Butterball Gets Basted

GAME 6 REVIEW
REDS 9 CUBS 2
Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart
W: Bronson Arroyo (2-0) L: Glendon Rusch (0-2)
The first game of the year that I didn't get to watch and am glad I didn't. With a stiff 17 mph wind blowing out, the Reds blasted Glendon "Butterball" Rusch (so named for his portly status and quality of his pitches) to the tune of four solo homeruns in the first 5 innings although by the sound of it, none of them needed much help by Mother Nature. Home runs to Dunn and Griffey Jr. can be forgiven, but an 0-2 meatball to your nemesis Bronson Arroyo is pretty darn unforgivable. The formely spotless bullpen stepped in to start the 6th and Will Ohman immediately got greeted with 5 more runs without recording a single out, his ERA jumping to an obscene 27.00. Only a meaningless 2 out double by Derrek Lee in the 8th and Michael Barrett home run in the 9th kept the Cubs from being shut out. Although Rusch had a relatively rough spring and has looked less than adequate so far in his 2 starts, it should be remembered he's been up against arguably the NL's best offense and has pitched in less than ideal conditions (Great American Home Run Park and a 17mph wind blowing out today). The conditions for success loom just around the corner as he'll get the Pittsburgh Pirates for his next start in the lefty friendly PNC Park. If he cannot put together something resembling usefulness in his next start, and Jerome Williams does pitch adequately in his start on Saturday, don't be surprised by a switch in roles. The Cubs won't need a 5th starter again until April 25th which by all current accounts, Kerry Wood could very likely be ready by. On the injury front, Jacque Jones left the game with a tweak in his hammy. An MRI was performed but it appears that it's nothing to worry about. Unless you're worried about Jacque Jones getting more at-bats, as he's listed day-to-day. Conveniently for the Cubs it comes at a time when the Reds will throw out 2 straight lefties, plus the Pirates throw out another lefty this weekend. Aramis Ramirez apparently hurt a muscle in the gluteus maximus on a swing late in the game, haven't heard if he'll miss any time. There's a chance we'll see Angel Pagan (RF), Neifi Perez(3B) and Jerry Hairston(2B) in the lineup tomorrow. That could be a downright scary lineup tomorrow, scary in the sense that a $100 million team could put out a lineup that bad. Can't win them all I suppose, so far the Cubs have won 4 games, Glendon Rusch has lost two. Hopefully Greg Maddux can right the ship tomorrow.
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Comments

are we sure jerome williams
is starting on saturday has dusty
said so? just wondering

are we sure jerome williams
is starting on saturday has dusty
said so? just wondering

That wasn't a proper haiku -- try again

Is Arroyo leading the league in dingers now?

Sheesh.

http://tinyurl.com/pjjhc

bottom of that article on cubs.com says Williams will start Saturday

A little D-Train for Felix Pie fodder from Ken Rosenthal.

http://tinyurl.com/kbmng

Dude you must be high
All the beads around your neck
Can't keep pitches low

I'd rather we trade Pie and whoever for Miguel Cabrera...

If ARam uses his player option to get the hell out of Dodge (Boston calling? LA? KC?) maybe that's something we should do.

quick ex-cub report:

Mitre gives up 5 ER in 6 IP to the Padres and takes the loss
Borowski gives up 3 ER in .2 IP and his ERA is up to 13.50
Burnitz hits his 2nd homer of the year, 7 RBI's so far
Korey is 1 for 10 so far on the year with 3 K's, 0 BB's

Was just listening to the Rockies radio pre-game show with one of my buddies from Denver, and the in-studio guy said the following phrase:

"Dusty Baker is expected to sign a two-year contract extension within the next couple of weeks."

please oh please, let A-ram go, trade someone to Florida for Miggy!!! Pie? Not so sure, he is white hot.Maybe Neffi(Dusty can lead the sales pitch), Rich Hill, Brandon Sing, Luke haggerty and Kerry Wood. Then let A-ram(who pulled his vagina again) walk. JMO

scooterÆ

I'd be pretty surprised if they knew something in Colorado before the Chicago press...anything is possible though

I would rather trade
for the great Dontrelle Willis
Miggy's an asshole

Wow, I wish I had the creds of of Ken Rosenthal. Then when I pulled something out of thin air, it's taken seriously!

