Cubs Roster Crunch a-Comin’

For the first time since the last week of Spring Training, there is a roster crunch a-comin', as Henry Blanco (Saturday), Daryle Ward (Monday), and Aramis Ramirez (a week from Friday) are all eligible to be reactivated from the DL next week. There are five position players presently on the Cubs 25-man roster who have both minor league options left AND less than five years of MLB Service Time (so that they cannot refuse an optional assignment): Mike Fontenot Matt Murton Angel Pagan Felix Pie Ryan Theriot Koyie Hill is out of minor league options, so if the Cubs want to send him back to Iowa to make room for Blanco, K. Hill will first have to clear Outright Waivers (which are irrevocable). And because he was outrighted previously in his career, Hill will have the option to be a free-agent even if he does clear waivers (although when a player who has the option be a free-agent after being outrighted is outrighted during the season, he will normally accept the outright assignment, because otherwise he gives up his major league contract and minimum $60K minor league split). Also, as of Saturday (June 16th), the following players signed or re-signed by the Cubs as Type XX FAs after last season will no longer have automatic "no trade" rights: Henry Blanco Mark DeRosa Cliff Floyd Ted Lilly Jason Marquis Daryle Ward Kerry Wood (Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano were also signed as Type XX FAs after last season, but like Derrek Lee, they have long-term iron-clad "no trade" rights in their contracts independent of the rights they get per the CBA). So when Blanco, Ward, and Ramirez are ready to be reactivated next week, what will the Cubs do? First of all, it's extremely unlikely that Lou Piniella would want to cut back to 11 pitchers, because he almost got stuck on Sunday when he had 12 pitchers on the roster (and as long as Jason Marquis and Carlos Zambrano can PH on days they aren't pitching, a five-man bench isn't really a "five-man bench"). I would think when Blanco gets reactivated, K. Hill gets placed on Outright Waivers, and the Cubs hope he clears waivers and can be outrighted to AAA, and that he will not exercise his right to be a FA until after the end of the '07 season. (And as I said, players normally accept outright assignments when they happen during the season). When Daryle Ward is reactivated, the Cubs could option Angel Pagan to Iowa, as long as Uncle Lou feels comfortable with Felix Pie playing CF against LHP. Otherwise, the Cubs might try to trade Ward (if anybody is interested), or they might even just place him on Release Waivers and eat the remainder of his 2007 contract (with a $1M salary, Ward will only be owed about $600K if he gets released, minus whatever his new club pays him, which would normally be a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum, probably somewhere around $200K, so that it would only cost the Cubs $400K net to release Ward). It's fairly obvious that Daryle Ward has no place with the Cubs. (Because DeRosa can play 1B if anything happens to D-Lee, and because Floyd, Jones, Fontenot, and Pagan all can provide LH bats off the bench, Ward is a misfit on the Cubs roster as it is presently structured, but there are probably other MLB teams where he would be a good fit as a LHPH and occasional 1B). And when Ramirez is reactived, the Cubs will probably choose to option either Pagan, Fontenot, or Murton to Iowa at that time. If it's Murton (and I think that's most-likely candidate right now), it would be for the expressed purpose of getting him more regular ABs and PT in RF at AAA. Then while Murton is at Iowa, Mark DeRosa could go back and forth between 2B and RF (platooning with Cliff Floyd and/or Jacque Jones in RF as needed), with Angel Pagan the late-inning defensive replacement in RF. Or (again) if the Cubs feel comfortable with Pie playing CF against LHP, Angel Pagan could get optioned out when Ramirez returns. Or Fontenot could be the Odd Man Out when Ramirez returns to the active roster. Meanwhile Hendry will probably be working overtime trying to find a taker for either Jacque Jones or Cliff Floyd, opening up a spot for whoever gets sent out when Ramirez returns, although Jones does have a "limited no trade" right in his contract that allows him to refuse a trade to certain MLB clubs that were designated by Jones prior to the start of the season. FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2007: Michael Barrett Scott Eyre (player option for 2008) Cliff Floyd (player option if vested, or else club option for 2008) Cesar Izturis (club option with buy-out for 2008) Wade Miller Daryle Ward (club option for 2008) Kerry Wood Carlos Zambrano ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE AFTER 2007: Mark Prior Neal Cotts Roberto Novoa (could be “Super Two” if he remains on 60-day DL) Michael Wuertz (as long as he remains on 25-man roster for entire 2007 season) SIGNED BEYOND 2007: Ryan Dempster (thru 2008, then FA) Bob Howry (thru 2008, then FA) Jacque Jones (thru 2008, then FA) Will Ohman (thru 2008, then FA) Henry Blanco (thru 2008 + club option with buy-out for 2009) Mark DeRosa (thru 2009, then FA) Jason Marquis (thru 2009, then FA) Derrek Lee (thru 2010, then FA) Ted Lilly (thru 2010, then FA) Aramis Ramirez (thru 2010 + 2011 player option & 2012 mutual option) Jeff Samardzija (thru 2011 + mutual options for 2012 & 2013) Alfonso Soriano (thru 2014, then FA) =================================== MINOR LEAGUE OPTION STATUS (6-11-2007): * Can only be optioned to minors after clearing Major League Waivers BOLD indicates player’s minor league option has been exercised for 2007 NOTE: A minor league option for a particular season is exercised once a player has spent at least 20 days (aggregate total) on optional assignment to the minors in that season (count starts on MLB Opening Day) NO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: Koyie Hill ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION LEFT: * Ronny Cedeno (will be out of minor league options ST 2008) Angel Guzman (19 days on optional assignment so far in 2007) * Rich Hill * Roberto Novoa (on 60-day DL) * Will Ohman * Geovany Soto (will be out of minor league options ST 2008) * Michael Wuertz TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: * Neal Cotts (will have one minor league option left ST 2008) Brian Dopirak (will have one minor league option left ST 2008) Mike Fontenot (will have one minor league option left ST 2008) Carlos Marmol (will have one minor league option left ST 2008) Scott Moore (will have one minor league option left ST 2008) Angel Pagan (will have one minor league option left ST 2008) Felix Pie (will have one minor league option left ST 2008) * Mark Prior (60-day DL) * Ryan Theriot THREE MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: Rocky Cherry (will have two minor league options left ST 2008) Buck Coats (will have two minor league options left ST 2008) Sean Gallagher Sean Marshall (will have two minor league options left ST 2008) Juan Mateo (10 days on optional assignment so far in 2007) * Matt Murton Clay Rapada (will have two minor league options left ST 2008) FOUR MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS: Jeff Samardzija (will have three minor league options left ST 2008)
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Comments

