Cubs Provide the Healing the Cardinals Require: Birds 3, Cubs 0

Tuesday night in St. Louis...

Joel Piniero, coming off three consecutive losses, recorded the Cardinals' first complete-game shutout of the season. He faced only 28 hitters, threw only 28 non-strikes (never reaching a three-ball count), only allowed one man into scoring position, and dispatched the Cubs in 125 minutes, the Cards' fastest game in almost three years.

Rookie Colby Rasmus, who had just two singles in 25 AB against lefthanded pitching this season, bashed a 2-run homer off of Ted Lilly.

And the Cardinals, who lost three straight to the Brewers in their just concluded series and overall had lost 10 of their previous 14 games, won.

Glad we could help.

Out-of-town scoreboard note: Cubs closer Kevin Gregg, who pitched one shutout inning Tuesday night, now has an ERA of 5.71; former Cubs closer Kerry Wood, who pitched just two-thirds of an inning Tuesday night—and a rollicking two-thirds of an inning it was—now has an ERA of 8.31.


The lineup was way too hacktastic last night.

Hey, at least it wasn't a 58-pitch complete game shutout, as it appears the record is:

1 hr, 15 min game? Dang.

That's Leiber-fast.

This news sucks:

(Rotoworld) Triple-A Iowa's Brad Snyder suffered a broken hand on Monday. It's a tough break for the former prospect, who is considered out indefinitely. Snyder was getting his career back on track the first six weeks of the season with a .317/.351/.669 line highlighted by 12 home runs and 35 RBI in 35 games.

That is very bad news for Mr. Snyder. That will be a major setback not just in time, but his offense will likely suffer when he returns. I hope that whenever he gets back, he can find his stroke and continue to hit for power, otherwise his career could be in danger.

too bad about Snyder, but Jake Fox stole a base yesterday! Are there no limits to his baseballery? Samardzija had a nice outing, btw...

Goodness, Vitters had another 3 Hit 1 HR game, that's like four games in a row. He's up to a .998 OPS now.

milb blurb

Somebody has seen Bull Durham:

"I really don't [pay attention to the individual statistics]," Vitters said. "I'm just taking it one game at a time and just trying to play well every day. Hopefully, it will turn into a good year."

3 BB in 132 AB's for Vitters.

Even Felix Pie and Corey Patterson could do better than that in A ball.

And as they went through the levels their inability to take a walk was magnified. Not at all impressed with Vitters approach to hitting. It may work in A ball but its not going to work against major league pitchers. They will use his agressiveness against him and eat him alive. Just like Pie, just like Patterson.

The only good news is he is young and has time to learn. But christ a pro-rated 12 walks projected for a 520 AB season in A ball? That isn't going to project very well if he continues on that pace.

That's a good point you make, and both Pie and Patterson did get exposed as they moved up.

But isn't it possible that Vitters is good enough that he's just hammering the first good pitch he sees and doesn't get deep enough in the count to need to walk? It's not like he's striking out a ton. You know, instead of fouling pitches off or swinging and missing, he's just crushing them. Sort of a "see wimpy A-ball pitch, smash wimpy A-ball pitch" approach.

Yes, he will need to improve his selection as he faces better competition, but as you said, he's still very young and has a lot of time to learn. I guess I just hope he isn't rushed and is given the time to learn as he moves up.

He may not walk but he also doesn't strike out much at all.
It makes for an interesting .445 BABIP.

It makes for an interesting .445 BABIP.

Yea... that is sustainable...

I think a lot of fans are concerned about that as well. That said, in Vitters favor is the fact that most reports suggest that this isn't a case of a lack of discipline. Most reports suggest he understands the zone real well. It sounds like it's a case where the pitching at the lower levels haven't challenged him enough.

For that reason, now that he's heated up, I'd like to see Vitters in Daytona soon. I'm a big Rosa fan, but he's been struggling (and they can shift him to first anyways, which may be Rosa's best spot). But Vitters is the one guy in our system that clearly has stud potential (others may but need more time), and as a fan, I'd like to see if he can adjust in Daytona.

