definately want his starting.

Cubfan:
"I don't mind the idea of skipping Williams either...but at this point you have to ask

1. For how long do you keep skipping him?
2. If your confidence is that low in him why is he not down in AAA?
3. Do you put your staff on a 4 man rotation from here on out?"

My answers:
1. Whenever a off day gives you the chance to skip him or till the Cubs are definately out of playoffs.
2. Because there is nobody else better to start in the 5th spot with Hill sucking, Koronka sucking, Wood in bullpen and Rusch taking Wood's place.
3. No, just when off days give you that chance.

The only way it makes any sense to put Wood in the pen long term is if he becomes a 70's style closer, who gets 2 or 3 inning saves from time to time and totals 120 or so innings.

On the post above, Wood's record should be 70-53 (not 43 losses)

Another point on Wood....

I am the first one to be disappointed that he is so injury prone and can't stay healthy. But when healthy he is one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Like I've said, going into this year, he was:
- 67-50, .573 winning % (30th among active pitchers according to baseball-refernce)
- 3.63 ERA (14th among active pitchers according to baseball-reference)

Manny, I can't speak for anyone else here, but:

I for one could care less whether Macias gets a hit here or there - when evaluating a manager, I'm not interested in individual outcomes. I'm personally interested in whether Dusty makes the best decisions *on average*, and he doesn't. He consistently makes decisions that have less-than-optimal expected outcomes, either because he thinks a guy is a "gamer", or because sacrificing your leadoff hitter to move a runner to second is the kind of ball they played when he was young, or whatever. Dusty does this kind of crap all the time; that fact that it works occasionally doesn't mitigate it.

So yes, I'll rip him when he pinch-hits Macias even when Macias gets that rare single. Macias is a terrible, TERRIBLE hitter, and if Dusty keeps using him the percentages will catch up, just like they did for Neifi when he started the year hitting .350. Over a 162-game season, Dusty hurts more than he helps.

But that said, WOOOOOOOO!!!
MACIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAS!!!!!!

Agreed with Manny: *if he can stay healthy*, Wood is much more valuable as a starter. 220 innings vs. 100 is a no-brainer, regardless of situation.

(Wish I could find an article about this - anyone got the numbers?)

I think the only question is whether he can consistently stay healthy enough to get those 220 innings. If he can't, and the evidence so far isn't good, then I say don't drive him into the ground trying to make him something he isn't: your only choice is to put him in the pen and get what value you can, or trade him and make him someone else's $12 mil a year science experiment.

He's been ruthless lately, though. Tough to pay $12 mil a year for a setup man/long reliever, but god DAMN.

"Cubs.com mentions Baker and Rothschild are talking about skipping Williams spot in rotation since they have an off day on Thursday. I like that idea and after seeing Williams Saturday, I think it should definately be done."

hey should stick with Williams I rather see him in Coors. He is a ground ball pitcher is a better option than Maddux there.

Ummm...the three-inning closer won't work so well in tight games in the National League. Unless, that is, you want Kerry Wood batting in key situations late in the game.

Wood could consistently go two innings if he throws 9 pitches an inning, like he did in the 7th. I would bet this performance, in terms of duration, is an anomaly and not worth discussing, really.

Did anyone read the article about possibly letting Nomar walk and signing Neifi! to be the everyday shortstop? Is Cedeno going to be the full-time back up, or is he going to stay in AAA in this scenario with Macias backing him up?

wood is a pretty good hitter, actually.

If the Cubs had kept Hawkins they wouldn't have to worry about skipping Williams. What to do, what to do?

Hey, the Giants just DFA'd Rueter. Maybe Hendry will pick him up.

If the Cubs had kept Hawkins they wouldn't have to worry about skipping Williams. What to do, what to do?

You're right, they'd be wondering about skipping Mitre or Hill instead.

"If the Cubs had kept Hawkins they wouldn't have to worry about skipping Williams. What to do, what to do?"

What the hell? If the Cubs had kept Hawkins, they'd have one more reliever who couldn't handle pressure situations serving the Cubs no purpose, and one less starter to consistantly eat up innings and make a game out of it.

