Piling On

The Dodgers are just piling on now. Greg Maddux was scheduled to pitch today's game but was pushed back so he can face the Padres this weekend, them being the Dodgers closest competition in the NL West race. Instead they give Hong-Chih Kuo his second major league start. Someone must have gotten the scouting report to Grady Little that the Cubs can't hit the newbies. If you have time to pick him up in your fantasy league, he's a good bet to throw a gem today. The Cubs were officially eliminated from the post-season last night. They did pick up a game on the Royals in the race for the top draft pick, trailing them by a mere 2 games with the D-Rays only a game and half behind the Royals for the top stop. Here's the schedule breakdown for the 3 teams: Royals: (Home - 9): Mariners (4), Angels (2), Tigers (3) (Away -7): Twins (4), Tigers (3) D'Rays: (Home - 7): Orioles (3), Yankees (4) (Away -10): Yankees (1), Blue Jays (3), Red Sox (2), Indians (4) Cubs: (Home - 9): Dodgers (1), Reds (3), Breweres (2), Rockies (3) (Away - 7): Phillies (3), Reds (4) Who said this September won't be exciting? Sure, I'd rather see 16 straight gems from our starting staff, but on the other hand it's pretty tough to completely screw up the first pick in the draft, Matt Bush and Brien Taylor notwithstanding. GAME ONE HUNDRED-FORTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] LOS ANGELES DODGERS (77-68 (Div) 1st - 0 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (58-88 (Draft) 3rd - 2 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees, Wind in from CF @ 9 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 188
Wade Miller, RHP 0-1, 12.00 ERA, 3 IP 3 K, 5 BB, 2 HR 385/556/846 againstHong-Chih Kuo, LHP 1-4, 4.46 ERA, 36.1 IP 43 K, 29 BB, 2 HR 223/366/338 against

#Rafael Furcal, SS *Kenny Lofton, CF Nomar Garciaparra, SS #J.D. Drew, RF Jeff Kent, 2B #Wilson Betemit, 3B *Marlon Anderson, LF Russ Martin, C *Hong-Chih Kuo, 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 Wade Miller, P

Dodgers vs. Miller: J.D. Drew: 3-23, 130/310/261, 8 K, 6 BB, 1 HR Kenny Lofton: 8-22, 364 /440/545, 1 HR, 1 2B Marlon Anderson: 6-19, 316/364/368 Rafael Furcal: 2-14, 143 /368 /357, 3 K, 5 BB, 1 HR Jeff Kent: 5-12, 417/417/583, 2 K, 0 BB, 2 2B Cubs vs. Kuo: No Cubs with more than 10 AB's
We can really stop giving Blanco just about every start. At least split time with Reyes and Soto.
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Comments

C'mon dude...Henry's paid he dues, dude.

You've got to go with the veteran until his legs fall off dude...which they will at this pace.

As we've seen, Blanco's veteran presence and superior game-calling abilities have helped our pitchers still completely suck (sans Hill who was doing just fine with Barrett).

Newsflash to Dusty: catcher ERA doesn't exist.

Speaking of piling on. What do we accomplish by batting Juan "No Air" Pierre #1 every game besides a pile of ground outs? He leads the league in not scoring runs from the #1 spot. Dead last. Rock bottom. The worst leadoff man in the National League.

I'd like to see what would happen with a high OBP man hitting first and JP second. It would occasionally (maybe more than occasionally) set up situations where we'd have Pierre on first, the leadoff man on third and second base open with no outs and the middle of our order coming to the plate -- guaranteed to make defenses nervous.

OK, over/under on IP for Wade Miller today?

I will go 4.1 IP.

CWTP:

Pierre has had a .350+ OBP since the end of May. Murton is probably the only non-slugger who has matched that over a decent number of at bats.

And if you're so worried about Pierre's ground ball outs, why do you want him batting 2nd? So he can lead the leagues in GIDP?

mannytrillo: OK, over/under on IP for Wade Miller today?

I say 6.1

Kou has had 2 TJ surgeries?????

I can see Hendry right now jumping on the phone to Coletti trying to make a deal for him.

Wade Miller: "Blanco called for that gopher ball to Marlon Anderson, the sign was long finger extended"

I'll take 4.0 on Miller....

Hmmm....Pierre is the worst leadoff hitter...on the worst scoring team? Is it the chicken or the egg?

Using only runs scored to judge a leadoff hitter is a little unfair. Do you blame Pierre for not scoring when he gets into scoring postion with less than two outs and the next two guys in the order strike out, pop out, line out to the infield, foul out, or otherwise fail to get the ball out of the infield? It is more important that the leadoff hitter be in scoring position. Use that as a guide to determine how good he is. He is near the top in the league in hits and stolen bases. That is a good combination for a leadoff hitter. I would like his OBP to be higher, or his RBI total, but he is what he is. He will get on base, cause a little havoc when he is on base and if the guys behind him hit it where they should then he will score runs. I can remember at LEAST once this year when Pierre lead off an inning with a triple only to be stranded at third. I suppose that those of you who hate Pierre, Dusty, or Hendry will somehow blame one, two or all three of them for that and not the 2, 3, or 4 hitters in the lineup who couldn't get a guy in from 3rd with no body out.

