Soriano to LF will be Permanent

Some folks in the chat mentioned that Lou said as much in the pre-game interview and has this quote (emphasis added):
 "The only difference between left and right is the spin of the ball coming off from the right-handed hitter or the left-handed hitter," Piniella said. "Outside of that, that's where we're going to be able to use [Matt] Murton and Floyd. Soriano is going to be a fixture in left field."
First, the only other differences are that misplayed balls in right field turn into triples and the throw from right to third base usually requires a stronger arm. Plus right field in Wrigley is a far worse sun field than left during the day. So Lou's oversimplifying a bit for my tastes. Second, this should create quite a mess between Jones, Pie, Murton and Floyd getting playing time. I guess that's why Lou gets the big bucks.  A trade seems imminent, and my pick is Jones for a fifth starter but who knows if that's available and what quality of fifth starter. Moving Murton either in a trade or to the minors causes a lot of problems when there's a lefty on the mound, whether a starter or a reliever. Having Floyd in RF is just a problem. Sending Pie down is still an option as well. Good news is that the Cubs don't need a fifth starter until about May 2nd versus the Pirates, so they have about a week and half before they have to make another roster move.


We are almost 20 games into the season and I think there are more question marks and confusion than before the season. Soriano has already moved positions, we sent Miller to DL with a fake injury thus we have no 5th starter as of now, what are we going to do with the glut of OF's, Wood/Prior are still injured, etc.

I was hoping April was going to make things clearer and answer questions, but all it has done so far is put us in the cellar and made the water muddier.

Well, I guess we can say things can only get better...:)

An even larger problem than the lack of a fifth starter is the complete lack of a center fielder. Pie is no more ready to hit major league pitching than I am. I have to laugh when they talk about Joke Jones trying to play center, A trade that brings us just a mediocre center fielder for Jones might give us a chance to realize our General Manager's goal of a .500 season. Guzman can do an adequate job of starting and will certainly be a huge improvement over Miller.

I don't understand why everyone is down on "Joke Jones". Sure, he won't be winning a GG anytime soon but he's not awful and the man had a pretty damn good year at the plate in '06. The Cubs do have an overabundance of outfielders but why the rush to get rid of the one who's the most reliable both on offense and defense?

As long as Pie is on the team he's going to be used as a late inning defensive replacement in center and Jones will move to right. ... If it were me, I'd keep Pie for just that. But I don't know what Lou's gonna do with that logjam of extra OF'ers he's saddled with. What a mess.

*I was hoping April was going to make things clearer and answer questions,*

Uhhh, it has made things clearer. We learned that Soriano cannot play center. We learned that Felix Pie is not Willie Mays--not yet. We learned that, indeed, Wade Miller is done. We learned that Theriot is pretty decent.

* but all it has done so far is put us in the cellar and made the water muddier.*

We were in the cellar last year, too--what's different?

"We were in the cellar last year, too–what’s different?"

$300 million spent this offseason. A good sized bump in this years payroll. Lou "the savior" as new maanger.

Low water mark...WOO!!!

Looking more and more like come June 1 we all will have another free summer w/o the Cubs....

Look at the positive side, Manny. At least we didn't have to watch DLee hit HR #13 & #14, and still lose the game.

19 games and nary a HR for Lee/Soriano/Jones.

solid ROI right there folks.


I could really do without your fucking attitude. Its April... Relax!!

Dusty is gone... Get over it!!

I vaguely recall a discussion deep into the offseason where I pointed out that the Cubs were not all that improved this year. I believe I pointed out several stats when I was attacked by the lovely TCR commenters for saying such things about the Cubs. If memory serves, I do believe that I was told that I was misusing stats.

Isn't it odd that the misused stats that I pointed out have been so accurate? I wonder how that could be.

Games in April mean just as much as games any other time, so relaxing because of bad baseball isn't really an option.

I will relax when I give up on the team for the year.

Matt --

The Cubs are 7-12 now. They've played more than 10% of their games and are 5 back of the Brewers. Would you care to to guess how many teams over the last 20 years have made the playoffs after beginning the season so poorly? I don't need to look it up to say that such turnarounds are rare. The Cubs' playoff chances are minimal at this point and inching closer to nonexistent.

"Look at the positive side, Manny. At least we didn’t have to watch DLee hit HR #13 & #14, and still lose the game."

True...F the Yankees!!!

"I could really do without your fucking attitude. Its April… Relax!!"

You got a week till its May...

Hopefully by then you can take your head out of the sand (or your ass).

Wesley, seriously, there are over a hundred games to go....relax...everyone relax. This team sucks, and it's going to suck until the bullpen can hold a lead. Sunday AND Monday are just two extremely recent wins that were blown. Without going through the rest of the schedule already played this is a 9-10 club, and only 2 games out of first.

Fix the pen
trade/release Jones and Miller

"Matt –

The Cubs are 7-12 now. They’ve played more than 10% of their games and are 5 back of the Brewers. Would you care to to guess how many teams over the last 20 years have made the playoffs after beginning the season so poorly? I don’t need to look it up to say that such turnarounds are rare. The Cubs’ playoff chances are minimal at this point and inching closer to nonexistent."

Math lesson, kids: 100% - 10%; what remains? 90%.

143 games left to play, and the Cubs have already blown the season. You heard it here, folks. Shut down the lights. Tear down the stadium. Cubs baseball is now over, effective as of 19 games into the 2007 season.

This team has sucked this month, but they have sucked in an encouraging way - outside of a few shoddy relief appearances, Wade Miller, and Zambrano's bizzaro April curse, the team has a terrific run differential - albeit with a strange record to match - and has gotten stellar pitching performances from the three guys whom we least expected it from.

Zambrano will become post-April Zambrano. Miller will be dealt off or released. Soriano and Lee will find their power strokes. Marquis, Lily, and Hill will, at some point, fall to Earth, but, I'd wager, continue to be very effective starters.

143 games left to go, and people act as though they see the sky falling - how do any of you survive as baseball fans in the N.L. Central?

rotoworld's take on scott eyre is pretty funny:

Eyre is so awful right now that Brewers manager Ned Yost refused to pinch-hit for left-handed hitters Gabe Gross and Craig Counsell just because he knew that Eyre would be replaced if he did. Eyre has allowed 10 runs, 11 hits and six walks in six innings this season. The Cubs have to stop using him in close games.

seriously though, is eyre off the ADD drugs? he mentioned last year that he lost focus in the 2nd half, I'm honestly curious.

That, uh, not me for clarification.

But I'm still frustrated as hell.

Especially at our manager.

Is it time to tune out this shithole team for the year yet again? Getting close....I hate being a Cub fan, seriously, I am so sick of losing.

Go Bulls!

