Wells and Ramirez Lead Iowa Cubs to Victory

Aramis Ramirez crushed a towering home run over the left-centerfield fence onto 8th Street and Randy Wells threw six innings (85 pitches) of shutout ball, as the AAA Iowa Cubs defeated the Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A's AAA squad) 2-1 in ten innings at cool & breezy Fitch Park Field #3 this afternoon in Mesa.

Wells was masterful today, at one point retiring 13 batters in a row. He allowed just three hits (two singles and a double), and struck out seven while walking none.

Here is the abridged box score for the AAA game (Iowa versus Sacramento)

NOTE: Aramis Ramirez hit 2nd in each inning one through four, and then he hit 3rd in the 5th inning because Randy Wells got an AB in the #2 slot to try and bunt a runner to 2nd base (Wells bunted into a DP, and then Ramirez hit his HR).

X. Aramis Ramirez, DH: 1-5 (Ks, 4-3, P-3, 6-3, HR, R, RBI)
X. Randy Wells 0-1 (2-6-3 GIDP)
1. Brandon Guyer, CF: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, F-8, HBP, SB)
2. Matt Camp, SS: 1-2 (Ks, 1B, BB, P-6, R, SB)
3. Smaily Borges, RF: 0-4 (5-3, 6-3, P-8, Ks)
4a. Ty Wright, LF: 0-2 (F-8, 6-3)
5. Bryan Lahair, 1B: 2-3 (1B, 2B, Kc)
6a. Welington Castillo, C: 0-2 (Ks, 6-3)
6b. Steve Clevenger, C: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
7a. Jake Opitz, 3B: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
7b. David Macias, 3B: 0-1 (F-9)
8a. Nate Samson, 2B: 0-1 (P-3)
8b. Tony Thomas, 2B: 0-2 (P-4, E-6, SB)
9a. Brad Snyder, DH-LF: 0-3 (6-3, Ks, F-7)

1. Randy Wells - 6.0 IP, 3 H,0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 6/4 GO/FO, 85 pitches (57 strikes)
2. Casey Coleman - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 42 pitches (21 strikes)
3. Scott Maine - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 14 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Marco Carrillo - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO, FO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)


1. Welington Castillo: 1-1 CS
2. Steve Clevenger: 0-1 CS

Meanwhile, Xavier Nady got the start in RF in the AA game (AA Tennessee Smokies versus the A's AA Midland RockHounds) on Field #2, going 1-3 (K, 6-4-3 DP, 2B, and HBP), and then leaving the game earlier than planned after being hit flush on the top of the left hand with a pitch.

I don't have the final score or the abridged box score for the Tennessee game, but the Smokies starting lineup today was Brett Jackson CF, Tony Campana LF, Starlin Castro SS, Russ Canzler 1B, D. J. Lemahieu 3B, Ryan Flaherty 2B, Jason James DH #1, Mario Mercedes C, and Luis Flores DH #2, with Oswaldo Martinez the starting pitcher, and Josh Lansford, Ryan Buchter, Todd Blackford, David Cales, Robert Hernandez (called up from Daytona for the game), and Chris Siegfried pitching in relief. Hernandez (in particular) was hit hard, and Castro made two errors at shortstop.

Nady got one AB in every inning before leaving the game after the 4th inning. He had no defensive chances in RF while he was in the game.

Because the minor league games were rained out yesterday, the Cubs also played a minor league intrasquad game on Field #1 to get the pitchers who were supposed to pitch yesterday their scheduled work.

Here is the updated Iowa Cubs (AAA) roster:

IOWA (33):

Mitch Atkins
Austin Bibens-Dirkx
Andrew Cashner
Hung-Wen Chen
Casey Coleman
Thomas Diamond
Jay Jackson
Jeff Kennard
Alessandro Maestri
* Scott Maine
* J. R. Mathes
Jake Muyco
Blake Parker
* Jeremy Papelbon
Vince Perkins
Gregory Reinhard
* Dustin Sasser
Brian Schlitter
Jeff Stevens

Welington Castillo
* Steve Clevenger
* Mark Johnson (Inactive – player/coach)
* Blake Lalli

* Matt Camp
* Bryan Lahair
# David Macias
* Jake Opitz
Nate Samson
Tony Thomas

Smaily Borges
Jason Dubois
Brandon Guyer
* Brad Snyder
Ty Wright


great...the last thing he needs is consistent AB's. it's not like he's having trouble working counts or choosing pitches. it's not like he's swinging at everything.

