The Hill is Gone

Reports are out that Andy McPhail is adding to his Cubs minor league collection, much like I use to collect G.I. Joes. The latest acquisition looks to be left-hander Rich Hill.

One industry source said it's a "strong possibility" that Hill will
wind up with the Orioles, perhaps as early as next week. The Orioles
will likely give up a player to be named who could be contingent on
Hill's success in Baltimore.

The O's just need to make some room on their 40-man roster for the deal to go down. This would also clear a spot on the Cubs 40-man roster for the new Jose Macias that the Cubs have been in search of lately.

Also, Bruce Levine did a guest spot on XM radio that I heard on my drive home. He said that the Paul Bako signing should go down tomorrow, mentioning $725K as the contract amount. The only other revelation from the interview was Levine saying that Felix Pie was the big hang-up in the Cubs not getting Brian Roberts last offseason.


Estalella, who was on the San Francisco Giants with Bonds in 2000 and 2001, is expected to testify to firsthand knowledge that Bonds used steroids, the Web site said, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the evidence. The Web site attributed knowledge of the subpoenas to two unidentified sources.

now that we don't have to use Juan Uribe in the Macia$$ role, my guess is Rich Aurelia is the next target. He wanted to go back to the Giants but Uribe beat him to their roster spot.

Aurelia last yr in SF at age 36: 407 AB, 10 HR, .283 .332 .413. Righty pinch hitter.
82 games at 1B, 63 games at 3B

me no likee, but he can back up ARam which is the one issue trading DeRosa they forgot to address.

There's been some XM radio discussion about Juan Cruz being a perfect fit for the Yankee bullpen because he's a type A free agent and most teams don't want to part with a first round draft pick for a middle reliever no matter how good. Or what about them adding Ben Sheets or just to irritate Redsox fans, maybe even signing Manny.

The Yankees by signing Tex-Burnett-CC have given up their first 3 rounds so in theory it would have been a 4th rounder to sign Cruz. But no...they've reached their free agent quota.

Under the rules, "if there are from 39 to 62 [Type A and B] players [during a given offseason], no team can sign more than three."

Torre's book leading to non-disparagement clause in future contracts. Can a sanity claus be far behind?

You canna fool me. There's a-no such thing.

Wow, the big hang up in not getting Roberts was Pie? Who has turned into half of Heilman? One year sure changes things...

Rich Hill agrees. Let's hope Soto doesn't have quite the sophomore slump.

"Wow, the big hang up in not getting Roberts was Pie? Who has turned into half of Heilman? One year sure changes things..."

I second; what a devestating loss in Pie's value in one season, though it is hard to quantify the true lost opportunity, considering additional Cubs players would have been involved in Pie+ for Roberts.

Fwiw, I like Heilman. Pre-2008, I remember him being VERY strong as a Mets reliever. Here's hopin' he's successful transitioning to starter.

I hope Heilman understands that he can compete to start but it's no sure thing. Not with Gaudin, Marshall, and maybe Samardzija also around to compete for it. Of course, if Peavy somehow arrives, they're allo going to the pen.

Prospects are just prospects. Don't over-value them.

Just to be clear, the Cubs didn't turn down Pie-for-Roberts. Sean Gallagher was the centerpiece of that deal. The Cubs could have gotten a lot of people for Gallagher, including Jake Peavy more recently. Gallagher and whoever else for Roberts was a good deal for the Orioles and the Cubs didn't want to just throw in Pie.

I'm also not sure why Pie's value would plummet in the last twelve months. He had a decent year--for him--in Iowa. He had a good September in Chicago and he made the playoff roster. This winter he hit .300 in fifty at bats for Licey. There was that statistical blip (.362 BA) of a partial season in Iowa in 2007 that may have helped his trade value last year, but other than that he's the same guy.

