The New Nasty Boys?

Many of us here at TCR have been trying to understand the rationale behind Lou Piniella's recent "brainstorm" where Ryan Dempster was (apparently) supposed to move from closer to the starting rotation, with Angel Guzman moving from #5 starter to closer. Personally, I have always preferred Guzman more as a starter than as a reliever, mainly because of his four-pitch arsenal (two seamer, four seamer, curve, and change), and I have pushed Gooz as a starter in the past for that reason. However, I believe the three most-liklely factors (besides the meltdown in the 9th inning at Shea last Thursday) that influenced Uncle Lou to seriously consider this move are: 1. Guzman' history of muscle cramps when he gets dehydrated (whch seems to happen fairly often), and throwing one inning versus five or six innings might help to keep that from happening; 2. When used as a starter, Guzman has tended to be a five or six inning pitcher. No matter how good a pitcher's stuff might be, the inability to clear the 5th or 6th inning puts too much of a strain on the bullpen in the long-run. 3. Deep-down, Piniella probably tends to prefer young power-pitchers in his bullpen (like the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds "Nasty Boys"--Randy Myers, Rob Dibble, and Norm Charlton), so Uncle Lou might be attempting to transition from what appears (to him) to be a tired and spent veteran bullpen staffed by the likes of Dempster, Bob Howry, and Scott Eyre, to a Nasty Boys II (with Guzman as the closer, and Carlos Marmol, Will Ohman, Michael Wuertz, Rocky Cherry, and perhaps Clay Rapada filling out the card) by sometime later this year, or 2008 at the latest. That would leave the Cubs with a 2008 starting rotation of Carlos Zambrano (presuming "Z" is still a Cub), Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, Rich Hill, and probably Sean Marshall, with Sean Gallagher, Donald Veal, Mark Holliman, and Jeff Samardzija other possibilities down the road, although Veal might be more of a candidate for the bullpen. BTW, if Guzman does in fact go to the bullpen this week, and Dempster remains there, too, then there will have to be a new 5th starter by Saturday (at the latest). The two most-likely candidates at this time are probably Wade Miller (who continues merrily on his minor league rehab tonight, starting for AAA Iowa at Round Rock), and Marshall (who has pitched well at Iowa after starting the season rehabbing a sore shoulder at EXST). One other possibility (eventually) could be Neal Cotts (who was rated by Baseball America as the White Sox #3 prospect back in 2003, when he was still a full-time rotation starter in AA), especially if Cotts gets optioned to AAA this week to make room for the Cubs' new 5th starter (presumably Miller or Marshall). If Cotts does get sent down this week, I would think he would likely be converted back to a starting pitcher (which was mentioned by Jim Hendry as a possibility when the Cubs acquired Cotts from the Sox) and get his pitch count extended, so in the event Miller and/or Marshall falter, Cotts could be Plan "C."


At some point the Cubs are going to have to make a decision on their relief pitching staff for 2007 and exactly what their roles are to be.

That picture looks really gay.

Wade Miller?? Neal Cotts??

I'll take Guzman, 5 IP or no....

I was thinking the same thing, Elton. It made me wonder what, exactly, is so nasty about them. Then I realized I didn't actually want to know.

That wasn't so gay looking back in 1990, but in today's world of shoe bombs and oil rigs everyone thinks two guys embracing is "gay".

I agree, there is nothing wrong with 3 guys holding each other "lovingly"

Miller is dreadful, i dont know why he is still around. I can only pray they give the same chance to Prior because in my opinon Prior has a lot more upside after his surgery than Miller had now. It is worth at least taking a look at

I venture to guess that Miller is being kept as a "last resort" guy at this point. Lou saw all he really cared to see from Wade in April.

I'm really not a fan of the idea of Marshall starting in the 5th spot. I just don't think 3 lefties with similar stuff in the same rotation is a great idea, especially when two of them will have to go back to back.

