Quick AFL Update

Felix Pie won't be playing in the Arizona Fall League, as reported in cubs.com. Also, the nearly complete AFL rosters and a bit of a preview are up at minorleaguebaseball.com. They do a quick rundown of some of the bigger name prospects and the only Cub reviewed is Angel Guzman.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, Guzman appeared poised to become the next Mark Prior. The only thing that's resembled the Cubs ace has been an injury history. He's made just a few outings in the Arizona League, but still only 23, there's time for him to become a top flight pitching prospect again
Also, Buck Coats is designated as a "Taxi-Squad" player, meaning he'll only be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays or if there is an injury. And the Cubs will be adding one more pitcher before games begin sometime in early October.


Rob G: Given AFL rules related to MLB service time (eliminates Mitre and Wellemeyer), roster control (eliminates six-year minor league free-agents Bartosh and Haines and probably John Koronka), and DL (eliminates Blasko, Cherry, Connolly, and Marshall), the Cubs pitcher TBD must be chosen from among the following AA, AAA, and MLB pitchers:

Thomas Atlee
Bobby Brownlie
Rich Hill
Jon Leicester
Ricky Nolasco
Roberto Novoa
Carmen Pignatiello
Ryan O'Malley
Russ Rohlicek
Jon Searles
Andy Shipman
Jermaine Van Buren

Since the Mesa Solar Sox have exactly one left-handed pitcher on their roster, my guess is that the Cubs pitcher TBD will be a lefty.

I am eliminating Rohlicek because he pitched in the AFL last year, and I am eliminating Hill because guys who pitch in the majors in September usually don't go to the AFL, and I expect Hill to be recalled when the PCL season is over. So that means it's either O'Malley or Pignatiello.

Flip a coin.


It's Ryan O'Malley.

I ventured a guess of either Nolasco or Van Buren the other day, but I doubt they'd tax Nolasco's arm anymore. The lefty thing is a good observation. O'Malley is such a non-prospect that I'd lean towards Pignatiello. Walt Nolen just got called up to Iowa all the way from A Peoria, so I wonder if there's some motivation behind that, although he's nothing special either.

Brownlie could still be a part of the discussion, his return to the starting rotation hasn't gone so well the last couple of outings and if they want to give him some more time in the bullpen, it could be an option as well.

Speaking of AFL rules which I posted a couple days ago, doesn't Guzman have to show up on a AA or AAA roster soon? There was a mention that he'd go to Daytona soon, but there's a rule that only one spot can be used for a player below AA or AAA and Eric Patterson has that covered.

ROB G: The AFL doesn't enforce the "DL rule" to the letter. As long as the player or pitcher is on a rehab assignment (even if it's in a rookie league or "A" ball), and so long as he starts the rehab sssignment prior to the last 45 days of the season, he qualifies for the AFL. So Angel Guzman (for instance) would qualify, Felix Pie (for instance) would not.

Also, it's not just the best prospects who play in the AFL. Casey Koptizke played in the AFL a couple of years ago, because Mesa needed a catcher, and Kopitzke was available. A lot depends on what the Solar Sox need to fill out their roster. They would seem to need another lefty on the pitching staff at this point, which is why I figured it would be O'Malley or Pignatiello. I could be wrong, though.

The fact that Brandon Sing will be playing in the AFL would seem to be an indication that the Cubs intend to place him on the 40-man roster within 10 days after the close of the MLB regular season, precluding him from being a six-year minor league free-agent. Presumably, the Cubs will also add Jermaine Van Buren (also eligible to be a six-year minor league free-agent) to the 40-man roster as well.

If the Cubs wish to bring Van Buren up to the major league club for an "audition" in September and need a spot on the 40-man roster to do it, Adam Greenberg could be transferred to the 60-day DL, or the Cubs could DFA Richard Lewis, John Koronka, or Russ Rohlicek (which is almost certainly going to happen prior to November 20th anyway). Besides Van Buren, the only other players I would expect to see the Cubs call up in September are Ronny Cedeno, Mike Fontenot, Geovany Soto, Ben Grieve, Matt Murton, Rich Hill, and Sergio Mitre.

