Game preview: Cubs (24-28) @ Pirates (21-31)
"I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I really don't know. I'm going to be honest with you, I wish I had some answers."
When your manager brings insight like that to the ballpark, how can you question his methods?
As promised/threatened, Mr. Piniella has made a number of changes in his lineup tonight. Young Castro moves back up to the second spot, Nady gets a spot start in place of Derrek Lee, Colvin escapes for a night from Piniella Purgatory to spell the slumping Marlon Byrd in center, Baker gets back on the field for the first time since suffering that ocular migraine last week against the Dodgers, and Hill catches while Soto (.200/.333/.329 in May) sits.
Ted Lilly returns to the mound for the first time since those accusations from Casey Blake of the Dodgers temporarily brought the word "cheater" back into the adult lexicon and did wonders for C.J. Nitkowski's following on Twitter.
For the Pirates—6-1 this year against the Cubs; 15-30 against the rest of baseball—Jeff Karstens gets a spot start in place of the injured Charlie Morton.
Cubs lineup vs. Karstens (1-1, 4.78; all-time vs. Cubs, 2-1, 5.06)
Fukudome 9, Castro 6, Nady 3, Colvin 8, Soriano 7, Fontenot 4, Baker 5, Hill 2, Lilly 1
Pirates lineup vs. Lilly (1-4, 3.63; all-time vs. Pirates, 4-3, 4.38)
McCutchen 8, Walker 4, Milledge 7, Jones 9, Crosby 3, Doumit 2, LaRoche 5, Cedeno 6, Karstens
Finally, I loved this summary of yesterday's Cubs-Pirates game by Craig Calcaterra in his "And That Happened" column at The Hardball Times:
Get this: Garrett Jones hit a homer to right field and a Cubs fan–a visiting Cubs fan, as this game was played in PNC Park—threw the ball back out onto the field. I know that Pirates fans have had a lot of the fight taken out of them these past 17 years, but I hope against hope that a few of them came together to beat the living crap out of that punk. Um, figuratively speaking, that is. You know, with sharp bon mots and stuff.
Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"
To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.
HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.
Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.
"they just fade away"
(Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)
Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.
I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.
AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?
He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.
Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.
I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.
I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).
Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.
"What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "
As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.
Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.
Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer
-0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...
-3 WAR projected over the course of a season.
the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.
Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.
i'll take him over frandy since it's unlikely he'll progress as a SS (and 2nd isn't looking much better).
i hope patton's delivery deception skills play well in the bigs over time. cubs need pitching options that are MLB-ready and dude fits the bill for a MLB/AAA mix...both needed.
I'm not saying he's great, but can we agree on the word "decent"? Became a pro at 23, called up at 26; nothing wrong with that trajectory, he hasn't been knocking around. Even in the majors his SO9 is 9.7. In the minors it's 12.2, so he's always missed bats, and without being a wild man: his walks are low. He cost the Cubs an unheralded A-ball middle infielder and a roster spot.