You Don’t Want to Know

If you still hold out hope that today is going to be a good day for you, don't read the rest of this post and stay away from the papers and news for the rest of the day. The Trib is reporting that Derrek Lee could be out 2-3 months. From the Trib:
He suffered a fracture of the distal radial bone and the distal ulna bones while trying to brace himself from Furcal, who was charging towards the bag while beating out a bunt.
WSCR and Comcast Sports have apparently confirmed the story as well. He should be in a cast for 6 weeks, then he'll have 2 weeks in rehab which is the standard rule of thumb for broken bones. There's is a small possibility that the bones will heal faster but don't hold your breath. I'm not even going to bother with potential replacements and how this will affect the Cubs for the time being. It's obviously not good and nobody in baseball that we can get is going to make up the difference. You just gotta hope some guys get hot at the right time and can pick up the slack. I expect Ryan Theriot to get called up as Neifi and Hairston split time at second base. Todd Walker will likely get the bulk of first base duty with the occasional start by John Mabry. As AZ Phil suggested in a previous thread, Michael Barrett should consider picking up a first basemen's glove and taking some grounders starting tomorrow.
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DISASTER!!!!

It will take a miracle for Dusty and the boys to stay in it with Lee, Wood and Prior out.

VERY SAD!!!!

Yeah, I just heard too. Sing isn't doing well in AAA, so bringing him up would suck. Gee wiz

You can't plan for an injury like this. No team in baseball could absorb the loss of its best player without missing a beat.

The season is not lost, but one thing is clear: if the Cubs are to contend in 2006, Prior and Wood not only have to return, they have to return and carry this team.

Well, that is why we are cursed...

This would have been slightly easier to swallow if the Cubs started the year 4-10 and were already 6 games out.

This really sucks...such a freak, unnecessary play that you just wish we could have a "do over" on.

Now we'll really going to be able to see what this team, the 24 other players and manager and coaches are made of.

from the previous post on a question about how Hendry might react:
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doubtful Hendry can do much or will do much. Didn't do anything when Nomar went down last year for a significantly longer time. Although finding a 1B on the cheap is a lot easier than finding a SS on the cheap.

Really a shame we didn't put out a full-court press on Craig Wilson over the off-season or in spring training.

you package jones and 1 or the 3 marquee starters at Iowa for a replacement 1st baseman and bring up Pie to play right.

By the way, yesterday was also the anniversary of Nomar's injury... Ironic isn't it...

blockhead:
"Now we'll really going to be able to see what this team, the 24 other players and manager and coaches are made of."

I think that is a bit unfair. So if the team struggles, what does that mean? They are not that good? We are taking one of the best players in baseball off our team. If this team can just hover around .500 till he comes back, I think it would be GREAT, but if they sink, I wouldn't blame the players or coaches.

And I hope hendry doesn't do anything drastic, not that I think he will. If we trade for a good 1B, what will we do with him when Lee comes back?

I would love to see how STL would do without Puljos or ATL with Jones for 2 months.

That stinks.

Looking at their 40 man roster, the only position players on it in the minors are Pie, Ryan Theriot, Scott Moore, Brian Dopiriak(Injured), and the two catchers, Soto and Reyes.

Scott Moore probably isn't ready for the majors, he struggled in the minors until last season. Theriot is playing SS at Iowa, but would probably be the most likely to come up out of this group, with Todd Walker playing a lot of 1b and Hairston/Neifi playing 2b. Michael Restovich would make more sense to call up but he's not on the 40 man roster and I don't know who they would remove to get him on it. I believe Restovich has played a little 1b before.

I think more realistically, Hendry is going to have to make a deal for a stop gap 1b to share time with Mabry. None of those minor leaguers are going to do much to help the offense, except for maybe Pie and I think it's best to leave him down there for at least half a season.

you package jones and 1 or the 3 marquee starters at Iowa for a replacement 1st baseman and bring up Pie to play right.

No one is making deals in April except maybe the Royals and Marlins. I suppose if you want Mark Sweeney or Matt Stairs back. None of that would really make a lot of sense...

in '03 Patterson was one of our top players when he went down for the year. Cards went a good portion of last year without Rolen. Cubs hung in there through injuries to some key guys in '04. I really think playoff caliber teams are teams that have enough to compensate for one player...any player. Sure it will be difficult. Sure I can't blame the rest of the team completely if we don't hang in there. But if we are a true playoff caliber team, if we are meant to do something...then we should be able to hang in there (.500 ball) without Lee. I think if the Cubs are 37-33 when Lee comes back...that will be a sign that the Cubs are the real deal.