How to solve our roster crunch:

Neifi has requested the Dave Dombrowski trade for his pal Jacques to solidify the Tigers roster...to get him at all costs, or else he's going to produce some of those embarrassing photo's of DD and Jim Leland in compromising positions.

Well Az Phil....
I am a fan of Murton's, and I think that an OF of Murton-Pie-Soriano would be productive, I doubt it'll ever happen. He is the logical candidate to go to AAA.

Ward could valuable to the Yankees with Giambi and Douggy Ball stealer out for the season. From a breif look at NYY's minor leagues 24 old Single A RHP Daniel McCutchen wouldn't be a bad return. He is 5-1 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and an impressive 42/9 K/BB ratio. Also it wouldnt surprise me when Blanco is ready if Pagan is sent down, and they use Barrett at 3rd until Aram is ready so that they can market him to a contender with 3b needs (LAD or MIN).

I have a better shot at playing 3B than Barrett does.
Seriously....that won't happen.

well....

A. I doubt the Henry Blanco is healthy enough to come off the DL anytime soon.

B. Mike Fontenot is the logical candidate to head back to Des Moines when Aramis Ramirez is ready to come off the DL.

C. Angel Pagan probably gets whacked when Daryl Ward is ready to come off the DL. I'd opt to send Matt Murton to Iowa, but I don't think Jim Hendry wants to risk half of Cub nation poop their pants over such a move. Pagan is distinctly more valuable to the Cubs as currently constructed.

"A. I doubt the Henry Blanco is healthy enough to come off the DL anytime soon."

'Catcher Henry Blanco took batting practice on Monday and hopes to be back by next week.'

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

Thanks AZ Phil for the excellent recap. If value to the team has any bearing on Lou's decision then Ward would be released, K. Hill outrighted, and Murton optioned to AAA. I sincerely hope Jones, Murton, Eyre, and Ward bring some trade value.

ST, why are you so blatant in your hatred for Murton. Guy put up Pat Burrell type numbers last year in the 2nd half of his rookie year. Doing it for league minimum no less. Is it his fault that the cubs braintrust is more concerned with signing college buddies and justifying previous bad contracts instead of playing/developing him?

Somebody else seems to also have their Matt Murton bubblegum card framed and on the wall...

Interesting about Henry Blanco. Thanks for the update. I thought they were talking about a potentially career ending injury. What's changed so dramatically in under 10 days?

If Blanco is ready to come back, then I shall re-cross my fingers that Sweet Lou plays him a whole lot more than he has.

AaronB -
unfortunately Murton has no place to play unless you move Soriano to Right Field. Murton does not have the defensive capabilities to be a legitimate right fielder on a world series caliber team (which is what we are all shooting for)---
time to cut bait and trade the likes of Murton, Jacque, Cliff ---- and get a WS caliber solution

and get a WS caliber solution

Like who?

Excellent report Phil: I like Murton but think he is the logical candidate to get sent down with Ward being given his out right release. The problem with that is Hendry has been slow to admit mistakes and take corrective action.

Soriano should have been moved to Right in Spring Training. It wasnt like we werent all calling for it then. His arm and athletic abiltiy make him far and away the best candidate. There is no one in the system who looks remotely close to solving the situation in Right. Bite the bullet and move him there now. In magic world you can trade Jack Jones for Gary Sheffield in his prime. In reality world, it takes a little creativity.

"I don’t think Jim Hendry wants to risk half of Cub nation poop their pants over such a move."

I don't know about all that.

I would think most people realize he's the odd man out RIGHT NOW, and his liabilities cost games more than he's able to currently produce.

JustanoldCubfan — June 12, 2007 @ 12:42 pm
Excellent report Phil: I like Murton but think he is the logical candidate to get sent down with Ward being given his out right release. The problem with that is Hendry has been slow to admit mistakes and take corrective action.
......................................................................

Bravo Sir! That is exactly the way it seems to me as well. Hendry has been in CYA mode since after the 2004 season. That is why guys like Jack Jones,Scott Eyre,Glendon Rusch ETC. Have stayed on the roster so much longer than they should. Hendry makes ill advised big money commitments to these players. It makes him look incompetent if he cuts bait/doesn't get value from them.

We're getting to that point in year aaronb where the sample sizes aren't so little anymore.