Hendry spends a truckload on talent and a fancy new Manger and look at the record - Cubs are in last place...Dusty would have this record IF you gave him the same talent pool...who knows, Dusty might even have a better record (with a healthy D. Lee). The Soriano contract was HUGE and he is supposed to deliver LOTS of clutch hits and HRs -- how many games has he helped the Cubs win in the late innings...?? The Bullpen is in need of an upgrade - I wish the Cubs had kept Aardsma (who seems to be performing pretty well for the White Sox)...Lets hope the Cubs can pull out of this slump soon...they need to find a way to win the close games.

First Cubs game of the year-

I was kindly given 4 box seats by my sister in law for today's game. I vowed never to return to Wrigley in April after I was snowed on for opening day in 2000, but with the weather being in the 70's I could not pass up.

A couple of friends made it down the Dan Ryan in near record time and parked by Lake Shore Drive recreational exit. (Helpful hint- free parking there before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, no meters) My four block walk got me to Bernies where I enjoyed a couple of Flat Tire Beers and a steak sandwich.

Got to the game and after my scratch ticket did not reward me an autograph Alfonso Soriano baseball I got to my seats.

I was disappointed not to see Pie or Theriot in the lineup, but I looked forward to seeing Z pitch.

The game was going along fine, I was disappointed Lee try to steal third ( I believe he was safe, throw just beat him) and I'm guessing he went on his own. Of course Aram deposited the next pitch deep into the bleachers.
The game was going along well so I decided to get my wife a shirt at the souvenir stand and treat myself to a powder blue Cub hat with a Cub logo from the 70's on it.
When I got back to my seats Z gave up a homerun to Hardy.

Then the game began to unravel with Blanco struggling behind and at the plate, no timely hitting and Eyre struggling yet again.

I left in the tenth to head to Murphy's because the night chill was enough to get me indoors and remind it was April. I was able to see Rocky Cherry's first game, welcome to the big leagues.

On the way home I listened to the radio and Badfingers' "Baby Blue" came on. Nothing significant but they are a very underrated band and that is a great song.

Any ways I still have faith in the most promising Cubs team since 2004 even though my first game of the season was a lost.

"I guess that's all I had to say,
Except that the feeling grows stronger every day."

I hate this fucking team.

My opinion can change..

Badfinger does rock but with all these pessimistic attitudes Bob Dylan's "Baby Blue" song seems much more appropriate.

"This sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue."

Prediction - Cubs go to 8-13 (opposite to the 13-8 start of last year). Then go on to have a great season (again, opposite to last year) behind solid starting pitching and no hopeless wait on Prior or Wood. Wait and see...

It's so hard to tell -- are they a hopeless bunch of pathetic losers, or a pathetic bunch of hopeless losers?

Nice touch for Lou and his coaches to be screaming at the umps after yet another game that the manager, coaches and players blew. I smell panic.

Somebody check the expiration date on Scott Eyre -- it smells like he went bad a while ago.

Introducing "THE NEIFI" -- awarded to the most remarkably clueless play of the day. The inaugural winner was Ronnie Cedemo, for his Little League baserunning last Friday ("you can't over-run second base? Since when? Aw, nuts!").

Today's winner -- Alfonso Soriano, for swinging (and missing) at a 3&2 pitch that hit him! As a bonus, there were runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs, and the Cubs were in need of a run. Congratulations, Alfonsio-- I have a feeling your toolsy, free-swinigng, clueless approach to baseball will garner you many a "Neifi"!

Yeesh -- another summer of meaningless, sub-.500 baseball at Wrigley. Save yourselves, ladies and gents -- this team is built to lose.

"This team sucks, and it’s going to suck until the bullpen can hold a lead."

It would also be nice if our fantastic Cy Young Award winning Ace would not hit the hundred pitch mark until the seventh or eighth inning resulting in not having to go quite so deep into the pen. Second start in a row the bullpen was coming off a busy day and really needed innings from Zambrano - against a team, by the way, that he felt comfortable in dissing. What an Ace. Or Ass.

I don't understand why the Cubs called up Rocky Cherry. He was pitching poorly at Iowa. ERA of 3.86.

Crazy Cubs Fan, well, the name fits. All I mean is that, respectfully, I think you are nuts if you think this team is gonna have a great season. All indications are to the contrary, ie, no bull pen, no or few home runs from Lee and Jones, three outfielders now playing out of position (once Pie sits), no aptitude for winning one run games or extra inning games, and very little timely offense. Hope I am wrong but this looks like another long year. Sigh.

Scott Eyre v. Enrique Wilson, what happens?

I say a bloop hit.


ROFLMAO--very nice.


Is it time to panic yet? I think so. Wasted money on MLB EI.

Win by 8 or lose by 1.


My God, listening to all these rants of doom and gloom and jump off the cliff despair, you'd think the Cubs were playing in the AL Central instead of the NL Central. Anyone check the standings this morning? Yes, our Cubs are 5 behind the Brewers (and go ahead and be scared if you think they are going to win the NL Central - I won't be joining you there on that ledge). The Cubs are 1 1/2 behind the vaunted Cardinals, and 2 1/2 behind that juggernaut Houston Astros squad. Wow! And that's playing .368 baseball with Eyre/Howry/Ohman suckage in the bullpen (not likely to happen all season) and Soriano/Lee/Jones HR outage (also not likely to go on all season). This team is a 7 out of 10 streak from being a game out of first. Do you honestly think Pinella going to live with 3 RF's, suckage in the bullpen, and Miller as the 5th starter? And as Terry Boers would say on WSCR, anyone still wanting Dusty as the manager doesn't know anything about baseball. Z will come on next month and the team has 4 starters as good or better than anyone's in that division. Dempster continues to improve and pitching ultimately decides who makes the playoffs.

- Eyre is 34 year old, and has pitched in an average of 80 games per year over the past 4 years. I just don't think he has anything left. LH hitters are drooling at the chance to hit against him. Yost's decsion to let Counsell hit against him speaks volumes. Not good, and a major concern for the season. Who's going to get tough lefties out in the late innings? Are we going to count on Ohman and Cotts? Yikes.

- Zambrano looks like he has already thrown 200 innings this year -- can't get past the 5th/6th inning, and it looks like he is slinging the ball at a low arm angle. Too many years of high pitch counts at a young age?

- Hill, Lilly and Marquis will come back down to Earth. Probably soon.

- Adding Soriano and DeRosa puts two more high strikeout guys in the lineup -- they looked awful in the 7th and 8th innings. If the last pitch of the game was a bad call -- Derosa had a chance to win the game in the 8th, but waved at a 3-1 slider out of the zone, then whiffed on a fastball over the middle of the plate. Like Jones, they expand their strike zone in pressure situations -- this wil be an ongoing problem, and a reason the Cubs wll continue to lose close games.

- Signing Cliff Floyd was a mistake. There were several OF scenarios, none of which worked. Murton doesn't do well as a part-time player,and is a terrible pinch-hitter. Now the OFs don't know when/where they will play, which players hate. Adding Theriot and DeRosa into OF mix just added more confusion.

- For all the above reasons, plus the disaster at SS, I sincerely doubt this team will see .500 again this year.