Pie's performance at Iowa last season was pretty good but not a massive improvement over the previous 2 seasons. And he did not exactly tear down walls in Triple A. My guess is that other organizations saw the lack of confidence that Lou, and eventually Hendry, had in his services, and just sat back and watched his market value tumble because of it. It might have only taken one GM to overvalue and pursue Pie to get what the Cubs felt they should get for him, and that just didn't happen.

Then again maybe the advance scouts just watched him flail at left handed pitching and continue to pursue the sharp breaking sliders he couldn't reach, and figured, "This guy ain't as good as advertised."

"I'm also not sure why Pie's value would plummet in the last twelve months."

Here's my take. Pie's value plummeted when Piniella soured on him. Cubs don't value him, no one else values him. Hendry and Piniella's mistake was showing their hand (and possibly souring on him, but that was understandable).

Among Hendry's strengths, selling high is not at the top of the list, Bobby Hill being the one exception I can think of, and even then we pretty much knew he was toast.

Perhaps he's too high when he's selling. That would explain the munchies.

the list of successful guys the cubs let go in trade vs. what they picked up that did the cubs good.

do that math.

Hendry sold high on Hee Seop as well, and the talent in the Nomar trade turned about to be almost nothing. But point taken.

Choi hit a very Pie-like .218 as a rookie in the season before he was traded. Trading him a year earlier would have been selling high.

The Marlins simply sold low on Lee, as a salary dump, I guess.

I forgot about Choi, who I still thought at the time of the trade had a chance to be pretty good. One more season and he would have gotten nothing in return. Where the hell is he now?

Last I heard he was playing in South Korea.

As busted up as Harden is, Hendry probably got decent return on Gallagher and Patterson too. Josh Donaldson is the guy who may come back to bite them.

"Decent return"--one half season of Harden so far. If the tear in his shoulder had been a smidge longer and he needed surgery--which he probably still does--they wouldn't have signed him for 2009 and that would have been the end of his Cub career.

If that's a decent return for your top pitching prospect, I think you've found the right rookie-hating/baiting blog.

Does anything make you smile? A flower? Spring rain?

Just being ornery. A lot of guys on this blog I find quite funny, you certainly among them.

Ha! Ok, you're on my friend list now.

If they considered him their best pitching prospect at the time, you can say they got shorted. I'm not so sure they held him in that regard last season - right or wrong.

They sent Jose Ceda, who appeared to many to be their best bullpen prospect, to Florida. Shortly after all the hoo-ha about that move, there was sentiment expressed that they considered Caridad better than Ceda.

Shortly after all the hoo-ha about that move, there was sentiment expressed that they considered Caridad better than Ceda.

Bruce Miles had a post saying some Cubs folks passed along that Marcos Mateo had passed Ceda up (hence his addition to the 40-man) that what you're thinking?

Not that Caridad isn't too bad...


Any word on where Mark Pawelek is on the topem pole?

elephant clean-up duty...

Juan Mateo's brother?

as far as I know, they're not related...

No, I hadn't read what Miles said. I got the Caridad statement from a Sports Central show with Will Carroll. But, the more the merrier!

I actually think that Patterson's going to be the best player in the group. He's Brian Roberts if he ever gets a full chance (and if he can field 2nd well enough to stay there).

I would think Rich Hill to BAL for Scott Moore and a provisional minor league PTBNL (with the PTBNL only added if Hill makes the Orioles Opening Day 25-man roster and Moore does not make the Cubs Opening Day roster) sounds plausible. Both Hill and Moore are out of options, so that's a push, and both are auto-renewal guys, so the salaries are also a wash.

It sounds like Piniella wants his 25th man to be a corner IF-OF-LHPH, and Moore would fit that profile, although he would still have to prove he can handle that role in Spring Training. If Moore fails to convince Uncle Lou that he is that guy, there should be "misfitted" players from other clubs becoming available at the end of Spring Training, as was the case with Reed Johnson last year. Maybe a Russell Branyan or Geoff Blum will become available at that time. Remember, the Opening Day 25-man roster does NOT have to be finalized before the start of Spring Training!