Unless Hendry's got a trade up his sleeve, I'd prefer just keeping Guz in the rotation. No sense in messing up the rotation if it's the bullpen that's the problem. Sit Howry and Eyre down and find out what the hell's going on. If they need a DL trip fine. But you don't fix the bullpen by screwing up the rotation. At least Lou ditched the Dempster as 5th starter idea.

You left out Wood and Prior in the 2008 rotation. Duh.

guzman does have some advantages going for him if he went to the pen. His stuff tails off by the 4th inning. In the pen theory is that Guzman can "let it go and pitch in the upper 90's" Marmol is along the same lines in that he throws too many pitches per inning to be a starter. Guzman is my choice to close because he has always displayed good control comming up in the minors. Marmol is wilder and should be more of a middle guy. Dempster should be able to eat innings and be a league average pitcher. Really that is all you need in the #5 spot. Obviously its a huge gamble. But the upside is there if the gamble pays off.

Dempster should be able to eat innings and be a league average pitcher.

I posted to that in the previous thread. Yer right. Over his career Dempster on average pitched into the seventh inning of the games he started while allowing 3-4 earned runs. If your #5 SP can do that it helps rest the pen/ Guzman on the other hand doesn't seem to have a body that's ready to be an SP just yet. .

I'm big on youth but I draw the line at that skinny guy Rapada.

Come on, athletes first.

I was just reading an old BP story from 1998 about pitcher abuse points when I read the following paragraph:
And, of course, I can't write this article without mentioning Kerry Wood. At 21, he's the youngest name on this list, and he's in the middle of the pack as far as abuse goes. He hasn't thrown more than 128 pitches in a game this year, but he has a number of outings in the 120+ range. I don't think he's in grave danger of injury - he's a big guy with good mechanics, relies on his fastball, and doesn't throw a splitter. But I do think that Jim Riggleman should take a little more care of the most prized arm of the decade.

How's that for foresight? Ouch. But they're not totally wrong:
I leave you with this: Greg Maddux, who is averaging about 7.5 innings a start, ranks as one of the least abused pitchers in the game. He has yet to throw more than 107 pitches in a start this year. For those of us looking for yet another reason to proclaim him the best pitcher of our time, or any time, this may be the best reason of all: he might just pitch forever.

"He hasn’t thrown more than 128 pitches in a game this year, but he has a number of outings in the 120+ range."

maybe BP should go back and check out some highschool box scores if they care about such a thing.

I hadn't thought of that, but it makes good sense, Phil. While the Dempster change is something of a non-starter for this year, I'm very intrgued by the thought of a NB II.

I'd be more intrigued if it worked as well as the original.....

And it really is interesting how tastes change with time, what's considered masculine and what's considered, well, not masculine. (artistic depictions of Jesus throughout the ages are an excellent example of this)

For instance, remember this cover, from 2001?

the power pen is the way to go -- all the good playoff teams have a dynamic 8th & 9th inning guy.

does guzman have the electric stuff that matches this profile???

Dempster was always a good starter back in the day, so i can see that move working out.

Heh. Sutcliffe explaining to me how Damon's speed hit A-rod's home run.

Quantum causality has nothing on Sutcliffe causality.

trans. please explain. i am listening to yankee's radio - so all i got was john sterling's atomic version...

Dempster was always a good starter back in the day

ummm... no he wasn't. an okay starter? sure, but never good.

Damon stole second, and wakefield bluffed one pickoff move to him at second.

Wake then hangs a knuckler at the letters, and A-rod smokes it over the monuments in left.

Sutcliffe spends the next two minutes gushing about how Damon's speed causes the home run. Repeatedly explains how it was Damon, standing on second, who caused the HR. A-rod, and to a lesser extent, Wake, totally drop out from the explanation of why the ball went 430 feet. It's Damon's speed, you see.

quantum dislocation.

Dempster's career ERA as a starter: 4.99.

To clarify, that is not "league average" or "solid."
That is craptastic.

Dempster isn't the main problem right now.