Maybe I already do! Let's see if this hits the wires: When in doubt with the Marlins, bet on a trade. The Marlins will trade Willis for the entire Red Sox active roster. MLB will be so eager to help that they'll bend the rules to allow the Marlins a 49 man active roster. The Red Sox will be so eager to have Willis that they'll pick up the salaries of all of their traded players. They're also throwing in cash and a pony!!

more details on Rob's wrapup...

Ex-Cub and soon to be Cub wrapup, Tuesday:

Sergio Mitre reverted to a more typical Sergio Meatball performance giving up 5 ER in 6 IP, including 2 BB and 2 HR's. He evened his record for the Marlins to 1-1 on the season as the Fish lost to the Padres 9-3. It wasn't a good day for his teammate Joe Borowski who gave up 3 ER in 2/3 on an inning including 3 walks and a hit. The only good news is both of the outs he recorded were K's.

The Yankees scored 5 runs in the 8th inning and four were credited to so called fireman Andy Sisco who only got one out while walking 2 and giving up two hits, 2 of the runs scored when his sucessor Ambriorix Burgos gave up a HR to Derek Jeter. The former Cub prospect/ 6-10" lefty now has a very tall ERA of 21.00 (so he's at least competitive with fellow Cub lefty Will Ohman, whose ERA is 27.00). Mark Grudzielanek continued to show he's a professional hitter going 2-5 and is hiitting .320 but it wasn't enough as the Yanks beat the Royals 9-7.

The Pirates won their 2nd game of the year including Jeromy Burnitz hitting a 1st inning 2 run HR off Dodger pitcher Jae Sao. Pat Hughes loves to say Jae Sao's name because it's so short. Billy Mueller went 4-4 including 3 RBI's on 2 HR's and Raffy Furcal went 2-5 in a losing effort.

The Orioles stomped the DRays 8-4. CPat made a guest appearance as a pinch runner (for Jay Gibbons) in the 8th and wouldn't you know it, he scored their 8th run, Corey stayed in to play CF in the 9th

In Iowa Ben Sheets was getting a rehab start for the Nashville Sounds and appears ready to help the Brewers as he blew away the I-Cubs 4-1, pitching 5.2 innings and 3 hits plus 9K's cooling off Felix Pie who took an 0-4 including one of Sheets K's. JK Ryu took the loss and the only run for the I-Cubs came from slugger Augie Augie Augie Ojeda's with a run scoring double in the 7th.

Wes: A little D-Train for Felix Pie fodder from Ken Rosenthal.

Interesting. The Cubs have proven they can never have too much starting pitching. I don't like Willis. I can't really explain why, much in the same way I can't explain why I really like Pierre.

Rob G.: Borowski gives up 3 ER in .2 IP and his ERA is up to 13.50

I heard he just had a kid named Blaze. Future base-stealer or arsonist?

scooterÆ: please oh please, let A-ram go

Why? Because of a minor injury and cold bat in the first 6 games of a 162 game season. This lineup already severely lacks pop. 2 losses this year, neither of which Aram's bat would have salvaged even if it was hot. And it will get hot: #11 average in the NL last year, and #6 in slugging.

In other words, I respectfully disagree with your notion of getting rid of Aram.

jeez what a fickle blog.
aram is going to be MVP!
oh no! trade aram for anybody!
just...just shutup about aram for now, please.

why do we have so much trouble with the Reds?!?

Aram will be OK

mark prior called into baseball tonite for interview...

he expects to be evaluated within a week and he expects, though short, to have to do some rehab work somewhere.

bare mound
Prior steps onto
dreams of yesterday
alive again

"how high can you jump?" - brendon
"how high do you need me to?" - melissa
"about fifteen feet." - brendon
"that was a haiku." - jason

ROB G.:

You say not to, "...write off Rusch yet..."

The guy TOTALLY SUCKS. He has had nothing last year (12 home runs in spot starting/lOOGY), and was supposedly signed as a "ground ball" pitcher.

He HAD NOTHING in spring, has NOTHING now (except extra fat), and there is a reason he was 1-11 or whatever he was, with the Brewers. The guy can't even eat up INNINGS for F^#K'S SAKE!! Wasn't Arroyo pitching in the same ballpark? The conditions were the same for him, man.

I would MUCH rather let my up and comers, who will be a part of the future, get this automatic loss spot in the rotation.

This guy will bring the team down the more he is used. It was the ONE thing I was really annoyed with that Jim Hendry did. It was done, in my opinion, ONLY because he threw with his left arm, and in 2004, he pitched WAY above his suck-ass previous failure of a career.

