And Go….

Before the servers crash again, some notes and preview.... - Barrett likely out for season, details too gruesome for 50% of the population to repeat out loud - Carlos Marmol activated, Scott Moore called up - Jacque Jones left early yesterday with an infection to his tear duct. Insert crying jokes here. - Z goes for his 15th win today, would tie him for NL league with Brad Penny Go Cubs or go draft pick...either way! GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PITTSBURGH PIRATES (54-83 (Div) 6th - 20.0 GB; (Wild Card) 13th -16.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (55-81 (Div) 5th - 18.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 15.0 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Overcast, 67 degrees, Wind in from LF @ 1 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 189
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 14-5, 3.33 ERA, 191.2 IP 187 K, 100 BB, 19 HR 208/313/356 againstPaul Maholm, LHP 6-10, 4.84 ERA, 158 IP 70 K, 48 BB, 16 HR 261/327/428 against

*Chris Duffy, CF Joe Randa, 3B Freddy Sanchez, SS Jason Bay, LF Xavier Nady, RF #Ryan Doumit, 1B Ronny Paulino, C Jose Castillo, 2B *Paul Maholm, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B Matt Murton, LF #Angel Pagan, RF Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, SS #Carlos Zambrano, P

Pirates vs. Zambrano: Jack Wilson: 8-31, 258/324/290 Jason Bay: 8-26, 308/419/769 Jose Castillo: 5-20, 250/286/400 Xavier Nady: 5-12, 417/417/750 Freddy Sanchez: 2-12, 167/231/167 Cubs vs. Maholm: No Cubs with more than 10 AB's
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Comments

Another great throw by Cedeno.
Whatever his problem is with repating his arm angele, he's better fix it soon, or he'll be selling lady Kenmores real soon!!!

what happened to Z?

Left with an undisclosed injury...

Go Theriot!!!!
3-run double!!!

Left with an undisclosed injury...

Any more news than that? Updates appreciated.

According to Gameday, it's an injured arm. I suppose that's better than hearing it's an injured shoulder or elbow, but this could f*** 2007 as well.

According to WGN, it's lower back stiffness, not an arm problem.

The way Len & Bob are talking about it, the back stiffness doesn't sound like anything serious. They were talkiong about Z making his next start.

Although there might be a good reason for it, it really irrates me that the Cubs keep trotting Rusch out to the mound. It's almost like waving a white flag. Apparently, Marmol is back with the club and is going to be used in the bullpen. Why don't they bring him in for long relief instead of Rusch?

He will be used once he's healthy; he was brought up because of roster expansion, not because he was 100% ready. Plus, Rusch has pitched two scoreless innings.

Plus, Rusch has pitched two scoreless innings.

Though he did load the bases in the second of those. This guy shouldn't be around next year.

From the previous thread:
"A very well written piece by Rick Morrissey of teh Chicago Tribune. I agree with much, if not all of it. It seems like Rick might spend lots of time here on TCR. And Jumbo's last comment in post #22 fits pretty well.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnis..."

Rick Morrissey wrote:
Ifówhenógeneral manager Jim Hendry lets Baker go, it will be a mercy killing. Baker should thank him. He deserves better than he has gotten, from his players and from fans. He deserves his dignity."

I know there are a lot of crazy things said about Dusty, but Morrissey makes it sound like Dusty is just a victim of circumstances, completely blameless for the mess he finds himself in. If that's what he thinks, Morrissey just hasn't paid enough attention this year.

The quote I've included above struck me as especially strange. How can Dusty deserve better than what he has gotten from his players? Isn't the manager's job to get the most and the best out of his players? The fact that the players haven't put forth their best is an indictment against Dusty, not a reason for sympathy.

The way the dustbag has run this team into the ground, they should fire his butt right at home plate on the final day.

Sweet Lou:
"I know there are a lot of crazy things said about Dusty, but Morrissey makes it sound like Dusty is just a victim of circumstances, completely blameless for the mess he finds himself in."

I think this statement by Rick ("It's not that the haters don't have a point.") says Baker is partly to blame, which as the manger he has to be.

a loss tommorow would put this team in dead last in the NL. team is .5 front of pitt as it is.

if it wasnt for dusty this team would be enjoying year 2 of being world champs. don't let injuries to key players fool anyone. these players are all all-stars who are suffering under dusty. don't worry that a lotta them have career years under dustbag and lessen on average when they leave.

the thing that makes or breaks a team over 164 games isnt health or consistancy or what you got to work with when those 2 things dont happen...its whether a .310 ob% guy hits 2nd or a .350 ob% one hits second.

=p

the s'casm runeth over. yeehaw. players play...managers manage.

Iowa Cubs win!!!!

End up tied for the division crown but lose out on the tie-breaker. Oh well!!

