Game 24 Thread / Cubs @ Pirates (1 of 3)

Game Chat Rich Hill vs. Zach Duke Lineups:
Soriano LF Duffy CF
Theriot SS Wilson SS
Lee 1B Sanchez 2B
Ramirez 3B Bay LF
Murton RF Doumit RF
Barrett C Bautista 3B
DeRosa 2B LaRoche 1B
Pie CF Paulino C
Hill P Duke P
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Comments

This lineup looks familiar, and I like it!

Yet again, well done Uncle Lou.

Is this on DirecTV anywhere, I'm not finding it...

no EI...no pitt coverage...just local chicago coverage :(

How does a game get scheduled for local stations for both teams? That's just absurd.

I'm following on the computer.

With Hill on third and two outs, the gametracker says Soriano singled to left, but Hill did not score. Can someone explain?

hill was held at 3rd. not many organizations are gonna risk a play at the plate with one of their pitchers.

Pay attention DYING CUB FAN!

Sorry.

My game tracker indicated that Hill was on third before Soriano hit. On a hit to the outfield, particularly with two outs, you'd think he'd score because he'd go on contact.

just messing with you DCF. you the man.

Greetings from the game, blogging from the upper deck. I'd go "chat" but the free downtown Wi-Fi must all be routed through one AOL dial-up. Sheesh.

5 pitch inning for Duke... so much for patience, Murt, Barrett, Derosa

Dave - You're really at the game, laptop in hand?

I don't know why, but that gives me vertigo.

Len: "It's been an eerily quiet night for Jason Ba--"

Clearly, Len did not knock on wood.

It's been an eerily quiet month for Soriano.

Let's hope that works.

Another one-run loss. Surprise, surprise.

0-6

that's just piss poor offensive baseball right there...i especially loved the 4 pitch inning that they made duke suffer through (the 6th?). great work, guys, way to make him work.

Alfonso
Soriano
Sucks
Society

Looks like crunch answered your question Dying, but here's what SI's tracker says:

"R.Hill doubled to left, F.Pie to third. On error by second baseman F.Sanchez, F.Pie scored. A.Soriano singled to left, R.Hill to third. Theriot grounded out, third baseman J.Bautista to first baseman Ad.LaRoche."

I don't know what's going on with CBS Sportsline this year. They keep having long delays and they've shown the same team batting and in the field numerous times so far this year.

Cubs just can't get things clicking...

Starting pitching good, but bullpen and offense bad.

Offense good, but then all pitching bad.

April is over...10-14...not good, but still have a couple weeks before I really start to worry about another lost year. Next 8 games vs. PITT or WASH. Really need to go 5-3. After that next 16 games are against good teams (NYM, PHIL, CHW, SD and LAD) with 13 of them on the road.

Rich Hill has been GREAT though this year. many thought he was going to have a breakout year, but he has pitched better than almost anyone thought. I hope he can stay even close to what he has done.

Come on Cubbies!!! It is still early, but not for long...

We should just hope the starters don't start pressing and getting out of rhythm--Hill came out after giving up that second run, and the cameras showed him throwing his gear around the dugout in disgust. Poor guy knew he'd blown the game by giving up 2 runs in 7 innings...this is just getting absurd.

mark grace on tonite's 'best damn blah blah'...11pm EST

actaully, Hill should have been more pissed about walking the leadoff man in the 7th. that was awesome timing.

couldnt hit Duke....i believe someone predicted that

i swear... someone is using manny's screen name...

This roster is F'd.

We have 4 LF's, 2 2B, 2 No Hit SS, and 1 LH everyday bat in the lineup right now.

Hendry's track record shows he cant do squat unless some team is ready to dump a good player because of salary (i.e. Ram and DLee).

Take in the farm system has been a complete cluster from Ryan Harvey, Mark Pawalek, etc.. He needs to be fired right now.

How the heck do you give a player 136 Million and bat him leadoff. He needs to be batting 5th and hitting with runners on base.

He signed Jacque Jones as well and now cant get rid of him, which has been chronicled by other unnamed sources in various websites.

Which burns my butt and other cub fans is we could see these flaws when the player personnel decisions were made and expected moves to be made to rectify the issues.

Who cares he works like crazy he doesnt know what he's doing and the long hours are not paying off. There are a lot of people that would work day and night to help make chicago a winner.

You dont trade for a no hit SS when you already have a no hit SS.

Get to work Hendry and fix the Roster so we done lose the season again. IDIOT

dave:
"i swear… someone is using manny’s screen name…"

Nope it is me, thanks for caring though.

Let's put the blame where we need to, squarely on the pitching. If Rich Hill goes out every five days and allows 2 runs over 7 inning, he's gonna have an era of 2.51. He needs to get that era under 1.0. Plain and simple.

yeah, hendry is obviously the problem.

there's also criticism that belongs to the manager given to hendry in that rant.

there's also some odd misconceptions like jones cant be given away. he's a RF/CF making well below his market value...he's not gonna be given away for his value. he could be given away if he was worth giving away.

a death sentence has been given to 2 prospects...one of which is 22 and the other 20 years old. one of those prospects i have NO idea why he's a bust when he's not even thrown 100 innings.

"How the heck do you give a player 136 Million and bat him leadoff. He needs to be batting 5th and hitting with runners on base."

Clearly, you don't know much about Alfonso Soriano. He came here to bat leadoff. Its what he wanted to do and was shook on when he agreed to come here. Sure, Lou is the manager and can bat him where he wants but you don't do that to players or they will stop signing with you.

Alfonso has one more RBI than I do. One.

Lee, Soriano and Jones combine for ONE HR in April? Amazing -- considering they were expected to combine for at least 80 HRs for the year. If each had hit only 2 or 3, given all the close losses, the Cubs could easily be 4 over instead of 4 under. What a waste of good pitching.

I'm becoming very concerned about DLee's power outage -- another warning track fly ball in a clutch situation. He's hitting for great average, and tons of doubles, but one HR in 24 games tells me something's not right -- his wrist? Very concerning. When a power hitter is swinging the bat well, he should be hitting some HRs.

Cubs should trade for Zach Duke and send him to Iowa, just so they never have to face him again.

and david wright has 6 without missing a chunk of games...and ryan howard/lance berkman/mark teixeira are being outperformed by AAA'rs...

meanwhile ted lilly is looking for a place to put his cy young he's destined to win.

still, though...1 rbi sucks even for a leadoff man in the NL after a month given the 70-ish ab's he's had.

Chris:
"Alfonso has one more RBI than I do. One."

Hey, but you have just as many HR's as Alfonso does. Zero.

Only the Cubs....

- Leadoff man has 2 hits
- #2 hitter walks 3 times
- #3 hitter has 2 hits, including a double
- #4 hitter has 2 hits, including a double

...and they score a total of 2 runs.

Don't forget the fact that the Cubs grounded into ZERO double plays. It's almost impossible to only score twice doing all that. But then again, this is the Cubs. This is the life we've chosen.