Not that he's going to contend for the Cy, but why are we so sure that Lilly is going to struggle eventually. He just left the toughest division in baseball and joined the weakest. Circumstances don't seem to suggest he'll start sucking.

BillyBucks, I appreciate your swipe at Soriano, who should be taking more heat than he has been. He has been off-limits to TCR critics, who have been trying to pin every loss on Wade Miller and Cesar Izturis. There are a couple of other guys who should be taking some heat also, chief among them:

Teflon Lou. Usually when a team loses a close game, people say that your skipper was outmanaged by the other guy. So what do you say when your team loses every close game?

Cliff Floyd. Maybe he's just in a slump, maybe it's the cold weather, maybe you keep batting him second and he'll start cranking high flies into the jet stream. Or maybe he's washed up. 2005 was a while ago.

As for Soriano, we're starting to understand that there are some flaws in this gem. For example, he bats leadoff because he can't hit with men on base. This helps explain the oddity that he drove himself in last year more times than he drove in all his teammates combined.

Why can't he hit with men on base? I hate to say this, but it really has to do with the bases being cluttered. Soriano sees himself as a 40-40 guy. When the bases are empty, he takes a few pitches. They're often balls, since, if you're a pitcher, why would you throw a strike to this free-swinger? So he gets ahead, takes one or two mammoth swings on hitter's counts, and then takes ball four and starts running.

With runners on base, there's no point in drawing a walk (since he can't steal) so he swings at everything. He's a bad-ball hitter, so he doesn't look terrible when he's in this mode, but he doesn't drive in runs, either.

Hopefully, his speed and aggressiveness will compensate somewhat for his strange approach to hitting. In any case, we'll have to get used to it.

Ok...some valid points BillyBucks...but allow me to retort on:
"Are we going to count on Ohman and Cotts? Yikes"
Cotts: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 2/3 IP, 4H, 7K/4BB.
That is pretty good isn't it?
"Hill, Lilly and Marquis will come back down to Earth. Probably soon."
Ok...that is based on..? Hill has been lights out since being recalled last season. Marquis has been solid, and Lilly was bound to get a boost moving from the AL East to the NL Central.
Coming back down to earth is relative, but expecting them to all of a sudden balloon up to a 5.00+ ERA isn't realistic. A little more specific prediction rather than "glom and doom are coming.." would be nice.

pitching ultimately decides who makes the playoffs.

But a major part of the pitching plan has already imploded.]

No matter how much they claimed to the contrary, the Cubs plan for winning this season still featured Wood, Prior and Miller in prominent roles. Wood the ace reliever--maybe even the closer. And Prior and Miller--- the world's finest #5 SP's.

None of them are going to contribute a thing this year. And if the real Eyre, Howry, and Ohman don't show up soon, this season will be deja vu 2006 no matter how well Hill, Lilly, and Marquis pitch.

The worst thing I am seeing from this team is a lack of situational hitting. Several times last night the cubs had runners on and in scoring position with a chance to end it. Far to often in these situations cub hitters swing for the fences and get themselves out. A 2 run homer doesn't do any more service to the team when your the home team in extra innings. Go to right field and knock in the game winner. This team is bad because they are a bunch of selfish, number padding pricks. If Lou doesn't start changing this culture on the team. Rest assured it will be another long and disappointing team

RE; soriano...and now, for the forseeable future, we are saddled w/ a leadoff hitter who will be favoring a tender hammy on the bases...his injury should provide a convenient excuse to move him in the order, just as it did to move him defensively

attendance seems to be trickling south a bit - what are figures for '07 vs. '06 after eleven dates? the franchise is rotting like over-ripened fruit - they'll never be able to sell it now! let's pool our resources; i wanna work inside the scoreboard!

Please tell me that someone else is bothered by Soriano moving to Left? What was the point of laying out all that cash to put a flawed bat in the easiest position to fill in a lineup. Soriano's bat is merely average to above average in left. If he's at 2nd his bat is best in the league. Bite the bullet, and live with the 10-15 errors per season. Put Soriano at 2nd and Murton in Left and play a consistent lineup. This crap is getting tiresome.


- Yes, Cotts is off to a very nice start. Thank goodness. Are you comfy with him and Ohman as our prime lefties? I'm not.

- I'm a big RIch Hill fan, but think it's unlikely that he will maintain an ERA under 0.50. He is due for a few "reversion to the mean' starts. If his ERA is under 3.00 by the A-S break, that would still be a phenomonal first half -- and also means his ERA between now and then will be relatively high.

- Marquis puts too many men on base. Like Dempster last year -- men on base have an annoying tendency to score on fluke hits, passed balls, etc.

- Hopefully, I am wrong about the pitchers -- because I don't think I'm wrong about the hitters...

mike wellman:
"attendance seems to be trickling south a bit - what are figures for ‘07 vs. ‘06 after eleven dates?"

2007 - 415,849 (37,804 per game average)
2006 - 431,053 (39,187 per game average)

That is a 3.53% drop thus far.

I thought there was something strange about Pie hitting it off the wall in right in extra innings last night and getting a double instead of a triple, but Brenley defended Quade, so I didn't say anything. But my son at college, who's a shrewd observer, just emailed me this:

I still really like Felix Pie. He crushed that ball in the 10th/11th, and definitely should have gone to third. The third base coach may have lost that game. Also, please check out the Orioles highlights from last night. Corey Patterson officially became retarded in that game. Bottom of the ninth, down two with 1 out, Corey's on second base and there's a guy also on third. Brian Roberts hits a ground ball up the middle for a base hit. For absolutely no reason, Corey starts back to second, and ends up just on third when he should have easily scored to tie the game. So, the next batter does a suicide squeeze, but Corey doesn't go home. The Orioles ended up losing 6-5.

"Bite the bullet, and live with the 10-15 errors per season."

If he would only make 15 errors in the season, I think the Cubs would, but he hasn't made less than 19 errors at 2B in any full season he played there. And with him not playing there in a few years, I think 25 would be very realistic.

The defense is bad enough on this team, not need to start compounding mistakes.

Your son may be a shrewd observer, but if Pie had gone, he'd have been thrown out by 10 feet. He was maybe 1/3 of the way past 2B when the throw hit the infield.

The thing that bothers me about Jacque Jones is his insistence on swinging at terrible pitches low and in. He had no shot against Turnbow last night, but come on....can't you tell when a ball is closer to your feet than being a strike?

Tito- Apparently not??

Lots of blame to go around for last night's debacle, that's for sure.

Soriano has been away from 2nd for exactly ONE season. I'm sure he hasnt forgot how to play it. If not for Jose Vidro on last years Washington team. Soriano would still be a 2nd. Just because Washington moved Soriano to fit him into THIER lineup last year, does not mean we have to adhere to the changes they made. Soriano was the 2nd baseman on Several winning ballclubs. I just dont follow the logic that he can't play 2nd for this sad sack club.

Mark Prior's surgeon

AaronB- The clue phone is ringing, and it's for you.