C Jose Reyes should get called up tomorrow along with Jae-kuk Ryu. I'm not sure who else. Jerome Williams, Felix Pie and Miguel Negron (AA) are the only other 40-man guys not up I think.

don't worry that a lotta them have career years under dustbag and lessen on average when they leave.

You have some study showing guys get worse after they leave Dusty? Taking out park and age affects?

Love to see it...

well aside from maddux and garciappara, there's not much else...its anacdotal evidence. if im wrong, i havent noticed many and well...im wrong cuz of that.

maddux, garciappara...d.miller...cant think of a single pitcher, though there's gotta be some.

didnt delve too far into the giants past.

i still think its just the players being the players doing what the players are doing, manager be damned...

and i do realize that his use of the #2 slot is stupid/outdated thought...

but im not gonna even nod that what he does is even in the same league as the injury impact and replacement player impact on this club.

"cant think of a single pitcher, though there's gotta be some."

relief, that is...blah blah blah

wish i hadnt said it at this point, but i did...i muddled by own point throwing that in.

Crunch -- No one (at least not me) is saying that Dusty didn't have some challenges to deal with. The team Hendry assembled for him to manage was strike one and the injuries were strike two. Just the same, Dusty did a poor job of using what he had. The odd/illogical/crazy moves he made have been well documented in previous threads, so I won't re-hash them here.

I understand that you place very little value on the part a manager plays on a professional baseball team. I just happen to completely disagree with you. If all a manager did was fill out the lineup card, teams wouldn't pay their managers so much money. There is so much more to managing than that.

Perhaps chief among the things a manager does is motivate his team and get the most out of them. I know that you feel that professional MLB players don't need this, but look around the majors and you can see the impact managers have on their teams. Guys like Joe Girardi have motivated his team to play at a level higher than anyone expected. For years, Joe Torre has managed to keep his teams on an even keel through injuries and one controversy after another. Bobby Cox has found a way to get the most out of his players year after year after year. The names of the players have changed every year, but the performance has remained consistent. Even Ozzie Guillen, in his own way, has challenged his players to produce at a high level.

Over the years (including his time in San Francisco), Dusty has done a good job when everything was going right. However, he doesn't do a particularly good job when he doesn't have big HR hitters, when injuries occur, or when there is any type of controversy. I'll agree with you that there isn't another manager that could have made a winner out of the 2006 Cubs, but I do believe there are several guys that could have done a much better job than Dusty has done.

i hear ya...dont agree with this at all, though...

"Guys like Joe Girardi have motivated his team to play at a level higher than anyone expected. For years, Joe Torre has managed to keep his teams on an even keel through injuries and one controversy after another. Bobby Cox has found a way to get the most out of his players year after year after year."

i think cox and dusty are very similar...i really see the only main difference in them being what theyre supplied by the GM.

i think the players deserve the credit, not girardi...

i think joe torre is a joke and a tool who sells his own players out to "the boss" and rarely defends them. he runs his team like everyone is a hired gun and expects everyone to adopt that philosophy in order to go out there and play. maybe that is the proper way to manage a club with that kinda cowardly GM and nosey owner, though.

Pinch hitting Mabry in place of Theriot today was WAY up there on the Asininely Idiotic Managerial Moves scale, even in comparison to some of the other "efforts" put forth by our Asininely Idiotic Manager.

That is all.(Not gonna steal End o' subject.)

Look at it this way, we're only 1/2 game out of 2nd
I'd love to get my hands on the 2nd draft choice.

Standings GB
----
KC 51-87 --
Pitt 55-83 4
TB 55-83 4
CHC 55-82 4.5

HE SAID IT:

"Being a Cubs fan is like being addicted to heroin. Its a full-time addiction."

Chet Coppick, Coppick on Sports 9/4/06

"don't worry that a lotta them have career years under dustbag and lessen on average when they leave."

Does this include KPat? Farnsworth? L. Hawkins? Have we brought up the pitchers he has "supposedly" ruined? Dusty is a good bench coach but not a head coach. He doesn't know how to make out a line-up nor make substitutions. JMHO. I think he puts players into situations to fail.

scooterÆ

kpat? farnsworth?

and most confusing of all...hawkins?

i dont get your point. well, i know what point you're trying to make, but i don't know why you chose any of them.

Crunch -- I just can't agree with your basic argument that places so little importance on the manager. IMO, Girardi has done a masterful job with a young, inexperienced team. I don't think many managers, particularly Dusty, could have done with the Marlins what Girardi has done.

I also can't agree with your comparison of Bobby Cox and Dusty. Bobby Cox has been consistently good, even though his teams have changed over time. The 2003 Cubs did well under Dusty and then basically the same team fell apart the next year. However, I will concede that Schuerholz has given Cox much better teams over the years than Dusty had to work with this year.

I know there are widely varying opinions on Joe Torre, but I've always appreciated the low key way he has lead his teams of high priced egomaniacs. That can't be easy, particularly in NY. I was especially impressed with the way he kept the team together this year after so many big injuries (not to mention ARod's problems).