Wade Miller after 1 IP in Iowa today:
2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Wade needs to go home and forget he ever played the game of baseball. He and Glendon Rusch would make great neighbors at some retirement home.

The Original Nasty Boys look like an early 90s R&B group in that pose.


Cue Chad with the "cut a hole in the box" comment.

The look in Dibble's eyes is either very alarming or very funny. Personally, I lean toward alarming.

Wade needs to go home and forget he ever played the game of baseball. He and Glendon Rusch would make great neighbors at some retirement home.

They play on the same lob-ball team. They take turns pitching, pleased that they can get Enrique Wilson to pop-up on the infield.

Well golly gee, Miller thinks he's ready...

Wade Miller, working his way back to the Cubs rotation after being sidelined for a month by back spasms, threw 89 pitches, 54 for strikes, in a six-inning stint against the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A Astros affiliate owned by Nolan Ryan. He will join the team in San Diego on Tuesday and thinks he's once again ready for big-league action.


Click here for the full story.

Let's see... "when the club wants to use you..." They'll have to mull that over for about 6 months and get back with you.

Do these comments bear any kind of resemblance to Mark Prior saying he's "ready to go"?

When I look at that photo I feel like I have just interrupted "Randy's Storytime for Norm and Rob." They are staring at me, annoyed, because Randy was just getting to the best part.

Absolutely everyone should read Carlos Gomez (Chad Bradford Wannabe)'s video analysis of Carlos Zambrano's pitching mechanics from 2005 to 2007, over at the Hardball Times. Gomez, a former pro. pitcher, has rapidly gained an outstanding reputation for his work breaking down pitchers' mechanics.

Conclusion: Absolutely lower arm angle, possible but inconculsive reason for lower angle? protecting his shoulder.

"Wade needs to go home and forget he ever played the game of baseball."

Steve - when he was at the top of his game, he threw some SMOKE, dude!

But, alas, those days are over.

We get the "Glendon Rusch BP" version, instead.

- sigh -

I cant argue with anything said above regarding Miller.
However, you'll recall that we all pretty much said the same stuff about Borowski.
Trouble is, if we do want to hang on to Miller, I'm not sure where to put him till (if) he's better.

Wow, nobody does a slump better than Corey Patterson. Batting .219 he goes 0/5 tonight with 4 strikeouts while his teammates pile up 19 hits!

Stick a fork in that $16.5 Million

Jeff Samardzjia (0-3 5.18 ERA) was serving up batting practice tonight. Knocked out after giving up 7 runs in the second innning.

1.2 , 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 K, 1 IBB, 1 HR(solo shot)

Gay or not, the thing I'm most worried about are Dibble's cartoon-like eyes. Does anyone have some of Judge Doom's Dip lying around?

crunch will be along shortly to tell you not to worry about Samardzjia. He's just working on his 'getting the shit kicked out of him' pitch, and if he really wanted he could get out major league hitters with ease.

I don't think he's done, however. He may need to go down an league, and Veal can take his spot in Daytona.

Samardzjia being send down (the road) to St. Mary's...oops wrong sport.

i still think Wuertz would be a good candidate to close next year.

i still think Wuertz would be a good candidate to close next year.

He could close, but I like him right where he's at... coming in the game in the 6th/7th after the starter puts 2 guys on, no outs.

With 100% being complete certainty Carlos is re-signed by the Cubs, and 0% being complete certainty that Carlos is not going to be re-signed by the Cubs, what is your number?

And if you think he will be re-signed, is he going to have to now accept less than was being discussed a couple of short months ago?

Samardjiya and Veal are scuffling, but Sean Gallagher won his sixth game yesterday at AA Tennessee, tied with Holliman.

AZ Phil, who's this guy Geoff Jones with these numbers at Tennessee?

0 wins, 1 loss, 0.66 era, 13 g, 6 saves, 13.2 inn, 8 h, 3 r, 1 er, 0 hr, 3 hb, 0 bb, 19 k, 0.59 whip

Hey, I think the nasty boys are at Tennessee. Jerry Blevins, Geoff Jones and then there's Jim Henderson, who has 4 saves and an 0.78 ERA. A couple of good righty starters and three lights-out relievers.

