Will This Be The Week?

The Cubs—now just a half-game behind the flailing Brewers—open a seven-game homestand Monday night with a four-game series against the Phillies, followed by a three-game set with the Mets. The Brewers will begin a six-game homestand against the same two clubs in reverse order. However, since they don’t open against the Metropolitans until Tuesday night, the Brewers will have no direct control over whether or not they go to bed Monday night in sole possession of first place in the NL Central. One of baseball’s enduring clichés is the one that says a victory at the beginning of the season is worth just as much as one in the final days of a pennant race. Is it the same with defeats? What Cub fan could possibly forget the sick feeling of watching the Boys gag on a four-run, ninth-inning lead at Shea Stadium in mid-May, a defeat that left the Cubs at 18-21, in third place and already seven games back of the then 26-15 Milwaukee Brewers. We now know the damage wasn’t fatal: the Cubs have gone 37-27 since that harrowing afternoon and are on the threshold of claiming the division lead. For their part, the Brewers out-Cubbed the Cubs this very weekend, spitting up six- and five-run leads in consecutive days at St. Louis, with two key relievers, closer Francisco Cordero and set-up man Derrick Turnbow, leaving fingerprints at the scene of the crime. Whether or not the Cubs are able to wrest the top spot in the Central from the Brewers in the next couple days or anytime in the next week, the race will be far from over. (There may yet be a few, new personnel wrinkles to complicate the plot.) But as we close out July and move into the really meaty part of the baseball season, things are looking better and better for the Cubs, that stinging defeat to the Mets is further and further in our rearview mirror, and the Brewers, fresh off two of the most devastating defeats in the franchise's recent history, have to be thinking about what it will be like to be the hunter instead of the hunted.
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Comments

Hopefully a fun week in Chicago and a crappy one in Milwaukee. Back at home, I wouldn't be suprised if the Brewers go 4-2, which will mean the Cubs would have to go 5-2 just to be tied for first on Sunday night.

Unrelated, but it does mentione a Cubs prospect:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

And is interesting for the number crunchers.

Sheets should be due to come off the DL this week, since MKE DL'd him retroactive to July 15. That will probably be a lift for them, assuming he's healthy.

Nevermind, that was dumb. He's on the DL, but it's a four to six week injury. It's past my bedtime.

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=6...

Something tells me that they will rush him back and he won't be the same for the rest of year.

Tomorrow, July 31st, is Bud Selig's 73rd birthday. Just in case some of you wish to send a gift.

I am older than Bud with very few personal goals left in my life. One I still retain is to live long enough to take a whiz on Bud's grave. Call it bitterness, but I believe Bud has inadvertantly tried harder to destroy baseball than anyone since the 1919 Black Sox.

OT -- I noticed a general distaste for Cliff Floyd on TCR. Why is that? He's a Chicago native. He mashes the ball. I hope he sticks around our lineup for a while.

The TCR crowd is fickle.

[Floyd] mashes the ball.

He does? His SLUG this year is .397. His SLUG last year was .407. Those are pathetic slugging %'s for a corner outfielder.

He has really been turned into a singles hitter with some decent patience.

I don't hate the guy, but his single hitting and poor defense should be relegating him to a bench role.

He "mashes" the ball in the sense that nobody hits a ball hardrer than Cliff Floyd. That he's not slugging .500+ -- as dave points out -- is another story.

Don't bother Rishi. Sometimes I honestly wonder if dave thinks those numbers come from guys playing the game or the game comes from the numbers. It's the fantasy sports generation at work.

Put it this way, it would terribly uncomfortable in the late innings of a game, for a manager to have to draw his first & second baseman in with Cliff Floyd up. Besides Ramirez, Floyd is the most dangerous hitter in the lineup.

I wasn't trying to start anything. I just wondered why Floyd was disliked.

Didn't see this in the last thread. Don't 3/44 me....

Will Carroll starting crap about the Cubs again today in the Rumor Mill column. He says they want in on the D-Train sweepstakes.

If you don't have a subscription, he suggests that Beinfest would part ways with Willis if Hendry offered Pie, Jacque, and Veal for him.

Will This Be The Week?

YES!!!!!!!!!!

CUBS STARTERS still #2 in NL w/a 3.75 era according to ESPN.

Still leading the league with a .239 BAA

2nd in K's (Dodgers)

Our relievers have jumped about 5 slots to #10 (4.01) - since mid-May when they were 16th in the NL.

#9-
Besides Ramirez, Floyd is the most dangerous hitter in the lineup.

not when zambrano pitches...

Part of the problem people have with Floyd is that he and D. Ward are redundant. Also he has a Plate appearance vesting option that will keep him hear next year at 10 million dollars. Floyd is a quality vet and probably a decent guy. But do I want him over Z on the 2008 cubs? I sure as heck do not. Also, I think that Soriano and DLee will beg to differ with anyone who thinks Floyd is the 2nd most dangerous hitter on the roster.

Don’t bother Rishi. Sometimes I honestly wonder if dave thinks those numbers come from guys playing the game or the game comes from the numbers. It’s the fantasy sports generation at work.

Yup.. you are right. I think baseball comes from numbers. How did you know?

Okay... so you think that Floyd hits the ball really hard. And that does what?

Sorry... but his numbers are pretty lousy. Which means his performance has been pretty lousy.

Besides Ramirez, Floyd is the most dangerous hitter in the lineup.

Dangerous how? Maybe dangerous in terms of breaking someone's nose when the infield is pulled in.

I will say this though - he does have excellent numbers with RISP.

Again- I don't hate they guy. But he shouldn't be a starting corner outfielder any more.

he suggests that Beinfest would part ways with Willis if Hendry offered Pie, Jacque, and Veal for him.

Ugh... no thanks.

I'd do that deal with the Marlins. Pie is expendable because Epat can be moved to CF. Veal has lost the zone this year and the strap is the strap. We then could turn Hill and Murton into a outfielder. IMHO we need 2 outfielders to replace the strap and Floyd.

which Hill are we going to turn into an outfielder?

"Besides Ramirez, Floyd is the most dangerous hitter in the lineup"

Derek Lee and Soriano still on this team?

which Hill are we going to turn into an outfielder?

Well... the only player Koyie Hill could be turned into would be someone like Macias, so I am thinking it is Rich Hill.

Comical start to article in today's Sun-Times about Cubs and trade deadline:

CINCINNATI -- Whom would the Cubs like to add before Tuesday afternoon's trade deadline?

''Jake Peavy,'' first baseman Derrek Lee said.

''A-Rod,'' closer Ryan Dempster said. ''If we got him and Johan Santana, that would really shore things up. And maybe J.J. Putz.''

http://tinyurl.com/2nee6b

Not any news in the article except repeat of Jay Payton rumor. But implication in article is that Cub players (well, Lee and Dempster at least) are taking it all in stride with a good attitude, whether Cubs make a move or not.

Today is going to be a long day, with no scoreboard watching, the same trade rumors over and over, and a night game tonight. I haven't been looking forward to a Cub game like tonight's since, well, last Friday.

What has WIllis done this year that any team would want to give up 2 Top 10 prospects for him? The Braves 'supposedly' are willing to give their BA #1, #2, and #3 for Teixeira. I might question that but they would be getting a 40 HR, 120 RBI, .290 hitter in return still in the prime of his career.

Is Willis in his prime? Is he, really? How do you know E. Pat can play CF. From AZ Phil's reports, he's a Dr. Strangeglove at 2B. Playing CF isn't any easier.

Other GM's ask for the moon. The Cubs GM has to be smarter (or less desperate) than that. I'm not saying don't do the deal for Willis - just that Murton, Jones, and Gallagher is more equal value than Pie, Veal, and Jone.

While Veal hasn't pitched well this year (particularly with the control, 61 BB in 100 innings, 1.60 WHIP), I'm still not ready to cut him loose.

Still at less than 1 HR/9. Still at more than 9K/9. Still has the highest rated curveball of anybody in our system.

What concerns me is that a loss of control for one season means that Hendry would be willing to throw him in on a deal and we'd get burned like we got burned that time he gave Willis away the first time.

Ironically, if Veal was in the trade for Willis, the Cubs would be giving up on a player who has struggled this year (Veal) in order to get another player who has really struggled this year (Willis).

Willis has pitched worse than Jason Marquis this year. Not sure if he would be worth the risk of giving away top prospects in order to get him.

"I just wondered why Floyd was disliked."

I don't think he's universally disliked here - just that he's about what most expected (and feared); a guy who's at risk of being seriously injured on every play, an adventure in the outfield, and occasionally hits for power. Not the best option for RF, you could say.

"...he suggests that Beinfest would part ways with Willis if Hendry offered Pie, Jacque, and Veal for him."

