A Few Things…

- Sean Marshall will likely start Saturday against the Giants. Also, Carlos Marmol will head to the bullpen when he's ready to come off the DL. The rotation for the final month will likely be Z, Hill, Marshall and then two of either Angel Guzman, Juan Mateo or Wade Miller. We also have Hendry digging his own grave here:
"There's no sense moaning and groaning about it. We just have to have a good off-season."
Damn straight. - How about some love for Ryan Theriot? He's doesn't have enough to be a major league starter, but I can see him as an actual useful bench player, one who can get on base and actually steal a base. Beyond his 5-hit game yesterday, he stole his 7th base in 8th chances, which puts him third on the team already. Always one of my bigger criticisms of Dusty is that he goes on and on about having speed but isn't nearly aggressive enough on the basepaths. I'm a much bigger fan of the power and patience method of baseball, you know, walk, walk, 3-run homer but you can make speed work for you. A good example is the Angels, a team with only one real blazer in Chone Figgins, but is constantly forcing the issue on the basepaths, consistently putting pressure on the defense. I'm not just talking about this year, but all the recent incarnations of the Halos. As I mentioned, it's not a philosophy I really stand behind, BUT if you're going to focus on speed on your team, then go about using it the right way. As Scioscia states:
" If you have team speed, you have to use it."
Anyway, that's my rant for today. And Hendry reitertated that Baker is staying through the season. Also, John Mabry is possibly being pursued by the LA Dodgers, rumor has it the Cubs are eyeing a promising intern in the PR department in exchange.
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Comments

ryan's lack of power alarms me, but if he keeps making contact and keeps his legs healthy, he's got mlb value.

all these grounders missing IF'rs isnt that impressive, but getting it done is getting it done.

he can pinch run, play 2nd/SS, and has a clue about the strike zone...if his speed holds he can make a serious case about being a serious bench option. if he's lucky (or tallented, i guess) he'll become a ryan freel type.

Freel's got a bit more power I'd say, plays more positions and better plate discipline, but Freel-lite is ten times better than Nefii, Bynum or Cedeno. I don't know how strong Theriot's arm is and if he could play the OF though. That would help him.

Well put Crunch.
I'd run him out there every day until he proved he couldn't hit enough to be a starter.
He's better than any of the current alternatives, that's for sure.

yeah...who doesnt have more power than theriot? hehe...

i was racking through guys like like chone (mentioned above) and freel and posednick...etc...that are familiar and sticking in the bigs...freel just came to mind cuz of his "hustle" and versitility with speed.

im not familiar with theriot's arm range, myself...

As far as the outfield goes, if he can run it down and catch it and not throw it away then why couldn't he fill in a game or two. He couldn't be any worse than JJ in the outfield.

Speed doesn't seem to get much discussion on this board, and when it does, the only value seems to be a guy being fast enough to go from 1st to 3rd on a single or score from 2nd.

How much value is there in a guy who is a threat to steal? What is the value of the top tier base stealers that cause the pitcher and the defense to pay extra attention to them? I remember cringing every time Juan Pierre got on base against the Cubs in the 2003 NLCS...just got that sinking feeling that he was going to do something bad to the Cubs. Also got the feeling that the Cubs felt the same way, and that they had to spend way too much time and attention dealing with him. Major distraction. Of course, he doesn't seem to be nearly as distracting now, but then again, he isn't as good as he was.

And on a related note, why aren't there people stealing 100 bases anymore? League leaders these days are lucky to break 50. Has the strategy of the game shifted that much?

Re #6: Pitchers have developed faster moves to home plate (the slide step) when pitching with runners on base to make it harder to steal.

The stolen base isn't used as much because of smaller ballparks, livlier ball, steriod use which all lead to everyone falling in love with the long ball.

personally I think that teams should use the stolen base even more. It is a very exciting play and like was mentioned in #6, it can be very distracting to the defense and that can cause a lot of good things to happen for the offense.

Rob:

The Mabry trade was just announced.

Its for an ITBNL.

Intern To Be Named Later.

We don't know what dept. yet.

Rob - can I ask why you think Ryan Theriot playing second base is not in your estimation is not a major league starter? I know power is not an issue because 2nd baseman rarely have power. He has speed and can play defense so he is better than anyone we have including Cedeno.

was mabry traded?

what crunch said in #1, all those grounders won't be missing gloves his entire career and he doesn't have Pierre's speed or bunting ability to overcome that. Although he's shown some patience throughout his career, it's not Ryan Freel-like that he'll get on at a 350 clip even if his BA suffers.

And unless there are power upgrades at LF or CF, we need some power (10-15 homers AT LEAST) from 2b. I've heard a lot of good things about his defense, but I heard a lot of good things about Cedeno's defense too.

But I like him a lot more than any other utlity guy we've brought in over the last 3 years, so I hope he sticks. And he certainly seems like a guy who can plug in for a few weeks if there's an injury and get something from. All the minor league coaches seem to like him, "scrapper, battler, never gives up an AB, etc"

Plus, there's the mustache.

http://tinyurl.com/rlals

Southern League Postseason All-Star Team

3B - Scott Moore
OF - Chris Walker
Best Hustler - Eric Patterson

http://tinyurl.com/lkzyf

Northwest Leage All-Star Team
DH - Russ Canzler
LHRP - Jeremy Papelbon

Arizona League All-Star Team
C - Blake Parker
LHRP - Taylor Parker

and Doug Dascenzo was named MOY in the NWL along with Steve Decker. Dascenzo works for the Padres affiliate

Maybe that ITBNL in the PR dept. will turn into the next Ned Colletti (sp?)

Gallagher got an honorable mention in BP's recent top 20 RHP in the minors.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

That's the last straw. If they trade Mabry, it's as if they're saying the playoffs are out fo reach this year. Nobody likes a quitter.

