Game 64 Thread/Mariners @ Cubs (#2 of 3)

Game Chat Sean Marshall vs. Miguel Batista In a sequel to last night’s dark comedy, the Cubs will throw young Marshall (2-2, 2.08) against the one-time Cub, Batista (7-4, 5.48). Interestingly, Marshall, coming off an excellent start in Atlanta (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER), has identical numbers at home and on the road: 1-1, 2.08 ERA. I’m a big fan of parallelism, so if Marshall does something like, say, shuts out the Mariners for 7 or 8 innings, thus dropping his home ERA below the road number, I’m going to be furious. Though he’s won 7 games already this year, Batista has been hit hard. Opposing batters have tuned him up for a composite .301 AVG with a .361 on-base percentage. In 17 career games against his former Cub mates, his ERA is 6.27. In 1997, Batista’s one season on the North Side, he went 0-5, 5.70, i.e., a winless pitcher with a horrid ERA--a role being assumed on the 2007 team quite capably by Will Ohman and Scott Eyre.
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Post on Seattlest.com about Cubs/Lou....feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section!

http://www.seattlest.com/archives/2007/06/13/...

I usually just do beer articles for this site...but they asked me to do this in honor of Lou vs. the Marines.

Sean Marshall has the best seat in the house, He must have enjoyed Ichiro’s grounder that DLee fielded while he watched.

...and Koyie Hill has his imitation of Barrett blocking balls into the dirt down pat, showing it twice in the first.

Koyie still needs some instruction from Barrett on how to screw up the rundown between 3rd and Home though, guess he's a work in progress.

hope Pie doesn't get an intrascrotal hematoma on that one...

CUBSTER: Is an "intrascrotal hematoma" the same thing as an "intrasquad game"?

Pie's pain reminded me fondly of when Barrett blew out his testicle last year.

Man, I read that wrong the first time. Ahem.

Pronouns can be funny.

"Cerebral Mitt? Ha!" is an anagram of Michael Barrett.

Thanks to the Internet Anagram Server, Beer and Brick for this one.

this kid Fontenot is the next coming of who...? Joe D? Rogers Hornsby? Roy Hobbs?

Theriontenot!

Dempster sure sucks and should be traded for another closer. Also, Theriot can't play SS.

See. Now you're just trying to start trouble.

And which Marquis will rear his head tomorrow??

I'm getting awfully tired of losing on the same day the Brewers lose.

Then the Cubs come back the next night and win, but I then find out that the Brewers also won.

Ugh.

Yeah, what a pisser.

I don't care what Johann says. I agree with Towel. Whatever he says.

I'm sorry I missed the chat...I was looking forward to a debriefing after today's discussion string.

Great play by Theriot in the 9th. I've talked before about how Theriot's lack of range at SS might have a lot to do with reading the ball off the bat. I'm starting to wonder if this is something that takes care of itself with regular playing time. It sure seems like he's getting better and better jumps.

Slack Jawed Yokel:
Pie’s pain reminded me fondly of when Barrett blew out his testicle last year.

Blew out his testicle... lmao

And oh yeah... I blame Barrett for the "blame Barrett" jokes that will not die.

It looks like regular playing time will also take care of Theriot's high AVG and OBP, too.

"And which Marquis will rear his head tomorrow??"

If its the bad one then the game could be 25-20 cause Weaver is starting for Seattle.

why do i get the feeling the cubs will score 2 in the first against weaver then he will shut them out
the next 5 innings.

I just got home from Doyer's (S.I.C.) stadium. Glad to see we won a one run game and glad to see Sean Marshall pitch very well. Nice work Sean!!

Nice win for the Cubs and Marshall!

chifan3887:
If its the bad one then the game could be 25-20 cause Weaver is starting for Seattle.

You mean the same Weaver that dominated the Cub's at the end of spring training?

You mean the same Weaver that dominated the Cub’s at the end of spring training?

Come on... that is just silly. Wade Miller was pretty damn good in spring training also.

He wasn't *that* good. There was, what, two games to go in ST and Weaver climbs the mound and pitches 6.0 IP of 4-hit shutout ball against the Cub's.

Well... maybe he wasn't *that* good, but he obviously pitched much better than he did when the regular season started. A 3.98 ERA in ST is pretty good.

I honestly could care less about what a pitcher did against the Cubs in spring training - it is meaningless.

Ouch... Cub's w/Koyie Hill catching: 4-1.

The 1 loss is the 4-1 lead that Demp blew. Geesh.

Link

Thank goodness the Cubs finally came to their senses and got Matt Murton out of here. I make no bones about the fact that I believe Murton is colossally overrated. Maybe he can help some American League team with payroll limitations that could use a right handed bat (albeit a non run producing one) to DH and play a little bit of left.

Yeah, it is nice to see at least a couple of our starting pitchers now at least occasionally getting into or through the 8th inning. When I was a kid, that was not unusual. With the way the game has changed, now it is almost startling to turn the TV on in the 8th and see the starting pitcher still on the mound.

The Minors are Mattering - for this team...

I don't know how many of these players Jim Hendry is responsible for, but the following have contributed well to this 2007 Cubs squad (exception for Rapada):

TheRiot
Fontenot
Koyie Hill
Felix Pie
Sean Marshall
Rich Hill
Sean Gallagher (to early to tell)
Clay Rapada (not pitched yet)

I'd choose to say the glass is half-full with these guys. We'll see if they sustain their levels of play throughout the season.