A few years ago, when Willis was going through a bad streak, a few scouts mentioned that his exaggerated delivery was the main culprit, and subsequently he fixed it. Is this the problem now, or is it something even more serious, like an arm injury?

Personally I think Murton and Gallagher are better prospects than Pie and Veal.

dmac, here's a THT read for you about that exact subject...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the...

Thanks for the link, Wes - the camera shots are quite revealing in showing how his delivery has changed markedly over the past few years.

POSTED BY CHAD TOWARD THE END OF THE PREVIOUS THREAD

Chad — July 29, 2007 @ 11:57 pm
Old Man Gammons just said Bobby Kielty to the Cubs possilby. Thoughts? I didn’t know much about him but I looked him up and he is a switch hitter who hits lefties really well. .509 slugging? That’s pretty cool.

Thoughts?

Chad — July 30, 2007 @ 12:00 am
Upon further investigation here is Kielty’s career numbers vs. lefties:

676 AB (about 1 full season) 200 H 54 2b 30 hrs 109 RBIs 85 bb

Really good numbers.

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

CHAD: It sounds more and more like acquiring a veteran right-handed bat who can play RF is Hendry's one & only goal at the trade deadline, and if so, I believe Bobby Kielty is the type of veteran RF Hendry would target.

Kielty is making $2.1M in 2007 (with about $700K left) and he will be a FA after the 2007 season, so he probably wouldn't cost much in a trade, especially since he got DFA'd by the A's last Monday.

Kielty had knee surgery in ST and never got going, but (as you mentioned) he has hit LHP pretty well throughout his career. The Red Sox supposedly attempted to acquire him last Wednesday, but the deal fell through when the Bosox were unable to move Wily Mo Pena.

Acquiring Kielty would go over like the proverbial turd in a punch bowl around here, but it does sound like something Hendry would do.

The only numbers I really care about for minor league pitchers are strikeout rate, walk rate, and home run rate.

Veal in 2007 (99 innings at Tennessee, AA):

9.18 K's per 9 innings
5.55 BB's per 9 innings
0.82 HR's per 9 innings

The walk rate and HR rates are high. But the strikeout rate is excellent, the best among SP prospects that the Cubs have in Iowa, Tennessee, Daytona or Peoria. Too early to give up on him.

That said, I don't see us trading for Willis. Certainly not right now, maybe its something you look at in the offseason if you feel that you somehow can "fix" a flaw you find in his mechanics, etc.

FELLOW TCR READERS/Writers:

Please find below a grass-roots effort I am trying to get off the ground which is a result of what I feel is something I can try to get support on from many of my fellow Cub fans who are fed up with our ACE pitcher being un-extended as of now.

I am not an "activist" kind of person, however, when I get pissed-off about something, and feel I might be losing it, I will try to take action. Please consider supporting this in any way you can.

I have sent out these as a more formal press release to Sports radio and other outlets. Hey, what the hell? It couldn't hurt.

Help with "SIGN Z - SIGNAGE" Campaign

This weekend 8/3-8/5 will be heavily covered by the national Media as the Mets are in town to play the Cubs.

In taking the lead from the White Sox fans and their penchant for showing their Burlhe love at U.S. Cellular, I am proposing that the Mets weekend shall be the "Official Sign Z, Sign Campaign".

This is an opportunity for Cub fans to show "Z", and current management the fan's love for the player and enact whatever pressure the paying fan base can make, to show TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, that it is time to get the deal done. By using home made signs as one voice, it is my hope that it could exert even more pressure on management to finally take care of business with our Ace.

I am requesting that if any of you guys are going to the Cubs/Mets series, PLEASE consider bringing a home-made sign stating your wish for Carlos Zambrano to be signed by Jim Hendry - (a simple "SIGN Z NOW, JH" would be great).

In this way, if it is NOT ALREADY CLEAR, management as well as the rest of the U.S., will get to see how the fans feel about this unsettling situation.

It doesn't take a lot of effort, but a hundred signs in the park stating, "SIGN Z NOW" will make a statement, I would hope.

George,

Willis decline started in 05 when the Marlins cut payroll. He had to be perfect for them to win. When they started to play well he pitched better. Right when it looks like they turned it around they go ahead and fire Girardi. Then he goes into the tank again. Put Willis in a winning enviroment and he will be 2004 D-Train. Also if Epat cant handle CF Tyler Colvin can and he will be up here in 09. Pie is not even in some of the BA writters top 50 prospects. He is only going to be an average player. A gold glove and a .240 bat with 10- 15 HR pop.

Teixera and Mahay for Salty, Andrus, and two pitching prospects.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

Put Willis in a winning enviroment and he will be 2004 D-Train.

2004 was Willis's worst year before this year.

Trivia regarding Kielty, courtesy of Baseball Reference:

In 2003, Toronto traded Kielty to Oakland for Ted Lilly. Perhaps not one of Billy Beane's finest moments.

Toronto had Kielty for all of four months. In July 2003, they traded Shannon Stewart and David Gassner for Kielty.

Any lessons? Both times teams have traded for Kielty in the past, the "acquiring GM" has vastly overrated his skills.

A noble sentiment indeed, JustanoldCubfan.

Selig is one of the greatest villains in the history of the game. The sport has one central problem: revenue and payroll inequality amongst the different ballclubs, and Selig has done nothing to address it. Instead, he focuses on:
- Blackmailing cities into using public funds to build ballparks.
- Pissing on baseball strengths, its history and its uniqueness, in his quest to make the game more like the NBA.

I’m waiting for he day when he institutes a 32-team, single-elimination tournament to decide the champion. Tie games to be settled by home run derby, of course.

Felix Pie looks an awful lot like Jack Jones did when he was comming up. Look at Jacque's career arch to get an idea as to what to expect from Felix.

dave — July 30, 2007 @ 8:55 am
Ironically, if Veal was in the trade for Willis, the Cubs would be giving up on a player who has struggled this year (Veal) in order to get another player who has really struggled this year (Willis).

Willis has pitched worse than Jason Marquis this year. Not sure if he would be worth the risk of giving away top prospects in order to get him.

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

DAVE: From what I've seen of Donald Veal, he has all the earmarks of a late-inning gasser. If he throws just one inning,hyper-high pitch counts aren't an issue and he can just cut loose.

I understand the Cubs using Veal as a starter in "A" ball and at AA to get more minor league innings under his belt, but it's just about time for him to be moved to the pen. He throws too many pitches-per-inning to remain a starter.

I suspect Veal will be one of the seven players the Cubs will assign to the AFL, and if so, he will probably get his indoctrination as a bullpen set-up man or closer there. (Besides Veal, other likely Cubs possibilities for the AFL this year are OFs Tyler Colvin and Sam Fuld, SS Joe Simokaitis, 3B Kyle Reynolds, C Chris Robinson, RHSPs Sean Gallagher, Mark Holliman and Kevin Hart, LHSP J. R. Mathes, and RHRPs Billy Petrick, Randy Wells, Matt Avery, Rocky Roquet, and Grant Johnson).

Per Ken Rosenthal (which is who mlbtraderumors quotes), the Texeira trade is done - Tex and Mahay going to Altanta, Salty, Elvis Andrus (class A prospect), and 2 other Braves prospects are going to the Rangers.

AZ Phil - wouldn't you think that Gallagher would be called up to the Cubs in September? Wouldn't that mean he couldn't play in the AFL? Or am I wrong about that?

As much as I am not a Selig fan. He has done more than any of his predecessors to get teams to share revenue and close the gap. Now it is more about which small market teams spend this money (Seattle,San Fran,San Diego) and which owners themselves piss on the fans (Pittsburgh,KC).

Wow..I think I'd have rather done the Texeira for Kotchman, Joe Saunders, Nick Adenhart deal if I was Texas.

Interesting. Now the Cubs can trade Pie for Gereald Laird? (groan)

That Texiera trade is being reported by Ken Rosenthal at:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7074846

dave — July 30, 2007 @ 9:30 am
AZ Phil - wouldn’t you think that Gallagher would be called up to the Cubs in September? Wouldn’t that mean he couldn’t play in the AFL? Or am I wrong about that?

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

DAVE: That would only be an issue if the Cubs get into the playoffs and Gallagher is on the playoff roster or is kept around as a potential injury replacement. If that happens, Gallagher would not be available to participate in the AFL. Otherwise, he could (the AFL starts play the second Tuesday in October).

Gallagher going to the AFL would constitute him having a huge IP spike. Is that wise?

I believe eligibility for AFL is determined by roster positions on August 1. To be eligible for the AFL, a player must be on either a AA or AAA roster on August 1, although each team can pick one player from a level below AA.

That rule might be one reason why Petrick was sent down last week, so he will be eligible for the AFL this season.

aaronb — July 30, 2007 @ 9:45 am
Gallagher going to the AFL would constitute him having a huge IP spike. Is that wise?

