The Signs Point To A Cub Victory

Good signs from Wednesday night's 10-6 Cub victory at Arizona:

  • Alfonso Soriano returning to the lineup with an RBI and a double; Alfonso Soriano returning to the lineup, period
  • Mark DeRosa being able to leave his outfielder's glove in the locker room
  • Derrek Lee hitting his first home run in more than a month
  • Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto breaking their respective 0-for-forever hitless streaks
  • Kosuke Fukudome walking three times
  • Ted Lilly sliding into third base without breaking his leg or his neck
  • Carlos Marmol snapping off some nasty sliders and working a scoreless ninth inning (I choose to overlook the double, the base on balls, and the fact that on Thursday, Kerry Wood will be off to meet another hand specialist and probably get a new ointment prescription)
  • Ronny Cedeno striking out as a pinch hitter on a head-high pitch—the familiarity of it is comforting
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Comments

Marmol made Chad Tracy look like a clown.

Anyone interested in a Fantasy Football league? I'll volunteer to set up the yahoo league. email or reply.
Thanks

anyone notice Marquis wearing a blister wrap on his finger too, call it pitcher Solidarity or is he a charter member of the Woody blister club

can sharing a jar of pickel brine be far behind?

Cubs troika of pitchers (Lilly, Z and Dempster) make the Cubs the first team to have three 10+ game winners.

Probably the first use of the word troika on TCR.

noun
1 a Russian vehicle pulled by a team of three horses
• a team of three horses for such a vehicle.

Nice word!

Da.

The nomenklatura send word of their approval.

Edmonds getting an MRI on his left knee today...

Center fielder Jim Edmonds was unavailable because of the sore left knee that forced him out of Tuesday's 9-2 loss. He will have tests Thursday in Chicago to determine his availability for the series against Florida and the Central showdown in Milwaukee next week.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/bas...

Cubs vs Scott Olsen tonight (another lefty) so Reed Johnson probably would have gotten the start

Why oh why does Bobby Dean Howry sucketh so much? Last three outings: 2 and a third, 6 hits, 5 earned. Ungood.

Nice to see the bats awaken. Can we look forward to seeing the Cubs swing with their vaginas until the last game of each series? Yikes.

Oddly enough, when Chad eats a hot dog, he imagines it's C.C. Sabathia. ::ninja

I moved the first week of July and DISH hasn't had a chance to come out and get me hooked up. Lately I feel like I haven't been missing anything. Last night sounded fun, though.

OT... it's really strange not having watched TV in three weeks. I feel so rural. At least with the bunny-ears I could watch the first 12 innings of the all-star game. And thank god for nickjr.com or the kids would have drove us nuts by now.

Why not bring up Ascanio or Wuertz? Shark is finding a groove in AAA right now and changing his role in making him a RP could upset that. You could also bring up Ceda as their is a open spot on the 40-man roster and about 2-3 dead spots on the 40-man that will be DFA'd at the end of the season to make room for Rule V or MILFA's that need to be put on the 40-man.

I donno, Wuertz and Ascanio have both been pretty discouraging with the big club for whatever reason.

With Wood out and Howry pretty terrible, Lou's big troika (see that!!!) of relievers is now a one-ka. -Maybe even less than that with Marmol still a bit irregular.

Samarddijaz is on the 40 man, so why not? Seems like he's going to be a RP anyhow.

I'm all for Samardzija. New blood can't hurt. All we really need right now is a week or two of a few solid relief outings. Hart did a nice job last year in a similar role. So let's see what this guy can do. If he does well he could be a spark to the team.

gonna agree with WISCGRAD on this one, Samardzija is the hot-hand right now and if he can go on a Kevin Hart '07 run, Piniella will use him in increasingly more important situations. Plus Kerry isn't going to be out that long...or at least he shouldn't be...

You just try saying "MILFA" in Parachat!

yeesh...samninja's on a heck of a roll i'd hate to see interrupted.

these "long guy" types suffer in lou's pen. he'll run out the old familiar time after time but guys like loober and marshall have scrapped to get work as the long guys.

he's just getting his groove the past month or so...