David Eckstein seems like an ideal comparison to what Theriot MAY become. Works the count, fouls off pitches, plays situational baseball, runs, hustles and sparks the offense. Limited? Sure, but give me one at short, one at second and one in centerfield and I'll wear your pitcher out, score runs with two singles and set up your power guys for fastballs and RBI's.
It baffles me how you guys can look at Theriot and see a utility man after what,10 games? Based on what? What have you seen that tells you he can't do this as a full time player? How is he a utilty guy and Izsturis isn't? Because he has hit better? Because Izsturis is better defensively?
It seems you're buying into it based on what you hear and not what you've seen.
I don't know if he can play everyday or not, but I'm running him out there everyday until I find out. I've seen Cedeno hit and I've seen Bynum field. This guy gives you more.

I've seen Cedeno hit and I've seen Bynum field. This guy gives you more.

How can you complain that people are judging Theroit as a utility guy after only 10 games, and then say "he gives you more" when you're making that judgement yourself on only 10 games.

Theroit hasn't just played 10 games, he's got hundreds of minor league ABs that you can look at too. Based on that, it seems unlikely he will ever turn into a full time major league starter. Not impossible, but unlikely. But I'll take the odds based on his entire professional history, over a few weeks in the majors.

And Isturis is a utility player, he was just traded to a team that doesn't know the difference between a starting middle infiedler and a utility player.

well when I haven't seen a guy play all too often, I'll trust the hundreds of scouts who have seen him. Thanks. And Eckstein had a much better minor league career than Theriot. But I do think Eck is as close a comparision as you'll get in the majors. Maybe he'll be that good, but you can only have 1-2 guys who don't hit any homers in your lineup. We already have one in Izturis. Throw in PIerre and so far Murton and now you've got four power challenged offensive spots if you go with Theriot. A good lineup that does not make.

Lots of people on this board seem to assume that the Cubs are going to keep Juan Pierre. Someone said today that given the power situation in the outfield, we need a second baseman who can hit home runs.

That's exactly backward. We need a second baseman who can bat leadoff and steal bases so we can let Pierre go. Since Theriot fits that description and seems to be ready, we're not in too bad shape at second base. We won't be investing in a veteran second baseman anyway, since Eric Patterson, our number two prospect, who also bats leadoff and steals bases, is about a year away.

A good organization has to make room for its top prospects, which is another reason why Pierre needs to vacate center field.

I like Juan Pierre as much as anyone. He's professional and steady, and he makes a wonderful human-interest interest story about a guy with no power and no arm trying to play ten years in the majors as an OUTFIELDER. But we have enough sentiment and human interest around here already. The air's a little thick with it. What we need are better players.

CHAD:

My sources are not sure if the ITBNL for Mabry is coming from PR Dept. or the Ticket Office.

I should know something later today...

Actually thinking of Theriot as a viable bench option is a massive upgrade from previous lines of thinking about him as having no value at the major league level.

So I would say in his brief amount of time he has raised his stock considerably.

It could just be the standard beginners luck until pitchers figure him out. Or he might be the out of no where player that actually turns into a viable starter. Sometimes the best prospects are the ones no one even thought was good enough to be a major leaguer in the 1st place. Mike Piazza comes to mind.

E-Man, this organization is already chock full of Ticket Office types. So typical of the Cubs to go out and not address the glaring holes in the PR department. And you know we won't sign any big dollar free agent for that department in the offseason.

theriot's downfall is the lack of pop off his bat...not just going over a wall pop...more to it than that.

he's gonna put a lot of stuff near 4 infielders (5 counting the pitcher). right now he's "hitting them where they aint" but its not cuz he's taking advantage of a shift, its cuz he's making good contact that's just simply not being fielded.

he's not even the type to put liners in the gap over the IF'rs heads too much. he's gonna put a ton of stuff on the ground and run like hell.

Mike PIazza wasn't a prospect when he got drafted, doesn't mean he didn't become one as he went through the minors.

Theriot's never been on any prospect list in his life I'm guessing since he left college.

Reds called up Brendan Harris if anyone cares...

No, okay, fine, then let's all freak out about Jon Heyman saying that Ramirez is telling friends that he plans to exercise his out option.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers...

aram might love to come to ny, but there's a wright and an arod there that says that probally wont happen.

who's looking 3rd help that could afford him...boston (moving lowell to 2nd)...philly...

yeah aram could play 1st/DH/etc/whatever, but well, that D isnt the same D that came over from PIT...he's a damn fine 3rd baseman at this point in his career.

PatPier:
"I don't know if he can play everyday or not, but I'm running him out there everyday until I find out. I've seen Cedeno hit and I've seen Bynum field. This guy gives you more."

For Cedeno's call up last year he was .300/.356/.375. He isn't even going to come close to those numbers in a full season. Don't let callup play desicde your postion on a player. Look at teh big picture. I believe, like most that theroit is only a utility guy at best.

ESPN is reporting David Wells' locker is cleaned out and the Sox have announced Tavarez will start tonight's game in place of him. Last word was the Padres were close to a deal.

Back to Ramirez---the poor seasons back to back may make him waiver. I think he knows what kind of career he can have in Chicago though. I'm inclined to think he'll stay.

Virgina Phil:
"We won't be investing in a veteran second baseman anyway, since Eric Patterson, our number two prospect, who also bats leadoff and steals bases, is about a year away."

That has been one of this organizations biggest problems, they can't produce good talent out of the minors for position players. To think we shouldn't do anything at 2B because Patterson might be ready 2 years from now is seriously flawed thinking. But that would not surprise me coming from Hendry.

Crunch:
"aram might love to come to ny, but there's a wright and an arod there that says that probally wont happen."

No. it might not be very realistic at this point for ARAm to go to NY, but it is VERY smart of him and/or his agent to bring them into the discussion as it will only drive his value up.

I still think he opts out and then it is 60-40 he resigns with the Cubs. If he does resign, I think he gets like a 4/50-55 type deal.