I would NOT expect to see Adam Greenberg, Jon Leicester, Russ Rohlicek, John Koronka, Richard Lewis, David Aardsma, Angel Guzman, or Renyel Pinto in Chicago in September, or Bobby Brownlie, Felix Pie, Ricky Nolasco, Jae-kuk Ryu, Carlos Marmol or Sean Marshall, either, although I would expect the latter six to be added to the 40-man roster prior to the November 19th cut-off date (when rosters are frozen prior to the Rule 5 Draft).

This is what I would expect the Cubs 40-man roster to look like on November 20th:


David Aarsdsma
Bobby Brownlie
Angel Guzman
Rich Hill
Jon Leicester
Greg Maddux
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Sergio Mitre
Ricky Nolasco
Roberto Novoa
Will Ohman
Renyel Pinto
Mark Prior
Jae-kuk Ryu
Jermaine Van Buren
Todd Wellemeyer
Jerome Williams
Scott Williamson
Kerry Wood
Michael Wuertz
Carlos Zambrano

Michael Barrett
Henry Blanco
Geovany Soto

Ronny Cedeno
Mike Fontenot
Jerry Hairston, Jr
Dereek Lee
Jose Macias
Aramis Ramirez
Brandon Sing
Todd Walker

Adam Greenberg
Matt Murton
Corey Patterson
Felix Pie

Jeromy Burnitz (Cubs will exercise $500,000 buy-out)
* Ryan Dempster
Chad Fox
Nomar Garciaparra
Ben Grieve
Todd Hollandsworth
Matt Lawton
Neifi Perez
Glendon Rusch (will exercise player option to be free-agent)

* will be offered arbitration

1. Andy Shipman
2. Casey McGehee
3. Luis Montanez
4. Brian Dopirak (see below)
5. Scott Moore (see below)

AA pitchers with good stuff and reasonable future expectations are the most popular choices in the Rule 5 Draft, and Andy Shipman fits that description to a "T." McGehee would have value to some clubs as a versatile player (C-3B-1B) with some offensive upside, and Montanez (whose hitting has improved this year) might make a good (cheap) 4th outfielder for somebody like Pittsburgh, Colorado or Kansas City.

However, since Dopirak and Moore have not played higher than "Hi-A" (and Moore has been there two years in a row), it would be very, very unlikely that either have the experience necessary to hit major league pitching in 2006 (see Jason Dubois in Spring Training with Toronto in 2003), such that they would almost certainly NOT be able to stick on a 25-man roster (even Kansas City's) for an entire MLB saason even if they are selected in the Rule 5 Draft. It is MUCH harder to "stash" a position player who hasn't played higher than Class "A" on a 25-man roster for an entire season than it is to stash a pitcher who hasn't pitched higher than Class "A," especially if the position player can't at least pinch-run or play late-inning defense. So neither Dopirak or Moore should be placed on the Cubs 40-man roster after this season. It would be a waste of two spots on the 40-man roster, and would start their option clocks ticking one year earlier than necessary.

I think Greenberg will get called up, he rejoined the Jaxx on Monday and once the AA playoffs are over, I have a feeling the Cubs will reward him with a call back up to the majors. Just a hunch that they feel bad for the guy that his one at-bat resulted the way it did, plus they obviously liked him enough in the first place to call him up.

If he's still looking dazed and confused in AA, then probably not, but it appears everything is a-okay with him.

head on over to the trib and read paul sulivan picking hendry's head.

lotta people will comb over that crap with a fine tooth comb looking for any dusty bait they can find, but here's my scariest piece i could gleen...

