Sean Marshall, Stopper

GAME TWENTY-FOUR IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PITTSBURGH PIRATES (7-19, 10.5 GB, 6th)) AT CHICAGO CUBS (13-10, 3.0 GB, 4th) WRIGLEY FIELD, 7:05 CDT Weather: 58 degrees, cloudy, wind 11 mph R to L TV: CSN Chicago, DirecTV 743 Radio: WGN, XM 187
Sean Marshall, LHP 2-0, 4.22 ERA, 21 1/3 IP 15 K, 7 BB, 3 HRVictor Santos, RHP 1-4, 6.48 ERA, 25 IP 17 K, 10 BB, 3 HR
*Nate McLouth, CF Jack Wilson, SS Jason Bay, LF Craig Wilson, 1B Joe Randa, 3B *Jeromy Burnitz, RF Ronny Paulino, C Jose Castillo, 2B Victor Santos, P*Juan Pierre, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Todd Walker, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Matt Murton, LF *Jacque Jones, RF Michael Barrett, C John Mabry, 1B *Sean Marshall, P

Cubs vs. Santos Aramis Ramirez: 7-18, 389/421/833, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K Michael Barrett: 3-21, 143/217/190, 2 BB, 2 K
I guess that's what it's come to, as Marshall goes out to try to stop a modest two-game skid. I mentioned that the Cubs hadn't given up that many runs in a two-game span since 2000; a bit more research reveals that they hadn't been out-scored by that many runs in a two-game span since 1975. But enough about that. Let's see if Marshall can go 3-0 tonight. Sure would be nice.
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Comments

Dusty just said on WGN's pre-game radio show that Hill will pitch on Thursday and that Rich Hill has developed an effective slider and a change up pitch...Dusty said after using Marshall tonight we'll see Guzman start and then Maddux start on Wednsesday. There was no real update on Kerry Wood (and I think the Cubs would be VERY lucky to have him back by the end of May). Rich Hill is being interviewed on WGN right now...great triple A numbers...he claims he has figured out some important things...the AAA pitching coach has helped him a lot. Hill says he feels much more confident coming up as a starting pitcher this year. He says you create your own pressure and it's all about executing and delivering the right pitches. Rich Hill says he will be in the Bullpen tonight for at least an inning and then start on Thursday...It will be interesting to see if he can start to reach his potential.

Glad to see Mabry starting tonight at first and Walker back at 2nd.

I'll give Dusty a little credit: running with Cedeno gives Ramirez a better chance to come out his funk.

Um, I don't have a visual on tonight's game. Can somebody please tell me what in the world the third base coach was doing when Jacques Jones got doubled off second? And why Murton didn't try to tag up and score?

Or were we just being the Cubs...

BC, I was watching the game on TV, and I too would like to know the answer to those questions.

I simply can't explain such horrendous baserunning. Bad baserunning is like a disease with the Cubs, perhaps they should hire a coach to at least try an teach baserunning?

The ball to left was too shallow to tag on--Murton made the right read by not tagging. Jones misread the ball, and was easily doubled off (and then promply booed).

So, those of you watching the game, does Marshall look as good as his numbers would suggest? 60 pitches through 6? One hit, 4 Ks, no walks?

marshall's pitching a very efficient game with good control. no one's making good contact off him.

2 outs in the 8th and Marshall hits. Very apparent that our bench needs a stick.

The have a lefty off the bench, but he's playing first base tonight. Seeing how Marshall had only thrown 75 pitches through 7 & the Cubs had two more shots at the win (it was the 7th, not the 8th), I don't have a problem with Marshall batting with two outs & nobody on.

Now of course he's pt the first two guys on so I hope Dusty pulls him.

Marshall was outstanding tonight...He deserves a better offense than the Cubs have provided so far...lets see if the Cubs can come up with some timely hits in the bottom of the 8th.

Way to go Murton...Now we'll bring Dempster in to close...;-)

Ugh, can we please get an offense, Mr. Hendry?

Cubs win.

nice job "moneyman matt murton"

maybe jones should s.t.f.up about getting booed until he actually plays like he's played baseball before. you know, not swinging at ball 3 or ball 4 every single game and misreading a simple popup to left when the man on third is still standing on the bag.

the offense really sucks without lee and ramirez showing no life. could we re-start the tony clark rumors? i know that with rusch sucking it makes traiding hill tough, but man....the offense really has been crap, not just in runs scored but OBP and SL.

go oilers, beat the wings.

wow, if only dusty would do what i say like the oilers just did!

