Waiting for Gryzlo

Update: Paul Sullivan reports in the Tribune that Soto underwent an MRI today and has "minor inflammation in the biceps area." He will not be going on the DL.

Soto is likely to sit out the Friday and Saturday games in Milwaukee and "possibly all three depending on how he feels this weekend." Aaron Miles will be the designated emergency catcher behind Koyie Hill while Soto recovers.

Geovany Soto is supposedly in Chicago today so Cubs team orthopedist Stephen Gryzlo can take a look at that sore shoulder. If the defending NL ROY lands on the Disabled List, the logical move would be to summon 33-year-old Mark Johnson from Iowa. The lefthanded-hitting Johnson, who was originally drafted by the White Sox back in '94, went 4-for-19 at Mesa this spring.

Over parts of eight Major League seasons with the Sox, A's, Brewers, and
Cardinals, Johnson has compiled a hitting line of .218/.314/.318.
In other words, in the temporary catching tandem of Koyie Hill and Mark
Johnson, the big bat would be...nobody.

He is, however, said to "call a good game," the catching equivalent of being a blind date with a winning personality.
Let's keep a good thought re: Soto's check-up.

If you've been on the Web for even a few minutes today, you already know about the car crash that took the lives of Angels pitcher, Nick Adenhart, and two other people. The whole tragic story is here.



I normally consider myself a pretty dedicated follower of AZ's posts but, still, I haven't even heard of Mark Johnson. I guess I don't pay as much attention as I thought I did.

Too bad about the kid.

22 years old, it's just tragic.

At the end of the day neither all the money in the world nor material things do you any good. All you have are the stories, influence, and inspiration you leave behind.

Game obviously postponed for the As and Angels http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Aqw6GGdG6Q6J...

Wow. I remember stat-heads drooling over Mark Johnson's minor-league OBP and ripping Sox brass for trading away a solid offensive catcher. And to be fair his minor league stats are pretty delicious.


I didn't realize he'd hit so little in the majors. I guess he just couldn't make the leap.


That hundred point difference between AVG and OBP does show a good eye. Little else noteworthy about that line.

Carpenter is working on, and losing a no hitter in the 6th versus the Pirates.

DeRosa 0 for 11 with 5 k's to start the season...

He misses the power of Ronnie Woo-Woo

This a time for Cubster's insight. Unfortunately, he is in mainland China, no doubt sporadically checking his iPhone, and scouting Bejing club teams for more LH Ofers and ss..

Maybe Rob G should put up an auto-populating tally board for Dunn, Abreau, De Ro, And Woody. This way we'll have an at-hand accounting to those of us who want to constantly grade Hendry on his off-season moves.

being apprehensive about milton is one thing, but it's kinda hard to complain about a 3/30m contract, imo. that's when it all went out the window for me...

Actually, Crunch, I have read several reports it's a two-year deal with health benchmarks and a club option for the 3rd year. So essentially, it's a two-year thang.

Abreu only getting 1 year/$5 million was a good deal for LAA.

That is indeed a good deal for the LAA. Again, there HAS to be a way we could have stats auto=populate daily so we all can play armchair GM, and see how Hendry ends up "doing" this year.

Wow KC & White Sux are ... ummm ... how do I put it ... Evenly matched.

And this has always been Guillen's achillies heel, imo... he uses wayyy too many relievers in a game. You can play matchups, I guess, but when you use 7 pitchers in a close game, all it takes is for one of those guys to have a bad day.

That's one of my baseball truisms...keep using different pitchers and sooner or later you'll find a bad one.

How many runs were scored in that series? 7 total, in 3 games?

Must be stellar pitching.

DeRosa 0-4 today. Still batting 0.00.

[edit] Add his first error of the season to that.

He hit a home run at one of the spring training games I went to in Mesa and was cheered heartily by Cubs fans. And he had a huge, shit eating grin on his face when he touched the plate.

Gotta love Larusa. Motte destroys in ST, but looks ugly in his first regular season save...Denys Reyes gets the call next time out. Nice confidence booster, there, Tony.

Geesh... dogging a guy like that after one bad outing? Can you imagine?

larussa reactionary and weird? imagine that.

how come carpenter didn't bat 8th today? it's like larussa doesn't know how to read a spreadsheet or something. what an asshat.

fwiw, he's having a fun time saying the past few days that he never officially named a closer...a bit too fun, really.

Kerry up to his best 2008 immitation:

hit, K, K, BB, HBP...


gamecast is apparently feeding me lies

He hit the guy's bat, foul ball.

Kerry appears in nonsave situation for Cleveland...2B, K, 2B,K, BB, K


apparently Soto has bicep tendon inflammation and although he says he should be ready to go on Mon the Cubs will have to decide if they want to DL him in order to have a backup ready to go.

I think they should just DL him, if he has tendonatis and you dont give it the rest you need to heal it will likely pop up some time later on. Its April and in the next two weeks we should put up a decent record with or without Soto in the lineup so just let his shoulder heal up and nip it in the bud.

