Gray Fades to Black

The Cubs have sent RHP Jeff Gray outright to Iowa. This moves leaves three slots open on the 40-man roster, two of which will be taken when LHP John Grabow (knee surgery) and RHP Angel Guzman (shoulder surgery) are reactivated from the 60-day DL.

The 28-year old Gray was acquired from the Oakland A's last December 3rd along with 1B-OF Matt Spencer and RHP Ronny Morla in exchange for INF Aaron Miles, IF-OF-C Jake Fox, and cash considerations.

Gray suffered a groin strain at Fitch Park in the very early days of Spring Training 2010 and never was able to get it together, going 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.82 WHIP in seven games (9.1 IP) for the Cubs, and 3-1 with one save, a 5.66 ERA and and 1.71 WHIP, allowing 45 hits and 15/25 BB/K in 25 games (35.0 IP) at AAA Iowa. 

Gray would have been out of minor league options if he had remained on the Cubs 40-man roster going into the 2011 season. He is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent if he does not sign a 2011 minor league contract with the Cubs.

In other Cubs minor league roster news, IF-C Jonathan Mota (who was eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA post-2010) has signed a 2011 minor league contract with the Cubs, and INF George Matheus was released.


Az Phil and others: If Archer and Guyer (and perhaps others) should be added, who should be removed from the 40 man?

Submitted by springs on Tue, 10/26/2010 - 7:40pm.
Az Phil and others: If Archer and Guyer (and perhaps others) should be added, who should be removed from the 40 man?


SPRINGS: In addition to the two roster spots needed for Grabow and Guzman, there is now one slot available for Robinson Chirinos, because he would need to be added to the 40-man roster by the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series (that's because he is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA if he isn't added to a 40-man roster by then), and then another slot will become available for Chris Archer (who does not need to be added to the 40 until 11/20) when Xavier Nady becomes a FA after the World Series.

To make another slot available (for Brandon Guyer) prior to the 11/20 roster-filing deadline, the Cubs could release Angel Guzman after they reactivate him from the 60-day DL, instead of waiting to non-tender him on 12/2. The reason clubs usually prefer to non-tender players rather than release them is because a released player cannot be re-signed to a major league contract (and get added to an MLB 40-man roster and 25-man roster) until May 15th of the following season, while there is no such restriction on a non-tendered player. But even if the Cubs re-sign Gooz (and I think they will try, to allow him to continue his rehab during the 2011 season at Fitch Park), it will be to a minor league contract for a low base salary, and so it really won't matter if they release him or non-tender him if the intention is to sign him to a 2011 minor league contract, especially if there is no reason to expect him to be ready to pitch in MLB before May 15th.

As for additional 40-man roster slots for 3B Marquez Smith and/or RHP Alberto Cabrera (for instance), or if the Cubs wait to non-tender Guzman until 12/2 (thus requiring a different slot for Guyer by 11/20), I would think LHP John Gaub and RHP Brian Schlitter will be the most-likely candidates to get dropped from the 40. Gaub spent most of the latter part of the season at Fitch Park trying to overcome "Steve Blass Disease," and Schlitter has a bum shoulder. Because neither can be a Rule 55 minor league FA (AKA "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent") if outrighted to the minors, the Cubs could wait until the last minute (11/20) to decide whether to outright either or both. RHP Jeff Stevens is another possible candidate to get dropped from the 40, and because he can't be a Rule 55 minor league FA if he is outrighted to the minors, either, the Cubs could wait to outright him until 11/20 also. (The fact that Gaub, Schlitter, and Stevens can't be free-agents if outrighted means the Cubs won't lose them if they can get them through Outright Waivers without being claimed).

However, a player eligible to be Rule 55 minor league free-agent (such as Adduci, Berg, Diamond, Fuld, Hoffpauir, Mateo, and Snyder) cannot be outrighted to the minors any later than the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series (but if they are outrighted prior to that date, they can still be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent anyway...), but the player can be non-tendered on 12/2 or released at any time, and the player can be outrighted without the right to be a FA (unless he has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or has been outrighted previously in his career) once he has signed a 2012 major contract (although contracts are not tendered until 12/2, and most auto-renewal players don't sign until just before Spring Training).