Best color commentator remark with respect to the original Nasty Boys, which I thing I heard during a "Game of the Week" years ago (remember those?) was: "Double, double, double? Dibble!"

With 100% being complete certainty Carlos is re-signed by the Cubs, and 0% being complete certainty that Carlos is not going to be re-signed by the Cubs, what is your number?

90% he'll be signed by the Cub's after the end of the year. If he continues to have a bad year, the Cub's will, in good faith, sign him to a 1-year contract for him to get things straightened out and cash in after next year. If he does straighten things out and shows some better poise and maturity then he'll cash in big with the Cub's.

Of course, if he gets injured all bets are off.

And one more thing, all the panic from the Cub's not extending him was way off base. It's not really all that big of a deal letting him play out a walk-year. As I said before the season even started...

Rynox (March 13, 2007):
...I don’t think the Cub’s have any intention of extending him before the season starts.

I suspect the Cub’s want him to have a “contract year” and I think Zambrano wants to prove he’s worth Oswalt money. Sure, they want to keep him, I just think it will happen after this season.


Are you saying then that Z will make free agency and then get signed by the Cubs? Or will the Cubs sign him before the free agency period starts?

I agree that Z and the Cubs would like him to return but if the Mets or another team comes along and offers $20-30 mil more that might throw a kink in the plans. The best case scenario for the Cubs now, I think, assuming Z stays healthy and gets his season on track, is to hope for an Aramis Ramirez type situation.

If he continues to have a bad year, the Cub’s will, in good faith, sign him to a 1-year contract for him to get things straightened out and cash in after next year.

Come on... even if Z has a bad year, there is no way he signs a one year deal.

I don't know how it will play out. You're right though, this is different than the Ramirez situation, if he hits the free agent market then he'll be a lot tougher to keep.

Interesting article there from Gomez. I noticed from Z's first start that his arm angle was lower, his velocity was down, and his control was even worse than last year. At times, Z has just NO control over his 4-seamer whatsoever, and he seems to be trying to compensate by guiding his 2-seamer, which then proceeds to get smacked.

The thing is, Z looked this way early in '06 as well, not really getting straightened out until mid-May. I still think there's time he puts it together this year but he better start now.

Come on… even if Z has a bad year, there is no way he signs a one year deal.

Put yourself in his shoes. You have ace stuff, a bad year. Do you really want to sign a under-valued multiyear contract? Not me. Hendry's creative, it might be in the form of a player option-type contract or whatever, but when you want to cash in on a huge multiyear contract, it's best to do it coming off a good year.

4-4, 5.61, 1.52 WHIP. That doesn't earn you 13 mil/year.

Teams will sign him anyway with the expectation they can straighten him out. The market for good pitching is slim to none right now, and there's no way Z doesn't get the money he wants on the market for what he's done in the past.

Des Moines Register says Sean Marshall called up and expected to start Wednesday. Neal Cotts sent to Iowa.

I wonder though if the Cubs' history with the injuries to Wood and Prior will affect the money other teams are willing to offer Z. It is hard for me to believe that, if Z continues to pitch this way the entire year that any team will be willing to sign him to a long term deal that would give Z 15-17 million per year.

It is interesting. Some guys like having the out year. They have the mentality to step it up and have a great year, knowing that they will cash in with a big contract. Z, on the other hand, seems to have a different mentality. He does not seem to be the kind of guy who can take on the challenge and step up his performance. Rather, Z seems to be the kind of guy who cannot take the uncertainty and maybe puts too much pressure on himself game to game.

Ramirez seems a bit more like the kind of guy who can step it up in an out year. However, I have to add an asterisk to that comment because Z was not truly in an out year last year. He had the opt out clause so he knew that, if he stunk last year, he could just accept the last two years of his existing contract.