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

AARON B: It depends how many innings Gallagher throws the rest of the season.

He has thrown 90 IP so far, and if he gets six starts at Iowa in August and averages six IP per start, he should be up around 125-130 IP by September 1.

AFL starting pitchers throw once a week, and throw no more than five innings (max) per start, so AFL pitchers max out at about 25-30 IP (Last year, no AFL pitcher threw more than 27 IP).

Bruce Levine will be on ESPN 1000 with Waddle and Silvy at 11:20 Central time (20 minutes from now).

A fair point, aaronb. But it’s also true that revenue inequality matters more now than it did in the 1970s and 1980s because collusion kept payrolls down up until the 1990s. (I don’t intend this as a defense of collusion, of course.) And I don’t dispute that financial inequality has been a historical problem (see Tom Yawkey’s buying stars from the A’s and the Browns in the ‘30s and ‘40s or the Yankees’ using the A’s as a virtual minor league team in the ‘50s).

I’m just now reading DC Tom’s post and agree that Peter Ueberroth was a tool. And let’s not get started on previous commissioners and their defense of the color line.

This reminds me of an argument I once had with a friend over who was worse, Billy Joel or Elton John. I called a halt to the debate on the grounds that there was way too much ammunition on both sides.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/G/Sean...

Black Gallagher was at 164.2 last year. So the AFL would put him right around that mark. No biggie I suppose. The call-up and bullpen sitting was probably a good decision in hindsight. If it keeps the innings down for the season. Every year Sean gets through where he remains healthy. The better his future chances are.

Larry Bitner.

This reminds me of an argument I once had with a friend over who was worse, Billy Joel or Elton John. I called a halt to the debate on the grounds that there was way too much ammunition on both sides.
..................................................................................

There however is ZERO debate as to who has dated the better looking women!

Elton John, as a rule, doesn't date women.

Dave,

I meant 05 when they got Delgado and everyone had them as the NL faviorites.

I meant 05 when they got Delgado and everyone had them as the NL faviorites.

Yea... he was really, really good in '05.

Ah, Christie Brinkley, or as Behind the Music that Sucks referred to her, “the sexiest wife half of his estate could buy.”

Yes, but he married a woman at one point, just to please his mother.

BTW, Costas gave the beat - down to Selig and Bonds near the end of his show last week on HBO.

Bruce Levine "doesnt think theres a Market for JJ"

Levine " No market for J. Jones"

Notes from Bruce Levine on Waddle/Silvy:

- Jay Payton: He is a guy who can play all 3 of positions, a different version of Pagan. Good outfielder, a little pop.

- Ryan Church: Always questionable whether or not Bowden will make a deal.

- Trade market not really different, even with escalating salaries.

- What are the chances they make a "big splash" - Levine: I think they like where they are at. Floyd would be pretty useless and disgruntled if a guy like Griffey/Dye came in. I think they have talked about it, but they would be more interested in a guy like Mackowiak (sp?)

- What can we expect from Murton: Levine: The org thinks Murton can be a .300 hitter. But if the manager isn't going to play him, you have to think about using him as a trade piece to get something back.

- Levine: "I don't think there is a market for Jock Jones."

- Sox - Levine: "I don't see a trade for Konerko. The trade that could happen is Vasquez to Phillies. Sox are in re-building mode"

Thanks, dave.
I was all set to listen to Levine, then, 2 minutes before he came on, my boss came in to talk to me about all my projects... So I missed him. So, thanks for the synopsis...

So they only way our OF gets better is if Floyd gets hurt. If he on sluggs .397, even Pagan is an upgrade. Floyd's only asset is his power and if he aint hitting for power he is useless.

DC Tom — July 30, 2007 @ 9:55 am
I believe eligibility for AFL is determined by roster positions on August 1. To be eligible for the AFL, a player must be on either a AA or AAA roster on August 1, although each team can pick one player from a level below AA.

That rule might be one reason why Petrick was sent down last week, so he will be eligible for the AFL this season.

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

DC TOM: There are six AFL teams, and five MLB clubs are associated with each AFL team. Except for when HoHoKam was being reconstructed, the Cubs always are associated with the Mesa Solar Sox, although the other four teams associated with the Solar Sox can change from year-to year. (Last year, the CUBS, HOU, NYM, LAD, and MIN were the five MLB clubs associated with the Solar Sox).

Each MLB club provides seven players to their designated AFL team. Which players are assigned is determined via conference call with the other four clubs in the consortium in August. (It's sort of a reverse draft, where each club can assign the three or four players it most wants to play in the AFL to it's team, but the remaining three players are usually determined by the needs of the AFL team's roster, and the typical AFL 35-man roster usually has about 18-20 pitchers).

There is no more "taxi squad" (it used to be "taxi squad" members could only play on Wednesdays and Saturdays) All seven players from each team can now play any day.

To be eligible to play in the AFL, a players must:

A) Have accumulated less than one year of active MLB service time (NOT including time spent on the DL) as of September 1st, or no more than two years of accrued MLB service time (including time spent on the DL in previous seasons).

B) Be on an active AA or AAA minor league roster or MLB 25-man roster as of August 1st.

C) Be activated from the Disabled List prior to the last 45 days of the season.

D) Be on the parent MLB club’s major league 40-man roster or a minor league off-season "reserve list” at the beginning of the AFL season and continuing through to the end of the season (“Free-Agents” are NOT permitted to play in the AFL).

EXCEPTIONS/RESTRICTIONS:

A) Each MLB club is permitted to place no more than one player who was not on a AA or AAA active roster or MLB 25-man roster as of August 1st on its AFL team. Last year, the Cubs

B) Each MLB club is permitted to place no more than one “foreign” player on its AFL team. (NOTE: “Foreign” is defined as being from Australia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, or Venezuela--that is, where “Winter Ball” is played).

C) Each MLB club is permitted to place no more than one player selected in the previous Rule 5 Draft on its AFL team.

Here are the Cubs who have played in the AFL over the past 15 seasons:

1992:
John Gardner, RHP
Mike Grace, 3B
Jeff Hartsock, RHP
Jesse Hollins, RHP
Jim Robinson, C
Dave Swartzbaugh, RHP
NOTE: Before Kerry Wood, there was a time when Jesse Hollins was the Cubs #1 pitching prospect.

1993:
Matt Franco, 3B
Mike Hubbard, C
Brooks Kieschnick, OF
Geno Morones, RHP
Dave Stevens, RHP
Turk Wendell, RHP
NOTE: Stevens (Twins) and Wendell (Mets and Phillies) had success as MLB closers—but not with the Cubs, Franco went to the Mets and became an ace PH, and Kieschnick ended up in Milwaukee as a quirky hybrid P-PH for a while,

1994:
Terry Adams, RHP
Mike Carter, OF
Doug Glanville, OF
Brooks Kieschnick, OF
Chris Petersen, SS
Ottis Smith, LHP
NOTE: Adams was thought to be a future closer, but just didn’t have the stomach for it, and Glanville was a better architect than basebal player.

1995:
Mike Hubbard, C
Robin Jennings, OF
Jason Maxwell, SS
Jon Ratliff, RHP
Wade Walker, LHP
NOTE: Ratliff was a top pitching prospect who turned out be a bust, Maxwell would eventually become an MLB utility IF in the A. L. (Twins and Tiger), and Jennings turned out to be a decent 1B-OF-LHPH with the Reds for a couple of seasons.

1996:
Pat Cline, C
Brandon Hammack, RHP
Jason Maxwell, SS
Scott Moten, RHP
Kevin Orie, 3B
Marc Pisciotta, RHP
Steve Rain, RHP
Brian Stephenson, RHP
NOTE: Rain was a closer, and like Rich Hill, Rain put up awesome numbers in AA and AAA, but never could cross the threshhold to the big leagues, Orie looked like he would be a good MLB 3B, but he did nothing after being traded to Florida in the Felix Heredia deal, and Cline was a power-hitting catcher who struck out way, way, WAY too much.

1997:
Richie Barker, RHP
Marty Gazarek, OF
Terry Joseph, OF
Jose Nieves, SS
Steve Rain, RHP
Brad Ramsey, SS
Justin Speier, RHP
NOTE: A converted shortstop, Speier was still learning how to pitch when the Cubs traded him, and Nieves was (at one time) the Cubs sure-fire shortstop of the future.

1998:
Roosevelt Brown, OF
Chad Meyers, 2B
Chad Ricketts, RHP
Jay Ryan, RHP
Nate Teut, LHP
Danny Young, LHP
Julio Zuleta, 1B
NOTE: Ryan was an OK-decent pitching prospect whose stock soared after his time in the AFL, and he was eventually traded (along with Kyle Lohse) to MIN for Rick Aguilera, Meyers was the Cubs 2B of the future in 1998, and the power-hitting Zuleta (who is presently playing in Japan) looked (for a while) like he might be the heir to Mark Grace at 1B. But he wasn’t.