"I'm very happy with Dempster, so I'm not looking at that [situation] as 'Oh, I'm going to look for a closer,'" Hendry said.

how in the HELL could he be happy with the dumpster aside from 2 months of work? i hope he dont intend on giving him a penny more than 2m if they do decide he's worth keeping around.

being so early i wouldnt take any of this as gospel, but sulivan raked the GM's head for what's going on in it right now.

I think an AL team could stash Dopiriak on their 25-man roster. I mean look at TB if they could keep Dopiriak on their bench next season knowing he is going to suck big time, but in 3 years you could have an infield of Upton- Cantu- Dopiriak to go along with a SS or 3b depending about how they handle Upton although I think its safe to his future in TB is at 3rd. I agree with AZ Phil it probably won't happen and I see TB as the only team that would do it because they wont win next year and they lack a 1b prospect with the upside of Dopiriak. With the talent they have in OF and SP prosecpts if you could add a guy like Dopiriak for a 08 run it might be worth their while. Lamar is known for doing stupid things.

CHIFAN3887: I agree with you, that there is some risk in failing to place Brian Dopirak on the 40-man roster after this season. And if any team were to draft Dopirak and stash him on their bench for an entire season, it could very well be the Devil Rays, especially since Dopirak is a local kid from Florida. Hendry may end up placing Dopirak on the 40-man roster just to prevent the scenario you describe, but I would be willing to take my chances and leave him off the 40-man roster anyway. Part of that involves my belief that nobody would draft Dopirak and let him rot on the bench for an entire season, and part of it stema from my doubts about just how much of a prospect Dopirak really is.

Just tossing this out, but I see that 3B Brandon Sing is out of the West Tenn lineup today. Any chance that this is in preparation for his call up tomorrow? I know it gets complicated and financial because he's not on the 40-man, but this might be a sign that someone is going on the DL, thus opening up a spot.

I saw him and Pie work in the batting cage together for about 15 minutes in Mesa, and was really impressed with Sing. Nice stroke, opp pop, nice strong frame.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

AZ Phil:

What do you think about trading Dopirak this year, while he is still looked at a reasonably good prospect. We have DLee, so not sure he would fit in anywhere with the Cubs. So instead of just wasting a spot on the 40-man, we could use him in a deal that may help the team in other areas. Not sure of his value, but just a thought.

On another note, with the year going as it is, all we can do is think about next year. How about Rafael Furcal & Brian Giles as 2 FA signings over the offseason. We might have to overpay for for Furcal, but I think adding him & Giles would be great additions -- leadoff & middle of the lineup. Furcal doesn't have great OBP #s for a leadoff guy, but I think his speed just makes such a difference that stats dont show -- taking extra bases, distracting pitchers, etc. I think the signings would also allow starting a low power guy like Murton as a corner OF (esp. if Walker is back at 2nd). Since we will have a lot of $ this offseason, I hope the Cubs put a lot of effort into these moves.....

AZ Phil,

I agree that Dopiriak should not be on the 40 man for two reasons. First, he has not been above A ball and second he is most likely turning into 2000's speak for David Kelton. Although if he is picked there is a chance we could lose him. Also for AFL I would say that it is going to be Pigentillo he could use work as a Loogy because that is where any MLB future he has is in.


On the Sullivan article I noticed this contradiction by Hendry. Sullivan quotes him as saying "Hendry said he and Baker remain on the same page and he has "absolutely" no problem with the job Baker has done" and "Yeah, we've had issues, but despite all our problems, I certainly didn't expect at the end of August to be under .500." He said the team is not meeting expectations, but he Abosouetly no problem with Baker's performance? If the team is not meeting goals wouldn't he be atleast a little upset w/ Baker. On the team I think his coments seemed to give me the impression he will go after Damon. He expressed enough on sympathy on Nomar to bring him back if his contract demands are reasonable. Also It noted how hight they were with Cedeno so that seems to elimnate Furcal. Also he talked about not getting enough of a look at Pie this season which seems to make it clear that he wants him in Iowa to start next year. Combine that with Sully saying they will persue a FA lead-off hitter that would leave Damon.