I can't see Z getting a Zito type deal if he finishes the year with that kind of line. Maybe if he rattles off a few really incredible games at the end of the season, but otherwise a 5+ ERA and a 1.50+ WHIP would have a lot of people thinking injury.

Zito wasn't exactly lights out over the last three years. Even with a poor year this year Z's three year numbers would look pretty good, and at least comparable to Zito's.

But I also doubt that Z finishes with an era over 5.

I cannot believe a Cubs board posted a Rob Dibble picture without mounds of scorn. Doesn't anybody remember what that lazy jerk did to Doug Dascenzo?

...maybe this is common knowledge I just missed, but I caught this in a yahoo article:

"In the short term, Sean Marshall - who started 24 games for the Cubs last season with an ERA of 5.59 - is expected to get the call to start Saturday's game against the Dodgers."


Dibble buried a ball right between Dougies shoulder blades.

Considering the competition for both Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt last year, I think there will be a market for Z to get a high dollar, multi-year deal even if he doesn't substantially improve this year. But the question then becomes, should the Cubs be the ones offering the contract or would they be better off letting him walk (or try to trade him)?

Trading Z this year is an interesting proposition. I think there are teams out there right now that would be willing to make a deal for Z. In exchange, the Cubs could probably pick up another team's pending FA that could potentially help the Cubs this year.

Rob Dibble's most famous anger management incident from 1991...

Z and Bobby Howry for A-Rod.

wtf? from ms. muskat:

He's still struggling against lefties, batting .059 (18-for-40)

Can someone please tell me how 18-40 is an .059 average?

While we're wishing, why don't we propose an Izzy for A-Rod trade?

After the picture was taken, Myers judo-threw Charlton to the ground and throat-punched Dibble. And that was just their pre-game tradition!

Although the MILB.COM stats haven't been particularly reliable lately, they show PIE at 1/17 against lefties... so at least Muskrat got the BA right.

No way does Z get traded this year unless the cubs go into free fall mode. The Trib spent money to put a winner on the field. The team is probably sold next year. Why would Trib care one bit about getting prospects for their Ace when as far as they are concerned the future is now? A more likely scenerio would be the cubs trading any and everyone in the Minors to upgrade parts of the big club for a playoff run. Better prospects will get dealt in exchange for teams adding money in to offset payroll in deals. The goal of the owner is to make the revenue on the books look as good as possible. This looks good on the ledger when at the bargaining table. The cubs will do whatever they have to in order to make the postseason. However shortsighted it my be.

If you are a believer in BP's Win Expectation above Replacement....the Cubs bully is -0.041 which ranks #24 overall in the bigs.

From BTBS, "much has been made of the Cubs' +21 run differential. Chicago however, is 6-13 in one and two-run games which is once again the result of an insecure bullpen. Leading the team in ineffectiveness is Scott Eyre (-1.015 WXRL) who has showed virtually no control this season. Others such as Bob Howry (-0.352 WXRL) and Will Ohman (-0.294 WXRL) have also been shaky to start the year. However, I must point out that Ohman's poor WXRL figure may be the result of misuse by Lou Piniella. Ohman is a solid LOOGY these days, but right-handers have torched him for a .853 OPS thus far into the year. Ohman shouldn't be facing right-handed hitters, it's that simple. The central bright spot in the Cubs' bullpen has been Ryan Dempster, who leads the team in WXRL at 0.973 despite Thursday's meltdown against the Mets. As a team, the Cubs are tied with the Nationals and the Marlins for the worst save completion percentage in the National League at 53%."

Ernie Banks to have statue at Wrigley before 2008 opener.

Same sculptor that did Jordan's and Harry.

About time. Banks should have had one long before Harry.