I think the 24th-man job will be a battle between Joey Gathright and Micah Hoffpauir, with Piniella deciding by the end of ST whether he prefers a 5th OF who can bunt and PR, or a LH power bat off the bench who can PH and give D-Lee a day off against a tough RHSP once every week or two.

If Gathright does not make the final roster cut, the Cubs can place him on Outright Assignment Waivers, and if he gets claimed, the Cubs are only on the hook for $400K (clubs pay the MLB minimum salary or prorated MLB minimum salary for players they claim off Outright Waivers, and the player's previous club is responsible for the balance), and if Gathright is not claimed off waivers, he can opt to be a free-agent immediately or defer the right until the end of the regular season. (Players who have accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time have the right to decline an Outright Assignment to the minors and become a FA). And if he were to opt to be a FA immediately, the Cubs would owe him nothing. If he were to accept the Outright Assignment and defer his right to be a FA until the end of the season (and most players signed to Major League contracts who get outrighted do this because they know they probably can't get more money on the open market), the Cubs would have to pay him $800K to play at Iowa, but at least he would be insurance in case something happens to an outfielder later in the season and he would also be available as an extra bench guy if the Cubs make the post-season.

If Hoffpauir is the one who gets cut, he can be optioned to Iowa where he can play every day and stay sharp & ready in case anything happens to D-Lee or any of the bench guys. Hoffpauir is already a Gold Glove-caliber 1B (he was voted the best defensive first-baseman by rival PCL managers in 2008), but he could use some "fail-safe" minor league reps in LF and RF, because the jury is still out on whether he can play outfield (especially RF).

Good info!

Choi is back in Korea.

A great example of an overvalued prospect. Fortunately Hendry got out from under by unloading him to the Marlins for DLee in a case of salary dump.

I remember Mark Grace rolling his eyes because they kept trying to replace him at 1B with Choi who was never quite good enough to do that until they pushed Grace to Arizona. Finally that gave Choi the chance to play and they had to platoon him with right bat Eric Karros and subsequently sit him when Randall Simon took over the lefty part of the 1B platoon.

To be fair to Choi, he did have that concussion that seemed to mess him up in 2003 and he never really recovered. He did have an early season HR spree with the Marlins in 2004 but it was short lived. I was at the game he got knocked out, ambulance coming thru the RF door and all, in the collision with Kerry Wood. It was the game vs Clemens and the Yankees that the Cubs won on a Karros HR 2-1.

The Marlins did extract their revenge for the Choi deal in getting Ricky Nolasco (and maybe in Jose Ceda). I suppose one can keep playing the six degrees of separation game

"The Marlins did extract their revenge for the Choi deal in getting Ricky Nolasco"

You weren't pleased with the one season they got out of Slappy McPopUp?

Let's not revise history here. Choi was pretty good until he got his concussion, then his replacement, Karros got off to a hot start and His Dustyness had an excuse to keep the pitch-taking rookie on the bench. Same thing would have happend to Votto this year, had Dusty gotten an opportunity to do so.

.244 .389 .496 were was his stats when he got hurt.

It's a little bit of an urban (and suburban) myth that Choi's hitting troubles started with the collision on June 7th, 2003. He had a bad three weeks before the collision, 10 for 50 (.200) from 5/15 to 6/7. You point out that ".244 .389 .496 were his stats when he got hurt," but three weeks earlier they were .273 .434 .614.

I'm getting this from BR's gamelog, but I remember that he had a hole in his swing inside which they started exploiting early, and that he was already in a swoon when he got injured. For convenience, I guess, folks have decided to date his decline to June 7th.

Choi drew walks and hit home runs in the minors but he hit .266 in 744 ABs at Iowa prior to 2003. Not enough bat-on-ball. Just not a great prospect.

I guess it's been recalled here several times that Jim Thome asked Hendry to lunch in early 2003 to discuss joining the Cubs. Hendry said, Thanks for lunch but we're going with Choi.

If only Miguel Tejada or Vlad Guerrero had taken him to lunch the following offseason.