hey bleeding blue, email again

lemme know what's up for tomorrow. i sent you my cell number also

upton shouldnt be allowed anywhere near a ground ball, imo. the guy is seriously worse than i can even begin to describe and its his glove and arm.

i still dont understand how he was even a SS in highschool. at least he's got a work ethic, a bat, and wheels.

and about the sulivan article..its full of contridictions, or rather putting sulivans viewpoints along with hendry's without pointing out who's view is who's...


The Cubs can plug in youngsters such as shortstop Ronny Cedeno, left fielder Matt Murton and center fielder Felix Pie in 2006, but starting a youth movement with Baker as manager appears unlikely. "I can see ourselves having a good balance," Hendry said. "We've done that with the pitching."


hendry's quote directly shreds the words preceeding it, but its not made clear why sulivan wrote it anyway. go figure. paul sulivan...

the article is too full of viewpoints that you cant tell whether they're sulivan's opinions or stuff sulivan is assuming shoved up against stuff we know hendry is saying.

free grain o' salts! line up!

and on the "He said the team is not meeting expectations, but he Abosouetly no problem with Baker's performance?" issue...

i wouldnt take that as iron-fist shoe-banging anger as much as i would personal amazement things are as bad as it is. but he's not gonna scapegoat a manager when its obvious there's a lot more pressing issues, such as the bullpen which he basically said baker's had the choice of crap to replace crap all year, injuries, and gambles on player signed not working out.

he needs to blame himself for this disgusting bench we've had the past 2 years...

if anything aobut baker/hendry should be gleened from that is he'll probally be back next year without much of an issue.

re-reading that article a few times im starting to have a hard time telling what's paul and what'd hendry...

i dunno if this article is of any help to anyone or can be taken seriously outside the direct quotes at this point.

this could have been something to really calm some fears/tempers/curiousity, but now it just seems more and more confusing as to who's saying what besides what' in direct quotes.


From the POV as a Comm major I have to say what Sullivan did wrong in the article was trying to tell the reader what he thought Hendry meant. This is bad from two aspects your annoying the reader by doing what they could do for themselves and 2nd his views on it might confuse or mislead the reader on what Hendry was saying.

agreed...sulivan's so familiar with his material and the people he works with he sometimes forgets "joe public" has to read his work and they dont spend 200 days a year around the people he's on a first-name basis with.

i don't know what he's assuming we already know, what's speculation on his part, and what he's telling us hendry has said in a more literative manner.

its especially confusing when he does it all in a single paragraph moving seamlessly along.

Likely line-up on Friday:
LF Lawton
2B Walker
1b Lee
RF Burnitz
SS Perez
C Barrett
3B Macias
CF Patterson

Pitchers will be lining up to throw against that line-up. Reading the articles on Hendry's interview reminds me of reading the current administration's press releases on the war. Both have very little to do with reality. This line-up has only one player who is really outstanding, Lee. It has three just above Joe Average in Walker, Barrett, and Burnitz. The rest are not above replacement level from AAA. This is not a good team. The funny thing is we may be seeing a lineup like this one quite a bit next season if McPhail (rhymes with fail) and Jim Hendry's interviews accurately reflect their judgement about the team and its problems. That this team is a lot better then its record.

They are where they are at on merit, not lack of hustle or Dusty's line-up struggles. The team has little patience at the plate and low OBP because those are the kind of guys Hendry and Dusty have put on the team, not because of lack of coaching. I don't think those things can be coached except very marginally.

Hendry still seems to cling to illusions about this team. Exhibit A, Patterson, who some how is to magically transform himself this off season. Patterson has had the classic meltdown of a toolsy player who has no strike zone judgement and who can't hit a breaking pitch.