I bash Hendry pretty well, but the above are examples of positive developments. I'm looking forward to Wilkins picks.

I must admit to being dutifully impressed by Sean Marshall. Truth be told, I didn't think a whole lot of him last season. Seemed to throw a mix of very pedestrian pitches. But this season it is clear his game has stepped up a couple of notches. His composure on the mound is outstanding. Seems like a very sharp and studious guy. Maybe hanging around Greg Maddux so much really did pay off for him.

The person with the "SeasonOver" handle spoke last night, after he showed up after the Cubs were losing, predicted that Weaver will get his first win today.

Any chance Cubs can trade starting pitcher for a stud catcher this season.

Dream a little dream with me.

Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot aren't really prospects are anything to write home about. They are both hard working pluggers trying to take advantage of a major league opportunity. I think Theriot can carve out a nomadic existence in the big leagues for a few years, but I'm doubtful Fontenot can do the same. Fontenot is our version of that Bo Hart guy who was a flash in the pan for the Cardinals a few years ago.

Silent Towel has spoken.

so manny thinks the Cubs lose to Weaver today?

Gotta' love manny's confidence in the team he roots for.

Re: Marshall: Well, he's no Rich Hill, but he's been pitching decent enough. He's not going to have a sub 3.00 era all year though.

Zambrano and Astro's Wheeler to form Ultimate Fighters League for Pitchers in Offseason-

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=27...

Sampson probably got pissed Wheeler blew his win, and Wheeler said something like, "WTF - you have no room to talk. You gave up a homerun to Jason F'in Kendall."

Its kinda' like what happened when Z confronted Barrett, and Barrett said, "Shut the F up. You are the one who gave up 13 hits in five innings."

ST:
Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot aren’t really prospects are anything to write home about. They are both hard working pluggers trying to take advantage of a major league opportunity. I think Theriot can carve out a nomadic existence in the big leagues for a few years, but I’m doubtful Fontenot can do the same.

If guys like Eckstein & Freel can survive, then so can Theriot. He's every bit as scrappy as those two. In fact given the choice, I'd take Theriot over any of them. His plate discipline rivals some of the top batters.

I'll have to agree with you on Fontenot, though.

Rynox said: The 1 loss [with Hill behind the plate] is the 4-1 lead that Demp blew. Geesh.

No, Hill didn't catch that game. The one loss was the first game after Hill was called up, the Sat. Rich Hill game against the Braves where the Cubs came from 3-0 down to tie, only to lose it in 7th and 8th-inning relief. Ohman took the loss.

In fact, Hill's catching has coincided with Dempster's revival. Barrett caught on Sunday when Dempster threw slider after slider in long count after long count to the Braves as they overcame a 4-2 deficit. I said at the time that Dempster threw very few fastballs and none for strikes.

Next night, at home against the Astros, with Hill catching, Dempster threw nothing but fastballs, threw strikes, and went right after Carlos Lee with a fastball when he grounded into a game-ending double play.

Dempster threw mainly fastballs again last night--and again to Hill--in a fine, 1-2-3 inning. I particularly enjoyed when Hill stood up behind the plate--almost like it was a pitchout--to encourage Dempster to throw a really high pitch to get a swinging strike three from Jose Guillen.

Brenley said the radar gun read 96 on one of Dempster's pitches. Who knew that Dempster could throw that hard?

Can a catcher make a pitcher throw harder? Maybe it's all a coincidence. Maybe Dempster changed his approach himself, or maybe Piniella and/or Rothchild sat down with them and said, Here's what we're going to do.

Still, I'd like to see Wuertz pitch with Hill catching, because Wuertz seems to have the same problem Dempster had: good offspeed stuff but no confidence in his fastball.

Hill’s catching has coincided with Dempster’s revival.

What revival?

Dempster has really only had two bad outings this year, and one of them came after Hill was up.

And I highly doubt that Dempster really threw 96. I am blaming it on a hot gun.

dave:
And I highly doubt that Dempster really threw 96. I am blaming it on a hot gun.

I'm not going to claim to have radar eyes or anything, but based on the batter's response, pitch movement, etc. it wouldn't surprise me if he hit 95-96 on that pitch.

Virginia Phil:
Still, I’d like to see Wuertz pitch with Hill catching, because Wuertz seems to have the same problem Dempster had: good offspeed stuff but no confidence in his fastball.

I don't think its a confidence thing, I think the slider is just Wuert's "game". I remember him having outings in '05 & '06 where all he threw were sliders.

I stated that I believe Ryan Theriot can carve out a nomadic existence in the majors for a few years. That's the same assessment I would attach to Ryan Freel, who in my view is a nice complementary ballplayer but whose value is overrated. David Eckstein is a different ballplayer from these two. Eckstein has been the heart and soul of very good teams in Anaheim and St. Louis. He's not a star, but he is a good ballplayer. A Cadillac version of Craig Counsell. Which is something different from Theriot and Freel.

Another thing. I hate Theriot at shortstop. I wince everytime the ball is hit to him. He just doesn't have the range or the instincts to be playing that position on a starter basis. If it were me, I'd have Theriot split playing time with Mark DeRosa at 2nd base and be done with it.

Fontenot was a first round pick. Fontenot was always considered the superior prospect to Theriot. I don't see why both guys can't make it in the Bigs? The funny thing is. Both guys should have been up before now. Fontenot got the call up in 2005. Unfortunately for him, he had to get in line behind Neifi,Macias,Jerry Hairston and Todd Walker on the old 4 second basemen configuration Jim Hendry tried to perfect. He was 24/25 back then. Officially in the "prospect box" that we look for.