CWTP:

YO!

Who comes up before him (#'s 8 & 9) and in #2 position?!

Here they are CWTP: Cedeno (Mabry/Soto/Reyes/Blanco), Pitcher - then: Izturis (recently Theriot) and non-existent #3 slot (recently Aramis, looked at his productivity last couple weeks?)

What the fuck is he supposed to do? He leads the league in hits - he is not a HR hitter.

"What the fuck is he supposed to do? He leads the league in hits - he is not a HR hitter."

He could have a higher OBP.

Yahoo! Sports: Wind: 12 mph, in from center.

Must have been a hell of a blast by Anderson. I guess he figured if he just hit it out he wouldn't have to get busted trying to steal second.

vorare: And if you're so worried about Pierre's ground ball outs, why do you want him batting 2nd? So he can lead the leagues in GIDP?

Yeah, but it takes some hussle to get Pierre to GIDP. Most times he'd just beat it out.

"He could have a higher OBP."

I certainly agree there. And (as did Furcal) for the first two months of the season he STUNK.

But even comparing last night, here was the Dodger's 7,8,and 9 hitters:

Anderson, .274 Avg., .331 OBP, .754 OPS

R. Martin, .292 Av., .361, .800 OPS

Penny, .194 Average

CUBBIES 7/8/9:

IZZY, .249, .299 OBP, .622 OPS

HAnk White, .267, .311, .754

Guzman, .167 BA

This means that in all likelyhood, several times a game Pierre comes up with more than one out and no one on base - or - he'll get on base with two outs and then the #2 hitter will then ground out. Although he DID come up with a RISP and two outs and he grounded out once yesterday.

It is very telling in the Dodger's case with a professional team compared to our minor league version.

There is NO defense for the SHIT that Pierre has to follow or come up before in this set-for-failure lineup. He certainly should take some blame, but this is what he has to work with as team mates

Pierre has had a .350+ OBP since the end of May. Murton is probably the only non-slugger who has matched that over a decent number of at bats.--vorare

Nobody is going to come close to No-Air's plate appearances. He plays every game and bats leadoff -- terribly.

Since the All-Star break his OBP is .343 or thereabouts.

Here are the Cubs who have done better since the break:

Theriot .400
Murton .394
Aramis .385
Nevin .362
Bynum .358
Lee .351
Blanco .349
No-Air .343

Why do I want him batting second?

Where else can you bat him? He has Zero Power so that eliminates him from 3-7. The pitcher bats 9. So that leaves the #2 and #8 spot. But he hits for average and he has speed, so that eliminates the #8 spot where he would be wasted in front of the pitcher and behind hitters with some power like Blanco.

hi, my name is juan pierre.

play a huge range of CF insted of sitting at the wall and running in on everythign to enhance my range stats.

i run helluh fast. i create situations for those behind me. if you hit a double and im on 2nd, which happens about 90+ times a year, i'll score a run for you. i'll also go 1st to 3rd on a lotta singles if you get it outta the infield, especially to the right side.

scott posednick is doing worse, but scoring more runs, therefore he is better...i mean worse...i mean...wait, i cant judge his worth on runs produced? well then...

This stuff makes me crazy. Pierre is not the problem with the team. Blah.

In fact, the Cubs often outhit their opponents and still lose. This either means 1. the lineup is not correct, and/or 2. there is a lack of run producers in the lineup. Stats blah blah blah.

mannytrillo: I will go 4.1 IP.
Ryno: I say 6.1
Dusty Baylor: I'll take 4.0 on Miller....

5.0 IP

"In fact, the Cubs often outhit their opponents and still lose."

Of course they rarely out walk their opponents.

I am not a huge Pierre fan, but I look at the situation as who would replace him if we let him go. We can't let him go and then try to find a replacement, because we would end up with someone worse than him. We have to sign him, unless we trade for some one first, and then deal with a possible overload. Don't say Pie would replace him, because he is less of a lead off man than Pierre and is not ready. Bottom line - I'll take him because the alternatives would not be as good.

If the Cubs move away from the idea that top of the line up hitters must be fast, replacing Pierre should not be that hard.

The real question is how much will Pierre cost to retain? For the right price he is useful, but I fear that some team will dramatically over pay because he is a "proven leadoff hitter". Let's just hope it is not the Cubs.

RobR:
"but I fear that some team will dramatically over pay because he is a "proven leadoff hitter"."

Someone already overpaid for him (giving up Nolasco) and that was the Cubs.

Marmol....UGH! Gave up 3-run bomb to Drew, but at least he didn't walk anyone. wee.....

I see Murton leading off...then get Vernon Wells to play CF.