Trusting scouts has worked out pretty well so far, I guess. Rob when you say you can only have one or two guys that don't hit homeruns, what do you mean? 10-15-20 homeruns, or any homeruns?
Blue, I said I would run him out there and see what he gives me. What I've seen so far is more than I've seen from Cedeno and Bynum. I've only found his minor league stats from this year (which parallel what he's done up here so far) so I can't tell you what they foretell. What I dislike most is the slotting of players based on something other than what they show you at this level. He had the stats to get here, he's performed in the limited chances he's had, and that's not Sandberg starting ahead of him. Run him out there 5 or 6 times a week and see. Yeah it's only been 10 games or so, but I'm sure you see a different (better) approach in the batters box from this guy than from Cedeno or Bynum. Whether that translates to more success over a long period of time, is what I'm interested in seeing.

i dunno why you think its 60-40...given the lack of posturing ability on both sides its almost a slam dunk he should return barring a serious interest in aram escaping the cubs.

hendry knows, aram's agent knows, and the rest of the world knows what's up when he wasnt traded.

hell, right after the trade deadline aram's agent was already talking about meeting with hendry and etc etc as the season progressed.

it would be the crown jewel on the crown of stupidity if aram didnt return.

yes its gonna cost and its safe to assume hendry knows this isnt a discount discussion...this is a years and money (and how its broken down) discussion.

he pretty much has to sign him, but the give-take common in offseason posturing isnt in play...both sides knew what getting into this would entail...there's not much one-ups-manship to be done, really.

PatPiper......stand your ground, pal. You're getting the typical "stats driven" diatribe most of us part timers get when we weigh in.

For what it's worth, I agree with you.....Theriot is a baseball player.....at this point he has been the most complete package the Cubs have had at 2B in the major's, even for his short cup of coffee, for several years.

He may fail completely and the stat boys on here will be proven right.

My point...and yours...is that he's earned the right to lose the job, at least until spring training. At that point he'll have to win it all over again.

10 games is not enough to make a decision...nor is minor league ball enough to decide....play him the next 30 games and let him lose it, or win it, on the field.

Joey

what do stats have to do with what theriot does...stats dont change that...stats are the result of it.

"its cuz he's making good contact that's just simply not being fielded." Can't use any more of that. Again, I don't know what he can/will do, and September is not going to decide anything. But lets see him play on a regular basis, not just sit at our keyboard and decide who starts and who is a utility player.

"Back to Ramirez---the poor seasons back to back may make him waiver"

Poor seasons? Are you high. Last year he hit 31 homers, 92 rbis and hit .302. All while missing 40 games?!?!?!? this year he will lead the team in homers, rbi's, doubles, slg, ave (probably) and obp (possibly) and then ops by default.

hell, i could care less if theriot played every inning of every game left...it probally wont help him obtain gap power or any power whatsoever, though.

his knocks have nothing to do with his glove or speed, that's why he was drafted to begin with. he's a pretty natural middle IF'r.

Crunch, don't get defensive...again.

Most on here will argue stats as the basis of every decision...yet who knows how Theriot will respond over the long term (or over 30 more games in 2006) in the major's.

My point is he's performed well over a 10 game period.....let him win his chance to competee in spring training based on what he does the rest of this year....and then ignore what his minor league stats were.

There is a guy vying for the AL MVP with the White Sox that, several years ago was at risk of getting run out of baseball....Jermaine Dye.

The pro's are about performance...TODAY...not what was done in the past.

Wow. Have I missed you guys. I'll try and stop in more when I can, should have the 'net back soon. My two cents--theriot does look like a gamer to me, but by the same token, where has cedeno's bat gone, and is it gone for good? And I can see both sides of the Aram thing. His nos. won't quite translate outside a chc uni, but it's silly not to resign him at this point when you could have traded him and gotten something for him. But such is FA

Crunch......there are more dynamics going on than Theriot. IF he can play GREAT defense, use his speed, and be a field leader cuz he's SMART.....then you have filled a hole at VERY LITTLE SALARY, and can go get two more outfielders with some pop.

"Crunch, don't get defensive...again."

dont defend my point?

is this a discussion board?

is your view more important than mine or something?

look, i cant do anything about how theriot hits and i dont know if you can, but right now he is what he is.

i havent said much about him that isnt backed up by many more. this is his doing, not mine. he's the one who hits ilke he does.

Chad:
"This organization is already chock full of Ticket Office types. So typical of the Cubs to go out and not address the glaring holes in the PR department. And you know we won't sign any big dollar free agent for that department in the offseason."

CHAD:

I agree that getting an ITBNL from the Ticket Side may be redundant. However, as this year has shown, you can't have too many Ticket Agents at one window.

If one goes down with carpel tunnel or a sight injury, what do you do then? And, even still time will show the best one will get the main gig.

However, Ned Colletti's departure has indeed left a huge hole in the PR department as you previously stated. The team really has not been the same since all of that started.

I am jealous of the Dodgers in fact as truly it appears that they are doing the right things in LA.

Hendry needs ARam alot more than Aram needs Hendry. He and his agent may have told Hendry at the trade deadline that he'd like to come back, but that's not going to stop them from showing interest in FA in order to force Hendry's hand. Plus, if they want to push it a little harder, ARam just might test the FA waters. There's much more pressure on Hendry to re-sign ARam than there is on ARam to return to the Cubs.

I'm not exactly sure where I said you shouldn't play Theriot right now. I think I've mentioned numerous times that I'd rather see him get most of the 2b duty over Cedeno. I've also said numerous times that he's a different hitter since he scrapped switch-hitting last year so I don't put much stock in his minor league numbers before 2005. He's also been a bit old for his leagues the last 2 years, but yeah I like what I've seen so far. Play him.

But no I don't think he's a budding All-Star or even a budding regular, unless we've got more power at our other positions.

Rob when you say you can only have one or two guys that don't hit homeruns, what do you mean? 10-15-20 homeruns, or any homeruns?

anything less than 10 doesn't mean much to me. In Pierre and Izturis's case your talking less than 5 which is just pretty much luck if they hit any in a single season. So I can live with a OBP-aholic leadoff guy preferably with speed (Pierre on a good year, prefer someone like Ryan Freel though) and an all-glove, contact guy who plays SS batting eight (Izturis). 2-7 have to be able to hit some homers though, 15 at the bare minimum with a couple of 30-40 guys in there. It's a simplistic way of looking at things, but a general rule of thumb for me. Of course you can mix and match too, if you get power out of 2b (Durham or Kent let's say), you can lose some power at another position or what not.