Soriano was a T E R R I B L E defensive second baseman. He was, and is a very good hitter. Most teams are not good enough to overcome a slew of errors at that position, this year's Cubs included.

The only idea worse than this may be the Phillies moving Brett Myers to the bullpen after 2 lackluster starts.

Soriano is an outfielder. Get used to it.

DB, You might want to take a look at the current cubs roster. There isnt a Ryne Sandberg in his prime locking down 2nd base. Lets just say that Soriano is so much worse than DeRosa that he does commit an extra 7-10 errors over the course of the season. You honestly think that Soriano's bat wouldnt make up those extra 7-10 bases? Teams have won big with Soriano at 2nd in the past. He was never such a black hole defensively that anyone wanted to move him before.


Last year we were 11-7 at this point.... That really says a lot about that season...

So what do you do with DeRosa if you move soriano to 2nd? You bench the guy with 5 hr's?

"I just dont follow the logic that he can’t play 2nd for this sad sack club."

It's not that he couldn't hold down 2nd it's just that he'd probably be more of a liability than need be. To bad they didn't just move him to right.

I'd like to see DeRosa at 2nd and Theriot at short. Keep Izturis on the roster and send Cedeno down.

DeRosa can be a supersub. That is probably the best role for him anyway. For all the talk about his 5 dingers he is only hitting .254 with a .313 obp. Let him platoon with Jack Jones and spot Rammy,Soriano and Theriot.

Chad, I agree 100% about putting Theriot at short,Izturis on the bench and Cedeno in Des Moines.


I like you, buddy. But I don't know why you don't understand this. The Yankees won with Soriano's piss poor defense at second because THEY'RE THE YANKEES.

They had Jeter, Giambi, Posada, Bernie, Matsui, Aaron Boone when he was good, and a terrific pitching staff with Clemens, Pettitte, and Mussina. They got over abyssmal defense by scoring 6 a night. We can't do that.

When you score runs in bunches, you can run Alan Trammell himself out there to play in the middle infield. When you don't score runs, and you play bad defense, you lose. We're already losing one run games, let's not start making them 2-3 run games because Soriano can't catch a cold at 2B.

Patience people, patience!

We have thousands of games until we need to worry about the playoffs.

Soriano needs to go to RF where his superior arm will stop runners from taking extra bases on every ball hit that way. We have him under contract for a long time...plenty of time to get used to the sun and odd caroms at Wrigley. JJ needs to go to CF where his short contract doesn't block Pie the way Soriano does. Hitting-wise, JJ makes for a superior center fielder as opposed to RF where he is just average. Pie stays with the club as a defensive replacement who should be used every day in that capacity. Murton/Floyd resume their platoon in LF.
Do this now and stick with it.

What is pissing me off is some of the worst umpiring I have ever seen this season. Every single time I flip on a game there are 2-3 extremly bad calls by umps that go against us. If the strike zone isn't a mile wide it is an ump standing right over a bag and STILL making the wrong call on a clearly safe play to an Ump who you can't even tell if he called a ball or a strike in a key situation.

It aint just me Piniella and Gerald Perry are pissed off about it also....

Piniella blew off his postgame interview session after Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry got into a loud and profane shouting match with the umpires in the tunnel leading to the Cubs' clubhouse.

A Cubs spokesman said Piniella decided to "take a pass" on meeting with reporters. Perry was also not made available to answer questions about his exchange, the second such incident between the Cubs and umpires in the last four days.

The umpire crew chief wrote up a report about it and sent it to the league office. So Piniella could be fined and suspended for a few games.

I can live with that cwtp, other than Soriano at 2nd this is the best scenerio that we can have. If Cliff Floyd can start in RF for this team, Soriano should be able to handle the transition.

Didn't see anybody mention this, but Lou and Gerald Perry got in a shouting match with the umpires after the game. From the hard-hitting journalism of Carrie Muskat:

Piniella was not available to the media after the game. He and Perry exchanged some words with the umpires as everyone was headed to their respective clubhouses through the same tunnel, and Perry had to be pulled away. None of the words can be made available either. This is a family Web site.

Jace — April 23, 2007 @ 4:07 pm
Yeah, I saw that, then I saw an entry in “Road to Wrigley” from April 19th AZ Phil said that he expected to see Marshall in a day or two, and he would do a writeup on him when that happened. Have you seen him yet, AZ Phil?


JACE: Sean Marshall finished his EXST rehab last week and was moved up to Daytona. He has extended his pitch count up to about 75-80, and after one or two starts in the warm weather in the FSL he should be ready to join to Iowa's rotation. In fact, I would bet he will replace Marmol or Guzman in the Iowa rotation next week, depending on which one gets recalled by the Cubs for the May 1 start.

beat me to it, MikeC.

Yeah, it has seemed like the strike zone is all over the place this season. Did they kill that program that was meant to monitor umpire performance?

This talk of 7-12 record, 5 games back as if it is a death sentance is beyond silly. Acting like 7-12 puts the Cubs at a point of no retun makes no more sense than pretending a 12-7 record would be a lock on the division title.

Yes, there are many reasons to be concerned, (the number of one run losses/home extra innings loses is particularly troublesome, and Lou moving Soriano to LF is just odd all things considered) and not I'm not suggesting that we overlook those things or we celebrate a losing record, but get a grip people. Its April 24th, not September 24th.

Of course since some poster have been acting like this since the first couple days of the season, I think there is a small portion of posters that actually wants to Cubs to lose. But that's a whole different issue...

There's also this from deadspin, which I know isn't the greatest source for actual, you know, information. It's the only place I've read it, so I don't know here Will got it. It's about time for this, though.

"Meanwhile, Lou Piniella didn't talk to reporters after the game, and reporters overheard all kinds of screaming and throwing of projectiles in the locker room after the game."

Wes says:

April 24th, 2007 at 9:14 am


I like you, buddy. But I don’t know why you don’t understand this. The Yankees won with Soriano’s piss poor defense at second because THEY’RE THE YANKEES.

cmon Wes? What the hell does the jersey have to do with anything? The Rangers won with Soriano at 2nd and last I checked, they are not the yankees. All I am saying is this. Soriano has shaky handles at 2nd. I am aware of this. However in my opinion he makes up for it by having superior range ( better than average) at the position. He makes more errors than say a Todd Walker or a Mark DeRosa because he gets to alot more balls. I am not trying to say he will be a GG caliber 2nd baseman. All I am saying is that the upside is greater if we can stash him over at 2nd and put superior hitters in the outfield. If you look at the numbers, Soriano isnt a good outfielder either. So either way we are going to have to bite the bullet to get him in the lineup.

AaronB-You are flying solo on the Soriano to 2B idea.
The Rangers finished 3rd both seasons with Soriano, 89-73, then 79-83. He did not carry either of those teams on his back to the playoffs/World Series. His range factor is fine at 2B, but his hands of stone in the IF are not. But hey, I'm sure the Yankees, Rangers, and Nationals are clueless, it's you who is right.