(ex-bluejay connections rule)

play a huge range of CF insted of sitting at the wall and running in on everythign to enhance my range stats.

how does that enhance your range stats?

Jacque Jones could replace him. Then we sign a masher to play RF.

Why does Dusty have his pinch-running expert pitching?

Why is the overworked and valuable Scott Eyre pitching in the 6th inning when the Cubs are losing 5-2?

Wait, there are no mashers to sign this year. Nice work Hendry.

If Pierre is not signed this month, I have a feeling he will not get re-signed and the team could go after someone like Dave Roberts in the off-season.

He would be someone management could point ot and say, "See!" "If he's good enough for the Red Sox or the Padres, both playoff-caliber teams, he's good enough for us."

Indeed - no mashers.

Just like your FA post shows, Horatio.

Like I said - just a bunch of FA crap, by and large...

Using only runs scored to judge a leadoff hitter is a little unfair. - someguy

I don't hate No-Air, but I do plead guilty to not knowing he was terrible before he came here. Some TCR regulars did and I tip my hat to them.

His hit totals and stolen base totals are illusionary. Pierre doesn't get on base. He does all our leadoff hitting but has us ranked a poor 12th in OBP from the #1 spot. And once he's on base he wipes himself off trying to steal bases. He leads the league in caught stealing.

Pierre has managed to rank last in scoring even though our #3 hitters are 5th in batting average and #4 hitters 7th. You'd think if he had himself in scoring position the hits out of #3 and #4 might drive him in enough so that he wouldn't be ranked dead last. Alas, no.

Most teams don't use one player as their exclusive leadoff man, but that is exactly what JP is for Dusty. Nobody else gets a chance. So the blame for the leadoff man NOT SCORING runs lies with the two of them.

He's not mediocre. He's terrible. He doesn't get on base, stay on base, or score enough to do all the leadoff hitting no matter what team he's on.

Look at his record of scoring. Every year he has his team below the league average for RS out of the #1 spot. It doesn't matter where he's playing.

zone rating i probally should have said, rob. or defensive average (almost the same thing).

the 'playable zone' ranges have some flaws that are exploited by what some may call smart playing positioning, but dont respect too many that go above/beyond coverage fairly.

at least zone dont have the "no responsibility" zones like defensive average.

i hate them more for IF's, really...esp. ZR cuz it give you extra credit if you happen to have groundball pitchers on your club.

#16-
Let's move on....the real problem with this team is not Pierre. His mediocre OBP aside, he is not being driven home all that much when he is on base.

Taking Lee, Blanco, and Bynum in a small sample size to prove you point is ludicrous. Is Pierre worth a big 3-4 year contract to lead off? No...I agree that he doesn't get on base enough.

Is he the main problem, or even in the top 3 problems on this team? No.
1) Lack of consistent starting pitching
2)Terrible fundamentals and defense
3)Lack of power

I vote for re-sign Pierre and wait and see if Pie lights it up in AAA. If Pie continues his current progress, I'm sure there will be plenty of teams looking for a "proven leadoff hitter" with a World Series ring, so Hendry trades Pierre for a young arm or two just like Beinfest did to us.

Pierre may not be the greatest player, but plenty of teams perceive his value to be fairly high. Re-signing him with the intention to eventually trade him looks like a solid move.

Man, Kent looks bad out there at 2B, Walker BAD...

He booted the Cedeno ball, then it it looked like he was stuck in mud going after Theriot's ball.

BELTED!!!!!!! ARAM!!!!!!!!

If we are all making shoping lists for 2007, and swatting at flies (Pierre) when there is a charging bull elephant (STARTING PITCHING) heading towards us.

THIS TEAM NEEDS PITCHING!!!!!

"No Air Pierre" is good. I'd been toying with "Juan-Dimensional", but I think I might prefer the former.

Some seem concerned about what'll happen next year in CF if he isn't around. I'd worry more about what happens in 2009 if he is around and using up $9 million, but that's just my long-term-centric thinking...

actually Pierre might be a good #2 hitter, if we get a good obp guy for leadoff.

furcal and pierre, sung to the song from South Pacific...This Nearly was Mine.

One leadoff hitter for my dream,
Two speedsters on base alot,
This promise of RBI's
This nearly was ours.

of course Dusty would have batted Pierre leadoff...arrgh.

I vote Juan-Dimensional

Actually, JP would be better suited for the 8 hole, in my opinion. There's less chance that he will waste an XBH by getting thrown out, because chances are the pitcher's not going to get an XBH. However, if he can steal, the single that the pitcher or leadoff man might get would drive him in. It makes more sense to steal in front of light hitters than power hitters. You really don't want to risk the out in front of your mashers.

This Grady Little character isn't the best with inserting relivers. Broxton can pitch to the lower part of the order down by one, but not to Ramirez and Lee with the key runs of the game on. Yikes.

I say we try THE RIOT as the leadoff man and use JP in the #2 spot. As much as I think that Pierre is not that special as a leadoff man you got to wonder who teh Cubs would get to replace him. Ther are candidates like Dave Roberts, or Jim Edmonds (assuming he still can see) and my personal favorite - Sarge Jr.

