Why Not Gain an Edge? (Might As Well)

The All-Star break will give Jim Hendry and the Cubs a great chance to minimize the effect on the 25-man roster of Derrek Lee's impending suspension. Here's how: It seems likely that D-Lee will get his hearing with MLB sometime between the All-Star Game next Tuesday and the Cubs' resumption of the regular season on Friday 7/13. Whether Lee will end up having to serve the full five games or have the suspension reduced to maybe four games is still unknown, but one thing that is known for sure is that while D. Lee is serving his suspension, the Cubs will have to play with a 24-man roster. As of right now, the Cubs roster has an extra man on the bench, but is one-man short in the bullpen. If the seventh-man in the bullpen is restored, the bench goes back to five, and then to four while D-Lee sits out. Unless... Because the Cubs will not need a fifth starter again until Tuesday 7/17, Sean Marshall could be optioned to the minors immediately after tonight's game. Then the Cubs can bring up a 7th reliever (like Clay Rapada), who would remain with the Cubs until whenever Ryan Dempster is reactivated. Meanwhile, Marshall could get a minor league start at AA Tennessee next Wednesday to stay sharp between tonight's game and his next start with the Cubs on 7/17. In fact, if Hendry really exercises his brain, Rich Hill could also be optioned to the minors for ten days (starting today), because his next start isn't until Monday 7/16. (And because R. Hill would be spending less than 20 days on optional asignment, he would continue to accrue MLB service time AND the Cubs would not burn an option). Then the Cubs could add another extra man to the bench (like Cedeno, Murton, Coats, or Moore) for this weekend's series at Pittsburgh and the three-game series versus HOU at Wrigley immediately after the ASB, before recalling R. Hill and Marshall from their minor league optional assignments on 7/16-7/17. The idea is to gain an edge--admittedly a slight edge--but sometimes such an edge is the difference between winning or losing one game, and that one game could make a difference at the end of the season if the N. L. Central and/or Wild Card is a "photo-finish." Might as well take advantage of the All-Star Break and MLB roster rules to maximize the number of bullets available for each game.


Brilliant. I hope Hendry uses this website as a free resource. I also hope that Marshall and/or Hill understand that this is just a procedural move.


Scott Williamson DFA'd. Signed to a 1 yr 900K deal before the season. Cost the team about 400K to claim/pay him for rest of season. Low risk option from the right side. Any takers?

I vote for Scott Moore as the call up in this situation. Left handed bat with the most defensive flexibility to cover for DLee's absence. Plus he can spot Aramis for his enevitable day off during DLee's suspention.

Somebody will pick him up. His ERA at 4.40 isn't that bad and his cost is minimal.

Arizona Phil: .................Your plan makes too much sense. Hendry will never go for it.

It doesn't matter how they maneuver the roster as long as they replace a pitcher with a hitter during Lee's suspension. Micah Hoffpauir seems to be the logical choice to play first base in Lee's absence.

Maybe they can convince Hill that he needs a minor league tune-up during the break. It may hurt his confidance; however, he certainly can't be gaining any confidence with the recent shellings either.

GEO. — July 5, 2007 @ 9:22 am
It doesn’t matter how they maneuver the roster as long as they replace a pitcher with a hitter during Lee’s suspension. Micah Hoffpauir seems to be the logical choice to play first base in Lee’s absence.


GEO: Micah Hoffpauir is on the Iowa DL with a knee injury. Hopefully it's not too serious. (Hoff- POWER!).

Also, RHP Sean Gallagher has left the Iowa Cubs (he did not make his planned scheduled start last night versus New Orleans, so he has a fresh arm) and I would presume he is en route to WAS to join the Cubs to be the 7th man in the pen (at least until Ryan Dempster is reactivated).

It was Inevitable that Aaron B would make a spelling mistake this morning. Carry on

Wow. I think Crane Kenny, aka International Man of Mystery, needs to step aside. This makes so much sense.

Williamson? Absolutely not.

One huge flaw in AZ's post: that Hendry will use his brain.

I would advocate that Rich Hill get his act together and work on something other than his fastball or curve. He needs to use his offspeed stuff more.

Well done, Rory.

"I just think I need to add another pitch, instead of just continually throwing fastballs and curveballs," [Hill] said. "Just maybe executing pitches a little bit better."


Last I checked he threw a change-up in to righties. He suddenly stopped doing that.

Can we vote on who our GM is? I nominate AZPhil. What's the over/under on whether Hendry will do any or all of what AZPhil has suggested?

Does anyone have an email address of someone in the Cub's organization? Can you email them a link to AZPhil's article to pass along to the donut king of Greater Chicago?


Did anyone see this? I figured this would stoke up the waning Murton-love...