I don't think his weight has anything to do with it. I think he's just done. I wonder if SD needs a reliever. He'd thrive there.

Or Detroit if he doesn't like the drive to SD.

this automatic loss spot in the rotation

Sorry, I'll try not to hi-jack the entire thread but I just one more thing to add. That was funny E-Man. I thought the same thing today when Wuertz & Williams came in today. I'm like, oh this start in the rotation is so all the riff raff can come in and get some innings in.

Sigh, WS teams don't do this, do they?

Stupid Reds.

Aram (if memory serves) started the year in the worst way. He struck out all the time and just plain sucked. THEN the sun came out and the ivy bloomed and he started cranking homers.

Give him a couple of weeks. You see the ski mask he wears? The guy hates cold weather. Don't worry he'll mash when the weather turns.

"why do we have so much trouble with the Reds?!?"

Cause the Reds can hit and we've faced their #1 or #2 in each of the 3 games. We've thrown up G. Rusch in the 2 loses who is absolutely getting his titties ripped off.

I went to the Sunday night game and Sean Marshall looked exactly as AZ Phil described in ST... a lot of first pitch strikes and Major League composure. I hope he gets more starts.

Is J-Will really starting Saturday? That is a Travishamockery.

Did you read the article? Rosenthal NEVER says that the deal is on the table. He was pointing to players the Marlins could ask for and in some sense of reality get. He never said that Hendry was considering this at all. Sheesh.

At this point, we wouldn't trade Pie for anyone.

Will Dusty and Hendry have the courage and wisdom to STOP using Rusch as a starter -- it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that he should be replaced with alternatives...Insantity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...Why did the Cubs management think Rusch would be an effective starter this year...? Why couldn't Hendry have found a way to trade Rusch (and a few other players) and pick a quality pitcher like Arroyo -- we need pitchers like that. Good pitching helps win ball games and the Cubs need more reliable pitching. Hendry should have realized that he could not count on Prior and Woods to stay healthy. The Bullpen is somewhat better this year BUT the Cubs need more starting pitchers that they can count on...Investing any money in a player like Rusch made no sense at all...Hendry is paid the big bucks and he is supposed to be able to make wise decisions.

EricW: Is J-Will really starting Saturday? That is a Travishamockery.

Williams v. Duke. Good god, maybe I'll what else is on TV Saturday night.

I am looking forward to Marshall v. Santos, though. I don't care what happened Sunday, I think Marshall will be ok.

EricW: Is J-Will really starting Saturday? That is a Travishamockery.

Williams v. Duke. Good god, maybe I'll see what else is on TV Saturday night.

I am looking forward to Marshall v. Santos, though. I don't care what happened Sunday, I think Marshall will be ok.

According to ESPN Hendry has agreed to pay Rusch a 2006 salary of $2.75 Million -- talk about OVERpaying for marginal talent...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile...

where are all the guys who were yelling about sisco last year?

...he has been getting absolutely torched.

5 games, 3 IP, 7 H, 7ER, 3BB, 1HR, 3.33 WHIP .438 BAA

First a hammy pull
Then Aram pulls his buttock
Oh please make it stop

Where to start....

I went to the game today. Actually sold my seasons and sat in the bleachers. I sat 2nd row in left Center pretty close to Griffey. Firstly, now I know why I NEVER sit out there. It is a horrible place to watch a baseball game. Great if you want to socialize with a bunch of 20 year old drunks though. Anyways, Griffey was great out in CF interacting with the crowd. He heard much of the crap that was coming from the stands and was responding to it in a very playful way. That was the most entertaining part of the day to say the least.

Well, some people the last few days were saying that we might regret the Lee contract by the time it is over, but I think itis safe to say we are already regretting the Rusch contract/resigning. He should get one more start. If he gets ripped again, then try someone else (Guzman, Hill, etc.).

Oh yeah, HOW THE FUCK can you give up 2 HR's to an AL pitcher???

Ohman looked worse than Rusch is possible, what is his ERA now...27.00?? UGH!!

Overall a miserable game. At least Murton busted out a bit. But Jones getting hurt, might just be a savior (anotehr contract we will regret).

4-2 record now. Tied in the loss column. Let's go Maddux!!!

Chris:
"where are all the guys who were yelling about sisco last year?"