His strikeouts project to 75, which is not a high number, especially if, as you contend, he swings at everything.

In A ball, Felix Pie struck out 98 times in 505 at bats. He had four home runs, so he wasn't swinging for the fences. Vitters projects to 28 home runs.

I just don't think Pie and Patterson are useful here. Vitters is a line-drive hitter, while Pie has trouble putting the bat on the ball. Patterson hit .261 in AA, worse in AAA, but since he flashed speed and power, they promoted him.

Vitters was a singles hitter till about a week ago when he "broke out," so he should start to get more respect in the form of pitches out of the strike zone. I imagine his walks will go up, as will the strikeouts.

"Are there no limits to his baseballery?"

Does defense count?

"Samardzija had a nice outing, btw..."

For those keeping tally at home, Samardzija has ONE good outing, four bad ones, ONE ok, four bad ones, ONE good one...

Ad infinitum


$10MM Signing bonus?!!

How does he have a 3.75 ERA when he has four bad outings for every decent one?

As usual with "Mr. Literal", you cannot tell the difference with folks between kidding, or sarcasm, and when a poster is being obviously over-the-top, to make a point.

I care about the majors, and his 8.00+ era in the Big Show - for his $10MM signing bonus, is what is mattering to me. Considering that Hendry was "crying poor" for letting DeRosa go.

E-Man witch four bad games are you talking about? His last three games at Iowa have been pretty good. He is on a pitch count that goes up every game. If you don't like the player thats on thing but to be vulgar about it only shows how immature you really are.

I'm not sure "witch" ones, or if there are any "witches" in Des Moines, but dictionaries can come in handy some time.

I don't mind "Sammy". Its just the $10MM signing bonus for someone who has had limited success and is being touted as the "Golden Boy" by the GM.

That's what I mind.

I do hate Notre Dame, though.

Sorry I am so immature. I'm sure the last three games at Iowa will ensure he'll become an All Star pitcher for the Cubs.

What's the Brewers' magic number?

(Rotoworld) According to's Jon Heyman, the Indians are "now fielding offers" for utilityman Mark DeRosa.
The Indians are reportedly seeking major league-ready pitching. DeRosa, 34, is batting .242/.312/.412 in 153 at-bats this season and is owed about $4.15 million for the rest of 2009. Heyman suggests the Mets might be a good fit.

Heilmann for DeRosa, straight up.

F* the numbers, get him back.

That's a weird one.

The Cubs, however, are 10th in the league in pitching. Trading pitching is probably not the best idea right now.

Cubs bullpen is 2nd worst in the league. Rotation is decent, top 1/3 or 1/4

"The Indians are reportedly seeking major league-ready pitching."

Wait-a-minute! Hendry didn't get no stinkin' major league-ready pitching for DeRosa.

Was he looking for it?

Yeah, the Cubs weren't asking for any and already had too many people for too few spots in spring training.

The Indians, on the other hand, just signed Vizcaino, which should tell you something about the state of their pitching...

Does Randy Wells count as major league ready pitching? I'd rather have Kerry back though despite his game last night and early season woes. He might pitch better getting more than one game in a week.

1. Get DeRosa back
2. Put Fontenot back in his 2008 role

I would definitely ponder it, but I don't think we match up with them. If we got DeRosa back (and found a way to move Miles), a bench of Fontenot/Hoffpauir/Freel/Johnson (with DeRosa's flexibility factored in) looks solid.

The Indians are a mess, though. I thought they were a bit overhyped entering the year (I thought the Royals would win the AL Central ... very surprised on the Tigers putting it together ... that said, I thought the AL Central was wide open and all 5 had a shot). They put one of their top prospects in the pen for about a week (Hector Rondon) with the idea that he might help them in the pen, but then changed their mind a week later. Grady's been bad. I imagine they'll start shopping folks, starting with DeRosa, maybe Cliff Lee, maybe Victor Martinez. I could see them shop Kerry if the price was right.