1999:
Pat Cline, C
Eric Newman, RHP
Corey Patterson, OF
Chad Ricketts, RHP
Brian Stephenson, RHP
Jeff Yoder, RHP
Julio Zuleta, 1B
NOTE: As a result of tearing up the AFL after the 1999 season, C-Pat got jumped directly from Lo-A Lansing to AA the next season.

2000:
Hee Swop Choi, 1B
Jeff Goldbach, C
Eric Hinske, 3B
Will Ohman, LHP
Jaisen Randolph, OF
Jason Smith, SS
Nate Teut, LHP
NOTE: Goldbach was a supposed top catching prospect who flamed out at Hi-A, Hinske got traded to OAK for Miguel Cairo and the rights to Scott Chiasson and eventually won the Rookie of the Year Award in Toronto, Smith was traded to TB for Fred McGriff and is still going back-and-forth between AAA and the majors, Choi was traded to FLA for Derrek Lee, Randolph got traded to the Mets, and Ohman is a member of the Cubs bullpen.

2001:
Scott Chiasson, RHP
Chris Gissell, RHP
Nate Frese, SS
Bobby Hill, 2B
Nic Jackson, OF
Ryan Jorgensen, C
David Kelton, 3B
Mike Meyers, RHP
NOTE: Hill, Jackson, and Kelton were each rated Top 100 prospects by Baseball America at this point in time, but Hill never recovered from his torn hamstring and was traded to PIT in the Aramis Ramirez & Kenny Lofton steal deal, Jackson had his career shortened by severak different injuries (torn labrum, shin splints, and torn hamstring), Kelton was a head case who couldn’t make throws from 3B to 2B without throwing the ball into RF, Chiasson never came back from TJ surgery, but before he got hurt he was a definite closer prospect, Jorgensen went to FLA in the Willis/Clement deal, and Meyers was a member of Team Canada in the WBC.

2002:
Hee Seop Choi, 1B
Ryan Gripp, 3B
Ferenc Jonjegan, LHP
Jon Leicester, RHP
Ray Sadler, OF
Todd Wellemeyer, RHP
NOTE: Gripp was traded to MIL for Paul Bako after the 2002 season, Sadler was traded to PIT for Randall Simon in August ’03, and the once-promising Leicester and Wellemeyer were both traded prior to the 2006 after they ran out of minor league options.

2003:
David Cash, RHP
Ben Christensen, RHP
Jason Dubois, OF (AFL MVP)
Brendan Harris, 3B
Casey Kopitzke, C
Jason Szuminski, RHP
t-Ryan Theriot, INF
John Webb, RHP
NOTE: Dubois won the AFL MVP Award and after a fine year in AAA in 2004 was expected to be the Cubs everyday LF in 2005 but he struggled and got traded to CLE, Szuminski looked good in the AFL and so the Padres took him in the ‘03 Rule 5 Draft (although the Cubs got him back), but the Cubs released him last season… last heard from, he is a USAF Captain on active duty at Edwards AFB, Harris was thought to be the Cubs 3B of the future at one point, but then got traded to MON in the Nomar 4-way and has since been traded to CIN and thebn to TB where he is the Devil Rays everyday SS (and having a fine season), Cash was the replacement for damaged goods (Jeff Verplancke) in the Bill Mueller deal with the Giants in ’02 and got released by the Cubs last year after failing to comeback from TJ surgery, Christensen suffered a torn tendon in his elbow and then a torn labrum in his shoulder (bad karma maybe?), and Webb was never the same pitcher after he broke his leg while walking his dog during the off-season the year the Cubs placed him on their 40-man roster. Ryan Theriot is presently on the Cubs starting SS.

2004:
Ronny Cedeno, SS
Brian Dopirak, 1B
Jake Fox, C
Adam Greenberg, OF
Sean Marshall, LHP
Russ Rohlicek, LHP
Jae-kuk Ryu, RHP
Geovany Soto, C
NOTE: Cedeno is the Cubs back-up SS-2B and Marshall is a rotation starter, Ryu got traded to TB prior to the start of ST and is presently in AAA, Dopirak struggled at AA and got demoted in mid-07 to Daytona (where he is doing better), Fox was demolishing AA pitching at Tennessee and had a brief cup of coffee with the Cubs last week before getting sent to Iowa, Soto is the #1 catcher at Iowa, and Rohlicek looked good enough in the AFL that the Cubs placed both on their 40-man roster to keep from losing them in the ’04 Rule 5 Draft (but Rohlicek was released in ST 2006). And of course Greenberg got beaned in his very first big league AB (very first pitch), never really recovered, was released by the Cubs in 2006, and now is a 4th OF in AA with KC.

2005:
David Aardsma, RHP
Buck Coats, IF-OF
Angel Guzman, RHP
John Koronka, LHP
Matt Murton, OF
Eric Patterson, 2B
Brandon Sing, 1B
NOTE: Aarvark was traded to the White Sox for Neal Cotts, Guzman is on the DL with a sore elbow, Koronka was traded to TEX for Freddie Bynum at the end of 2006 ST, Murton is the Cubs RH platoon in RF, E-Pat is probably the Cubs 2B of the future (2008?) and is having a fine offensive year (but just so-so defensively) in AAA, Coats is on the Cubs 40-man roster but has spent the entire '07 season at Iowa, and Sing was a six-year minor league FA after last season and is presently in AA with BAL.

2006:
Jake Fox, C
Adam Harben, RHP
Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP
Scott Moore, 3B-LF
Eric Patterson, 2B
Carmen Pignatiello, LHP
Clay Rapada, LHP
NOTE: Holdzkom was selected by HOU in the Decmber 2006 Rule 5 Draft but was returned to the Cubs at the end of ST, then got released, and is presently pitching in AA with BOS, Harben suffered a torn elbow ligament in the AFL and underwent TJ surgery last November and is presently rehabbing at Fitch Park, E-Pat remains one of the Cubs top prospects, Piggy is a LHP reliever at Iowa who will be a minor league FA after this season if he is not added to the 40-man roster by October 15th, and Fox, Moore, and Rapada are on the Cubs 40-man roster and are presently on optional assignment to Iowa.

Cliff Floyd with runners in scoring position this year:
.
.383 average, 1.104 OPS

Yeah, that's pretty worthless

Floyd’s only asset is his power and if he aint hitting for power he is useless.

Not so much. While I am not a Floyd fan as the Cubs' starting RF, he has hit for average (right around .300) and a good obp (.360 or so).

And as Old and Blue pointed out, he has been excellent with RISP.

Man, I just saw Rogers' rumor about Pie going to Texas for Laird, and Mahay... I really hope that the Cubs are not considering any form of that trade. Obviously, since Mahay is traded to Atlanta, this exact trade cannot happen, but unless they are getting a star player, Pie should not be available...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/
Looks pretty likely that Dye is going to the Red Sox...

Boston Globe reporting chances are "pretty good" that Red Sox get Dye for Willy Mo Pena and a pitching prospect, per ESPN radio.

According to the Boston Globe it looks like Dye for Wily Mo and Minor league pitcher (who is not lester or Buchholtz). Why cant Hendry make an offer of Murton and Holliman.

dave, chifan - You guys are doing great work!

For the AFL keep your eyes on Henderson. Q for AZ Phil? Tell us about Rosa our 3rd baseman at Mesa and have you been able to see Guyer yet? Thank you!

AZ Phil,

Thanks for the response and clarification on AFL eligibiliey. I knew about the rule that prevented players with more than a year of MLB service time from participating but did not know that players on the 25-man active roster on Aug 1 were eligible.

Also thanks for the Lincoln Holdzcom update, I hope he does well somewhere. I had hoped it would be us.

Do you see the Cubs putting Piggy on the 40-man as an additional lefty reliever when rosters expand in September? I gotta think that would be a useful.

Wily Mo Pena as a centerfielder in homer-friendly US Cellular Field is a nice little upgrade for the White Sox. He seems like he has been around forever, tempting teams with talent, but he is still only 25.

Ugh... whoever this is taking Dan Patrick's place? Not so good...

Slamdog — July 30, 2007 @ 11:00 am
For the AFL keep your eyes on Henderson. Q for AZ Phil? Tell us about Rosa our 3rd baseman at Mesa and have you been able to see Guyer yet? Thank you!

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

SLAM DOG: I saw Brandon Guyer take BP before he got activated, but I haven't had a chance to watch him play in a game yet.

Jovan Rosa is a good hitter with plus-power that should result in HRs later in his career as he matures, and he is a good defender at 3rd base (as far as making stops), but he also has a tendency to make bad throws (and it's not from lack of arm strength, just poor mechanics).

