Let the Kids Play

GAME 131 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] LOS ANGELES DODGERS (59-71) @ CHICAGO CUBS (62-68) WRIGLEY FIELD, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: ESPN, CSN, Fox Sports West 2
Jerome Williams, RHP
4-6, 4.74 ERA
51/31 K/BB, 12 HR in 79.2 IP
D.J. Houlton, RHP
4-7, 4.83 ERA
72/33 K/BB, 11 HR in 96.1 IP
3B Antonio Perez CF Jerry Hairston Jr.
SS *Oscar Robles 2B *Todd Walker
2B Jeff Kent 1B Derrek Lee
LF *Ricky Ledee RF *Jeromy Burnitz
1B Jason Phillips 3B Nomar Garciaparra
CF Jayson Werth LF *Todd Hollandsworth
C #Dionar Navarro SS #Neifi Perez
RF #Jose Cruz Jr. C Michael Barrett
P D.J. Houlton P Jerome Williams
You think we have problems, the Dodgers have Ricky Ledee batting cleanup and Jason Phillips starting at first base over Hee-Seop Choi even though a righty is on the mound. And every time I point out the deficiencies of another team's lineup, they pound us. Not to mention they have a relatively bad pitcher on the mound, who's certain to throw a gem tonight. You know when you look at Jerome Williams' numbers, he's not that good. Doesn't strike out a lot of guys, way too many walks for a guy who doesn't strike out all that many hitters and for a guy who's suppose to keep the ball on the ground, he's given up way too many dingers. He does have youth and "upside" going for him though. Why is Todd Hollandsworth in the lineup? That is really going to be the worst part of the rest of the season. Cause everyone including the Cubs brass has declared the season over, but Dusty just can't live with being below .500. So he's going to trot out marginal vets (Perez, Holly, etc) in an attempt to say he's a winning manager, thus not only is this season ruined, he's going to screw us up for next year too. Awesome!!! And how the hell is this game on ESPN by the way? Go Cubs!!
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Comments

its either hollandsworth/corey/macias...pick your poison til next callups.

neifi hasnt played the last 2 games i believe.

Neifi didn't play yesterday, he played Saturday. Nobody has to learn anything more about Neifi Perez, we don't need to see one more at-bat to know what we're getting with Neifi. Give Ronny some time to learn the NL pitchers, there's not one good reason that he shouldn't be starting just about everyday, at least till Ramirez gets back. Dusty will have to start Nomar to see if he can stay healthy, plus he "owes" it to his vet to try and get him a FA deal. Personally I'd shuffle him between SS, 3B and 2B (assuming Walker goes)

I pick Korey. Yeah, he's brutal but he still has stuff to learn, and he isn't going to learn it by sitting. We all know how crappy Holly is and that he can't get around on a fastball anymore.

The season is over, winning 65 or 81 games doesn't mean a damn thing.

Ick.

I agree with Rob. The Cubs are going to make money no matter who they start. Might as well use this as an extended spring training and build some success and confidence with the younger guys. Give them something they can look back on next season when the pressure cooks up again. I also think we should be playing Nomar to see if he can put a solid month together and look at the slight possibility of signing him next year. I love Todd walker but I am all for trading him for something now and using Nomar at 2nd next year if he can put together a healthy month. I would also plan on signing a FA SS if available and if not MAKE Dusty start Cedeno next year and sign Neifi for a SS/2b back up for next season.

Also also even though Damon is going to be overpaid I say F*** it and get him anyway. He is a good leadoff hitter/Table setter and good clubhouse guy. I also try to go after a great corner OF player then play Murton in LF next season and see how he does.

Damon CF
Nomar 2b
FA Rf (Could we get lucky and get Dunn?)
Lee 1b
Aram 3b
Murton LF
Cedeno SS
Barrett C

Invest the rest of the Money in the starting pitching and hopefully come out with something like this:

1. Zambrano
2. Prior
3. FA Starter (15-20 win guy)
4. Wood
5. Maddux (He should have 15 wins RIGHT NOW if not for the BP and Offense)

Reliever

Mid
Mid
Lefty
Williamson
Dempster
Closer

Bench
Neifi, FA catcher, 3 other guys.