Soriano was a crappy fielding, power hitting second baseman. Everyone seems to get this but you.
You are entitled to your opinion.

You let me know where exactly I can find the pennants that the Rangers won when I go to the Ballpark at Arlington.

BTW - for those who have used the Astros/Twins/Marlins style turnarounds are rare events, so the Cubs are doomed arguments consider this:

In 2003 the Cubs had a 5-12 stretch in June.

In 2004, the Cubs had a 7-12 stretch in May and an 8-12 run in July.

In 98 the Cubs had a 5-11 run in April, a 4-14 stretch in June and an 8-13 run in August.

In 89, April saw a 9-16 run, and 7-13 run in June.

The point: a 7-12 record over 19 games does not prevent a team from being in the playoff hunt. In fact, its exceedingly common for teams that finish with win totals in the upper 80s to low 90s.

Again, it doesn't mean that the Cubs will be able to turn things around in 07, but those who act like all hope is lost should really take a few steps back from the ledge. Its 7-12 from a team who hasn't seen a single HR from 2 of its 3 top power sources, and would be much closer to 500 if they could figure out how to win a close game, hardly the end of the world.

We have thousands of games until we need to worry about the playoffs.
1,000 divided by 162 = 6.17 seasons, UGH!!!

For using the plural on thousands do you mean 1000, 2000 or more?

Mr. Whipple, please stop squeezin' the charmin.

#61 mister whipple-
best. post. ever.

i bow to you, sir.

I want to know where this "Wesley" guy has been the last 5 years of baseball....

As far as turn-arounds, I'm thinking of the Astros going from cellar of the NL central almost as late as the All-Star break, and making the playoffs. Then there was the Angels doing almost the same thing, we saw the Yankees turn it around mightily, what, last year or the year before?

How about the CRAZY run the Marlins did two years ago where when they won the freaking series after they plugged Manager Jack in to a team that was in last place and over ten games out at the All-Star break.

Where has that guy been, and what "misused stats" is he bumbling about?

This season isn't looking good, but its not over. Our offense is starting to sputter to life a little bit, and we need Lou to stop making stupid personnel choices later in games.

# 34 George: You might not be worried about the Brewers but a five game lead over us so quickly is not anything to sneeze at. For several years now, the talking heads have been saying that the Brewers are on the rise. This is the way it happens, George. They get a lead. Creep ahead. Other teams yawn. Pretty soon the Cubs are ten games out. At the rate we are going, we will be eight games or so out by the end of the month. We cannot afford that.

# 35 Billy Bucks: Hill, and Lilly and Marquis are going to come back to earth, probably soon? I have to agree with Eli at # 36. And Dusty Baylor at # 38. Why are you convinced that Lilly is going to "come back to earth"? His era right now is about 2.5 or so. Last year his era was between 3 and 4 in a much tougher division than ours. I think it is entirely plausible that this guy finishes the year with an era below 3.

# 44: Billy Bucks: Yes, Marquis has had a number of guys on base this year but it has not been awful by any means. And some guys have the knack of being able to pitch well with runners on base and keep the runners from scoring. Marquis has shown that knack so far so let's see how it plays out.

# 75 Bleeding Blue: I for one am not out on the ledge but there are some ominous signs. And it is not the starting pitching, which I have a lot of confidence in. Rather, it is the bull pen and what someone else called our lack of substantial hitting. I did not see the game last night. I checked out the score on ESPN News and saw it was 4-1. I checked back periodically. 4-2. Then 4-4. Brother, I thought! This team gets some runs and then stops. Pretty soon 5-4 Brewers. Another extra innings loss. Some folks have said that we should not worry at all about the hitting, we are "only" five games out and neither Lee nor Soriano have been hitting home runs. Well, they better start driving in runs soon. I just do not see this team falling ten games out and then coming back to get a playoff berth.


Based on his numbers last year, I don't think Marquis has "the knack".

I hear you on Lilly (and hope you are right)-- I probably should ahve just said Hill (ERA under 0.50) and Marquis (based on his history) are performign unusually well, and things will even out.

OK -- enough with the complainign about Sunday/Monday.

Let's start winning some freakin' gaems!

I would bet he will replace Marmol or Guzman in the Iowa rotation next week, depending on which one gets recalled by the Cubs for the May 1 start.

I believe the Cubs already said that Guzman will get the call-up fwiw.

btw, couldn't be happier that we finally got Rocky Cherry up. (note the sarcasm)

Who was it that was all concerned about the bullpen before the year started, while myself and many others here considered the bullpen a strength?

Come forward and accept your prize.

btw, couldn’t be happier that we finally got Rocky Cherry up. (note the sarcasm)

Noted the sarcasm, Rob, but I don't understand it. These highly compensated veteran relievers screw up every day for three weeks and you pick on Cherry!

I thought he looked good, except for one breaking ball to Fielder. Cherry's the only righty reliever we've got who has the package: good fastball, good changeup, good control. Dempster doesn't have the control--as he demonstrated once again last night when he walked the leadoff hitter in an inning after going ahead 0 and 2--while Howry doesn't have the changeup and Wuertz doesn't have the fastball.

Give a kid a break. These old guys aren't going to do it.

Even if Dempster walked the guy, he was mowing down the Brewers and we pulled him for Marquis as the pinch hitter with nothing left in the pen to trot out there effectively in a close game. Why did Lou yank Dempster? I would have let him bat and if he struck out (likely) let him keep pitching. Especially with Lee and co coming up the next inning. I *know* there were two runners on, but that's how you manage your bench/pen in the 12th inning.

I thought it was a good idea. Marquis is a better hitter than many of the position players:

Blanco, Izzy, Pie

Wuertz was hitting 92-93 over the weekend.
With his slider....he's hardly part of the problem right now. His 13K/4 BB ratio is okay's his 0.00 ERA...

Screw the package...I'll take results!

Noted the sarcasm, Rob, but I don’t understand it. These highly compensated veteran relievers screw up every day for three weeks and you pick on Cherry!

I'll admit I didn't actually see the inning as I finally took off and only heard the radio call.

But the guys been anointed some bullpen savior despite well never getting anyone out that mattered.

The veteran suck has been disheartening but they all have far better track records than a 28 year old relief prospect with injury issues who's done nothing but look good in spring training. As I mentioned yesterday, Ronny Cedeno looked good in spring training as well.

And even mentioning Dempster is beyond ridiculous...
11 Ip, 3 BB, 12 K, 0.64 ERA, 2.45 ERA 3/3 saves

Ohman's been one of the most effective relievers against lefties the last 2 years. He didn't forget how to throw his slurve suddenly.

Howry's been a top set-up man for years, a few rough outings aren't going to change that.

Wuertz has one of the best sliders in baseball.

Cotts has been basically perfect so far.

Eyre needs to get back on his ADD drugs

Relievers are 7th in ERA, 0-7, 4th in innings pitched.

0-6 actually, sorry.