Orange is the new color of money. Marshall is a 900 foot Jesus. "The Cubs have the best ERA from 7th inning on." -as reported on post game show.

The Cubs will NOT trade Rich Hill right now -- they need him...The only starting pitchers that are reliable are Maddux and Marshall...Zambrano is very unstable and doesn't seem to be able to focus in an effective way...Rusch is a disaster...Guzman is a work in progress...Wood and Prior are still missing in action (I think we'll be lucky to see one of them in the lineup by the time the summer starts). It's time for the Cubs to give Rich Hill another chance as a starter...It will be interesting to see how Hill does on Thursday...Without good starting pitching the Cubs don't have a chance. Yet, with great pitching they can win lots of games (tonight was a perfect example of that).

that game was a breath of fresh air...still, would be nice to see more production out of the bats.

rbi singles and walks by murton arent gonna carry the team.

aram has 10rbi's hitting outta the #4 slot this year (75ab).

The cost of NOT making a deal is very high. We all know its hard to make deals the first week of May, so you have to sweeten the deal to make it happen. Whats the word on Marmol? I'd rather trade a guy who won't help us this year. Lets keep Hill for now.

As for the lineup, I think Dusty needs to move Ramirez to the 3 spot. If he contines to run with Pierre and Cedeno, Ramirez will get more fastballs. Murton could move to 4th, Walker 5th, Barrett 6th, Jones 7th.

In checking out our minor league stats, I was alarmed by Eric Patterson's strike out numbers. Did he workout with his brother over the winter? Jeez...Pleasantly surprised by Montanez. Is he still a prospect Az Phil? What about Buck Coats? Isn't he better than Freddie Bynum?

How about 23 year old Zach Duke against 24 year old Angel Guzman. Sweet! Should be another low scoring game.

patterson's K rate isnt too alarming for where he's at in his career (roughly 1 in 4 ab's - 22K 91ab).

he's not a guy who should be on the cubs radar until next sept. anyway.

J. Jones can't hit lefties. Period. Hendry must have known this when he went out and got him. So when J Jones struggles against lefties, it's not Jones' "fault" per se. It's the Cubs fault for continually putting him in situations where he is absolutely guaranteed to fail, instead of playing to his strengths. If we did not have the right-handed bench strength to sub for Jones in key situations vs. lefties and to start against lefties...then we shouldn't have gotten Jones. THis is just like Dusty's obsession with making Hawkins a closer when everyone know the dude was a set up man and didn't have the make up for the ninth.

My biggest pet peeve about coaches and managers of all sports is when they try to shoehorn a player in a role where they are a lead pipe lock to fail. Like if the Tenn. Titans try to force V. Young to be "more like M. Leinart" you'll have to wonder why they didn't just draft Matt Leinart. Dusty and Hendry knew what they weree getting in Jones. If they choose to use him in way that is entirely incompatible with his known strengths, then that is Dusty and Hendry's fault. Not Jones's. If they wanted someone who was a 150+ game starter, they should have gotten someone else.

"THis is just like Dusty's obsession with making Hawkins a closer when everyone know the dude was a set up man and didn't have the make up for the ninth."

some people dont buy into the "a guy pitches better in inning 8 than inning 9" thing. hawkins stuff is just as hittable in inning 7, 8, or 9 imo...a straight fastball is a straight fastball no matter when its thrown.

Horatio: Dusty and Hendry knew what they weree getting in Jones.

Oh yeah, they did, Jones' inability to hit left-handed pitching was notorious.

This was out on the Baltimore Sun's website tonight...

