The Blind Cub Squirrel Finds a Nut and Friday Notes

I watched not one second of Friday's affair. I managed about 10 minutes of Internet access and caught the 2-1 score, posted this premature comment and then later flipped on my XM radio to catch the final 5-2 win. The good news is the Cubs got a win and Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano went a combined 6/6 with 1 HR, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 Runs Scored and 2 BB's. The bad news was the comedy of errors from the offensive heroes and the Cubs needing a dramatic come-from-behind win against a team missing their five best players.

Some links and notes after the jump...

- Bruce Levine is sticking with the Minnesota Twins as the team awarded the claim on Rich Harden. How he got past the entire NL is a little confusing with the way he's pitching and the rather minimal committment left on his contract.  I don't hold high hopes that the Twins would take the rest of his contract and give up top prospects for Harden. And it looks like the San Francisco Giants were awarded the claim on Aaron Heilman. The Sun-Times says a few more Cubs were claimed, but doesn't offer up any names.

- In minor league news, 2009 first round pick Brett Jackson has been placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right wrist. He should be back for Peoria's playoff run as they have already clinched a playoff spot in the Midwest League. As of this writing, Iowa is a 1.5 back of Memphis and tied with Nashville with just over a week left in the PCL season. In Double A, Tennessee is tied with West Tennessee and the two teams finish the season with a five-game set.

- The Daytona Cubs aren't going to be repeating as FSL champs, but they've thrown their second combined no-hitter in the last two weeks. Both times  20-year old pitcher Oswaldo Martinez was involved and he has not given up an earned run in 10.1 IP since joining Daytona.This time he combined with Mike Perconte on the no-hitter, last time it was a four pitcher effort with Martinez, Craig Muschko, Chris Siegfried and David Cales.

- Alfonso Soriano is set to have his MRI on Monday.

- I've got some Internet troubles at home, so dont' expect much from me this weekend, hence this hastily done post.

 

Comments

Completely off-topic, but it's good to see former Cub Felix Pie getting some PT in Baltimore with Adam Jones on the DL.

.271/.332/.442, 6HR and 21 RBI in 201 PA's.

If he'd done even this with the Cubs, he'd still be here.

"If he'd done even this with the Cubs, he'd still be here."

Done, what, had a chance to play?

Ok. you can stop. I was a big Pie supporter. I thought the Cubs botched handling his development as a player, and never gave him even a full season to be the CF. I hope he plays well in Baltimore, or wherever he goes.

That was the first thing I really disliked about Hendry's off-season. Signing Bradley to play right field made a lot less sense without Pie around to back him, and Fukudome's continuing suckage up.

Pie would have been given more playing time if he wasn't dragging into the clubhouse worse for wear after of night of P-hounding with his boy Soriano. He wasn't focussing on the game, much like Sori now. Focus on the game, not the females in the stands, jackass.
This 2009 squad does not care most of the time and it shows.

I guess its make stuff up about Soriano day.

I've heard once or twice that Pie and Soriano were out late drinking and chasing skirts together, but does anyone know this for sure? And if it is true, is it really that unusual? I think it's quite a jump to say that Pie and Soriano stayed out late to then say that their late nights hurt their on-field performance.

Rob G.: "dont' expect much from me this weekend"

Don't worry, we are not expecting much from the Cubs either this weekend.

Heilman's glass half full or empty...

from sun-times:

Heilman is 2-3 with a 4.55 ERA in a middle-relief role. He has held opponents scoreless in 16 of his last 24 outings dating to July 3.Heilman is 2-3 with a 4.55 ERA in a middle-relief role. He has held opponents scoreless in 16 of his last 24 outings dating to July 3.
---
(so he's given up runs in 8 of his outings since July 3rd. Please go to SF)

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/17410...

Martínez is a mexican. That's awesome.

Racist.

That's nationalism, not racism.

Where does rationalization fit in?

Incorrect. Mexican is a race.

So is it racist for me to root for Americans at the Olympics?

Rosenthal say the Cubs haven't been injured and yet they still suck:

http://msn.foxsports.com/video/MLB?vid=3a7b8aa7-04...