BTW, Jeff Sarmardzija is not only out of minor league options, he also has "no trade" rights such that he must give his approval (in advance) before he can be placed on Outright Waivers. (That's because Outright Waivers are irrevocable, meaning the request cannot be withdrawn if the player is claimed). And he can't be outrighted without the Cubs first securing Outright Waivers. So if the Cubs want to drop Samardzija from the 40-man roster at any time prior to the end of the 2011 season (when the Cubs will be able to exercise their club option to opt out of the deal, at which point they could outright him to the minors without his permission), and Samardzija refuses to waive his NTC, the Cubs will have to either keep him on their 40-man roster (and 25-man roster) for the entire 2011 season, or release him and eat his $2.8M 2011 salary (which is very unlikely to happen).

Instead of Guzman, couldn't the Cubs release someone who they don't want back at all next year, like Koyie Hill?

Or Aramis Ramirez?

If the Cubs let go of Ramirez, who plays 3B?

casey mcgehee

Anyone who thinks the Cubs should have kept McGehee and used him somewhere should be in favor of giving Smith a shot, since Smith had better numbers (e.g., .958 OPS versus .774) at Iowa at the same age.

The Cubs will certainly want to take a close look in spring training at a guy who hit twelve HRs in August, to see if he's another Colvin.


Your 59 game winning 2011 Chicago Cubs!!!!!!

Yes, and that would be much much worse than your 64 game winning Chicago Cubs!!!

I'm certainly not advocating us winning 64 games. I'm advocating that we attempt to be competitive.

Over the last two years Aram-Ram has been averaging about 2 wins over what you may pessimistically expect out of Smith. Sad, but true.

If Smith puts up anywhere near a 130 OPS+, which Ramirez had in 2009, I'd be shocked. Getting rid of Ramirez for Marquez Smith is punting 2011. If that's what the Cubs are doing, then I am all for it.

ARam's 2009 130 OPS+ was in only 82 games, which depresses his VORP. As I am sure you know, while ARam played in more games in 2010 his OPS+ was significantly below his career numbers. Lastly he will be a year older in 2011.

ARam appears to no longer be the kind of player you want to build a team around as he is likely to earn his pay check. I for one would rather spend the money somewhere else. If ARam can be moved I would jump at the chance.

Again, Putting Marquez Smith in for Ramirez is punting the 2011 season. Ramirez sucked the first 2 1/2 months of 2010. He was also red hot in July and August. If the Cubs are going with a youth movement next year, sure...if Ramirez, with a gaping hole at 1B and 2b?

IMO 2011 has already been punted. In addition to the holes at second and first, we have holes in left, right, starting pitcher and the bull pen.

Soriano is the LF, Colvin/Fukudome in RF.

We may not like who is there....but there isn't a hole.

Sorry by hole I thought we were talking about possitions where the Cubs would have only average production or worse.

While I am sure that a World Series winning team can get away without a star at each position, I am pretty sure that a world series team needs to have a star or two.

Well, if you can think of a way to get rid of Soriano's contract...or Fukudome's? I am all ears. I just don't think the Cubs will try to field a AA team next season.

Agreed Soriano and Fukudome are likely untradeable, but ARam just might be. As you pointed out he is the closest to a star that the Cubs have and his contract only has one more year.

If you can get anything for ARam (even if it is just salary relief) do it. Especially since, IMO, who is playing 3B next season will have little impact on the Cubs odds of winning the series.

No way Ricketts takes that kind of PR hit this early. 120 million dollar AA team.

He took the PR hit for not hiring Sandberg.

Hardly the same PR hit as intentionally fielding a mid 50 winning team.