And yes, Jim Henderson would be another possibility for the AFL.

Come on Dave you dont like Screamin A. Smith! I personally hope Patrick's replacement is Scott Van Pelt.

Wouldn't Willy Mo play RF?
He has amazing tools..he looks like he's a bomber.

.229/.294/.407 in 140 AB's...terrible defense in the OF.
It's worth a try for the rebuilding Sox. It isn't worth trading Murton/Holiman for, IMO...

Has Dan Patrick already been axed from ESPN? He's announced he's leaving the network in about three weeks, but I can't remember the last time he did his radio show. Maybe twice since he announced he's leaving.

Hoping we don't give up Pie. I don't like his swing right now, but he's still young and he's crushing AAA pitching. I also hope we hold on to Murton somehow -- he could be a real nice addition to the club in a playoff stretch. We do need to improve the bullpen, however.

Willy Mo?

I am pretty sure that GMs around the league aren't clamoring for Matt Murton. Once again, I think his value is highly overrated here.

DC Tom — July 30, 2007 @ 11:01 am

AZ Phil,
Do you see the Cubs putting Piggy on the 40-man as an additional lefty reliever when rosters expand in September? I gotta think that would be a useful.

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

DC TOM: I think Piggy would be a useful September call-up, but the Cubs might not have room on the 40-man roster for him.

Likely sequence:

Kerry Wood gets reactivated from the 60-day DL sometime in the next week or so, and Angel Guzman gets transferred to the 60.

When Henry Blanco gets reactivated from the DL, Koyie Hill gets outrighted to Iowa (if he doesn't get claimed off waivers), but then I believe K. Hill gets put back on the Cubs 40-man roster on September 1st.

Piggy getting a slot on the MLB roster in September will probably depend on whether Wade Miller gets reactivated on September 1st or not. It might seem obvious to just leave Miller on the 60 for the rest of the season, but Hendry may have promised Miller that he would be activated when rosters expand on 9/1.

If they need a roster slot on Septembe 1st and there are no injured players who would be candidates to be moved to the 60-day DL, the Cubs could outright Brian Dopirak to the minors at that time, although I think a decision on whether to outright B-Dope won't happen until 40-man rosters a finalized on November 20th (prior to the Rule 5 Draft).

Also, for those of you not aware of it, three guys at Iowa who might have been possibilities for a September call-up to provide some lefty pop off the bench (especially if Daryle Ward is slow to recover from his calf injury) might not be available... 1B Micah Hoffpauir is out for the year (knee surgery), IF-OF Scott Moore is on the DL with a sprained ankle, and OF Josh Kroeger is out indefintely with a strained oblique.

Wily Mo has played 136 games in CF in his career, 185 in RF. Centerfield in Fenway is generally considered difficult, so that probably accounts for the reason he has not played center much for the Red Sox in the last two years. Not a bad return for Dye. At worse they equal his production, gain 8 years in age, at the cost of some defense.

Why is his value so vastly overrated? All the guy has done is hit .300 and get on base 37% of the time when he plays regularly. If Cliff Floyd does this he is an asset with veteran leadership. Matt Murton does it and we need to dump him for more vetern flotsam or Catching dreck? Let the kid play.

Dusty,

I was suggesting trading for Dye not for Pena. Dye is going to be a Type A free agent and could get us a 1st or 2nd rounder (depending on the record of the team that signs him) and a sandwhich pick bewteen rounds 1 and 2.

Murton for Dye would be OK if that were the case. Only problem is that with both Murton and Floyd gone next year. Who fills the RF hole? There isn't a big bat anywhere on the horizon in the cubs organization.

aaronb, an obp of .370 and an average of .300 excites no one. He can't field and is not overly fast. He doesn't bring much to the table in the way of a skill set.

At least with the Teixiera deal going down, Hendry can't trade Felix for Laird & Mahay.

Ok.In that case, why give up Murton/Holiman for draft picks?

Andrew,

Patrick is on leave until 9/13. They are auditioning guys though the rumblings I read suggest they want a sports center anchor in there. So I am guessing it will between Stu Scott and Scott Van Pelt since there the only SC anchors with a personality. I like Van Pelt because unlike his competion for the spot he isnt obinouxious and has very sharp opinioins with a good wit which is what you need fo radio.

"Ok.In that case, why give up Murton/Holiman for draft picks?"

Because Dye helps you win the 2007 World Series more than Floyd or Murton and odds you could find players in the draft with those 2 picks to replace them murt and Holliman with better players.

re #84

Free agency? Trade? Who give a shit about next year?!?!?! If we can make a trade that will significantly increase our chances of going to the playoffs you do it.

Joe Carter/Mel Hall for Rick Sutcliffe. Every damned time!

odds you could find players in the draft with those 2 picks to replace them murt and Holliman with better players.

Not so much. Odds would not say that you could replace Murton/Holliman with draft picks. At least not Murton, who has already shown that he can produce at a major league level. The odds of a draft pick producing at the major league level? Not that good.

for DAVE: Mike Murphy on 670 The Score is extensively discussing the positives of Angel Pagan - which you are in the minority in believing he "...takes TERRIBLE routes to balls", etc.

NONE of your criticisms have been raised by anyone I have read or heard recently.

Direct quote from Mark DeRosa: "I don't think people realize how good angel pagan really is."

"He can fly, he can hit, he can catch anything..."

I would tend to side with these folks as well having seen him in person about ten times this year. Sure he has made his share of miscues, one on a tough catch in the vines - and another on a steal attempt - but as a 4th OF, I think he is very competent.

I think Murton has the potential to better the numbers that Dye or Floyd are putting up. Just on the basis of his track record and 10 years of youth on his side. Lou, like most managers. Just prefers vets.

aaronb, an obp of .370 and an average of .300 excites no one. He can’t field and is not overly fast. He doesn’t bring much to the table in the way of a skill set.

WTF are you smoking Chad?

Remember guys this is the same Chad who pimped out Cesar Izturis as the second coming of god at SS....where is shituris at these days? Oh right the Pirates.....so ya wooo goo Chad with your insight.

E-man - I think Pagan is an ok 4th outfielder. I don't think that he is a fit as a late-inning defensive replacement, because he is just not that strong defensively. He does seem to be able to contribute from the plate, but I don't think that he is a good choice as a starter.

NONE of your criticisms have been raised by anyone I have read or heard recently.

Okay... so I disagree with people. Oh well. I am just saying, as have others around here, that Pagan is not very good defensively. He really has one skill - running really fast, which allows him to make up for his poor routes most of the time.

"Oh well. I am just saying, as have others around here, that Pagan is not very good defensively. He really has one skill - running really fast..."

Well, I agree to disagree on this one. As stated above, others, including his teammates would disagree with your assertion. I am not saying he is Shane Victorino, but as a 4th OF, he does the job fine for me.

Yesterday case in point with solid all-around game and key hit.

Let's hope he can improve more and become more valuable...

As it turns out THE CUBS are interested in the RANGERS CJWILSON

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7571

Cliff Floyd:.294/.357/.397
He can’t field and is not overly fast.

He is very exciting apparently...

ctwp, thanks buddy. I THINK we GOT it.

Phil Rogers with a new article timestamped about an hour ago that says that Laird for Pie is still a possibility. No more Mahay, so maybe it's Laird + Wilson.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com...

Let's think waaaay back to... yesterday. Bottom of the 7th, Javier Valentin hits a little blooper out to center. Even though the ball is clearly in front of him, Pagan breaks to the right, then comes forward only to have the ball fall in front of him.

I gave him credit at the time. At least he didn't dive for the ball and gift Valentin with a two base error.

Yes, I know that's just one play, and that the ball hit at you is the hardest to judge. Still, there are a number of CFs who routinely make that play, and he isn't one of them.

Pagan is fast. He doesn't have mad outfield skillz, though.

There is no load blowing here over Murton. All that I am saying is that he is a useful part. If you can trade him and get a Miggy Cabrera for him. You do it. But why people are wanting to trade him for a lateral move vet is beyond me. All that Floyd or Dye have over Murton is causal fan,name recognition. If I could get in my DeLorian and Flux-Capacitate back to 2001. Floyd would be awesome. However in 2007. He is a downgrade from Matt Murton in all areas other than left-handedness and veteran-ism.

Even Youkilis is borderline but since he plays on the Red Sox, they can afford to have non run producing first baseman.

Chad - seriously. You are crazy.

This isn't "producing": .307/.403/.476

Youk has 15 win shares. DLee has 17. A-Ram has 15. No other Cub has that many. Though to be fair, win shares are related to the number of team wins.

If Murton could come close to Youk's production this year, we would all be very excited.

Um..Swisher hit 35 HR's last year, and has a career average of .249.