Cherry’s the only righty reliever we’ve got who has the package: good fastball, good changeup, good control. Dempster doesn’t have the control–as he demonstrated once again last night when he walked the leadoff hitter in an inning after going ahead 0 and 2–while Howry doesn’t have the changeup and Wuertz doesn’t have the fastball.

Ohhh puhhhhleese. This comment has to be up there with most short sighted post of the year.

Atleast Dempster pitched 2 scoreless innings instead of giving up the HR. Which can't be said about Cherry.

Besides I will take Wuertz's slider fastball combo over anyone in the bullpen right now. He doesn't need to throw 99 when you got a slider as sick as he does. And he has a nice 3 year track record of backing that up.

It is fine to like Cherry, but damn, your already annoiting him as our best bullpen arm. How in the hell do you do that? Because he had a nice spring and K's minor leaguers? Well he just found out pitching against minor leaguers and against major leaguers is a totally different ball game. They punish mistakes in the majors.

their WPA numbers (Win Probabilty Added)

Eyre: -0.78 (4th worst in baseball)
Ohman: -0.54
Cherry: -0.28
Howry: -0.13
Guzman: 0.09
Dempster: 0.31
Cotts: 0.34
Wuertz: 0.87 (5th best in baseball)

Jordan, you play to win and Marquis had a much better chance of getting a hit than Dempster. The guy is a .270 career pinch hitter. Hit gets a hit, game over. That's how you go.

Wow, 6 of the losses can be put on the pen? Even if they had went 3-3, that gives the Cub's a winning record. Ouch.

Rob G.:

4th in innings pitched.

Due to the extra-inning games I presume?

I guess Cherry turns 28 in August, so 27 year old.

my point remains though, why does anyone think he'll be any better than what we've got going?

Spring training? seriously gonna put your faith in spring training numbers? I hope he's lights out and I think he's solid and he was the natural guy to call-up, but there's nothing special there.

I imagine Rynox, bullpen has pitched well in most of those extra-innings games imo. F**** offense can't muster a goddamn run in most of them despite numerous chances.

"Marquis is a better hitter than many of the position players:

Blanco, Izzy, Pie"

Marquis' career line is .224/.242/.321

While Blanco and Izzy's lines aren't good at all, they are better than Marquis.

Cubs Offensive Ranks in NL:

BA: 6th
OBP: 11th
SLG: 7th
Runs: 6th
HR: 9th
BB: 14th
K: 11th
SB: 6th

Cubs Pitching/Defense Ranks:
ERA: 8th
BB: 11th
K; 2nd
BAA: 2nd
OBP: 3rd
SLG: 6th
Blown Saves: 15th (only Astros have blown more)
Quality Starts: 3rd (one behind the top spot)
IP: 4th

For innings pitched, we're 5 innings behind the Dbacks but played one less game, otherwise we're .2 IP behind the Rockies and played one less game and .1 IP behind the Marlins but played the same amount of games.

These extra innings games have not been kind...

That's a good point Manny....

Of course, what does it say about Hank and Izzy that Lou would rather use Marquis than them as a PH?

I think Marquis has a better line vs righties than Blanco does though, at least someone posted that last week.

But no one else was available when Marquis pitched because Lou burns though his bench by the 9th inning every game and has nothing left for extras. Shocker we haven't won any of them.

errors arent the only, or even a good way, to judge a 2nd baseman.

soriano's footwork is clumbsy...his arm not exactly accurate...and most importantly FREEZES on plays that involve pick/throw. he is not a catch/throw on the run guy. derosa/izturis are guys capable of fluid motion in the middle IF.

it doesnt matter how much better he hits than other 2nd basemen. mike piazza's knock as catcher wasnt his 30 homers a year and those 30 homers didnt make him a great made him a good DH who can catch/receive.

MANNY: "Looking more and more like come June 1 we all will have another free summer w/o the Cubs…. "

I had been awating the 60 day mark to make my personal assessment and predictions.

Sadly, I feel defeated. Unless something truly DRAMATIC happens, 2007 Cubs "winning chances" are over.

It is very difficult to remove the stains of being LOSERS in a short time frame, coupled with the mess of talent evaluation AND FUCKING promises given to FA's on behalf of the GM.

The TEAM is a LOSER.

I like Lou, I really do. He did not know what he was getting into. I believe that next year will be better as the dead wood and new owners will come aboard.

Hendry will be gone - the fool. All the money and same results.

Give me the balanced, nondescript, hard-working Brewers, anytime. The difference on the field between the two teams was interesting to see at this point.

I am glad I sold the majority of my season tix before the season started. I was hoping this would have waited - but it IS NOT too fucking early, and WE ARE NOT the Twins, Angels, or Astros - clubs with WINNING traditions.

I hope I am completely wrong, but I do not see it...

Its not so much the bullpen is 0-6. The offense in late/close situations is what should be 0-6. Other than Soriano and DeRosa's blind squirrel lucky drop single on sunday. This offense has shut it down completely after the first 5 innings this season. Everyone swings from their 5-holes looking for the Homer.

I was thinking the same as ARM above--the Cubs this year (in fact, for the past few years) seem to get a lead and then go to sleep. While the opponent chips away, like last night. I wonder if there are recent data out there for avg/obp/slg while holding a lead. Anyone?

If we're going to blame last night's loss on anyone, it has to be the 3rd-base ump. Lee was clearly safe on his steal attempt, but the ump called him out. If ARam hits a 2-run dinger instead of a solo shot, the Cubs win.

I'm not sure I'm ready to say Pie can't hit major league pitching. Small sample size I know, but he had as many hits (2) in 3 AB's than Jones and DeRosa had in 10 combinded AB's last night.

So he's 5 for 25 so far. His .200 avg is better than such all too regular line up fixtures as Izturis, Cedeno and Blanco. It'd be great if they'd just stick Theriot in there at short as the increased productivity for that position would more than make up for any drop off in outfield offense that Pie may bring.

When you throw in Pie's speed and his apparent cannon arm, it starts to just seem like no brainer that Pie should get a least a 15-20 game regular gig run at the CF position.

The E-Man said:

Give me the balanced, nondescript, hard-working Brewers, anytime. The difference on the field between the two teams was interesting to see at this point.


That's frickin' HILARIOUS. Do you know what nondescript means? The Brewers have a team full of exciting, high-draft-pick-type players. Hardly nondescript. And unless you spend a lot of time at Brewers and Cubs workouts, I don't know how you can label the Brewers hardworking (and the Cubs lazy, by contrast).

Time for a chill pill.

"If we’re going to blame last night’s loss on anyone, it has to be the 3rd-base ump."

Agreed. Even so though, I'd be more inclined to put it on Quade's holding Pie at 2nd when it looked like he could have gone into 3rd standing up.