You are the only person in the State of Illinois who thinks that was a bad trade for the Cubs. Your unbelievable obsession with players who did not do their jobs for the Cubs is simply stunning, and lacks any acknowledgement of how the game works on the field. When a pitcher blows a bunch of needed games, when he shows that he can't handle pressure, because he happens to succeed somewhere else, such as a team that has absolutely no shot at the playoffs...that doesn't mean it was a bad trade.

Seriously, your obsession with Hawkins and Borowski is bordering on an illness considering you bring up their stats everyday. The stats that matter are that they sucked in their defined roles for the Cubs for the last 2 years...and they earned their ticket out of town.

And the comment about not having to worry about skipping a spot in the rotation if we didn't trade Hawkins is just completely ignorant. Williams wasn't inserted into the rotation for the hell of it? He was inserted because the people he replaced were either injured or underpeformed. He was the best option...so it's either replacing him or replacing someone else.

Borowski and Hawkins had 2 years to prove their stuff in the role the Cubs needed them for...they both failed and failed miserably. you can't keep a guy who gives up 5 Home runs in 11 outings when you think you have a shot at the playoffs. You can't risk that, and you don't have the option of throwing him into the fire more and more risking more complete failures. There was a reason no one else in the league wanted to trade for Borowski, he proved he had nothing left.

I guess it is your wish that like the giants and Tampa Bay that the Cubs suck and have no shot at the playoffs...because that's the only opportunity you have to test out failed arms.

It's nice that these two guys are succeeding elsewhere. It turned out to be a win/win for all parties involved...except for you I guess.

"Ummm...the three-inning closer won't work so well in tight games in the National League. Unless, that is, you want Kerry Wood batting in key situations late in the game."

I would rather have him up than Macias or Holly.

CHifan:
"I would rather have him (Wood) up than Macias or Holly."

WHAT??? HA HA

Wood career: .166/.191/.243
Macias career: .260/.302/.376
Holly career: .276/.333./.442

So you would rather have clearly the worst player hit? And you complain about Dusty?!?!?

Stupid quote of the day

"If the Cubs had kept Hawkins, they'd have one more reliever who couldn't handle pressure situations serving the Cubs no purpose, and one less starter to consistantly eat up innings and make a game out of it."

Well, 245+ pounds Williams has been known to eat a lot of things but ... innings too? He has a fat ERA of 5.13 as well . Yes, just what we needed. And to think, we lost a great setup man and a pile of $$$ to get him. Good trade.

So, what planet do you guys think Bluewater Pennant was living on when the Cubs lit up Hawkins during 3 games Wrigley last month to the tune of 3 runs over 2 1/3 innings?

This troll has made it abudnantly clear he never watched the Cubs before this year, I'm starting to think he hasn't watched them this season either.

And does anyone else think its really funny that Bluewater Pennant is now trashing Wiliams for a "fat 5.13 ERA" when a couple months ago he was talking about how great Shawn Estes was in 2003?

Had anyone else heard of Borowski's velocity returning right before we let him go? After he was DFA'ed, the Comcast Sports Nite folks were discussing who he'd sign with and they said that his velocity had returned to the low 90's on his fastball? Just curious....

I was all for letting him go based on his lackluster outings but I wasn't paying all that close attention to what he was throwing. If he was touching the low 90's again, then the Cubs probably should have DFA'ed Remmy at the time and stuck with JoBo. Hindsight and all....

Jobo must of gone back on the juice when he didn't have his velocity back right away after rejoining the Cubs and it took awhile to get it back in his system, but just in time for TB to get him.

"CHifan:
"I would rather have him (Wood) up than Macias or Holly."

WHAT??? HA HA

Wood career: .166/.191/.243
Macias career: .260/.302/.376
Holly career: .276/.333./.442

So you would rather have clearly the worst player hit? And you complain about Dusty?!?!?"