"Sure, Lou is the manager and can bat him where he wants but you don’t do that to players or they will stop signing with you."

Chad, I see your point, but is there even one documented case of a player NOT signing with a team because some other player on that team years ago was asked to hit 3rd/play left field/whatever? Has this EVER happened? I am fully allowing for the fact that it has happened, but someone is going to have to find me a specific instance.

Its idiotic to think you cannot ask him to bat 5th for the team right now. Theriot can bat leadoff. At the very least Soriano should be batting 2nd. He's not running right now anyway with the hammy. Soriano didn't want to play LF last year but he's playing it fine now. Handshake agreement, come on. Circumstances change.

And Pawalek is now a reliever in Low A Ball. Supposedly with great stuff, but hasnt shown much, yet, which is the recurring theme for this GM's tenure. Blasko, Brownlie, Clanton, Harvey, Grant Jonson, Pawalek, Montanez..stop me when any of these guys have panned out.

Harvey was taken ahead of many players that have either made it to majors or are on top prospect lists.

http://thebaseballcube.com/draft/2003/round-1...

more hendry bashing than viewfromthebleachers...fun

paw's relieving in A-ball for a reason and it has nothing to do with him being done.

harvey may be a never-will-be, but he was a top-3 highschool power bat and an expected top-10 draft pick.

your hindsight might be 20/20, but there's a lot of wrong scouts about harvey and its not just the team that got him.

blasko, brownlie, and clanton was a kind of pitching draft coup graded really well by draft observers after it went down. injuries can happen...injuries did happen.

why dont you just tell us who outta the 06 draft was a wasted pick while you're at it?

Brownlie was injured when the Cubs took him. You can put some blame on the Hendry/Cubs for that one. Grant Johnson was a middle of the second round pick, and it's still too early in his career to label him a bust, but he's headed down that path.

there's a buncha reasons to not even THINK about paw right now.

he was drafted as a pure tools prospect. given that his mechanics would still need work if drafted yet he was pretty much the only guy being pimped as a highschool pitcher worth drafting says a lot. florida drafted a highschool pitcher pretty much out of signability issues (before the cubs, fwiw).

i mean, this kid's only knock was who his agent was. no one was under any illusion he would be fasttracked to the bigs in 1-2-3 years. he's got some mechanics and release point issues that 100 innings arent gonna fix.

honestly...what he's doing outside of the game is gonna affect his future a lot more than what he's doing in games currently.

HMG: "Hendry’s track record shows he cant do squat unless some team is ready to dump a good player because of salary (i.e. Ram and DLee)."

This is absurd. We have debated this point endlessly. You can't fault someone for making a play on a player. There were other GM's out there that DIDN'T make the moves. Hendry did and had some winners. He has had more losers as I always provide with my Hendry's Stiff list of players.

But this year, so far, he has brought in TWO quality pitchers that are doing terrifically well after FINALLY giving up on Prior-Wood Gate. Hendry gets my credit (and others) here. Daryl Ward was a waste. Cliff Floyd is productive, and JJones as the other LH power bat will not be traded. It is Murton that's going to lose, unless Cliff gets hurt.

But, he has several options still left.

Hendry will be gone after this year anyway, and if the new management will hire John Scheurhoz, we'll be in great shape.

At some point THE PLAYERS are going to have to learn how to hit with RISP - I hope the team isn't 8,9,10 games out by the time they figure it out. I hold them accountable - we need to score 5 runs a game in order to win. T

so we need to move the guy with 1 RBI and no homers into the middle of the order?

the logic seems flawed..

Pawelek is in extended spring training fwiw, the bullpen move is suppose to help him focus on his delivery problems, etc. He's far too young to label him anything, whether it be bust or reliever.

"It's one of those things," said Wuertz... "[Bay] was aggressive. I was trying to be aggressive, and I just didn't make the pitch. It was a hanging slider that got backed up a little bit. With pitches like that, that's what good hitters do. He put a good swing on it."

One of those things? You just didn't make the pitch? YA THINK, GENIUS?!!?!? There's one guy on that team that can actually hit the ball to the warning track, and he's the guy you decide to get cute with and back up a slider right onto his trademark. Saw him off with the fastball. Anything. Just keep him in the dog gone ballpark.

He's hanging a lot of sliders the last couple times out. I didn't see tonight's game save the highlights. The last couple times I've seen him pitch, he's not throwing the slide piece very well.

The Hendry bashing is all 20/20 hindsight without any effort to place yourself in the context of those decisions as they were made at the time. Has Arizona Phil ever written up an historical review of Hendry's attempts to field a championship ball club? I trust his judgment enough I'd pay for a copy.

Four years ago, Hendry was universally revered as a mastermind GM. The 2003 team caught fire with magic from the bench the way all championship teams do. Wood and Prior were healthy, Zambrano maturing into an ace, and Clement a seeming steal.

Hendry made aggressive, solid trades to land proven talent like Lee, Ramirez, Barrett, and Garciaparra. He brought back Maddux at great expense to anchor what, on paper, looked like a dominant, imposing pitching staff. Hendry brought on Dusty Baker -- a proven, widely admired manager who had shown the ability to reach the playoffs with patchwork pitching staffs year after year.

What happened? Wood and Prior broke down now four seasons in a row. Sosa goes sour and burns his bridges. Garciaparra, after a massive spring, tore his groin and missed an entire season. Derrick Lee breaks a wrist in a collision with a runner and misses nearly an entire season. Ramirez remains dogged by leg issues that keep him from being the kind of cornerstone daily player a Lee or Garciaparra have been.

What has Hendry done? Given some rookies (Patterson, Cedeno, Murton, name-the-pitcher) a clear chance to shine. Signed veteran replacements (Maddux, Lilly, Marquis) at great expense to bring some stability to a staff scorched by the shooting stars that were Wood and Prior. Taken risks on players like Jones and Pierre who have never caught fire. Aggressively secured solid relievers in Howry and Eyre, while patiently supporting Dempster's rehabilitation as a closer. Watched the Cubs outbid for any number of free agent splashes and finally, this past season, betting the farm on one in Soriano.

So far, Lilly and Marquis are making skeptics look foolish. The Cubs are outpitching and outscoring opponents. The outfield is crowded with five solid starters for three jobs, the infield depth is solid if one accepts that Izturis is a decent, unspectacular role player. On paper, where most of us live half the year anyway, this team has the depth to absorb one or two major injuries and still field a solid team. What's missing? That intangible fire that catches hold of a team -- generally wild card teams this past half decade -- and carries them through all kinds of small adversities.

The 1984, 1989 and 2003 Cubs weren't formidable teams, they simply caught fire. We watched those teams get clutch hits from bench players and chip away at opposing bullpens, coming back again and again so they created an aura of destiny around them. All a Hendry can do is field the ingredients and hope they find the spark.

This team has the ingredients, but hasn't yet found the spark. Our difficulty scoring in the latter innings is worrisome and will make or break this team over the season. There isn't anyone out there who predicted this particular challenge this season, so how on earth can we fault Hendry for not recognizing it ahead of time?