Tough call. You could just tell him not to go crazy trying to throw people out, but opposing teams will know he's not 100% and try to test him. Who knows. Tendonitis isn't huge, I don't believe.

I think I agree, just DL him. I would rather to have to deal with Hill's suckiness for 2 weeks now then maybe have to deal with it for much longer later in the season.

Conflict: I love MLB Network, but I hate the blackout rules keeping me from watching Brewers/Giants. Good job keeping your product away from people who want to watch it on YOUR OWN NETWORK.

We live in a world that can shoot incoming missles out of the sky. Don't tell me we can't fix the MLB blackout rules. I take a big dook on the MLB blackout rules.

Submitted by Old and Blue on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 12:32pm.
I normally consider myself a pretty dedicated follower of AZ's posts but, still, I haven't even heard of Mark Johnson. I guess I don't pay as much attention as I thought I did.


O&B: See link

thanks, AZ.

Ha, "he's a poor man's Paul Bako".

The over/under on Harden's top MPH fastball tomorrow: 91 1/2

I'll say over.

I think he hits 94 once, but sits around 89 most of the game. Maybe starts out around 86 or 87.

We talking average or fastest of the game?

My question is, is he holding back in order to stay healthy, or can he literally not throw hard anymore? Dude used to hit 99 regularly, and now he barely tops 90. I don't give a shit if he throws 65 as long as he's effective, but I just want to know what's going on.

his shoulder is falling off...

over/under on cortisone shots this year?

I believe he's just one of those guys that it takes a LONG time for his velocity to get up. The guy only threw 13 innings this spring. The 3 other starters we actually had in camp threw twice that.

It takes some of those big power guys a good 7 or 8 starts to get their velocity right after being off all winter. Add in that he was rehabbing and wasn't actually doing any significant throwing in the off-season, and it's going to take a little while for the 95 to come back. I know that I read that throwing was part of his rehab program, but I can assure you that it wasn't all that strenuous. He's really only put 100% into that shoulder probably 2 starts worth. I'd imagine he was just trying to feel things out the first couple of starts back after the soreness. The long and short of it is that he's about 3 weeks behind everybody else right now.

Now, if he's still throwing 88 the first week of May, I'm going to become very concerned.

In other words, Wes, you have to throw a lot of fastballs in order to throw 95. You don't get there by throwing off-speed pitches. Interesting.

Interesting how you can turn "harden is one of those guys" into a generalization about all pitchers.

Sort of, but you're making a horrible over-generalization about all pitchers at all times. I'm talking about this one specific pitcher beginning to gain velocity after an extended period of being on the shelf.

Guys throw off-speed with maximum effort, too. As weird as it sounds, it takes a while to get that change-up velocity DOWN as you start to throw in the spring, too. It seperates from your fastball as you continue to loosen out your shoulder. Harden's fastball will go UP from 88 or 89, and his change-up will go DOWN from 85-86 to 82-84. The curve and slider develop a much sharper break, too.

We don't even have to worry about it because Harden's throwing 96 today anyway.

Top speed. Two votes for over so far.

Are we going by Gameday or WGN? My experience is Gameday usually reads a mile or two per hour lower than TV.

I say 96.5 because we all know Koyie Hill is catching the game.

Count me OVER.


Who knew Tuffy Rhodes was still dominating in Japan at 40 years old? Unbelievable.


444 career homers. So maybe its just a tad easier to hit a homer in Japan than it is in MLB?

Maybe we can use him as a ringer in the next WBC.

with cubs lineup for now, I'm okay with GEO taking some time. And hills got some skillz. HA didn't even notice that.

Let the catchers catch and lets hope lee starts hitting.

How far can you bracktrack a DL stint at the start of the year? Because if you can start it at or before Aril 4th (the day before the season started) then Harden could come off of it on April 19, when we first need a 5th starter and bring up Johnson to backup Hill for this series. I hate to see us lose a game because Hill gets hurt half way through and Miles makes a defensive miscue in a key moment. Even if can start on April 5th, you could always have Marshall go on 3-days rest or call up somebody from Iowa if they have light out starts in their first couple of starts. I really dont like the idea of a postional player being your back-up C for a complete weekend set.

Submitted by Chifan on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 11:31pm.
How far can you bracktrack a DL stint at the start of the year? Because if you can start it at or before Aril 4th (the day before the season started) then Harden could come off of it on April 19, when we first need a 5th starter and
bring up Johnson to backup Hill for this series.


CHIFAN: A player's DL stint can be backdated no more than ten days, and no further back than nine days prior to the start of the MLB regular season (which is March 27th this year).

However, a player's DL stint cannot be backdated any further back than the day after his last appearance in an MLB regular season game or MLB Spring Training game. Since Harden pitched in the game at Yankee Stadium last Saturday, a Harden DL stint can be backdated no further back than last Sunday (4/5).

Come back Hank White.....all is forgiven.

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  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 25 min 29 sec ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 37 min 45 sec ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 46 min 39 sec ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 52 min 5 sec ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 1 hour 10 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 1 hour 46 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 4 hours 59 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 5 hours 38 min ago view