Via Rotoworld:

The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times are both reporting that the Cubs are preparing Angel Guzman to hopefully take over the closer role.
Current closer, Ryan Dempster, will reportedly serve as a mentor for Guzman the next several weeks as Dempster attempts to convert from closer to a starter. Guzman has the stuff to be a closer, but we question if he has the mental makeup for the role. If he is available in your league he is certainly worth taking a gamble on. May. 22 - 9:57 am et

My predicted lineup:
With this idea that Soriano will be stuck in the 2-slot, and with Theriot leading off, it makes it a lot harder to stick Jones and Floyd in the lineup with a righty in between them... I suspect that they'll have Blanco in there to try an minimize the SB's the Padres do on Hill

Actually, I think this would make more sense:

re:#70 The only news in your post is that Rotoworld doesn't think Guzman can close.

Why do we care?

Putting in Blanco wouldn't do much to stop the Pads from running. Baserunners steal off Hill, not Barrett. Besides, Hill has said he really likes working with Barrett.

Hill is a lefty. Doubtful that anyone is gonna run all over him. Barrett seems like a better candidate. Runs will be at a premium against Peavy one would have to assume.

fun with numbers....D.Lee's line drive % of balls put into play is 28.4%.

re:#70 The only news in your post is that Rotoworld doesn’t think Guzman can close.

Why do we care?

Because some of us still remember a time when they tried to use a guy who isn't a closer to close games? And because we still remember the agony?

aaronb - it's obvious that you didn't see Hill's game against the Mets. They stole at will on Hill....

Hill is a lefty. Doubtful that anyone is gonna run all over him. Barrett seems like a better candidate. Runs will be at a premium against Peavy one would have to assume.

Hill's move from the stretch is *real* slow. Runners run on him all the time.

vorare - I hadn't heard that Hill prefers Barrett. That could very well decide things. I would think, however, that having Blanco behind the plate would make runners a little more hesitant. The biggest thing to keep the runner under control is for Hill to cut back on his walks, like he was doing earlier in the year.

Sun Times article on Cub team stats

Looking beneath some of the team numbers, I guess I have a few reactions through the first 40 or so games:

1. Outside of Lee and Ramirez (each of which has been out of the lineup about 15% of the time so far), nobody offensively is really blowing the doors off. Soriano has been OK, not dominant. Theriot has been a pleasant surprise, but has no power. Murton, Jones and Floyd have not produced much of anything, Barrett has produced below what he has the past few years. The Cubs are sixth in the league in OBP and runs scored and 7th in OPS, which are improvements to be sure over last year, and improvements as to OBP over 2005, 2004 and 2003, but the offense needs to do much better. I am not sure how much the outfield situation is hurting Murton, Floyd and Jones, but none of them is doing anything right now. I remember some announcer going on and on about how Marquis had better batting stats than a lot of the White Sox over the weekend, but guess what? He has a higher OPS now than either Murton or Jones as well.

2. I've written on this before, but Marquis's BABIP was absurdly low up until his last two starts. We may be seeing the beginning of a regression to the mean. It was nice while it lasted, but I think we may get a more average pitcher from here on out. I hope we do not get the same pitcher he was last year.

3. Lilly has been by far the Cubs' best and most consistent pitcher. His BABIP is lower than his historical rate also, but because his K rate is so much higher than Marquis, I'm not as troubled by it for some reason.

4. I have no idea what is wrong with Eyre and Dempster has been driving me to distraction.

5. Like Rob G, I miss the days when Zambrano was a groundball pitcher. The HT article posted by Transmission is troubling. I hope he can get back on track.

All in all, thankful that we are still in the race. The West Coast is always tough on the Cubs (after a similar trip last year at more or less the same point in the season, the Cubs were dead), so we'll see where we are in a week.


I'm just going off what he said earlier this season re: prefering Barrett. I believe he attributed some of his success to the fact that he and Barrett were on the same page and able to get into a good rhythm.

As for the stolen bases, Hill doesn't have a great move to first and he's insanely slow to the plate. That combo lets runners go on first movement. You can have a laser beam arm and you still won't be getting anyone out at second when they're 3/4 of the way there by the time the ball hits your glove. That's why Barrett hasn't even bothered to make a throw several times this year.