Finally, any thoughtful observer of the game will tell you the past five years have been a reaffirmation of the fundamental magic necessary to win a championship. After a depressing run of Yankee gold, one team after another has caught fire and won it all. The Atlanta Braves -- the indisputed class organization of baseball in terms of productive farm, shrewd free agent signings, and year-to-year high level consistency -- have one ring to show for more than a decade of unquestioned excellence.

Many of us older fans took a certain pride in the Cubs as a team we could love despite the annual heartbreak. Maybe it's just the web and the way it exposes attitudes we used to only hear from the loud whiners at Wrigley and the Trib's sorry sports columnists. Maybe it's the years of disappointment that have driven us all so deeply into the numbers that we've bought into the idea that players are interchangeable and only as good as their stats. Maybe it's the looming anniversary of our futility. Whatever it is, the Cubs as an organization, as an annual rite, and as a team, seem far less loveable, but no more successful. Can this team catch fire and win it all this year. Without question. Will this team catch fire? No idea. At this point, is there anything a Hendry (or a Schuerholz); a Pinella (or a Cox/Torre/LaRussa); or a Tribune (or Steinbrenner) can do about whether that magic visits this team this season? I don't think so. We're back where we always are once the season begins, anxiously watching the ball in motion, hoping this is the year.

Give Hendry credit for consistently fielding a team with a plausible chance to be in the mix year-in and year-out. Don't punish him for raising our expectations.

#46 HIPPOLITO

I read your blog while trying to ascertain if you are indeed serious or have simply put together a great piece of satire. I have decided that no one could believe your conclusions on Jim Hendry so I congratulate you on a truly hilarious blog and sincerely hope you keep up the great work.

April in review... I expected a big powerful offense, weak starting pitching, strong bullpen, suspect defense.

Turns out the Cub's had one of the strongest rotations in the league, bullpen looks clueless, offense DOA.

At least the defense lived up to expectations. :(

Hippolito...you need some theme music we can listen to when you post.

I was thinking, "Gone with the Wind" soundtrack.

How long will it be before Cubs' fans start booing Soriano loudly? It seems as though his line is the same almost ever single night. One for four with a double. If he keeps this up through the roadtrip, and does not hit the first game back home, then I think the loud boos will start.

I think it is laughable to think Soriano only signed here because we agreed to let him lead off. I personally think it is because we offered him 42 million dollars more than the #2 bidder. He is here for the next 7 1/2 years regardless. I would hate to think that he is the type of player who would rather lead-off for a bad team than hit 5th for a contender.

People seem to be skirting around the real issue today, relief pitching. If the game is close late, we lose.

I know the number crunchers on this board have studied the matter and concluded that Wuertz and Ohman are fine and Eyre and Howry are better, but I'm not buying it until someone shows me a stat of how many times in the last three seasons I've seen Wuertz hanging his head in the dugout after leaving the mound. If you only saw the highlights last night, you may not know that Wuertz gave up three long balls. The two to the warning track didn't make the highlight reel. This is a result of Wuertz trying to obey Lou's injunction to throw strikes. It's a problem if you don't have a pitch that you dare to throw in the strike zone.

Of the five guys I mentioned, Dempster has the best stuff and could be a decent setup man but he doesn't have the control to be closer.

Try something else. Give the ball to Cherry, try Piggy. Beyond that, trade Jones and Ward and some of the current relief corps for somebody else who can pitch in relief.

Hippolito…you need some theme music we can listen to when you post.

I was thinking, “Gone with the Wind” soundtrack.

...........................................................................

I was thinking "chariots of fire"

VA Phil, the bullpen hasnt been spectacular with the game on the line. However I personally view it as more an issue with the lineup never giving them support. How many games have we lost late where the pen keeps throwing zero's up and the offense cant push anyone accross?

mannyquatro=aaronb

fwiw....

Hippo:
"Give Hendry credit for consistently fielding a team with a plausible chance to be in the mix year-in and year-out. Don’t punish him for raising our expectations."

Oh brother....

I feel the hitting was at fault as someone showed in an earlier post there were plenty of times to break the game open.

really the flaw with this team as a whole is the offense. Everyone keeps throwing Pythagorean numbers out there saying we should have a better record. In reality this is a poorly constructed lineup of free swingers. We can take a AAAA pitcher out of the park 5 times in a game and put up a 10-spot. Just as easily a good Major league pitcher can cut through this lineup like a warm butter knife. If the longball isnt working, we aint scoring. Unfortunately this is going to be a consistent theme throughout the year. Apparently Jim Hendry forgot that he already put together this team before. The 2004 team had much the same issues. Lots of solo HR's and a bunch of guys who didnt "walk their way off the island".

We rarely get timely hitting. Our relief pitching has been spotty but other teams have that too and yet their position players are capable of pushing across a couple of runs late in the game. Our position players rarely do that. It puts a lot of pressure on relief pitchers to know that they cannot give up any runs at all inning after inning as they hope that somehow the other pitcher gives up four walks so that our team scores a single run.

I think that out hitters approach is at the route of the problem. Several times this year I have seen guys (DeRosa is a big culprit) swinging from their heels and not making contact in situations where a mid-depth fly ball or a groundout the right right side would score the run. It seems to me that too many of our hitters are looking to hit 2 run homers in spots where fundamentally scoring the run would be better served. Secondly if the game is tied or the cubs are down a run late. Nobody really goes up and tries to work the count and get on. Instead each and every hitter goes up there swinging for the fences. At some level this has to fall on the manager/hitting coach for not correcting this. On another level it falls on Hendry for poorly constructing the roster. However the pieces are there if Lou would construct the lineup properly.

Lee, Soriano and Jones combiend for one HR in April.

Either:
A. They will hit near their career average HRs for the year, which means much better days are ahead, or
B. They will all post career-low HR numbers this year

The Yankees seem to be able to always pull of option A -- let's see what we get this year.

MannyQ-

Last night , Theriot walked in the 9th, and DLee hit the ball fairly hard but nor far enough. But, Theriot did his job -- 3 times last night.

Rob, thx for #55, LOL.

#46--H, I call it team chemistry, but I absolutely agree, '03 especially was a team effort (and a couple good starters whose names shall not be spoken).

(But I was hearing violins, a la The Godfather.....)

As for the real Manny, you have sounded a bit more subdued lately (at least when I get time to check in), is everything ok buddy?

Lou's doing what he can with what he's got, and I think the lineup's fine.

(I think it was Rob G. or Az Phil--who posted the link in the offseason which showed Sori's avg. and power drop significantly when he ISN"T hitting leadoff?)

Personally I'm amazed at the RS v. RA nos. so far, and I can't believe the nos. I'm seeing from Lilly/Marquis. I'm wondering where the Rothschild naysayers are now with Marquis? (or will he really be a 6 ERA guy again by Sept...)

I think the ol' Cubbies are working through some things right now, but I'm still, in spite of April's record, more optimistic now than I've been since the fall of '03......