Exhibit B, Nefi Perez. Nefi has actually played great this year, for Nefi Perez, showing more power then he has in years. But he is still an out machine. He is still Nefi Perez and when his dinks and bloops don't fall in for singles, he will kill an offense for a whole month as he did when hope was still blooming back in June. Perhaps having to play him for the next six weeks will disenthrall Dusty and Hendry with him with an nice .150 streak.

Exhibit C, R. Cedeno has apparently had a good year at AAA, but he looked like nothing more than a grade C prospect until this season. He has the same characteristics of a typical Cubs' hitter: lack of patience (P/PA 3.14), low OBP, and some middling power. In other words he is a younger version of Nefi. Also, Dusty will not play him over Nefi or Macias so it is somewhat pointless to have the conversation.

Exhibit D, Dusty. I think the Dusty bashing goes overboard. He has grievious faults, but so does every major league manager from a fan's perspective. He has strengths in the clubhouse that we don't see. But Dusty is comfortable and knows how to manage veterans, not rookies. He is not Bobby Cox who is comfortable with a judgement that a rookie is ready to play and will play even when he hits a dry spell, something all hiiters do. If you are going to bring Dusty back, you need to find veterans and rookies like Murton and Cedeno and Sing will need to be trade bait. But Hendry seems to have talked himself into believing Cedeno is the answer at short and Dusty will play him and Murton in LF. It ain't going to happen as Dusty will bench them after the first 1-10 slump. If you make Dusty your manager, you need to give him veterans as Sabean did in San Francisco.

I think the futility of being a Cubs fan will have to wind itself through two more seasons of false spring hope in 2006 and 2007. Then Prior, Wood, Zambrano, and Lee will depart as free agents or trades and the next management crew will be brought into rebuild over the next 10 years. And the cash cow will keep on milking. I believed something very different at the beginning of this season, but the scales have dropped from my eyes and I realized that the "great" farm system was nothing but hype and the opportunities to fill some great players into this team, particularly Vlad and Alec Rodriguez were not serioulsy explored.

I note that the team is now 2 games behind the Brewers. With Prince Fielder and Richie Weeks, the Brewers have the two best position players since in the division since Pujols, Adam Dunn, and Lance Berkman came up. They have a solid starting rotation, a decent bullpen, and the best pitching coach north of Lee Mazzone. The Reds have a far better line-up then the Cubs and a better bench. So they are likely to pass us if their mediocre pitching continues its bounce back from pathetic. Now will the Cubs improve as much as the Brewers and Reds will over the winter? The Astros and Cardinals may well slip next year as both teams have significant aging issues, but won't the Cubs slip more then they have the last two seasons given the current management's illusions about the team?

I would love to see O'Malley pitch in the AFL. I was in his group in Sociology back in college and would frequently sign him in when he skipped class...so...I feel compelled to root for him. Nice guy, at least he was in the Fall of '99...Good luck, buddy!

John DeWan presented some stats on the radio that we all know without hearing them.

Teams with their hitters having seen the most pitches per game:
1-Boston 2-Oakland...29-Cubs (30 teams)

Teams with their pitchers throwing the most pitches per game:
Cubs were 29th or 30th here too.

So we suck on both ends of the best metric to measure how pitchers and hitters should approach an at bat.

I think the problem here is that talent evaluation is misguided throuout the entire organization. Other than Matt Murton (who was initially in the Boston farm system), we haven't seen a non-pitcher who knows how to work the count and be patient at the plate. Corey Patterson as a top prospect is the prime example of the worst possible fundamental approach to an at bat. We haven't had a leadoff hitter since flash in the pan Jerome Walton and although 2003 was fun, we had a .500 team and were going nowhere until the last 6 weeks of the season with Kenny Lofton leading off and CPat was out of the lineup with his knee injury.
In fact, this years best stretch was when Hairston was leading off and CPat was in the minors. The season ended IMHO when Hairston hurt his elbow and Macias took over in center. At least in 2003 they had Tom Goodwin for such injury scenerios (vs. now with Macias, which forced CPat back from Siberia)

On the other side of the at bat, we have "ace" pitchers who run consistently high pitch counts. Example, Prior's last outing with 131 pitches and he couldn't get out of the 7th inning. I think it's a system wide issue regarding how they think about pitch conservation and how to approach a hitter who is trying to be patient at the plate. If we played Boston and Oakland type teams our starters (and therefore the bullpen) would be burned out in June.