You won't hear a peep out of them now. That was one move I have gone on record of defending hendry for.

where are all the guys who were yelling about sisco last year?

I am still yelling about Sisco. Power lefty with huge upside, and young? You don't let those kind of players just walk out of the organization for nothing.

What you think because he had a bad stretch your some kind of savant now? How long you been waiting to post something bad about Sisco, 12 months now? That is some serious hatred for no reason on a player.

But thanks for chiming in when he had his first real bad stretch in the majors after 1 year and 71 appearances in the majors.

Did anyone come on this site earlier in the season to pimp Sisco's April 5th appearance where he struck out the side and say, "Where are all the Sisco haters now?" No because it wasn't a big deal then and isn't a big deal now what he is doing.

that aramis hates the cold thing rings a bell...

i predict that unfortunately rusch will be awarded another start (hoping to back-door my own comment and be proven wrong if you know what i mean).

hills walks have been way down lately for one thing.

man, 2 homers to an AL pitcher. and both on pitches he grooved on 0-2 i think! i cant believe the vineline had a centerfield poster of this guy last year! anybody else notice AZ phil has been awol? i wanna know if the reason they dont boot his ass has got something to do with so-and-so has waivers this and options that so we're stuck with glendon until one of our disabled pitchers comes back.

Ohh BTW I have never liked Sergio Mitre. He had a bad day today. Anyone come on the site saying, "Haha, where are all the Mitre supporters now, biatches?!?!?!" If so, I apologize I must of missed it.

I may not like the guy as a pitcher, but I do want to see him do good. But I still think he is a 3-4 inning starter who suddenly loses his composure and then a hell breaks loose on him. For a ground ball pitcher he sure does know how to serve up the meat ball at the worst possible times.

y'all might want to check out the leading article at baseballanalysts.com today about our team.

i tried to read it...but i had to stop at:

"This past winter, the Chicago Cubs spent $38.5 million on three overpriced relievers on the wrong side of their peaks."

eyre/howry were...

1- the best FA relief pitchers out there who arent gonna make 3x their amount in a year to close games

2- good pitchers who know how to pitch...not throw

3- not blocking any youth movement in the pen that's as dependable as howry/eyre

4- not overpaid more than a few hundred K a year at best

5- no comment on the 3rd pitcher... =p

this is a pen that lost 25-30 games last year. it had to get better, and while i wouldnt be so quick to give dempster 5m a year for 3 years to gamble, i'd be comfortable giving eyre/howry 7.5m combined to stablize the pen.

are they overpaid? yeah, i could see that...but i find it hard to take off more than 500K-1m of money off their combined contracts.

i think some people really dont take eyre seriously. you cannot judge him by what he's done his career over what he showed last year...that he can work to righties and lefties. he's no longer a specialist and can work full innings if needed. he can also work a lot outta the pen and keep his arm strong.

Rob G,

It's not easy to contradict yourself in one sentence, but well done! If being shut-out is an outcome you want to avoid, how is driving in a run which prevents a shut-out meaningless?

Oh yeah and I don't want Dontrelle Willis - wasn't he Team USA's version of Glendon Rusch?

If I remember correctly, most people were pissed that the Cubs didn't manage to get anything for Sisco. He was viewed by the Cubs' org as a bad kid with a lot of baggage, so they didn't have a problem losing him. While I understand the viewpoint that you don't want cancers in the clubhouse, it's also ludicrous to lose a 6'10" lefty who throws major gas for absolutely nothing.

I'm glad to get rid of guys with bad attitudes, but at least get some prospects in return when you unload them.

fwiw, my distaste for rusch runs as deeply as anyone's here -- but what are the other options now, seriously, if one has winning in 2006 in mind?

rusch is horrid -- 9 ip, 11 h, 3 bb, 8.00 era -- all the longballs -- horrid.

but marshall is currently 4.1 ip, 4 h, 1 bb, 8.31 era -- and that could very easily rise on the kid. he's a rookie starter trying to jump up from daytona, effectively, where he spent just about all of last year. who wouldn't get assassinated?

guzman is a nice idea in theory but probably marshall in practice. he was making his first triple-a start this week, if memory serves. neither one of them is probably going to fare any better than rich hill did in 2005. they're novices in a professional game. what else can they do?

there were solutions to these problems, and their names were millwood, weaver, morris, washburn, loaiza and byrd. not all of them are great pitchers, but all of them were quite a bit better than any of this lot.

but if we can't get anything like them, there isn't much to be done about it unless you're willing to write off 2006 right now as a rebuilding year. tie yourself to the mast and leave rusch in the rotation.

gaius marius... comparing Marshall's & Rusch's ERA based on 1 & 2 games respectively is not fair.