So we might see the Domer in Wrigley shortly - wow. That's quite an upturn in the kid's fortunes, to say the least.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnlin...

Was supposed to start last night, but was rained out. Also released Mike Phelps, called up Jordan Latham from peoria.

Brewers and Cards top two contenders, but Cubs also scouting him. MacPhail, as usual, wants 3 good prospects in return.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp...

Cubs | Pie Recovering from Ankle Injury
Sun, 24 Jul 2005 13:08:39 -0700

Mike Kiley, of the Chicago Sun-Times, reports Chicago Cubs OF prospect Felix Pie (ankle) is about a week away from returning to action with Double-A West Tennessee. Pie has been sidelined with a sprained* right ankle he suffered sliding into second base.

*actually broken

Cubs | Pie Recovering from Ankle Injury
Thur, 24 Jul 2008 13:08:39 -0700

Cubs OF prospect Felix Pie injured his ankle sliding
into second base on a double Tuesday and was removed
from the game. He did not start Wednesday.....

Here's hoping he hasn't seriously reinjured that ankle.

I'm a bit confused about this story... For one, he is playing in Iowa, not Tennessee, and, although he didn't start yesterday, iowacubs.com shows that he did have an AB. It doesn't seem that he would have come into the game if his ankle was broken...

Check the dates...first story is from three years ago.

Ahh... My bad... I didn't see where he was going with this...

Do we even know if it's the same ankle?

I think Felix is ok. He came in as a defensive replacement late in the game and got an at bat even.

speaking of Pie...

.371 BA over the last 10 days, but just one walk and 5 K's over 35 AB's. 2 2B, 2 3B and 1 HR as well.

338/380/554 in July

Wow... there are all kinds of fun comments over there.

And what do Wood's blisters have to do with Prior?

while nuts, i see what he's getting at. He's saying that the Cubs are lying about a more serious injury with Wood and calling it blisters. Like they did with Prior. He would be wrong, but I see the point.

yeah, I think that was his point albeit a retarded one....

 

With Wood out indefinitely and the deadline only 7 days away, doesn't Hendry really have to go get an 8th or 9th inning guy? Considering Howry's recent issues (now sporting an ERA of 5.andchange) and Marmol's apparent return to earth, it'd be hard to not go get help.

I hope the Cubs don't wait around and move second on this. Harden was a nice consolation prize to Sabathia, but there aren't too many proven arms that should be able to step right in.

If not Fuentes or Sherrill, who else that's available could fit in and get the job done?

Consolation prize? I'll take a year+ of Harden (assuming he doesn't ask for a trade) over 3 months of Sabathia.

But yeah, I would think another bullpen arm is what the Cubs are looking at right now. But neither Fuentes or Sherrill are remotely worth they're current asking prices, althought at least with Sherrill you'd have him for a few years.

Rockies want a pretty high-end starting prospect who's pretty close to ML ready. We traded that chip to the A's. I don't think they'd be too interested in Hill or Marshall in that park. You either want guys with 95mph+ fastballs or hard sinkers.

O's want 2-3 prospects and hopefully one being a shortstop (I thik I read that). I guess that means Cedeno and maybe the ex-Cubs staff still likes him. Wuertz, Cedeno, Colvin maybe....or Ceda and Cedeno.

 

Why? We need to win the pennant THIS year. Sabathia would have just about guaranteed it.

The Cubs need to go after him when this season is over.

I think the issue is with your choice of words. Consolation prize insinuates a lot of things most of us don't view Harden as. The reality is: a) we did not have the prospects to get Sabathia, b) Harden is not that much of a step below Sabathia, c) Harden has the benefit of probably being around next year as well, and d) nothing ever guarantees a pennant, nothing.

What about getting Nomar before the deadline in 2004? That, my friend, is what you call a guaranted pennant.