5th OF'r...killer.


well...umm...okay, i guess. i hope he does see good time, though i'd like him to see regular work in AAA a lot more. it's not like the team is in some dire need of a bench OF'r.

"First, Colvin has had an outstanding spring," Piniella said. "He has played well enough to make this team. The concern is we don't want this young man to make this team and just sit. So if he's on our Opening Day roster, he's going to get some playing time. He's not just going to sit."

Anything less than 4 starts a week would seem like a bad idea, and I don't see how he's going to get that with $38 million worth of outfielders standing in his way. He's going to have to hope for two injuries to get time with the big league club.

yeah, i think it would probably be best for the cubs if he saw regular ABs. nady can't play OF right now and colvin has a red-hot bat, but colvin doesn't have a walk in 50ab's.

he'd probably be a "4th" OF'r by use, but still...meh...

fwiw, Piniella said if they can't get him at least 3 starts a week it wouldn't be worth it.

He might play a lot of 3 or 4 inning games spelling all three OF spots. The team would benefit from realizing Fonzie and Fukudome are sunk costs.

You hit the jackpot, H. The Cubs do realize this, they just don't say it publicly. But with a new owner, and with Piniella fighting to keep his job, and with Hendry apparently off the hook for two or three (Samardzija?) bad contracts, and with Nady hampered, left and right fields are a little more up for grabs this season than they have been for a while.

They wouldn't be paying all this attention to Colvin if there wasn't room for him.

Fuku is an okay bat an A+ outfield defense. Colvin is insurance if Sori starts the season crapping the bed, which is stupid because Lou won't pull him until he gets hurt.

Put the kid in AAA.

Lou won't even pull Soriano if he gets hurt, since he played 2/3rds of the season last year hurt.

the guy got to keep his leadoff job even when he had to windmill his hurt legs without bending his knee much in order to run. odd stuff...

Cubs dugout- May 1st-

Colvin in the corner grinding his bat, after playing only 4 games in April.

Watches as Cubs run the Pierre-Cut-Off-Drill with Nady as Theriot runs out to Left, with Fontenot trailing him and the pitcher covering second.

Lou- "Hey kid you look a little tense. You need to relax."

Colvin perks up

Lou-"Here, pull my finger."

Yes because a .277/.323 OBP for his career in the minors is gonna be an awesome upgrade from Soriano.

You guys will really latch onto the shittiest minor leaguers in our system to be starters.

Colvin = defensive replacement only, and thats his peak value. No one is drooling over watching some kid with no power and no speed, no ability to take a walk to be on their team, except some Cubs fans who think he is the second coming of god or something.

Well, he does seem to have some power, though I agree that thinking he's going to out-hit a healthy Soriano in 2010 is Kool-Aid inspired thinking.

Ok...MikeC...take a deep breath.

Colvin is still only 24 years old. After some injuries in the minors, he's come back a little stronger this spring, and is raking the ball. His numbers in the minors aren't eye-poppping, .277/.320/.465..sure. He needs a bit more patience to be a starter at the major league level, but he looks like he can hit a little, he's hit double digits in HR every season in the minors, and may thrive without having to work on taking pitches, and just hitting. He may never get to a .360 OBP..but calling him just a defensive replacement player, at best? It's a little early still isn''t it?

What I was trying to say was put him in AAA so he doesn't waste away on the bench. Then if Alfonso Gehrig gets hurt bring him up.

Soriano should be taking infield practice anyways to get ready to play first base.

Our minor league "best" players aren't other organizations best players. Step outside this organization to understand what a farm system is.

Desmond Jennings over in Tampa, .305/.391 OBP in the minors, walks about as much as he strikes out and has very good speed.

Nolan Reimold - .286/.383 has plus power, was hitting .394 when called up to the majors. Getting close to walking about as much as he strikes out.

Andrew McCruthen - .286/.362 has good speed and overall ability. Another guy with his walk rate approaching his strikeout rate.

Chris Davis .952 career OPS in the minors, off the charts power. Needs to work on his strikeout to walk rate, might have corrected it in his last minor league stop, 25 walks, 39 strikeouts.