Even when the games don't matter, Dusty is confounding. Pinch hitting Mabry for one of the team's hottest hitters, with Ramirez on deck? Mabry feebly waved at the same in-the-dirt sinker 3 straight pitches, which is basically what he has done all year. I really didn't see the point of that. Maybe Dusty just wanted the game to be over. Very odd.

By the way -- how many straight games does this make with the trainer visiting the mound?

So Tiger Woods has won more tournaments straight (5) then the Cubs have won games straight this year? WOW!!

Go Cubs!! Go Hendry!! Go Baker!! Go Players!! Go Injuries!!

That's depressing, manny, lol.

Are my expectations too high of rookies like Cedeno or Bynum, or do they pretty much stink? When you're not good with defense or offense... and you don't pitch, I fail to see the value. Can we expect them to get better?

Maybe I've been spoiled by the likes of Murt.

yeah..the cubs are breaking new territory in suck with this team.

its not only a bottom dwelling team, its 95m worth of fail.

yeah, injuries and etc and there's not much that could have bailed out this season with the performances given...but still, no matter what its been a failure no matter where the blame goes and in what proportion.

#30 - Crunch -- You and I do agree about that. There's been lots of failure this season and plenty of blame to go around. Hendry is going to have to make some significant moves this off-season in order for the Cubs to have a shot at the post season in 2007. A little tweaking around the edges just won't cut it.

Wow, the Iowa Cubs won the last game of the season tonight tying them with the Nashville Sounds for first place. Does that mean they play a tie-breaker or something?

According to Rotoworld, Z will have an MRI on his back.

No eliminated yesterday...

#32 of 32: By Ryno (September 4, 2006 10:39 PM)
Wow, the Iowa Cubs won the last game of the season tonight tying them with the Nashville Sounds for first place. Does that mean they play a tie-breaker or something?

----

RYNO: Iowa's season is over.

Nashville wins the division because they win the tie-breaker (defeating Iowa in their head-to-head season-series 9-7).

If the teams had tied in their season series 8-8, there were additional tie-breakers that could have been employed (I believe intra-division record is the next one), but there are no "play-in" games to the PCL post-season.

And Zambrano looks to be done for the year. Great, just great.

Our crack medical was all over this though...

Trainer Mark O'Neal, however, downplayed the seriousness of the injury.

"An MRI is the first thing that needs to be done," O'Neal said. "Carlos has requested to have it done, so we're going to have it done."

O'Neal declined to speculate on whether Zambrano would be shut down but said there are no indications of any "significant disc or lower back injury." Cubs pitchers are falling like dominos, with Zambrano the latest to suffer an injury.

Oh yeah, O'neal you said the same things about DLee, Prior, Wood. You got a hell of a track record of down playing injuries.

But Z had problems before the game...

"That was my mistake," he said. "I had a problem before the game and didn't tell anybody, trying to be the hero."

And so the vaunted 3 aces are re-united, not on the field, but all likely on the DL. Perfect ending to a perfectly shitty season.

MiekC:
"And Zambrano looks to be done for the year. Great, just great."

This is actually great news, as long as he is not seriously injured. There is no need for him to pitch anymore this season. I mentioned that about a week ago in chat. This isn't the way I hoped it would come true, but so be it.

Nothing about this is great news. If he is healthy he makes his starts, end of story.

You don't shut down a perfectly healthy player just cuz your team sucks. No one in baseball has ever done that and no one ever will.

So nothing about this is great news.

Shutting him down while healthy would just be stupid. Giving him an extra day's rest, not overusing him, sure. But shutting him down would not only be devistating for him emotionally (sitting on the bench while scrub after scrub gets blown out?), it would also be bad on the bullpen.

Now that he's hurt, all that is irrelevent...

What? Z requested an MRI?

I can't put my finger on it, but something about that statement just doesn't sound right.

Maddux slowly reveals more and more his complete disgust with the way the Cubs played and were run...

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

Yes, it is. No music, no blaring television, just his new Dodgers teammates going about their pregame rituals and looking over scouting reports on the opposition.

"That's the way it should be," Maddux said. "You can actually get ready for the game. It's easier to talk, it's just ... quieter."

Apparently the Cubs clubhouse is being run like a frat house and team-mates could care less about scouting reports before the game.

Read the rest, he again slams our defense.

greg "soap operas and golf" complaining about other's music?

okay.

crunch: greg "soap operas and golf" complaining about other's music?

I think you missed the point... Jerry Hairston Jr. also complained about life with the Cubs. And... you have to admit much of the roster has performed well below their abilities this year.

The Cubs are not a professionally managed team.

Anyone care to figure out if Maddux is scheduled to start at Wrigley when they come to town? If so, anyone want to sell their tickets?

