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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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

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    crunch 7 hours 2 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 7 hours 22 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 7 hours 23 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 7 hours 25 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 7 hours 34 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

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    billybucks 8 hours 1 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

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    John Beasley 8 hours 16 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?


    jacos 9 hours 2 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 13 hours 18 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 14 hours 23 sec ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

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    billybucks 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 15 hours 58 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 17 hours 46 min ago view
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    Charlie 18 hours 21 min ago view
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    Charlie 18 hours 34 min ago view