Jason Heyward - .318/.391 career line, the dude is so good he was hitting .354 in AA, and has a walk rate that matches his strikeouts.

Tyler Colvin the next best thing in our minors ready to step in, comes in with a lifetime .277 average and a .320 OBP. He is no where even close to bringing his walks in line with his strikeouts.

The very fact that he is the next best thing ready for the majors for this franchise is sad. And shows you how poor this organization is at talent evaluation, and drafting. They seem to do ok with pitchers and drafting catchers that can pitch but whoever it is scouting hitting, this franchise hasn't had a clue in that department in decades.

After Colvin it's his twin brother Josh Vitters who walks even less and strikes out just as much, but hey he plays 3rd base! Yay?!?! Granted he is only 19 but i am not liking a guy with a .286 average and a .319 OBP.

He needs a lot of work.

But where is our stud prospect waiting in the wings? The problem is that player doesn't exist at any level in our minors.

Yes, all those lists by baseball america and baseball prospectus showing that we have top 50 prospects in the game are made by Cubs fans who over-value the Cubs prospects - good catch.

I agree about some of that, especially
"But where is our stud prospect waiting in the wings? The problem is that player doesn't exist at any level in our minors."

But to write off Colvin as a 5th OF, defensive replacement at best, is a knee jerk reaction. No one here has come out and said that Colvin=JAson Heyward, Chris Davis, or Nolan Reimold.

so you're comparing guys that have been ranked in the top 15 of all baseball prospects (except Reimold) to guys who haven't in Colvin and Vitters.


Anyway Castro is considered the "next best thing" among Cubs prospect.

After Colvin it's his twin brother Josh Vitters who walks even less and strikes out just as much

well you got half that right.

I'm sure you'll ignore this, but most of the buzz on Colvin has nothing to do with his past numbers (which are decent albeit very 4th OF'ish), but the hope and projection that the extra muscle he put on over the offseason will make him more of a power threat and hence a better player. And he's shown a little of that during spring training. Although the lack of a walk and just 6 xbh's makes me think he's been luckier than people want to let on.

You can keep going with the list and other organizations and most have that "it" prospect lighting up their system. Where is ours at? I only got so much post space and time and just went with ones off the top of my head.

Colvin is doing everything he should do in Spring Training and thats a good thing, but i don't see anything special from the guy. If he played SS i would be excited, but the OF? He has to bring more to the table than what he is currently showing.

I was going more with the theme of walk to strikeout ratio = better indicator of major league success than the Vitters and Colvin route. If you have a poor walk to strikeout ratio in A ball, those tends trend to get worse as you move through the system and become a detriment if you ever get to the majors.

I am not saying you can not succeed, look at Mark Reynolds, but examples of those guys are few and far between.

I am not handing Colvin anything, if all the better guys before him get injured then by all means give him a shot, but i don't want his ass starting just cuz someone is in a slump. He doesn't warrant that, he isn't good enough to bench someone.

well, there's no reason to hand him anything, but even if he ends up a .270/.330 avg/ob% guy with 30+double/15-HR power he'll still be a more than adequate CF option for 4 years of cheapness. good enough legs, glove, and CF'rs arm.

even castro's ultimate upside doesn't spell out possible HOF'r...neither does elvis andrus's but that didn't stop him from being last year's castro.

...and yeah, i think he belongs in AAA seeing regular work, too.

I think what Mike C and others forget (or, do not care about) is the benchmark for what the minors are supposed to deliver and what GM's talk about: 1. getting players to the major leagues to contribute, 2. to serve as a developmental pool to develop players for trades.

In listening to Randy Bush discuss this on Bruce Levine's show, only a infinitesimal number of players become consistent All Stars as home-growns, and the rest get to participate in the "show" with the other 400 or so Major League brothers out of the myriad of players in all of the minor leagues. So, "Teflon Tim" as NAVIGATION refers to him, is on track to doing his job. If Starlin castro, or Josh Vitters become impact MLB players, it is icing on the cake.

While we may not have "stars" left and right now graduating, the Cub's minor league system has recently developed very legitimate players who have been useful as starters, role players, or trade pieces which - as I state above - is the MAIN objective.

Why is that a bad or unrecognized thing for some of you?