Yea... I heard that we should always make judgments of players based off of three weeks.

Very helpful.

Sample size is the hole in VA Phil's swing - sort of like Chad and OBP, and me and being nice.

Yes, Choi is not a 1.000 OPS hitter.

It's surprising that the all the way through the minors and for the first half of 2003, no one was able to find this whole in his swing. It's a game of adjustments. The pitchers made one to him, and Dusty burried him on the bench, so he didn't have a chance to adjust to the pitchers.

The fact is that he had an unnapreciated skill set, and the teams who do appreciate his skills had other guys doing them a little better.

Had Choi be born in Burbank, he'd probably still playing in MLB. The guy's got a career OPS of 106, over 1000+ PA's. If you think he can't hit major league pitching, you've probably got a lot more in common with Dusty Baker than you realize.

I don't think he can hit major league pitching. He can definitely draw walks off of major league pitching. But he had over 300 ABs two years in a row (2004-2005) and hit .251 and .253. He also had 176 Ks in just 663 ABs. He can't hit lefties (carrer .151 BA), and he hit just .157 in games in which he didn't start, suggesting his use as a pinch hitter or replacement in a double switch did not go well. He can draw walks and does have doubles and home run pop, but I can't imagine - even if he had been born in Burback - him being a starter on any team at 1B nor being of much use on the bench as a back-up first baseman only who struggles pinch hitting.

I submit to you, piece of evidence A:

First, Jacobs was born in Chula Vista, not Burbank, so that throws it right out.

Second, it's not like Choi wasn't given a chance. After being released by the Dodgers because they signed Nomar and had Loney in the wings, he was signed by the Red Sox and promptly hit .207 with a .708 OPS in AAA as a 27-year old. He battled knee, hamstring, and back problems. The Rays offered him a shot at being their starting first basemen in 2007 but he struggled again in spring training. He would have surely gotten a minor league deal somewhere, but he decided on his own to go to Korea to rejuvenate his career and get healthy. He did pretty well in the rest of 2007 in Korea, but got injured again in 2008 (headaches, shoulder injury, more back pain) and missed more than two months. When healthy he hit just 229/.295/.346 in the Korean MINOR LEAGUES.

So I don't see this as a case of undervalued skills or racism. I see it simply as a case of a guy who cannot stay healthy or produce enough to get another shot. I think if he does well in the Korea majors in 2009 he will get a minor league contract and if he does well there he will work his way up to the majors again. But I am not holding my breath.

I think the crux of my point can be found right here:

" he was signed by the Red Sox and promptly hit .207 with a .708 OPS in AAA as a 27-year old."

Whereas the Royals are trading useful parts for a slightly inferior, more expensive player in Jacobs.

The guy was a better than average major league batter, and has had injury problems. Take out the injuries, which we didn't know were going to be an issue in 2004, and he's a pretty valuable commodity.

In fairness, Dusty didn't know what the 2 numbers past the .244 were.

He just wanted that Chinaman to get more aggressive and swing the bat.

"I can't sit Karros dude. He's a proven vet. He saved us dude,"

dusty didn't make choi unable to hit inside pitching.

choi did.

that one is easy.

Choi didn't even see the bigs until 2002. Grace's last year was 2000. They chose Sosa over Grace. It had nothing to do with Choi.

You weren't pleased with the one season they got out of Slappy McPopUp?
at least Hendry didn't compound the mistake. What did the Dodgers/Coletti do, 5/50 for mr groundout 1-3? Five years of that would have been awful.

Submitted by Cubster on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 3:11am.

There's been some XM radio discussion about Juan Cruz being a perfect fit for the Yankee bullpen because he's a type A free agent and most teams don't want to part with a first round draft pick for a middle reliever no matter how good. Or what about them adding Ben Sheets or just to irritate Redsox fans, maybe even signing Manny.

The Yankees by signing Tex-Burnett-CC have given up their first 3 rounds so in theory it would have been a 4th rounder to sign Cruz. But no...they've reached their free agent quota.