From SF chronicle-

"Some fans are clamoring for the Giants to trade a starter for a bat and promote Lincecum to the rotation, but even teams desperate for pitching are not willing to deal middle-of-the-order hitters this early in the season. Plus, the Giants are reluctant to tinker with their best-performing unit, their starters"

Might have a taker for the outfield jam the Cubs have.

I agree it's frustrating that the Cubs didn't score in their last six innings, but I can't really point a finger at anyone. Murton is rusty at this point. Soriano has not hit a homer but he's starting to swing the bat. He led off the seventh with a sharp single up the middle. He would have scored from second on Lee's infield hit to deep short, when LaRoche, trying for a scoop, swatted the ball away--but Soriano is nursing/hiding an injury and isn't running these days. DeRosa likes the long ball but he has a good modified two-strike right-field swing, so he's okay in the clutch. Ramirez came up with the bases loaded with two out in the seventh in a position to put the game away, but he had a good at-bat, took two close pitches for balls, had a few good rips. Brenly kept talking about how locked in he was.

As for Lee, you can't complain about a guy hitting .390 who looks like he may lose fifty points on his BA but not much more than that. Lee is coming back from a bad injury and has made himself, for this year at least, into a right field hitter with enough power to hit a lot of doubles. If he hits .325-.335 with 25 homers, who will complain?

Meanwhile, we give the ball to a relief pitcher for one inning and he gives up three long balls including the game-winning HR. I would have liked to play another inning or two, especially with Floyd and Ward still on the bench.

25 homers from Lee would be great but at this rate he gets six or seven.

Correction, Soriano singled with two out in the seventh. Theriot walks, Lee gets an infield hit, Ramirez up with the bases loaded and two outs.

Tony:
"As for the real Manny, you have sounded a bit more subdued lately (at least when I get time to check in), is everything ok buddy?"

Yeah, just busy at work...

But I am trying my hardest not to get down on this team yet. It is just very hard. All the money they spent this offseason and with the division being so bad, they should be better. Starting yesterday they have a very easy stretch of games facing PITT and WASH 9 times total. You can even add PHIL to that after those games with a 3 game set. After playing those games they should be almost at .500. If they are still 4-6 games under .500 not, I will really start to worry considering they then have the NYM, CWS and LAD coming up.

Jacos-
Everything I have heard here is that Lincecum isn't going anywhere via trade or even up to SF, barring a couple major injuries. They don't want him up there until Sept this year. The guy is dominating in AAA right now, but is still very young. I just wish he would of started the season here so I could of seen him a few times.

Absolutely it's the relievers fault!!

I mean, the vaunted Cubs lineup put up 2 whole runs against a pitcher who's been getting tattooed so far this year. I mean, if we can't hold a huge 2 run lead, I mean, how can we win?

It will be nice when the Cubs lineup gets some hits with runners on base, takes a few walks, and has both of these things happen in the same game.

One of our specialties for years now has been making awful or at least mediocre pitchers look like Cy Young candidates.

But I am trying my hardest not to get down on this team yet. It is just very hard.

Sure didn't stop you the previous years with Baker in charge. You were mister carry the flag everything will get better with Baker.

You just love taking up the exact opposite position of most everyone else on every single topic. Must be cool to have no set beliefs and your moods are dependant on how the rest of the people using this site react.

The Cubs appear to be on the right track as soon as Ramirez, Lee, and Soriano begin to Smack bombs -----

Lou has done a great job in evaluating the talent, and playing the guys who fit in best as a team game - insertion of Theriot at SS, Pie at CF, and Soriano at Left Field.

Unfortunately, we have murton, floyd, and jacque all struggling for playing time, however, i'm sure Lou will ease Pie in at CF and give Jacque some playing time.

In the meantime, someone needs to step up in the pen in close games. Eyre, Howry, Dempster and company have been nowhere near dominant & excelling in late innings.

#46 says a lotta things a lotta people like me been saying...only in cohesive english all in 1 post rather than 2-3 in a row broken up over 2-3 threads. haha.

i mean hell, some may not like his penchant for tools players, middle IF'rs that can field but have questionable bats, and anyone who can throw 95+mph (things he seems to have a very close common bond with d.dombrowski in)...but he's worked, visually, to pry money and resources from the cubs brass. he's never gone without as far as we know (let's see how Z works out) and that's something a lotta GMs couldnt get the Trib to do for about 20 years.

he's not perfect, but i see bigger issues with the club than what hendry did/does...especially this year.

btw..along with guys like paw, harvey, etc. that are "tools" players hendry drafted...there's guys like aram, dlee, barrett who also fit this mold. some people like to call them "throwaways" that hendry was being suckered into taking, but i dont find that very fair.

cub fan . . . I disagree.

We do not need to wait for ARAM to begin hitting bombs. He is on track now to hit about 40. He is not the problem. The problem is that no one else, other than Barrett, is hitting home runs. You say things will be fine "as soon as" Soriano and Lee begin hitting bombs. Don't assume it will happen. Lee is a different hitter so far after his wrist injury. He may be able to hit .330 but we cannot assume that he is gonna be good for 40 or even 30 or 25 on a regular basis. Soriano? When I have seen him the last week, he has taken wild swings at terrible pitches. Maybe that has been his modus operandi for years but pitchers are having an easy time with him so far this year and I don't think we can assume that he is good for 40 home runs or even 30 this year.

Our pitching, across the board, has been much better than our hitting. Again, our problem is very little timely hitting. Relief pitchers give up runs. It is a fact of life. We need to be able to score occasionally in the 7-8-9 innings.

might have to "go back in time" to evaluate the lee trade as being a dump-type trade, but there were more than a few people pissed choi was sent packing for a guy the cubs were gonna have to pump 7+m into to keep.

the debates about how 1st base D isnt important and how choi could match dlee's production for a small fraction of the price...how dlee was coming off a career year...how he was too much of a free swinger...how he's a power hitter who cant manage to get 100rbis...etc.

Yeah, the salary dump claim with Ramirez is flawed too. Money was a factor, but Ram was coming off an injury and had a reputation for terrible D and a bad attitude.

Relief pitchers give up runs. It is a fact of life.

Not against us in late innings, they don't.

When I look at other relief staffs, I see a difference. I don't see the same guys year after year. It's supposed to be an up-or-out system. If you're a seventh-inning guy, you're supposed to challenge the setup men. If you're setup, you're supposed to challenge the closer.

So Wuertz and Ohman--who don't have good arms!--settle in very comfortably as seventh-inning (that is, third-tier) relief pitchers. Nobody thinks Howry or Eyre should be the closer, even though Dempster has control issues.

These guys are all a little comfortable, if you ask me. Shake 'em up!