I think the most important task the Cubs face is, in this order

(1) hiring a new manager that will take into accountthe makeup of the 2007 Cubs team
(2) retain the current Cubs player(s) that are valuable (ARAM) or dispose those that players that are expendable (Freddie, Mabry, Novoa)
(3) acquire starting pitchers that can pitch 200 inings over the course of a year.

Aw crap. What's the injury delay this time?

The Cubs need to let Pierre go. Why sign him to a 3 or 4 year contract, especially with his low OBP and mediocre SB%?

Who cares if the Cubs sign someone "worse" next year. I'm tired of the Cubs' current formula of signing a handful of craptastic-to-mediocre position players, throwing them against the wall and seeing who sticks. Or as someone else put it, "catching lightning in a bottle."

For ONCE I'd like to see this team commit to a plan, and stick to it. Something coherent, with signs of circumspect methodology... not multi-year contracts to the likes of Dempster, Rusch, Jones and Perez. Signing Pierre would amount to the same failed routine.

No, no more of that, please. I'd actually be happy if the Cubs said:

"Hey, next year we might suck a little, but we're going to try and plan for 2008 by developing young talent. This means sticking it out with Theriot, Pie, E. Patterson, Guzman, Hill, Marshall next year, and then we'll see who will be part of our long-term plans for 2008 and beyond. In the meantime, we're only going to sign Free Agents that make sense long term."

But alas, this is the Cubs we're talking about.

Theriot busted up his finger fielding a ground ball. he is out of teh game. Izzy in at SS, Cedeno moves to 2B.

CWTP: "...even though our #3 hitters are 5th in batting average and #4 hitters 7th..."

convenient stats for your slanted argument.

How do our 6-9th batters rank compared to the other 26 teams? Last?

How many AB's were you counting for our #4 hitter?

On another note - one other pleasant surprise for a deeper bench next year is the improved play of the decent Angel - Pagan.

So, in total, here is the "pleasant" surprises, that have an MLB future for 2007:

Theriot, Murton, Pagan, Hill.

That's it.

Better than none at all, I suppose.

E-Man: Wuertz has pitched rather well since the break.

2-1, 2.20 ERA, 28.2 IP, 9 BB, 32 SO

HA HA

Did anyone else see the sign behind homeplate?

It said:
2006 Cubs
$94,000,000
JOKE!!!

Curiously he was wearing an old school Pirates hat.

Go Hendry!!!

Is Theriot hurt - jeez there goes the season! Now the error twins (Ronnie & Freddie) can play the keystone. Can't blame Dusty...

That just inspired me to make a sign, mannytrillo:

2003-2006 Dusty
$16,000,000
JOKE!!!

That's a good one Wild Thing...

E-Man-

I would definitely add Wuertz to your list, and possibly Aardsma, who has looked very good (other than one horrible outing vs. the Cards) since the A/S break.

I say sign Pierre for CF, and if Pie tears it up at Iowa, trade JJ to an AL team that needs a lefty DH. Keep Pagan as 4th OF.

pierre's situation will probally be determined by the years he's looking...i really cant imagine him getting more than a 2 year deal from the cubs. i also cant imagine him taking a 1 year deal unless his agent has lost his mind. pierre's just a leg injury away from being almost useless to a club. a guy that hits like he does and covers CF like he does needs his speed in all aspects or he's almost useless. just a contact singles hitter at that point.

i'd be fine with a pass...get the draft picks, put the money elsewhere...

Hendry will sign Pierre to a 3 year, $8 mil per contract and then claim he got a great bargain since Pierre's agent wanted $13 mil per during spring training.

I would only sign Pierre to a 1 yr deal with a club option, and of course he won't take that, so sayonara.

Crunch,

To be fair Oswalt is an elbow injury away from being useless to the Astros, yet they gave him 14 mil per.

This is all funny because Pierre speed and getting on base in front of Rammy may have won the game today. I've said for a while now that 1. Pierre is not the problem with the team, and 2. after the Cubs straighten out the rotation, the team needs one more slugger.

no dempster today in a one-run game?...hmmm.

Wild Thing: E-Man: Wuertz has pitched rather well since the break.

Still using the slider 60-70% of the time but his fastball has more giddiup (saw him hit 93 today) and he's throwing a changeup now. The changeup always makes a huge difference.

I was hoping to see some discussion about Miller's performance here (other than gallows humor about how quickly he'd be gone). I don't know if anyone actually watches the games anymore, but can anyone tell me if his stuff was that good (1 hit in five innings) or the Dodgers were that bad? I know it's just one start, blah, blah, but if he's showing pre-injury stuff and just working on stamina, then the pool of candidates for the #4 and #5 slots might be looking even better.

