"Lilly Watch 2010," plus Joey Hates Us; He Really, Really Hates Us!

UPDATE:

Phillies (47-41) @ Cubs (40-50)

Phillies lineup v. Ted Lilly (3-8, 4.08; 1-4, 6.43 all-time v. Phillies)
Rollins 6, Victorino 8, Werth 9, Howard 3, Francisco 7, Ransom 5, Ruiz 2, Valdez 4, Blanton 1

Cubs lineup v. Joe Blanton (3-5, 6.41; 0-0, 2.75 all-time v. Cubs)
Theriot 4, Colvin 9, Lee 3, Ramirez 5, Byrd 8, Soriano 7, Castro 6, Soto 2, Lilly 1

 


— According to Bruce Levine, Carlos Zambrano had a 25-pitch throwing session in Mesa, following the completion of his anger-management counseling. Zambrano and the Cubs are supposed to decide next week where Zambrano will be headed for his rehab stint.

— Paul Sullivan wrote that Jim Hendry and Ted Lilly got together before last night's game to discuss Lilly's future. Lilly, who will start this afternoon's game against the Phillies' Joe Blanton, was awful in his last two starts before the break, against the Reds and Dodgers—5 homers, 18 hits and 14 ER allowed in just 10 1/3 innings.

The Mets are getting lots of mentions as a potential suitor for Lilly, and Sullivan also mentioned the Twins, who were supposedly hot on the trail of Cliff Lee, before the Yankees and eventually the Rangers closed in on him. The Twins' pitching staff obviously needs something or someone right now; maybe it's Lilly.

— Turns out Joey Votto has something in common with White Sox fans everywhere: he hates the Cubs, too.

When I first came upon this, my thought was, "What a jerk." But after thinking about it, I arrived at the same point of view that Mully and Hanley expressed on WSCR this morning--good for Joey Votto and good for baseball. In a day when players switch uniforms so routinely and develop loyalties with each other because of past associations, sharing an agent, sharing a sponsor, etc., it's refreshing to hear one guy express pure, competitive contempt for another guy just because he's wearing a different hat. 

Speaking of Byrd, he showed up in John Dewan's latest "Stat of the Week." The Cub All-Star leads all Major League centerfielders in Defensive Runs Saved with 12. He is joined among the outfield leaders by Carl Crawford (13 runs saved in LF) and Ichiro (11 runs saved in RF). Pretty good company. According to Dewan, Byrd's previous season-high was 8 runs saved back in 2006 for Washington.

— Finally, loved this tweet from former Major League pitcher C.J. Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) commenting on Jamie Moyer's horrendous outing last night:

Jamie Moyer hit 2 batters in an inning for the first time in his career. Amateur.

Comments

Byrd has a real shot at a Gold Glove if he can just hit a touch more.

Byrd deserves a gold glove.

As a left fielder.

And anyways you shouldn't play with Ouija boards. They're a porthole to hell.

Robinson Chirinos continues to mash the ball at AA (.323/.408/.592). I'd be interested to know, from Arizona Phil or anyone else, how his defense at 2B looked when he primarily played there at lower levels. His offensive numbers don't appear to be a fluke, as it is now 1 1/2 seasons of excellence at the plate. It seems that he could be a short-term option at 2B and, as an added bonus, back up behind the plate. He's certainly a more intriguing option if Theriot leaves than Matt Camp, or a move of Castro to 2B and the promotion of Barney to MLB SS. Any thoughts?

AZ Phil has not been a Chirinos supporter, proving that Phils can disagree.

And over the last year or so, AP has been a Camp follower(!).

I love the fact, by the way, that Chirinos and his backup at Tennessee, Clevenger, both made the SL all-star team.

The Cubs are deep in catchers right now. Brenly has been surging, too.

you realize he's 26 years old in AA and hasn't seen a pitch from any pitcher he doesn't want to swing at?

Well, Chirinos has 236 ABs in AA between '09 and '10 and has drawn 36 BB versus only 26 SO - doesn't seem too shabby. The 26 yo issue is definitely a concern, but every now and again a late bloomer is the real thing.

just an 11-game winning streak from .500...

Make that 9 now.

9 more to go, still an 11-game winning streak

Yeah, you were right all along. I don't know what I was thinking. Too much alcohol.

Can't agree re Votto. He appears to have let a loser team into his head, which, to me, diminishes him. The old-school mensch thing to do would have been to praise Byrd's play(s) and say nothing else. See Sandberg, Ryne.