But in the NL, 5 guys who can hit anywhere from 15-40+ homers is a must in my opinion. We ended up with 3 this year? Lee would have been another, but Murton disappointed in the power dept and so did Walker. I still like Murton, but he needs to work on his power stroke this off-season if he wants to stick. Unless we get Miggy or A-rod to play SS instead or Wells to play CF.

Poor seasons? Are you high. Last year he hit 31 homers, 92 rbis and hit .302. All while missing 40 games?!?!?!? this year he will lead the team in homers, rbi's, doubles, slg, ave (probably) and obp (possibly) and then ops by default.
----

Um, that would be the poor seasons back to back by the Cubs that may make him waiver, Chad. Sorry if I didn't spell it out for you.

A-Ram is going to lead the team in average?

Michael Barrett will end up leading the team in average, and my guess is that both Pierre and Murton end up with higher averages than A-Ram. To be fair, Murton won't qualify and Barrett may not, but that is not their fault. Murton's problem was Dusty Baker and Barrett is right on the bubble due to being a catcher (and punching a fellow catcher).

And Chad...just because a player leads the Cubs in most offensive categories does not mean that he is having a good year The Cubs are having one of their worst seasons ever. It is not like A-Ram has any competition.

Hey Rob G...Crunch is beating me up verbally again....you said you were not going to put up with that kind of behavior!!!

Crunch, defend your point all you want. Just don't whine when someone differs with your opinion....it will make for a much better discussion board.

I have two points...again...then I'm done

1. Statistics lie....When Beane wins a WS I'll temper my opinion...until then he's done nothing.
2. Theriot is the best 2B prospect I've seen in person or on TV for the Cubs. It's a crime if the Cubs don't give him a chance to win the job in 2007. It will be easier to find a big bat in the OF than it will be at 2B.

I'm done.

Beat me up...I'm gone for a few days.

Stay strong, Piper

"Just don't whine when someone differs with your opinion"

uhh...okay...and what?

you didnt like what i had to say, added a negative aspect to it, and call it whining?

and for some reason you bring up statistics for having something to do with it...

if you read what im saying, there's not even a stat in it...im saying what he's done and how he does it...not what % he does it. the things im saying are not based on looking at a piece of paper.

Theriot deserves a shot. What does the team have to lose? Cedeno's been a bust and Bynum's not the guy. Give Theriot a shot and at least you have a better feel for him for next year. That doesn't mean you stand pat and count on him for next year. But at least you have more knowledge.

Sweet Lou-
I agree with your post #45. Hendry needs ARAM more than ARAM needs Hendry. ARAM will get AT LEAST what the Cubs would pay him the next two years of his current deal if he hits FA. Also, he could pick his team and manager. I am not 100% sure how important it is for him to play for a winner or play for a certain type manager, but with the Cubs looking as bad as ever and Dusty possibly not coming back, those things could become issues.

Manny -- The thing I don't understand is why Hendry didn't work out a deal with ARam once he indicated he'd like to stay in Chicago. By waiting, Big Jim has backed himself into a corner. He's lost the ability to trade him to a contender for other talent and he's given ARam a terrific opportunity to take advantage of him.

aram's agent would probally not wanna deal with an extension while he was still correcting his slump.

even after the deadline his agent's comment was along the lines of "we'll meet up in sept and talk about this."

its safe to assume theyve talked since then and met and phoned and blah blah blah...

aram knows he's gonna get paid and he's gonna get years, but where he'll get to pull his time seems to be the major issue.

Crunch, Pierre has an alarming lack of power and he's one of the game's premier leadoff guys, but hey, it's easy to defend the guy after a 5-hit game ;)

Regardless of how you feel about him often times baseball is a game of opportunity and proving yourself. He may be proving he is worth a shot on the bench next year. Whether or not he actually ends up there, I don't know, but you could say so far he's earned it.

I wouldn't really care if they let him start next year, either, his defense looks steady enough. He's no Izturis, but then again he's no Cedeno either. In fact, I wouldn't mind much of the same lineup as last year, Pierre, Izturis, Lee, Ramirez, Jones, Barrett, Murton, Theriot, I just want Hendry to find some solid pitching and find a lot of it.

I'd really hate to see more than one rookie pitcher in the rotation next year. I'm really liking the idea of Eaton. I'd drop of ton of money on Schmidt and Eaton. I'd then trade Hill & Mateo & maybe even Marshall for a solid starter.

Schmidt, Z, Eaton, ?, Gooz would be decent. Maddux may be back, too. Everyone laughs when I say that, but I think he's very possible.

I'll be very upset if Rammy isn't back next year.

if theriot has pierre's speed we'd have heard of him a long time ago, too...heh.

theriot is stealing a lot, but hell...who even has a scouting report on theriot yet? its the one piece of paper that can change a game when the other team gets it. joey gaithright learned this. matt murton learned it, too, but well...he's got tools to adjust and make a new approach to hitting. theriot's pretty 1-dimensional with the stick...he's gonna make contact and run like hell cuz most of the time its not gonna go far.

I agree with your assessment 100% crunch. Except that stealing bases is only 70% speed, 25% base stealing prowess. That's how Ricky Henderson was able to steal bases when he was old as hell.

So, 4pm was the trading deadline right? I presume the Mabry for ITBNL deal fell through.

Hendry has done a very good job of not losing players to FA -- but I think he has usually done it with extensions a year before they were actually FA. Now, assuming A-Ram finishes strong in Sept., he will have a ton of leverage and maybe the chance to pick a winning team in a warm climate. Might sound pretty inviting compared to returning to Wrigley, particularly since the facility upgrade is "on hold." If you are a player, how can you be excited about a team that refuses to update it's ancient facilities?

from rotoworld on Omar Infante...

Infante played second with Neifi Perez at shortstop today. Perez went 0-for-3, leaving him with a .156 average, no extra-base hits, one run scored and one RBI in 32 at-bats over nine games for the Tigers. Infante, meanwhile, finishes August with a .400 average in 35 at-bats. Of course, he doesn't have Neifi's ability to charge balls from second base, make the barehanded play and then miss getting the runner at first base by just a step or two.

hehe

How about this as a far-fetched never going to happen alternative to re-signing Aramis...