With half this place being in love with Fontenot and Theriot because of their offensive numbers, why don't those same folks come down on Murton for 259/338/345? They already do on Jacque Jones and his 230/293/321. May I remind you that Jacque also put up great numbers in August and September last year. (284/367/518 is my rough estimate.. too lazy for exact math.)

Yet because Jacque is regressing towards his normal and Murton is only a year and a half in we're defending Murton? Upside has nothing to do with our current situation. The long term has nothing to do with winning ballgames right now. Murton's still got over 100 AB's. It's not like he's not getting enough chances.

How about neither of them should be on field? What's wrong with that concept? We've got a .306 hitter coming off the bereavement list. Put him out there.

I don’t think Jim Hendry wants to risk half of Cub nation poop their pants over such a move.

Similarly to what E-man wrote, I am not so sure about this. I am a big Murton supporter, but I would rather see him playing everyday in AAA than riding the bench in the bigs.

With that said, I would love to see who would hit against lefties if Murton is not on the team.

Against lhp (2006 #'s):
Jones: .234/.261/.416
Floyd: .179/.274/.357

Add Pie to the mix (who has never been able to lhp), and the is a big black hole in CF/RF against lhp.

Jermaine Dye might be on the block. He's having a poor season, but he is only in his early 30's and one heckuva ballplayer when healthy. High quality run producer and right fielder. Only drawback is that he hits from the right side. But if Jim Hendry really thinks the Cubs are a playoff caliber team, then he should actively pursue Dye. His contract is very reasonable too. I'd be willing to give up a top pitching prospect (Veal? Gallagher?) plus Kenny Williams' pick of Matt Murton, Jacque Blacque Schlaque or Ryan Theriot.

dave,

Could play DeRosa in right against left 282/361/481. Then the highly heralded Bayou Bengals could play 2B & SS. Could play Pagan in center against left. 267/313/500.

Until he can find home plate, Veal is no longer a top prospect.

Well... when you look at the last two years (i.e. more than just 30 ab's), Pagan can't hit lhp either:
.221/.299/.372

But I have no problem with DeRosa playing RF, but it appears that Lou has moved away from that for some reason.

Let Pie hit vs. LHP. Why relegate a talent like that to platoon until he proves he cant hit LHP. Hell even if he cant his glove justifys it unless were facing Randy Johnson, D-train, or Cole Hamels.

Let Pie hit vs. LHP. Why relegate a talent like that to platoon until he proves he cant hit LHP.

I never said to not let Pie hit against LHP. I said that with Pie and CF and Jones/Floyd in LF, the Cubs would have two position players that cannot hit lhp, which is what would happen if Murton is not on this team.

Completely off topic:

I have one extra bleacher ticket to tonight's game vs. Seattle.

$20 and it's yours. Email me at mjohnson5 at hotmail.com

thanks! Back to your regularly scheduled roster-crunching discussion.

sample sizes are still small when a player gets no consistent PT. When Murton was playing semi-regularly he was hitting 300 THIS year. Unfortunately he just hasnt gotten much PT. I think the route cause of his not getting PT right now, is that the cubs are showcasing Jack Jones for a trade. If Jack sits on the bench, his value is nil. If he is your starting RFer. Then he may attract some interest. I don't see the cubs eating the contract due to Hendry's CYA situation.

Wes — June 12, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

How about neither of them should be on field? What’s wrong with that concept? We’ve got a .306 hitter coming off the bereavement list. Put him out there.

================================

WES: I think Piniella probably has come to the conclusion that barring a trade for one, that Cliff Floyd (if he can stay healthy) is the everyday RF in his "set" lineup (with Angel Pagan as the late-inning defensive replacement), with Floyd hitting 4th or 5th in the order. Of course, if Floyd stays healthy and plays most every day, then that runs the risk that his potential $10M vesting option (based on either 100+ games started or 425+ PA) will kick-in for 2008, and I'm not sure how the Cubs suits really feel about that possibilty. But I doubt that Piniella cares, he just wants a more-productive offense, and I really believe he thinks Floyd (again, barring a trade for a "true" RF) is the best option in RF (and I mean Floyd playing every day in RF), especially since Uncle Lou seems to prefer a left-handed bat out there.

That probably means that the Cubs will send Murton to AAA, where he would hit 3rd in the I-Cubs order, get 4-5 PAs a game, and play RF every day, all the while hoping he can get back into a groove where he either forces himself into the Cubs lineup in RF, or makes himself attractive as trade bait.

As for Jacque Jones, I doubt VERY much that he would be happy as a LHPH (nor would he be any good at it) Fact is, he has little value in a trade right now, with the only question being how much of his contract the Cubs will have to pay to get somebody to take him off their hands, but in the mean time, the Cubs are stuck wth him.

Which probably means Daryle Ward won't remain with the Cubs very long once he's ready to come off the DL next week. He's been sick and/or out of shape since the start of ST, and there just is no place for him on the Cubs roster as long as both Floyd and Jones are present, especially since DeRosa can play 1B (with Theriot-Izturis-Fontenot able to staff SS-2B) if anything were to happen to D-Lee.

I figure eventually we'll see a "set" lineup like this:

Soriano, LF
Pie, CF
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Floyd, RF
DeRosa, 2B
Barrett/Blanco, C
Izturis or Theriot, SS

with Pagan (4th OF), Fontenot (LHPH-2B), Barrett or Blanco (whichever one isn't playing), Izturis or Theriot (whichever one isn't playing) and either J. Jones or Ward (depending on whether the Cubs can find a taker for Jones) on the bench, possibly for the duration.