Also, Marshall looked good with his 8.31 ERA hitting his spots and Rusch looked terrible with his 8.00 ERA, missing consistently.

I think Guzman is worth a shot. If he gets beat up, and it's very likely, then it wouldn't be any worse than Rusch's outings.

I don't think sisco is a big loss, and I'm not sure the cubs would have gotten anything better than a mike fontenot type in a trade anyway. There are a lot of former #1 picks who are head cases but have "lots of talent" in A ball.

Since we were treated to day-by-day updates on sisco pitching a scoreless inning or striking out a LHB last year, I thought it was only fair to appraise everyone that he sucks right now. It's not a stretch to surmise that his brief success last year went to his head and he didn't work on improving at all. Maybe he weighs 300lbs again, I don't know. But he sure isn't fooling anyone...

I don't care how tall he is or what his fastball is clocked at, if you're lazy and arrogant you're not going to end up being a good pitcher at this level. The Cubs made a statement to the rest of their minor league organization that everyone has to work hard and play by the same rules, that there are no exceptions. I think the value in that far outweighs whatever sisco might have eventually contributed in a cubs uniform.

"The Cubs made a statement to the rest of their minor league organization that everyone has to work hard and play by the same rules, that there are no exceptions."

While I think this is a good approach, the fact that Andy's punishment for breaking those rules was that he got to pitch in the major makes me wonder if the message will be lost.

sisco is pitching in the majors?!?

I thought he was in kansas city...

ba-dum-cha!

TUESDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS/LOWLIGHTS FROM DOWN ON THE FARM:

BATTING (ALL LEVELS):

IOWA (AAA):
Felix Pie, CF: 0-4, K
Ryan Theriot, RF: 2-4, SB
Mike Fontenot, 2B: 1-4, K
Jeff Deardorff, LF: 1-4, 3K
Brandon Sing, 1B: 1-4, K
Casey McGehee, 3B: 1-4, R, 2 K
Augie Ojeda, SS: 1-3, RBI, 2B
Geovany Soto, C: 0-3, 2 K, PB, E, 1 OSB
NOTES: Ben Sheets pitched 5+ innings for Nashville (rehab start).
Pie BA drops to .400 (10-25), with 2 BB & 3 K
Theriot 10-23 (.435) with 2 SB (0 CS)

WEST TENN (AA):
Chris Walker, CF: 1-4, RBI, BB
Eric Patterson, 2B: 2-5, 2 K, SB
Scott Moore, 3B: 0-5, 3 K, E
Luis Montanez, LF-RF: 0-1, R, 3 BB
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B: 2-3, BB
Adam Greenberg, RF: 0-4, RBI, K
Tony Richie, C: 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB
Carlos Rojas, SS: 0-3, SH
Gary Cates, PH: 1-1, RBI, PH-2B
Richard Lewis, LF: 1-1
NOTES: E. Patterson 7-23 (.304) with 4 SB (0 CS), also 3 BB and 7 K.
Luis Montanez 7-20 (.350) with 5 BB, but with 0 extra base hits.
Brian Dopirak has been placed on DL (broken foot)/Catcher Peter Farina was promoted to AA from Extended Spring Training.

DAYTONA (A+):
Sam Fuld, CF: 0-4, R, 2 K, E
Jemel Spearman, 3B: 1-4, 2 K, PICKED-OFF, E
Ryan Harvey, RF: 2-4, 2 K
Nic Jackson, DH: 2-4, RBI, 3B
Jake Fox, C: 0-3, K
Jeff Culpepper, LF: 1-3, 2 K, CS
Matt Craig, 1B: 0-3, E
Joe Simokaitis, SS: 0-2, BB, K, E
Nate Spears, 2B: 0-3

PEORIA (A):
Robinson Chirinos, 2B: 1-3, K, CS
Dylan Johnston, SS: 2-4
Brandon Taylor, 3B: 1-4, E
Ryan Norwood, 1B: 0-2, BB
Alberto Garcia, DH: 0-3, K
Matt Ciaramella, RF: 0-3
Jesus Valdez, LF: 0-3, K, E
Mark Reed, C: 0-3, K, E, 1 OSB, 1 OCS
Davy Gregg, CF: 1-3, K, OF ASSIST