Let the guy walk, save the $13mil/year, and don't make any major moves next year. Leave the payroll at ~$60mil for next year, and then buy everyone you can get your hands on in the 2007 offseason. Come back in 2008 with a $140 million payroll and win the damn World Series. Then, have a salary dump of all the guys you can't afford to bring the payroll back to a more realistic $100 million for 2009.

Essentially, pretend you're the '97 Marlins, except you'd still have a pretty decent team going into 2009 with a $100 million payroll.

If Hendry proposed this publicly to the fans, I'm pretty sure no one would be pissed about a low payroll 2007, since they'd already know Hendry was going to break the bank for 2008.

Like I said, it'll never happen, but it would probably be our best chance at actually winning.

Quick Minor League Tour:

Jose Ceda threw 5 scoreless at Boise last night, 6 K's. Tyler Colvin hit a grand slam.

Mesa Cubs were no-hit by the A's yesterday.

Iowa Cubs are 3 games back with 5 to play; Jerome Williams goes tonight against Oklahoma (Texas affiliate)

Daytona is tied for first, 5 games or so to go (some recent rainouts). Tonight's game is also cancelled because of the hurricane.

Peoria won the 1st half of their division, so they'll be going to the playoffs

And Boise is up 5 games with 7 to play in the NWL league.

You would think that if you're minor league teams are doing a lot of winning, which ours have the last 2 years, we'd have more talent than most the other teams. No?

So, 4pm was the trading deadline right? I presume the Mabry for ITBNL deal fell through.

Colletti decided the intern was just too valuable.

Damn, now who's going to get our fucking coffee?

Re: #25 Crunch
It occurred to me that if you substitute "Pierre" for "Theriot", the description would be very accurate.

Wells to SD is official...Bosox get 23 yr old lefty hitting catching prospect George Kottaras who sounds like a better catching prospect than we got for Neifi, but of course a bucket of pigslop for Neifi would have been a good deal. I wonder if this was the player SD was offering for Maddux. Hmmm.

GK stats at AA-Mobile are: .277/.395/.441

and on the other news, Brandon Backe gone for most of 2007. Tommy John elbow surgery. He's had a "cub-like" season.

Wells to SD is official...Bosox get 23 yr old lefty hitting catching prospect George Kottaras who sounds like a better catching prospect than we got for Neifi, but of course a bucket of pigslop for Neifi would have been a good deal. I wonder if this was the player SD was offering for Maddux. Hmmm.

GK stats at AA-Mobile are: .277/.395/.441

and on the other news, Brandon Backe gone for most of 2007. Tommy John elbow surgery. He's had a "cub-like" season.

This is (almost) completely off the subject but it looks like Boston has thrown in the towel. They just traded David Wells to the Pods for (it's rumored) AA catching prospect George Kottaras ( http://tinyurl.com/ntmdk ). Kottaras is one of these guys who has an OBP 120 points higher than his average. He wouldn't fit in with the Cubs.

Kottaras is on the Padres' 40 man roster though, so they're going to have to finesse the transaction some way.

k..ive seen and talked to kottaras.

guy has jake fox syndrome...unless he learns how to hold runners and throw, he's just not gonna be able to make the transition unless he starts hitting ilke piazza.

he's also kinda big for a catcher...not fat, but tall and wirey compared to his peers.

interesting guy...real "plain" type quiet type in person...not a guy who's out looking for trouble.

didnt play highschool ball (canadian) cuz his school didnt offer it...he got a small college invite after only playing summer ball.

so well...damn...he's doing good for someone who's training was 1/2-assed til age 18, but that D leaves a lot to be desired. a move to 1st/LF makes him a lot less of an attractive "prospect" but there's no reason to move him from C yet.

not a bad gamble for a used up lefty...

"ive seen and talked to kottaras."

btw...im not gonna get into disclaimers for everything i say...i just wanted to hold off a blasting commentary cuz of stuff earlier in this post.

its a lotta nothing...he was at a resturant i was at with some other people who are in baseball and they barked at each other's tables til the 2 consolidated etc etc...ive seen him catch for mobile all of 4-5 times, but his problems werent due to injury or staminia (or so im told).

its semi-amazing how many conversations on the minor league level of baseball people talking to baseball people start with a quick "how i got here anyway" summary. its like some ever on-going buisness convention where vendors from different locations in the world are constantly giving the backstory of what theyre doing over and over and over to the point where its almost an unwritten script.

"So, 4pm was the trading deadline right? I presume the Mabry for ITBNL deal fell through."

As Rob alluded to, Colletti nixed the deal.

Personally, I think he's WAY overvalued his intern.

If you've spent much time in LA, you know what I mean.

Checked Neifi's stats lateley?

Batting .196 with the Tigers and an OBP of .208!

But at least he usually can catch it.

ITBNL? If this is what an off day is like, the off season is going to be terrible. Who thinks, this offseason will be agonizing? Raise your hand. * Raising Hand *

Cubster: of course a bucket of pigslop for Neifi would have been a good deal

That's a good one. Of all the {fill in the blank} for Neifi would have been a good deal jokes I've heard, I'd say that's the best. Here's my contribution:

Some old Michael Bolton cassettes for Neifi would have been a good deal.

i still cant believe CHC didnt have to give up at least a million or so.

a lot of neifi's peers (clayton, blum, etc.) are bringing in a million...he wasnt worthless, but 2.5m of pay next year totally. damn...if dom wanted neifi that badly, go ahead dude.

I'm also totally shocked Neifi isn't batting second with Det.

#62 -- "Let the guy walk, save the $13mil/year, and don't make any major moves next year. Leave the payroll at ~$60mil for next year, and then buy everyone you can get your hands on in the 2007 offseason. Come back in 2008 with a $140 million payroll and win the damn World Series. Then, have a salary dump of all the guys you can't afford to bring the payroll back to a more realistic $100 million for 2009."

Doug -- I might be willing to go along with your idea if I thought we could trust the Cubs to actually spend the money in 2008. Of course, you are right, this will never happen. Hendry wouldn't risk giving up one of his remaining two years. Plus, it's not necessary. The Cubs spend enough money now to field a perrenial contender. If it's not enough, they have more to spend.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Cubs are a big market team that is owned by a very wealthy corporation. They need to stop acting like a small market team competing with teams like KC, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, etc for players. They should be the 2 ton elephant in the room when it comes to negotiating for free agents. Every year, the team should include 3-4 all-stars and 1-2 legitimate HOF candidates.