[...With Brian Roberts on the disabled list, the Orioles have turned to Corey Patterson as a temporary solution in the leadoff slot. That would have seemed unimaginable three weeks ago, when Patterson was usually anchored to the bench and failing to get on base when he did play. But he raised his average more than 100 points with consecutive three-hit games last week, and manager Sam Perlozzo likes his speed at the top of the line-up. "I don't know , you know, how many more options we have in that particular situation," Perlozzo said. "I think you always hate to move somebody out of a spot that's finally getting a couple of hits and getting his confidence back. But I think Corey's OK okay with that. He's been really great for us, spending his time on the bench not complaining and working hard." Patterson has Going into Monday night Patterson had drawn only one walk on the season and his .300 on-base percentage paled pales compared to Roberts' .387. But he said he won't change his hitting approach. "I really don't think it changes things," he said. "What it still comes down to is you have to know yourself. Where somebody hits, that's just a number. I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. Just because I go from seventh to ninth to leadoff, that doesn't change things." He prefers hitting lower in the order. "Everybody has their preference," Patterson said. "[But] I came here to help this team win as many games as possible. But I know with the injuries, some things are going to have to change. I'm a team player and I'll do what they ask me to do." Patterson has impressed Perlozzo by bunting for several hits in the last week. "The fact he's bunting for some base hits, that's something we really emphasized with him," the manager said...]

wow..that patterson article reads just like every patterson article written the past 2 years for the cubs.

well, except for the "oh no! not AAA!" bitching...

the muskrat at cubs.com rattled a few quotes outta roosh.

"I'm not helping the team by going short in ballgames like I have been," Rusch said. "Hopefully, it'll be an opportunity for me to get back on track."

"What's even more frustrating is when it becomes a situation where you're feeling great physically," Rusch said, "but mentally I'm not focused on making the proper pitches and everything like I should be and I need to improve that."

etc etc...@cubs.com

doh...its quotes on his new role in the bullpen...

This was a satisfying, large win. As large as Glendon Rusch's manbreasts.

Stat of the day: The Cubs are 4-10 in games not started by Maddux or Marshall. That is alarming.

Stat of the day #2: Cedeno and Murton are hitting a combined .597!

crunch: muskie: rusch: "Hopefully, it'll be an opportunity for me to get back on track."

Yes, Rusch, that's what we're all hoping for, an opportunity for you.

a situation where you're feeling great physically

At least he feels... ahh, nevermind. How's the saying go? Those that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones?

433: Stat of the day: The Cubs are 4-10 in games not started by Maddux or Marshall.

Holy shiite!

433: Stat of the day #2: Cedeno and Murton are hitting a combined .597!

I'm suprised Dusty hasn't benched them for some, more seasoned veteran, like Enrique Wilson. *sigh*

Every other team in this division is winning every game they should win...so we really needed this one, and it was much more intense then it should have been...we win tommorrow and send the Pirates to 1-14 on the road, and we'll be in pretty decent shape, gaining games on two teams ahead of us. If we give the Pirates their second road win of the season, and finish a homestand against the Marlins, Brewers and Pirates 4-4...well, that would just suck.

Stat of the day #3: The Cubs have the 7th best record in MLB, yet only the 4th best record in the division. (The Brewers are 8th and 5th.)

433: Stat of the day #2: Cedeno and Murton are hitting a combined .597!

Wait a minute, how can this be? Cedeno is hiting 341 & Murton is hitting 374... Am I missing something?

#20 of 30: By carmenfanzone (May 1, 2006 10:28 PM)
Pleasantly surprised by Montanez. Is he still a prospect Az Phil? What about Buck Coats? Isn't he better than Freddie Bynum?

---

CARMEN F: If he were still a shortstop, the way he is hitting now, with improved plate discipline, Luis Montanez would be a prospect. But his improved offense coincided with a move to the outfield (LF-RF), and he just does not hit with enough power to be a major league corner OF. However, I believe Montanez will surface at some point in the future as an MLB extra man, especially if he can play a little bit of middle-infield to go along with corner OF.

Montanez will be a six-year minor league FA after this season, and since I can't see the Cubs adding him to their 40-man roster within ten days after the close of the regular season (which they would need to do to prevent Montanez from becoming a six-year MLFA), I would expect him to exercise his option to be a FA, and sign a 2007 AAA deal with a team where he might get a chance to advance more quickly to the big leagues.

As for Buck Coats, he also will be a six-year year minor league FA after the 2006 sesason, but unlike with Montanez, I believe there is a good chance that Coats WILL be added to the Cubs 40-man roster after the close of the 2006 regular season. Coats is considerably faster (he has a very long gait) and more "athletic" than Montanez, he can play more positions (SS-2B-3B-1B-LF-CF-RF), and he is a better hitter at a higher level (Coats is at AAA right now, and Montanez has yet to advance past AA).