Fontenot ain't that good. He is a 27 year old Triple A player who has been stuck in that league for a long time. Felix Pie is a "real" prospect. Mike Fontenot is an aging minor league journeyman with some decent skills that where hope is you catch lightning in a bottle for a short stretch. Matt Murton is closer to Fontenot on the scale.

Rynox, you can't throw three sliders in a row, and the last one in the strike zone, and expect the guy not to hit it.

Everything is about changing speeds. You have to make sure the guy's not sitting on a pitch, even if it's your best pitch.

I've never been a Wuertz fan, but mostly because of his approach to the game and the way he reacts to things. But his slider is a quality pitch. And his fastball registers pretty high on the gun, 91-92, sometimes higher. It's plenty fast enough if he would mix it with the slider and throw strikes. But somebody's got to grab him and shake him and say, Come on, pitch like a man!

Maybe Hill can do it. It seems to have worked with Dempster.

If it were me, I’d have Theriot split playing time with Mark DeRosa at 2nd base and be done with it.
-------
Translation: I'd play Neifi Izturis every day for his former "gold glove" and his .247 .305 .299

...by the way, Neifi with Detroit this year, in 53 AB's
is: .170 .200. .264, oh, I know...small sample size (and Tigers fans are thankful for that small sample size)

Looks like Henry Blanco is now headed for the knife. Bummer. Koye Hill isn't good. And we need to get Michael Barrett on the bench or out of town.

Cubster, the Detroit Tigers also have one of the best offenses in baseball and are well on their way to a repeat appearance in the playoffs. So you tell me if Neifi Perez and his glove aren't an asset to that ballclub in complement to Carlos Guillen and Placido Poloanco in the middle of that Tiger infield.

You're a towel!

Totally agree with everything Silent Towel said. Matt Murton is nothing more than a 21st-century version of Jim Abbott. Ryan Theriot's range and fielding percentage at short is awful - we might as well trade for Pat Burrell and put him there. Fontenot is 27, so he needs to be traded to either the Marlins or Devil Rays, who play in the Union's 27th state.

Theriot's career was delayed about 2 seasons because someone in the Cubs minor league system deemed that he needed to become a switch hitter. When Riot recognized that he sucked hitting lefty and abandoned that experiment (and I believe it was to the Cubs brass displeasure), he essentially resumed progressing in the minors. His last two years in the minors were 2005 WTenn .304/.367; 2006 Iowa .304/.367 (although I'm not sure the exact date he stopped hitting lefty, I believe it was early in his season at WTenn).

I love how Murton,Fontenot,Barrett,Theriot, and the like are all garbage. Yet Cesar Izturis and Neifi Perez remain assets. Logic be damned when opinions need to be crammed down throats.

and for the record. Henry Blanco is and always has been Terrible. It was a bad contract this offseason when Hendry Re-upped him. It will be bad next year when Hank is making 3.8 million dollars.

Blanco just needs his number switched again - I recommend 69.

Aaron, you keep admiring your bubblegum cards of Matt Murton and Michael Barrett. And WAY overrated aging plugger types like Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot. Meanwhile, I'll keep hoping for real solutions to a team on a 99 year losing streak and currently 6 games UNDER .500 in the worst division in baseball.

Thanks for playing our game.

Maybe Hill can do it. It seems to have worked with Dempster.

You mean, in your mind it worked with Hill and Dempster. You have no idea if Hill is the reason that Dempster threw more fastballs.

And, for the record I did not say Ryan Theriot is "garbage." Rather he is a semi--useful complementary player type. Matt Murton on the other hand is garbage, despite the Richie Cunningham looks and is a swell guy otherwise. Michael Barrett is dumber than a hockey puck AND garbabe, despite being an upstanding citizen and kissing babies in parades and all that other good stuff.

Neifi Perez at 120 AB's or less a year is an expensive 25th man at best (Hendry's fault of course), more AB's than that has always been the issue. As long as Guillen and Polonco don't go down for any time, he is in a role that works and Leyland won't fall in love with him anyway based on comments (from the offseason) about his offense inadequacies.

Unfortunately, the Cubs used him in 154 games for 572 AB's in 2005 and 236 AB's in 87 games last yr. So we saw what happens when he actually plays on a regular basis. But at this point, if Neifi beats the Brewers today...his tenure in Detroit will be a success, otherwise I could care less.

Silent Towel's right again Aaron. Just keep looking at your pinup centerfold of Sidney Ponson and dreaming about those delicious man-boobs and stop trying to get production from guys making less than the President of the United States. This is a REAL GAME, for REAL MEN, who walk through REAL HOUSES when they are shopping for REAL ESTATE. You have no right, dude.... no right at all...

Three players selected by the Cubs last week in the MLB Rule 4 Draft will be playing in the NCAA College World Series that begins play this weekend at Omaha:

Darwin Barney, SS (Oregon State)
Clark Hardman, CF (Cal State - Fullerton)
Jeffrey Rae, 2B (Mississippi State)

The games will be televised on ESPN.