I said consolation prize not as any type of smear against Harden. That deal was a great in it's own right and fabulous when considered as a plan B to have when the Brewers swung their deal. Not that the Cubs were ever making a play for Sabathia, but that was a great move to counter a big pick up by a strong division rival. My point was, if the top two relievers on the market go, there may not be as good of a fallback plan as was with Harden.

and they're always sketchy. Gagne was the big pick-up last deadline and that didn't work out well. I wouldn't be suprised if Jon Rauch does just as well as Fuentes or Sherrill.

Personally, I think they should look at Toronto, who has a loaded relief corp...BJ Ryan, Jesse Carlson or Scott Downs in particular.

Fuentes has only given up earned runs in 6 of his 44 apperance this year. And if you threw out the game he gave up 5 runs against the Padres, his ERA would be over a run less than his still stellar 3.15 mark. Obviously you can't throw that game away, but the point being, when he takes the mound you have about a 87% chance he gives up no runs, a 90% chance he gives up 2 or less, and a 95% chance he gives up 2 or less. We could use consistency.

sure, if we can get Fuentes that's awesome, but you're talking giving up Samardzija right now. And since he an NTC and isn't getting traded, I don't know what else that we have that it would take. Maybe their price will go down as well...

Living just outside of Denver like I do, I see the Rockies quite a bit, and I am not that comfortable with Fuentes. My opinion of him is that he is not anything special. He has a quirky delivery. Put some pressure on him, and I think he withers. This is not a baseball town. Even when the Rockies were in the World Series, it was a very temporary bandwagon-type thing. The pressure he is subjected to here is almost negligible compared to what he would face in Chicago, and I don't think he would handle it well... I'd much rather see him go to a deserving team like the Yankees, and see him completely fold in the worst of times...

Well, if, as you say, the Cubs need to win this year, why do you even care what the Cubs do in the offseason?
I believe it is actually the Brewers who need to win this year. The Cubs obviously just want to win this year. The Cubs are not the ones who face losing BOTH of the ace pitchers at the end of the year. How easy it is to say that if something were to happen differently, it would have just about guaranteed the Cubs to win it all... Noone can really argue that, since nobody knows...
I, for one, think that picking up Harden was almost as good as getting Sabathia for this year. The fact that Cubs will have him for next year, too, makes it an absolute no-brainer.

Also, why compare just RBI and HR for Fontenot and Roberts? Seems like cherry picking. Roberts has 38 doubles already, along with 8 triples, 27 SB, and 65 runs. I'm glad we didn't make the trade too, but Roberts is still better than Fontenot.

An All-Star better than a back-up? Whoa.

Not only is it a cherry picking of stats, but the rate stats give a distorted view of Fontenot based on a pretty limited sample size (in comparison to Roberts' larger, more reliable sample size).

If anyone thinks that Fontenot is going to continue to slug .532, I have a bridge to sell you. That is over .100 points higher than his minor league SLUG.

Sabathia would have just about guaranteed it.

much like Nomar...

and no, with over $100 MM tied into 9 players, I don't think the Cubs should bother going after Sabathia.

plus the dude is just fat, I'll be impressed if he can stay healthy over the course of whatever deal he signs.

No one goes on the DL with "Pulled Fat" - Rod Beck (r.i.p.)

Dude is fat for sure. I can't see the Cubs pursuing him in the off season, but I sure wouldn't be against it. It's only money. That's always easy for my to say when it isn't *my* money.

If Dempster were back in '09 and Harden stayed healthy, that'd be one killer starting five. Z, CC, Harden, Demp and Lilly.

it's gonna be tough to keep Dempster, it'll really depend on the new owner, Cubs have a crapload of $$$ tied up next year in just a few players and a lot of holes

Z, Harden, Lilly, Marquis will be getting their money (and yeah, be nice to dump Marquis and his $9MM, but don't count on it). That leaves Gaudin, Marshall, Hill, Samardzija fighting for the last spot. Still damn good rotation...

Bullpen next year is Marmol and um, well there's... (Crickets)....

Speaking of the next owner, Cuban made it to the next round...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3503599

 

Marmol plus....Ceda?

I'm sure he'll be in the mix and there's a bunch of younger guys that can compete for jobs...Wuertz, Hart, Ascanio, Wells, Cotts, Pignatiello, Berg, Atkins, Russell, Samardzija, etc....but I doubt they'll go into camp with Marmol and 6 open spots either.