The Cubs should be a very attractive destination for FAs. Instead, the current front office has pissed away most of the built-in advantages the team should have. That can be turned around, but not unless McPhail/Hendry change their MO.

Did I read that right? Eaton? I'd much rather take my chances with the kids than sign that bum. Schmidt is too old and will garner way too big a contract (years, not the $$) to be of much use to the Cubs.

Z
Prior
Marshall
Marmol
Hill

would be ok with me. Yes, they have struggled some this year, but what first year starter desn't? Spend the money on some impact bats, and watch the kids develop next year.

now batting 2nd for the chicago cubs...

number 56...

Bucket O. Pigslop...

Sweet Lou, You hit the nail on the head with that. They do act like a small market team; Example, starting Rusch & Williams in the rotation @ the begining of the year. The thing is, and I know no one wants to admit it, the CHC (AAA) the last 3 years were counting on Wood & Prior. This year they were expected to be "add-ons" in May but in the back of everyone's mind, yet again this year, we were thinking "maybe Prior and/or Wood will come back to their '03 form and everything will be ok.

I like them both as people, but a serious ball team can not spend more than $2 mil on them and count on them to do anything. Incentive-laden, maybe, but any kind of money spent on these guys will be wasted.

Z, Prior, Marshall, Marmol, Hill? Ugh... are we competing for 1st draft picks all of a sudden? Did you not see Sweet Lou's post? This is not a small-market team.

ESPN reporting that Phil Nevin was traded to Twins for a PTBNL.

Good for Phil. And frees up 40-man slot, which was needed. I wonder if this means we will see a sniff of Dopirak.

sweet..go phil.

hope he has a nice comeback in 07...in the AL...or the cubs if he's inclined...hey, why not.

imagine he'll got somewhere he can get more ab's than a team with d.lee on 1st can provide, though.

The signing of Phil Nevin this year is a prime example of how wrongheaded Jim Hendry's approach to building a team/winning a WS is.

As I recall, the Cubs were doing pretty well when DLee went down with his wrist injury (Amazing I can't remember for sure, but this season seems sooo long). Instead of moving immediately to replace Lee, Hendry sat on his hands for like six weeks. If he was commited to winning, Hendry would have put a package of players together and would have gotten a guy who could pick up a good bit of the slack left by Lee's absence. True, trading for a more talented replacement would have been expensive and could have posed some problems when DLee came back, but you suck it up and deal with it the best you can. In fact, you try to use the problem to your advantage. That's what winning teams do.

Instead of acting quickly, Big Jim hoped that having Neifi step in to replace DLee would work. Who among us thought that was a good idea? I don't think anyone alive thought that was a good idea.

Hendry seems to think that it is a bad thing to be bold and aggressive. Bold and aggressive teams spend a lot of money and sometimes make mistakes. But they also play in the post season. And in the end, at least in my opinion, that's what should matter.

RYNO: Some old Michael Bolton cassettes for Neifi would have been a good deal....

This was really funny! LOL for sure!!!

DC TOM - Was Nevin traded for a PTBNL or ITBNL?

If its an Intern, was it stated what department he'd be working in?

DC Tom: Good for Phil. And frees up 40-man slot, which was needed. I wonder if this means we will see a sniff of Dopirak.

Yeah, the roster spot... ... ...then there's the issue of the 10 million dollars owed to a DH on a national league team. It's too bad, though, because I really liked Nevin. I heard rumors he's an asshole and all that, but in interviews and what little exposure I had to him he seemed like he was one of the few realistic guys around. He said what he felt and stuck up for guys when they were down (the Todd Walker error game, the starting rotation, etc.) Had nice pop in his bat, too.

I think it might be a PVTBNL...A peanut vendor to be named later. Hopefully one with a good enough arm to challenge Jacque for "best throw in the stands" next year.

Sweet Lou, I agree on Nevin coming too late. The Cubs were playing reasonably well when Furcal took our Lee. Shoot, even Nevin five weeks earlier would have made a big difference. Myself, I thought Tony Clark would have been a good option.

In Hendry's defense, when Lee went down, it was very early in the season and Texas to be trading a Clark or Nevin type player. Nevin was playing nearly every day for Texas and Conor Jackson got off to a terrible start for the Snakes. No, the real indictment of Hendry is not having a lunkhead masher bench player capable of playing 1B. Which is a position ANY fair athlete should be able to play (and I say this as a former first baseman). There is no excuse for having your backup 1B being your starting 2B in any league level above tee-ball.

Phil Nevin to the Twins confirmed (it's on the cubs.com website)
http://tinyurl.com/qr2xk

he was traded for a BOPSLTBNL

(bucket of pigslop to be named later...I sense Glendon Rusch getting hunger pangs joke in there somewhere)

Instead of moving immediately to replace Lee, Hendry sat on his hands for like six weeks. If he was commited to winning, Hendry would have put a package of players together and would have gotten a guy who could pick up a good bit of the slack left by Lee's absence

It would have been nice, but just because a deal doesn't happen right away it doesn't mean someone isn't trying to make a deal. Its pretty rare to see anyone of any significance traded in April or May, and unlike fantasy baseball, you can't just say, I need a 1st baseman and expect to find someone to make a deal with.

And even if a deal had happened earlier, there's no guarentee Dusty would have even used him. As we actually did see, even when Nevin was around, Dusty still prefered to use Neifi and Mabry.

Just read Sullivan's column, some decent ideas, most of which won't happen. He gives some alternatives to our FA and suggets a couple of moves.

If Ramirez to expensive get Lowell until Moore is ready

Let Pierre walk and sign Sarge Jr. good OBP for lead off and Cf

Sign Mussina (Not going to happen, he'll re-sign with NY)

Move Dempster back to rotation??

Make a move for Sheffield (I've heard the Yanks will re-sign him just to trade him??)

Ray Durham for 2b until E-Patt ready.