There my 2 cents for the week.

look at it this way...

Macias can be double switched with Walker in the 6th;

CPat can be double switched with Holly in the 7th; Hairston to LF

McClain can double switch with Nomar in the 8th;

Cedeno can be double switched in the 9th with Neifi.

or dusty can shock the fans by pinch hitting (my, what a novel idea)

I love comments like these:

3. FA Starter (15-20 win guy)

Yeah #3 starters that might win 20 games grow on trees. All the contenders have them. You could get A.J. Burnett, he's well thought of and his career win high is....12

Well what about Clement his is....14....

And both those guys would be excellent 3/4 starters.

I feel the Cubs should be using promising Rookies they may want to start next year...Why not use Murton for almost every game for the rest of the season...? Why not use Rich Hill instead of Rusch this week...? What do we have to lose...? We're out of the Wild Card race and I think it's important to give players that you may really want to use next year some time as a starter. Does anyone really think Hendry will bring Holly back...? Why is he starting tonight...?

only FA starters out there worth mentioning i can think of are burnett/millwood...

and neifi didnt play this weekend unless yahoo's boxscores are fuddup while cedeno played fri/sat/sun as a starter.

Actually, according BP's Expected Win-Loss record, Maddux should be exactly what he is, 10 wins and 11 losses. Maddux just hasn't been that good this year - he is 56th out of 76 pitchers with 150+ innings in SNLVAR. Sufficient for a #5 starter, but even that's a concern going into next season.

Meanwhile, everyone's favorite CF has put up a .182/.224/.291 line since his return from AAA. Some things never change.

Rob,

A little harsh on Williams. Look at his 03 and 04 numbers.

GS IP W L WHIP K BB ERA
43 260.1 17 12 1.275 168 93 3.77

If he has 30+ starts next year I could see him having this line

15-8, 209.2 IP, 1.34 WHIP, 110 K/ 60 BB, 3.86 ERA

Crunch, You might want to double check your yahoo. Neifi started on Friday(2b) and Saturday, getting a rare day off yesterday.

Saturday's box score:
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=2508...

Just think logically, do you really think Dusty could stand to give Neifi TWO whole days off in a row? I mean that might knock the cubs out of playoff contention.

I agree Chifan - Williams is a 23 year old who is putting up average numbers as a starter for the Cubs. Name ten other pitchers like that. Family problems have played an undetermined role in his troubles recently as well. His K/IP rate isn't great, but it really isn't terrible either and the HR numbers seem to fit in well with everyone on the Cubs' staff this year - generally terrible. In all honesty, I think his acquistion might turn out to equal that of Ramirez's, and Hendry should be proud of the deal he made. I could see him put up an even better line than you stated in you message - a WHIP of 1.2 isn't unreasonable to expect, and if he can keep the ball in the park a little better, we've got a #2 starter on a staff with at least two other number two starters (health willing).

Why is Holly starting tonight?

The other outfield lineup choices include:

CPat CF; Hairy LF; Burny RF
otherwise dusty's tempted to put Macias is in the mix?

So the question shouldn't be "Why Holly";

the question is: Is Dusty punishing CPat? Probably.

...and our question should be:
Why is Murton starting tonight, against Omaha, and not the Dodgers.

yeah.. my.yahoo.com has saturday's game mixed up with sunday's game and sunday's game intact.

i dunno how to explain it unless anyone else uses my.yahoo.com and has their scoreboard feature set up for cubs.

ive refreshed it many times and it all comes out the same.

C'mon Jerome get out of this inning as is. That ball 3 on Houlton was a strike and he should have gooten out of the inning now. Why aren't they walking Kent here? I would rather face leddee.

Williams seems to have lost his command and control tonight...LOTS of mistakes by Cubs players too...we're down 6-0 in the 2nd...wow...Dusty is now about ready to use our MOST INCONSISTENT Bullpen pitcher -- Todd Wellemeyer...This isn't funny at all.