The trade between the Padres and Cubs that brought catcher Michael Barrett was the third between the teams in two seasons. As part of the clubs' discussions last month, the Padres also inquired about Cubs corner outfielder Matt Murton, a right-handed hitter whose ability to work the count fits a Padres preference. But the Cubs firmly made it known that they highly value Murton, 25.


Reliever Doug Brocail, who is on the DL because of a buttocks strain, threw two scoreless innings for Lake Elsinore last night.

great idea AZ Phil...

suspension is only 5 games though right now, Lee's hoping to get it reduced to 3 or 4 games fwiw...

mlb.com is broken....I planned on spending the next 5 hours voting for carlos, but it's not working.

"Can we vote on who our GM is? I nominate AZPhil..."

I think Phil would not want the headache.

Plus, he would not be able to speculate anymore for us as it would be a clear conflict of interest.


I am hoping that not only the team resigns Z (which will be current management's HUGE mistake as time goes on in Cub history, imo), but they lure away a coveted, experienced GM from a successful org.

That is re-signs, NOT resigns.

Great strategy, AZ Phil. It makes the most sense in the world to juggle the roster in this way. Too bad Hendry continues to forget to take his 'Anti-dumbass' medicine regularly.

The only chance any part of this happens is if Lou forces the issue and/or makes these moves a demand to Jimbo. I mean, he hasn't figured out his manager is playing with only 12 position players for the past 3 weeks. It's not like Lou is suddenly going to start playing Jones and Izturis even 3-4 starts a week in the near future, if ever.

All your proposed moves would cost is travel expenses (probably already budgeted to some extent anyway). Hopefully Lou has figured out that with Jimbo he not only has to connect the dots, but must color in the picture as well.

hendry runs his teams and shares a lot of views on talent positives from his mentor dombrowski...partial architect of past florida and current det teams.

it was almost predictable that if anyone would take neifi and his contract it'd be dom...though i was wikid surprised, honestly.

they both think anyone who can throw 95+ is a kid worth having even if theyve killed people with it from lack of control.

still...think all the high end GMs are under contract and happy where theyre currently at.

Paul DePodesta would be one I might consider, crunch. He's currently holding down some VP position in the Padres organization. He's probably the best GM who is currently not one.

Don't know if you consider him high end, but I think he's a better fit than Hendry. He's a sabr guy, though. Take that for what it's worth.

Cliff Floyd was on WSCR today and said there is "alot of pressure" by the fans for the Cubs to win.

I heard KC, Pittsburgh, and Tampa are nice this time of year.

How about this scenerio-
Cubs fall short of playoffs this year, new ownership stays pat, loses Z and no additions. Does Loupa get disgruntled ala Tampa and walk?

No, no Depodesta is pure evil. He ruined the Dodgers. blah, blah, blah, blah.

Stupid Brad Penny trade....

I'd love DePo, but he has a hard time communicating his vision with those around him. That's why he got run out of town. He really expected to be handed the job and be able to make his moves without anyone looking over him and the Dodger higher ups didn't care for it.

I nominate Dayton Moore as the next cubs GM.

Cubs minor league news...

Iowa signs P Mike Nannini (bonus pts if you can remember the name) and INF/OF John Nelson.

Peoria moves:
Added 1b Derek Schermerhorn, LHP Casey Lambert (6th round pick this year) and RHP Michael Bartek. Released 1B Ryan Norwood.

RHP Adam Harben (the Phil Nevin trade) might resume pitching by the end of July.

I nominate Dayton Moore as the next cubs GM.

Can he bring Alex Gordon and Billy Butler with him?

d.willis trade.

ack..umm....#30 is in reference to rob's "remember the name" question...



right team, wrong trade crunch

and he was actually involved in 2 previous Cubs trades, once we got him from a team and then we sent him off.

Wasn't the Penny trade done by DePodesta so he could make a run at the Unit?

Rob G. — July 5, 2007 @ 11:25 am
Cubs minor league news…

Iowa signs P Mike Nannini (bonus pts if you can remember the name) and INF/OF John Nelson.


ROB G: Mike Nannini was the PTBNL sent to FLA in the Derrek Lee for Hee Seop Choi deal of November 2003.

But back right atcha...

There was a specific reason why Mike Nannini was a PTBNL at the time. What was this reason?

Sorry to say everyone that the only "out-of-the-box" thinking you'll get from Hendry is how to get those donuts out of the box and into his mouth.

hehe, got me on that one AZ Phil.

Nannini was also part of the trade that sent Tom Gordon to the Astros for Russ Rohlicek in 2002. Some guy named Travis Anderson was involved too...

Rob G. — July 5, 2007 @ 10:56 am
great idea AZ Phil…

suspension is only 5 games though right now, Lee’s hoping to get it reduced to 3 or 4 games fwiw…


ROB G: I have made the correction in the article. Thanks for checking.