Under the rules, "if there are from 39 to 62 [Type A and B] players [during a given offseason], no team can sign more than three."


CUBSTER: Rob Manfred's explanation of the CBA quota rule conflicts with what I was told by a player agent this year. What I was told relates to the bold section below...

From the 2006 CBA Article XX - Section B (5):

"Clubs shall be limited to the number of Type A and Type B Players, as defined below, they may subsequently sign to contracts. The number of signings permitted shall be related to the number of players electing free-agency under this Section B. If there are 14 or less such Players, no Club may sign more than one Type A or Type B Player. If there are from 15 to 38 such Players, no Club man sign more than two Type A or Type B Players. If there are from 29 to 62 such Players, no club may sign more than three Type A or Type B players. If there are more than 62 such Players, the club quotas shall be increased accordingly. There shall ne no restrictions on the number of unranked Players that a Club may sign."

What I was told is that the under 14, 15-38, 39-62, and 63+ quota limits do not refer to the number of Type A and Type B Article XX Players who file for free-agency, but rather to the number of ALL Article XX free-agents who file. And that the quota increases by 24 (if 63-86 players file, Type A and Type B quota is four, if 87-110 players file, Type A and Type B quota is five, if 111-134 players file, the Type A and Type B quota is six, etc).

I know Rob Manfred was part of the MLB negotiating team and he obviously believes the quota rule refers to the number of Type A and Type B Article XX free-agents who file, not to the total number of ALL Article XX free-agents who file,

I suspect player agents and probably the MLBPA believe the quota rule refers to the TOTAL NUMBER of all Article XX free-agents (Type A, Type B, and unranked) who file. Because around 175 MLB players eligible to be Article XX free-agents filed for free-agency post-2008, the post-2008 Type A and Type B FA quota should be nine, not four. At least that's how agents (and probably the MLBPA) understand it.

I smell litigation...

Rumor has it that that rule has been waived this year, with permission from the owners. Teams are allowed to sign as many as 8 free agents.

But Plaschke thinks he's still awesome.

Let's make no mistake on Pie guys. He flat out stunk with the Cubs. I agree.
260 at bats over 2 seasons though? With the vaunted Lou Pinella/Gerald Perry hitting gurus, they couldn't help him with his swing? As far as "not improving" at's not like he hit .250/.310/.390 there...
2006: age 21: 141 games, .283/.341/.451
2007 age 22: 87 games, .362/.410/.563
2008 age 23: 85 games: .287/.336/.466

If he could put up even .260/.320/.430, with his defensive value, he'd be a valuable player.
I guess he'll get his shot this season with Baltimore.

Scott Moore? Interesting...

I think of Pie as a Neifi, with more power.

I don't think there is any way that Felix gets his OBP more than 20-25 points higher than his Batting average.

So it he only hits .260, then your looking at a guy who gets on base less than 30% of the time. Sure he is a plus defender. But in MLB your looking at a 5th outfielder. Especially when a guy isn't adept a stealing bases, and he only has 10-15 Homer power.

Doc...I'd agree...if Pie can't get his swing righted in Baltimore.
But somehow Pie managed to get his OBP higher in the minors, at each stop 30-50 points higher. I'd like to see him get a full season or 2 before writing him off. Now maybe he'll get that chance.

I'd like to see Pie develop just because I'd like to see a cub farmhand do so.

I think he can be a useful part. I just never really bought into the McFail hype about him.

If he had 30 Homer power. Then you could live with some of his shortcomings (similar to Soriano) But you can't have a .280 OBP guy in the lineup every day. Unless it's Damian Miller.

Maybe he's the left handed Shawon Dunston. They couldn't teach him that boring old strike zone either.....or perhaps he couldn't learn.

Dunston didn't strike out that much, he just didn't like to take pitches.

Pie hasn't struck out that much in the minors - you guys are talking about him like he's Rob Deer.

Keep in mind that Piniella is the guy who sent A-Rod down to the minors. He doesn't seem to understand that some players need time to adjust to the majors.