Man, These guys could use my instructional videos.

Wellemeyer had an ERA of over 6...it will be a miracle IF he an go a few innings without walking players or giving up runs.

I agree that Williams was a great trade. He's very young and very talented and the only way he won't be in the rotation next year is if any 2 of Guzman/Hill/Pinto shows up to spring training next year and mow down the competition. Even if that happens, Williams would probably still be in the rotation. He was superb last week and his ball had alot of movement. Not to drink the kool-aid, but I think Williams has a great future, especially as he matures and deals with his family issues.

Play Cedeno at SS, Murton in LF, HAirston at 2nd(Walker to Clev for good prospect), Nomar at 3rd.
This year is over, let's find out about next year. Hill in rotation? So be it. Let's find out about next year. Right now we don't "Know" what Cedeno is going to do. We know Perez will be hot and cold(mostly cold-good utility). Lead-off? Murton? Pie? Cedeno? Let's find out. They are doing that with Guzman in a-ball then AFL. Maybe we have Prior, Zambrano, Guzman, Maddux, and Williams but I would like the addition of Millwood and Damon to the team. JMHO.

scooterÆ

Every time I have seen Wellemeyer pitch the Cubs seem get into trouble...Why does Dusty still use him...? Inconsistent pitching (by starters and the Bullpen) has hurt the Cubs SO OFTEN this year...Hendry needs to address this or it will be tough for the Cubs to be competitive next year.

Sorry to post off topic, but another poster was asking about a good bears blog. I recommend the message boards link on chicago bears site from NFL.com

see if you could get Drew from LA if you could. Put him in CF in 06 and move him to RF in 07 and 08. Bring back Burny he can field RF great and is a 6-7 hitter not a 4-5 hitter. for SS I guess Furcal makes the most sense, though I'd hope he wouldnt go Farnsy with the local bar scene.

1. Furcal, SS
2. Murton, LF
3. Lee, 1b
4. Ram, 3b
5. Drew, CF
6. Barrett, C (although I would prefer Molina)
7. Burny, RF
8. Z or Hairston
9. P or when Z starts Hairston

chifan, I think Z may be better protection behind barrett than burny...

Hey, at least my over bet is good...

Isn't it kind of pointless to complain about the choice of relief pitcher when you're pulling the starter in the 2nd inning?

Hey Jumbo, thanks for the heads up. I'll check that out.

Wellemeyer just walked the lead-off player for LA...these base on walks are killing the Cubs this year...Dusty should switch pitchers before he really regrets waiting too long.

who was the guy that said jerome williams was as good as dontrell willis? don't get all jumpy-i like williams just fine but he's no willis...

i'm really angry about cedeno being on the bench tonight. one thing about playing the kids is they really have something to play for. the vets on this team are mailing it in. that said, if dusty is playing for the lofty goal of .500, he'd be better served playing the kids.

the only logical explanation for hollandworth tonight is that hendry has a scout lined up to see him for the big potential trade they have worked out.

are we sure we want to trade walker? i'm not. burnitz yes.

Wellemeyer just walked the lead-off player for LA...

not to mention Wuertz just walked his first batter...

cub relief pitcher symmetry, catch it.

Dusty hasn't had "a losing season" for quite a while...

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-t...

{...STRANGE TERRITORY: Baker hasn't had a losing record since 1996, when his San Francisco Giants finished last in the National League West. The next year, they rebounded to win the division and finished first or second the next six seasons.

Now he faces the possibility of a first losing season with the Cubs, who are six games below .500 after winning 88 and 89 games his first two years.

"It's very weird for me,'' Baker said of not being in contention for the playoffs. "It's almost an unreal situation. But that makes you appreciate it more when you get back to it. It humbles you and makes you stronger and appreciative for the next one and the next one.

"I don't like having a losing record. When you play, you don't like having bad stats on the back of your bubble-gum card. But you learn something from [those seasons] and get stronger. I think our guys will learn a lot from it, too.''...}

Some Cub Organization Promotions...

