Game Thread / Cubs @ Mets

Cubs Mets
Theriot, SS #Reyes, SS
Baker, 3B #Castillo, 2B
Lee, 1B Wright, 3B
Byrd. CF Bay, LF
Nady, RF Francouer, RF
Soriano, LF *Davis, 1B
Soto, C Barajas, C
*Fontenot, 2B #Pagan, CF
*Gorzelanny, P Santana, P

Good news is the Cubs can split the series with the win tonight, bad news is they're still the Cubs. AmIrite? Okay, the actual bad news is that it's Johan vs. Gorzelanny.

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http://deadspin.com/5522388/heres-the-yankees...

Yanks turn a triple play today

So apparently the new lineup against southpaws lasted all of one game. Lou is nothing but consistent in his inconsistency.

Holy crap, is Aramis in the bullpen now?

sure seems like Nady is a wasted space in the lineup at this point, hope he starts hitting

Col-vin... Col-vin!

DFA Colvin.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

2010, RIP

two more hits tonight for Starlin Castro including a dooble, single, a walk and two runs scored

Josh Vitters went 3 for 4 including two HR's, 3 runs scored and 4 rbi's

Nice to see Vitters wake up a bit. I am starting to think he is just a streaky hitter and scouts' impression of him are based entirely on whether he is on a hot or a cold streak when they see him. He first gained prominence by dominating some HS exhibition tournament, as I recall - 4 years later, it looks like he just happened to be hot that week.

Anyone else wishing Cubs drafted Heyward instead?
~hindsight 20/20~

I googled "streak hitter" and came up with a lot of all-stars, from current Mets Reyes, Wright and Beltran to Ichiro, A-Rod and Willie Mays.

It may depend on what you do when you're hot. Vitters had a streak last May where he hit 8 home runs in 10 games (without any two-homer games) and 12 for the month.

If he's waking up, that's good for Daytona, a team that is below .500 and lagging way behind Tennessee (12-2, 6 wins in a row) and Peoria (10-5, 7 in a row). Burke may be waking up also, and Ridling is due back from Mesa rehab any day.

Even asleep, Vitters is hitting .283.

Actually, the Smokies swept a double-header and Castro went a combined 4 for 7 with 2 doubles and a walk. He now has 2 hits in eight out of his last nine games. He's now hitting .404 and slugging ~.650.

Robinson Chirinos is also just plain raking in Tennessee (.351/.381/.676). He's 25, so somewhat elderly for the level, but as a catcher who has really caught fire the past year plus, his stock might rise enough to be prime trade bait.

He'd be interesting hold onto as a cheap bench player with some pop who can play C as well as 2B and 3b and SS in a pinch, unless there's another team that actually values him enough to ask for him in a bullpen deal.

Charlie, you're being pretty harsh on Castro.

O&B,

isn't Fidel Castro in his 80's? I think those stats are good for an octagenarian. We need more Cuban ballplayers (also cigars and octopi).

--Roseanne Rosannadanna's uncle Cubster

Sorry, wasn't being clear: I was talking about Robinson Chirinos, who played mostly 2B, SS, and I think some 3B before being converted C about two years ago.

Castro is definitely looking like a starting SS right now and I would not advocated trading him for bullpen help.

Absolutely Charlie. You made a great point with respect to Chirinos's ability to play multiple infield positions as well as catch. If he continues to hit and does so after promotion to Iowa, he's the type of player who really adds flexibility to a major league roster. I gather he's a pretty decent defensive infielder and has made good strides behind the plate.

If a player mashes in high A and the winter leagues and AA he doesn't really need to prove himself in AAA. It's a safe bet that Chirinos will be able to handle major league pitchers.

I was thinking that a former ROY would be prime trade bait.

The Cubs don't seem to like Soto's defense or his handling of pitchers, and that situation isn't going to improve. The better he hits, the more tradeable he gets.

(I know that last sentence confuses many people, who tend to think that playing poorly makes you tradeable.)

Not for Chirinos's sake necessarily. I've thought that the catcher of the future for the Cubs is Castillo, ever since I saw him use that cannon in spring training when he picked a runner off second.

Never mind how Castillo hits, it's a defensive position. Koyie Hill can't hit and he started 69 games last year for Piniella.

I really have no idea what kind of catcher Chirinos is, although the reports have been good. Same with Robinson.

The fact that the Cubs don't think Soto is a good defensive player, is much more a condemnation of the Cubs "brain trust" than it is of Soto.

He was the best thing since sliced bread in 2008, and now he's suddenly Mike Piazza.

If you like Koyie Hill's bat, then you'll love Castillo's.

Was reading over at Desipio and this kinda sums up my feelings on the Zambrano situation...

He was good enough to be their opening day starter, and then after three good starts in a row they told him to go sit on a stool in the dugout and help Jeff Samuldjian braid his hair or whatever they do down there while the real players are playing in the game.