Miller topped out at 90 mph a few times and whenever he did he seemed to have no control. Otherwise he sat at around 88 with his fastball. His change and curve looked pretty decent though although I imagine his change isn't as effective with a 88 mph fastball. Had a few balls helped by the wind it seemed like, but an emcouraging start. Nothing spectacular though and unless he can find a few ticks on the clock, we probably have better minor leaguers.

Ryno,

Pierre is the only problem with the team, just one of many problems with this team. This is not a one problem team.

Speed is nice and all, but JP just gets out too much to make it worth anything.

CRUNCH: "...pierre's just a leg injury away from being almost useless to a club."

CHAD: "...To be fair Oswalt is an elbow injury away from being useless to the Astros."

Would you guys get off this absurd reasoning?!

CRUNCH: You are only 87 hours away from getting carpal tunnel and preventing you from typing.

IF you look at the PAST statistics and other similar players (as I've stated like TEN times), look at the FACTS that Pierre is 12 years YOUNGER than Kenny Lofton who is STILL playing without many leg injuries...Pierre has NO history of terminal Leg Injuries, Ricky Henderson, Brett Butler, Dave Roberts, Willie Randolph, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith, all had relatively LONG careers even though they were ALL "one leg injury away from being useless."

You are usually at least insightful in your opinions.

Not here.

Defense is not an issue with this team. They are among the leaders in walks allowed and HRs allowed. No matter how good you are defensively, you're going to give up runs if you lead the league in walks allowed and HRs allowed.

OFFENSE must be the priority this offseason. This organization's offensive philosophy has sucked for a long, long time (much longer than the organization's ability to develop pitchers). Whether it was Don "Mr. Bunt" Baylor or Dusty "Walks Clog the Bases" Baker, the Cubs simply don't "get" OBP or how teams score runs. Instead, they decided the reason why they didn't win was because they struck out too much (wrong) or that they didn't have enough speed (wrong).

There are two ideal managers for this team, provided Hendry finally discovers the concept of OBP: Davey Johnson and Larry Dierker. (I guess Francona could be added to that list, but I don't see any reason why he would be available.) Both understand OBP and are pretty good at developing young pitchers.

If a manager understands OBP, then my guess is he'll be fine with lineup construction (Murton should bat No. 2) and roster construction. (By the way, why do the Cubs value defensive versatility so much?)

"Would you guys get off this absurd reasoning?!"

chad..

what is pierre without his speed?

how does he get his hits? what possition does he play? how many of his hits are via his speed...how many of his doubles/triples aer via his speed?

pierre without his speed is a guy who will be impacted on EVERY point of his in-game play.

"CRUNCH: You are only 87 hours away from getting carpal tunnel and preventing you from typing."

ive spent the past 10+ years typing for a living...so far so good...woo! genetics!

ooops, e-man, not chad

names swirling on that post =p

CRUNCH: But you are still only one paragraph away from your fingers cramping and being useless.

JUST LIKE IF you look at the PAST statistics and other similar players (as I've stated like TEN times), look at the FACTS that Pierre is 12 years YOUNGER than Kenny Lofton who is STILL playing without many leg injuries (like typing for twenty years without CT) ...Pierre has NO history of terminal Leg Injuries in the last 7 years (like typing for ten years without CT) (, Ricky Henderson, Brett Butler, Dave Roberts, Willie Randolph, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith (a combined equivilent 80 years of typing without CT) , all had relatively LONG careers and ALL used speed as their main weapon excepting ONLY Ricky - even though they were ALL "one leg injury away from being useless."

You can bitch alot about all of the players sucking on this team for different things, but ANY player is only a (fill in the blank) injury from being useless - for a season or a career.

MAke sure you stretch our wrists and stay on the Glucosimine Condritin.

Hendry has been quoted numerous times as saying that "80% of the game is pitching", and after this season's debacle on the mound, you can bet that he will focus most of his attention and resources this offseason on pitching.

For those in Chicago area-
WTTW channel 11 has a documentery on Harry Caray.

Funny thing out of it is how he complained he was underpaid by the Trib.

Shocking.

Mitterwald:
"provided Hendry finally discovers the concept of OBP"

But he hasn't yet, and he even admitted it in an interview very recently where he said hitting w/RISP was the most important thing. So you can talk about the perfect manager all you want, but it doesn't matter the manager if GM doesn't get high OBP guys.

So if Hendry believes hitting with RISP is the most important stat....then why is Murton hitting 7th?

Oh right Dusty.

past is not what im concerned with on pierre.

if i could get a guarentee of health that changes everything.

bonds with a bad knee is still a pinch hitter and occasional power threat, even if off the bench...too bad he couldnt play 1st.

pierre with a leg injury is a guy who's getting almost every aspect of his game gone. i mean..what's left? seriously...a pinch hit single? that's about all i can think of besides being a positive player role model for others on the team that he could possible contribute anywhere near his current level if he lost that tool, even if just for a little while. in my eye, his whole game revolves around his legs.

you gotta think about that when you start handing out contracts for money/years.

still no sure things...garciappara gamble turned into quite the resource bath. kerry wood pitched 2 full years and was rewarded with a 3 year contract that turned into 3 years of on/off injury.