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-t...

{...PROMOTIONS: Several minor-leaguers will join the team in the coming days as rosters are allowed to expand Sept. 1.

"We're not going to call up a lot of players -- there aren't a lot to call up,'' Baker said. "You call up guys who deserve it and have earned it.''

That group probably includes outfielder Matt Murton and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill, both of whom already have seen time with the major-league club.

The Cubs also have begun promoting other minor-league prospects, notably Eric Patterson, the younger brother of Corey Patterson. Eric Patterson, a second baseman, was promoted to Class AA West Tenn this weekend after a strong season at Class A Peoria, where he hit .333 with 13 home runs, 71 RBI, 40 stolen bases and a .405 on-base percentage.

Eric Patterson was a Midwest League All-Star selection at midseason and also a postseason All-Star, along with Peoria outfielder Ryan Harvey and right-handed pitcher Sean Gallagher...}

I-Cubs won 4-1 against the Omaha Royals

Murton 2-5; BA .353

in contrast: Holly 0-3; BA .254

I'd call it Dusty's exercise in futility

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

*&%#$@! I really hate seeing Kerry Wood used to pitch garbage time 8th innings when he needs surgery.

But that's just me.

J Van Buren pitched the 9th for the save (25); 2K's; ERA; 1.98

Why haven't we at least seen this guy this year?

on another front:

Andy Sisko threw 2 scoreless and hitless innings vs the Twins
ERA 2.40; 66K in 63 innings

and we have Todd Wellemeyer as the prospect we protected?

Somebody needs to do a better job judging which ones of the minor league talent gets away from us.

We're going to be sorry for not having Dontrelle to go with Zambrano and Prior for the next decade.

Ah, the lot of a Cub fan.

actually they kept Remlinger at $3-4 million rather than consider Sisko would be major league ready

that is what I'd call stinky judgement

"We're going to be sorry for not having Dontrelle to go with Zambrano and Prior for the next decade."

Man am I sick of this revisionist history. Willis was a middling prospect when the Cubs got rid of him. No one looked at him as the main player in the deal or thought there was any chance of him winning 20 games.

Sometimes so-so prospects turn into great players, just like sometimes great prospects turn into so-so players. I won't blame the Cubs org for getting rid of Willis, especially when there are so many other things they deserve to be blamed for.

Bluewater Pennant, perhaps you were too busy looking up stats of former Cubs players to hear that Kerry will have surgery on Wednesday.

Kerry Wood WTF??

Here's my wish list.....

1B - Derek Lee
2b - Alfonso Soriano
SS - Miguel Tejada
3B - A Ram
C - P Rod
RF - Adam Dunn
CF - Junior
LF - Barry Bonds

SP - Zambrano
SP - Mark Prior
SP - Cris Carpenter
SP - Roger Clemens
SP - Dontrelle Willis

and I guarantee we'd still find a way to blow it.

This is just the most disapointing season I've ever been through, I keep thinking it's gotta end sometime, this team has to get to the WS sometime. But they still find a way to crush me. Go Bears!

I wish Dusty had used Woody in the 9th...Kerry Wood looked awesome in the 8th and it only took him 7 pitches to retire 3 batters...It would not have hurt him to finish out the game...Woody is the best reliever the Cubs have (yet, he's off to have surgery) on Wednesday).

Carmen,

That was me that said Williams is as good as Willis. Just look at at Willis BR page:

http://www.baseballreference.com/w/willido03....

And Williams BR Page:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/willije01...

You will find the pitchers Williams is compared to is better than who Willis is compared to. It is not out of the question to say when there carrers are over they could be in the same ballpark in terms of stats.

Why on earth would you double switch into a situation that puts the pitcher up 3rd the next inning?

actually, 4th. but still...

Sometimes so-so prospects turn into great players...

that says alot. It's just a random event then, if you say so. Seems like he was in the majors the year after this trade and was a significant factor getting them to the World Series in 2003.

Other than Sandberg, who Dallas Green knew from his Phillie experience I'd say the Cubs haven't made that kind of trade from another organization.