The Billy Beane/Bill James/Theo Epstein's of the world have it philosophically correct. The Schuerholz/Cox gang know how to evaluate talent.

What do we have?

Cubfaningermany's rant is scary stuff, but I suspect it isn't too off base.

I see no Cubbie Blue skies unless we get people in who understand and apply better fundamental strategies and teach them to their players. This of course includes the whole fundamental package with better base running, bunting, defense...it's a game and knowing how to out play your opponent is a basic thing good teams do. We don't and haven't, because our management doesn't get it.

I still like Jim Hendry but he is a stubborn guy too and hasn't addressed improving fundamental play on a system wide basis yet if ever.

DAMMIT, reading the board here at TCR is the only saving grace left for the season, but I'm outta here if C-F-I-Germany is going to start a chorus of 'wait til 2008'. I WILL START A PIRATES FAN CLUB before I would be willing to write off two more years of baseball. They're losers too, maybe they're lovable...?

Note that I DID go root (unsuccessfully) against the Cardinals last night, but only because the ticket was free. I will be in the stands to see the new & "Improved" september Cubs roster on the field here Sept2, but mainly because its a fireworks night. *Sigh*

Not teh happiest camper with some of the things Hendry said in his Sullivan' Trib piece. Obviously Sullivan didn't like a few of them too as he threw in some of his "ideas" and thoughts eto try and override the comments by the GM of the team.

Like Crunch said earlier, none of this can't be written in stovne yet, but bringing Patterson back and not going after Wagner, are not steps in teh right direction in my opinion.

The offseason should be interesting to see if McPhail gives Hendry a extension and in turn Hendry gives Baker one, because if not, 2006 will determine their job status with the Cubs. No playoffs=No jobs.

#10 of 22: By Keith (August 25, 2005 08:34 PM)
AZ Phil:

What do you think about trading Dopirak this year, while he is still looked at a reasonably good prospect. We have DLee, so not sure he would fit in anywhere with the Cubs. So instead of just wasting a spot on the 40-man, we could use him in a deal that may help the team in other areas. Not sure of his value, but just a thought.


KEITH: If Hendry signs Derrek Lee to a contract extension during the off season (which I believe will happen), I would think it would be a minimum three year extension post-2006 (that is, through 2009), so that even if Brian Dopirak is the "real deal," he would be blocked at 1B through the 2009 season. Therefore I would be willing to include Dopirak in a trade this coming off dseason.

If Dopirak is added to the 40-man roster after this season, he would be out of options by Spring Training 2009, one year BEFORE Lee's contract expires (again, presuming D-Lee gets an extension). And unlike Brandon Sing (a high school shortstop who outgrew the position), Dopirak is too slow and lacks the arm to play any position other than 1B. So I believe it would be bad strategy to place Dopirak on the 40-man roster after this season UNLESS D-Lee will be leaving prior to the 2009 season. Otherwise, I would just take my chances with leaving Dopirak off the 40-man roster until after NEXT season, partly because I don't think he would stick on a 25-man roster for the entire 2006 season if he were selected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, and partly because I am not sold on Dopirak as a top flight prospect. A year of AA (next season) will go a long way toward determining Dopirak's future value.