I'm surprised other people here want to let these relievers off the hook. They're 0-7. The starters are 10-7.

wuertz has a killer slider, a fastball, and keeps the ball in the park. he can bring his fastball over 90 and his slider is a big plus pitch.

past 3 years he's given up 6 runs he inherited (2 last year, none so far this year) in around 130 innings.

he's not been lights out as his numbers show, but he's got 1 really great pitch, 1 good pitch, and he can keep the ball in the park.

he's also been healthy for the most part. came back strong after a spring scare.

yeah, he is a bit weaker than his numbers show the past few years, but he's more likely to have a good outting than a bad one.

ARM (post #77)-
Good post. Another thing is I don't think it is too safe to assume Hill (1.77 ERA), Marquis (2.35 ERA) and Lilly (2.18 ERA) will keep up what they are doing, they all will cool off at some point. Overall they might end up better than some of us thought on the year, but they will get worse and keep up the pace they are at. At the same time Z should get better and not keep up his poor pace he is on.

That is the sad part, we are getting great starting pitching from those 3 guys, but only have 7 wins to show from them.

MikeC:
"Sure didn’t stop you the previous years with Baker in charge. You were mister carry the flag everything will get better with Baker."

That is what 96 losses and an incompetent GM does to you I guess.

"Soriano? When I have seen him the last week, he has taken wild swings at terrible pitches."

get used to that...its what he does. pie's probably gonna do the same thing as far as hitting style projects currently...while he may not walk much, he may develop better pitch selection than soriano eventually.

soriano sets up at the top of the batter's box and swings. he's got some of the fastest wrists around and feasts on stuff that dont break early enough through the zone while managing to foul off or hit any fastball thrown at him. of course, he's not gonna hit them all and when the offspeed stuff breaks properly he's gonna look stupid.

I’m surprised other people here want to let these relievers off the hook. They’re 0-7. The starters are 10-7.

I think we should hand the ball off to Cherry in all crucial situations, call up Pignatiello, Walrond, John Webb, Ben Howard and Federico Baez and run with them. It's got to be better, right?

needs more novoa.

I’m surprised other people here want to let these relievers off the hook. They’re 0-7. The starters are 10-7.

Of course they are 0-7, the only way Relievers can get credited with a win is if the team is behind and then the offense scores some runs.

As we all know, so far this year, Cub offense acts like this is little league, where they can go out for ice cream as soon as the 6th inning is finished.

wuertz has a killer slider, a fastball, and keeps the ball in the park. he can bring his fastball over 90 and his slider is a big plus pitch.

His fastball is mainly useful on 0-0 if the hitter is taking all the way, and on 3-0. Other times they murder it. 90 would be a generous gun reading, but it's hittable whatever speed it is.

You may not have seen the bottom of the eighth yesterday, but all three long shots were off of "killer" sliders.

It's only a killer if it's way low, and then only if they swing.

Wuertz is sometimes effective with men on, sometimes very effective, but it's mostly psychological. If he gets that first called strike by them--usually a hitter will lay off the first pitch in a pressure situation--and gets a swing on the second pitch, a low slider--then the hitter is in trouble.

But the longer Wuertz is in there, the greater the chance he will put the ball in the strike zone on a count where the hitter is swinging. Then something bad usually happens.

He could be brought in to get one guy out in a pressure situation, and then yanked, like a loogie, but that's very specialized for a righty reliever.

"Relief pitchers give up runs. It is a fact of life.

Not against us in late innings, they don’t."

Well that's the point, the Cubs are not hitting.

Cubs are 8th in Runs Scored in the NL fwiw
3rd in Runs Allowed

the only team in baseball to not win a one-run game yet.

those are total runs scored of course, if you look at averages, I'm sure we rank a bit higher on the offense and lower on the pitching/defense.

Arizona if 8-4 in one-run games, almost 45% of their games have been the one-run variety.

The relievers overall aren't that bad. They have the 5th best ERA in the NL (3.34), but just gave up those runs at the wrong times.

And just for the record, our offense is 2nd in the NL in batting average with RISP (.279). Actually better than their overall numbers:
Overall: .270/.326/.413
w/ RISP: .279/.339/.423

crunch:
"needs more novoa."

nah, farnsworth...:)

sorry, we're 9th in Runs Scored in the NL, should have watched more Sesame Street as a kid.

Good Point ARM.
But i think Lee will heat up through the year with the power. Soriano should end up with 30 -- minimum.

the problem, once our offense starts belting the ball, our overachieving starting pitching will fall ----

it's like golf, when your drivers on, your putter disappears. a good team has consistancy. our team lacks that consistancy due to Hendry throwing together a bunch of pieces that don't truly fit.

that being said, with Theriot starting every day, and Pie starting most days, our consistency should be better.

Crunch: "Needs more Novoa"

Not sure I'm on the right wavelength here, but my mental image is of a Will Farrell SNL sketch: "needs more cowbell"

I've got the fever...and the only prescription...is MORE ROJAS!!!!!

I think we should hand the ball off to Cherry in all crucial situations, call up Pignatiello, Walrond, John Webb, Ben Howard and Federico Baez and run with them.

Well, I only mentioned Cherry and Pignatiello, and I haven't seen much of Pignatiello. I do think Cherry will have Howry's job pretty soon--he may have passed up Wuertz yesterday--and will immediately put pressure on Dempster.

I was talking up Howry a few weeks ago because he was trying to learn an offspeed pitch, but in a pinch he relies on a fastball that appears to be diminishing, and then the question becomes, why has he waited so long to learn a second pitch?

Eyre has a pretty good arm and might get back on track, but even then he's of limited usefulness since lefty relievers are usually reserved for lefty hitters, or at least for an inning in which two or more lefthanded hitters are due up. What we need are durable righthanded relievers who can get six outs for you. What we're learning on a daily basis is that Wuertz and Howry are not those guys.

Hendry couldn't get a starter for Jones, but he can get a reliever or two.

The bats we have are the bats we're going to have. The bullpen we can change.

we got a lead...and the only cure....is more novoa.

"I do think Cherry will have Howry’s job pretty soon–he may have passed up Wuertz yesterday–and will immediately put pressure on Dempster."

woah now...i mean, hell...cherry's got a top slider and a fastball, too (i dont know how you can like one and not the other, btw), but the main difference is cherry is a flyball pitcher who's fastball has more movement.

while i like both, i'm more of a fan of wuertz, personally.

Bow down before our Conquering Cheese Eaters-

from Jason Stark espn.com-

"• Of the 144 teams that made it to the postseason in that span, only eight (or 5.6 percent) came out of April more than three games under .500. Clubs that need to worry most about that history lesson: the Yankees (9-14), Astros (10-14), Cardinals (10-14), Cubs (10-14) and Rangers (10-15).

• Just six of those 144 playoff teams (or 4.2 percent) found themselves more than 4½ games out of a playoff spot after April. Those same five clubs ought to get nervous about that trend; the Yankees are 6½ games out, while the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros are all 5½ games out.

• And you wouldn't think the standings would mean much this time of year. But more than half of the 120 teams that found themselves in first place after April (66 of 120) wound up finishing first. And 98 of the 120 (81.7 percent) of the teams that finished the season in first place either led their division or were within 2½ games of the lead at the end of April. "

And this gem-
"Weirdest division of the month: As loyal reader Justin Germany points out, until Monday the Cubs were the only team in the NL Central to outscore its opponents in April. And they were tied for last place"

Doom, i tells ya, doom!!!