Some are overlooking the high ceilings of guys like Vitters, Hak-Ju Lee, and Kyler Burke. None of them are locks, but they have that star potential that MikeC is looking for. There are more "ifs" with them than those top 15 prospects right now, though, because they are less developed. But those ceilings are high.

"According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Giants have signed left-hander Jeremy Affeldt to a two-year, $9.5 million contract extension."

lol wut?

Phil, I see Starlin Castro is assigned to Tenn. as of now.

i guess blanco has a starting job somewhere...

Submitted by Hagsag on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 6:38am.
Phil, I see Starlin Castro is assigned to Tenn. as of now.


HAGSAG: That's correct.

Castro is assigned to Tenn. as of now.
Spiteful. They did this Just to piss off Mike Wellman.

MW, meet Darwin Barney.


Derrek Lee was receiving treatment for a back injury incurred in a freak accident in the clubhouse before Wednesday's game against Texas in Surprise.

"He was eating before the game and the chair just collapsed on him," manager Lou Piniella said. "That's why we got him out of there after three innings."

Awesome...that has to go up there with Remlinger breaking a finger sitting in a rocking chair in the clubhouse, Wood's hot tub injury, Gaudin falling back into a trash can, etc. Isn't there a compliation of some of the most ridiculous baseball injuries somewhere?

Dempster's broken big toe last year, Zambrano injuring his elbow emailing his family in Venezuela,
Sosa's sneeze that wrenched his back....

and even though he wasn't a Cub at the time, Glenallen Hill suffered cuts and bruises when he sleepwalked and dreamt he was being chased by spiders.

Glenallen Hill got the same shit as Dwight Gooden.


Released: RHP Vince Perkins
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Blake Parker, RHP Jeff Stevens, C Welington Castillo
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Rafael Dolis

Perkins being released I believe is news, not very important news mind you.


Gorz goes today in the last start in rotation battle for 2 spots. Hearing Silva is in.


Which says more about Samard-etc than it does Silva.

It says more about the Cubs admitting the mistake of Bradley/Silva.

explains how to hit a batter and when


speaking of, he shares his own Wrigley experience and has good things to say about Milton


the best part was fielder took it like he knew why he got it and then got on with life with no crying about it on the field and minimal crying to the press afterward.

at least his dad taught him something...

Then he gambled his season salary away in one weekend trip to the boardwalk in Jersey?

oh shi...


he also endorses Fontenot as a capable back-up shortstop...

As if Trammell knows anything about playing short..

Great now I get to hear the whining and belly aching about "why is Soriano starting instead of Colvin?" Meh, I would keep Colvin in AAA for that one reason. I mean he might be good, but he's no Matt Murton. *eye roll*

Matt Murton, Career OPS+
Marlon Byrd

Eye roll indeed!

Oh my god... *facepalm*

mat murton couldn't find a 4th/5th OF'r job in COL...

he in japan or something now?

Finding someone an opportunity isn't the same as not having the ability to play.

Colorado and Oakland were more about promoting their own young kids over giving a shot to a mid/late 20's Corner Outfielder.

We gave up on him because we were on a quest for Left-Handedness for two years.

"We gave up on him because we were on a quest for Left-Handedness "

That and he could not field, had limited power and was not fast.

you keep believing that.

he's in his physical prime and playing in japan because OAK, then COL, then 28 other teams...awww nevermind.

Ridiculous... he was so good, no team could afford him.

So, would you rather have Blanco, and Tracy, if Fontenot can play emergency short, or Blanco and Millar? Or, no Blanco, and keep the old dudes?

Blanco reminds me of Augie Ojeda - don't ask me why. But better in that he has more range. It would be really cool if the team had one real specialist back-up at the most important infield position. He is gifted with the glove, and would save runs the same way putting Fuld in as a defensive specialist would. What is the big deal with Millar? Management already uses the Red Sox business model. Isn't that enough!

The dude would be fine if you rolled back the clock three or four years.

I would keep Blanco, Tracy... start Blanco at SS, Theriot at 2B. I like Fuld, he's a fine backup outfielder... and no I don't understand Millar, either.

I'd keep Blanco, Tracy and have them on the bench.