Also, considering that Votto is a) really good at baseball and b) a Cub-killer of the first order, I'd say he hardly needed to go the yappy, White-Soxy route at all.

Gee, I wonder if Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) resents Ken Rosenthal...

From Twitter: "D-Lee's friends tell @Ken_Rosenthal he'd waive no-trade: D-Lee sez: 'I would bet that not one of my friends knows who Ken Rosenthal is.'"

burn.

Ever seen a sports "beat writer" who wishes he was a pundit so badly?

First step on the road to punditry for Sullivan would be to lose the Alfalfa haircut.

http://bit.ly/dmzVRf

cuz everybody knows rosenthal, andy jack-er, gammons, et. al. are right out of the pages of gq...still, point taken: sully looks like a 40+ year old virgin...

when the hell is bob getting back from vacation? did he go down to rocky point with grace? =p

rocky point?

oh the stories I could tell.

grace and bren tell too many on the air...evidently it's a good thing bren is bi-lingual on more than 1 occasion according to grace.

I missed the TV broadcast. Who was sitting in with Len today?

todd hollandsworth

he did a really nice job, but his voice and delivery is a bit too close to len's (in style and delivery, not substance). i'm used to the conflicting yet complimentary voices of len/bob. for the most part i didn't have a problem telling len/holly apart, but it kinda just melted together unless i was paying attention.

Give me zonk or give me death!

that's what pat hughes says

we have to wait until an 0/26 pitcher walks with the bases loaded to get a run in order to tie in the 5th.

yes, cubs baseball is back.

time to give rudy another million bucks.

aram homer onto waveland...i think he's back.

*checks team record* hmm...

*checks calendar* hmm...

DAMMIT.

At least it is before the trade deadline.

I don't know what the Cubs need to do to get this guy (and Lee) going earlier in the season. Taking 2-3 months to get going is just inexcusable. Just saying "it's early" is not gonna cut it. If Spring Training isn't long enough for these guys, maybe they need to play winter ball...

It's not like batting .200 through the All Star break has been A-Ram's M.O.

Lee had a bad first month last year. Not 2-3. Ramirez has clearly had injury issues this year.

For their careers, their first/second half OPS numbers are as follows:
Lee: 854/880
ARam: 812/871

They are moderately better in the second half, but it isn't exactly a huge difference.

Luckily, we've proven we have a GM who won't pull the plug unless the team is "mathematically eliminated." /barf

K's Werth, Howard, Francisco

eh, not bad.

Wow.

Never hurts to win a game when the top three in the line-up go 0 for 12. Also, when did Marshall go from swing man to elite reliever? He's on my radar as most pleasant surprise (out of very few contenders admittedly) of 2010.

today's outing by lilly should stir the scout pot a little...

Goose Gossage's career best K/9 IP was 10.2. Eckersley's was 10.7. Mariano's, 10.9. Before striking out the side in the 9th inning, Marmol's K/9 this season was 16.8.

Castro is quietly having a nice July after a rough month of June.

June: .227 .299 .320
July .316 .395 .553 (not including today)

I haven't seen much baseball this month but I assume he's making an adjustment. It's nice to see an upward rather than downward trend.

Joey Votto says he was kidding about hating the Cubs and not congratulating Marlon Byrd.

This is all Bruce Levine's fault.

http://yhoo.it/a0BK3w

time to send bruce levine away for 3-5 weeks of "anger management"

Joey now says he doesn't respect Cubs fans and won't sign autographs for them:

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/07/...

Recent comments

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  • Most excellent! MTFBWY!

  • Btw Star Wars Day, May the Fourth

    Score
    C-3 P-0

    /found on twitter

  • Rizzo almost killed McCutchen with a line drive to center.

    /blazin

  • Don't agree with you, but an interesting discussion. I find this thinking limiting and not in-tune with the latest brain and physiology research. The fact is we use only a tiny fraction of our capacity, and if one can increase motor function along with brain capacity you achieve greater flexibility and value of the (player) asset. For the club's and player's benefit.

  • Oh, no. "Now the benchmark is quickly shifting to whether they [the Cubs] can become one of the best teams in baseball history."

    via http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-cubs-start...

  • Lester should try that for pickoff throws.

  • Daniel Murphy

  • any other unemployed on parrot chat?

  • 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.