To recap last week's Rule 4 Draft, here is a list of the Cubs 50 draft picks (players who have signed are in bold)

* bats or throws left
# bats both

1. Josh Vitters, 3B (Cypress HS – Cypress, CA)
2. Josh Donaldson, C (Auburn)
3. Tony Thomas, 2B (Florida State)
4. Darwin Barney, SS (Oregon State)
5. Brandon Guyer, OF (Virginia)
6. * Casey Lambert, P (Virginia)
COMMENT: Diminutive (5'10) lefty was UVA's closer and is all-time ACC saves leader
7. Ty Wright, OF (Oklahoma State)
8. Marquez Smith, 3B (Clemson)
COMMENT: Power-hitting run producer was former teammate of Tyler Colvin at Clemson
9. * Clark Hardman, OF (Cal State- Fullerton)
10. * Leon Johnson, OF (BYU)
COMMENT: Spent two years on Mormon mission in Siberia, good glove, so-so bat
11. * Chris Siegfried, P (U. of Portland)
COMMENT: Lanky lefty, likely will be used as reliever at Boise
12. Ryan Acosta, P/SS (Clearwater Central Catholic HS - Clearwater, FL)
13. * Jonathan Wyatt, OF (Georgia)
COMMENT: Speedy lead-off man type CF, he's 22 going on 23
14. * James Russell, P (Texas)
15. * Marc Sawyer, 1B (Yale)
COMMENT: Ivy League Player of the Year in '06, Mark Grace-type 1B
16. * Zach Ashwood, P (Kansas)
COMMENT: Another likely lefty reliever at Boise
17. * Arik Hempy, P (South Carolina)
18. * Jeffrey Rae, 2B (Mississippi State)
19. * Kyle Day, C (Michigan State)
20. # Jose Made, SS (Dominican College)
COMMENT: Speedy lead-off man, will be playing 2B with Cubs
21. * Dustin Sasser, P (East Carolina)
COMMENT: Another lefty destined for Boise
22. Craig Muschko, P (LaSalle)
COMMENT: A likely righty reliever at Boise
23. Stephen Vento, P (Palm Beach CC)
COMMENT: Another likely RHP reliever at Boise
24. Scott Meyer, P (Lamar)
COMMENT: Still another likely RHP reliever at Boise
25. Victor Sanchez, 3B (Gahr HS – Norwalk, CA)
26. * Michael Bunton, P (College of Charleston)
COMMENT: Likely will work as lefty reliever at Boise
27. Clayton Suss, P (Cooper City HS - Cooper City, FL)
28. Bill Moss, 2B (U. of Memphis)
COMMENT: 5th year college senior is a versatile 2B-SS-3B
29. Andrew Cashner, P (Angelina JC)
30. * Luke Sommer, OF (U. of San Francisco)
31. * Brian Leclerc, OF (Florida)
COMMENT: Will likely be assigned to Boise
32. Luis Bautista, C (Florida International)
COMMENT: "Little" brother of Pirates 3B Jose Bautista is 6'4 235
33. Preston Clark, C (Texas)
34. Enrique Garcia, P (U. of Miami)
35. J. C. Casey, P (Kickapoo HS – Kickapoo, MO)
36. * Billy Mottram, 3B (Dowling College)
COMMENT: Played in same conference as Jose Made, likely will be assigned to Boise
37. Mike McGee, 3B/P (Port St. Lucie HS – Port St. Lucie, FL)
38. Yuri Higgins, P (South Florida)
COMMENT: Another probable RHP reliever at Boise
39. Roberto Sabates, C (Cuban Defector - official residence is now in Miami, FL)
40. Corey Bachman, P (VMI)
COMMENT: Another probable righty reliever who will be assigned to Boise
41. Jordan Herr, OF (Pitt)
42. Colt Sedbrook, INF (Arizona)
43. Garrett Clyde, P (San Jacinto JC – North)
44. * Bryan Jost, 1B (Minnesota)
45. Ryan Lewis, OF (Yakima Valley CC)
46. Tyler Clark, P (Springfield Catholic HS – Springfield, MO)
47. Josh Walter, P (Texas State)
48. Carlos Rivera, OF (East Aurora HS - East Aurora, IL)
49. Jordan Rogers, P (San Jacinto JC - North)
50. Blake Murphy, C (Western Carolina)

I would much rather fill out my team with Fontenot and Theriot than Neifi, Macias, Bynum, Hairston, Womack, etc., and in that regard they represent a sea change in the way the roster has been put together. They know how to play the game, can get on base and can situational hit. Theriot has some versatility and can steal some bases; Fontenot looks like he has a little pop. They're not going to make anyone forget Derek Jeter, but they're decent players.

I think the point isn't what Theriot and Fontenot project to be, it's what can they contribute to this team this year. I would think we'd all agree Cubs teams over the years have lacked heart, spark, or whatever you want to call it. It's pretty obvious that Pie, Fontenot, Theriot, and to some extent, Soriano bring that to this team. They also play pretty good defense and run the bases pretty well. These are the things managers really value and it's no surprise to me Lou has them all in the lineup a lot. Lee and Ramirez are obviously above average players and Izturis has a helluva glove.

I guess my point is you never know what a guy is going to do in the show until he goes around the league 2 or 3 times and either makes the adjustments or doesn't. But, it's pretty obvious Lou has a high priority on defense, bat control, and base running smarts. It's no fluke that Barrett is finding a lot of bench time and Murton is in AAA. Jacque will be the next to go for the same reasons with Barrett not far behind.

Yeah, what Santos Sorrow said.

Er, I mean, what Mike said.

Er, I mean, Silent Towel.

God, I'm one Sorry Ass Cub Reporter.

Actually dave, I find that WGN's gun is the more accurate gun (perhaps a Jugs model) and that CSN's gun is probably a Stryker gun, which throughout my time I've found to read 1-2 mph faster. Just a guess on my part.