I didn't refer to him as a huge strikeout guy. He's a free swinger - with that comes plenty of strikeouts, along with a lack of proper pitch selection, which creates contact outs. Just like Dunston. With the power those two could generate, it also translates into a fair share of extra base hits.

Dunston struck out 1,000 times in 6,000 at bats, Pie whiffed 532 times in about 2,500 minor league at bats. For that rate I think you need to produce some more walks and some power. Dunston never really was able to do that, and with about a 17-18% strikeout rate (counting in estimated walks and HBPs and sacs) for Pie in the minors, that doesn't bode well for big league performance.

One thing Pie has going for him is he's so young. He is about 5 years off his prime so he has plenty of time to develop. It probably was not going to happen here.

As for Lou, he's never been an easy guy on his rookies or his catchers. (Which really makes Soto's performance more impressive.) But the Cubs are in win-now mode and while he and Hendry have shown little patience with Pie, they obviously feel they have little margin for error, and little wiggle room for lack of performance. I wish they could do better than Fukudome in center, but that's the route they are choosing to take.

neifi wishes he could swing a bat as quickly as pie...and neifi is a FAR superior contact hitter as far as putting his bat on the ball (even if it generally didn't turn out too well).

there's a lot of ways to hit .260.

As always Az Phil is correct. I applaud you for being able to read this stuff without eyes glazing over and going into an immediate coma.
Brian Cashman said the Yankees could sign up to eight if they want. “I’m not sure of the exact number, but it’s one we won’t worry about either way,” he said.
I’m not clear on the exact reasons why, but it has to do with the size of the FA pool and how many ranked FAs the Yankees had.
--- the Yankees are probably on the brink of signing Juan Cruz, Adam Dunn and The ManRam. Why not, they don't need a farm system. Might as well just shut down operations in Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Trenton and Tampa.

The only other revelation from the interview was Levine saying that Felix Pie was the big hang-up in the Cubs not getting Brian Roberts last offseason.

Looks like Bruce's SECRET SOURCE is a subscription to the SPORTING NEWS. Gerry Fraley broke the news last January that the Cubs' unwillingness to part with FELIX PIE was the dealbreaker in the Roberts trade.

Not only did Felix break that deal, but last July the Mariners wanted to trade us Raul Ibanez for Pie and a prospect. The Cubs said it was too high a price....


you're amazing, you should start a blog...

Jon Heyman/SI reporting Jason Varitek signs a 2 yr deal with bosox. Don't see the $$ yet

who cares?

Submitted by CPH2133 on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 12:58pm.

Juan Mateo's brother?


CPH2133: Marcos Mateo is Juan Mateo's cousin.

0-14 Article XX Free-Agents - one Type A and/or Type BR FA
15-38 Article XX Free-Agents - two Type A and/or Type B FA
39-62 Article XX Free-Agents - three Type A and/or Type B FA
63-86 Artcle XX Free-Agents - four Type A and/or Type B FA
87-110 Article XX Free-Agents - five Type A and/or Type B FA
111-134 Article XX Free-Agents - six Type A and/or Type B FA

135-158 Article XX Free-Agents - seven Type A and/or Type B FA

159-182 Artcle XX Free-Agents - eight Type A and/or Type B FA

183-206 Article XX Free-Agents - nine Type A and/or Type B FA

There were right around 180 players who were eligible to be Article XX MLB free-agents post-2008 who filed for free-agency, so that's why the quota on the number of Type A and/or Type B Article XX MLB free-agents each club can sign post-2008 is eight.

There were an additional 35 MLB players (including Joey Gathright and Aaron Miles) who became free-agents as the result of being non-tendered on 12/12 (bringing the total number of MLB free-agents on the market to right around 215), but the 35 12/12 non-tendered free-agents have nothing to do with determining the quota on the number of Type A and/or Type B FAs that a given club may sign.