Not sure what the rationale was there, but what ever it was, I disagree with it.

re: cherry

pretty much the only reason i wouldnt mind seeing cherry is the lack of anyone else who's shown up this spring-earlyseason and shown he's in some kinda groove.

a good spring (verses mostly weaker comp) and a good AAA performance...both in short stints.

lou also took a personal liking to using cherry in spring it seems. while i dont really care exactly what lou likes about him, it seems he's probably not just gonna let him go unused. its WAY too early and too many losses to be bringing up guys to ride pine and get advanced coaching.

guy was written off in 05 when he had to get his elbow cut open. he was a 2-pitch guy with a 88-92mph fastball. when he came back he was sporting his same velocity, but could also do something he couldnt before...reach back and bring it mid-90s when he needed to. add his really killer slider, one of the best the cubs has...and you got an interesting package.

may not work out, but he's not trash.

this year Cubs offense after the 7th inning:


best hitter is JJ with a .368/.478/.421 line

innings 1-6:

Aramis, Derrek, Barrett and Theriot all with OPS over 1000 in those innings; Derosa above 900

watching the Pie double looked like he would have been out by a mile if he tried to go to 3b.

If we’re going to blame last night’s loss on anyone, it has to be the 3rd-base ump. Lee was clearly safe on his steal attempt, but the ump called him out.

This may be one of the reasons teams don't try to steal third base more often. Umps call them out if the throw beats them. They can't see the tag so they call the runner out.

Same thing happened to Theriot the other day. In real time he looked out, but the slow motion replay showed he clearly was in before the tag. Not even that close really.

I'm just glad that Pie hit the double....

Lee was definitely safe but if Lou is against giving away out early in the game with sac bunts, he should be equally against giving away outs on the basepaths.

In other words, please stop running in front of Lee and Ramirez while they're still hot with the bats.

btw...anyone know why both pawtechheeheh and grant johnson are both pulling pen duty rather than starting early this season?

they wanted Pawelek to focus on a couple of pitches and work on his delivery, Johnson move is probably more permanent.

from April 5th from

The reason for Pawelek’s bout of inconsistency this spring stems from a mechanical issue that the southpaw is currently attempting to iron out with Chiefs pitching coach David Rosario.

“Basically, I have to stay behind the ball with my fingers and come through so that my hand doesn’t slide off to the side and make the ball cut into the hitters,” Pawelek explained of his current quirk. “It’s just a little kink right now and it shouldn’t take too long to correct.”

All the same, Pawelek will temporarily pitch in relief, just as he did a season ago at Class Low-A Boise on the Northwest League circuit.

#99 Rob G., couldn't agree more about Lou burning through the bench too quick. I'm too young to remember the details of Lou's Cincy days, but notwithstanding I gotta blame the construction of his 25-man on this one. I think he feels obligated to find at-bats for a lot of these guys. There are no Maciases or Duboises on the bench this year. It's all either AAAA prospects or signed vets brought here to hit. That's a blessing and a curse - and until everyone's roles are clearly defined, I'll go with a curse.

hell, when the bench has 2-3 legit hitters on it when people are healthy....i love it.

we havent had something close to this in a long time. its neat, imo.

nice to know if someone gets injured there's at least guys who can pull their weight...also nice to have a bench not almost totally made up of .350 sluggers.

last thing we need is more crap on the bench, we have enough in Cedeno/Izturis and Blanco as is, so I think the roster construction is fine. Plus Lou has plenty of say on the 25-man roster, Hendy's always been one to ask his manager what he needs and to go get it for him, so you got Lou to blame as much as Hendry if anyone thinks it's a problem.

I understand trying to win it in 9 innings, but it's one thing if you're tied and extra innings look like a legit possibility. Maybe hold off a guy or two cause you're going to probably need them.

He freakin' double switched Derrek Lee out one game, wtf?

Yeah, regarding that Pie double, as I remember it the ball was getting back to the infield around the same time he was stopping and second. Even if he'd been going full speed around second he would have been an easy out.

# 80 Billy Bucks: Well, if you are just gonna look at last year for Marquis, or more specifically, last year after the all star break, then sure, Marquis is playing way over his head this year. But he was quite good the first half of last year. And decent the two full seasons before last year. To compare how he is doing this month with just how he pitched from late July through September last year is not fair. He is a better pitcher than he showed the last half of last year. Maybe not quite as good as so far this year but it is not like there is a dramatic difference between this month and the last three years considered as a whole.

AaronB-You are flying solo on the Soriano to 2B idea.

aaron is not flying solo on that idea. it's one that makes the most sense. soriano is above average in the outfield for sure, but he's the best 2nd baseman in baseball. the difference between his defense and that of derosa is so minimal. it's an easy choice. soriano to 2nd base where he has the most value.

marquis + working sinker + good infield = high probability of a good performance unless the lineup is made up of 8 low-power swinging j.burnitz types who are contacting not K'ing.

marquis - working sinker = short day for marquis...or a really long one depending on how many drinks larussa's had.


I said "the construction of his 25-man." In my book that falls on both Hendry and Lou. Obviously no one wants crap on the bench but it needs to be clearly defined, i.e., you guys Cedeno, Ward and Blanco, don't be offended if you only get used 2-3 times a week, or something/someone similar.

Kudos to Lou's managing each ballgame as the 7th game of the world series.

Hendry needs to be held accountable for not piecing together a complete ballclub. We have 6 sufficient leftfielders, 3 of whom we just acquired in the offseason ---however no true right fielder.

we are finding good players like Murton, Floyd, DeRosa, and Jacque are all interchangeable as leftfielders ---

now, with Soriano in left, and what looks like Pie should always play center (for defensive reasonas along - hitting being a bonus), we find the Cubs wasting away the talents of 4 average / above average left fielders. none of the aforementioned are acceptable in right field.

i have strongly pushed for a trade with Tampa for a guy like Rocco - or the dodgers for one of their excessive talented outfielders.

unfortunately, this will be a long year for our pitchers (and these 4 platooning outfielders) if we don't solve Hendry's mess.

Anyone think Girardi would have a better record than Sweet Lou...? (assuming he had exactly the same talent pool).

Chad: You play to win? OK, Marquis is hitting .300 when he comes to bat. You have nothing left in the bullpen, and Dempster dealing. So you take a 30% chance (small sample size) that the guy is going to get a hit, against the probability that a guy making his major league debut won't give up a run.

I'm not sure what your definition of play to win is. I'd say 30% for Marquis is a bit higher than actual odds. So I think you had a better chance of your anemic offense scoring a run over the next three innings and Dempster holding off the Brewers, than you do with Marquis up there, leaving you nothing left to throw at Prince Fielder.

i think the game of baseball itself precludes picking another manager and rolling the dice again.

replacing the pitchers in the games or some of the hotter hitters would probably have a larger impact.

hell, let the same manager/players play every game over again 10 times and you'll probably get 10 different final records.

Not me. Not at this point. Girardi wouldn't have gotten to know this team any better than Pinella. I thought Girardi was pretty darn good in the booth last weekend.

Right now the Cubs need to go 80-63 the rest of the season just to pick up 87 wins. This team is running out of time. The only positive I'm really getting so far is that they don't look like they're giving up, like they did in May last year.