If you keep Blanco, what do you outright Baker? I do not think that Lou is worried about SS to be frank. I am thinking that if a DL stint for Theriot happens, Castro would get the reps over Blanco anyway. The staff feels that Fontenot can handle the SS gig to give Theriot a breather. Baker and Tracy are more valuable to the roster only because of the health concerns of Ramirez and the lack of depth at 3rd in the Cubs system. One could argue that having Tracy on the roster and Blanco would be sufficient over Baker. Blanco's injury in spring did not helo him.

Championship teams don't put Fontenot in a starting role or at SS.

... IMHO

You may be right Ryno. What would you suggest?

#35: I would keep Blanco, Tracy... start Blanco at SS, Theriot at 2B. I like Fuld, he's a fine backup outfielder... and no I don't understand Millar, either.

No championship team ever put Fontenot in a starting role.

Of course, no championship team ever put Ernie Banks or Ryne Sandberg in a starting role, either.

Actually a championship team did put the Fontenaught in a starting role, just not at short.

Millar will help keep the clubhouse light. He's 2010's Lenny Harris. Plus he can play a pretty poor first base.

I already am confident that Lou doesn't know how to make up a roster, Millar making the team would be the final nail I think for most people still in doubt.

"light. He's 2010's Lenny Harris."
The one word I would never associate Lenny Harris with.

And I agree Lou doesn't have clue.
Tracy can play the corners and bat left handed.

Is the "Baseball Bunch" still on TV? Millar can replace Johnny Bench as host and sodomizer of the San Diego Chicken.

"He's 2010's Lenny Harris."

Good NEal!

RBI single off Haren in the first, Adducci (plus a SB) and Fontenot also with hits and the Cubs score 2. Gorz gives up a HR to Conor Jackson.

scrubs light up Haren for 5 in the second...

doubles by Adduci, Colvin, triple by Fontenot, singles by Hoff, Fuld and Theriot.

7-1 through 2.

K. Hill with a walk, Baker 0/2.

I am eagerly anticipating retiring the Fountainout nickname... plus if he hits well this year that means we sold high on DeRosa, right?

Colvin doubled off Haren? All-Star starter is my expectation for 2010.

"I am eagerly anticipating retiring the Fountainout nickname"

Anybody have his 2009 ST numbers?

Not alot of breaking pitches thrown in AZ in March.


.295/.352/.513, 78 AB, 23 H, 9 XBH, 14 RBI, 8 BB, 18 K

2010, before today:

.317/.356/.415, 41 AB, 13 H, 2 XBH, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K

So he's doing worse....

And there for...??

A WITCH!!!!!!!!!

Well if you're looking at K's, he is doing better this year. Since K's were his big bugaboo last year, I'll take it.

Did we get Fontenot in the DeRosa deal?

Sosa to Orioles

I am eagerly anticipating retiring the Fountainout nickname... plus if he hits well this year that means we sold high on DeRosa, right?

If Fontenot hits well this year my head will explode. It would totally ruin this anti-Fontenot mojo I have going. I can't explain it. Maybe because he's short and not built like a ball player. I don't know.

Ryno -- I feel your pain. Fontenot is not the type of second baseman a $140 million team should have in their line up. If you look at teams like the Phillies or even the Mets, who both spend in the same neighborhood as the Cubs, they both have a few guys who are perennial all-stars. Who do the Cubs have? Even DLee is not a sure-thing all-star. The fact that Fontenot earns a starting job two years in a row is ridiculous.

the 2nd base market was pretty bare anyway. i still like fontenot, myself. he's got a nice compact swing. i think his play at 2nd is decent.

then again, i think he's also capable of hitting well with 10-15 HR power. it seems a lot of people just want rid of him, though.

I don't dislike Fontenot. I just don't think he has the chops to be a starting second baseman on a playoff contending team. It might be a different story if he was surrounded by studs at some of the other positions, but in the current line up, too much is expected of him.

yeah, as shown last year (random injuries aside), there can't be much room for collective slumping with this team as constructed.

You could say the exact same thing about Theriot, Byrd or Fukudome. Fountainout gets paid considerably less than those other guys, though.

TRN -- You're exactly right. None of these guys are the type of starters a $140 million team should be trotting out there every day.

I don't want to jump to conclusions on Byrd. He could turn out to be a surprise. But I don't think there's much in his past to indicate he'll be an elite center fielder.

That's not really true. If you look at the other teams in the Cubs payroll stratta they've all got starters like these four guys... maybe not four of them, though. The BoSox have had scrubs at short for the last couple of years, they've got Drew and Varitek too. The Mess have Castillo and a cast of scrubs for right and first and catcher.