"but I don’t think Jim Hendry wants to risk half of Cub nation poop their pants over such a move."

I don't think Jim Hendry cares what Cub nation thinks. Nor should he. If he thinks Murton should go down, Murton goes down.

I don’t see the cubs eating the contract due to Hendry’s CYA situation.

It has nothing to do with Hendry.

No team would just east Jones' contract right now, and the same goes for Scott Eyre.

I am still waiting for an example of teams that have cut players similar to Eyre/Jones. It simply doesn't happen when a player is making 4+ million dollars a year. And it especially doesn't happen when they are signed through next year.

No team would just east Jones’ contract

yea... that should be just east Jones' contract.

wow... *eat, not east.

i suck.

ST- I think that's the right idea, but the wrong player.
Jermaine Dye....Let's see...33 years old...coming off a career season in 2006 where he outperformed his career averages in avg, obp, and slg...and is currently struggling at .216/.275/.399. This would be a CLASSIC Cub move.

If I were in Sweet Lou's shoes...

1. Soriano - LF
2. Pie - CF (not his long-term ideal spot, but the right spot now where he can feast on fastballs and get acclimated to the bigs)
3. Lee - 1st
4. Ramirez - 3rd
5. Floyd - RF (everyday, spelled by Mark DeRosa)
6. DeRosa / Theriot - 2nd
7. Blanco / Barrett - Cat (play Blanco 3 days a week minimum)
8. Izturis - SS

Dave,

I think you had it right orginally Jones needs to be sent East as in Japan.

Crunch faviorite Adam Dunn is on the block. Cant be no worse in RF than Floyd or Murton and he can hit way better than them.

Arizona Phil,
I normally agree with most of what you say, but I have to disagree with your opinion of Daryle Ward. He is a professional hitter, and the best pinch hit bat that the Cubs have, better than all the players you name (assuming Floyd is the starter in RF). When I have watched him this year, he always seems to have good at-bats (look at his .426 OBP). That is valuable, regardless of whether he can play the field or not. I would be surprised if he didn't stay with the Cubs for the rest of the year.

Crunch faviorite Adam Dunn is on the block. Cant be no worse in RF than Floyd or Murton ...

Yeah, he can. He really, really can.

Cant be no worse in RF than Floyd or Murton

Yes he can, and it has nothing to do with me liking Murton.

Dunn is terrible in Left (which Murton was not). I would hate to see what Dunn would do in right.

he always seems to have good at-bats (look at his .426 OBP)

That is a bit deceptive, considering that five of his ten walks were of the intentional variety.

Can Eric Patterson play RF... ?

Playing Floyd everyday would really hurt the Cubs come 2008, and I'm sure Lou understands that. Unless he wants Floyd as his full-time RFer next year too, he better not start him regularly. Hopefully Pagan will start to see much more consistent time in right until a better solution (that doesn't include Floyd or Jones) can be reached.

At this point, I'd like to see Murton go down to AAA and play right everyday, just to see what he can do with regular PT. If he spends a month in AAA playing everyday, playing a solid RF, and mashing minor league pitching, then I think we might have a better answer as to what his true abilities are. You can't start a guy once a week and expect him not to lose his confidence and stay sharp.

dave,
Shouldn't a player still get credit for an intentional walk, in terms of evaluating his OBP? I mean, they're walking him so he doesn't get a chance to hit.

Shouldn’t a player still get credit for an intentional walk, in terms of evaluating his OBP?

Sure... but it doesn't show "good at-bats."

K — June 12, 2007 @ 1:34 pm
Arizona Phil,
I normally agree with most of what you say, but I have to disagree with your opinion of Daryle Ward. He is a professional hitter, and the best pinch hit bat that the Cubs have, better than all the players you name (assuming Floyd is the starter in RF). When I have watched him this year, he always seems to have good at-bats (look at his .426 OBP). That is valuable, regardless of whether he can play the field or not. I would be surprised if he didn’t stay with the Cubs for the rest of the year.

========================

K: I like Daryle Ward. What I was trying to say is that if Floyd and Jones remain withn the Cubs, Ward will likely be either traded or released. Not that it's a good or bad thing, just that I think that's what will happen. If the Cubs can find a taker for Jones, then Ward could probably stay on board.

But I can't see the Cubs keeping all three (Floyd, Jones, and Ward), although they could if they were to option both Murton AND Fontenot to Iowa, but I think Piniella would keep Fontenot over Ward at this point. (I doubt that Lou would want to drop Pagan, because he has too much value as a PR and 4th OF).

I think the idea is that does every IBB that Izturis gets really give you an idea of what kind of hitter he is? he gets walked a lot cause he hits in front of the pitcher. I think the idea of OBP, really, is at its heart, what are the odds of this guy 'not making an out' own his own. With out the manager either manager interfering (vis a vis a sac bunt or IBB)

IMO

Adam Dunn is an American League player. I'm guessing that the Los Angels Angels of Anaheim of California of the West Coast of the United States of North America of Planet Earth of the Milky Way make a big push for him. Jermaine Dye is a better player and a better option.

Say what you will about Adam Dunn, but I don't think he's 'terrible'. He also has a cannon for an arm and is actually a pretty good athlete. Let's remember, he was offered a scholarship to Texas to play qb but turned it down casue he didn't want to compete with Chris Simms.