I can tell you what. If my foreman came to me and told me that four people who aren’t as good at my job as I am are going to do it so I can go do something less important, I’d have shown plenty of maturity. I would have maturely told him to go fuck himself.

5 innings 4 runs is a good start? Maybe if you're Carlos Zambrano of the 7.45 ERA.

He is what he is... very high potential but not nearly consistent enough to hang with the top aces.

"He is what he is... very high potential but not nearly consistent enough to hang with the top aces."

He is NOT an ace. Pure and simple. He has moments when he pitches very well. So do other #3 starting pitchers in the league. Just because he was our opening day pitcher does not make him an ace. At the beginning of the year, Lou thought he was the best of what was available to start. In my opinion, with Lilly back, he is the club's #3 starter, behind Lilly and Dempster.

In my opnion he's the 8th inning right handed setup man, but yeah, he's our third best starter at this point of his career.

How were Zambrano's number when Hank White caught him vs. Geo? I think Z and Geo miss Hank White's presence. He kept them both in line for the coaches.

I don't know, you'd have to go and calculate it. Soto's catcher ERA in 2008 was lower than Blanco's despite Blanco's better CS numbers, so andectotally, Soto was calling games and/or blocking pitchers better than Blanco.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/spl...

Blanco - 4.07
Soto - 3.93
Barrett - 3.43
Koyie - 2.64

Neat - that's a pretty good summation of the value of CERA.

yup

Michael Cera? He's awesome. I like that one character he place in every movie.

HAHA, so totally true!

Call me Real Neal when any Cubs starter has 8 consecutive seasons of pitching with an ERA under 4.00 and has a 60%+ winning % as a starter.

Your idiocy of mentioning his ERA two weeks into the season, as if it means anything, is the best you can come up with?

Like i said why aren't you dry humping the shit out of Aramis Ramirez and screaming for his removal from the lineup? At least be consistent with your stupidity.

wtf is your problem?

figure out how to comment w/o insulting or go away...

Yes, and Sammy Sosa is going to hit 60 HR's this year. Quit living in the past. Zambrano is a primadonna with back-up dancer prodcutivity. He is about 10 times as likely to be a dominant setup man than his is likely to be a starter worth $18 million. The Cubs #1 pitching need right now is a setup man. They're putting their biggest 'name' in that role, because they think he can do it and the other guys have out pitched him (and don't walk 4 batters per 9 trying to impress everyone with their breaking pitches).

You get so fixated on these players, wishcasting that they're going to return to their form of 7 years ago. That happens about as often as a guy comes bak from shoulder surgery to become an effective starter, or one is moved from closer to become a teams #1 starter.

P.S. Aramis got benched yesterday.

Being given a day off is not the same as being benched.

Oops. He's not in there tonight either.

whatever the 'real' reason[s] for zombie's reassignment, the fact is that he can now impact several games a week, for better or worse, instead of one every five days...I'm surprised @ the level of support for his lackluster record as a starter, let alone a contracted 'ace'...he is an immature & undependable, albeit pysically talented, overpaid veteran who has either plateaued or regressed @ a stage where he should be in his prime - instead of a team leader he is, at best, an enigma...

Meanwhile, down on the farm; from the Smokies website...

'The two wins improve Tennessee's record to 12-2 this season, the best in all of minor league baseball and the fewest losses in any level of baseball.'

Aram will break out this week-end!!!

Great!

Then after he breaksout he's going to Donkey Kong and Pac Man.

http://www.classic-consoles.com/games/241/bre...

He will be Space Invading the Milwaukee bleachers with his homeruns.

Hopefully he's not taking asteroids.

hah, win

so Braden gets all pissy because Arod crosses the mound to return to first base...

http://larrybrownsports.com/baseball/video-a-...

then the guy at flip flop flyball counters with this fantastic depiction

http://flipflopflyball.tumblr.com/post/543541...

Me: "See what he did, kids? That's kind of an unwritten rule in baseball, you shouldn't do that."
Kid: "But isn't that the guy that did steroids?"
Me: "Yeah, that's okay, though, you do your suspension and collect your paycheck. Just don't walk across the mound."

*golf clap*

I look at this situation with Zambrano differently than a lot of people. I don't look at it as a demotion or a punishment. The bullpen is way underperforming and the Cubs feel that Zambrano can help by taking on the 8th inning duties. I don't think he's going to the pen because he can't handle it as starter. He hasn't had a good start to the year, but regardless, he has the stuff to help in the pen.

As far as I'm concerned, the only thing important about the move is, does it help the Cubs win. I think it does. I also think that Zambrano can be moved out of the rotation, at least in the short term, and not hurt the rotation much. I also think the move will significantly improve the bullpen.

I think that pretty much sums up Lou's logic. The questions that none of the up in armers answered are: Who would you have moved out of the rotation, and why?