 

And Guzman.

I still think that Guzman could be a significant addition to this team next year, if not this year.

Speaking of which... I don't feel like I have heard any updates on Guzman from AZ Phil lately...

Maestri, too.

Sabathia, Z, and Harden could be the best top 3 in the history of the game.*

*there may have been a better top 3 at some point, but I'm not willing to look it up.

--edit--
Fine, Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz might have something to say about this, but this top 3 would still be insanely dominant.

off the top of the head:

Zito, Mulder, Hudson
Schilling, Johnson, whoever
Drysdale, Koufax, anyone

Wasn't there a pitcher named Prayforrain who was supposed to be pretty good?

'71 Baltimore Orioles had FOUR starters who ALL won 20 games that year -- Jim Palmer (20-9, 2.68), Dave McNally (21-5, 2.89), Mike Cuellar (20-9, 3.08), Pat Dobson (20-8, 2.90). FWIW.

Cubs probably looking at bullpen help, but I do think that they have some very good options already in Cotts and Gaudin.

Both have looked impressive, and could easily step in to the Howry/Marmol roles as Marmol steps into Woods role.

Yeah, Cotts still scares me a little, but I do think that Gaudin has shown that he could fill that role...

I still think one more good arm would be a difference maker. But I'd like to see Pinella work Guadin and Cotts into more important situations. For me Howry and Wuertz have been the biggest dissapointements this year. Not what I expected from them when the year began, that's for sure.

dont think you'll have to worry about cotts and work...he's the new marmol. he's been working a lot and probably will continue to do so.

something like 1 HR per 9.75 PA

he'll soon be joining the Scott McClain All-Star Traveling Team...

I'd love to get Dubois to play LF for my 12" softball team. I can only offer free beer/appetizers after the game as payment, unfortunately.

here's a question,

if Edmonds needs to go to the DL, do we recall Pie? What if Edmonds is gone for a long spell? Who's available that we may be interested in?

I'll bet we could get Corey Patterson pretty cheap (KIDDING!)

I vote for moving Fukudome to CF and playing Murton every day.

Oh wait...

Maybe Z can play RF when he is not pitching?

Kotsay?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?column...

a pretty thorough rundown of what teams are asking for and who's available...

According to the usually misinformed WSCR sources are saying Mark Cuban is the top bidder for Cubs and Wrigley.

And same sources say Cuban is saying he will not be out bid.

good for him and his uphill battle.

for one...i hope it doesn't happen, but i'm sure he'll drag everything out in the public arena anyway like he's done so far with his interviews and leaks. cannot blame him at all for the interviews, he's been hounded enough. he just chooses to speak where others give little to no comment...and he's probably been asked 3-4-200x more than the other about it anyway.

this is the kind of public campaigning and image/attention whoring distracting from others that carries his reputation for being a distraction that wears a suit rather than a uniform, though.

he's gonna need some help with his "i get the toys i want because i paid for them and i can do whatever i want with them!" image. he's got a lot more rubbing people raw than his horrible NBA antics where for years he decided that he's more important than the game.

Mark Cuban wears a suit?

At least he's a fan and not an owner in the Lew Wolff mold. I really hope he's the top bidder -- we know he doesn't have money troubles and will not have them for the long run and that he'll keep the Wrigley Field name. Plus, the prospect of working for him might attract a couple of free agents.

I bet he sells the Mavs if he gets the Cubs. IMO

I wouldn't mind him as an owner. I believe the only reason Trib started spending money the last few years because they knew they were going to sell.

Tonite
Blanco catching
Johnson Center
Derosa Right
Cedeno 2nd

Ouch... that is pretty awful.

other than giving Soto a night-off, the lineup you'd expect versus lefties...

 

The Line-up is: (Shouldbe)

LF Soriano
SS Theriot
1B Lee
3B Ram
CF Johnson (Dero)
RF Derosa (Z)
C Blanco
SS Cedeno (Reed)
P Z (Cedeno)

I am all for giving Soto a rest... Hasn't happened enough recently.
Cedeno at 2nd is the only thing a little hard to swallow. He has been okay. Last night's AB really stck in my craw, though...