But these other teams only have one or two weak links. The Cubs, on the other hand, are a team of weak (or mediocre) links with one or two bright spots.

If you look at the other teams at the top of the payroll list (Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Red Sox, Tigers)you see teams with at least one or two perennial all-stars (The Tigers might be an exception this year). The Cubs don't have any. DLee and ARam are good ballplayers, but even they only have four all-star appearances between them.

Soriano has been a annual all-star and Aram is more a victim of playing in the wrong league than he is of not being that good a player. Soto and Fukudome have been to the ASG as well.

Soriano is a 7-time all-star (twice with the Cubs), so you are right about him.

I'm not sure I get your point about ARAM. Why is he in the wrong league? I don't think he would have made more all-star teams in the AL, although it's kind of a moot point.

Soto and Fukudome, one all-star game appearance each. Not exactly perennial.

Soto and Fukudome, one all-star game appearance each. Not exactly perennial.

These guys have a grand total of two full seasons in the MLB each. Do you want all starting 8 to be veterans who have appeared in All-Star games in more than 50% of their seasons?

The Cubs have scrubs at 2nd, on the bench, and in the bullpen. They've got average, slightly below average, or slightly above average players at SS, RF and CF. They have high reward players at C and LF who are coming off poor years. They have above average players at 3B and 1B. They have probably a somewhat above average starting rotation. That sounds a lot like the Cubs going into 2008. But I'll admit the success in 2008 was somewhat a stroke of luck overall--great performances from DeRosa, Edmonds, and Fontenot--better than anyone could have reasonably expected from those players. Breakout rookie performance from Soto. Phenomenal year from Marmol and a solid performance out of Wood. And a career year from Dempster. That's a lot of good fortune. The Cubs will need that sort of good fortune this year too.

Charlie -- I'm not sure if you were agreeing with me or disagreeing with me.

Fukudome and Soto have each been around two years and they have each been to one all-star game a piece. I've seen enough of Fukudome to know that he is not a perennial all-star. The jury is still out on Soto. Was 2008 the real Soto or a fluke. We'll see.

Regardless, my point is that with a $140 million payroll, the Cubs should have more than three above averages position players (Soriano, Ramirez, Lee).

The rotation is lacking an ace, which, considering the payroll, is a big oversight. Z, Dempster, and Lilly are good 2-3 starters on most teams, but things fall off quite a bit from there. Wells may repeat his rookie campaign or may fall on his face. We'll see.

I don't mean to be completely negative here. The team is not trash. But it's also not the cream of the crop in the NL Central, which it should be.

"Speaking of Colvin, RBI single off Haren in the first."

A walk wouldn't have driven in the run, but it would have impressed some people around here.

I can easily show that a walk is better than a hit.

Colvin is 24 for 53 (.453). His OBP is .453. Colvin doubters on this blog are not impressed.

Turn 5 of those hits into walks. Now he's 19 for 48 (.396). His OBP is exactly the same (.453). But after five walks, the doubters are starting to warm up to him!

Logically, they must think that it's the outs that you turn into walks. To some extent, maybe, but I'm pretty sure that Milton Bradley turned extra-base hits into walks. Otherwise, where did they all go?

if I calculated it correctly, he has a .535 BABIP so far this spring. Go ahead and show me someone who has kept that up over a season.

I'll wait.

And he's still striking out about 17% of the time fwiw.

even if he could magically maintain a .360 BABIP, which is about as high as any major leaguer will do, yet rather uncommon, he'd be hitting .278 right now with a .278 OBP. Knock him to the .300/.320 range and well I assume you can pick up where this is going.

And I'm actually one of the ones excited for his future now, but let's temper that enthusiasm a bit with reality. He'll get eaten alive unless he starts putting some balls in the seats or look to work the count. It's just not a sustainable way to be a major leaguer.

Which is why he should start the season in AAA. I'm with you, Rob. That BABIP is due in large part to luck. But the 0 walks are coming from a fairly small sample size too. Let him continue to develop until the Cubs actually have room for him. If he still looks like 20+ HR centerfielder at that time, we'll be glad we didn't trade him for bullpen rental and we'll like him through his first and maybe second arbitration years.