So I believe Coats has a good chance to be added to the Cubs 40-man roster after the season, and then will also have a pretty good chance to make the Cubs 2007 Opening Day roster as a "supersub" utility guy and left-handed PH & PR. Sort of the role Freddie Bynum plays now, but Coats is a better defender than Bynum. And even if Coats doesn't make the '07 Opening Day roster, he will have three minor league options left (Bynum is out of options), so there would be no pressure for him to make it right away, and the Cubs could send Coats to AAA if they were to need his roster spot. And then the Cubs can just shit-can Bynum anytime they want, because Coats can do everything Bynum can do (some things even better), and he has the options left that would allow him to be sent back & forth to AAA next season (which Bynum can't be, because he is out of options).

I'm watching the postgame stuff on Comcast, and it's really negative. What's up with this? The Cubs are on pace to win 95 games for gods sake.

Sure there are problems, obvious ones. But the team is 14-10, not 8-16.

433: I do agree that we need to pay attention to the positives, like Maddux and Marshall, and Cedeno and Murton, but using the "they're on pace for 95 wins" argument isn't a good argument to use, IMO. We may be on pace for 95 wins, but 3 teams in the NL Central are on pace for more than 95 wins. And believe me, the Reds are not going to have 95+ wins this year...

Crunch: But pitching in the 9th IS different than pitching in the 7th or 8th. From a physical standpoint, you are right; a straight fastball will always be a straight fastball. However, from a mental standpoint, the 9th inning is different. The pressure is on in the 9th. Closers aren't pitching to keep a lead, knowing that they've got back-up in case they run into trouble. They aren't pitching to get their team back into a game, either. They are pitching to end a ballgame. If they fail to save the game, even if the score is a tie, they have just helped momentum shift drastically over to the other team. If they do lose the lead, the game is either over, or the other team's closer is going to step up and try to end the game. If you think that is the same situation as pitching in any other inning, you are mistaken.

Murton is hitting .288 as oftonight so the .597 is probably correct.

Good ost AZ Phil about Montanez and Coats. The one thing that Coats can't do is run with Bynum. Bynum was the fastest player in the A's oraganization and is at the top of the Cubs too. He is also a better base stealer than Coats but one does have to like the versatility of Coats. Unfortunately, it is because he couldn't field well enough at SS to stay there. He had a ton of errors last year at SS. But he probably can play anywhere for the short term.

CUBS WIN!! IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!!

Nice to finally be back in town for a long period of time. I go to go to the game tonight and it was pretty cool to see Marshall gagain. He keeps getting better. The bases loaded, 0 out inning, with no runs scored was a disaster. JJ was at fualt, Murton was at fault and Spier was at fault. Just UGLY.... Thankfully it didn't cost us the game.

The umps were HORRIBLE. At least from my view in the stadium. It looked like Dempster got fucked in the 9th on those 2 check swings and a called 3rd strike. Also the 3rd base ump screwed up the call on Jack Wilson running out of the base line.

14-10...can't ask for much better I guess.

The rate we are going through starting pitchers though, we might start 15 guys this year. more than last year even.

from the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan:

[..."I was wondering when we were going to win 2-1," Baker said. "Especially after the last couple of days."

While the Cubs aren't exactly in a youth movement, they proved again Monday their kids can play.

Murton's game-winning hit off Salomon Torres scored the go-ahead run, and rookie left-hander Sean Marshall pitched 71/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. Bob Howry notched the victory in relief, and Ryan Dempster closed it out for his 26th consecutive save.

Marshall is one of three rookies in the newly configured rotation, along with Angel Guzman and Rich Hill, who was called up Monday.

"I'm a young guy too," Marshall said. "I'm just like those guys, and they can see me out there succeeding. They're just as good as I am, and it's going to be great to see these guys pitch [Tuesday] and Thursday."

After Craig Wilson doubled leading off the second, Marshall did not allow another hit until Jack Wilson singled leading off the seventh. The only other baserunner in that span was Pirates starter Victor Santos, who reached on Ronny Cedeno's two-out error in the third.

The Cubs' offense continued to sputter without Derrek Lee hitting in the No. 3 hole. In their first 10 games without Lee, the Cubs are batting only .218. Murton continues to come through in the clutch, however, improving to .417 (10-for-24) with runners in scoring position.