My fielding numbers may be off, but it looks likr Cedeno is aggressively pursuing the Double Crown:

- Currenlty 2nd worse OBP in the NL
- Currently 2nd-most errors in NL

Go Ronnie!!

Does anyone know for sure if the Cubs will have the first or second pick in the draft if they finish behind Pittsburgh. I think they'll have the first because I belive that the AL and NL alternate the first pick and KC had it last year, so worst record in NL gets it this year. Arizona Phil, are you around this morning to answer this?

Dusty comments on Felix Pie's doubtful call-up:

"According to our scouts he still has things to learn about playing the game...We wish he would have done better..."

Pie still strikes out too much.
His stealing ability seemed to improve after some sessions with Bob Dernier.

Overall:
.283/.341/.451
33 2B, 8 3B, 15HR, 57 RBI, 17/28 SB, 46BB/126K

This looks like a pretty solid season. Didn't he also lead the Cubs minor leagues in OF assists?
Pie may not get a call-up, but he certainly looks to be in the picture for at least mid-2007, wouldn't you think?

A lot better than our current CF option that's for sure.

#46,

I think nowdays they rank all the MLB teams in one pot.

*I know there are widely varying opinions on Joe Torre, but I've always appreciated the low key way he has lead his teams of high priced egomaniacs.*

Yeah, that Torre, he's a zen-like genius. Let's see...
1) pencil in 8 all-stars on lineup card.
2) sit on arse in dugout
2a) maybe put in Rivera, if necessary
3) wait for Red Sox to collapse

Rinse, repeat.

A lot better than our current CF option that's for sure.

How so? Since June 1st Pierre has the following line: .316/.365/.436. Add 31/45 in stolen bases, and you have a damn good leadoff hitter.

Since July 1st his numbers are even better:
.331/.371/.461, although his caught stealing numbers are not great- 22/32.

Maddux is apparently on track to start Sept. 14. That sucks, because I have tickets for Sept. 13, which I was hoping was his day to pitch.

They're probably afraid to call him up in fear that Rusch will eat him.

Pie reminds me of a young Jacque Jones with that shwoop-style swing. Any one know what his arm is like?

Horatio: A lot better than our current CF option that's for sure.

You're saying Pie is a better option than Pierre? You mean just looking at cost? I'm so confused.

Ryno:

Pie leads the Cubs minor leagues in OF assists.
His arm is supposed to be pretty good.

Pie's defense is supposedly all-world, but so was Cedeno's.

But yeah he's supposed to have quite the arm.

#47 of 55: By Dusty Baylor (September 5, 2006 11:06 AM)
Dusty comments on Felix Pie's doubtful call-up:

"According to our scouts he still has things to learn about playing the game...We wish he would have done better..."

Pie still strikes out too much.
His stealing ability seemed to improve after some sessions with Bob Dernier.

Overall:
.283/.341/.451
33 2B, 8 3B, 15HR, 57 RBI, 17/28 SB, 46BB/126K

This looks like a pretty solid season. Didn't he also lead the Cubs minor leagues in OF assists?
Pie may not get a call-up, but he certainly looks to be in the picture for at least mid-2007, wouldn't you think?

-

DUSTY B:

Felix Pie in his final 64 games at AAA Iowa:

86-267 (.322)
.372 OBP
.509 SLG
.881 OPS
47 RUNS SCORED
8 HR
20 RBI
20 2B
3 3B
21 BB
48 K (one in every 6.0 PA)
13 SB (3 CS)
8 OF ASSISTS (18 OF ASSISTS for the year - leads Cubs organization)
2 E

Those numbers prorated over 162 games:

Same BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS
118 RUNS SCORED
20 HR
50 RBI
50 2B
9 3B
53 BB
120 K
33 SB (7 CS)
20 OF ASSISTS
5 E

Re #51:

His cs rate is the same in the two periods you mentioned.
.687/.689

Arizona Phil, you have made the case for Pie here and elsewhere. Do you know what the Cubs are looking for from him that he has not done? I'm guessing it may be stolen bases. While he hasn't hit .330 in triple A with 30 homers or 100 rbi, he looks like he has had a pretty good year. Also, his minor league numbers during his career have shown that he has some capacity to adapt and get better.

Pie's minor league numbers indicate to me that there is at least a decent argument that he isbetter than Pierre is right now, as I have said over on another thread. While I like and respect Pierre for his work ethic, I think the Cubs would be better off with Pie rather than Pierre in the outfield in the long run, even though Pie does not look like a finished product and will undoubtedly struggle, at least at first. I cannot think of a good reason not to give him a try now. Frankly, I don't care about the stolen bases. Maybe he just shouldn't do that.

I don't think Pie should bat leadoff. If playing Pie rather than Pierre takes away the classic leadoff hitter that Dusty says he likes, I don't care.

Pie has a cannon. I watched him take fly balls in right for a half hour in Tucson before the game. He can go right field wall to 3rd base with his arm.