Manny,

I was being sarcastic. Its my fault for not putting in a little ha ha. However if they needed a HR and Macias was the only option on the bench among position players I would go with Wood though. Wood has had 7 HR in 338 AB's or a 1.80% chance for a HR. Macias has 25 HR in 1586 AB's or a 1.58 percent chance to hit a HR. If Wood had the amount of AB's Macias had he would have 33 HR.

"Jobo must of gone back on the juice when he didn't have his velocity back right away after rejoining the Cubs and it took awhile to get it back in his system, but just in time for TB to get him."

His velocity was up right before the Cubs DFA'd him. They should have kept him and your idol should have put him in garbage inning situtions until he had his velocity back up.

If all you need is a single, you can do worse then have Macias pinch-hit. Any other situation and he's fairly useless. I wasn't upset at all that he was up to pinch-hit yesterday in that situation.

Say what you want about Jose Macias, God knows I don't like him at all. BUT! You have to admit that he's getting it done. The guy is hitting .300.

"If all you need is a single, you can do worse then have Macias pinch-hit."

Sure: you could rouse one of the pitchers.

But much more importantly, you could do better, namely by sending up Murton or Holly. Now that Macias has "gotten it done" a time or two, Dusty will never EVER stop using him. Even when his stats have settled back into .250/.300/.350 territory, which they will, just as Neifi's did. No, Macias is a "spark plug" and/or a "gamer" now. His place in Dusty's heart is assured.

"Well, 245+ pounds Williams has been known to eat a lot of things but ... innings too? He has a fat ERA of 5.13 as well . Yes, just what we needed. And to think, we lost a great setup man and a pile of $$$ to get him. Good trade"

Seriously, what in the hell are you talking about? You mean Hawkins the great setup man for the Minnesota Twins? Certainly you can't be talking about his performance with the Cubs. The guy, simply, could not get the job done, whatever it needed to be.....and everyone in the City of Chicago could see that. He was an arrogant prick to the media and fans from the day he took over the closer role...and simply did not have the mentality to handle the job and it effected the 8th and 9th innings as well.

Did you just start watching the games after these trades? Did you never watch Jobo or Hawkins in a Cubs uniform? Are you judging the trades based on what they did for the Cubs, or only based on what they did for two teams completely out of the playoff race in completely different situations?

I think Hawkins visit to Chicago with the Giants said a lot about his ability to handle being in the spotlight again with a ton of pressure on him. He could not do the job he was assigned to do for the Cubs, and he lost his job and was moved to someone who needed him more. Williams and Aardsma are not pitchers you can judge 8 weeks later to determine if it was a good trade or not...although even in the short term it is good because the Cubs needed another starter and Williams provided it. Williams and Aardsma are part of our future plans...Hawkins is not, and he earned his one way ticket out of town.

I truly do not understand the obseen hatred of Macias. I agree the guy shouldn't start and should have his at bats kept at a minimium. But in key pinch hitting situations he has a couple important things going for him.

1. Switch hitter...he keeps the other team from being able to switch pitchers to set up match ups, or to cost the Cubs an extra pinch hitter when we switch to match the defense switch. No one talks about that here, but I think this is precisely why he was up there last night when he was.

2. Contact hitter who does not strike out often.

3. hitting .290, far better than many primarily bench players.

Sure, his OBP sucks and will always suck...but that's why, until recently, he was only used sparingly. With the bases loaded in a close game...I think there are many worse options than Macias when you need someone off the bench.

With the bases loaded, there is a much smaller chance of a walk coming into play...therefore, his OBP means less than his simple ability to get the ball in play and get a run in.

I'm no fan of Macias, but I don't understand the hatred of him at all.

I truly do not understand the obseen hatred of Macias. I agree the guy shouldn't start and should have his at bats kept at a minimium. But in key pinch hitting situations he has a couple important things going for him.

1. Switch hitter...he keeps the other team from being able to switch pitchers to set up match ups, or to cost the Cubs an extra pinch hitter when we switch to match the defense switch. No one talks about that here, but I think this is precisely why he was up there last night when he was.

2. Contact hitter who does not strike out often.

3. hitting .290, far better than many primarily bench players.