"That should be every player's goal, to get up in those situations," Murton said. "When it's really on the line, you bear down more. It doesn't mean you're always going to come through, and, in fact, sometimes you can overdo it at the plate."

This time Murton did it just right, sealing his reputation as the heir apparent to Lee in clutch hitting...]

Sean Marshall's ERA is down to 3.45 and his WHIP is only 0.8721... Wow. I know he's built that off of the last two starts against weak offenses, but its still fantastic.

I'm surprised we aren't spending more time talking about Aram and his .200 batting average and .387 SLG in the 4 spot....that is absolutely killing our offense.

From rotowire...

Kerry Wood: Could Return to Cubs in Mid-May -

Update:
If Wood (shoulder) comes out of his second straight rookie-league start Tuesday for the Mesa (Ariz.) Cubs with no setbacks, he would be in line for a start May 7 against the Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts to begin his minor-league rehab, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Recommendation:
"We'll have to see after this next one, but hopefully we can get him out [on a minor-league rehab],'' pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. If Wood needs just two minor-league starts to get ready, he'd likely pitch for Triple-A Iowa on May 12, and be in line to return to Chicago on May 17 or so.

The question isn't about Wood, the question is whether or not Prior will beat Miller back to the Cubs pitching mound.

...seriously, it's been nothing on the news from from those two.

According to ESPN's website Ramirez is paid $11 Million this year by the Cubs (that's as much as The White Sox pay their top player -- Paul Konerko)...Murton is making about $330,000...Hmmm...Who is really coming through with the clutch hitting that is saving the team and allowing the Cubs to stay over .500...? It would be nice if Aramis Ramirez can get re-focussed and start hitting like the kind of RBI machine the Cubs are paying him to be. Right now Murton and Walker are the 2 Cub players that are hitting quite consistently. We need other players to step up to the plate and get hot.

Murton is hitting .288 as oftonight so the .597 is probably correct.

Hooray for Math!?

The Reds are off to quite a start this year...It's too bad Hendry couldn't have found a way to get a pitcher like Arroyo...Instead we invested $38 Million in the bullpen (which was important) and Hendry chose to re-new Rusch's contract...Here's the latest on the Reds...

"...CINCINNATI (AP) -- Bronson Arroyo stayed unbeaten in Cincinnati by pitching a four-hitter for the second complete game of his career, and the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 Monday night in a matchup of the NL's top two teams.

Cincinnati set a club record with 17 victories in April, and started a new month with the same winning formula -- a lot of offense, a little dazzling pitching.

Rich Aurilia hit a solo homer, and Felipe Lopez broke an 0-for-17 slump with a run-scoring single and a bases-loaded single that drove in three runs all together. Every Reds starter except Arroyo had a hit off left-hander Mark Mulder (2-1), who was denied his 100th career win.

The biggest change in the Reds is the addition of Arroyo (5-0), who has dramatically improved a rotation that was the NL's worst last season. The right-hander is the first Reds starter to win his first five decisions since Paul Wilson went 7-0 in 2004..."

Scott, no need to post articles. We can just click a link. Especially about a story that is not even about the Cubs.

JJ was at fualt, Murton was at fault and Spier was at fault. Just UGLY....

Manny - you are wrong. Murton did nothing wrong on this play. The ball was not hit deep enough to score. Murton did exactly what he should have done. This was all JJ.

It's too bad Hendry couldn't have found a way to get a pitcher like Arroyo

I am pretty sure that the Cubs did not have a starting outfielder that they could trade to Boston for Arroyo. We never had a chance to get Arroyo.

I've got to say it's gratifying to see so many here finally acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, Sean Marshall might possibly perhaps be someone who deserves to be on the Cubs and in the rotation.

Anyone who saw him this spring already knew that, but it's nice to see the brainrust get it.

Of course he might totally fall apart and have an outing next time reminiscent of Carlos Lamebraino's last one. In which case Marshall Mashing will again be in season. But he will still be a fine talent, nonetheless.

Great post Scott about Kerry Wood possibly taking a wrench to the Lugnuts soon, moving up to Iowa after that and returning to the Cubs May 17. Sullivan over at the Trib mentions Wood not being back til JUNE though.

JUNE!?

http://tinyurl.com/l7owm

I saw something from Will Carroll the other day.. sorry I don't have the link anymore.. I meant to mention it when I saw it, but I didn't have a whole lot of time.