My biggest concern is that we let this effect us mentally and all players, batting and pitching, start pressing to compensate. That's where the coaches and manager comes into play.

We could probably trade a no name guy for Durazo, or get Hillenbrand/Hinske relatively cheap.

Now only if this happened a week ago, before the Casey injury. Then we could have got Casey or Wilson

:(

I meant Mike Sweeney, I wished the Cubs signed Mark Sweeney over John Mabry.

That whole "hover around .500 until he comes back" is really old and pure nonesense. If the past means anything, it at least means that with that phylosophy you are going to keep waiting until eternity because there will probably be at least one star player on this team injured at every point of the season. So, if the Cubs are really a playoff team they are going to have to play winning baseball without Lee, not simply to hope to not fall to far behind and expect that when Lee returns they will take off. Are we going to keep saying... wait till Wood returns? wait till Prior returns? oopss Prior returned but Nomar is down... let's hope to hover in the meantime... sorry, that philosophy just ain't gonna cut it. If it did, every year you could excuse the ballclub for losing.

Luis

Jonh:
"you package jones and 1 or the 3 marquee starters at Iowa for a replacement 1st baseman and bring up Pie to play right."

Were you the guy that called in to ESPN 1000 and got basically laughed off for making that totally UNREALISTIC suggestion? Who the hell would want Jones????

And if not Jones, you would want to send out our 3 top pitchers to get a "replacement 1st baseman"? What will you do with this replacement when Lee comes back? Ask the team to trade the prospects back?

UGH........

This just stinks. Not only are we without Prior and Wood still, but Lee gets injured on a freak play that couldn't have been avoided. I hate being obsessed with this team. If we are still at .500 when Lee gets back, we should have Prior and Wood and Miller back by then, we will know that this team has the legs to go far this season. If losing the best all-around player in baseball doesn't keep this team from playing .500 ball, then we can take anything this year.

#7 of 15: By JonH (April 20, 2006 07:08 PM)
you package jones and 1 or the 3 marquee starters at Iowa for a replacement 1st baseman and bring up Pie to play right.

----

JON H: Since he was signed as a Type XX FA, Jacque Jones has an automatic "no trade" until June 15th. He can waive that right, but then even if he does, the Cubs can only trade him for a player with a 2006 salary not in excess of $50,000 (in other words, a minor leaguer) or for cash not in excess of $50,000.

Same goes for Scott Eyre, Bob Howry, and John Mabry.

2005, St. Louis Cardinals....significant time spent on the DL for Scott Rolen, Reggie Sanders, Larry Walker, Jim Edmonds, Jason Isringhausen and managed to lead the league in wins.

It's doable....

Why does this happen all the time...can we pick up Hee Sop Choi from boston!

The ultimate irony: our best player, Derrek Lee gets hurt the week he signs a long term deal in a collision with the guy (Rafael Furcal) we couldn't sign in the offseason, who was playing for the same team as the guy he was supposed to replace (Nomar Garciaparra), who was injured one year earlier to the day.

Oh, and today is the 1-year anniversary of Nomar's injury. However, Lee got hurt at ~12:35 EST this morning, so for me at least it happened exactly one year later...

Now, i'm not into drugs at all, but next time 4/20 rolls around its probably better for my health and sanity to partake in the festivities instead of watching next year's key player get hurt.

Wait 'til next year...

They say don't kill the messenger, but in your case, Rob G., I'll make an exception.

Kidding, but the truth of it is that there's not much sense in trading for a replacement right now. The trade will either be overkill or underkill, as somebody like Mark Sweeney will be no upgrade and somebody like Aubrey Huff will cost too much. We simply can't trade J.Jones two weeks into a 3-year (terrible) investment, though we'll probably end up eating a significant portion of that contract someday anyway. Craig Wilson would have been nice in the off-season, but the Pirates need him now.

The only good thing about this is that it thins out our pre-season 2B quandry, hopefully getting Hairston everyday AB's in the two-hole and Walker in the 3, though we'll probably see a lot of Neifi batting second, indefensibly. If we can get Huff for super cheap because this is the last year on his contract, fine, but I don't see a real reason the D-Rays would do that. We're just going to have to tread water now until Wood and Prior make their respective ways back, and hope they carry us, as A-Ram and Barrett will do with the offense...