I kind of like the Little Sarge and Durham moves.

I'd rather have someone younger in OF like Burrell and since Mussina isn't really an option I think Padilla and Westbrook would be OK with me.

PD:
"Z
Prior
Marshall
Marmol
Hill
would be ok with me."

That is a recipe for disaster. Unless we sign Soriano and CLEE and a solid upgrade at 2B. Then maybe we could be compete for the WC. PITCHING wins and going with 3 youngsters and Prior is not the right step toward wanting to win.

But unfortunately Hendry will see the youngsters get a couple good starts this year and think next year they can be good enough for the entire 2007.

Yeah, the roster spot... ... ...then there's the issue of the 10 million dollars owed to a DH on a national league team.

What are you exactly talking about? His salary was mostly paid by Texas. When we dealt Hairston it was worked out that we pay Nevin exactly what we would have paid Hairston for the rest of the season.

I might have mis-understood what you said but what does his salary have to do with anything this season?

DC TOM:
"And frees up 40-man slot, which was needed."

Ryno:
"Yeah, the roster spot..."

Why do we need it right now?

Nevin was never going to be kept on it after the season, so no matter if we traded him or not, his roster spot was going to be freed up. As long as we didn't trade him for a career sub .300 OBP guy who will be starting next year, it is a good trade.

Probably the dumbest thing said by Sullivan in his article was this...

Matt Murton is a nice hitter, but the Cubs desperately need power from left field, so Murton should be their fourth outfielder.

But Murton is already just as good as Jones on offense and in many area's of his game is exceeding Jones. And by the looks of it, getting better, all for 300k. But hey we desperatly need Jones extra 11 HR's. That's gonna make us a much better team.......ummm no.

It's not like we are comparing Murton to say Adam Dunn (shush Crunch! lol) where the difference in HR's is approaching 20 and the RBI's alomst 40. We are talking about Jacque Jones who has Murton hot on his heels in RBI's despite having like 100 less AB's and not hitting in good RBI slots in the lineup like Jones.

Yet the talk is move Jones over to LF, bench Murton. Murton is just as good as Jones right this minute, if not better. Just because Jones has 22 HR's doesn't magically make him better than someone who has 9. Got to look at the whole picture.

roster spot basically means we don't have to outright O'Malley or Walrond quite as soon, as far as I can tell.

Mike C: What are you exactly talking about?

I saw that after I posted it. I thought he had a big contract that went into '08, my bad. A little diarrea of the mouth, if you will.

mannytrillo: That is a recipe for disaster. Unless we sign Soriano and CLEE and a solid upgrade at 2B. Then maybe we could be compete for the WC. PITCHING wins and going with 3 youngsters and Prior is not the right step toward wanting to win.

Right on. The rotation next year is a huge question mark. Please, Hendry, no arm projects, just sign some solid guys.

I'm curious to know what you think about Eaton. He'll be a free agent this year and I think he'd be a solid starter.

maybe we can trade jacque jones to the yanks for carl pavano

Didn't Eaton have arm troubles? If nothing serious than he wouldn't be a bad option for a #3. I'm also intrested in Padilla from Texas. Had he had any issues ?

I would do that trade dbt, I can't remember the terms of Pavano's deal but, we could probably get the yanks to eat some, besides Pavano back in the NL would help. What's his status anyway?

Ryno:
"I'm curious to know what you think about Eaton. He'll be a free agent this year and I think he'd be a solid starter."

I am not that impressed. He has never pitched 200 innings in his career and he has had a few big injuries. He wouldn't be a bad #4/5 starter, but to count on him for the #2/3 spot and pay him according would be too much IMO.

Eaton reminds me of a younger Matt Clement, but less reliable (innings and health wise) and their career numbers are very similar:

Eaton- 51-45, 4.36 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
Clement- 87-86, 4.47 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

If we can get Eaton and Schmidt/other top tier SP, then I wouldn't have a major problem with him as long as we aren't paying him too much. Clement is making almost $10 million and eaton made $4.65 million last year. So Eaton is going to be looking for like $6-7 million, which is just too much for a #4/5 starter.

Dallas Green:
"I'm also intrested in Padilla from Texas. Had he had any issues?"

No, no major problems, and I think he would be a better option than eaton for that #3/4 spot. I still think we would need to get a top tier SP. I just don't think Hendry has the money to get a top tier SP, Padilla and a big bat. He can only do two.

But I would like this rotation:
Z
top tier SP
Padilla/etc.
Prior
Youngster

Manny

I just don't see getting a top FA pitcher like Schmidt. We are going to pay Zambrano some big $ and I thing we just need to solidify the 2/3 spots, and get a big bat and possibly 2b and Cf.
I've heard we have intrest in Westbrook, and together with Padilla I think our staff would look solid...

Zambrano
Padilla
Westbrook
Prior
Hill

If Prior is any where near form than we could be real solid. I am leary of the big FA's. I prefer to trade if possible. I don't care either way about Pierre, he's just not worth 8mil. I wonder how much little sarge would get or just let Pie have Cf and get your lead-off from 2b maybe Durham? How do you feel about Pat Burrell?

# 50
Crunch...your M.O is to to burn others on here...then back off with the, "Whaaattt meeee; I've done nothing wrong...it must be you!!!!!"

You're a whiner..... .and YOU DID LEAN ON THERIOT'S MINOR LEAGUE STATS as a basis for saying he does not deserve a shot.

You're wrong, not necessarily about The Riot, but about YOUR venom regarding the past. (meaning minor league stats).....and if you can't see that YOU are the one who is obtuse (see Shawshank Redemption.)...maaan, I seriously need to find another venue for my rumor mongering on the I-net.

Joey

#71.....Crunch.

Like someone said once....we're supposed to be impressed???

You were in a f*&king coffee shop and overheard someone say something about somebody and WE are supposed to buy it cuz it's YOU????

Who are you, Peter Gammons? Damn, nice recovery from the stroke, and I mean it.

Give me a break.....

Dallas Green:
"I just don't see getting a top FA pitcher like Schmidt. We are going to pay Zambrano some big $ and I thing we just need to solidify the 2/3 spots, and get a big bat and possibly 2b and Cf."