PITCHING (ALL LEVELS):

IOWA (AAA)
Jae-Kuk Ryu: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, WP, (0-1 3.60) - 96 pitches
Ryan O'Malley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Mark Watson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Brandon Emanuel: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
NOTE: Ryu (2006 TOTAL): 10 IP, 11 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 8 K, 1 HR

WEST TENN (AA):
J. R. Mathes: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, WP (1-0 3.27)
Carmen Pignatiello: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, WP
Thomas Atlee: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Paul Schappert: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Clay Rapada: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (SV 4 - 0.00)
NOTE: Mathes (2006 TOTAL): 11 IP, 9 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
Rapada (2006 TOTAL): 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K

DAYTONA (A+)
Justin Berg: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, WP (0-2 4.66)
Jonathan Hunton: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K
Angelo Burrows: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
NOTE: Berg (2006 TOTAL): 9.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R (5 ER), 5 BB, 11 K (Berg was acquired from NYY last August for Matt Lawton)

PEORIA (A)
Donald Veal: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 7 K, WP, PO (0-2 7.00)
Jeff Teasley: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K
Tim Layden: 1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K
NOTE: Veal (2006 TOTAL): 9 IP, 7 H, 7 R (7 ER), 9 BB, 9 K, 1 HR (Veal was Cubs 2nd round Rule 4 draft pick in June 2005)

Oh Boy Oberto. I guess Ben Sheets is in good form.

Also good to see Theriot swinging the bat well.

AZ Phil. Who is JR Mathes? I dont remember him being in the org.

Re: Sisco -

When you want to send a message to the rest of the minor leagues by making an example of a guy, you can do several things. You might suspend him. You could also fine him, and make it public as a warning to the other guys. You could also demote him, or keep him languishing at A or AA until he starts following rules. And maybe, if you are really serious, you trade him.

One thing you do not do to send a message is give him away for nothing. There's no message in that. He gets a nice fresh start (at the major league level!) with a new club.

We might not like to admit it, but for the most part minor leaguers just want to play in the major leagues -- for whatever team will take them. Ironically, most of them are jealous of Sisco right now -- he's pitching in the majors and making major league dollars. If "sending a message" was the goal, it backfired. Hell, it may have provided a blueprint to get to another team if you feel like the Cubs aren't giving you a fair shake.

In response to Cubby's thought: "i wanna know if the reason they dont boot his ass has got something to do with so-and-so has waivers this and options that so we're stuck with glendon until one of our disabled pitchers comes back."

If i understand thigs correctly (a horrible assumption - AZ Phil please correct me if i'm wrong), then if we call up Ryu, Hill, or Guzman before the 24th of April, then the time they've spend in the minors thus far gets counted as MLB service time. Thus, given that these guys didn't break with the club, it might make more sense to call them up for the next time we'd need a 5th starter, which would be April 25th if Wood isn't healthy by then. We could let Rusch get one more start in Pittsburgh, as Rob G. suggests, and if he gets basted again, and Wood is still recovering on the 25th, we could call up one of the 3 AAA studs to take that turn in the rotation. It also gives the team the advantage of getting more time to choose one of the 3 and have the time to set up the Iowa rotation to accomodate that individual's start with the big club (for example, Ryu won't be available to start on Saturday as he pitched 5 innings last night).

Oh, and as far as waivers go, i'm guessing that if one of the AAA pitchers gets called up, the Cubs will send Freddie Bynum down. The starting rotation has not gone deep enough into games, and the only thing that has saved the bullpen thus far has been the off-days, which have provided not only rest but the opportunity for Williams to act as the long arm out of the bullpen. Given that the abundance of off-days the club currently enjoys will go diminsh greatly by the end of the month, we'll either need to see longer performances out of our starters or an extra bullpen arm. Thus, i don't think the lack of options for our bullpen guys should be an issue if we want to call up Ryu, Hill, or Guzman.

Anybody know much about these guys? (off the AP wire)

---

NEW YORK -- Four minor league pitchers were suspended 50 games each by the commissioner's office Tuesday for violating baseball's minor league drug program, the first penalties since the sport toughened its rules during the offseason.

Two of the pitchers were in the Cincinnati Reds' organization: Ramon Ramirez and Justin Mallet. Also suspended were Waner Mateo of the New York Mets and Ryan Rafferty of the Kansas City Royals.