If people really want to use this as a way to get Pie to the majors, trading Jones is clearly not an option. However... Is it totally insane to see if Jones can weild a 1st-baseman's glove? If i'm Baker/Hendry, i call up Theroit, and give Walker 1B full time. However, i also start hitting grounders to JJ to see if he can handle 1st base. If he could take grounders, it would almost completely eliminate his inaccurate arm from the fielding equation, and would make room for Felix Pie in RF. This way, we don't have an issue with the 1st baseman we trade for to replace Lee once Lee returns, and the only issue we have would be what to do with Murton/Pierre/Jones/Pie if they all play well. Given the rumors that a certain team in the Bronx is looking to move their RF'er to DH, we could perhaps send Jones there, AFTER his no-trade clause period is up and Lee is back with the team.

Lineup:
Pierre, CF
Walker, 2B
Ramirez, 3B
Jones, 1B
Barrett, C
Pie, RF
Murton, LF
Cedeno, SS
Pitcher

Quit bringing up the Cardinals and Rolen, Albert Pujols is not on this team.

Other than that it is early. The Cubs need Murton, Cedeno and Barrett to step up and Aram to be Aram. I would be more concerned of making sure there is a good glove man at first.

Then there is Wood, Prior and Miller. Pitching and defense will have to carry this team until July. The NL West stinks, Mets look good, and Houston is there. Otherwise with every one back by July 1(Lee, and the pitchers) they have a shot.

brian thinks it is time to track down #17.

By the way, if Jones isn't great at saving Cedeno's throws, you could also trot out Neifi to SS (as long as he bats 8th!) instead...

Looking at the bright side (of a black hole), at least Hendry didn't trade away Todd Walker. While having Walker at 1b and Hairston at 2b isn't nearly as good as Lee/Walker, it could be a whole lot worse. At least they are two players who are reasonable starters at the major league level.

The team should be able to at least tread water long enough to stay in the race, and poised for one hell of a run come July when Lee, Wood, Prior, and Miller are all playing again.

Of course more likely, Dusty will use this as a chance to let Neifi save the season again.

And if the past two years are any indication, the Cubs will probably play pretty well for the next month or two. But once everyone does come back, and the cubs should be poised to make a run, that's when the team will fall apart.

I've seen Huff mentioned a couple times. He is not an option right now. He is on the DL himself for the next 3-5 weeks with a left knee sprain.

The Cubs simply need to make timely hits, move runners along and score more runs than the opponent. Frankly I like the attitude of this years club MUCH more than any of the prior 3 seasons. We are finally rid of the cry babies who whined, moaned and groaned about every little thing. This club has demonstrated a better approach. I think they will be alright.

I would think Hendry has to be pleased as punch that no one wanted to deal with him for Todd Walker. Walker should prove to be very valuable right now.

As for making trades to temporarily replace Lee--forget about it. That is what the bench and the farm system is all about. This team should be fine without Lee for part of the season. This is a good opportunity for someone to step up and assume leadership. It's an opportunity for someone--let's hope they rise to the occasion.

One thing to be concerned about when DLee returns is how much power he will have. We've seen lots of guys get wrist injuries and lose much of their power and even some bat speed for the first year or so until they are fully healed. Some guys just do not get their power back like before.

IMO the best temporary lineup would be...

CF Pierre
2B Hairston
1B Walker
3B Ramirez
C Barrett
RF Jones
LF Murton
SS Cedeno

I'd like to see Dusty try that for at least the first two against the Cardinals.

Walker is on WGN radio right now, and he just said that he will be playing 1B "most of the time."

What is up with the crybabies around here? We're cursed....woe is me....stupid billygoat!!

Quit yer bitchin. It is what it is and it means the Cubs, if they are for real, will have to get through it. The Cards played without Rolen most of last year and I didn't hear them moanin' - they sucked it up and went out and won.

Until the diehards lose the pityparty attitude, then that's all you deserve. Pity.

The exact words:

Kaplan: Do you think you will be playing any first base now that Lee's hurt?

Walker: I'm going to be playing all first base.

This team can still win games without Derrek Lee. The season is not lost. Walker/Hairston isn't like you are dropping down to start players with no major league experience as starters. Keep the faith.

Are they really considering this a wrist injury? If what I've read is correct (fracture of distal ulna and radius), than this is a forearm injury and not a wrist. Sure it's where the forearm articulates with the wrist, but anatomically, it's forearm. I would think that would probably be better than an actual break in the wrist...