I agree, I don't think we will end up with a top tier SP. Hendry just doesn't have the money.

"How do you feel about Pat Burrell?"

Well, the first and most improtant thing is he is making $27 million over the next 2 years. So unless Philly eats a HUGE chunk of that I have no interest. But even if they do, I really don't want to give up too much via prospect wise. I think we can do better (CLee and Soriano) than Burrell and maybe even Murton can come close to what Burrell does for MUCH cheaper and not giving up any prospects.

re: joey...

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

btw joey...go back and read what ive said vs. what youre bitching about for christ's sake.

then read those last 2 rants where you just make wild crap up and tell me its fact.

way to be rational, dude.

Good for Phil. And frees up 40-man slot, which was needed. I wonder if this means we will see a sniff of Dopirak.

Dopirak underwent surgery on his leg again. You won't see him nor Hoffpauir I believe as he's been on the DL since mid-August.

Dallas Green: If Prior is any where near form than we could be real solid. I am leary of the big FA's.

This type of thinking is exactly how we ended up with 2004, 2005, and 2006. Schmidt would be worth dumping a ton of money on simply because pitching makes or breaks a team, and right now the CHC rotation consists of 1 solid starter. In fact I wouldn't care too much who is in the lineup besides Pierre, Ramirez, Lee, Barrett, Izturis, as long as the Cubs find pitching... expensive or cheap... and lots of it.

mannytrillo: I really don't want to give up too much via prospect wise.

If there is one area where the Cubs are deep, it is pitching prospects. The quality of those prospects may be questionable, but they definitely have a bunch of young arms. I think this year was sort of a "showcase" year, where Hendry could parade a bunch of young pitchers no one has heard of on the MLB mound... possibly setting up for some '06-'07 off season trades.

I think Gooz is the real deal and I hope he stays, but besides that, I wouldn't be too disappointed if any of the other young arms get traded for a solid, 4.00-4.10 ERA veteran starter.

For example, if Hendry could convert Hill, Marshall, Mateo, Ryu, and some FA money into 3 starters to bridge the gap from Z to Gooz I wouldn't mind that at all. I'd keep O'Malley around just because he's a feel-good story and the Cubs fans like that kind of thing.

Ryno -- You are correct. The Cubs are in the situation they are in because of the attitude that "so and so is the best X available and could help us win, but he's too expensive so let's go with a guy that's not that good or reliable, but is much more affordable."

The Cubs remind me of the guy that goes to the store to buy a product. He finds what he needs, but thinks it's too expensive. He looks some more and finds another product that isn't what he needs, but it's much more affordable, so he buys it. Instead of getting what he needs (and paying the price) he just ends up wasting money. That attitude has never made sense to me. And when you have $100 million to spend, you should be able to get what you need to win.

I've heard some on TCR say that the Trib Co is not concerned about winning, they're only concerned with making money. I don't know of a better way to make money that to field a winning team. If the Cubs can be as popular as they are after a 100 year WS Championship drought, imagine how many casual fans will jump on the band wagon and spend money on a winning Cubs team.

"For example, if Hendry could convert Hill, Marshall, Mateo, Ryu, and some FA money into 3 starters to bridge the gap from Z to Gooz I wouldn't mind "

Ok Ryno...let's go get Adam Eaton, Jeff Suppan, and....Javier Vasquez to fill those spots, and forget those 4 young pitchers. Let's apply another band-aid to the severed artery that is the Cubs pitching staff.
Who not wait until the end of the year and see how the youngsters do? I agree that adding at least one solid veteran starting pitcher is a must, but adding 2 or 3 is just unrealistic.
Marshall threew some pretty good starts out there, as did Hill and Mateo. A rotation of:
Z
Prior
Rich Hill
Vincente Padilla
Sean Marshall

Would be fine with me, as long as they went out and got Gary sheffield , Soriano, or CLee.

Who is going to close next year...cause Dempster looks like a huge question mark!!!

Dusty Baylor: Ok Ryno...let's go get Adam Eaton, Jeff Suppan, and....Javier Vasquez to fill those spots, and forget those 4 young pitchers.

That's so funny because I know you're being sarcastic, but I happen to think Z, Vazquez, Eaton, Suppan, Gooz would be a great rotation.

Ok great is a stretch, but at least a better rotation than Z, Prior (who?), Hill, Padilla, Marshall.

Now remember Eaton has had injury problems with his fingers, not with his labrum or TJS surgery, so he's out:)
...he's got to stay healthy to be worth a look...his career #'s don't blow me away at all...
I could see going out and getting one of those guys...maybe two, but its not realistic to expect Hendry to go get 3 starting pitcheers, and then 2 bats for the lineup. It ain't gonna happen.
I'd rather get 1 solid startinig pitcher, and another bat or 2 for the lineup. We have some pitching talent coming up...hitting talent? Not so much...

I can see why the Cubs dismal offense would be a concern, but let's not kid ourselves. The lineup was built around D Lee. In fact, I think many of the unearned runs allowed by silly throwing errors may have even been saved by Lee.

That's why I'm not worried about '07 offense or defense too much. In fact I'd be ok with the Cubs using the same lineup as last year with Izzy-Cedeno up the middle. The pitching rotation is the big unknown And while guys like Suppan won't blow you away, they are at least consistent. He'll go out every 5 days and pitch his 3-4 ER game which is ok with me.

This is a team that is dead last IN THE MAJORS in scoring runs, and you're not concerned?

DLee will help, sure, but he's not going to bring them from last to the top 10 by himself.

This club needs at the bare minimum, 1 more power bat in the lineup....I mean a 25-40 HR, 100 RBI guy..not a 20 HR 80 RBI, at-best guy.

Gary Sheffield is 38 and INJURED!!!! The Cubs do not want him.

Dusty:

I agree with you. Offense must be addressed. It must be a bigger priority than pitching, because at least there is some hope there. With our offense there is no hope. We need one if not two more good bats on this team.

Oh please please please please Vernon Wells and Miguel Cabrera!!!

Ryno, what exactly impressed you about the "Gooz": His inability to throw strikes, his skittish nature, or his 7 plus ERA?

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