I'm not sure we match up on DeRosa if the demand is ready pitching, though. There's no way I'd fork over any of the top guys in AA/AAA (Jay Jackson/Jeff Samardzija). The rest I'd ponder, but much as I love DeRo, I'm not sure if I'd go hard on him.


Here's another Indians thought - would you try to make a run at Cliff Lee? I'll be the first to say I thought he would slide back this year, but he's been solid. With another year on the deal (8 million 2010 club option), if the price was right, I'd ponder it. That said, I wouldn't fork over Josh Vitters, and I dopoubt this would happen without a t level talent involved, so consider this more of a hypothetical.

Looks like Uncle Tony's Magic Dust is not working on everyone

He should try Uncle Tony's Magic Injection instead.

Some people have gotten up and played baseball already, while we're sitting here blogging.

Casey Lambert (Tennessee) with back-to-back shutouts. (Somebody still has to pitch the ninth). Lambert's pitching line today: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

Twas certainly a nice start for Casey. Statistically, it seems to be a bit smoke and mirrors right now for him, but hey, I didn't have high expectations when he moved into the rotation, so I am very pleased with how he's done. IIRC, Lambert was supposed to start at UVA, but they needed him in the pen, and he was so good, they just kept him there. I imagine we'll see more K's as he gets more time starting. I still think his future is in the pen as a late inning lefty (and I still think he could help us this year), but very pleased with what he's done so far.

Maestri came on for 2 shutout. Walks are still a concern, but I've long thought he was similar to Wuertz, and I think Maestri could, in a year or two, be a solid MLB middle relief guy.

Clevenger went hitless, Thomas/Barney each had a hit. Blake Lalli had 2 hits, a double. I like Blake. He's a fringe prospect, a bench guy if he makes it up, but he seems like a do-it-all type of guy and I think his bat will play for the upper minors. He got some heat for ARL, which I didn't think was justified since this was is his 3rd full pro season.

ARL? Please explain.

Lalli reminds me a little of Hoffpauir, which means, good luck finding a situation where you can play first base in the majors. Last year, Lalli caught a little, but not too much. AZ Phil said he was decent behind the plate, but the Cubs don't seem too interested.

The guy who has a future is Clevenger, since he can catch and probably play third, which is what they could use right now and in the foreseeable future till Vitters is ready. I noticed Clevenger playing third a couple of games ago. He always cranks out hits. And here's an interesting catching stat for Clevenger at Tennessee: 4 bases stolen, 7 caught stealing.

ARL = age relative to league. A lot of people attributed Lalli's success in the lower levels to him being more advanced than the youngsters, and figured that his bat would catch up with him as he moved up the minor leauge levels (one fairly prominent online guy was certain of that a few years ago). I'm not suggesting Lalli will make it in the bigs (if he does, it's as a backup, as he doesn't have enough power, imo, to start at first), just saying I am a fan and I think his bat plays for the upper levels of the minors.

Clevenger's defensive work has improved leaps and bounds by most accounts. He might not have Castillo's upside defensively, but I think he's more consistent right now, based on the reports. If he's solid behind the plate, he has a future as a big league backup backstop. If his power this year is "real", then he might be more than that. I think he's definitely jumped ahead of Castillo as the top catcher in the system. The timeline of Vitters and Aramis actually meshes well enough that we probably wouldn't need a guy to cover b/w them (barring Vitters tanking). Of course, this assumes Vitters sticks at 3rd, but for now, it looks likely (timeline - Vitters ends this year at Daytona, does some sort of Daytona/Tennessee with an outside shot at Iowa in 2010, outside shot at bigs in 2011).

Depending on the next few weeks, I'd like to see Thomas/Clevenger/Barney at AAA by July. I think the MI's are possible. Not sure about Clevenger, but I wouldn't mind seeing him up there. That said, Hendry likes his older guys at AAA.