MIKEC:
"So if Hendry believes hitting with RISP is the most important stat....then why is Murton hitting 7th?"

As I have said before, and Bill James also believes, I don't think lineup construction makes much of a difference at all.

But that has NOTHING to do with what I was talking about. I was talking about Hendry not thinking OBP is very important, but hitting w/RISP is (based on his own statements), and if you look at the teams he has assembled the last few years, you shouldn't be surprised.

2006- .320 OBP (29th in MLB)
2005- .324 OBP (20th in MLB)
2004- .328 OBP (23rd in MLB)
2003- .323 OBP (24th in MLB)

It is not like he got high OBP guys and they all just underperformed.

Wow, 1 solid #2 guy in the pitching rotation (who currently has back problems) and the biggest problem the TCR crowd can find with the Cubs is Juan Pierre, who many people agree is one of the best leadoff guys in the game.

Amazing.

seamhead: Hendry has been quoted numerous times as saying that "80% of the game is pitching", and after this season's debacle on the mound, you can bet that he will focus most of his attention and resources this offseason on pitching.

Makes sense, I'd like to see 3 new journeyman pitchers added and Hill 5th in the rotation if he keeps up his recent success. I don't see too much problem with the current position players, with the exception of 2B. Theriot has been really impressive, but Theriot, Bynum, Cedeno, none of them are starters on a playoff team.

I bet Soriano would gladly move back to 2B. In fact he may just demand it after being forced to move to the OF.

it might be out of soriano's hands at this point unless someone gets really desperate.

he's making a name for himself in the outfield as decent, he hasnt played 2nd in a year, and he was pretty bad at it when he did play.

supposedly the deadline dealing scenerios involving soriano didnt include teams wanting him to play 2nd.

"Defense is not an issue with this team. They are among the leaders in walks allowed and HRs allowed. No matter how good you are defensively, you're going to give up runs if you lead the league in walks allowed and HRs allowed."

Mitterwald, I call bullshit!!!!

You are right in the second part of that, but to say that defense is not a problem with this team is either incredibly naive, or incredibly obtuse.

How may botched rundowns/double plays, missed cut-off men, dropped pop-ups, bad routes to fly balls, and terrible throws do you need to see before acknowledging the defense as a problem?
72? 97? 116? 347?

Let us know, 'cause this team stinks defensively.

Ryno:
"I bet Soriano would gladly move back to 2B. In fact he may just demand it after being forced to move to the OF."

I thought the same thing earlier in the year. If Hendry dangled a starting 2B job at Soriano, it might help him land him (of course he would also have to pony up some money). But like Crunch said, he has done OK out in LF. So maybe he has taken a liking to it. But it might be worth a try for Hendry.

crunch: unless someone gets really desperate

lol, Does desperation start at 100 losses? Seriously, though, you make a point. Most people consider him an above average LF and only a mediocre 2B, so he'd better just embrace it.

Rockies need a CF, how about Pie for Cook?

That ought to get you guys going. ** grin **

Ryno:
"Most people consider him an above average LF and only a mediocre 2B, so he'd better just embrace it."

I don't know if he is above average, but Soriano is tied for the lead with the most errors (11) of any OF in all of MLB (tied with Adam Dunn and we have seen how bad he is). Yes, he does have 21 assists, but that is more a component of baserunners testing him more often than not since he just moved out there. Hell, Pierre has 5 assists and he might have the worst arm in MLB.

Either way, I would love to have him in LF or 2B.

THE NEIFI LINE:

You TCR readers - here is the latest line on my hero and your -

Neifi Perez (with the Tigs)

BA OBP SLG OPS

.167 .216 .167 .383

He ain't no Placido Palanco, now - is he?!

I guess you can add this (him being traded) to the nice surprises this year to add to TheRiot, Murton, Hill, Pagan, Wuertz & Aardsma

MTRILLO: I am sure he has made quite a few errors.

However - I understand he is known for having a killer arm.

Is this accurate?

Some justice - scalper Mannytrillo is going to take a modest hit: http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Tickets-Chicago-Cubs-v-...

I'd love to see an infield of Soriano and Theriot.

Well, shit, Ryno. I guess if Mike Harmon of Fox Sports likes Pierre, everyone at Baseball Prospectus must be full of it. The very fact that he's rating "lead-off" men, as if that were even a skill to be rating, tells me that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Baseball writers who don't know a damn about baseball are a dime a dozen.

baseball prospectus...they know a lotta about their dream boy travis "ive played 15 games not as a DH the past 3 years" hafner.

The E-Man:
"I understand he is known for having a killer arm. Is this accurate?"

To be honest, I haven't seen enough of him to make a fair judgement.

Sha Won:
"Some justice - scalper Mannytrillo is going to take a modest hit"

Thanks for keeping track, didn't know you were so interested. You should subscribe to my newsletter. It is run with the thousands of dollars in Cubs ticket profits...:) But my scalping business is slowing down, so that is why I am pushing my newsletter now.