For what it's worth, Ryan Theriot IS in the Iowa lineup tonight at Albuquerque, and Michael Restovich is NOT.

If Restovich (who has been on fire the last few days) is the replacement for Derrek Lee, it is likely that either Lee will be placed on the 60-day DL, or either Mark Prior or Wade Miller (or Kerry Wood, but he's too close to returning) could be transferred to the 60 DL (players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster).

Or the Cubs could recall Brian Dopirak (who is out of action at West Tenn with a broken foot) and then immediately place him on the 60-day DL. The problem with doing that is that Dopirak would immediately begin to accrue MLB service time, and would receive the MLB minimum salary ($327,000) instead of the $60,000-ish salary he is getting now per the "split contract."

If it's Restovich and one of the three (Lee, Prior or Miller) is placed on or transferred to the 60-day DL, Lee would be eligible to be reactivated on June 19th, Prior would be eligible to be reactivated on May 26th (he was placed on the 15-day DL effective March 27th, and time spent on the 15-day DL counts toward the 60 days), and Wade Miller would be eligible to be reactivated on May 31st.

MICHAEL RESTOVICH last six games:

.480 (12-25),
.536 OBP
.760 SLG
1.296 OPS
with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 2B, 3B, 3 BB, 2 K.

What's the new on Kerry Wood, last? I heard they were going to decide on Monday if he would go for minor league starts or screw around some more, then nothing....

Hundred Years - that lineup is pretty good, but I would swith AramRam and Walker. Plus you accidentilly left Neifi out.

That's all the wrist is, Ryan. Any further up and it's the hand.

Of course Walker should get the bulk of the playing time at 1B, but we all know this gives Dusty an opportunity to "manage"...

That means Walker and Mabry splitting time at 1B, the trio at 2B, and Cedeno/Perez at SS.

It will be due to matchups, giving guys a rest/chance to play, etc.

The worst part about Lee's injury is that it probably ensure that Dusty will be around till the end of the season--and probably beyond.

I don't think people realize just how bad the Cubs will be on offense until/unless Lee returns at full strength. He's the best hitter on earth right now, and the only reason why the Cubs offense isn't truly pathetic. We now have above average hitters at third and catcher, and average at best everywhere else.

That's not good. That's really, really not good. We're going to lose a LOT of 3-2 games...

SM:
"The worst part about Lee's injury is that it probably ensure that Dusty will be around till the end of the season--and probably beyond."

How is that the worst part??? Even though you hate Dusty, wouldn't the WORST part be that the Cubs have a worst chance of winning the WS without Lee? AMAZING....

i just got the word a minute ago via e-mail (I live in japan remember and was in meetings all morning long).

first it was a blow, just like the rest of you. then thoughts of it being just another year derailed by more cruelty from the beseball gods, or bad luck, or punishment for something.

but after a cup of coffee and several cigarettes, im more calmed down.

its a tough one to take but its happened. he wasnt hit by a train, he'll be back after the all-star break right? we just gotta continue to play solid defense and stay in control of ERA. the season is by no means lost.

frankly though im really upset by this. sad rather than angry. hang in there everybody.

8-10 weeks places us around the All Star break, give or take a week.

I think the guy who will step up the most will be Dusty. He seems motivated and interested this year ... and when his back is against the wall, and they count him out, he performs. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt in this situation.

Additionally, this will mean more playing time for everyone. And ultimately, if Lee comes back at full strength, and we're still somewhat close, with the type of lights out pitching we could get from a healthy front line of Wood, Prior, Miller, Z, Maddux, etc., who knows?

92 wins could take the division ... and the league is really terrible this year.

The one thing for certain, with all this energy, speed, youth and hustle, they are going to be in every game. Bullpen is good and they have some moxie.

screw dusty...i hope walker/hairston step up and hendry explores some options on the tame end, hillenbrand/t.clark...and maybe some wilder options.

i dont wanna start a "trade thing" here...just saying...its time for that bench of interchangable backups to prove they can perform like the starters they all think they are.

yow..that sounds a bit angrier than it should...just trying to be casual.

also...yeah, i know neifi will get some starts.

ERIC:
He's the best hitter on earth right now, and the only reason why the Cubs offense isn't truly pathetic.

I know it's 4/20 but are you high? DLee is far from the best hitter on earth and while an integral component, not the only reason.

Sheesh, at least try to be realistic about this.