Adduci on the other hand doesn't have a ceiling as a major league starter, and seems to have more of a level stroke that will translate a little better into early success in the major leagues. If they're really set on not giving Fuld the job, Adduci makes a perfectly reasonable alternative.

That BABIP is due in large part to luck

You can't say that. A BABIP of .535 is far too high to probably be due to "luck." It's more likely that his high BABIP is the result of him hitting the ball solidly. Let me remind you that "well struck in-the-park" balls result in hits about 59% of the time. So, if a player is on a streak where he's really squaring the ball up a fat BABIP doesn't mean he's lucky, it means he's masterful.

can i buy some weed from you?

Okay, you're right. That could be due to a high line drive rate, rather than bloops falling in or ground balls having eyes. That high BABIP is probably due to several factors: A hot streak, Spring Training, and a very small sample size.

I'm not denying it's a good spring training for Colvin.

So that's your theory, that 85% of the balls he's hit this spring have been line drives?

aside from all that there's only 1 ichiro and he isn't that damn good.

we don't have any good film of ty cobb last i checked. i'm gonna go out on a limb and say he wasn't that good, also.

anyone can have a hot streak (see Jeff Baker in August of 2009), but it's not gonna last or even come close to lasting.

Not every hitter has the guts to strike out 223 times in a season, but Mark Reynolds figures they'll just remember the home runs. He's a BABIP baby: .338 last season, .343 over three seasons. Nothing to do with hot streaks or luck, everything to do with a conscious decision to become an unreliable hitter who makes big bucks.

It's just another stat, which in Reynolds' case, is very forgiving in terms of how many times you K, how seldom you hit to the opposite field, how you do when you're behind in the count. It would seem to favor good hitters and guess hitters like Reynolds who are not so good.

BP did a write up on BABIP this week - it turns out line drive hitters (we knew this) and spray hitters (probably knew this as well) do well. Being fast and hitting the ball hard also help.

Of course, when you break it down into components like that you're not really discussing BABIP anymore, just batted balls.

BP's head explodes when they have to deal with someone who gets on base with anything other than a walk or HR.

people that hit infield singles and beat it out with their speed are a natural enemy who's skills cannot be quantified without saying "well, he's gonna get old one day."

travis hafner is the best DH...i mean ballplayer ever.

I'm glad to see BABIP being questioned. It's not that it's not useful, you just can't compare from player to player. Obviously if a guy has a long history of a 290 BABIP and has a great year with a 340 BABIP, you know he'll probably not repeat that performance consistently (Sorry, Baker). That's probably the extent I'd use BABIP, though.

yeah, like a lot of tools when you see an extreme you can raise an eyebrow...i just think some of those "acceptable range" guidelines are out of whack when it comes to individuals.

NYY are picked to finish 3rd on some of these stats-based predictions for this season because of how generically applied things like age are considered.

they have a lot of older guys on the team...a lot of older guys in great shape who aren't falling off the face of their production at age 32...or 33...or 34...or 35...

BABIP for hitters should definitely be compared to a player's career BABIP.

That being said, there are some ceilings and floors there. Almost no one hits over .360 on their BABIP for more than a year or two and rarely below .280-.290, unless they're on there way out of baseball.

Willie Mays career BABIP is the same as Austin Kearns (.299).

The BP article was about how the systems over-regress some hitter's BABIP to the mean, and how to correct it. I got the writer all worked up.

Chad Gaudin is available

-Pitcher Chad Gaudin was released Thursday by the New York Yankees after losing out to Phil Hughes for the No. 5 slot in the team's rotation.

Read More:


Rob mentioned it yesterday.

He's like Silva, but cheaper. Pass.

Agreed. We have youngsters that could do as well, cheaper.

not much gets past Rob when he's around

4 K's (Reynolds, Haren, LaRoche, Drew) through 4, HR & 2b by C. Jackson, 2B by Reynolds so far and just one run.

Adduci 3/3, Colvin 2/3 with a K now.

Is there ANY chance Millar will not make this team (say yes...say yes...say yes...)?

5 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 3 XBH's


double to Kelly Johnson and a sac fly by M. Reynolds in the 6th off Gorz, 6 IP, 2 ER

Grabow goes 2 scoreless, Russell 1 scoreless and Cubs win 7-2.