Murton is like Swisher?

aaronb wrote:

Murton for Dye would be OK if that were the case. Only problem is that with both Murton and Floyd gone next year. Who fills the RF hole? There isn’t a big bat anywhere on the horizon in the cubs organization.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm not advocating we trade for Dye. But a team with a $100M+ payroll should always be able to acquire a decent corner outfielder in any given offseason. In winter, get your David Dellucci, your Eric Byrnes, your Trot Nixon, your Jay Payton, your (cough) Jeromy Burnitz or (cough-cough) Jacque Jones. If you are in the race in mid-summer, trade for the about-to-be-free-agent star corner outfielder. Come winter, repeat the process. You could conceivably do that every season.

Lou doesnt want to risk a disgruntled vet poisoning the clubhouse. That is why Floyd plays whenever he wants to. Lou said as much back in May. That is why every vet that falls out of favor is shipped out.

Oh, God... I don't like this persistent rumor about Pie going to the Rangers... for LAIRD??? Are you kidding me???

"Pagan breaks to the right, then comes forward only to have the ball fall in front of him..."

I do not know what game you were watching, but he broke BACK, thinking the ball was hit further than it was. I have seen Jim Edmonds do the same thing. It happens - I would think more with a part-timer (and especially, a pretty young one).

But, you say nothing about his nice rbi's one a hit through the box.

DC Tom, I would rather not. Why can't we just develop a good young guy? I am tired of the Beernutz,Jack Jones,Cliff Floyd type of tail chasing this franchise does. If a young player shows skills. Give them a chance to make the leap. Instead we sign the GM's old college buddies and ponder trades for guys our manager coached 3 cities ago.

Why does the site continually bomb on my Mac Safari browser for the last week? It is the only site that does this, and has not done it before. You must have some java code or advertiser junk that is ruining it. Sucks, because I love the discussion here.

Eric the Great... can you define "bomb."

I have been having problems with the site lately also - wordpress errors, slow loading, comments not showing up, etc.

Youkilis

17th in slugging amongst first basemen. 16th in homers. 13th in RBIs (on the Go Go OBP Red Sox nonetheless)

These are not great numbers. AND I said that Murton is not as good as Youkilis is. That they are the same mold of player but Youkilis is better. So take his stats and subtract some and you will get Murton's career line.

And I swear to God! Why the hell do you even bother with win shares. its not a stat. And before you go all Bill Jamesey on me, ask yourself, are you trying to convince me or the rest of the crowd? Cause throwing out bullshit win shares at me will do you no good.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com...
Umm... Where is the TCR love? This is bizarre...

17th in slugging amongst first basemen. 16th in homers. 13th in RBIs (on the Go Go OBP Red Sox nonetheless)

Sure... those numbers are not great when presented in that way. But Youk is not there to drive in runs or hit home runs. He is there to get on base so that he can get driven in by the sluggers behind him. He is 4th in all of baseball among 1b in runs (and Ortiz is considered a 1b, ahead of him).

Murton would/should be used in the same way. When you have 3 sluggers/"run producers" like Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez you dont need another slugger - you need a player who can get on base and score runs.

Oops... Oops.... Oops...

Chad,

Youk's job is to get on base not slug.

And yea Chad... still waiting to see how Nick Swisher and Matt Murton are similar.

Thanks, Chifan, I hadn't heard that. Van Pelt would be fine, although I'm personally hoping it will be Kenny Mayne. Stu Scott? Ugh.

Arent we and NSBB the 2nd and 3rd biggest Cubs blogs? Seems kind of odd we didnt get a mention.

BOOOOYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH kids, lets slurp up some athletes. LEMME KNOW!

I blame Chad....lol

You guys just said it all. Youkilis is not there to drive in runs but to get on base so that he can get driven in, well guess what?

THAT'S NOT WHAT WE NEED!!!!!!!!

We need a middle of the lineup BIG BAT TO DRIVE IN RUNS!!!!!!!!!

JERMAINE DYE!!!!!!!!!!!!

God! YOu guys piss me off so much. By your own admission, Matt Murton is not the guy we are looking for. Just agree with me for once rather than being such pains in the ass!!!!

NEXT: No Dusty those numbers are not that good for a corner infielder. You know who projects those numbers this year? Derrek Lee. And we are ALL PISSED ABOUT IT. We all want the Dlee that we know and love. Granted I am not on the antiDlee train that is going around here but I think we all agree that we wish he was hitting more like he did in 03/04/05.

And I'll retract the Nick Swisher thing. I thought I was being too generous there too. Nick Swisher is 10x the player Matt Murton will ever be. I was choosing him as a younger player with OPB skills that came from the Beane mold. Consider his name withdrawn.

From Ken Rosenthal, the Braves are close to snatching Octavio Dotel.

dave, that wheel you're carving will never work. We have been using horses all this time, and your invention simply cannot do better then those. All the horse trainers agree with me, so I'm right and you're a nerd.

I don't want to waste a corner OF spot on this specific Cubs team on a "Youk OBP" guy.

Here's how I think about lineup construction. I want my OBP guys at the top. My high SLUG in the middle, followed by guys who hit well with RISP to drive the 3rd & 4th place hitters in, and then the good defenders who hit like crap.

I want my corner OF spots on this team to drive guys in, just like my corner INF guys. Since we're already getting no production from catcher, and we've got three pretty good OBP guys in the middle INF, (Derosa 368, Theriot & Fontenot both 348) we need guys who hit well with RISP, like Floyd.

On a different team with a different situation behind the plate and in CF, sure I might be into it. If we were really hurting for our 1st and 2nd place hitters to get on base, I might make the attempt to get Murton in there more often. But, I'm just not sure that helps this specific 25 man roster.

Maybe that's just me.

aaronb,

Oh, believe me, if we could develop a Miguel Cabrera or a Vladimir Guerrero, that is certainly the way to go! And when you do have a genuine position player prospect (like Pie) the last thing you do is trade him away for a half-season rental. The Braves trading Salty was probably a close call for them and motivated not simply because Brian McCann is a good catcher but also because Teixeira is signed through 2008.

But this Cub administration has not shown the ability to groom such position player talent consistently. In that context, it is not an irrational strategy to play revolving chairs at corner outfielder, because every winter stopgap free agents are available and every midseason star-caliber corner OFs can be obtained through trades. I wouldn't do it with both corner positions but would certainly do it with one.

dittos what dave just said at #114

wordpress is having a meltdown in both IE and Firefox the last week

Johann, the day they start playing this game with dice, I'll subscribe to the Bill James newsletter.

Wes, we have Soriano, Lee and ARam all with a lot of power. There are very few teams in this league who have more then that on their team. Most of the teams have 2 or 3 big bats and fill in with high OBP guys or defensive guys.

I don't like this idea that you have to have certain kinds of players at certain positions. To me we need 3 big bats and a lot of OBP, and I don't care where those bats come from as long we have them. We just happen to have them at LF, 1B and 3B. For a long time, it was thought that SS was going to be a light hitting position, but teams are completely throwing that concept out the window.

The point is, let's not paint ourselves into a corner by not playing a good player because they don't fit into our idea of what that position should be like. I bet there'll come a time when 2B is a bastion of good hitting players too.

DC Tom, my point is more to the fact that I personally believe that Murton CAN be that corner OF anchor. He showed really good power the 2nd half of last year. He had 20 career HRs in 595 at bats comming into this season. I think he is a guy who Can make the leap if given the chance. Unfortunately the cubs havent stuck to their guns and given him this chance. No biggie if we are going to spend 150 million per year on player salary. However if we are going to stay in the 95-103 million range that we have been in the last 4 years. It will beehoove the club to develop at least SOME of their own prospects. You can't fit 25 Soriano's under a 100 million dollar payroll.

Exactly Johann. Assigning production to positions is "in the box" thinking. Each player needs to be evaluated on their own merit.

I was referring to this specific team. Not every team ever. Our corner INF guys are big run producers, and with our middle INF playing well and the struggles at catcher, corner OF should be as well.

And when you've got a guy hitting 383/471/633 with RISP, (.400/516/760 w/ RISP & 2 outs) it's going to be awfully hard to sit that guy down for Murton with a .380 OBP who, unless you move Theriot, you have hit 5th or 6th in the order. Sure, that .380 looks nice, but it looks to me like you're not maximizing your run potential in the 5th or 6th spot in the lineup with his .265 career average when he's got RISP (.233 w/ 2 outs).

Well, some trends have changed with the Cubs' offensive production...
the 5-slot has improved over the past few weeks, to .241/.305/.346, good for 26th in the league. When I last checked, I believe the Cubs were dead last.
6-slot - .290/.354/.406, 7th in league
7-slot - .218/.290/.351, 28th in the league
8-slot - .211/.271/.297, 28th in the league
This says to me that the Cubs still need to find more run production. Kendall has looked better in the past couple of games, but we're not going to get much more than singles out of him.