In a twisted kind of way it is probably a good thing that Hendry has had his contract extended already. The last thing we need now is a crazed GM who sees the ax coming and trades the farm for a mediocore player like Stairs just for the small chance of saving the season and his job.

I am not saying the season is doomed but I would almost rather take the chance and see how a young guy like Sing can play than throw away prospects for a guy like Stairs or Wilson.

manny said:

"I would love to see how STL would do without Puljos or ATL with Jones for 2 months."

jimmy says:

in 2004 (scott rolen WAS the cardinals' best player), he was injured and missed almost the entire second half of the season.

the birds made it to the world series.

jimmy says: "in 2004 (scott rolen WAS the cardinals' best player)"

the 2004 stats say:

Rolen: .314/.408/.598 65.0 VORP
Pujols: .331/.415/.657 92.3 VORP

just pointing that out.

This really stinks but seeing how much pain DLee was in immediately after the contact was probably the key to suspect how bad the news was going to be. Fractures really hurt.

I have a few comments from an ortho perspective.

First I haven't seen the XRays or MRI so this commentary is obviously limited by that fact. If the XRays from LA were inconclusive it implies the fractures were subtle to see on those films (as in hairline cracks) or the quality of the films from the stadium were VERY poor (more likely...or for our conspiracy theorists, they showed a fx but they didn't want to disclose it). If the repeat XRays in Chicago were more obvious for a fracture then the MRI wasn't all that necessary but it would be a confirmation for the fractures. If the repeat XRays did not able to show a fracture but the MRI was the imaging study that showed the fractures, then we are usually talking hairline or non-displaced fractures which just require a protective cast for comfort. If the fractures needed reduction (setting the bone back in it's normal position) then the key is holding the bone in the corrected position if the cast doesn't hold the position as the swelling diminishes, it may still need a pin/pins to hold the fracture in position if the reduced position doesn't stay satisfactory on followup XRays in the next few days/week.

Having the radius and ulna fractured doesn't make the time to heal any slower than if just the distal radius alone were broken as each has nearly identical healing times.

Apparently they are putting him in a long arm cast which implies they might have had to reduce the fracture or are worried that the bones might shift losing good alignment. The long arm cast immobilizes the elbow and the wrist and prevents forearm rotation thus making the wrist bones less likely to move or lose their the reduced position. They will probably want to switch this to a short arm cast in 2-3 weeks to prevent elbow stiffness, at a point when the fracture is starting to heal and the reduced positon won't change.

The wrist is key to a hitters swing, so how quickly he regains strength and flexibility will determine his return. It will probably be 3-4 weeks to rehab and be a functional hitter again...and he won't be ready to rehab until the fracture is deemed healed. That's the frustrating part, it's not just the time to heal the fracture but the loss of forearm/wrist strength to regain bat speed that needs rehab time. Thus 6-8 weeks are generic estimates to heal the fracture plus 4 weeks of rehab is the starting down time estimate. That's where the 3 months out comes from.

The fact that the distal Radius and Ulna are showing fractures, in a high level athelete, they will probably consider using an Exogen (www.exogen.com) ultrasound system which the company boasts data accelerates fracture healing by as much as 50% in this type of injury (fresh fractures). The company that markets this device has studies showing reduced cast time by 22% with 38% faster return to normal activity. The gadget is expensive (about 3K) but requires only 20 minutes of use per day. Most fresh fractures don't get this gadget but this is a typical situation to consider it.

It would have been worse if his injury was a navicular fracture. That is a smaller bone immediately distal to the radius in the wrist and is much more fussy because fractures of this bone often affect the bones local blood supply. Not only is it slow in healing but there is a much higher rate of not healing. Navicular fractures when treated with a cast include the thumb to provide adequate immobilization.

Murton kind of scares me in left (bad routes and a weak arm). If they are going to look in-house, which they almost have to at this point, could Murton play 1st, bring Pie up to play right and shift Jones to left? That would keep Walker in the lineup and keep Neifi out.

I'm grasping at straws right now.

I knew I should never have checked on here, ruined my night.

The Cardinals made it because some backups and replacements played far better then their talent level. That is not something you can plan for.

Trying to convert Jones or Murton to 1B is a terrible idea. Maybe if you had all of spring training for them to get used to a new position, and even then I'd still say its a bad idea. Walker is no gold glove, but he's acceptable defensively at first and more than acceptable offensively while DLee is healing. We've got the depth at 2B with Hairston (or Neifi) so the solution seems, to me, to be an obvious one.