For some reason, he thinks Kerry Wood will be back with the club on May 12. Apparently he looked great the other day, and will probably make 1 rehab start with Peoria or West Tenn before making his May 12 start.

I know Carroll hasn't made a ton of friends around here, but that's what I read in his "Under the Knife" column.

Take it for what its worth I guess.

When Wood returns is clearly a moving target...It will be a miracle if he is back in the starting line-up by the beginning of June. I'll be surprised if Prior is back anytime before the middle of the summer...who knows, Prior may not even make it back this season...I hope both Wood and Prior surprise all of us this year (but I wouldn't count on it)...The Cubs have to develop other reliable pitching prospects (like Marshall). It's quite amazing that the Cubs have not won a game with Zambrano as the starter -- he has the talent BUT he needs to learn how to get in state and focus on demand...Maddux is the master and all the younger Cub pitchers can learn a lot from him.

I think this may have been discussed on another thread, but are the Lansing Lugnuts still a Cubs minor league affiliate? Everyone has Kerry Wood pitching for them May 7th, but on their own site, they seem to belong to the Blue Jays, and there is no mention of the Lugnuts on the Cubs minor league affiliate site. Anyone know for sure?

GO CUBS!!!

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/stats/

minor league stats-affiliations-etc.

Low-A
Lansing Lugnuts (TOR)
Peoria Chiefs (CHC)

Keith--

The Peoria Chiefs are the Cubs' Midwest League A-team. The Cubs moved it there from Lansing after the 2004 season. Apparently, keeping up with the team's minor league affiliates is too tough a task for some of the writers out there.

Regarding some angst above, I'm with several in noting--where's the Aramis hate? The guy is killing us, he's batting a buck-ninety, and his defense is awful as always. We're paying $10MM/year for THIS? Way to step up and be a leader in Lee's absence, Aramis--UNDERACHIEVER.

off topic side note...

y.molina - 82ab/12h/1bb/10k (.146 avg)

great D/arm, though.

now that's sink/swim

" ... where's the Aramis hate?"

It's far, far too early for that. The guy is in a deep slump, but that hardly merits the vituperation regularly dished out to, say Neifi Perez or Dusty Baker. Those two worthies have long histories of incompetence - or to be fair to Neifi, of being cast into situations where his weaknesses are highlighted and his significant strengths overlooked. ARam, though, has a long history of success, and there's every reason to believe that he'll be back on track before too much longer.

However, if he's still hitting like this at the All-Star break, then I'm sure the bile will flow copiously.

#31 of 58: By 433 (May 1, 2006 11:02 PM)
...Stat of the day #2: Cedeno and Murton are hitting a combined .597!
-
Um...No. Try dividing that by 2. They are batting a combined .298. See, it's batting AVERAGE so you don't just add the two AVERAGES together you AVERAGE them to get the combined number.
(.288 + .308)/2 =.298
or
(25 + 23)/(81 + 80)=.298

Unless of course you were using 2.000 as the standard of perfection in which case they are batting .597.

But I hear a Bachelor of the Arts is cool too. :)

JohnH: Murton is hitting .288 as oftonight so the .597 is probably correct.

Hooray for Math!?

I usually wouldn't nit-pick this, but a "Hooray for Math" comment begs for a response. Since BA is an average, I assume when you combine two players, you would combine their average. By 433's logic, the team is hitting:

5.253

Which is clearly a useless number.

Murton & Cedeno, as of today, are batting 48 hits over 161 at bats. This combines for a .298 average which is equally impressive for a left-fielder who sat last year while we saw the likes of Matt Lawton & Jason Dubois and a young "defensive" shortstop. I had my doubts about Cedeno with the bat and thought he was going to be a vacuum at the bottom of the order, especially based on his ST performance.

In fact, the Cubs don't really have any vacuums (unless you're talking about Jones batting lefties, but I don't think he's going to be starting against lefties too much longer). The starters last night, with the exception of Mabry, all hit last night going 1-for.

"JohnH: Murton is hitting .288 as oftonight so the .597 is probably correct"

Wow

JJ stole my thunder.