Johann, forget the prototypical numbers for position right now.

IF we got Miguel Tejada to play short stop, we can then put Murton in right. It's aggregate baseball. BUT we need more pop in the middle of the lineup. And putting Murton in right is not the upgrade we need. That is what you are missing. And the fact that one of our biggest bats hits better batting first, we are missing a key component in the middle. Ergo, get a big bat. where can we put that guy? Right field, center field, short stop or catcher. SO, who's available to play those positions? Only a few guys.

Next, you cannot measure the following things:

Heart
Desire
Pain
Clutch
Love
Happiness
Anger
Sadness

And all those things are parts of baseball.

Forget upgrading at catcher... if it is going to cost us Pie to uprade slightly at catcher then I say stick with what we have.

I was very intrigued by the Griffey/Arroyo rumor from ESPN 1000 yesterday. I assumed there would be some rumblings of us going after a right-hander like Arroyo given that our playoff rotation at this point is comprised of 1 righty and 3 lefties. Getting Arroyo to help balance the rotation out, along with Griffey's production in RF, seemed to make sense.

I'm assuming there has been no further mention of the potential Griffey/Arroyo deal on Chicago radio today?

And we are ALL PISSED ABOUT IT.

No.. we are ALL not pissed about D-Lee's production this year. Speak for yourself.

Furtthermore Johann,

The day that Bill James can correctly predict the standings year in and year out he'll have a case but the difference is that baseball is played by humans. And baseball standings, unlike planets and solar systems, are not governed by the rules of physics. Baseball stats only tell you what happened and will never tell you what will happen. At least consistently. If they did, a guy like you would clean up being a sports gambler.

Maybe we can measure happiness. Perhaps we can get Jermaine Dye to take this test for us?

http://www.swh.net/Health_Topics/happy.asp

BUT we need more pop in the middle of the lineup. And putting Murton in right is not the upgrade we need. That is what you are missing.

Since Murton has come to the big leagues, here are the lines for Murton and Floyd:

Murton: .293/.362/.440
Floyd: .260/.342/.422

And we don't think Murton brings enough power?

What time is today's game guys?

Nate, What did the Griffey/Arroyo rumor entail exactly?

dave BULLSHIT!

You're pissed, I'm pissed, we're all pissed that a guy who in his last three full years hit 31, 32 and 46 homers is not playing to that level. Who wouldn't be? I'm not saying that he should be replaced and I think he's contributing plenty, but you can't tell me that you are not upset that he isn't hitting homers like he did in the past.

BTW Youkilis is having just as good of as season as Derrek Lee.....only difference is Youkilis is paid 500k and Lee is paid 13.25 million. But hey Youklis sucks..so says Chad the great. I wonder how bad Derrek Lee really is to him....

A team cant have a roster full of superstars your hope is you can get good production from your minor leaguers or cheap cheap veterans. I am sorry but we are paying 3 million for Cliff Floyd to produce nearly identical stats to what Murton put up for 300k. The hope was Floyd would drastically outproduce the production of Murton...at his pace he might have a couple more RBI and HR's. Color me unimpressed but we wasted a year of Murton's development so a brocken down has been could just do a little bit better for 9 times as much money?

Any team in need of a LFer who can be productive would love to have Murton. Any team willing to roll the dice and hope Pie ever figures out how to hit a curve in the next 3-4 years would love to have him. The biggest risk player is Pie in any trade. The safest player to perform at the major league level is Murton....not Pie. That is just a fact your going to have to deal with Chad.

Murton doesnt bring enough left-handedness to the lineup. And Lou doesnt want Floyd poisoning the clubhouse.

The day that Bill James can correctly predict the standings year in and year out he’ll have a case but the difference is that baseball is played by humans.

That has little to do with what we are talking about. Bill James would fully admit that he cannot predict exactly how a player/team is going to perform.

Baseball statistics are not necessarily predictors. They are a numerical look at past performance, which tends to be a good predictor of future performance. I rarely use numbers to predict what a player is going to do in the future. I don't think you can really do that. I use numbers to tell us how a player has been performing so that can we can compare players on something more objective than "he mashes the ball."

Well, of course I want Soriano out of the #1 spot, but eh.

Past that though, there's a few things to consider. First, Floyd's BABIP is a bit high, so his #s will go down. Second, his #s are already starting to come down last month and even more this month. Third, his RISP numbers will come down, as they are simply not in line with what he's ever done. Fourth, he's a huge injury risk and someone we cannot count on to play a lot. Fifth, he has even worse defense then Murton and runs the bases far worse. Sixth, he's the only guy who we know has been complaining about playing time, so he's obviously not a big team player. Seventh, he costs more then Murton.

He has decent numbes, but if we're talking about a playoff run, we simply cannot count on him to give us anything. Also, I'd be perfectly happy with Murton in the 5th spot as our second leadoff hitter with DeRosa behind to provide a second round of run production. If ARam is still on the bases when Murton gets up, there's a good chance you will get a single or walk, followed by a good chance you will get something good from DeRosa.

Also, Lee is showing every sign of starting to hit HRs again, and I think three guys who can hit HRs on one team is something any team would be happy with. I do not want another aging, hurt, overpayed player on this team.

See, dave. You can always come with a stat that favors your agrument. Now let me come up with one that favors mine.

07 Floyd: 294/357/397
07 Murton: 248/326/331

What do YOU mean that Murton hits for power?

dave, I'm saying that floyd doesn't bring enough power. That is why I want Jermaine Dye!

Phillies get Kyle Lohse for a AA pitcher. I wonder if we'll face him this series.

When any one of 1-4 actually happen Johann, I'll gladly let Murton play every day.

What do YOU mean that Murton hits for power?

I never really said Murton hit for power, did I?

Further, Murton's numbers are in a little over 100 at-bats - not much you can tell from that.

And wow... D-Lee and Youk's numbers are eerily similar this year.

aaronb — July 30, 2007 @ 1:40 pm
Nate, What did the Griffey/Arroyo rumor entail exactly?
---------------------

It was on yesterday's message board. I think the early names being thrown around were Griffey/Arroyo for Pie/Murton/Hill. Supposedly the report said that talks couldn't progress much until Chicago left Cincy.

I was just interested in whether anyone had heard any updates mentioned at all on the air today.

aaronb,

I think the rumor was Griffey & Arroyo for Rich Hill, Pie, and Murton/Veal.

Lou misusing Murton isn't a good argument for discounting what Murton can do. Murton does not do well off the bench, he does not do well platooning. He does well when he plays every day.

Also, I've heard a lot of talk about Floyd poisoning the club house. Having to baby a player so they don't get mad seems to me a pretty good reason to get rid of Floyd.

MikeC, I know youkilis' sats are close to DLee, but DLee is underperforming in hte power department. Youkilis is at his best and DLee is not. DLee is a way better player than Youkilis. But I never said Youkilis sucks.

Hooray MikeC! You my friend get it. Some of us get overly enamoured with "tools" and "look" of a ballplayer. Unfortunately the cubs are not a professional track and field team. They are a baseball team. And it has been proven time and again that guys who control the strike zone. Have a much better shot at developing their potential. Than guys who just "look" like they should be good. Murton has controlled the zone well each and every stop along the way. Kpatt and Felix Pie, while superior "athletes" to Matt Murton. Have yet to translate their skills to actual production.

Murton: .293/.362/.440
Floyd: .260/.342/.422

And we don’t think Murton brings enough power?

That statement did come from you, didn't it?

oh bullshit aaronb, they have nothing to do with each other. Soriano, Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa, hell even Derrek Lee all struck out way more than they walk. Controlling the zone is just one aspect of the game.

Well Wes, his numbers are already coming down and he's already getting injured quite a bit. So some of those things are happening. .822 OPS in May, .820 OPS in June and .675 OPS in July.

Exception to the rule in most cases Chad. Manny DOES control the zone well so he doesnt count. Sammy and Soriano are 2 guys in 20 years who have succeeded without good strike zone judgement. However we can name literally hundreds of great "athletes" who looked good in a uniform. That were utterly useless once they were exploited by major league pitching.

That statement did come from you, didn’t it?

Yes Wes... it did come from me.

But where did I say, "Murton hits for power." I never said that at all. While I do think that Murton will develop 20-25 home run power, he hasn't quite gotten there yet. I would not consider Murton a power hitter, and I never implied that he was.

I simply said that I don't get those who say Murton isn't the guy in RF because he can't hit for power while the same people are okay with Floyd in RD.

Sammy and Manny both have better pitches per plate appearances numbers then Soriano and have better overall numbers. Manny is a pretty patient hitter actually.