It would have been better researched, I suppose had all the struggling players he mentioned not been, you know, injured.

Also off topic. How does ANY pitcher in a big league organization get a second look if he only has 2 pitches? A fastball and slider won't do, yet you hear all the time about some guy with a blazing fastball (Marmol) and he's "working on his" slider (Marmol), or slurve, or whatever?

How does a 'Marmol' survive if any batter has a 50-50 chance of guessing right? I think I know the answer but somebody help me to know why a guy is the closer when he can't find a location with his fastball and his slider moves only 10-12 inches down from up (and ironically, a 40 year old guy named Sheffield was completely fooled by it yesterday).

So is that why Samardzija was sent down? To work on a 3rd pitch?

Finally, wouldn't it be cool if we had a guy like Angel Pagan leading off and batting .295 with his speed?

"WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR!"

"How does ANY pitcher in a big league organization get a second look if he only has 2 pitches?"

The vast majority of effective big league relievers feature... two pitches - a fastball and something else. Mariano Rivera throws a fastball and a cut fastball, that's his two pitches. Trevor Hoffman, fastball and changeup. Bruce Sutter, fastball and split finger. Dave Steib was a good to great STARTER for years throwing just two pitches, fastball slider. As long as you have a pitch that you can throw for strikes and the opposing hitter may not hit it, you're in pretty good shape.

"So is that why Samardzija was sent down? To work on a 3rd pitch?"

Samardzija was sent down because he has little control and command. None of his four pitches he throws are going to get as many swinging misses as Marmol's slider.

There is also the length of time a pitcher is used. A relief pitcher can get away with 1 or 2 pitches because they only go one inning. You really need the 3rd or 4th pitch as a starter because your going through the lineup 3 or 4 times.

fwiw: the Daytona Cubs' combined no-hitter yesterday was a 7IP affair (2nd game of a double-header) -- i know its official and all that, just doesn't feel like a genuine no-no

Daytona Cubs beat Tiger starting pitcher prospect Chuck Furbush the day before. Would be nice to swing a deal for Furbush and get him in the Peoria rotation with Bibens-Dirkx before the playoffs. Hendry gets this done, and i'll give him a pass for 2009.

So if Hendry trades for some single A pitcher, you will give him a pass for the big league team's failure this season. WOW! Teflon Jim lives!

no soriano today.

countdown to DL. his knee is toasty as hell. laziness in the OF aside (damn u dusty...we need a real manager to make soriano blah blah blah), some of his recent laxness in chasing down stuff can be tied to his knee.

sori's knee, aram's shoulder...hope 2010 is better.

oh yeah, and the healthy guy with a near .400 ob% is being driven out of town cuz he doesn't want to make the OF bleacher creatures feel like he's part of their social club.

-edit- and as i type that milton hits a game tieing RBI double...2 for 2 on the day. what a bum. he didn't wave to my girlfriend. trade him.

So another Milton 400 AB season means he was healthy? Thats about 2 months of missing AB's. Same goes for last year. Last 2 years 4 months of AB's missing without ever reaching the DL. Sorry but no one can depend on a 400 AB starter for anything, ever.

And his 35 or 36 RBI are good for like 97th place among OFers.

Besides does anyone give a shit that he started hitting when the season is over? It only took him till August to do anything remotely productive lets just forget about April, May, June, and July when he was helping us dig a hole. Hey thanks Milton for showing up its only the end of the August, season started in April. Whoooopeeee. Shittiest RFer in baseball this season.

milton is healthy.

soriano and aram are not.

aram and sori were healthy when the season began...not 100% now...sori's doing pretty bad and aram is living off cortisone.

btw, milton hit well in july, too...and june besides his power...may wasn't too bad.

rough april, though.

.268/.348/.439 .787 OPS in May Yeah...that wasn't too bad..it was average. A 110 OPS+ for that dreck?

Yeah it really sucks when a player misses at bats. That means he was likely walked or hit by a pitch... man if this fucking team could just get some more at bats they'd be great.

p.s. (it's PA's not AB's that are important).
p.p.s Weren't we like in first place in late July or early August?
P.p.p.s. Don't wins in April and May count the same as wins in August and September?