April 20th is also Hitler's birthday. Not a lot to celebrate. The good news is - at least they hung on to Walker. They'd really be screwed if he was gone.

It is kind of hard to compare what happened to the Cardinals to what happened to the Cubs. The Cardinals lineup was already one of the top 3 lineups in baseball so they were dealing from a position of strength. Yes Rolen was a huge loss but it isn't so huge when it takes the top 3 lineup down to say a top 5 lineup. The Cards losing Rolen would be like the White Sox losing Contreras. Sure it hurts but they already had one of the best starting pitching staffs so they could afford to lose one guy more than many other teams could.

The Cubs even with Lee did not have a top lineup. Even with Lee's monster season last year the Cubs still only managed to finish 9th in the NL in runs. The Cubs are not dealing from a position of strength and so it hurts them a lot more. This injury takes what was probably a slightly above average lineup and now makes it average to slilghtly below average lineup. Not to say the Cubs are done for but it is a lot more painful when the team already had so little room for error.

The Cardinals also had an intact, functional, and often improbably high-performing starting rotation in 2005. I think that had as much to do with succeeding in Rolen's absence as Abraham Nunez did, or more so.

Do the Cubs have that? Will they?

i don't think you hit hairston #2. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Hairston sucks. He is only slightly better than Neifi.

Murton for #2 please.

Of course none of that matters. we will now be seeing walker #3, neifi/hairston #2

this fucking sucks. flat out.

This sucks.

Nate,

I never said anything about Jones. Besides, I was just throwing out ideas on how to get the best possible offense out there, because it will be a struggle without Lee. Have Neifi in the lineup and Lee out. That will get ugly in a hurry.

I never said it was good idea. But there aren't many good ideas right now

The Cubs are gonna have to suck it up and play well regardless of the injuries. At a certain point people are to be held accountable regardless of the breaks no matter how hard or persistant the bad breaks are. Also

Baker is the one to watch of course. He is one of the great scapegoaters and loves that injury doorway to give himself a vacation and to blame fate while he coasts and guffaws. I don't care if Dusty plays this season with a team of little leaguers, you cannot whine about unjuries for three years.

The silver lining to all of this hopefully will be the end of the Dusty Baker three year sulkfest, and perhaps an innovative young youth oriented manager will take the reigns.

Vince, sorry if it seemed like I was attacking your post personally, someone else mentioned moving Jones to 1B earlier and I was responding to the overall idea of moving an OF to 1B

Lets see this is not all bad:

2003 Cubs Line-up

CF Lofton
2b Grudz
RF Sosa
LF Alou
3b Ram
1b Karros/Simon
SS Agon
C Miller

06 Cubs W/O Lee

CF Pierre
2b Hairston
C Barrett
3b Ram
1b Walk
RF Jones
LF Murton
SS Cedeno

spots even: CF, 2b
Spots 06 better: C, 1b, SS, 3b
spots 03 better: Corner outfielders

The key to this team is pitching. If all 3 of the DL guys come back and can be there old selves this team can compete even if Lee does not play another game this season. Hell the lineup W/O Lee is probably as good or better than the ASStros or SUX lineups last year.

I'm not so bummed about this. Don't get me wrong - it really sucks about DLee, he's easily my 2nd favorite Cub after Big Z. But I'm not so bummed on a universal scale only because I've had a lot of fun watching the Cubs so far, and I think that despite this injury they're going to continue to play solid baseball in way that's going to be more fun to follow than the last 2 years.

Walker and Barrett are hard-working dudes you can root for, Murton and Cedeno are the young bucks you want to succeed, and I have to admit that Pierre, his infield hits, and the way he makes opposing pitchers nervous, is really fun to watch. Our bullpen finally inspires confidence, Maddux is still amazing, Big Z will sort himself out, Wood's almost back, Prior Miller etc etc

I can't help but be positive. I'm still kind of psyched for the rest of the year.

Krep.

Just got my Cubs tix in the mail today too.

It's only April fricking 20th.... the season doesn't end next week. For the people who think the 2005 Cubs season is a lost cause because of this injury, I think you need a saliva test.

The 2004 Astros were 56-60 on August 14 and made the playoffs. The Cubs will not be out of the playoff race when Lee returns.

Remember, it's a one hundred and sixty two game regular season....

CUBSTER: I am regretfully greatful for your insights. It is a "coup" to have you in the intimate TCR setting. However, I wish you weren't so busy with your posts on our "rag-armed" pitchers, and now, with one of the game's top five overall players. It really sucks. Was Nomar's injury of a similar type? It seems as if this bothered him for a long time.