It's idiotic not to bring Pie up for a look this September. We have NOTHING like him in our outfield right now. Pierre and JJ are two rotten arms looking for a surgeon, Angel Pagan can't play left field without ducking for some reason, and Matt Murton needs to play every day in left because his defense gets better when he does.

well...pie isnt exactly a master with the bat yet...his biggest issue is probally pitch selection.

he's had a nice 1/2 year or so, but that's more of a nice shiney glimmer of progress than a sign of readiness.

wouldnt suprise me to see him come up, but its doubtful he'll see too much playing time in sept.

murton, bynum, and pagan are closer to breaking camp next spring with the club than pie at this point, though pie's definately the most tallented outta the bunch.

Re Pie:

Paul Sullivan in today's Trib implies that Pie won't be called up because the Cubs don't want to jeopardize the negotiations with Pierre on a new contract that will take place over the next weeks.

Not to denigrate Pie's arm, but leading the Cubs' organization in outfield assists is a little like being an Admiral in the Swiss navy.

It's a nice title, but it may not mean much.

Reference why Pie has not been called up, there is this thing called "service time" under the MLB/MLBPA collective bargaining agreement. A player who perform in enought major league games in a in a season will get credit for service time toward six major league seasons. If Pie gets called up now, he could be a free agent a the end of 2012. If the Cubs wait for 2007, they could put that off to 2013, as well as delaying his opportunity for arbitration. I think that is the principal reason for not calling either Pie or Eric Patterson up.

Anyway, September call-up performance and Spring Training performance are not particularly reliable predictors of player performance when compared to a whole season of performance at AAA or AA. The small number of games are not enough to make a judgement nor is the competitive situation normal (to many teams playing out the string, marginal and tired pitching, etc, at the end of the season and with Spring training pitchers just getting in shape (along with plenty of marginal pitching).

With Zambrano going on the shelf, the last pleasurable thing about watching this ball club has disappeared. The chances of this club losing 100 games and finishing with the worst record in baseball are now excellent. So the next point is to speculate how the Cubs will blow this upcoming draft choice? There must some real toolsy player out there who can't hit the curve ball or pitching prospect with hidden (or not so hidden) health and character problems they can blow the draft choice on!

For reasons I have stated before, I don't have much hope for the Cubs as long as the Tribune Company (invest in marketing, not player development!) continues to own the team. Baker, Hendry, even McPhail, they will join the parade out of town following Greene, Frey, Zimmer, Himes, Baylor,Lynchm Riggleman etc. They will be replaced with new scapegoats (along with the proverbial "goat") that will excuse Cub failures.

#59 of 59: By Dying Cub Fan (September 5, 2006 12:46 PM)
Arizona Phil, you have made the case for Pie here and elsewhere. Do you know what the Cubs are looking for from him that he has not done? I'm guessing it may be stolen bases. While he hasn't hit .330 in triple A with 30 homers or 100 rbi, he looks like he has had a pretty good year. Also, his minor league numbers during his career have shown that he has some capacity to adapt and get better.

----

DYING CUB FAN:

The Cubs have an instructional camp in Mesa during the Fall for minor leaguers from all the different levels. Different players are working on different things. Some stay for the entire period, while others come and go.

Felix Pie isn't the only prospect who will report to Mesa for "advanced instruction." Tyler Colvin, Ryan Norwood, Eric Patterson, Ryan Harvey, Jake Fox, Drew Rundle, and others will be there, too.

Felix Pie has gone from being a horrible base-stealer to being a very good base-stealer over the last 64 games (that was apparently after Bob Derneir taught him how to do it). Perhaps the Cubs want Pie to continue to work one-on-one with Dernier, with the hope that if Pierre signs elsewhere, Pie might be able to replace Pierre as the CF/lead-off hitter in 2007.

Besides improving his base-stealing, Pie has also improved his walk rate over his last 64 games, as well as improving his K rate. However, he still strikes out too much.

He does have an outstanding arm.

So Pie may be going to the instructional camp just so he can continue to work one-on-one with Iowa hitting instructor Von Joshua and roving base-running & outfield instructor Bob Dernier.

Then, Pie will almost certainly go back home once again to the Dominican Winter League and hone his skills further. There is very little (if any) teaching in the Latin Winter Leagues. The object is to win, and there isn't a lot of time for instruction. Probably the only things Pie will learn there is what he picks up from the older players on his team.

As for whether I think Felix Pie can be the Cubs starting CF & lead-off hitter next season, I would say yes.

Maybe the Cubs should try assigning coaches at the major league level who are teachers & instructors rather than the manager's cronies & flunkies, so that when a young player is struggling, somebody is there who can actually help him get straightened out.

Von Joshua (hitting instructor), Alan Dunn (pitching coach), and Bob Dernier (outfield & baserunning) would be three good choices for the Cubs 2007 coaching staff, in my opinion.