I'm not sure Aramis can play third until 2011. I give him A for effort at third, but that's about it. At some point, he takes the long walk across the infield to first base. Something else for Hoffpauir and Fox to think about.

Clevenger might be a bridge at third between Ramirez and Vitters. And I think Lou would like his bat at backup catcher better than Hill's.

maybe they can convert Greene to a pitcher

Tonight's freshly tweeted lineup vs. Cards and Carpenter:

sori, riot, fuky, lee, milt, font (3b), soto, scales (2b), demp.

Also, no Ankiel tonight or Thursday. Cards say it's likely that he'll be back in a few more days.

No Rick The @*%$@#? I'm crushed. Who are we going to bean with him out?

If you can't beat 'em, drill 'em.

Side note: I would vomit to see Dero 18 times a year with the Brewers. Trade anything, just get him back and make up for the biggest off season mistake. Maybe Hendry can include himself in the deal. Throw Rothschild in too.

My vote is Molina.

Watching the game via gameday... can someone explain what happened when Bradley got doubled off first?

Wainwright PH for Carpenter?

Looks like LaRussa went to the Lou school of managing.




Lou didn't pinch-hit for Fukudome in the 8th with Reed?

Comment deleted.

Sorry -- I didn't read the subject line along with your question.

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  • Pay the man his money...(MVP Talk)

    Kris Bryant is going to own the Cubs himself in 6 years :)

    Without doing any actual research because this is the Internets, I have a feeling Bryant will break every arbitration record there ever was unless TheJedi can literally use the Force to convince him and Boras to sign a multi-year deal.


    Rob G. 16 min 16 sec ago view
  • Hammel was supposed to pitch Friday, Cubs said it'll be a bullpen day instead.

    Rob G. 22 min 38 sec ago view
  • Tis either a valid excuse for Hammel's recent struggles or a PR game when they try to trade him this offseason. Or possibly both

    #Cubs say Jason Hammel has been pitching through elbow tightness and could have started if the team was still playing meaningful games.

    Rob G. 24 min 9 sec ago view
  • Finally made it to Pittsburgh, 6 hour drive can't wait to see the game ....WTF?!?!?

    jacos 28 min 18 sec ago view
  • Being young does have its advantages. Not that it helps Addison Russell last season.

    Rob Richardson 39 min 23 sec ago view
  • Keith Law chat

    "Nick: Speaking of players you were wrong about, do you still like the Jason Heyward contract?
    Klaw: Yes, actually."

    I gives player a year to get acquainted w whole Cub thing,next year will be more telling.Love the d though.

    jacos 44 min 13 sec ago view
  • Saw Tito's comment in the last thread. Thought it was a joke.

    QuietMan 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • Bubble wrap the Cubs

    jacos 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • that's not important.

    the important thing is the cubs seem to have a new defensive whizz at 2nd base according to the stats...sample size warning and all that...but i have faith in him.

    imagine him having to do this 20 times a season. 6.2 innings played, 20 assists, DEFENSE GOLD!

    crunch 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • That little switcheroo with Zobrist and Rizzo cost me 2 points in the predictions game--damn it.

    CTSteve 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • We'll always have 1985. Nothing else, but we'll always have that.

    billybucks 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy likely to miss rest of regular season

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • RVIMPENY: It's raining today so the Cubs will probably play intrasquad game(s) tomorrow and/or Saturday, but it's pretty much a day-to-day proposition, and a lot of times it's decided at the last minute.

    Best bet is to check in at Riverview in the morning and ask somebody what's going on that day.

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • Thanks Phil, I had the Salt River chart, but based on that, it looks like they hardly play and was not on the Surprise on 9/28...I assume they do not really want fans there anyway? Do you know if they play today, Friday or Sat? Sorry to be a pain, but I am only here until Sunday.

    rvimpeny 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • John Arguello at Cubs Den with observations & photos from Tuesday's Cubs instructs intrasquad game:


    Arizona Phil 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • jacos 4 hours 43 min ago view