Hill is a lefty. Doubtful that anyone is gonna run all over him.

What? Have you seen hill pitch? He is very slow to the plate, and doesn't really have a decent move to first. He is VERY easy to run on, and it has little to do with Barrett.

I think Hill has been Barrett's butt-boy ever since he clocked A.J. That's just speculation, though


neal will be along soon to try to respond to this by saying something else i didnt say in order to make it easier for him to ignore things i say and just put words in my mouth.

its a whole lot easier than having a constructive arguement using facts and observations.

he'll be along as soon as he's finished kicking puppies and offering school children candy.



maybe one day we can get through an entire day on TCR without any childish personal attacks...

maybe :/

but, hell, i made my point on samninja pretty clear in a post that degraded to a person attack post anyway.

now it gets rehashed and the info attached to my name wasnt even the gist of what i posted, attached to anything in this post, and served no purpose but to piss in my sandbox.


Off -topic for fantasy baseball players:

Anyone here ever play (past or present) any sites other than ESPN or Yahoo? Specifically customizable? Reviews/impressions/opinions/etc. please.

"maybe one day we can get through an entire day on TCR without any childish personal attacks…"

"maybe :/"

Doubt it, we even have had the last few days without MikeC and couldn't do it...go figure...:)

"Current closer, Ryan Dempster, will reportedly serve as a mentor for Guzman the next several weeks "

Wow, Marshall was mentored by Maddux and Guzman gets stuck with Demp. Tough break kid. Couldn't we bring in Lee Smith or somebody? Rod Beck even. I bet he's not busy right now.

Miller to join the team this a second roster move? or is Marshall not coming?

from the site (by Michael Point):

"He will join the team in San Diego on Tuesday and thinks he's once again ready for big-league action."

where's C.Muskie?

Wade Miller back...

collective TCR groan

JACE: "The bullpen is not that bad"

the Miller article is dated Monday night, guess it's not as newsy as I thought...still, where are they going to keep him?

In Scott Eyre's locker?

Hey, lemme outta here...

Jones, Blanco, Izturis, Hill? Have you just given up on scoring any runs in the bottom part of the order? That's a horrific lineup.

Miller should be sent packing. He is done. It's ridiculous to bring him up. I hope this is an unfounded rumor.

It's just a prediction, Johann. I presented it to get peoples' thought on it. I am not saying that it is the best lineup. It is a lineup that, based on what I have read, who we are pitching, and who we are facing, I think is fairly likely to be mostly correct. We are facing a good RHP, so I expect Lou to try and stick in as many lefties or switch hitters as he can. I also expect that the lineup change that has been discussed for the past week, will finally take place today (Soriano batting 2nd, Theriot leading off). The rest is merely what you are left with when you plug people in. The fact that you wouldn't like the bottom of the order does not surprise me, since you complain about the bottom of the order almost daily anyway... As has been discussed in the past 20-25 posts, Barrett may very well end up playing tonight... What else would you do, johann? I'd like to see what you would do differently.

Joining the club doesn't necessarily mean he's being activated.


are you referrring to Dempster last year?
: )

but seriously, I was wondering why a pschological evaluation by Rotowire is something we should care about.

I would have Theriot, Soriano, Lee, ARam, Barrett, Murton/Floyd, DeRosa, Jones/Pagan. That's about as good as you can get with the current lineup and far better then having Blanco and Izturis and Jones (in his current slump form) in at the same time. That's way too much suck concentrated in one day.

What I'd really do is go into rebuilding mode, but that's another story:-)

With Barrett in the order, you definitely could hit him higher up in the order, probably between Floyd and Jones. I don't think that Derosa will start tonight, because I am betting that Lou will go with Izzy's switch bat over derosa's righty bat.

I don't get why you bring Marshall up today... it doesn't make much sense to me. Why not wait until the day Marshall is actually going to start?

I would guess that the main reason for calling him up now is so that he has plenty of time to make it over to San Diego and relax before he starts... You have Guzman as the 7th man available in the pen already, so you don't need to keep Cotts for tonight's game.