Lol...yeah...and that dropped fly ball Supserstar had Friday? That 2 for 23 streak?

Crunch, I hope your work as his publicist pays well.

i hope you're not driving or operating heavy machinery right now.

Nope, I just think that it's funny that your defense of MB is so....enthusiastic?

Now...if he'd been brought here, put in the #2 slot in the lineup, and had been walking his ass off there all season, and getting driven in regularly by DLee, Aram..even Jake Fox...then I guess I could see it. I just don't know if I'd want the #5 hitter in the lineup looking so hard to take a walk all the time.

MB has had a really good second half. .310/.429/.484 is awfully good. 5HR and 15 RBI in only 156 PA's is okay I suppose. I hope he can do that the rest of his time here. I hope.

Soriano? He should have got the knee MRI months ago. I can't argue that he has been brutal except for April and July, where he was superb at the plate. He is awful in the field, and you can visibly see him gimping around the bases. I'd love to see Jake Fox in there the rest of the season.

The difference is, you don't see Soriano bitching about the umps/showing them up at the plate, bitching about the fans, bitching about the media. He came out and said "I stink."

Your smartass comment notwithstanding, I agree with you that Soriano hass been a bigger issue this season than Bradley. How ever, let's not sugarcoat Bradley's season as a success just yet. Maybe he could be the MVP of OBP?

I could care less who's bitching to the press and the bitching to the umps milton is doing isn't keeping him from getting his walks or calls at the plate...besides it's not even meltdown ump bitching.

the media means NOTHING to me...the bleacher creatures, NOTHING...the baseball social experience, NOTHING.

also, you've missed a few dozen times of milton taking responsibility for his actions as well as avoiding situations that invite a fight...most specifically with the guy who's job is to keep that stuff from happening, his manager.

soriano not bitching isn't making him any better of a player. soriano being nice to the OF bleachers isn't making him a better player.

A few dozen times Milton has taken responsiblity. Ok...great.

You're right, I'm wrong. Thanks.

I am moving on.

Wow.

A statement game from the Cubs today.

Fill in the blank...

Today, the Cubs said, ______________________________________

Have at it, boys.

Shit.

I'm sorry.

Jake Fox made a statement today.

Serves me right for not looking at the box score before posting.

Mitre, Yanks combine on 1-hitter vs. White Sox

Btw, can you guys refresh me on the Mitre movement off the club?

To Florida I remember. Derek Lee?

I could have googled it in this time but I'd rather watch people talk.

Juan Pierre

It was Pierre for Mitre, Nolasco, and Pinto.

And thanks for reminding us of that absolutely disaster of a trade.

1 hitter belonged to Mitre and Chad Gaudin

postgame Lou said Soriano's MRI didn't show anything bad and expects them to give him a cortisone shot...I'll get better detail if I can

also on radio they said Jeff Baker's little finger xray was negative for a fracture

What was the hitter's name and are they going to sell him during the off-season?

muskat article and a video interview from Soriano:

An MRI of Alfonso Soriano's left knee on Saturday revealed inflammation, and the outfielder will likely get a cortisone shot and be sidelined a few days.

http://cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090829&...
---
Inflammation can be localized to a specific part of the knee (i.e. patellar tendon) or it can be generalized as in increased joint fluid (an effusion) so it's a very limited amount of information we're getting again. Still, if he had a meniscus or ACL tear (aka something structural) they probably would not have omitted those as specific findings.

It could be arthritic, though?

t could be arthritic, though?
---
could be...a common source of inflammation on an mri. the term for early arthritic changes is chondromalacia (essentially translates to soft or worn articular cartilage) and mri's can see that if it's severe but if it's fairly mild it's a tougher call. It is something easily identified arthroscopically

Recent comments

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  • Please be Noah Syndergaard and Andrew McCutchen...

    Joking. I really like Andrew McCutchen. ...

  • Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.

  • http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/15458724/more-ped-busts-coming-ma...

    "OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"

    Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!

  • Sorry typing too fast.

  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.