BTW, Phil Wrigley was actually onto something with his "College of Coaches" (1961-65). Where he messed up was turning the GM into an "Athletic Director" and the Manager into a "Rotating Head Coach." Major league players can't deal with that. It's too Joe College. But if he had applied the concept just to the coaching staff, keeping a traditional GM and manager in place, I think it could have worked. The basic premise is a good one. Why not continue to teach and instruct at the MLB level? Very few players and pitchers are a "finished product" when they reach The Show.

Arizona Phil -- A couple of weeks ago, you made the case for the Cubs making trades for Miguel Cabrera and Arod/Miguel Tejada. I don't think you were saying you thought either of these trades would happen, just that there was a case to be made.

Could you revisit these potential trades and let us know what you think the possibilities are?

Thanks!

Sweet Lou - Zero.

#66 of 66: By Sweet Lou (September 5, 2006 01:22 PM)
Arizona Phil -- A couple of weeks ago, you made the case for the Cubs making trades for Miguel Cabrera and Arod/Miguel Tejada. I don't think you were saying you thought either of these trades would happen, just that there was a case to be made.

Could you revisit these potential trades and let us know what you think the possibilities are?

Thanks!

SWEET LOU: The Miguel Cabrera thing had to do with the Cubs being able to offer an attractive package of LF Matt Murton (with Josh Willingham moving to 3B to replace Cabrera), Felix Pie (the Marlins need a CF), and any pitcher (heck, make it two pitchers) in the organization not named Carlos Zambrano (Marlins choice) to Florida IF (big IF) the Fish were inclined to trade Cabrera now that he will be arbitration-eligible. It happened before with Derrek Lee and Juan Pierre, so I figure the opportunity could conceivably present itself again. And Hendry is nothing if not an opportunistic trader, always ready to respond to serendipity.

And I also said that although I would normally not ever consider trading Carlos Zambrano at this point in his career, I would make an exception if the Cubs could trade Z for Miguel Tejada. However, that would be predicated on the Cubs being able to sign FA RHP Jason Schmidt to replace Zambrano at the top of the rotation. (I believe Schmidt is hands-down the best available FA starting pitcher, but I doubt very much that he would sign with the Cubs, even if Hendry was interested).

As you know, I like a team with power. I don't care much for "small ball." I like sluggers. XBH.

Thanks, Phil. Do you see either of these trades actually taking place?

SWEET LOU: No.

BTW according to Sportscenter last night the Marlins are the 1st team to go from 20 games under .500 in a season to over .500.

They started off 11-31, since then they have gone 58-37. In that 58-37 run their pitching staff ERA is at 3.99, which is better than any team in baseball over the same period.

I keep hearing Willie Randolph for manager of the year, he comes in a distant second to what Girardi is doing. And right now no team heading to the playoffs wants the Marlins in the first round.

"And I also said that although I would normally not ever consider trading Carlos Zambrano at this point in his career, I would make an exception if the Cubs could trade Z for Miguel Tejada."

No way. You don't trade a guy with 4 years of proven quality starting, particularly a guy who has made 30+ starts each of the last 4 years, logging 200 IP without breaking a sweat. Especially when that guy has finished in the top 5 Cy Young voting twice (count 2006). And you certainly don't trade him for a guy who is on the down swing of his career. Why would the Cubs even fathom the idea of trading the one legit prospect who has stayed healthy and had a great track record when they have blown it with Wood and Prior? Is Z untouchable? No. No player is (except possibly Mariano Rivera). But you'd have to get a boatload in return to last you for at least three or four seasons.

Via Yahoo and Zito's potential contract being affected by Oswalt's contract...

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=insided...

LHP Barry Zito and RHP Jason Schmidt, who hit the free-agent market this winter, will benefit from Roy Oswalt's new contract. "Definitely it affects Zito," one G.M. says. "He's going to be looking north of that now and understandably so. Schmidt has some health concerns, and he's almost impossible to insure beyond three years, but I know there's going to be some team that will pay him that kind of money."

So Zito is gonna probably start at 16 million per year and go up from there. Might get Schmidt on the "cheap" for 14-15 million a year for 3 years.

I really don't see the Cubs blowing upwards of 75% of their potential free agent money on 1 player. Especially a pitcher.

Same article has draft pick stuff...

Teams holding Type A free agents are bracing for the potential elimination of draft-pick compensation, which could occur as soon as next June. The issue is being discussed with the Basic Agreement set to expire December 19.

Nothing is set in stone. But if things are not worked out over the winter there is a real possibility that teams could lose that compensation.

"the Marlins are the 1st team to go from 20 games under .500 in a season to over .500."

So we now have the 2007 Cubs mantra if they reach this point.

zito...the hype runneth over.

okay, yeah...he shows up and works which is something...esp. since he works well.

he's still just a 5-7ip guy who's not overpowering, though.

zito's not gonna save your pen or deliver near sure-thing performances.

someone's gonna give him 12+m a year multiyear, though...

