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).

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  • ,571 winning percentage in May.

    I think they're gonna be OK.

    Tito 1 hour 32 sec ago view
  • RAISIN: All I know is that Oscar de la Cruz is still shut down, and I don't know what his prognosis is, or what the plan is going forward.   

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 19 min ago view
  • Remember just two weeks ago, when "all" they had to do was play .500 ball the rest of the season and coast into the playoffs?

    BobbyD 3 hours 22 min ago view
  • Well I guess if pitchers can keep working the edges of the plate to perfection it will be a long season. But that doesn't seem likely. Rizzo finally, fully, snapping out of it would help.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 27 min ago view
  • If I didn't believe in coincidences (or science), I would apologize to Gordon Downie--one of my favorites. Sad news about a great talent.

    CTSteve 5 hours 35 min ago view
  • Hi Arizona Phil,

    Has there been any news on Oscar de la Cruz' health?

    Raisin101 12 hours 6 min ago view
  • bruh...

    crunch 13 hours 20 min ago view
  • O&B: Cease was apparently working on his off-speed pitches in his first & thrd innings, because in his second inning of work he just blew the D'backs away with high-velocity gas (that's when he hit 99-100 and struck out the side). 

    Arizona Phil 13 hours 39 min ago view
  • Wow, Lyin' CTSteve? He was just BEGGING for my endorsement last year!  Lame!

    Transmission 13 hours 45 min ago view
  • 1. I did not say the thing I insisted that Trans write down and attribute to me, or it was taken out of context.

    2. Trans and his "roast" (aka, a Salisbury steak TV dinner by Swanson) are very low energy.

    3. Make TCR great again.

     

    CTSteve 13 hours 51 min ago view
  • Yeah, I'm fine if I don't hear another one, furlong time.

    Transmission 13 hours 52 min ago view
  • nice recap, horrible game...i hope to never hear another horse pun/joke for at least a decade.

    crunch 14 hours 5 min ago view
  • Recap posted.  ~sigh~

    Transmission 14 hours 22 min ago view
  • THAT WAS TURRIBLE.

    MY GAWD.

    crunch 14 hours 46 min ago view
  • Ok, fine. I'll do a recap.

    Transmission 17 hours 50 min ago view
  • Thanks for the post AZ. That's a huge attendance. Scouts must be excited about somebody.

    Would you say Cease's performance was a result of working on his change or was it just a bad outing? And isn't Ademan some ridiculous age, like 17 or something?What are your thoughts on him?

    Old and Blue 17 hours 57 min ago view