Horatio,
I'm assuming that you mean Theriot at SS and Soriano at 2B. Not sure about Theriot since we haven't seen him in MLB at SS but with Soriano at 2B that would be a disaster in the middle infield. I've played with HS players who were better with the glove at 2B than Soriano...he's brutal!

$5 for those seats at wrigley...ya, the real issue is the fact that ticket can even go for that price on a sunday...but wow, i can't think of a better way to spend a sunday. isle seats, too!

sad reality is a beer costs more than the ticket =p

theriot's a pretty natural SS...played there in college and most of the minors.

still...the team has a SS and he's probally not going away no matter how many spreadsheets you waive wildly in the air if you're not happy with it.

he was a specific target in the maddux trade...no A-ball fireballer, no PTBN + cash...

he's a hell of a glove, its why he's here...and he's not clueless with a bat, though he's got pretty low pop in his bat. it would not shock the world to see him hit better, but it wouldnt suprise anyone to see him hitting .280/.320 next year, either.

Crunch:
"sad reality is a beer costs more than the ticket."

I think sadder is that Sha Won was following them just waiting to come on here to post it. Some people are very sad.

But yeah, I was happy to get $9.99. With teh bears game that day, I didn't think i was going to be able to sell them at all. Just yesterday, I got a ticket to the Bears game, and I couldn't pass up going to the home lid opener. I can use that $10 to get a beer and a dog at the Bears game.

Da Bears!!!!

Walt:
"I've played with HS players who were better with the glove at 2B than Soriano...he's brutal!"

I don't know how he could be any worse than Cedeno. He has 24 errors this year. Soriano never had that many in any year.

and about theriot's hitting...

hey, nice...but man, he puts a LOT of stuff to the right side of the field and its working best with a man on 1st peeling the defense off the middle.

i dunno if its sustainable...i'd kinda like to see more of him to get a better idea of his approach, especially with the bases empty and if he uses the full field more (and how effectively).

i hope he sticks around in 07...wish he didnt just cut his hand (finger) up, too.

its gonna be a bynum/izturis/cedeno show for a while.

oh yeah...football is happening...forgot.

near 100 loss team vs. a 1 of 16 football game.

Would you all get off the 'Manny is a scalper' BULLSHIT! eBay is the least scalping thing you can do. Its supply and demand. If you don't want them, then don't buy them.

Thank God for ticket brokers. I know that I can roll up to Wrigley on ANY DAY OF THE WEEK and get great seats. Will I pay a premium? Yes! But I will never miss a game that I want to go to. And this whole thing about families going to the ball game? Who the hell wants families there anyway? I got news for you, me and my wife don't have kids and we certainly don't want to sit next to your obnoxius brats who could care less. Or listen to them play their portable nintendo. Leave those seats for me.

Manny, play on playa! And next time I'm in Chicago, I'm buying your seats from you. Name your price.

crunch: he's a hell of a glove, its why he's here...and he's not clueless with a bat, though he's got pretty low pop in his bat. it would not shock the world to see him hit better, but it wouldnt suprise anyone to see him hitting .280/.320 next year, either.

Let's not kid ourselves, he's in the lineup for his defense (which is really really good). I don't expect any nice suprises with his bat, but I kind of like having a wiz of a SS starting next year.

Let's just hope he can stay healthy.

mannytrillo: I don't know how he could be any worse than Cedeno. He has 24 errors this year. Soriano never had that many in any year.

Cedeno & Bynum belong in AAA until they can learn how to catch & throw a ball. If I'm Hendry I get rid of both of them, they're easily replaced.

"Second baseman Ryan Theriot injured his right middle finger in the ninth and had to leave but said he'll ''Super Glue [the nail] back down'' and be fine."

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-c...

Chad, I don't want you and your stupid ass sitting next to my kids either.

Manny-
"I don't know how he could be any worse than Cedeno. He has 24 errors this year. Soriano never had that many in any year."

Most of Cedeno's error are at SS, not 2B, and Soriano never had 24 errors, ut he had 23 2 times, and 21 once. So he's pretty bad defensively, yeah?
He'd look really good in the middle of this lineup though...

Also on Izturis, it would be a fantastic year if he hit .280/.320 next year, but what suggests that he'll do that?
A career line of .261/.295/.338?
Bat him 8th please...

1 solid #2 guy in the pitching rotation (who currently has back problems)

Since when is Zambrano only a #2?

Zambrano is a #2 guy in a rotation? News to me. And the rest of baseball.

In a rotation with Zito or Schmidt, he's a #2 starter.

I'll take Z as my number 1 over Schmidt or Zito any day of the week.

In a rotation with Zito or Schmidt, he's a #2 starter.