If Zito gets an average of 16 mil a year, I'll eat an Oakland A's hat.

Oswalt is a far better investment than Zito or Schmidt right now so he will get the most money, even if he wasn't going to be a free agent.

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5560/1018/...

for informational purposes only....that's prior on the bike in the background.

dont oppress me...i'll use it for any purpose i want.

im gonna print it out and form a religion around it...when we're strong enough we're gonna go on a letter writing campaign to get you removed from TCR for your radical beliefs on use.

Well, whatever happens, the rotation needs a serious overhaul. I'd be cool with 1 rookie in the rotation, I'd say Guzman. But the rest of the 3 spots in the rotation need to be solid, reliable veterans who give up their 3-4 ER every 5 days. Also, for this team to win Rusch needs to be removed somehow.

I say leave a trail of donuts leading away from Wrigley...

hell...i say throw rusch back in the rotation and let him play himself out of a job.

there's gonna be some 40-man decisions to make this nov/dec. and if hendry's on the fence about rusch then hell...let him make up his mind more.

i mean damn...dusty dont even trust him enough to put him in the rotation over a slew of AA kids and no-name AAA burnouts.

But the rest of the 3 spots in the rotation need to be solid, reliable veterans who give up their 3-4 ER every 5 days.

how many teams have five starting pitchers with an era under 4? not many...

"There is very little (if any) teaching in the Latin Winter Leagues."

PHIL: It is widely believed that, at least here in Mexico, players' pitch recognition skill is helped by the love of Mexican pitchers for the breaking ball. They learn how to lay off the fastball and wait for/crush the breaking balls, as far as I know.

how many teams have five starting pitchers with an era under 4? not many...

The Padres, with the best pitching in the NL (according to ERA) has two pitchers with ERA's under 4: Chris Young and Woody Williams.

The Mets, 2nd best ERA in NL, have two: Pedro and John Maine (who only has 11 starts).

The Astros, 3rd best in NL, have three: Clemons, Oswalt, and Nieves (only 11 starts).

It is not realistic to expect the Cubs, or any other team, to have a pitcher like Z and three other starters with era's between 3 and 4.

Crunch:
"i say throw rusch back in the rotation and let him play himself out of a job."

If Rusch's line of 3-8, 7.46 ERA, 1.79 WHIP with 21 HR in 66.1 IP isn't enough to play himself out of a job, I don't know what is. But I guess Hendry hasn't seen enough of his buffet partner.

Dave:
"how many teams have five starting pitchers with an era under 4? not many..."

I am sure Ryno isn't expecting every starter to go 9 IP. I agree with Ryno, 1 rookie and Prior is enough. we need guys to actually give innings and not BB everyone. And hopefully they can only give up 3-4 runs over 7-8 IP.

You're right on dave, but what's that have to do with what I'm talking about?

If you give up 3-4 ER every start, you're not going to have an ERA under 4. I guess they would if they went 9.0 IP every outing.

My point is, I want to see guys in the rotation who will go out there and keep the offense within reach. They don't all have to be Cy Young candidates.

"Also, for this team to win Rusch needs to be removed somehow"

The plan is for the Cubs to put "roofies" in a box of Glendon's Twinkies, and after he polishes those off in the second inning, get him naked hose him down a bit and then call a group of oceanographers to roll him out of the clubhouse and into Lake Michigan.

Weeee, that gave me the giggles.

Change oceanblah blah with marine bioligists.

" The sea was angry that day, Jerry...."

If you give up 3-4 ER every start, you're not going to have an ERA under 4. I guess they would if they went 9.0 IP every outing.

That is fair, but I still think it is unrealistic. There are very few, if any, teams that have five starters who only give up 3-4 runs a game.

Don't get me wrong - I would love it if the Cubs had Z, 3 starters who gave 3-4 runs a game, and a rookie.

But there simply are not that many of those pitchers available.

Realistically you only need 1 dominate ace. 1 above average #2 and the rest average 4.50ish ERA pitchers who suck up innings.

Once you establish that you invest in your offense. Once your offense is suitably upgraded and consistent and you got the cash to invest in a cool pitching upgrade then you do. But you don't go slinging cash around for another ace when your offense is the joke of the league. Zito is only going to give you 32 starts a year, while an offensive upgrade is going to give you nearly 162 games played. The offensive upgrade is going to benefit everyone in the rotation and give more RBI chances for other guys in your lineup.

It's a nice luxury if you can afford 2 dominate ace's but the Cubs can't, they have other glaring problems that drag down the team more.

BTW...I sat on a rooftop yesterday - interesting experience.

I fortunately was given the tickets for free (usually about $150 a ticket), so my wife enjoyed a game from across the street.

I am not sure that the price tag is worth it, but the free food and beer are nice.