Marshall can still get to San Diego without being activated and on the roster. That has nothing to do with it.

It just seems odd to send Cotts down today when you can wait until tomorrow.

I don't think you need eight guys in the bullpen. Doesn't really seem like much to worry about...

I keep looking for the "Eyre to DL" headline somewhere. I have just been expecting them to come up with some quasi-injury excuse to tuck Eyre on the 15-Day DL, and buy themselves some time to figure out what to do with him. Now, with sending Cotts down, I'm not so sure that it will happen...

# 81 Dying Cub Fan:

You say that Soriano has been "okay" so far this year, though not dominant?

Come again? He has just nine RBIs in the 36 games he has played this year. 36 games is hardly a small sample. So he is on a pace to drive in about 40 runs for the season. That is not "okay." That is terrible. I realize he may be injured. All the more reason to just sit him down until he no longer is injured. Face it, we lose no production with him out of the line-up. In fact, we probably get more production out of Floyd. And with the gingerly way that Soriano has been playing the outfield, it is hard for me to believe that we lose anything defensively with Floyd in left.

Soriano is hitting just .220 the last ten games with a paltry two runs batted in. As someone else mentioned, the Rangers are getting far, far more production out of Sosa at much, much, much less of a cost.

Soriano is lucky that, for whatever reason, the fans have not turned on him the way the fans turned on Jones last year. I would be hard pressed to say that Soriano through 26 games this year has contributed anything more to this team than Jones did last year through 36 games.

I did not know much about Soriano before he became a Cub. What I know now is that he is not a clutch hitter and strikes out a lot. Thank goodness that Lilly and Marquis and Hill have pitched very well. Otherwise, we would be at least 12 games out of first place already.

some odd games

Hey i am around, just been busy Manny......i am sure your still saying annoying things and playing the victim, some things never change.....goooo T C R!

Soriano is on a pace to have 40 rbi; he is also on a pace to score over 100 runs and have over 80 extra base hits. If he scores that many runs and has that many XBH, I'll be relatively pleased.

His line of .288/.335/.471 has been decent, but not what any of us would have hoped. But his lifetime OPS is .835 and his career high is .911 last year (when he had career highs in OBP and SLG).

With Soriano batting behind Theriot from now on, I'm sure his RBI total will start to creep up. It's tough to get many RBIs when you're batting behind guys like Izturis and Rich Hill.

Problem I see with Soriano batting behind Theriot is that say Theriot gets on base and we need to move him over. Soriano can't bunt. And until he gets his legs back to 100%, we'll see a fair share of DPs or failures to get the runner into scoring position with DLee coming up.

I would never bunt with Sorianio, Lee and ARam back to back to back. You have to rely on your bats there. Bunting, if you have to do it (though I am in the camp of questioning giving up an out to move someone to second), should be done with your lesser bats.

Theriot and Soriano (even with his hurt legs) still have enough speed to break up enough double plays that it's not a huge issue. I would actually probably still bat Lee 2nd until he gets his power back, but I severely doubt that'll happen.

I must admit it. I do like to attack other people and then play the victim. I don't know why. I just really like it.

In Dusty We Trusty!!!!!

Soriano is lucky that, for whatever reason, the fans have not turned on him the way the fans turned on Jones last year.

JJ brought it on himself. He was acting strange and getting into fights with fans in spring training....

I blame Dusty Baker..

: )

Good thing JJ is having such great year this year to keep the fans off his back.

"It just seems odd to send Cotts down today when you can wait until tomorrow."

if he's gonna start in AAA he probably wouldnt be used anyway...but the flipside to that is it cant be that big of a surprise and could have been planned better bringing someone else in.

then again they're carrying a fresh pen on a day off anyway. *shrug*

"Hey i am around, just been busy Manny……i am sure your still saying annoying things and playing the victim, some things never change…..goooo T C R!"

Sorry, thought we got rid of the resident bully...DAMN!!!

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