Dempster has routinely thrown 94 throughout the year on the WGN and has hit 96 more than a couple times on CSN. Really rearing back on one could easily get him 2 more MPH, if not higher. Especially if he's climbing the ladder.

one difference between this year and last is the versatility of the infield backups. Last year if we lost our 1B, we got Neifi/Mabry (or Walker moving to first which essentially means Neifi played when DLee went down). If we lost our 2B, we got Neifi. If we lost our SS, we got Neifi. If we lost our 3B, we got Neifi.

This year, if we lose our 1B, we get DeRosa/Ward. If we lose our 2B, we get Theriot/Fontenot. If we lose our 3B, we get DeRosa. If we lose our SS, we get Izzy/Theriot or for a more prolonged injury, Cedeno.

It's a much better plan than Neifi/Mabry.

good call, Cubster.

And Neifi, like Izturis, is a valuable asset when used correctly. . Not 500 AB's. Not even 150 AB's. Being unable to hit big league pitching does not necessary mean you can't have a positive impact on your ballclub.

Carlos Guillen wouldn't have made that play on the Verlander no-no. 0% chance. I know that's only one example, but that's what light-hitting good defenders are supposed to do. Not hit in the 2-hole and get 500 AB's.

Just shut up.

Neifi > Old White Men

Trans: I'm sending you a set of TCR pom-poms, don't worry, their biodegradable and can be used for fermentation purposes later on.

For crying out loud, please don't lump Felix Pie in the same category as Mike Fontenot. Good grief. Pie is a true elite prospect whereas Fontenot is an old journeyman Triple A ballplayer who has been granted his Crash Davis moment in the major leagues. If Ryan Theriot can eek out a 4 or 5 year career in the majors he should count his blessings. If Fontenot can accumulate several months worth of playing time in the big leagues before he is out of the game for good then he too should count his blessings.

Who said Neifi Perez was a great player? I didn't. Rather I intimated that he is a high quality utility middle infielder. It makes zero sense for Cub fans to hate Neifi. The man played a ton in a Cub uniform because the dim witted general manager didn't provide his manager with suitable alternatives in the middle of the infield. Todd Walker was awful, Nomar Garciaparra was hurt (and awful as a shortstop) and Cesar Izturis was hurt. So give the Neifi hate a break. The Tigers are proving he is a guy you want on a ballclub. And Justin Verlander is his new best friend after he played a significant role in perserving his no-hitter the other night.

#68. I don't disagree with you. But have you taken a look at this team's current record for having a $100 million plus payroll and playing in the mega weak National League?!?

I don't see Fontenot as a future superstar either, but as far as filling in for infielders who hit the DL this year, I think he'll be a good replacement.

Can I be your new best friend if I no-hit you?

By the way, you're right, the Cubs totally play in the National League.

Maybe the Cubs can get the gun from Spring Training that had Prior throwing 108 before he even came out of the wind up.

I also doubt that Verlander hit 102 in the 9th the other night, imo.

" It makes zero sense for Cub fans to hate Neifi"

Hate Dusty, who had Theriot on the bench for three weeks in April/May while Womack and Neifi played ahead of him. Then sent him down.

theriot can't play SS? um, ok.

silent towel is the 2007 version of manny from 2005. blech.

But have you taken a look at this team’s current record for having a $100 million plus payroll and playing in the mega weak National League?!?
-------
I don't know what that has to do with the current thread.The bulk of that $100M is invested in Soriano, DLee, ARam, Z (one yr), Lilly, Marquis. That's about $75M right there. I don't recall reading anything on this thread directly involving any of them.

The players we've been tossing around are in the $5M or less bracket. (Barrett, DeRosa, Blanco, Neifi, Fontenot, Theriot, Koyie Hill, Murton, Wuertz Dempster) So bitching about being 6 games under should be more about overall crappy performance the first two months, blowing close games, stupid errors, etc.

Yeah, Ryan Theriot can't play shortstop at this level. But onto more relevant topic for the day. HUGE game for Jason Marquis. Has Marquis turned back into a pile of crap, or can he rise to the ocassion and get his game back on track today? I live Marquis, but he does need to answer the bell today. If he can give the Cubs 12-13 wins and 200 innings in 2007, then he will have done the job. But he needs to get it going again.

Fontenot is still a prospect. He was a 1st round pick and a college star. How can you blame a guy who made the majors at 24, but had to stay down because the previous regime prefered "proven vetdum" to actual production?

Per Theriot, I'm right you're wrong so just forget about it. Anyways, this other guy who makes a lot of money is someone I "live", even if he's way less consistent than guys like Fontenot who will be out of baseball in a few months. As long as he's league-average, then spending $7 million and blocking minor leaguers is awesomest. Facing Jeff Weaver in an Interleague game in June is a massive test of his entire reason for being alive.

The Blanket and The Towel ... working together to smother you since 2007. We are spoken ... don't make me go all Ugueth on you.

aaronb — June 14, 2007 @ 9:29 am
Fontenot is still a prospect. He was a 1st round pick and a college star. How can you blame a guy who made the majors at 24, but had to stay down because the previous regime prefered “proven vetdum” to actual production?

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

AARON B: You know it's not just the Cubs who didn't give Fontenot a chance, right?

Fontenot was available to be claimed off Outright Waivers for $20K in November 2005 (when the Cubs dropped him from their 40-man roster), and was available for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for $50K in both December 2005 and December 2006, but apparently (unlike Jason Smith, for instance) none of the other 29 MLB clubs were interested.