Isn't Freddie out of options? Wouldn't he have to clear waivers? Seems like Angel would be the likely casualty of calling up a 5th starter/bullpen help.

Here's my attempt to give Glendon Rusch a break from the target of the Cub Fan Daily Wrath Fan Club:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the...

Always remember that the best teams will lose around 60 games every season and the worst teams will win around 60 games and each games only represent 1/162 of a long season. That is why the statistics are able to paint a picture of teh reality of who the good players are and who they are not. Folks, I am not a Rusch fan as those who have read my posts know, but you have to keep things in perspective. Two starts is not enough to make a judgement that the guy is useless. I have seen Roger Clemens lit up in back to back starts. Further, what are the alternatives (which is why, like an earlier post, I wish the Cubs had gone for Millwood or even Paul Byrd or, my personal preference, made a trade for a starter? I would trade Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Schiffer, and PTBNL for Willis right now.

Ditto for keeping some perspective on Ohman's bad outing after about 4 good outings. We will know more in a month. Through six games, unlike last year, I we have not really loss a game we should have won. With Rusch, Marshall, or Williams or similar AAA flotsam and jetsam in the in the rotation there just going to be a lot days like this.

I read a lot contempt for Cincinnati by some of the other posters (the theme being "how can our great team lose to such a terrible team as Cincinnti!"). I believe Cincinnati's offense scored the most runs in NL last season and because their players at the heart of that offense (Dunn, Kearnes, Lopez, Encarcion, & Freel), except for Griffey, are younger then 28, they should be even better this year. Their offense will torch pitching that is not sharp (as we have seen). If they stumble onto some effective pitching, get lucky with Milwaukee and the Cardinals getting unlucky, then they could steal this division this year despite their incompetent management. The Cubs could also win it if they get lucky and Prior and Wood give them 50 effective starts. I just don't believe it is competent management to build so much of your plan around "luck."

ryno:

Also, Marshall looked good with his 8.31 ERA hitting his spots and Rusch looked terrible with his 8.00 ERA, missing consistently.

one of the underappreciated things about marshall, it seems to me, is that he too consistently misses his spots. in each of his last three outings, he's had trouble hitting the mitt. that's not to say he's wild -- it's just that he doesn't have fine control. so far, he's mostly missed down -- and rusch has mostly missed up. that can invert at any moment.

the kid was a high-a starter last year, and arguably the fourth- or fifth-best pitcher on that team. i agree that saturday was a good start for him -- and he still coughed up 4 earned in just 4.1 ip. what will the bad starts look like? and you know or should know that, for a kid like this, they are coming soon.

all i'm saying is that there's nowhere to go. these kids are this year's rich hill -- nothing against their "potential", but they'd all likely post a era between 6 and 12 this year. as much as i hate it, sticking with rusch is the smart thing to do.

At this point, we wouldn't trade Pie for anyone.

I'd trade him for Cabrera in a heartbeat.

>Anybody know much about these guys? (off the AP wire)

Courtesy of Will Carroll today:

"Quietly, baseball suspended four minor leaguers--three for banned substances, one for use of a 'drug of abuse.' Itís noteworthy that all are pitchers and that none is considered a top prospect. These are the first of the year and part of an extremely quiet spring on the testing front. Thereís always the worry that weíre watching players who have tested positive and are playing out their appeals, something that remains under the new, stronger policy...."

Not sure if anyone has posted this or seen this already, but it has some interesting tidbits. It's from Peter Gammons' latest blog and, entitled "Loveable Winners?", it's all about the Cubs.

Since it's an Insider article, I'll post some highlights:

Angel Guzman, 23, once a prize in the class of a Zambrano, made a significant comeback this spring. "His velocity was back up to 95-96," Rothschild says. As he pitches at Iowa, Guzman will be closely monitored for his command, especially of his breaking ball. When asked if Guzman could help by midseason, Hendry laughed and said, "It could be by the end of this month."

The Cubs believe Prior will be fine, in time. When he pulled the muscle underneath his armpit this spring, Dr. Lewis Yocum said this was yet another in the series of freak occurrences that have set him back. And one thing should be eminently clear -- this has nothing to do with a willingness to pitch with pain. It's just that with Prior's delivery, when he gets to the unloading point, there is a lot of unnecessary stress.