SHAWNDGOLDMAN: Too much matzoh at Pesach, my friend! Try to get unplugged, and re-join the sensible fans that realize that having JJones or MAtt Murton play first base, when they never have in their careers, in the actual season, is pretty far-fetched. What were you thinking?!

Well the Stros had Carlos Beltran go off the charts.

For the people who think the 2005 Cubs season is a lost cause because of this injury, I think you need a saliva test.

The 2005 season was a loss because they lost more games than they won.

It's 2006 already......?!!??

E-Man and Nate,

Actually, i don't think its that far fetched for an OF to move to 1st. While i don't agree with everything the defensive spectrum is used for, if its useful for anything it would be telling you which way you can move a player when changing around a defense. 1st base is on the far left side of the spectrum, and left field is to the left of right field (in the spectrum). That means that Murton should be able to handle a move to 1st (or at least be good enough to try it in practice), and Jones should certainly be able to move to LF.

The more i think about it, the more i like this idea. You get a huge downgrade defensively at 1st, but you get significant upgrades in both corner OF spots: Jones has more range than Murton in LF and Pie has more range, and a stronger, more accurate arm than Jones in RF. That doesn't offset the defensive difference between a gold glover and a green first baseman, but its better than a lot of the other ideas thrown about. Furthermore, if anyone should be able to make such a transition, it would be a young player with sound fundamentals and a willingness to work on his game... that sounds like Matt Murton to me.

Don't get me wrong, i wouldn't throw Murton into the deep end tomorrow against the redbirds. However, i do think it would be worth a shot to give him a 1st-baseman's glove and see what he can do with it in practice. If he ends up being serviceable with it (serviceable being as good as Walker is at 2nd), then i'd move him to 1st until Lee returned...

Oh, and if you're going to move somone from the OF to 1st, i think Murton makes more sense than Jones (my original suggestion).

in japans pro league i follow the yokoyama baystars. they have been abysmal this year and mired in a losing streak. their star outfielder who made those super-catches in right for the japan WBC team just went down with a contusion in his ribs. well, they won the first 2 games he missed, and it made me think for a minute...

the guy had strained his ribs during one of those against-the-wall catches but has played through it since. and aside from his 2 homers, this season his plate prowess has been lacking to say it kindly.

in dereks case, we all know he had that shoulder strain from that foul ball also suffered in the WBC. and it was quite evident that he seemed determined to break the record for single-season GIDP. ive even seen mention here of his swing looking different and him not being able to drive low and away pitches like last year. its very possible he was still ailing from that shoulder. (and incidentally, we sparked that game winning rally after he left).

my point is, although its a shame that it took a wrist fracture to do it, maybe this is a blessing in disguise (based on the assumption that he DOES in fact still have a bum shoulder thats affecting his stroke). while that wrist heals up (the cast being a bonus) he sure cant take swings or even play catch, which will give him a much needed oppurtunity to rest his shoulder.
this will allow him to return truly 100%, rather than have a sub-par year playing through the shoulder with the chance of developing something chronic to affect his career.

hmmm. i may be onto something here....yes. this IS a blessing in diguise. thats right, im saying it was a good thing that the man must wear a cast for 2 months. thats my interpretation and im sticking to it no matter what any of you say.

oops, the guy made those super-catches in left.

The other reason i like this is it lets all the kids play... if the season is going to go down from a loss of Lee's bat and glove, it might as well be done with the kids getting MLB experience and us finding out what we have in them. If the season doesn't go down, its likely because the kids are awesome and we'll be able to make trades to strengthen the team once Lee returns and Murton returns to an overloaded OF.

all in all it sounds like a lot of this argument...when you stip it down to the results...is pie vs. hairston.

that's not a lot to argue about, really. pie isnt automatic and hairston isnt trash.

the only 1st base kid the cubs have isnt healthy.

the other is sing, an interesting power stroke that plays an ordinary 1st...he's not projected to be a starter, but a 1st/corner-OF bench type if he can progress his game.

he had a very slow start in AAA.

crunch,

I'd say that pretty much sums it up. I, for one, wouldn't mind giving Pie a shot. There's also the issue of whether or not Murton can learn 1st... but i think its a reasonable enough idea to let him try it out.

Do we have any left handed 19 year old kids in single A? The Marlins could trade us some crap for him. Then in four years we can argue about if it was a good trade or not.