The Cubs are 6 games under .500 and its June 12th. Think about that for a moment. If somebody would have predicted this outcome on April 1st -- after an offseason of getting rid of Dusty, hiring Sweet Lou, acquiring Alfonso Soriano, etc. -- they would have been called every nasty name in the book by Cub fans (for the record, I predicted a 75 win season).

What does this mean, especially when we have accumulated such a lousy record in a National League that is at one of its lowest points in years?!? It means the Cubs have lots of holes, that's what it means. What drives me insane is that we have a dim witted GM that doesn't get it. Apparently, he's been working 24/7 to find a taker for Jacque Jones. Think about that for a moment. Shouldn't Hendry be focused on the bigger picture?!? Shouldn't Hendry be figuring out some sort of solution for behind the plate, right field and the blowpen instead of acting like a used car salesman trying to peddle a Ford Pinto (Jones) on some unsuspecting dupe?!?

I cannot wait for day one of the new ownership team. Because that will surely mean that Jim Hendry will be served his walking papers pdq.

Re: Adam Dunn

Re: Adam Dunn

Ken Rosenthal quotes a baseball scout as saying that Dunn's arm rates a "40" on the 20-80 scale. Which ain't very good, especially for a former hotshot QB. Dunn is a DH no matter how you slice it. I cannot imagine any NL team having serious interest in acquiring him unless it is on the cheap and only as a couple month rental.

Apparently, he’s been working 24/7 to find a taker for Jacque Jones. Think about that for a moment. Shouldn’t Hendry be focused on the bigger picture?!? Shouldn’t Hendry be figuring out some sort of solution for behind the plate, right field and the blowpen instead of acting like a used car salesman trying to peddle a Ford Pinto (Jones) on some unsuspecting dupe?!?

I love how you bash Hendry for trying to get rid of Jones, and then a few short words later are bashing Hendry for not finding a solution for right field.

You know that there are limits on how many people are on the roster, right? You can't add people without also subtracting people.

I agree that Cliff Floyd should be our everyday right fielder. I think also that Mark Prior deserves a spot in the rotation and Kerry Wood should be the closer.

Floyd has missed what, 20 games already this year due to injuries and his father's illness? Seriously, you cannot count on Floyd. If you consider him a starting outfielder you have to have another starting outfielder handy.

I agree Murton should go down and play right. I disagree that Soriano has the arm for right by the way, I haven't seen him make an long accurate throw yet. He has a quick release on medium range throws which is nice (for a left fielder), but that isn't going to keep anyone going first to third on him.

Wes,

I agree with you that Floyd should be the RF on this roster.

AZ Phil,

I came to the exact lineup/rotation you have in #27 except I would bring up Fox as a RH bat off the bench if I could move Jones.

Woulda, should, coulda as far as Soriano in RF during ST........we're nearing the end of June now and Floyd is your best RF option (with Pagan/DeRosa as backup) on this roster. Defensively, I don't see how you keep Izturis and Pie off the field except for extremely tough left-handers or normal rest.

Anybody who evaluates OBP wihtout looking at IBB's is a rube, pure and simple.

Honestly, Ward and Floyd could both go, and it wouldn't bother me too much. Jones and Pagan are their approximate equivalents against right handers and they can contribute in other ways.

...without looking at IBB’s is a rube,
-----
I thought Rube was Neifi's brother

AZ Phil: do you think EPat has a future with the Cubs? If so, when would you predict a call-up?

Anybody who evaluates OBP wihtout looking at IBB’s is a rube, pure and simple.

It really does depend on the hitter though. Obviously Izzy is not a feared hitter, but he is second on the team in IBB's.

On the hand, Barry Bonds receives IBB's because he is/was so dominant. IBBs in the middle of the lineup will help more than IBB's before a pitcher.

Oh, yeah, ST. Dye can't run anymore. He's a pretty bad right fielder nowadays. His ZR is way below any of the Cubs' right fielders, and he has also being out-hit by all of our right field options.

I am not sure if we should trade a young outfielder and our best pitching prospect for 3 months of that, but that's just me.

Barry Bonds recieved IBB's because the team didn't fear the guy batting behind him as much as they feared him, just like everyone else (except with the double play to end the game IBB's). If Manny Ramirez were playing right field for the Giants all these years, and protecting him, Bonds wouldn't be sniffing Henderson's BB record.

He may have broken the HR record a year ago, though.

But when evalauating a player versus another, you shouldn't use the oppoising manager's decisions to evaluate the player, or the strength of the lineup around the player.

Barry Bonds recieved IBB’s because the team didn’t fear the guy batting behind him as much as they feared him

True... but put it this way. If Neifi or Izzy replaced Bonds, they wouldn't see those IBB's.

For a player like Bonds, IBBs are a sign of how good the player is, though it has to be considered with all other factors.

Alfonso Soriano is the left fielder for the next eight years or until he meets him untimely demise. Soriano is clearly most comfortable in left field. His entire game clicked on as soon as he got out of center. There is no way the Cubs are going to screw with their $136 million investment any further. Talk of him moving to right to accomodate Matt Friggin Murton of all people is assinine.

Talk of him moving to right to accomodate Matt Friggin Murton of all people is assinine.

It is more than just accommodating Matt Murton. It is looking at the fact that Soriano has a great arm, which would used most effectively in right field.

Further, in a team situation, you want to use each member of your team to his/her fullest ability. If the Cubs do not think that Murton is capable of playing right field, but they do believe that he has considerable offensive skill, it would make sense to make some adjustments if possible.