Again, that does NOT mean Fontenot was or is garbage, just that he had little value to ANY of the 30 MLB clubs over the past couple or three years. Not just the Cubs.

The Cubs could have easily given Fontenot an NRI to ST in 2005 or 2006, but they chose not to do that. The Cubs also could have brought Fontenot up to the big leagues (as they did with Theriot) last August-September after all was lost and given him a chance to play 2B everyday (or at least in a platoon with The Riot), but they didn't do that either.

I heart Verbose Blanket.

Again, Verlander's fastball speed depends on FSN Detriot's gun model. I don't think many people research that too closely. The producer sends some intern chump to the store to go buy a radar gun. Who the heck knows what he comes back with.

I don't really understand the physics behind it, but it stands to reason that if you shoot a beam out towards the ball and it comes back to the gun, all gun models would spit out the "correct" speed.

I've seen four scouts with four different radar guns sitting right next to each other read the same pitch (cut fastball) at 87, 89, 90, and 91.

I agree with you AZ Phil about Fontenot's value. But when a guy gets a label. As you know it is tough to shake. Teams always love their own prospect more than somebody elses. Had Fontenot come up in the braves,A's or Twins organ-I-zation. He would have gotten a real shot. Getting traded to the cubs, instead. He had to wait his turn behind the Jose Macias' of the world.

Not saying Fontenot is anything special. I just think it is Anti-Forward thinking to say he wont ever amount to anything because he is already 27.

Wherever you came from, Verbose Blanket, I dig you, man.

Thank you Arizona Phil for being the voice of reason on Mike Friggin Fontenot.

_ _ _ _ - _ _ _ !!

This is getting gosh darn ricockulous.

ST,

I don't know if you're referring to me in #74 when I mentioned Fontenot, Theriot, Pie, and Soriano bringing a spark to this year's team. If so, re-read what I wrote which WAS NOT comparing the talent/upside projection for each over their career.

I was commenting on what they bring to this year's team in production, performance, and value to a manager who expects ML players to play like ML players. Who the hell knows where Fontenot will be 1 month, 1 year, 3 years from now and who cares. Think of a rookie pitcher you bring up for an emergency start who goes 3,4 or 5 innings without giving up a run. You ride that pitcher for as long as you can, and if he gets a win, you throw him out their in 5 days again. When (or if) he crashes, then you make a move. Until then, take it for whatever it is.

I dig you too, George - you can make quite a point with just two or three words and the intonation of your voice - wish I could say the same about your professional colleagues who try to pass themselves off as having ANY clue about baseball ... except Murph of course.

6-10 should be the George Altman show .. or the Robert Altman show ... or anyone except you-know-who. Unless you dig getting interrupted regularly, because I listened for the same amount of time as every morning - 6-8 minutes - all I can stomach - and I think you got cut off 4-5 times.

I live for the day Mike North arrives at 'Radio Oblivion'.......I listen to Mike&Mike thru my headphones when North talks to me.

George, you make good points. What annoys me is that Cub fans are notorious for letting their hearts go pitter-patter for the Gary Scotts, Jason Dubois', Matt Murtons, Mike Fontenots, etc. of the world. Too many fall sucker to crap cranked out by the Cub farm system. Felix Pie is a legitimate prospect. The first one we've had since Corey Patterson. Hopefully the ending is a distinctly better one this go around.

Except that I am pretty sure it is George Offman.

Silent, you've gotten a lot of credit on these boards recently for making some decent comments. And justifiably so. You've kinda been on fire lately. But let's not be pushing the envelope here.

Below are three statements you've made in comments above.

"[Eckstein] is a good ballplayer."

Actually, no he isn't. He's an absolutely average baseball player. His lifetime EqA is .262, which is almost EXACTLY the average across all of baseball history. And don't make fun of my use of stats. You use them too, just different, less informative ones.

"Fontenot ain’t that good."

Upon what exactly are you basing this assessment? Please describe to me exactly how you came to this conclusion? Because if the answer is "he's 27 and no one wanted him before now" you must realize that those are irrelevant points w/r/t how to evaluate his ability to contribute to wins (which, of course, he's doing right now. Unless it's just luck. But no, you'd probably tell me there's no such thing as luck and it's all just "clutchiness" like Eckstein in the 2006 WS).

"So you tell me if Neifi Perez and his glove aren’t an asset to that ballclub in complement to Carlos Guillen and Placido Poloanco in the middle of that Tiger infield."

I don't think I even need to comment on this.

Horatio - I think the earlier praise for him was (mostly) a form of mocking him.

Let's think about this: So there's a guy who is desperate for attention, and knows that if he crosses a certain line in that pursuit, he'll just get his ISP banned outright. So he instead posts as frequently as he can, with no concern for substance, in hopes of engaging people in debates he doesn't care about beyond his need for other people to affirm he exists.

We're fish taking the bright shiny bait. Let him create his own blog, and if it's any good, readers will flock to it to hear his thoughts....

Oh, wait......

It is so because I say it is. And if any of you disagree than you are idiots. End ' o subject

Wes:
"I’m getting awfully tired of losing on the same day the Brewers lose.

Then the Cubs come back the next night and win, but I then find out that the Brewers also won."

I think it might be best to wait till we actually get on the good side of .500 before we scoreboard watch.

the bad side of .500 might still win, truthfully.

dave:
"so manny thinks the Cubs lose to Weaver today?

Gotta’ love manny’s confidence in the team he roots for."

What???

When did I say this???