D-Train will be an 18-20 game winner this year, and barring injury for years to come. The Cub organization deserves to get smacked for losing him even if he was a mid level prospect at the time.

Revisionist history maybe. Still he was a Cub and someone in the Florida management team took him off our hands. Are you saying he would still be a minor leaguer if the cubs had held him? Lefty starters are few and far between for this organization, except for mediocre soft tossers like Koronka. (the good soft tossers like Doug Davis escape us too).

Sisko, another Lefty, was a much higher draft pick and although he had a disappointing year last year it obviously didn't stop KC from taking him and playing him. I'm sure we will regret that move too for a long time.

Patterson couldn't get any traction tonight when he was at the plate...He just can't seem to hit the ball...It's sad but I think he will be traded at the end of the season (and his younger brother may end up playing for the Cubs)...it's interesting how some things work out.

I didn't mean to imply Doug Davis was ever a Cub. Just that we don't seem to get soft tossing lefties to the majors either. I guess Glendon Rusch qualifies here, and we've marginally used him as a starter. Jamie Moyer might be the last Cub prospect although he wasn't good till he was in the majors for many years and he went thru several organisations including the Cardinals..

on WGN radio I heard that Hendry announes that Todd Hollandsworth has been traded to the Braves for 2 minor league players...GREAT NEWS...Should be good for Murton too -- he'll be playing more and he should.

Murton on his way here from Omaha!

The Cubs are getting 2 right handed pitchers from the Braves -- one that they really like...we'll find our more soon.

Hendry just announced that tomorrow they will call up Murton (for Holly) and J. Vanburen (for Woody).

thank god dusty got those crucial ABs for neifi tonight.

Lets say we trade Walker.

Here's the lineup to get us to .500

Hairston 2b
Murton lf
Lee 1b
Burnitz rf
Garciapara 3b
Barrett c
Cedeno ss
Patterson cf

Naturally, Fontenot would out produce Patterson right now, so bringing him up and putting Hairston in cf would be better...

I suppose Rusch will get traded, so lets hear it for Sergio. I can see it now, 7ip, 18 ground balls, 3 errors by Nomar. I'm really negative...

Cubster,

Did you hate that trade when we hit Willis all over the park in Game four of the NLCS? I don't think Willis would have not seen the majors in 03. If that trade didn't happen Guzman would have started the season in the 5th spot. Remember he had a great 03 ST. If Guzman performed up here and didn't get hurt and we still signed Maddux in the 03 Off-season then Willis probably would be a LOOGY here or in Des Moines. Murton and JVB have been called up and Holly is a Brave for 2 minor league pitchers.

Was I seeing things or did Jerry Hairston single batting left-handed?

i can't imagine we got much for holly...at least his ab's go to someone...

Hollandsworth traded to the Braves.

Todd Blackford and Angelo Burrows

burrows..converted OF, 25 year old at A-ball

blackford, 20 year old rookie baller, 13th rounder last year

How about getting Braves free agent Furcal for SS and then use Nomar at 2B...Nomar might stay healthier in this position -- to keep him the Cubs would need to cut back on the salary and offer heavy performance incentives.

Too bad for Jeff Francoeur, I mean with Braves in a pennant race and all, I'm sure Todd Hollandsworth will get the majority of starts in his place. After all, you can't trust a rookie when during the playoff hunt, especially when you've got a proven veteran like Holly on your team.

Oh, what? The Braves don't have that philosophy? And somehow they still make the playoffs every year? How can that be???

Willis would have not seen the majors in 03

I agree with you there...Dusty at most would have used him in the bullpen in 2003 if he was brought up at all. Still under the Marlins he was allowed to develop. Is that mean Jack McKeon is the reason D-Train is a star? He may have been bad in NLCS game 4 and we have beaten him in Florida during the regular season, still in his rookie year he had a strong first half and faded a bit later. We probably wouldn't have used him in 2003 but if he was in the system we would/coulda used him in 2004 when Prior had tendonitis and Wood missed 2 months. Patience and luck...We're short on both. We're still waiting on Angel Guzman and I'd love to see him become a star, yet it's the Cubs danged luck that he's been injured for 2 years now.