For all the credit Phil gets for his encyclopedic knowledge, I don't think he gets enough respect for the quality of his writing. There are a lot of bloggers (and journalists) who get lost trying to explain how you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and Phil runs through a bunch of complex roster scenarios with clarity, conciseness, and precision.

I love how you bash Hendry for trying to get rid of Jones, and then a few short words later are bashing Hendry for not finding a solution for right field.

You know that there are limits on how many people are on the roster, right? You can’t add people without also subtracting people.

Dave

===

Then swallow some or even all of Jacque Jones salary if it comes to that !!! Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish and not being able to see the forest through the trees. "What to do with Jacque Jones" should not be all-consuming. Make a decision, and move on !!! Jones is owed around $10 million from this point thru next season. Not a lot of money. Especially for a franchise on a 99 year losing streak and for a GM who had better win something big in 2007 if he is to have ANY hope of retaining his job once a new ownership group gets voted in by Bud the Dud and his band of owners.

Yet another fearless prediction...

Alfonso Soriano stands ZERO chance of being moved out of left field during his duration as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

...therefore it is pointless to engage in ANY debate of foolishly shifting him to right field.

End o' subject

ST... give me examples of other teams who are willing to "swallow" 10 million dollars in salary.

"…therefore it is pointless to engage in ANY debate of foolishly shifting him to right field.

End o’ subject "

got enough room for your ego on this message board, kiddo?

maybe some of us can slide over some...make a little room?

Silent Towel... is this an "end of subject," just like Lilly wins the Cy Young, Jock "has the best year of his career", and Izturis "is going to decisively shut up his critics this year ... he will more than hold his own with the bat."

aaronb:
"ST, why are you so blatant in your hatred for Murton. Guy put up Pat Burrell type numbers last year in the 2nd half of his rookie year."

Are we still blinded by his 2 months of numbers last year, still thinking that he is a .900 OPS guy???

Dave and Crunch, don't take me too seriously. I know that I don't in either of your case. In all seriousness, this is a message board. I have opinions, you have opinions. It's what makes the world go around.

For some reason fierce defense of Matt Murton sticks in my craw.

pointless is debating a shift of soriano to catcher...

its not pointless to believe the guy with the best arm in the OF would get a shot at one of the most deficient minor league/FA/coming-FA positions. not even close...in fact, its in play. it was in play coming into the season when he was signed and its not magically out of play "just because".

ST's Idea to fix the offense in right field:

Replace a left handed batter with a

With a right handed batter with a .674 OPS, at the cost of Murton (.683 OPS) and Gallagher.

ST would be the worst GM in the history of hte game.

End o' subject.

silent...no one takes you too seriously, you're gonna do your own thing and cower/lie/duck out of confrontation only to emerge to declare yourself either a victim or a victor.

just because people actually call you out on stuff...well, you shouldnt be too shocked at this point, but i doubt too many are expecting you actually have a give/take conversation instead of a battle of sorts where your views must win.

Just as soon as the FBI gets finished with their indictment of Tony Soprano, they plan on proceeding with indictment of me over the criminal predictions I made in the spring, as highlighted in Dave's # 68 post.

Here’s a possible long term solution in right field.

With the cubs ownership situation in question, Big Z is not likely to get a big contract.

Cubs should send Big Z packing to the New York Mets for a package including Lasting Millege and Mike Pelfrey.

The future of our staff still remains strong with:
1. Hill
2. Lilly
3. Marquis
4. Guzman
5. Marshall
6. Pelfrey

And the outfield would be the Fastest and most atheletic in baseball:

LF: Soriano CF Pie RF Millege

I’d try and pry Ramon Castro in the same deal — by throwing out the likes of Eyre Cliff Floyd or Murton. --

Go Hendry Go

ST.. you don't get it. It is not that you made predictions that were wrong. It is that you stated predictions as facts, and attacked everyone else who disagreed with you as idiots. And then you continued on, refusing to respond to anyone who challenged what you said.

And then when you are called on being wrong, you shrug it off and say "they were just predictions."

silent…no one takes you too seriously, you’re gonna do your own thing and cower/lie/duck out of confrontation only to emerge to declare yourself either a victim or a victor.

just because people actually call you out on stuff…well, you shouldnt be too shocked at this point, but i doubt too many are expecting you actually have a give/take conversation instead of a battle of sorts where your views must win.

===

WTF Dr. Melfi. Who said I was the "victim" or the "victor"? I didn't know that you and your PhD could psycho-diagnosis via an Internet chat board. What WILL they come up with next.

Seriously, do you know how to engage in intelligent debate? If you get so bloody damned defensive on something as harmless as an anonymous Internet chat board, then how do you operate in the real world?!? My goodness. My thoughts and concern go out to you.

"I have opinions, you have opinions. It’s what makes the world go around."

No. Well-reasoned opinions make the world go around.

Wild conjecturing and posturing dressed up as an "opinion" as good as anyone else's makes the world decend into a firey hell of cynicism and epistemological nihilism. Or it gets you elected.

Seriously, do you know how to engage in intelligent debate?

hahahahahaha.

this really made me laugh.

Just say know to Lastings Milledge. He is third in line in terms of the Mets depth chart of outfield prospects. Behind the two mega-touted Domincans whose names escape me at the moment. Milledge's star has fallen. If we must trade Crazy Horse Z (which Hendry will never do because that will be admitting defeat and all but seal his fate), then we have to do much better.