Go TCR!!!

I agree with manny, regarding waiting to .500 to scoreboard watch. Just my own philosophy....

manny - are you denying being "seasons over" in parachat?

GB > Win %

re:#86

I'm puzzled why you keep repeating this "point" about Fontenot when the Cubs admitted recently (and I posted it) that they had been doing their best to hide him from the rest of major league baseball (basically by intimating that he was weak on defense). Fontenot was the one person in their entire system they were worried about losing because he was unprotected.

Yeah, Ryan Theriot can’t play shortstop at this level.

Why?, is the diamond larger than in AAA?

Rynox,

Who played in that game and for how long? In the 2nd to last ST game most players probably go through the motion so they dont get a nagging injury. I doubt Weaver has a quality start today, unless Sori and Dlee get an off day.

Let's face it --- Theriot, Fontenot, and Pie in 2007 will win more games than they will lose for the cubs.

They are not the problem.

Where Hendry needs to address the problem is 1) at the catcher position, 2) in the Bullpen and 3) getting a long term solution in Right Field.

We can keep Fontenot Theriot and Pie in the lineup all year long for all i care --- it's addressing 1) the Jacque Jones Floyd Solution in Right Field (particularly in close, late inning games)
2) The egregious mental / physical errors made behind the plate
3) Finding true show stoppers in the 7th - 9th innings. True championship clubs shut the door in the late innings with a dominant bullpen. Dempster, Howry and Eyre do not have "It" ---however, maybe Marmol Guzman and company will???

Hate Dusty, who had Theriot on the bench for three weeks in April/May while Womack and Neifi played ahead of him. Then sent him down.

Hate Dusty who dumped Ryan Theriot off the 25 man roster on the last day of spring training in favor of Freddie Bynum.

Manny,

We are in a virtual tie for 2nd and only 5.5 games out. I think scoreboard watching should be determined on place in the division and games out. I mean if we were a few games over in the AL east I wouldnt be paying attention to BOS.

dave:
"manny - are you denying being “seasons over” in parachat?"

Yep, that was not me.

There are some extra sand traps and land mines in the major leagues that making SS hard. Basically, if you don't know where they are, you'll probably die or at least lose a hand.

So Theriot, as much as he can field and throw and bat and do everything you need to do to play a good SS, Izzy simply knows where the land mines are and so should play every day.

chifan:
"We are in a virtual tie for 2nd and only 5.5 games out. I think scoreboard watching should be determined on place in the division and games out. I mean if we were a few games over in the AL east I wouldnt be paying attention to BOS."

Fair point, but I can't picture this team as a playoff team when they are still 6 games under .500. If they get to .500 then i can start thinking of the playoffs again and then worry about other teams. This team needs to start winning regularly and if they do, things will shake out good for them.

And I totally understand just over .500 might win this division, but when they all play each other somebody has to win those games.

Can anyone find a division in the modern era that is bad top to bottom as the 2007 NL Central?? I think it might go down as the worst division in MLB history.

Yep, that was not me.v

Interesting... than you have a twin that says the exact same things as you do.

dave:
“manny - are you denying being “seasons over” in parachat?”

Yep, that was not me.

And here I thought it was obvious that TCR is being "goofed"

dave:
"Interesting… than you have a twin that says the exact same things as you do."

I only log in as mannytrillo on posting and chat. Should be pretty obvious when it is me. Hope that helps. Go TCR!!!!

Just for the record, because I think ZHL was being sarcastic, but it's hard to say, TheRiot has better fielding numbers across the board than Izturis.

Wasn't Jim Abbott the angels pitcher with one hand? I don't get the comparison.

cubswinthepennant — June 14, 2007 @ 10:43 am
re:#86

I’m puzzled why you keep repeating this “point” about Fontenot when the Cubs admitted recently (and I posted it) that they had been doing their best to hide him from the rest of major league baseball (basically by intimating that he was weak on defense). Fontenot was the one person in their entire system they were worried about losing because he was unprotected.

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

CWtP: The Cubs have been hiding Mike Fontenot from the rest of MLB for three years?

Fortunately the other 29 teams don't have AAA managers and coaches who get a chance to watch Fontenot play against them, or scouts who evaluate players in other organizatons (or if they do, at least the ones who are doing the evaluating are easily fooled by what they see). Because otherwise the Cubs might have lost Fontenot off waivers when he was outrighted in November 2005, or in the 2005 or 2006 Rule 5 Drafts, when even Jason Freakin' Smith got selected.

I could understand it if you're saying Fontenot was undervalued because he is a good hitter who plays one position (2B), precluding him from being an MLB utility infielder. But that does NOT mean that he couldn't be a quality MLB PH (like Bobby Hill was for PIT a couple of years ago) or (in the right situation) maybe even an everyday 2B.

Personally, I would take Fontenot over Adam Kennedy (for example), but Kennedy has more MLB experience, and apparently that matters to the Cards.

TheRiot has better fielding numbers across the board than Izturis.

Yea... I posted the numbers a day or two ago. While there are sample size issues, Theriot, at SS, has a better zone rating, Field %, range factor, etc...

By the way, watching Josh Hamilton make a great catch and thrown last night in the Angels game made me think:

Cubs Outfield for the next 7 years: Soriano, Pie, Hamilton.

OUCH!!! get me a budweiser.

Oh yeah, dave, it is very easy to prove it wasn't me, if of course you still don't believe me. All you gotta do is get one of the administrators to look at the IP addresses.