The quota on Type A and Type B FAs is based entirely on how many players eligible to be Article XX type MLB free-agents file (that is, player has at least six years of MLB service time, player is not signed for the following season, and player files for free-agency during the Free-Agency Filing Period that follows the conclusion of the World Series).

I'll admit it; I don't know who these guys are. I followed a link from MLB Trade Rumors. Boo, me. But here you go:

Aaron Heilman the 2009 Ryan Dempster?

Nice article and interesting stats (that i never heard of) about Heilman.

Even without that you know he has plus stuff that can get out major leaguers. Only the poo-poo brigade wants to think he is shit on a stick.

I don't think Cubs fans know how good Heilman really is.

Only the poo-poo brigade wants to think he is shit on a stick.
Cousin of Jeff Dunham's Jose Jalapeno (on a stick)?

don't get it...if we are getting a PTBN in this deal we might as well just have him show up to camp and see him pitch some more and see how he does....and if he doesn't make camp deal him for the proverbial PTBN.

Sad that the promise of Pie and Hill were so hi and now they are worth nothing. Fundamentally we have to take a look at this and realize it is really hard for us to bring up players at important positions because of our need to win now or we just have bad talent evaluators.....our picks have been terrible over the years... and if you look at Tampa it's amazing how well they've been able to produce solid players who have helped bring players and production of stars...and are not forced to spend in the upcoming years. Boston for a team that can spend has been able to put players in a positions and/or trade for players.

1st rd/pick #
2006 Tyler Covin (13)
2005 Mark Pawelek (20)
2003 Ryan Harvey (6)
2002 Bobby Brownlie (21)
2001 Mark Prior (2)
2000 Luis Montanez (3)
1999 Ben Christiansen (26)
1998 Corey Patterson (3)
1997 Jon Garland (11)
1996 Todd Noel (17)

2005 8 Wade Townsend rhp -
2004 4 Jeff Niemann P
2003 1 Delmon Young OF
2002 2 B.J. Upton SS
2001 3 Dewon Brazelton P
2000 6 Rocco Baldelli
1999 1 Josh Hamilton OF

There is something fundamentally wrong...and it needs to be dealt with otherwise in the next few years this team is going to be miserable and unbearable....

hey, know who was scouting director for Tampa for some of those drafts? I think he works for the Cubs now.

and Townsend was the one guy the team chose against Wilkins recommendation.

and now that I actually look at that list, only one player is helping Tampa right now is Upton. Although Young for Garza worked out nicely. They got $50K for Hamilton at least....

Well i'm not talking about right now....but just the pure ability to draft those who have MLB talent...Young, Hamilton (pretty good just got into drugs), Baldelli, Crawford, Price, Upton....come on...what do we have....Prior...Wood...

Name someone who wasn't drafted in the top three overall, please.

I do agree with Bob's assessment that Rich Hill should have just come to camp and competed for the #5 job.

If he reverts back to 2005-2007 form. It won't reflect well on the people in charge.

Maybe we can trade prospects to get him back, in the event of a Harden injury?

blog with some mechanics issues on Rich Hill

"As you can see there is still a shoulder tilt, but given how well he was pitching during this stretch and game, it didn’t throw him off mechanically."

So this guy's theory is that he has control problems because of his mechanics, except when he doesn't have control problems. Brilliant.

"It's not a mental, it's physical". Maybe he thinks baseball players are like a Brontosaurus, they've got one brain to control the body and another to control their mind.

It's muscle memory, pure and simple. His muscle memory is not right so he doesn't throw the ball the place he thinks it's going.

May he move to the outfield and suddenly become a masher.

Sample size is the hole in VA Phil's swing - sort of like Chad and OBP, and me and being nice.
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  • video of Maddon.

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 13 hours 37 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 13 hours 42 min ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 13 hours 47 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 13 hours 59 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 14 hours 10 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 14 hours 36 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 15 hours 16 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 16 hours 28 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 16 hours 45 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 16 hours 49 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 17 hours 34 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 22 hours 25 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 23 hours 38 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 23 hours 42 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 8 hours ago view