"So they could keep Z in the rotation" isn't really a complete answer, in my mind.

"Who would you have moved out of the rotation, and why?"

I believe I did answer this. Silva or Gorzelanny because they walk fewer hitters than Z.

So walks are good in the early innings of a game but bad later in the game?

What about stolen bases, it's very hard to steal on Z. Is that good for a starter or a reliever?

Walks are of course not good in either situation, but if we can assume that Zambrano will be asked to pitch in high leverage situations, his wildness could cost the team more than it would earlier in the game.

Not really. Z pitched in a high leverage situation for all six of his innings on Tuesday night.

Pitching well is pitching well. If you have a 3 ERA, it doesn't really make much difference how you get that 3 ERA - unless you're being brought in in the middle of the inning with runners on. I'd rather have Z walk in a guy than Silva give up a grand slam with the bases loaded after they try to cleanup a Grabow mess.

You want your best relievers to pitch with 1 and 2 run leads. How many guys they walk to become a best reliever, shouldn't really play a big role in it.

Neal you seem to be a contrarian by nature, which I appreciate, but this just seems like you want to argue.

Nice.

No, I am just explaining that thinking that there are certain components of allowing runs (like walks) that are more damaging in later innings than other components (hits and home runs) is incorrect.

We need a setup man, we have no setup man. Do you really think that Silva or Gorzellany is going to be a better setup man than Zambrano?

He walks a lot of batters TRN, but he has out pitches.

I don't think Gorzelanny makes sense because he's left handed. The bullpen is kind of left handed heavy already with Marshall, Russell, and Grabow.

Silva doesn't make sense because he's throwing really well in a starting role right now. True, he could fall apart at any minute, but then is that the guy you want in the set-up role. Zambrano has not had a good start to the year, but there's a good chance he'll at least be decent.

Finally, I don't think it makes sense to move either Gorz or Silva to the bullpen because they are currently being used as trade bait. You want to keep showcasing them in the hopes of finding a trade partner willing to part with a good set-up man. At least I think that's the plan.

To me the trade bait idea is the only one that makes sense. That said, I would rather that they were showcasing Zambrano for a trade.

That already has been answered. You move Gorzelanny to the pen, send Russell to the minors, activate Lilly, send Sharkface to the minors and call up a RH reliever, or now just sign Juan Cruz since he won't cost much.

Either Gorz can get big league hitters out or he can't. He seems to do fine in innings 1-5, which includes getting right handed hitters out. But he seems to run out of gas, which makes him a perfect relief candidate.

Z can throw 120 pitches. And he's the opening day starter, supposed ace of the staff, making $18 mil per year. He's not truly an ace, but he does eat innings. You don't move your opening day starter to the pen as as a setup guy, period, especially after only two weeks. And when Z struggles, it's generally early, which makes putting him in the pen not a genius move. It's poor managing.

Juan Cruz is worth a gamble, he'll be better than Sharkface, and if Rothschild can harness his control problems he could be very effective. I always loved that guy.

He's on the Cubs no-fly list because of some personality issue.

Your arguments are not as fun without Mike C. trying to tear you into shreads.

Curious about the no-fly on Cruz's personality issue comment, because he seems like a fit. Though would we even get first crack? Would the O's get first crack?

What a nightmare.

Wuertz would be a fit. Maybe Hendry will send Vitters for him.

he'd have to go through the AL first and then the NL by reverse standings.

A few readers have claimed in the comments that Cruz had some major clubhouse/personality issues while with the Cubs and the organization isn't much of a fan of hm.

Submitted by Rob G. on Sun, 04/25/2010 - 2:20pm.
he'd have to go through the AL first and then the NL by reverse standings.

===============================================

ROB G: In the case of Release Waivers and Outright Waivers, the waiver procedure does not require teams in the player's own league to pass on the player before a team in the other league can be awarded a claim. Getting "waived out of your own league" before clubs in the other league can win a claim only applies to Trade Waivers (August-September).

Also, through the first 30 days of the MLB regular season, the previous season's standings are used to determine waiver claimm priority. After that, the standings as they are the morning the player clears waivers apply.

And in the case of Release Waivers, if a club makes a claim it is responsible for 100% of the players remaining salary. But if a club waits until the player clears waivers before signing the player, the player's former club is responsible for most of the player's remaining salary, while the new club USUALLY only has to pay the MLB pro-rated mininum salary (the exception being if the player gets a new contract that exceeds the value of his termination pay, as happened with Reed Johnson in 2008).

And in the case of Release Waivers, a player can refuse a waiver claim and become a free-agent, and if he does that, his former team still owes him 100% of his remaining salary.

So there really is no point in claiming a player off Release Waivers. You just wait until he becomes a FA, and then sign him (as the Cubs did with Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds in 2008). The only problem is that you might have to compete with other clubs for the released player's services, and if that is the case, you might have to offer the released player a contract extention. But that is pretty rare.

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