Yea… I posted the numbers a day or two ago. While there are sample size issues, Theriot, at SS, has a better zone rating, Field %, range factor, etc…
___________________________________________

Stats are meaningless. Judging players should all be based on faith, not facts.

See Wes, now that's starting trouble;-)

Touche, my friend.

Josh Hamilton is the real deal. Credit Cincinnati for doing their homework on the kid. Nobody, to include the Cubs, thought he could overcome his significant demons to stil have a major league future. But he has gotten his act together the last two years. And man is he a good looking ballplayer. He's got one of the sweetest swings for a young hitter that I have seen in a long time. He gets a little more comfortable, and he is going to be one of the primetime hitters in the NL. He's a quality outfielder too.

re:122

I didn't say it. THE CUBS and HENDRY said it.
They said it last year and they said it again recently. You can look it up.

They were worried about losing him.

Poll 100 major league scouts on whether they think Ryan Theriot is a suitable major league shortstop, and I'm guesing 98 of them will say no. Theriot should be at 2nd base, period. He's a below average 2nd baseman, but he has potential to get better at that position. Shortstop? No.

I'll anxiously await "Obvious" to psychologically diagnosis my latest post and profess I am attention mongerer.

You speak the truth, brother! Who need "facts" and "data" and "reality" when Silent Towel is here spreading the gospel, healing those afflicted with the need to base their judgment on sound, scientific reasoning.

ST wants you to have faith that Theriot sucks, and I say go be healed brothers and sisters and follow his word!

dave — June 14, 2007 @ 11:08 am
TheRiot has better fielding numbers across the board than Izturis.

Yea… I posted the numbers a day or two ago. While there are sample size issues, Theriot, at SS, has a better zone rating, Field %, range factor, etc…

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

Izturis is a perennial all star and GGer though.

End O Subject

izturis is gonna play sometime. its just something ya gotta get used to.

marquis...ground ball pitcher...this is as good as any time to give him his work.

cubswinthepennant — June 14, 2007 @ 11:37 am
re:122

I didn’t say it. THE CUBS and HENDRY said it.
They said it last year and they said it again recently. You can look it up.

They were worried about losing him.

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

CWtP: Actions speak louder than words.

Look, if the Cubs were SO afraid of losing Mike Fontenot, why did they place him on outright waivers (which are irrevocable) in November in 2005, and then why didn't they put him back on the 40-man roster sometime in the year-plus before last December's Rule 5 Draft?

And if they thought so highly of him, why didn't he get at least an NRI to ST in 2006 or 2007?

Look, I like Mike Fontenot, too, but the idea that the Cubs were afraid of losing him and were trying to "hide" him from the rest of Major League Baseball for three years by falsely claiming he has defensive shortcomings is absolutely mind-numbingly absurd.

It's pretty clear that the Cubs did not place a high value on Mike Fontenot's future as a major league player, and neither did the other 29 teams. Maybe he has the potential to be a Todd Walker-type second-baseman (good bat but with defensive limitations), but if he does, he needs a chance to prove it, and with Mark DeRosa, Ryan Theriot, and Eric Patterson in the organization, he probably will never get that chance with the Cubs.

Personally, I like Fontenot, and I hope he does in fact get a chance to prove himself, but to claim that the Cubs have been secretly in love with this guy for the last three years but have been pretending he is a below-average defensively in order to fool the other 29 MLB clubs is preposterous. The Cubs were as suprised as anybody when he went on his May hitting binge at Iowa.

you cant fool 29 other clubs anyway...they got scouts, too.

880 OPS in 126 games at AA
roughly an 800 OPS in 258 games at AAA

Yep. Total shocker that he started hitting.

Horatio — June 14, 2007 @ 5:45 pm
880 OPS in 126 games at AA
roughly an 800 OPS in 258 games at AAA

Yep. Total shocker that he started hitting.

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

HORATIO: You're an intelligent person.

So how could you possibly believe that Fontenot was of any value to the Cubs or any of the other 29 clubs prior to his May hitting binge (1.090 OPS by a player with a career AAA OPS in the .800's), or that the Cubs weren't surprised when it happened?

Because if you are saying you believe the Cubs and the other 29 clubs weren't surprised, then that flies in the face of the facts...

The Cubs outrighted Fontenot to the minors in November 2005 (taking a chance that he would be claimed off waivers).

None of the other 29 MLB clubs claimed Fontenot off waivers for $20K when they had the chance in 11/05.

No MLB club selected Fontenot in the '05 Rule 5 Draft.

The Cubs did not give Fontenot an NRI to ST in 2006 (but they DID give NRIs to the likes of Adam Greenberg, Buck Coats, Casey McGehee and Jake Fox).

The Cubs did not bring Fontenot up in August-September 2006 after the season was lost (although they DID bring up Theriot, Coats, and Jose Reyes).

The Cubs did not add Fontenot to the 40-man roster after the 2006 season, taking a chance that he might get selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

None of the other 29 clubs selected Fontenot in the 2006 Rule 5 Drraft (although Jason Smith WAS selected).

The Cubs didn't give Fontenot an NRI to 2007 ST (even though they did give an NRI to Hoffpauir, McGehee, even Chris Walker).

So I just can't see how you could possibly believe that Fontenot was of any value to the Cubs or any of the other 29 clubs prior to his May binge.

BTW, the ONLY reason Fontenot was recalled by the Cubs this month was because Ramirez was hurt and Cliff Floyd went on the Bereavement List. Otherwise, Fontenot would still be at Iowa right now.

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