As for Wood, there have been several encouraging signs. Everyone feels the ball is coming out of his hand far better than it has since 2003. When Kerry feels right, he is back on his legs, driving to the plate better than he has since 2003. His slider is starting to come back. Wood is coming off shoulder surgery, which was deemed "minor," as if any shoulder surgery is ever minor. What they don't know is how quickly his velocity will return (sometimes with a shoulder rehab, it takes a full year for arm strength to come back). Then there's Wade Miller, who is throwing better than he did last year for Boston but is still a rehab work in progress. No timetable. No pressure.

NOTE: Wood's been clocked at low to mid-90s on his pitches, so it appears his velocity is fine.

They wanted to get faster. The key piece was obtaining Juan Pierre, but Ronny Cedeno, Matt Murton, Freddy Bynum and Angel Pagan all can run. And they wanted to get more energy. "It's unbelievable what Juan brings to all of us," Murton says. Barrett, Todd Walker and other veterans also point to both Murton and Cedeno as key energetic components. "They never stop working or coming to the park with excitement," hitting coach Sarge Matthews says. "It's great for everyone."

Saxfax,

Two of the pitchers were in the Reds' system, one from the Mets' and one from the Royals'.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

#57 of 64: By shawndgoldman (April 12, 2006 11:35 AM)
Oh, and as far as waivers go, i'm guessing that if one of the AAA pitchers gets called up, the Cubs will send Freddie Bynum down

----

Shawn.: Freddie Bynum is out of minor league options, so it is a lot more likely that Angel Pagan (who does have minor league options left) will get sent down once the 12th pitcher is added to the pitching staff. That doesn't mean that the Cubs might not try and sneak Bynum through waivers, though.

Although the Cubs could recall a young starter (Guzman, Ryu, or Hill) right now and send Rusch to the bullpen immediately, it's more likely that Dusty will keep Rusch in the starting rotation until at least one of the injured pitchers return, and that David Aardsma or Roberto Novoa will get recalled in the next few days.

The most likely sequence (at this point) is that when Kerry Wood returns, probably Sean Marshall gets sent down, then when Prior Mark returns, Jerome Williams gets sent down,and when Wade Miller is activated, Rusch goes to the bullpen and either Aardsma or Novoa (whichever one gets recalled when the Cubs go to 12 pitchers), Wuertz (less likely), or Ohman (even more unlikely) get sent down.

The Cubs will need to request Major League Waivers in order to option Williams, Wuertz, or Ohman to the minors, but like with Oliver Perez, Austin Kearns, and Corey Patterson (all of whom had to clear Major League Waivers before they could be optioned out last year), getting a player through Major League Waivers during the waiver periods prior to the one which starts on August 1st is usually just a formality.

(from GaiusMarius) "the kid (Marshall) was a high-a starter last year, and arguably the fourth- or fifth-best pitcher on that team."

As long as you put it that way, I'll argue. He would have been Daytona's #1 or #2 last year. His innings were limited only because of his injuries. So far, in his pro career, Marshall has always been projected to be the #1, #2 or, at worst #3, starter in his team's rotation. The Cubs have been that high on him.

"What will the bad starts look like? And you know or should know that, for a kid like this, they are coming soon . . . . These kids are this year's Rich Hill -- nothing against their 'potential,' but they'd all likely post a era between 6 and 12 this year."

Of course, there's a learning curve for young pitchers. Kazmir, King Felix--even the best ones don't escape it, no matter how good they were in the minors.

But you've got to start their major league learning curve at some point so they can get past the growing pains stage. And what better time than right now, when it's early in the season and the Cubs have distinct holes in their rotation? Better now while you can than in August or September.

I'd rather take my chances right now with Marshall/Guzman/Ryu in a few starts than a guy (Rusch) with a lifetime 4.88 ERA.

Crunch
not sure if anyone caught it, but did you quote "Home Movies" with the haiku bit? That show....is awesome.

-caoch mcgurk

yup.

Ryno, my feeling is tied to the fact that A-Ram always has suffered from hammy strains and other leg ailments that point to "chronic". Yes he is a great power hitter but everytime he runs out a ground ball you fear he has pulled something. To me it's not a matter of if but when he goes on the DL. Same goes for Griffey Jr., great hitter, great guy, but you just know he will be injured. People just don't have the same worries about D. Lee. If A-Ram stays healthy, god bless him. But I am betting he has leg problems again this year and doesn't play 130 games. Let's get a 3rd baseman that will. That was my line of reasoning.

scooter

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