Gameday Open Thread / A's @ Cubs; Cubs @ Giants

In the first half of Wednesday's day/night Cubs exhibitiongameathon, Ryan Dempster gets the start at HoHoKam (2:05 Central Time), while in the second game, starting at 9:05 Central Time, Jon Lieber throws against the Giants.

If Lou Piniella sticks to his vow to name the five-man starting staff by the end of the week, this would be the last chance for Dempster and Lieber to make their respective cases. Jason Marquis, who allowed just one run in five innings against the Royals Tuesday, has made a pretty good case for himself already.

Miniscule sample sizes and spring training weirdness aside, here's how Dempster, Lieber, and Marquis stack up so far:

PITCHER G IP
H
ER
K
BB
ERA
OPS vs.
Dempster 4 10.2 10 8 6 6 6.75 979
Lieber 3 10 7 2 8 1 1.80 553
Marquis 4 14 14 3 7 6 1.93 697

In at least one writer's opinion, Dempster remains "the odds-on favorite" to win the third spot in the Cubs rotation, leaving Marquis and Lieber in the running for the remaining slot. (In fairness to Dempster and Paul Sullivan, Demp's numbers looked pretty good until he blew up in his last outing, but as many have written and commented here before, Dempster's lifetime numbers as a starter are none too attractive.)

Thie picture for all three pitchers and the immediate future of the Cubs' starting five should be at least a little clearer after the action concludes tonight.

Elsewhere and otherwise:

-- According to Ken Rosenthal (and thanks to mlbtraderumors for flagging it), former Cub Jody Gerut could be in for significant playing time for the Padres as Jim Edmonds recovers from a calf strain. Arizona Phil pointed to Gerut's red-hot hitting in Venezuela months ago and obviously the Pads shared Az Phil's interest.

-- Again by way of mlbtraderumors.com--does that guy ever sleep?--comes a note from the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds are looking for a backup catcher (somehow Paul Bako isn't enough). Writer John Fay thinks the team would part with Ryan Freel to get that catching help "in a second."

Not sure that the Cubs have the catching help to offer or that Cincy would move Freel within the division, but the Cubs have supposedly had the righthanded hitting utility guy in their sights in the past.

 

 

Comments

I know you kind of mentioned, or at least asked, if the Cubs would have "the catching help to offer," but come on.

The Cubs backup catcher is actually quite bad. And his backup (Koyie Hill) is even worse, and was available for free last year.

The Cubs don't have a catcher to trade.

Hell... based on how Soto has looked this spring, we may not really have a starting catcher.

Then again, if Paul Bako represents the bar...

What? No love for Hank White? I'll take him over Jason LaRue or whatever terrible retreads y'all bring up.
Felipe Lopez SUCKS. He can't field. He's not worth the bother. If the Cubs can't get Byrd or Roberts, pull up the rug for now.

Jason Larue - Career OPS+ - 86 (Last 4 seasons: 98, 110, 68, 33)
Hank White - Career OPS+ - 64 (60, 73, 81, 6)

Both suck. But Hank White sucks worse.

Who's this guy Thomas who DHed for the Cubs this afternoon? No one I know of in the Cub farm system. MLB doesn't show him either. "Tis a puzzlement.

I didn't see or hear the game, but I'm thinking it's Tony Thomas, a draft pick from last year.

http://thebaseballcube.com/players/T/Tony-Thomas.shtml

Just saw this at cubs.com regarding Thomas...

 http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080319&content_id=2445166&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc

Submitted by Hook on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 4:56pm.

Who's this guy Thomas who DHed for the Cubs this afternoon? No one I know of in the Cub farm system. MLB doesn't show him either. "Tis a puzzlement.

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

 HOOK: Yes, it was 2B Tony Thomas (2007 #3 draft pick out of Florida State).

Recent comments

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  • Please be Noah Syndergaard and Andrew McCutchen...

    Joking. I really like Andrew McCutchen. ...

  • Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.

  • http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/15458724/more-ped-busts-coming-ma...

    "OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"

    Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!

  • Sorry typing too fast.

  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

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    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

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    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

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  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

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