Josh Fields and another minor leaguer in return, according to WSCR.

Hopefully that's a rumor or a hoax. I really, really, really hope that's not true.

I am surprised K-dubs does buisness with Beane. It is like having a guy that robbed you over for dinner a couple times a year.

depends on the 2nd prospect but seems like a fair deal, no?

Fields is a power bat that that the A's sorely need and will now have for 5+ years and Duchscherer is good and can help the White Sox win now. He's a bit old, but they're obviously playing for this year. 

Yeah, it's a career year, but he was a damn good reliever for awhile and it's first chance at starting.

The ballpark adjustment should be the biggest thing for him to overcome.

At the start of the year nobody would have traded Fields for Duscherser. It seems dumb to do this deal because Duke has a ERA hovering around 2 and Crede's back has stay healthy the entire year. So what happens next year when Duscherser has an ERA of 4.50 next year and Crede, coming off inking a 4/48 deal, has some issues again with his back? They have 4 good SP so its dumb to trade a guy you know can hit 20+ homers and knock in about 70 for another SP, especially when you have on at AAA in Lance Broadway who can really pitch.

well it's not the start of the year and obviously they're playing for this season...they're not worrying about the scenarios for next season. And if Duchscherer struggles next year in the rotation, he's certainly been quite effective out of the bullpen his career.

Contreras is hurt, Floyd is going to fall hard in the 2nd half, not a bad move to pick up another arm...

 

Why do you care, Carlos? I personally couldn't care less...

Because its funny. Duke is an average pitcher on a career year and Fields has already put up a 25 HR and 80 RBI season in this league.

Yea... if that rumor is true, Beane is robbing the Sox on this one.

Crede is having back problems again and is a FA after this year.

23 HR and 67 RBI

Also hit .244, struck out 125 times in 373 ABs and had a .308 OBP.

The Duke only started a handful of games before this year, so you never know, maybe he's more than average the rest of his career. (And I'd say he's always been a little better than average.)

I'm a big Duchscherer fan. Like, huge. I don't want to see him dressed in that ugly ass outfit.

Which is bad because...?

the reply button is your friend

I should finish my thought, I don't know how bright it is to get rid of Fields because it may hurt Sox now and definitely after this year.

But if Kenny feels he can win this year, congrats.

Aaron Preata(sp) the other minor leaguer.

According to WSCR

Submitted by big_lowitzki on Thu, 07/24/2008 - 2:42pm.

And Guzman. I still think that Guzman could be a significant addition to this team next year, if not this year.

Speaking of which... I don't feel like I have heard any updates on Guzman from AZ Phil lately...

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

BIG LO: Angel Guzman starts his minor league rehab next week. Where he will be assigned initially, I don't know for sure (yet). Probably Daytona.

But he's fine, has been for a couple of months now. He's still throwing 94 with a plus change-up and plus curve in his sim games, and he says his arm has never felt better.

My only concern aboit Gooz right now is his control (especially control of his fastball), because it comes and goes. 

That said, I would be VERY surprised if Guzman was not up with the Cubs by September (or possibly even earlier), with a distinct possibility that he will be on the Cubs post-season roster (if they get that far...).

Thanks...

Yea... I knew he was down there and throwing. I just meant that I had not seen a recent update about how he has looked (i.e. in the last couple of weeks) but I may have missed it.

I really would love to see Guzman produce for the Cubs this year.

"Wasn't there a pitcher named Prayforrain who was supposed to be pretty good?"

You probably already knew this one, but it was the famous saying of "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain," that was the battle cry of the Milwaukee Braves in the late 50's/early 60's.

"that was the battle cry of the Milwaukee Braves in the late 50's/early 60's."

Actually, that was the saying for the 1948 BOSTON Braves (prior to the move to Milwaukee in 1953). Spahn stayed with the Braves through 1964 but Sain was traded to the Yankees in 1951.

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