Sure, his OBP sucks and will always suck...but that's why, until recently, he was only used sparingly. With the bases loaded in a close game...I think there are many worse options than Macias when you need someone off the bench.

With the bases loaded, there is a much smaller chance of a walk coming into play...therefore, his OBP means less than his simple ability to get the ball in play and get a run in.

I'm no fan of Macias, but I don't understand the hatred of him at all.

Adam you also forgot that he plays every position on the field well enough to be a backup anywhere AND you shorted him .009 batting points he's hitting .299. Like I said, like it or not, he's getting the job done.

Who? Who is a worse choice at the plate than Macias for the Cubs? Are you guys seriously telling me you're in favor of pinch-hitting Macias rather than Holly or Murton?

Adam:

1. Yes, he's a switch hitter. And his best work from either side of the plate is worse than e.g. Holly's work against lefties. Just because he can suck from either side of the plate doesn't mean he should be sent up there.

2. Correct; he strikes out slightly less often than, say, Holly. He also grounds into slightly more double plays.

3. Small sample size. Like Neifi, he'll come back to his career averages.

It's not that I hate Macias specifically; honestly. It's that his constant use shows some of Dusty Baker's flaws: an apparent disdain for stats and irrational attraction to certain players. There's just no logical justification for using Macias like Dusty does, yet the guy keeps getting at-bats.

Yes: Macias's defensive versatility is useful. Maybe he's worth keeping on the roster for that reason. But aside from being a last-ditch option to rest certain players (i.e., Aramis), the guy should be picking splinters out of his ass.

"Yes: Macias's defensive versatility is useful. Maybe he's worth keeping on the roster for that reason. But aside from being a last-ditch option to rest certain players (i.e., Aramis), the guy should be picking splinters out of his ass."

But in actuality, that's pretty much what Macias had been doing until those 4 starts in center recently (where he actually had a bunch of hits). Prior to that he had very few at bats compared to other regular pinch hitters in the league. That's why I think the fuss over Macias doesn't make a whole lot of sense. In the few times he has been asked to perform, he generally does on par with other pinch hitters.

Bases loaded, 2 outs...I'd take Macias over Holly today....absolutely. Murton, I don't know enough about how he hits righties...but Holly has been striking out a lot recently, and that's the quickest way to kill a scoring chance with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Honestly, 2 outs, bases loaded, close game...I think Macias is actually our best option off the bench...as if he fails, you may need someone capable of an all or nothing home run swing like Holly later in the game.

but Holly has been striking out a lot recently, and that's the quickest way to kill a scoring chance with 2 outs and the bases loaded.

How is striking out with 2 outs any worse than flying out or grounding out with 2 outs?

With Macias up in that situation you've got about a 27% chance of getting a single (career-ish) knocking in one maybe two runs.

With Holly you've got a similar chance of getting a hit of some sort, but a much better chance of getting an extra base hit driving in more runs, and also a much better chance of seeing a walk, which would also allow a run to walk across the plate (yes they can do that!)

Sorry, I didn't look up the numbers to find the exact stats, but this is where OBP and SLG are important and give other players big advantages over Macias.

And Yes, Macias can play 7 defensive position, but unlike most "utility guys" he can't play a single one of them well. Starting him once and a while to get him a few ABs is one thing, but Dusty frequently picks him (typically over young players) because he actually thinks he is the best choice. Having him play several games in a row in center is one example, but its not the only example.

Dusty hasn't frequenctly picked Macias for anything until last week.

Just because Macias hasn't started a lot of consecuative games doesn't mean he's not one of Dusty's favorites.

Macias has played in 2 out of every 3 games for the Cubs this year. For a 25th man whose only real usefulness is the ability to fill in at any position if need be, that's more than I'd like to see, and far more than Dusty plays the "unproven" folks.

BTW, after looking it up, your point of wanting seeing Macias over Holly actually has some merit based on this years stats, mostly because Hollandsworth's 05 numbers are very close to Macias's career line.

Macias has appeared in 78 of the Cubs' 118 games this year. That seems at least reasonably frequent to me.

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