If Floyd isnt producing an .850 ops. He needs to sit. Murton may or may not outproduce that 850. mark. But he should be around the ballpark. And since Murton has alot more of a baseball future than Floyd. Tie goes to the younger player.

Which Murton are you going to get, Johann? You might get the Murton that hit well at AAA. Or you might get the Murton that opened camp with the big club. Can you really say for sure that Murton is magically fixed?

What if you get that Murton the opened with the big club? How long do you let him hit .240 and struggle? Particularly while we're trying to overtake first place.

You can't just cut bait on a guy hitting .294. That's dumb. If a guy's hitting .294, he's going to be pissed that he gets sat down for a kid who's hitting .240 this year. What do you expect?

It's obvious there's almost a 50/50 split among us posters over Murton. No side is going to convince the other side. We can even debate whether Murton can effectively play RF since LF (barring a trade/injury) is taken until 2014 is over. Maybe Matt will have a helluva series against the Phillies starting against Moyer & Hamels. However, in his first 3 games back he batted once and I don't recall him trotting out to RF for defensive purposes in the 7-9th innings.

Damn! DAmn! Damn you Jim Henry!!!!

Everybody is getting better by trade deadline except the Cubs!! According to Ken Rosenthal, ESPN & 670 Score

The 1:20 PM EDT update to the Baseball Prospectus rumor mill column says that the Twins have made calls about trading Torii Hunter. Also mentions that Pie must be on the block because his name has been brought up often enough today.

The 3:25 PM EDT update also reports that Dye was "pulled back off the table" when the Red Sox would not add to their offer of Wily Mo Pena and that the Chisox "don't anticipate making a pre-deadline deal for Dye." (Which does open the door to a post-deadline waiver wire deal, a la Larry Walker in 2004.)

Phillies get Kyle Lohse from the Reds for a AA pitcher.

Mets get Luis Castillo from the Twins for a AA catcher and an A OF.

Apparently according to the Southtown Dye to the Cubs is a "hot" rumor:

http://www.dailysouthtown.com/sports/489336,3...

Also the Globe is backing off Dye to Bosox rumors because they dont want to give up the pitching prospect KW wants. Dan McNeil of ESPN 1000 is also saying he is hearing Dye might sign a 2 or 3 year deal with the Sux. I honestly think we will end up with Dye, Hendry is IMHO is waiting KW out. While KW gets nowhere on Dye talks because he is asking for the moon Hendry is going to swoop in at 2:30 tommrrow with a Cedeno, Wuertz, and a minor pitching prospect for Dye and Thornton.

Trade Murton for Neifi so this board can move on to someone else to argue about. With Izturis gone we need a no hit infielder to fill this place. If all Floyd has to do is go in and give a "Put me in coach" then Murton will never get a real look. Trade him before he slumps more.

Sorry about that yall. I am having a ton of trouble loading this site. Rob, can you delete these?

Murton in April:
.250/.313/.295...Ugh
Murton in May:
.295/.377/.426...Not too bad...1 HR, 8 RBI.

14 AB's in june...Buh-Bye.

If he can play, he'll play. If not, oh well...

Damn! DAmn! Damn you Jim Henry!!

Everybody is getting better by trade deadline except the Cubs!!.
According to Ken Rosenthal, ESPN and 670 the Score >the Reds traded p Kyle Loshe to the Phillies (just before their game with the Cubs-how convenient), the Braves are completing a trade for P Octavio Dotel after already trading for 1B Mark Tex & P Mahay, Mets are completing a trade for 2B Luis Castillo (just in time for their series with the Cubs) while Jim Henry is spending all his time talkling to the Rangers about an average (if that ) catcher when we need a Power bat. If Jim must trade Pie or Murton he need to trade for Griffey,Dye or little less power but great defense CF Tori Hunter. After all it may be meant to be for the Cubs to trade for Dye since the trade for Dye to the Red Sox Willie Mo Pena & minor leaguer was pulled off the table after the Red Sox refused to give up either of the 2 minor leaguers Kenny Williams requested in the trade........Now IS YOUR CHANCE JIM HENRY ...GO GET DYE!!! before the Angels,Dodgers or Brewers get him. If you remember the Brewers almost had a trade until they decided not to give up a pitcher Kenny Williams wanted. I can see the Brewers calling Kenny now saying they want to do the deal now since Cubs are 1/2 games behind now. After all Jim this could be your last year with new ownership in next year. Come on Jim, Get your head out your butt!!!! It is not given that Floyd will stay heathy and can't cover much ground in the outfield on defense.

Hunter would be a good fit for Chad's slugger. Pie and Roquet for Hunter would be OK with me. The big chance we would be taking is that we wouldn't be able to re-sign Hunter with the sale pending (or Jones or... who else?) and we wind up with Lofton/Colving/Patterson competing in ST for center in '08.

Hendy has made the best July 31st deadline deals in the league when the Cubs were in it. I have faith. Laird for Pie is not going to happen.

I'd do a Pie for Hunter swap. Hunter will be a type A free agent. Jack Jones can play Cf next year if Hunter leaves. Colvin should be ready by 2009.

Hunter has a no-trade to the Cubs.

All of this Hunter-to-Cubs speculation is moot. I don't have the time to look up an exact link, but Hunter refuses to come to the Cubs because of what happened to his buddy Jacque with the fans last year. He won't be traded here.

"Manny DOES control the zone well so he doesnt count. "

manny has walked over 100 times ONCE. He has struck out over 100 times almost every year. That is not plate discipline or strike zone control.

SAD CUB FAN: "...the Reds traded p Kyle Loshe to the Phillies..."

SO WHAT?!

Kyle Losch is no better, in fact WORSE, than our Rich Hill or Sean Marshall - I'd even say he rivals Marquis in suck!

Yuch!

Yea... what Sheffield/Cornelia said.

JJ said recently in a radio interview that he would not come to the Cubs because of the JJ situation and how he has been treated.

Now... athletes change their minds all the time, but I don't see see Hunter coming to the Cubs.

Murphy was talking about Pie for Hunter today.

This one really tears me in half.

We've seen Pie kill it in the minors and not so in the majors, in limited PAs.

But Hunter has two months written all over him.

- He has accused Cubs fans of being jerks and racists for their treatment of JJ. (Hopefully he knows it's the idiotic minority, but who knows)
- The way he crashes the walls playing CF and snatches HRs away obviously can't be done at Wrigley, taking away some of his defense.
- Teams are gonna be throwing mad cash at him in November when the slow bus called Selig's office is trying to figure out who owns the damn team. Gonna be a bad winter to sign free agents for us, although I do think we'll still find a way to have money for Zambrano.

All those factors, you must consider. So if it indeed plays out that way, will we really be ready to trade perhaps our top prospect for a two-month rental for an above-average but not a total game-altering player?

Like I said before, I'm very split how I would feel about that.

Tori Hunter was a last resort, I prefer Griffey or Dye... I know getting Dye is more reasonable, out of the 3 he has hit 5 HR's out of the last 8 games. I know the White Sox needs a CF and Ozzie says he wants speed in the line-up. and since they couldn't trade Dye 670 the score is reporting the White Sox are trying to sign him for a 2yr extention..(may be just talk to up his value..to make it seem as if they want him to stay)

Chad,

Stick to AIENTKILMFYRB.

Ramirez has walked once per 1.36 K's for his career.

The ML average hitter is about 2:1 this year.

That's strike zone discipline substantially better than average.

All of this Hunter-to-Cubs speculation is moot.

I believe the phrase is 'money talks'.

E- Man I was just listing those trades to show everybody is making moves except the Cubs and I desperately want a Power Bat in RF because I don't think Floyd can cover much ground in the outfield and I would love to get another lefty reliever, I know everybody is trying to get relief pitching but the Cubs don't have anybody now they have to compete with in getting Dye or Griffey. Also weakness I see is Marquis can't get past 5th inning, Dempster & Howry canm't trust with a 4 run lead or less. I don't have any more nails left to bite.

SCF,

Have you ever tried decaf?

Chad... Manny Ramirez has averaged, roughly, 4 pitches per plate appearance. Only 2 players on the Cubs are better than that - Lee and DeRosa. He has also not had an OBP below .388 in the last 3.5 seasons, each year having at least a .91 point difference between his average and obp.

We are getting Kerry Wood back. That is just like making a trade!

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/
Braves are close to picking up Dotel, giving up Davies...

aaronb — July 30, 2007 @ 2:23 pm
Sorry about that yall. I am having a ton of trouble loading this site. Rob, can you delete these?

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

AARON B: I took care of that for ya,. I've been deleting double, triple, quadruple and quintuple posts all day.

FYI - don't re-submit comments if they don't go through right away. Chances are they got through, but aren't getting posted right away.

Yes.

What Dave said.

Thanks Az Phil, and duely noted Dave

Pie not available, says Hendry.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com...

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