MANNY: "And just for the record, our offense is 2nd in the NL in batting average with RISP (.279)."

How abt. w/two outs?

Curious...

yeah...im sure the yanks, cubs, and houston are in panic mode.

actually believe STL might be cuz kip wells is reverting, the kids arent sharp, and some of the more important bats are taking time to warm up. that pitching though...man...and not much coming through the pipeline soon. blake hawksworth might get a shot, but he's not even been sharp in AAA.

I think that we should look at those stats since the wild card was put in. By my count only 96 teams (12 years 8 teams per) qualify. I would imagine the numbers would be a bit more optimistic.

You're killing me, crunch... lol

mannyquatro, a.k.a. aaronb:

Everyone keeps throwing Pythagorean numbers out there saying we should have a better record. In reality this is a poorly constructed lineup of free swingers. We can take a AAAA pitcher out of the park 5 times in a game and put up a 10-spot.

I think you hit on the crux of the problem, of why Cub's hitting is chronically streaky year after year. They have a habit of stocking up on high-output free swingers like Jones. And don't fool yourself, Pie is the next up-and-coming free swinger. His swing is looooonnnnngggg and luxurious. Don't get me wrong, he'll be good. But you still need the guys who will make opposing pitchers work, like the Pat Burrells of the baseball world. He might not blow you away with results, but he's going to make the opposing pitcher work, and eventually they'll throw a mistake pitch.

I think there's a decent chance 07 Cards = 06 Cubs in terms of general craptitude. A lot of things are going to have to go right for them to even be close to competitive.

FEAR THE CHEESE, OUR MILLER OVERLORDS WILL NOT TAKE KIND TO THIS BLASPEHMOUS TALK!!!

E-Man:
"How abt. w/two outs?"

Cubs are 4th in NL with a .252 batting average.

07 Cubs = 05 Mets ?

OBP of guys with at least 50 Plate Appearance (well close to 50)

D-Lee: 468
Aramis: 367
Theriot: 347
Derosa: 345
JJ: 337
Barrett: 329
Murton: 313
Soriano: 308
Floyd: 305
Izturis: 273
Pie: 250

How about P/PA?
Derosa: 4.31
Aramis: 4.14
Soriano: 3.99
Derrek: 3.92
Barrett: 3.72
Izturis: 3.63
JJ: 3.60
Murton: 3.42
Theriot: 3.39
Pie: 3.36
Floyd: 3.08

Blanco @ 4.29 and Cedeno @ 3.80 fwiw.

Man, Murton is a mess right now, wish we'd face a few lefties so he could get a few starts in a row.

Jacos (post #102)-
Those are some scary stats. Fans can't use the "It's April." excuse anymore and looking at those stats, the "It's early." crowd might start to worry now.

Rynox:
"07 Cubs = 05 Mets ?"

Tied for 4th in the division? Not unrealistic at all unfortunately.

I'd worry more if there was a good reason for our 10-14 record. Right now it's mostly a function of an 0-6 record in one-run games. Unless you believe in a Cubs curse, the one-run games usually even out over the course of a year.

The team is hardly perfect of course, Marquis, Lilly and Hill won't continue their Glavine, Smoltz, Maddux impersonations all season but they should all be no worse than average with a good chance that Hill and Lilly be above average and Z should be closer to his self the rest of the way.

Bullpen does need to improve, no doubt, but I do think we have the right guys.

A lot of the offense though needs to pick it up substantially. Only Ramirez and Lee are really hitting where they should be and even Lee should pick up the power. The outfield is a disaster once again, but every single one should improve dramatically.

Send Murton down so he can get straightened out. Once he is back to hitting .400 or so in Iowa, trade him to somewhere he will be appreciated. Too many outfielders is screwing with Lou's head and he won't come up with a fixed order until some of the better players are gone. Bring back Neifi or Macias so there will be someone he won't be tempted to play.

I'm with Rob G.

I'm not too worried right now. We lost a one-run game last night that we probably should have won (although Duke has owned us, so I'm not real surprised at the results) right after winning three pretty impressive games in a row.

I think Lou has managed the roster about as well as could be expected and is getting pretty good results from most of the players, except for the outfielders-- which might be our biggest problem. Imagine how the 1-2 run W-L record would look if we had a couple of HRs from Soriano, Jones, and Murton.

The season's run differential is encouraging and is an indicator that this is a decent team. I think, at the very least, we'll be really competitive all year long and THAT is a big improvement from last year.

I think if the OF gets figured out, and Theriot proves he can play SS, we'll be just fine.

"I’d worry more if there was a good reason for our 10-14 record."

Well put.

mannytrillo:

Tied for 4th in the division? Not unrealistic at all unfortunately.

Actually, I was thinking about a certain outfielder who made oodles of money and underperformed his first year.

crunch:
“needs more novoa.”

nah, farnsworth…:)

No, no. The only thing that'll cure our fever is more Remlinger.

This outfield logjam needs to be fixed immediately. There's no way Murton's ever going to get on track getting 2-3 starts/week. Matt Murton v2006 is exactly what this offense is missing right now (i.e. high P/PA, high OBP), but he's not going to find his swing rotting on the bench.

Rynox, For the reason that I stated before this is why Murton not playing is troubling to me. The way this team is constructed. Theriot and Murton are ideal fits for the #1 and 2 spot in the order. Yet because he is afraid to ailienate a vet and possibly poison his clubhouse. Lou is afraid to sit Floyd in favor of Murton. Yet Floyd,Jones,Soriano,DeRosa and Pie are all basically the same type of hitter. Free swinging types that generally are adverse to working the count. You can get by with having a few of these hitters in a lineup. However it is not a good idea to completely stock you lineup with nothing but this kind of hitter. The cubs have had the same problem for as long as I can remember. Their pitcher is at 100 pitches in the 5th. The opposing pitcher is in the 7th or 8th before the 100 pitch mark.

speaking of Ted Lilly...

2-2, 2.18 ERA, 33 IP, 5 BB, 33 K, 1 HR

crazy BB/K rate so far, gotta love it

Marquis
3-1, 2.35 ERA, 30.2 IP, 13 BB, 14 K, 1 HR

pretty much Marquis other than the ERA

Hill
3-1, 1.77 ERA, 35.2 IP, 11 BB, 29 K, 3 HR

and then freaking Z
2-2, 5.77 ERA, 34.3 IP, 19 BB, 25 K, 8 HR

Z gave up 9 hr's in all of 2003...bring me back my groundball pitcher!!!!!

murt did have a sore back for a while...still, not like much is opening up for him...or floyd.

RichK — May 1, 2007 @ 1:13 pm
Send Murton down so he can get straightened out. Once he is back to hitting .400 or so in Iowa, trade him to somewhere he will be appreciated. Too many outfielders is screwing with Lou’s head and he won’t come up with a fixed order until some of the better players are gone. Bring back Neifi or Macias so there will be someone he won’t be tempted to play.
.....................................................................