Does Hendry even watch Cubs games anymore? My guess is that he drank so much alcohol on his recent binge that he either doesn't care or doesn't remember that he's GM of the Chicago NL ballclub.
I know WGN radio recently had him on for an interview but that could have been recorded months ago.

Jerome Williams is gone. Claimed off waivers by the A's. I guess they didn't think he was worth a 40 man spot.

"If Rusch's line of 3-8, 7.46 ERA, 1.79 WHIP with 21 HR in 66.1 IP isn't enough to play himself out of a job, I don't know what is. But I guess Hendry hasn't seen enough of his buffet partner."

its rusch...he wasnt blocking anyone...and aside from an emergency start or two he really hasnt even had much of an impact (aside from being emergency early-game reliever when starter-du-jour got injured).

he's gonna get paid, he's not blocking anyone...sadly, while they're footing the bill and not in the chase there's not much incentive to get rid of him.

it becomes an issue when its time to determine the 40-man in nov/dec and/or the 25-man when spring breaks, though.

Huh...got so many worthless players on the 40 man and Williams gets left off. Even though he has totally sucked ass he did have age on his side to figure things out.

Maybe Oakland can figure out the enigma that is Williams. But damn he deserves a 40 man spot more than some of these other guys were are trotting out.

williams lost his fastball velocity...he throws a straight one as it is

not fooling much of anyone at this point.

not a bad gamble for oakland if they got the 40-man space for him this offseason.

Cubs Complete Trade with MINN:

"The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Adam Harben from the Minnesota Twins to complete the trade which sent Phil Nevin to Minnesota on August 31. In addition, the Cubs have recalled right-handed pitcher Jae Kuk Ryu and catcher Jose Reyes from Triple-A Iowa while right-handed pitcher Jerome Williams has been claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics." - Cubs.com

Harben was on the Twins 40 man, so you can include him on ours now. Not sure why we didn't just move Prior to 60-Day DL so we could keep Willimas for the time being as we needed a sopt on the 40 man for Harben.

TRILLO:

Get busy!

Info On the PTWN (Player That Was Named)?

Stats?

Profile?

Thanks for anything you dig up!

So now the only players on the 40 man roster not with the big club or on the DL are:
Brian Dopriak
Miguel Negron
Felix Pie
Adam Harben

#72 Nazey:
"Is Z untouchable? No. No player is (except possibly Mariano Rivera)."

Umm, Rivera's soon to be 37 years old. How about Poo-holes? Or Ryan Howard? Or Johan Santana? Or, yes, Miguel Cabrera?

Rivera's probably the greatest closer of all time, but there's got to be at least 20 players in the league I'd take straight up for him if I'm Brian Cashman.

E-Man-
I am sure AZ Phil will go into much more detail, but this is from Cubs.com (doesn't seem too bad):

Harben, 23, has compiled a 32-28 minor league record in 108 career games (91 starts) while posting a 3.40 career ERA (194 ER/513.1 IP). The 6-foot, 5-inch, 210-pounder has allowed just 21 home runs in 513.1 innings of work, recording 468 strikeouts compared to 240 walks.

Harben produced a 3.96 ERA (54 ER/122.2 IP) in 29 games (22 starts) for Double-A New Britain in the Eastern League this season. He posted a 0.42 ERA (1 ER/21.1 IP) in five April games (four starts), while limiting hitters to a .149 average (11-for-74) in that span.

In 2005, Harben was ranked the 16th Best Prospect in the Florida State League by Baseball America after went 10-5 with a 2.66 ERA (40 ER/135.1 IP) in 25 starts for Single-A Fort Myers.

For those who care...
JVB got designated for assignment by the Red Sox.

he seems to be a wild guy who's got stuff to K people, but doesnt have control over it...but he seems to also be able to keep a ball from going 370-400ft. over a fence. just based on #s...

wonder what he throws and how well he throws it.

MANNYTRILLO:

I'm sorry you've joined the Sox coaching staff...But they win alot of games.

But anyway - thanks for the info.

since Rusch has given up 21 HR's this season in I think 50-ish innings, this is at least promising.

from an 04 player profile:

"The Little Rock, Arkansas native earned more recognition in 2004 as he stayed at the Low-A level, learning to work a change-up in between his fast ball and had some good success that way. He still has some control issues with the his off-speed pitches such as the aforementioned change-up and a slider he's been working on."

from 06 (updated today i assume) rotoworld:

"He's going to need to improve his secondary pitches if he's going to develop into a major leaguer. Because of his quality fastball, he does have some potential"

for those with scout.com *cough* access...here's an april 06 piece on him:

http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=292&p=2&c=516471...

btw...to further prove how much i hate you all, here's the link in a larger url format:

http://ww2.6URL.com/0WW0/ikqglpidmmdkwlfxhyfd...

choke on it. :D

Harben doesn't sound bad at all.

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