Everybody seems to agree that JJ shouldn't play against lefties -- I asked JJ, and he agreed as well. Problem is -- who plays in his place? Given the high number of LH starters in the Division (see Brewers games Sat/Sun and, if you can bear it, Zach Duke today), this is rapidly becoming the Cubs #1 need. The April problems --bad starts for Z and A-Ram, injuries to Wood, Prior and DLee - should all be resolved by mid-June. However, the RF problem needs to get fixed.

Problem is -- who plays in his place?

Anyone. Even though Mabry is also a left-handed hitter, he has much better numbers against lefties (275/337/407 from 2003-05) than Jones (238/295/363).

Or, how about Hairston (276/331/372)? Or even Mike Restovich (264/321/434), now that he's up. All of these guys give away some defense, of course, but in a lineup without Derrek Lee, you have to get all the offense you can & giving up a bit of defense is something that must be done.

There are a number of options -- the reason Jones is playing against lefties is not because there aren't alternatives.

Problem is -- who plays in his place?

Not to fear. In my garage laboratory, I am synthesizing a baseball player from a lock of Matt Murton's hair and a Felix Pie toenail clipping (don't ask). The result will be a superman with laser vision, a particle accelerator arm and the speed of a light beam.

Unfortunately, the first iteration was a gazelle with Lucille Ball's head and a slingshot appendage. The second was a giant red eyeball attached to a howitzer mounted on two kangaroo legs. I set both free on the outskirts of Des Moines.

Stay tuned for a breakthrough!

JJ:
"Um...No. Try dividing that by 2. They are batting a combined .298. See, it's batting AVERAGE so you don't just add the two AVERAGES together you AVERAGE them to get the combined number.
(.288 + .308)/2 =.298
or
(25 + 23)/(81 + 80)=.298
Unless of course you were using 2.000 as the standard of perfection in which case they are batting .597.

But I hear a Bachelor of the Arts is cool too. :)"

Holy shit JJ you are so fucking smart I think I just shit my pants. Those Artsy people just don't get math, do they?

Seriously, get over yourself.

"...alternatives".

Sorry, but I sincerly doubt Mabry, JHJ nor Restovich are solutions to the RF issue. Yes, they may be upgrades vs. JJ vs. LH pitchers, but they would still be the worst RF in the division, and possibly the league. There must be a RH OF who can't hit RH but can hit LH that can be gotten relatively cheaply.

JJ: (.288 + .308)/2 =.298

Eric W: Holy shit JJ you are so fucking smart I think I just shit my pants.

What the hell, might as well add some fuel to the fire. This method won't always work JJ. Hypothetical example:

Say Neifi Perez goes 10/100. He's batting, what, .100, right? And say Kerry Wood comes back and goes 4/5, that's .800. According to your logic:

(.100 + .800)/2 = .450 combined average.

Your second method for figuring the average is correct:

(10+4)/(100+5) = .133

I think it worked in the case of Murton & Cedeno simply because the number of ABs they had were pretty close.

EricW,
It was a joke man. Take it easy.

Ryno,
You're right the first method is only true if they have the same number of AB's which they basically do. I guess the point is, they're nowhere near .597.

Umm...JJ and Ryno -- you didn't think I was serious by adding Murton's and Cedeno's averages together, did you? Just checking.

The Peoria Chiefs are the Cubs' Midwest League A-team. The Cubs moved it there from Lansing after the 2004 season. Apparently, keeping up with the team's minor league affiliates is too tough a task for some of the writers out there.

To be fair it was only Will Carroll (and those who steal his work) that said Wood would be pitching FOR Lansing.

Other sources, including the one that Scott posted, correctly note that Wood will be pitching AGAINST the Lugnuts, who the Peoria Chiefs happen to be playing on May 7th.

JJ -- I guess that "BS" you earned didn't come with a "BS Detector", huh?

Yeah. That's because I never interact with people or the outside world. Just me and my machines...:)

It's nice to be back to arguing over TANGIBLES like math, and league affiliations.

From The Official Cubs site, one of today's rotating headlines:

"Ramirez hopes Cubs fans send him packing."

by this of course they refer to the ballot for ASG, for which the guy is apparently a lock?!?

Wow did they touch a subliminal nerve there with that one.

"JohnH: Murton is hitting .288 as oftonight so the .597 is probably correct"

Wow

Hooray for reading comprehension. I was the one to mock it not to make the statement.

Thanks for the info AZ Phil.

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