But it's not May yet.

Jordan, the thing to remember is that Dempster had already pitched 2 innings. With a runner on 2nd and a hit ending the game on the spot. PHtting Marquis there was absolutely the right call. Especially with Cordero AND Turnbow both still available in the Milwaukee pen and Villanueva working on his 4th relief inning.

PH'ing marquis was the only call i thought.

lou had already used all his bench...again.

his use of theriot as a pinch hitter with 2 outs in the 9th was a weird one...and his last pinch hitter.

I'm not sure I would read any more into Rocky Cherry than the bullpen needed another arm and wouldn't need a 5th starter until May 1st. He had a good spring, could have made an argument to take him north after Vegas, and Marmol/Guzman could both use another 10 days of work at AAA. I did enjoy Len Kasper's 'Rocky Cherry ice cream' reference last night though (sarcasm intended).

Re: Soriano at 2B, there's another old baseball adage that if a guy can hit they'll find a place to play you. Lou's lineup problems are in no small part due to guys like Floyd, Soriano, DeRosa, Murton, and Jones. For the most part they can all play only 1 position average and it's the same position for a few of them. Winning teams can usually hide one of those guys in a lineup, but not 2 or 3 (i.e. Soriano at 2B with the Yankees).

oh, the arguement was to let dumpster go another inning.


well, i honestly dont think its a good idea to undervalue rocky cherry, either.

he's healthy (has a history of soreness/injury/TJ) and his slider, while not as sharp or ground-ball-prone as wuertz's, is a really good slider.

you got a top slider and a 88-92mph fastball with the ability to reach back and throw a little more...he has a change, too, but i didnt see it last night.

new post btw

#124 -

Game winning run on second, 2 outs. You may never get this chance again. You send your best hitter available to win the game. Always. There was also less chance that Fielder would hit a home run than there was of Marquis getting any type of hit.

Dempster wasn't going out for another inning, he pitched the day before.

Yeah, Lou didn't have much choice there but to go with Marquis to PH, but if there was a problem, it is him flying through his bench every game. That is what got him in that situation.

That is correct Manny

Ohman’s been one of the most effective relievers against lefties the last 2 years.

It causes me cognitive dissonance when you keep saying this, Rob. But I'm not a stats-oriented guy. I tend to believe my lying eyes and my deceiving gut.

If Ohman comes in to face one lefthanded hitter and get him out, and he walks him, that means he didn't do the job. Now Ohman is pulled.

Does that failed mission show up in the stats? Barely. It's just a BB. Almost invisible.

sure it would show up in his OBP allowed...

158/277/257 last year vs lefties

173/272/321 in 2005

using 20 IP as the cutoff

2005 (that includes starters and relievers fwiw)
12th best BAA
33rd best OBP against
60th best SLG against

4th best BAA against
33rd best OBP against
8th best SLG against

if I could sort it by relievers or Total batters faced, I'd do it for you, but there's little doubt he's one of the most effective relievers vs lefties out there.

his Win Probabilty Added in 2006 was 1.16, 40th best out of all relievers in baseball and best on the Cubs.

Rob, you said:

2005, 12th best BAA against, 33rd best OBP against
2006, 4th best BAA against, 33rd best OBP against

The difference between BAA and OBP is walks. Aren't you proving that if you bring Ohman in to get one guy, there's a good chance he's going to walk him?

Is that what we're looking for, the 33rd best guy in that situation?

what didn't we understand?

that was all of baseball, starters included. A quick scan through to limit it to relievers knocked out about 14 guys.

(About) 20th best IN BASEBALL then with at least 20 IP vs lefties. 30 Teams in BASEBALL.

That's pretty good, yeah. If I went through and upped the cutoff to more batters faced, I'm guessing he'd filter up to the top even a little higher.

I don't have time now, but if recall he's not completely useless versus righties either.

ohman's making peanuts for 2 years compared to his contemporaries and still has his stuff...meh.

Thanks for the numbers and the explanation, Rob. That's good stuff.

I would just add that Wuertz and Ohman were (for the most part) sixth and seventh inning pitchers last year, not setup guys or closers, that is, not the guys who are given one-run leads to protect. Give them a tougher role and the numbers would tend to go up.

There were a lot of rocky eighth innings in 2005, courtesy Wuertz/Ohman/Novoa, before we had Howry and Eyre.

well check comment #140 Virginia Phil, WPA or Win Probability Added

one of my favorite stats for relievers....

instead of guessing at when or in how tight a game their contributions came or how much it cost, we have a reasonable way to measure it up against the rest of the league.

The most interesting and useful application of Win Probability Added -- the one that Drinen, Tangotiger and others have spent a lot of time on -- is the evaluation of relief pitchers and the managers who call on them. We all know that closers are important, even though they pitch less than 100 innings a year, right? Why? Because they pitch the most important innings.

simply looking at when a reliever comes into the game (runners on, score, innings, etc) and what the situation is when he leaves we can see how much a reliever is truly affecting the game.

Wuertz has been a positive his whole career but nothing earth-shattering, although so far this year he's been one of the best as I mentioned.

Ohman had a -0.53 in 2004, 1.16 in 2006 (as I mentioned)

Howry was 0.82 last year
Eyre a 0.48 last year

Novoa's been in the negatives his whole career.

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    crunch 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • have a nice bowl of pizza soup deep dish pizza...or a leisurely walk around the notorious south-side (bring money) at one of the walmart supercenters...waiting in line to waste $20 at willis tower...

    seriously,'s chicago, a lot to do. have a dog for lunch, a great dinner, and catch some local comedy.

    crunch 8 hours 51 min ago view
  • Strange, because he really seemed to have the Pirates number last year.

    Bummer for Jake -- I think this is the first time all year his ERA has been over 3.00, and that will be his number for the year.

    billybucks 8 hours 55 min ago view
  • Jinx remover -- your trip doesn't have to be for a baseball game -- lots of stuff to do here in town.

    billybucks 8 hours 57 min ago view
  • Guess they could always try to White Sox (and Bears...sob) approach: Never Rebuild! Seems to work pretty well for them.

    billybucks 8 hours 58 min ago view
  • 3rd time this season he's given up 6+ runs to PIT...only team he's given up 6+ runs to this season.

    7 runs is the most he's given up since august 6th in 2014.

    crunch 9 hours 28 min ago view
  • Over 100 pitches, only the 5th.

    Brick 9 hours 30 min ago view
  • coghlan his cleats stuck in the wall attempting a play (failed, but looked great doing it). walking off on his own, precautionary/day-to-day looking stuff...hopefully not worse.

    also, jake arrieta is literally worse than hitler. 1-5, bottom 5. ...make that 1-6, bottom 5. ...make that 1-7, bottom 5.

    crunch 9 hours 31 min ago view
  • Coghlan crashes into wall and comes up limping, looks like left knee or ankle. Leaves game...

    Arrieta inspiring no confidence yet again.

    Rob G. 9 hours 37 min ago view