Dammit Phil! Can you call Hendry? If you don't there is no way he'll pull that off. It was clever, thoughtful, smart...all things that I don't think Jimbo is capable of. You should really be a special assistant to a GM with that kind of insight.

They had to wait for the Rule 5 draft to be completed, also if I recall we got Nannini as a PTBNL for Tom Gordon along with some other useless parts.

Rob G. — July 5, 2007 @ 11:40 am
hehe, got me on that one AZ Phil.

Nannini was also part of the trade that sent Tom Gordon to the Astros for Russ Rohlicek in 2002. Some guy named Travis Anderson was involved too…


ROB G: And then Travis Anderson was subsequently flipped in another deal, going to COL with Mark Bellhorn for Jose Hernandez in May 2003, and then Hernandez, Matt Bruback, and Bobby Hill got traded to PIT a month later for Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez.

So we've got some sort of "degrees of separation" thing between the Flash Gordon stretch drive deal of '02 and acquiring Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee.

yeah, as Rob said, Anderson and Rohlicek were those useless parts, neither ever played a game for the Cubs I don't think.

WISCGRAD — July 5, 2007 @ 11:46 am
They had to wait for the Rule 5 draft to be completed, also if I recall we got Nannini as a PTBNL for Tom Gordon along with some other useless parts.

WISCGRAD: You are correct, sir!

The Derrek Lee for Hee Seop Choi deal was made after minor league rosters were frozen on November 20th, but prior to the Rule 5 Draft the first week of December. Because Nannini was "frozen" on the Iowa roster, the Marlins and Cubs had to wait until the Rule 5 Draft had concluded before Nannini could be sent to FLA.

Give Hendry more credit. Calling Cherry up so they could put him on the DL and recall Petrick was pretty slick.

They must have had that in mind when they sent Petrick down. He looked good the first time up.

doh...yeah, screwed up that one.

btw, smoltz has pulled outta the AS game...looks like there's more room now.

What's Larry Himes doing these days (just kidding)?

rotoworld blurb says they already named oswalt as smoltz's replacement. A bit odd since he's part of the vote.

I guess oswalt was next on the players vote ballot and smoltz was elected by player vote. The more you know...

~Chris Young kicks trash can~

Young was still leading the vote as of this morning with Z behind him.

The Boston faithful have put Okajima ahead for the AL.

FYI -- Brewers currenly in a rain dely at Pitt -- and forecast for D.C. is thunderstorms tonight

"I nominate Dayton Moore as the next cubs GM."

I nominate Clayton Moore as next Cubs GM.

Clayton Bixby for the next Cubs GM?

Brewers-Bucs still delayed -- I hope they play, because I'd rather see Gorzelanny face the Brewers tonight than the Cubs tomorrow.

Clayton Bixby? How about Bill Bixby. Other GMs wouldn't want to make him angry. They wouldn't like him if he gets angry.

Game on in PIT, no score through 1.

pitt takes the lead, bottom 1st...0-1, still 0 outs.

Bill Hall leaves game. Don't know why. I will never rejoice about an injured player but that would be an important piece out of the Brewer's puzzle.

Hendry should pay you to think where he is incapable, Mr. Phil.

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  • if they dont win at least 130 games this season they can pack it all up, turn wrigley into a concert venue, and move the damn team to san jose.


    crunch 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • I see where catcher Cael Brockmeyer was promoted to Tennessee a couple of days ago, to fill a roster spot vacated by David Freitas, recently promoted to Iowa. Caratini is the other catcher at Tennessee.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 47 min ago view
  • They've already clinched a minimum winning percentage of .607 for the month, and that's only if they lose the last 2 games. If they win both, they can push that up to .679. So much for "stumbling" in May. When you're winning over 60% of your games, you're doing baseball well.

    John Beasley 7 hours 40 sec ago view
  • If the best walk-off hit possible is a solo home run in a zero-zero game--Eloy did it tonight!

    (But maybe it's a grand slam when your team is down three? He didn't do that.)

    Number eight for Jimenez. His team is 31-17. Yesterday they scored 17 runs against Lansing. Two weeks ago it was 15 runs against the same team. This is a nice team, South Bend. The Cubs must have had a good draft last year.

    Tonight the pitchers were Sands, Brooks and Effross.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 7 min ago view
  • RIP Zoobrest.

    crunch 8 hours 41 min ago view
  • He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.

    johann 11 hours 7 min ago view
  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 11 hours 43 min ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 12 hours 39 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 14 hours 33 sec ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 14 hours 34 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 17 hours 30 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 17 hours 33 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 17 hours 43 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 18 hours 25 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 23 hours 11 min ago view