Im glad we dont have Dave Roberts or Damon Buford on this roster. We would be pining to trade Felix Pie so that he doesnt mess with Lou's head.

and to stay on the Murton topic if I may. What kind of message does it send to a kid with a bright future when he gets on base 2 out of 4 times on Friday, Then he sits behind someone with no future whatsoever til Monday? How can you not expect him to press when he cant get into the game. All he has done is outperform Cliff Floyd since he has been in the league. Yet he sits behind Floyd because Cliff is a "Proven Vet".

and Cliff Floyd went 4/5 on Wednesday or something like that...

Trade JJ or send Pie down, go back to letting Murton/Floyd play 50/50.

I'm all for playing Murt every day. The Riot and him are the only two patient hitters out there. But when he starts once a week or so, he's bound to press and that's where the jumping on the first pitch comes from. He doesn't seem to be able to pinch hit for the same reason. 3 ABs in 5 days won't allow him to get into the flow. I'd be in the back of the dugout reading the paper. Wake me when it's my turn.

Rob G.:
"Unless you believe in a Cubs curse, the one-run games usually even out over the course of a year."

FWIW, last year the Cubs were 15-26 in one run games.

aaronb:
"What kind of message does it send to a kid with a bright future when he gets on base 2 out of 4 times on Friday, Then he sits behind someone with no future whatsoever til Monday?"

You mean to tell me that Dusty is not the only manager who did that? Hmm...:)

FWIW, Cubs were 26-20 in one run games in 2005

19-30 in 2004
27-17 in 2003

Yeah, I didn't go any further back than last year, but looking at those numbers over the past 4 years, it doesn't look like one-run games usually even out over the course of a year. Only 2005 was even close to even.

Jack needs to stay over Floyd. Jack can play all 3 outfield positions and protects us if Felix goes in the tank. Floyd and Ward are basically redundant on this roster. If they can be utilized as LHPHers they are fine. If they need to play every day. Well it sort of defeats the purpose.

unfortunately Floyd is pretty much untradeable until June 15th thus I pick JJ.

Actually I think you should just send down Pie, you put Theriot in to improve the offense at SS but Pie just ends up negating it right now.

Just move JJ to center and go back to Floyd/Murt in the corners.

Huh. Is Ward hurt? Just occurred to me I hadn't seen him in awhile, and indeed after checking he hasn't had an at bat since 4/24.

There are so many tangibles with this outfield-
-You can't count on Floyd, because he is fragile
-you can't count on Pie, because he is a rookie
-You can't count on Murton, because he is not getting enough playing time

JJ, can;t believe I'm sayiing this, is the most reliable. You know what you are going to get with him.

I'm thinking if Pie doesn't hit more impressively, send him down.

Outfield
LF-Soriano
CF-JJ
RF-Murton/Floyd

Or lead a trail of twinkies out of the clubhouse and when Ward follows them out, lock the door.

Really that is the best option right now IMHO Rob. Pie has gotten a taste of the bigs. Sending him down will/should keep him hungry and maybe buy us an extra year of club controlled contract.

expect Izturis to play tonight and Floyd fwiw, both have hit Armas Jr. well

my lineup guess..
Soriano, JJ, Lee, Ramirez, Floyd, Barrett, Derosa, Izturis

re Carlos Beltran and Soriano. I feared this when we signed him. But I am fully prepared to give him until next year to show his true value to this team.

Putting on my AZ Phil hat for a moment. These are moves that Aaron B were in charge instead of Jim Hendry:

1.Put Kerry Wood on the 60 day DL retroactive to March 15

2.Add Mike Fontenot back to the 40 man roster

3. Send down Ronny Cedeno

4. Call up Fontenot to replace Cedeno

5. Send down Felix Pie when time comes for #5 starter

6. Call up either Guzman,Marshall, Marmol to take 5th spot. Guzman is the best option as of today.

I think the DeRosa signing speaks volumes about Hendry's philosphy. You had a high-OBP, fast, low-power 2B, who had put up good numbers at both AAA and MLB last year, and Hendry goes out and signs a high-strikeout, decent HR guy who has been a backup most of his career.

Now, they are playing Theriot out of position in a critical defensive position, because they need someone like him in the lineup.

No strategic thinking by Hendry -- he just acquires parts and hopes they fit together. Daryl Ward? Why?

If Aaron B were in Charge instead of Jim Hendry. Sorry about the typo's

"The Riot and him are the only two patient hitters out there."

Don't confuse walks and patience. Did you see RobG. list of p/pa? Soriano is third on that list.

And F Matt Murton, he keeps on showing why he'll never be a special player at the Major League level. For some reason you guys equate OBP to superstardom. I doesn't work like that. I say lets trade Murton, but then again its hard to trade a worthless player.

"07 Cubs = 05 Mets ?"

I had posted this before as well.

It is remarkably similar in that the Mets spent a billion dollars on FA's only to stink in 2005 - or, let's say, "underachieve greatly".

To this point, the Cubs are headed that way.

IMO, 2008 should be much better once some deadwood is cleared away, and Lou gets all the players he really can count on (and that he has a hand in choosing or suggesting to management).

Daryl Ward? Why?
------
Somebody had to replace John Mabry...da da boom.

I think it is totally rail against Murton for not putting up good numbers thus far. You have to hit when given a chance unless you are a "proven vet"

BillyBucks — May 1, 2007 @ 2:07 pm
I think the DeRosa signing speaks volumes about Hendry’s philosphy. You had a high-OBP, fast, low-power 2B, who had put up good numbers at both AAA and MLB last year, and Hendry goes out and signs a high-strikeout, decent HR guy who has been a backup most of his career.

Now, they are playing Theriot out of position in a critical defensive position, because they need someone like him in the lineup.

No strategic thinking by Hendry — he just acquires parts and hopes they fit together. Daryl Ward? Why?

........................................................................

I 100% agree with this Billy, it really isnt a suprise thought. Hendry just like McFail before him equate HR output as the #1 factor in rating a ballplayer. Mark Grace railed against the organization on his way out of town for just this thinking. " The cubs are more concerned about home runs than they are about actually winning." was his quote.

while I do like to differentiate between OBP and P/PA, murton was at 3.71 P/PA last year tied with Aramis for tops on the team (although Derrek would have trumped them if he played enough).

and Murton led in BB/PA as well.

He just needs more consistent AB's imo.

hope Theriot continues what he started yesterday, he was hacking at the first pitch a lot to start the year, which I don't have nearly as much a problem as some do as long as the results are there (works for Nomar and Barrett just fine), but at some point the pitchers and defense will adjust.

As we get closer to all the games against the American League, Floyd comes in handy. He would be the DH of choice, wouldn't he, against right handed pitching? At this point, it would be stupid to trade him. Once we get past the American League games, well, consider it then depending on all the circumstances then existing.