Sound good?

My point is this, I hope to God that Hendry doesn't make any knee jerk moves that could jeopardize this team long term.

BOTH nomar, last year after his balls out spring, and d lee, because he is a sine qua none stud, were the first round picks of my fantasy draft. so i am a cub. and fucked as usual. but i remain hopeful. walker can do a credible job at first. and the rest of the boys will have to suck it up. d lee is gone, until at least the all-star break. too bad. aramis, well, get off your ass and start hitting. ronnie cedeno, start throwing the ball somewhere in the area code of 1st base. this is a team game and the best team wins. it's up to these guys to get it done. i think they will.
GO CUBS!!!!

Isn't Hee Seop Choi available? How Ironic. Oh and the irony of it being Furcal. As much as I'm very grateful that Todd Walker is still a Cub, it can't help Ronnie Cedeno to have Todd manning the bag...Jim found Dempster, Barrett, Williamson, Miller off the scrap heap, I'd say lets find us a 1b off the scrap heap. The suspects would be: Choi, Durazo, Carlos Pena, Cal Pickering, Mienkewitz, Daryl Ward, ????

The 2004 Astros were 56-60 on August 14 and made the playoffs. The Cubs will not be out of the playoff race when Lee returns.

the problem with this is that it doesn't contextualize just how rare that is. a lot of things have been done once and only once.

looking back to the start of the wildcard format, national league teams under .500 at the all-star break have a 3% chance of making the playoffs. three percent. even in the year the astros went, one has to remember 4 or 5 other NL clubs had similar records and didn't get anywhere near the playoffs.

even at one to four games over at the break, your odds are only 1 in 4.

if this injury means just 3 or 4 losses more over the next three months, it's devastating -- and probably pushes a team that was going to struggle to score anyway over the edge of reasonable doubt.

Keep you stats to yourself. I have seen WAY to many three out rivers do me in (approx 6% chance in the poker world). If everything was dictated by stats, we wouldn't even play the game.

BTW, I like the ideo of a scrap heap 1st baseman as long as we give up very little. Mancaveitch is a great idea as KC is going nowhere.

If this team is going anywhere ( I believe it will) it will survive without Lee til the break. Someone will have to step up. The pitching could get better soon as well. I'm not panicking although it sucks, Lee was the new leader and it had a good feel.

Jim Hendry:
"We'll make a decision [late Thursday] on who we want to add to the roster in an in-house move," Hendry said. "You're not going to replace Derrek Lee in any kind of trade in April. You're probably not going to replace him anytime in a trade as hard as you might try."

Ok big brains of this board... step up and give us some insight on who this might be? Sing? Deardorff? Hoffpauir? Craig?! ...or Walker AND Hairston finally get regular ABs? Trade for Choi possible? Pitcher for 1b prospect swap?

there we go

As I mentioned earlier, Walker said on WGN tonight that he has been given the 1B job while Lee is down ("I'm going to be playing all first base"). So, at least in Walker's mind, the decision has been made.

I concur with the people who are saying this isn't a total disaster. Few teams can afford to lose their best player and survive, but this team has fewer weaknesses (at least to this point in the season) than any Cub team I can recall. Having said that, it's now imperative that Wood and Prior make it back and take charge.

For the record, here are some of the W/L records for the 2003 Cubs at different stages:

7/26: 51-52
8/2: 55-54
8/19: 64-60
8/31: 69-66
9/1: 70-66

The Cubs of course caught fire in September, but the point is, in a down (or even average ) year for the division, if a team just hangs in there, it can be done.

Another roster question: With D-Lee out, how long can we keep Bynum on the 25 man? I know that he is a player that can play a lot of positions, but he looks like he is overmatched. With D-Lee you could hide him at the end of the bench, but can you really afford an automatic out sitting there. And is there anyone in the system that could take his place? In my way of thinking Pie wouldn't be a possiblilty simply because i think it would be bad for him to only get a few ABs a week. C-Pat had a very hard time when Baylor used him that way. I think that Pie is better than C-Pat, but i wonder if C-Pat would have turned out better had he been used correctly when he was first called up. I know that i have opened several cans of worms with that one. Sorry!

I think Tony Clark would be a viable option because he's solid defensively. He only makes a $1m a year but he is signed through '07. However I'm sure it would probably cost the Cubs more than Hendry wants to give up..probably Rich Hill. Hillenbrand is a liability defensively so that's really no upgrade over Walker as they are the same type of hitter anyway.

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