We used Mark Guthrie, in the playoffs when it counted. That was Dusty's call though. No revision to that. Dontrelle woulda definitely been in the minors as long as he could put a Mark Guthrie as the veteran LOOGY on the playoff roster.

francoer's a high-end slugging prospect.

cox was also given the choice of playing a rookie or a rookie or a rookie in RF.

excellent post-bleeding blue. i love sarcasm and there is no problem on this team bigger than our stupid manager the rev johnnie b.

i've decided we should trade walker. not enough speed, not enough power. defense below avg. no risk in pullin trigger.

cox was also given the choice of playing a rookie or a rookie or a rookie in RF.

Excatly, and now Cox has a choice, so I bet Holly gets the majority of his starts. They'll probably throw Francoeur a bone by putting him a platoon and giving him some ABs against southpaws. Afterall, you only want to play a rook in a place where they're guarenteed success.

well if holly played RF i might join in on your laugh-fest.

seriously though, how hard is it to play a rookie when your GM gets rid of your veteran outfield except for andrew jones and gives you 4 rookies?

seems like a no-brainer to me.

cox's history with youth you might wanna take a look at...aside from furcal/a.jones not a lot of kids got thrown to the game with a full nod.

francour's the newest exception.

This is kind of hard to believe, but the Cubs now have the same record as the AAA Iowa club at 62-69.

Is Dusty secretly managing that team too? Maybe his eyeglasses and toothpick are actually cutting edge audio-visual remote control devices.

If Holly played RF? You mean like he did for a full month for the Cubs last year?

yeah, holly's a perfect RF'r for a healthy team...just like bitching for the sake of bitching is a healthy pasttime.

if playing francour suprises you, you probally dont know who he is. the fact he's up early should be more suprising, but that's the case with almost the entire OF this year and it'll probally be like for a while.

the braves spending has been put on lockdown and money's gonna be tight for a while...especially with the hard money years of hampton's baggage.

my guess is it's not Francouer that will lose AB's.

Ryan Langerhans/Kelly JJohnson in LF will be more likely see fewer innings.

The Braves are taking a big risk here. With Farnsworth and Hollandsworth they are making their ex-cub factor a potential playoff liability.

Yes, most managers do prefer to play veterans, and I'm sure Bobby Cox is one of them. Most of them also realise that if your option are Todd Hollandsworth or a promising rookie, its worth taking a chance on the kid.

But I could be wrong, maybe Holly will be a starter most days for the Braves.

when the cubs get a "francour" and he's wasted on the bench then i'd get upset...the closest we got is murton and he's not even in the same class as francour.

murton's on his way...hold your horses...its no big deal at this point.

this pen and the 4-6 bats that cant hit their way outta a bag have screwed this team...no one's been blocked on that bench or in the minors that's just ready to put this team over the top.

chalk it up and move on, nothing more to see here.

"The Braves are taking a big risk here. With Farnsworth and Hollandsworth they are making their ex-cub factor a potential playoff liability."

heheheh...rock

hopefully these two pitchers are as studly as other brave P prospects, namely Reuben Quevedo and Joey "Rhythm" Nation

anytime you get 2 of anything for hollandsworth i wouldnt get too stoked...heh...

on a side note, i knew LA was having rough time, but they only got 2 players with more than 400ab on the team (and one is on the DL)...ow.

I only saw part of the AB and was watching with one eye, but Jerry Hairston did single batting left-handed, right?

"hopefully these two pitchers are as studly as other brave P prospects"

"Sometimes so-so prospects turn into great players..."

and don't forget the memorable Lefty Andy Pratt, a prospect we plucked from Atlanta just like the Marlins plucked Dontrell Willis from us.

ok...so it's not about the prospects, it's about the At Bats.

HOLLY GONE.

Dusty sez: Looks like Macias will have to play LF now.

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