I understand that I am in the minority here, but isn't it time to see what this team has for 2006?
Dusty/Hedry must be wearing some seriously powerful rode-colored glasses, because this season is done as far as the playoffs are concerned.
The "overhyped" farm system needs to give us a couple of players for next year.
I am tired of the stopgap veteran approach, or the fading veteran with on good year left. Morandini, Gaetti, Burnitz, etc.
It has been 97 years of futility, I am willing to wait a couple more to develop a good, solid team.
2006 Cubs?
1B Derrek Lee
2B:Hairston? Walker?
3B:Aramis Ramirez
SS:Ronny Cedeno
LF:Brandon Sing
CF:Brian Giles
RF:Matt Murton

Blanco, Perez, Fontenot, Grieve/Burnitz, righty PH/OF to be named

Wood*(if the closer, otherwise, no way)

I'd be willling to go 78-84 for a year to develop some young players. If the veteran route is taken, then 88-95 wins will be acceptable.

Jim Hendry will probably have about $25 mil in 2006 salaries to spend on free-agents this coming off season ($34 mil if Maddux retires). The Cubs need to target the following FAs in this order, until the money runs out:

1. Brian Giles
2. Billy Wagner
3. B. J. Ryan (if unable to sign Wagner)
4. Ryan Dempster (if unable to sign Wagner or Ryan)
5. A. J. Burnett (only if there is enough money left after signing Giles and a closer--for sure if Maddux retires and more $$$ is available, or a high priority if unable to sign a FA closer and Wood has to be the closer in '06)
6. Jeff Weaver (if unable to sign Burnett after unable to sign a closer, or if Maddux retires and unable to sign Burnett)
7. Jacques Jones (if there is enough money left and only if unable to sign Giles)
8. Rafael Furcal (if there is enough money left and he's still available, might as well...)
9. Mark Sweeney (lefty PH-1B-LF)
10. John Mabry (if unable to sign Mark Sweeney)

the lineup for next year should be:
1.Jerry Hairston
2.Nomar Garciaparra(2B,SS)
3.Derrek Lee
4.Aramis Ramirez
5.Brian Giles, Felix Pie (CF)
6.Matt Murton (LF)
7.Brandon Sing (RF)
8. Ronny Cedeno

Recent comments

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  • rain delay...bah.

    crunch 9 min 35 sec ago view
  • Indians extend their streak.

    Darwin Barney gets tagged with the loss.

    Mornington Crescent 16 min 35 sec ago view
  • delayed until 7:20 -EST- (tarp off the field)...

    CLE/TOR in the top 18th in case you're bored. 2nd baseman r.goins pitching for TOR...hit 90mph so far. 1ip 2h 1bb 0k, 0 r/er (bb was ibb). he threw a fastball/change mix. crowd loved it. d.ross is not impressed.

    d.barney strands j.lake at 2nd in the bottom 18 for the cubs bluejays...to the 19th!

    -cubs game has begun-

    crunch 31 min 11 sec ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: Javier Assad was still pitching into the 6th inning, and the first batter he faced reached base on an E-4 (that was Assad's 70th and final pitch of the game). Then Leathersich relieved Assad and retired the second batter 4-3 on the first pitch of the AB (the runner at 1st base advanced to 2nd on the play), and then on an 0-1 pitch the third batter in the inning (second one faced by Leathersich) lined into an inning-ending 6-4 DP (baserunner doubled off 2nd base). When calculating GO/AO, double plays and triple plays count as only one out. 

    Arizona Phil 47 min 2 sec ago view
  • Wow. The site actually loaded without an error! Happy 4th all, and Go Cubs!

    The E-Man 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • OK -- my 4th of July resolution is to try to stay more positive. So -- 10 games to the AS break, meaning the Cubs will be in first place at the break! First time since...2008? Also, hopefully, Willson, KB and Javy learned something about Familia yesterday that they can use in the future.

    billybucks 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 4 hours 9 sec ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."


    Rob Richardson 7 hours 39 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 7 hours 54 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 8 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 11 hours 15 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 32 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 33 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 20 hours 7 min ago view