2006:
Zito: 15-9, ERA: 3.86, K: 137, BB: 88, WH
Schmidt: 11-8, ERA: 3.45, K: 167, BB: 70, WH
Zambrano: 14-6, ERA: 3.50, K: 188, BB: 104, WH

And if you take off Z's last start, where he got hurt, his ERA goes down to 3.33. They are all fairly comprable, but Z can be much more dominating than either Schmidt or Zito has been this year.

CWTP: "...even though our #3 hitters are 5th in batting average and #4 hitters 7th..."

convenient stats for your slanted argument.How do our 6-9th batters rank compared to the other 26 teams? Last?How many AB's were you counting for our #4 hitter?

Slanted? Huh? IN WHAT FANTASY LEAGUE, E-Man, do the 6-9 players get a chance to drive in the leadoff man with a hit? That's what I'm talking about. Driving in the leadoff man. [the only case for 6-9 hitters is the six hitter up with two outs and the bags loaded]

So explain it. If Pierre is a premier leadoff man how has he managed to rank LAST [by 9 runs at last count!] in the league in scoring when our #3 and #4 hitters are in the top half of the league in hitting?? It's not like this is something new for No-Air Pierre. JP consistently underperforms the rest of the league in scoring year after year even though he plays all 162 games.

Wow Chad--after years of being on this post, I will finally write something Rob will probably erase...

*DELETED*

"You are a complete prick, asshole, dick, whatever word anyone wants to use."

What prompted that? Was it the comments about not wanting to sit next to kids at a game, or was it just a general build-up of anger that was bound to explode into a violent fit of e-rage at any moment? A combination of the two?

CF Pierre
2B Cedeno
3B ARam
RF Jones
LF Murton
1B Moore
SS Izturis
C Blanco
P Mateo

Vegas Brian:
In Regards to #109:

Go TCR!!!!!!

Non-sarcastic question: How many managers in MLB would bat Murton in the No. 2 hole (assuming that this collection of nine would be selected to start the game)?

I'm not interested anymore why Dusty doesn't bat Murton closer to the top of the order. I'm more interested in wondering how managers are as off-base as Dusty is.

That does it, I'm making a video called "Cubs Fans Gone Wild"

"What prompted that?"

maybe he saw today's line-up.

Cedeno second?

dave: And if you take off Z's last start, where he got hurt, his ERA goes down to 3.33. They are all fairly comprable, but Z can be much more dominating than either Schmidt or Zito has been this year.

Touche, thanks for the stats dave.

I guess my point is I don't give a damn if it's Pie or Pierre in the CF. I want a rotation that doesn't consist of 3 or more rookies. Some journeymen-type guys who will go out there, stay healthy and pitch their 4.00-4.50 era every day. Only then will I care what the lineup looks like or who has a better arm.

Ryno - Sadly I am worried that the Cubs are going to be hampered in their attempts to improve the pitching staff, because they are going to give too much money to the overvalued Pierre.

Mitterwald - I think the number of managers that would hit Murton second are small, but they are equal to the number that I would consider hiring.

Mitterwald,
I would assume not many. With no Lee and no Barrett, Murton has to be used in the 5 or 6 spot to help drive in runs. The biggest problem is the fact that the Cubs have 5 guys in the lineup with low OBP and no power (Pierre, Cedeno, Izzy, Blanco, P). Unfortunately, the roster is littered with those type of players.

In a lineup like today, I can understand batting Murton in the 5th spot.

But when Lee and Barrett are in the lineup, I'd bet a majority of managers would at least consider using Murton in the 2nd spot. With the full roster, I'd say it would likely be a toss-up between Murton and Theroit for most managers.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of managers who take the same idiotic approach that Dusty does of wanting to have a "scrappy" player like Cedeno, Izturis, Neifi, etc batting in the 2nd spot, even if they are OBP nightmares.

CWTP:

O.K., o.k., I agree that Pierre does not have the OBP of Fucal who makes $13MM a year to his $5MM.

My point as I stated, is that he has less chances to drive in runs in from the lower slots of the order either. 8th place hitters on better teams can draw walks and get on base as well meaning that one would think a slap hitter like Pierre would get more cracks at an RBI.

We all stick to our points here pretty much. You think he sucks and is overpaid, I think he is better than we have had since Lofton left. Belive me, there are many other GM's who will certainly pay him "market" rate to sign with their clubs.

You can book it. Does that make them idiots? Do you know more?

Again, Pierre was only one of the minor problems this year - both he and the $13MM man sucked for the first two months of the season.

I wish that Hendry had signed Furcal and then Pierre COULD have batted 8th. But it didn't happen.

We'll see in the next six months.

um, yeah settle down everyone, look a new post and Cedeno's batting 2nd.

I have a question...Doesnt anyone find it amazing that SOOOOO MANY of our players get hurt almost weekly... what the hec kind of training program are they on? NONE.... does dustbag make these guys do anything? NO POSSIBLE WAY guys that r in shape would be hurt so much....I mean remeber pete rose... diving sliding banging himself and he played i know bad luck comes into play but NOT THIS MUCH... whats wrong with this picture?

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