Or it gets you elected.

And this also made me laugh.

"Seriously, do you know how to engage in intelligent debate?"

hahaha. actually, yes. i can teach you, but i'd have to charge you.

Really we probably act as sort of a public service to ST's coworkers. As long as he's reading the board and posting his drivel, he's not arguing with them about the proper coloring or dejon mustard and whether rainbows make complete circles.

Wild conjecturing?!?!

Do you mean like suggesting the Cubs should ask Alfonso Soriano to move to right field in order to accomodate Matt Friggin Murton?!?! The Towel has the best grip of reality and likelihoods on this board, inter-sprinkled with a few wild ass predictions every now and then.

What roster crunch? Z should be pitching every 3-4 games, for the arm and the bat. Let whatever team signs him next year deal with the consequences, because it's not going to be this team.

Argumentative Silent Towel -
it's Pelfrey & Miledge (or mix in one of the other 2 rockstar right field mets prospects) for Zambrano -

Hendry's gotta ask himself ", WHAT WOULD BILLY BEANE DO WITH ZAMBRANO?"

Answer: Sell High & Rebuild!

"The Towel has the best grip of reality"

oh yeah..he refers to himself in the 3rd person, too.

hahaha

oh towlie...stop getting so high you crazy towel you.

ST, doesn't it bother you that you aren't right about any predictions (other than Mark Prior being injured which doesn't exaclty qualify you for Ms Cleo Hotline support)?

he Towel has the best grip of reality and likelihoods on this board

And we are all constantly amazed at how brilliant and in touch with reality you are.

We should no longer be listen to anyone but you.

Damnit... we need a coup. Rob G? Trans? AZ Phil? Down with the leadership. We want a Silent Towel take over.

We will rise up with our fearless leader. We, the proletariat, will rise up against the bourgeoisie leadership of TCR. We will not let Silent Towel be muzzled any longer.

So as to put a rest to my talents with yellow mustard.

44 years old..diehard Cub fan since 1977...played baseball through senior year in high school...MBA...work as a Director of Strategy for a major global company...married 15 years...one 8 year old daughter...live in northern burbs...travel near weekly to St. Louis for business...favorite actor is Clint Eastwood...politically classified as an "indepedent moderate"...voted for Bush...regret voting for Bush...posess an okay golf game...like to bike ride for relaxation...can't stand Michael Barrett...former drool monkey...attend 10-12 games at Wrigley each year...love Miller Park even more than Wrigley (easier to get to)...love Sweet Lou...favorite all-time Cub player is Bill Buckner...really miss Dallas Green...favorite color is green.

i quit reading after "talents"

:[

"politically classified as an “indepedent moderate”…voted for Bush…regret voting for Bush…"

Don't worry. As long as you voted in the state of Illinois, you're vote did not count for Bush. Nor did mine in the state of California.

ST - I Don't think you'll find a date with this crowd.

Try www.manlookingforman.com

you’re vote did not count for Bush

That would be "your," not "you're." :)

But only because I like to pick on Chad.

The Towel is happily married and accounted for. Don't swing that way baby. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

ST - I think it is pretty respectable that you shared that much with us, given that this is an anonymous blog... I actually had you pretty well pegged. Pretty darn close...
As for me, I'm 33, live in CO, am a professional engineer for a small consulting company, am also an "independent moderate", though I am proud to say I did not vote for Dubya. Not that it matters, since his ass is the one in the White House. Married for six years, two kids 3 and 2 years old. One boy, one girl. Cubs fan since about 1980...

Oh, and I also agree with crunch that you come off sounding very conceited. But what "Director"-type has anyone come across that didn't seem that way?

Crunch, I don't take myself too seriously when it comes to spreading wisdom on the Chicago Cubs. Nor do I crave attention. And I surely don't want to "lord" over anybody or pretend that my opinions are superior. I'm semi-bored in the office the last couple of days and thought I'd catch up on the great debate about the Cubs. Believe me, I wish I could be opining in all positive terms about this ballclub. But I can't. Honestly prevails me to say that the Cubs suck. Again. And that sir is a bummer.

well, your intentions arent the problem.

its how you convey your "wisdom" that's the problem.

there's a lotta stuff people dont pick apart when you say it...there's also a lotta stuff people do pick apart...its when someone challenges your knowlege base and your reactions to them that's causing the friction.

there's stuff people agree with you on that turns into arguements about the level of despair/optimism/fact/opinion because of how it's handled.

And I surely don’t want to pretend that my opinions are superior.

Hmmm...

"The Towel has the best grip of reality and likelihoods on this board."

"Who said I was smarter than all of the drool monkeys and doorknobs that populated this board?"

back to business -
do you pull a Zambrano for the likes of Pelfrey and Miledge. i'm thinking the cubs put themselves in a strong position for the future ---
our outfield defense would be rediculous and we'd replenish with some light contracts freeing up money for free agency.

Speaking of IBB...

"Now batting eighth: Juan Pierre, protected from intentional walks by the pitcher in the Dodgers' new order."

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?pa...

cubfan - That isn't business. That's fantasy. I'm not going to debate that until we have a little more to go on than someone looking at different team rosters...

Silent Towel is bat-shit crazy. I feel for your coworkers.

Have you seen "The Office"? You remind me of Dwight... except you're not humorous.