Colvin goes 2/4 with a double and an RBI and 2 Runs scored

Isn't Russell's spring ERA 0.00?

who was the last reliever to have a zero spring training ERA?

I'm guessing it was Carmen Pignatello in 2008? ...and he made the team on opening day that year (and lasted about a week and got into 2 games)

I don't know, but Russel sure hasn't done anything to merit being sent to Iowa. Does Lou have something against left handers? It looks like our best rotation is going to be Dempster, Zambrano, Gorzelany, Wells, Marshall. If we need two lefties in the pen until Lilly comes back, let Russel and Gaub be them. If Samardizja and Silva don't like it, to quote Barry "Let 'em riot!"

According to Wittenmyer, Russell made the cut and is on the opening-day staff, absent a last-minute trade.

I sat next to his Uncle his first call-in from the pen. As I recall, he did not do that well - but his uncle was still pretty happy.

How many innings did Piggy pitch that S.T., CUBSTER?

Caridad has a 0 ERA as well...

You are sharp on the trigger ROB G. Not two minutes later I looked this up. However, you did not mention that Caridad pitched one more inning than Russel. Even better.

(at least 8 ip)
I couldn't find 2009 stats, the URL is messed up..

in 2008
Wuertz had a 0 ERA in 10 IP
Pignatiello had 0.87 in 10.1 IP

in 2007 the best was Rocky Cherry with 1.46 in 12.1 IP
2006: Eyre had a 0.00 ERA in 10.1 IP
2005: Remlinger had the best at a 1 ERA in 9 IP
2004: Farnsworth had a 0.69 ERA in 13 IP


It was Ryan O'Malley, who I saw Wednesday in Surprise, Ariz.. He's now a Minor League coach for the Rangers. That one game was Aug. 16, 2006, in Houston, when he was called up from Triple-A Iowa (the team happened to be in Round Rock, Texas). He threw eight scoreless innings, gave up five hits, walked six and struck out two. The Cubs had played an extra-inning game the night before and were out of pitchers. A Springfield, Ill., native, O'Malley made one more start Aug. 22, 2006, and went 4 2/3 innings but was injured. He did not pitch in the big leagues again.

I remember this well.

Thanks ROB G

Re: Where are they now?

Do Bobbie Brownlie next.

The "writer" stated this: "He batted .256 with two homers and 19 RBIs in 85 games for Chicago."

That would be 2 TRIPLES and 19 HOME RUNS

The dude either is dyslexic or cannot read a Baseball-Reference Stat Chart.

Brruuucce (Miles)...

It’s looking more likely, according to Lou, that reliever Jeff Gray, won’t make the club out of spring training. Gray hurt his groin at the start of camp. He made his spring debut yesterday against Texas and pitched a scoreless inning. The Cubs don’t want to rush him.

It’s also likely the Cubs will get down to 12 or 13 pitchers by tomorrow and to 16 or 17 position players. It’s getting close. If Fontenot can sub at short, things start looking better for Kevin Millar and Chad Tracy and worse for Andres Blanco.


OK, I can sort of get Tracy over Hoffpauir. Can someone explain to me Millar over Hoffpauir, though?

Well, Millar is outhitting Hoffpauir now, and Hoffpauir can be optioned. So if they keep him, worst case scenario, Millar stinks it up pinch-hitting for the first 2-3 weeks and is simply released and Hoffpauir is called up. Best case scenario, Millar does well off the bench, which is not easy to do, brings experience to the clubhouse, etc., while Hoffpauir gets regular at-bats so when Lee's neck acts up and he hits the 15-day DL he is ready to go.

Millar bats from the wrong side of the plate, though, plays defense only in emergencies and has some variable cost with keeping him. Plus we have other guys to play first at Iowa.

I agree that Hoffpauir hasn't shown he can PH yet - that doesn't mean he won't though.

oh hell yeah...

i love leaving MLB Network running in the background because I'm weird like that.

there's a 10pm EST game...live....OAK vs. SF.


"And he’s right. Bradley is a Mariner. A headache for someone else. So let’s talk about the Cubs, shall we?"

nice headline, dude... "Sans Bradley, Cubs are a contender"

hehe...that kinda stuff aside it is a good article.

"With Bradley, sans Silva, Cubs are Favorites" will be tomorrow's headline.

"With Bradley, sans Silva, Mariners are Favorites"

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.