I think we should keep Pie and send Murton down, since he is obviously not suited for use only a couple of times a week. Then, when the trade market heats up, get rid of Jones or Floyd, and bring Murt back up.

It isnt so much that Murton is such a superior player to Floyd or Jones. It is more a situation where Murton's strenghts are Cub lineup weaknesses. If we had a lineup full of patient, well versed hitters. Jones or Floyd would be fine replacements. Its just that playing these guys over Murton really does nothing to improve the cubs lot. I.E. if they want to improve their team OBP, play people who get on base more than people who dont.

Yeah, you are preaching to the choir, aaronb. The problem is that Floyd and Jones are both LH power veterans, and taking either one away from the lineup creates some problems with your bench, and matching up with all the good RH setup-men and closers. Jones is also more useful, because he can also play center. When thinking anything other than short-term, I think that Murton is the one you want to end up with getting most of the playing time. But I think that you need to wait for a little while until the trade market heats up, so that you can get something in return that will help to balance the loss of a LH power bat from the bench.

Right on Jace, I really wonder what Hendry was thinking when he signed both Floyd and Ward this offseason? Did he figure one would be hurt? Was he just trying to spend his allotted budget?

Did you see RobG. list of p/pa? Soriano is third on that list.

In an at-bat where you swing and miss three times, you're still liable to see five pitches.

The reason Neifi saw so few pitches was that he could pop up anything.

Yeah, Ward is yet another problem. I would doubt that the Cubs could get much of anything for Ward, even later in the season. I don't think I would lose much sleep if they just cut him. It doesn't appear that Lou would either...

you all seem to fit that while Ward hasn't done much this year, he has been on of the best pinch hitters in baseball over the last couple of years.

he has a role on this team, it just has not worked out yet.

who else would you rather have as the 25th man on the bench?

**fit = forget

Dave, It isnt that I see Ward as a worthless player. It's just that Ward and Floyd are exactly the same player. Logistically it does not work to carry 12 pitchers and 2 LHPHers on the same roster.

floyd and ward not the same player. do you care to clarify on why you think that?

floyd is a player who can play every day and get 4-5 at-bats a game. ward is not. floyd is also capable of playing a few different positions (though not well), while ward is not. ward is a pinch hitter. his role is to come in late in games when the team needs a big hit.

floyd is capable of a lot more than ward is. floyd is not the type of player you give one or two at-bats a week to.

Ward's content with his role and has all of 16 PA's to go off of...
200/500/300

4 times he's been intentionally walked already, probably cause Izturis was due up next. :)

2 for 10 otherwise with 2 BB's and 3 K's.

This is holding our team down?

If Floyd is relegated to bench duty only, then yeah, it's redundant, but Floyd came here to start even if it was only 50% of the time.

I too would like to see Murt get some more playing time, and I think its incredibly frustrating to see a solid, patient hitter sitting on the bench every day.

Unfortuantly, he's battling for playing time with two good left handed hitters, and right now in the battle of playing time, being left handed is more important than being a patient hitter is Lou's lineup. But at least the leftys that are playing have a history of mashing RH pitching, so you can understand the thinking.

While I've seen lots of complaints about the "logjams," I certainly am glad that this year the problem is having too many decent players fighting for playing time. DeRosa and Theroit in the Infield is great, and it shows that Lou isn't just going with Izturis becaues he's a "proven veteran" I'm also ok with Murton/Floyd/Jones/Pie all pushing each other for playing time. And I'm certainly grateful that its not just Floyd and Jones playing because they have the most experience, unlike the last few years where Murton and Pie would have rotted on the bench while players like Hollandsworth and Jerry Hairston saw the bulk of the playing time.

Yeah BB. The only thing I don't agree with is that I DO feel that Murton is rotting on the bench. He is not getting the AB's he needs, and that is not a situation that will work long-term.

Soriano LF
Floyd RF
Lee 1b
Ramirez 3b
Barrett C
Jones CF
DeRosa 2B
Izzy SS
Lilly

ugh... not a big fan of pie in the bigs if he is not going to play almost every day.

this is two of three on the bench for him.

My point is that Floyd SHOULD be filling Ward's role. Here is ops+ for each guy the 2 previous years:

Floyd Murton
2005 125 135
2006 91 103

So really the point I am trying to make is this. Why are we playing a proven vet that is an inferior defensive player to the younger player that has outperformed him both of his years in the bigs? I say it is because Lou is "afraid" to bench him. Lou said as much on Saturday when he told Girardi that he is going to play his veterans as much as possible. So to not cause problems in the clubhouse.

All this trade talk, but the question is who wants what we have to trade. Hendry tried all winter to trade Jones with no takers. We are still paying the price for MacPhails mistakes. After over 60 years as a Cub fan my only hope is new ownership.

JAOCF - I agree that there is very little of a trade market right now. I do think that they need to wait until later this season to clear this problem up...

how was jones a mistake? jones was a phenomenal value for his salary last year, and it is WAY too early to judge his value this year, but chances are he will be a bargain again.

finding a taker when your asking price is too high for the other team is different than not being able to find a taker cuz no one wants him.

you're not gonna find many RF/CF's in jones' price range.

Bleeding Blue:
"unlike the last few years where Murton and Pie would have rotted on the bench while players like Hollandsworth and Jerry Hairston saw the bulk of the playing time"

Yeah, Murton rotted on that bench for 508 PA's last year.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/mlb_experts/...

Murton & Samardzija for Harden anyone?

hehe

rather random rumor about the A's calling the Red Sox to see if there's any interest in Harden, rotoworld speculated Wily Mo Pena and Clay Bucholz were asked about.

Pure speculation....

Poor Hendry would get fried if he brought Harden in.

rob... interesting article.

more interesting than the harden trade possibilities is the fact that NY fans are now booing David Wright.

You have to be kidding me...

"Ryan Howard had just three homers, Carlos Delgado only one and Alfonso Soriano none at all: Hitters were stuck in an April ice age, with home runs and scoring in the major leagues dropping to their lowest levels since 1993."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070501/ap_on_sp_...

i'd trade smardjza & eyre for Rocco Baldelli. solves alot of problems - for both teams..

Problem with that trade CFBM, is that the D-Rays need a major league starter...they have plenty of almost ready prospects in AAA and AA...Talbot, Hammel, Niemann, Mason...

Yeah, Murton rotted on that bench for 508 PA’s last year.

Yep, and all it took was trades by Hendry to remove every single other option Dusty had in LF to do it. Of course, it made the bench even weeker than it already was, but when you've got a manager who would rather play the likes of Todd Hollandsworth, Jerry Hairston, and Phil Nevin, etc.. than give a promising youngester a chance what's a GM to do?

Actually the answer is get rid of the manager, and while it took Hendry way to long to do it, he did finally make a change, and the difference this year is really remarkable. Players like Murton, Pie, and Theroit are all being forced to earn their playing time by outperfoming proven players, but they are not being relegated to bench duty simply because the players they are compeating against have more MLB service time.

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