Do you mean like suggesting the Cubs should ask Alfonso Soriano to move to right field in order to accomodate Matt Friggin Murton?!?! The Towel has the best grip of reality and likelihoods on this board, inter-sprinkled with a few wild ass predictions every now and then.
........................................................................

I agree, I think it is absolutely ridiculous for a team to expect a guy they are paying 136 million dollars, to attempt to play another outflield position. If I were Soriano, I would give that money to charity and fade off into Bolivian!

no cubfanbudman... I wouldn't make that deal.

First, I do think that Z still gets re-signed.

Second, Milledge seems to be a head case, and not someone I would really want to rely on.

Third, Z is too damn good to trade away for prospects unless the Cubs are completely sure they are out of it and completely sure that they will not be able to re-sign him.

The stock of Lastings Milledge has dropped like a rock. Mike Pelfrey isn't looked upon as favorably as he once was either.

Teams with potential interest in Crazy Horse Z, assuming of course Hendry would even trade him (which I doubt)?

- NY Mets
- Phillies
- Cardinals
- NY Yankees (even though they are hopelessly out of the playoff race right now)
- Mariners

The list of suitors wil expand when he hits free agency next winter. But for now, these are the teams I see having most interest.

RobR -
can you believe Hendry gave up 3 legitimate arms for the likes of free agent to be juan pierre-
1. last years no hitter - nolasco
2. pinto - great arm
3. this years most improved - S. Mitre (i'm not sure how the hell this guy became good)

fire hendry.

I think the Towel comes off as bat-shit crazy sometimes, because he's bored and he wants to create controversy. Think Colin Cowherd (aka Shrutebag), but with a little more "grouchy old man" in him

"WHAT WOULD BILLY BEANE DO?"

trade zambrano - reload on prospects - create hope for the next 5+ years.

Nah, you're way off. I'm more like Phyllis.

Aaron B, Enjoys long walks on the beaches. Candle light dinners. The soothing sounds of John Tesh. Is a Division manager. Drive a dodge stratus, have 4 people who work under me. am respected in the community, there is NO YELLING AT MY DINNER TABLE

Cubfanbudman, yes I can, but Hendry is not the only problem. IMO, the problem is that the Cubs as an organization are behind the curve is realizing what contributes most to winning.

On a more promising note they seem to be learning some leasons.

Crazy Horse Z is gone via free agency in my estimation. The reason? Well, mainly uncertainty regarding ownership of the ballclub that most assuredly will spill into the offseason. I'm guessing the earliest the major league baseball votes on a new owner group is sometime next spring. That means be prepared for an offseason of Jim Hendry scratching his ass and waving bye-bye to players with expiring contracts. Like Zambrano. Hendry will very doubtful have either the authority or financial means to sign Z next winter. And he sure the heck won't trade him until the Cubs are mathematically eliminated in 2007, because that will be officially admitting defeat which will be the final nail in his ultimate coffin.

in this crappy division - we still might win it --- minus zambrano-

the fact is --- we're not winning any world series with the problems this team has.

trade zam, and build --- we have some very good pieces...and need to plug a few holes in a cheap / economical way.

getting some fine position prospects at RF and C would be the best way to do it.

"But only because I like to pick on Chad."

BRING IT!

I hate Cardinals fans who pretend to be Cub fans.

Wild Thing — June 12, 2007 @ 2:13 pm
AZ Phil: do you think EPat has a future with the Cubs? If so, when would you predict a call-up?

===============================

WILD THING: Eric Patterson could well be ready (offensively) to play in the big leagues by sometime later this year.

I think he would be a very good #1 or #2 hitter (with Soriano entrenched in the lead-off spot, he would probably hit in the #2 hole with the Cubs). Unlike his brother, he'll take a walk (he's second in BB with the I-Cubs right now), he will bunt for a hit, and he hits left-handed pitching almost as well as RHP (and he certainly hits LHP better than Pie does). Patterson is also a good base-stealer and base-runner, he hits line-drives to all fields, and he's developing some power, too.

The problem with E-Pat is that while he is a very good offensive player and very athletic, he also lacks the ball-handling skills needed of a middle-infielder. I've used this example before, but he's like a two-guard trying to play point guard. He's very shaky at 2B. He'll bobble balls hit right at him, he'll make inaccurate throws to 1st, and he'll double-clutch on the DP turn, especially late in a game when it really seems to matter most.

If you look at him, you'd think not only could he play 2B, but maybe even SS. He's got good range and decent-enough arm strength, especially for 2B. But he's just a "Shaky Jake" in the field.

The Cubs have been playing E-Pat some in LF and CF at Iowa lately (although he's playing 2B again with Mike Fontenot having been recalled), and I suspect OF (probably CF) is his eventual destiny (although moving him to the OF should be done in Spring Training--when he would have a good six weeks to make the transition--and not in mid-season).

However, the Cubs have a potential Gold Glove CF in Felix Pie, I can't see the Cubs moving Soriano out of LF, and I doubt that E-Pat has the arm to play RF. So if he remains with the Cubs, Patterson will probably have to stay at 2B, and the Cubs will just have to hope he improves his "D" enough to become at least an average defender at 2B. Because I think he will be a very, VERY good offensive player.

AZ Phil -

First of all - I look forward to your articles all the time - thanks!

I was wondering if you have any insight into which draft picks have (or will sign) with the Cubs. I assume many will report to Mesa to get their feet wet before heading off to Peoria or Boise (if they don't stay in Mesa).

Could you let us know when you hear about any signings?

Thanks!

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