Mid 50 - Mid 70 what difference does it make.

smith will get his shot. he's got the glove.

he's only 1 year into proving he can hit a little.

age is catching up, but meh...

he'd probably do good to play some 2nd, too, to extend his skills. he's got 3rd down very well.

I don't think the Cubs should be resigned to even mid 70's wins.

They should flex some financial might and try and compete.

I agree, but given that we don't have the financial might to flex in 2011 I expect that we will need to wait until 2012.

Sure hope I'm wrong.

Submitted by John Beasley on Wed, 10/27/2010 - 6:10am.
Instead of Guzman, couldn't the Cubs release someone who they don't want back at all next year, like Koyie Hill?


JOHN B: Except the Cubs probably DO want Koyie Hill back next year, at least for Spring Training.

I suspect the Cubs will non-tender K. Hill on 12/2, and then immediately re-sign him to a minor league contract in a pre-arranged deal for the same salary he got in 2010 ($700K) plus an NRI to ST, so that they can clear a roster slot for a free-agent. Then if K. Hill makes the Cubs 25-man roster out of Spring Training, he would get moved up to the 40-man roster prior to Opening Day and replace one of the guys who are out of options (Fuld, Hoffpauir, and Snyder will all be of options in 2011, and it's EXTREMELY unlikely that all three will make the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster), or if K. Hill does not make the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster, he would probably have the option to either go to AAA or request his release (as happened with Paul Bako a couple of years ago).

If the Cubs non-tender Angel Guzman on 12/2 (or even if they release him before that), they will probably try and sign him to a 2011 minor league contract with a low base salary (maybe $150K, plus a major league split for $900K pro-rated if he gets added to the Cubs 40-man roster prior to the end of the season) and an NRI to ST (even if he can't pitch in games), and then send him to Fitch Park (Minor League Camp and EXST) where he can continue his rehab at his own pace, with the hope that maybe he will be able to pitch in the big leagues later in the 2011 season.

zito to be left off the WS roster...cold...

PHIL: Thanks for the updates.

Jeff Gray, Justin Berg, Mitch Atkins, and John Gaub just stunk for the Big Club -

All trade pieces that just never brought much value to the Cubs.

0-4 for Hendry here - except he gets a slight pass for Archer.

Oh - let us not forget Mr. David Patton, for whom we held a roster spot and let go Casey McGhee.

Atkins was drafted by the Cubs in 2004, so not a trade piece.

Gaub has never thrown a pitch in the majors, so didn't "stink for the Big Club." His strikeouts per nine innings in two years in the Cub organization are just shy of 12.

Personally, I don't think the Cubs are inclined to let Gaub go.

This is awesome, AZPHIL:

"Soto is a VERY good defensive SS (he reminds me of ex-Cubs minor league SS Carlos Rojas, who was Harry Houdini in the field but Helen Keller at the plate)."


I just caught this!

BTW, prior to this season players on the 60-day DL had to be reactivated and reinstated to the 40-man roster no later than the day after the end of the 15-day Free-Agency Filing Period or 11/20 (whichever came first).

But with the elimination of the Free-Agency Filing Period (all players eligible to be MLB Article XX free-agents will now automatically become free-agents the day after the conclusion of the World Series, with clubs retaining exclusive negotiating rights with their own free-agents for five days), I don't know what the new deadline is for activating players from the 60-day DL. It could be the day after the conclusion of the World Series, or it could be the 4th day after the conclusion of the World Series (matching the deadline for adding/dropping Rule 55 minor league FA from the 40-man roster), or it could be the 6th day following the conclusion of the World Seies (the day after the end of the five-day "exclusive" negotiation period for Article XX FA), or it could be 11/20.

The bottom line is, players on the 60-day DL must be reactivated and reinstated to the 40-man roster absolutely no later than the 11/20 roster-filing deadline. A player cannot be carried on the 60-day DL during the off-season, and a player cannot be placed on the 60-day DL any earlier than the start of the waiver period that commences on February 16th (and then the player would have to be immediately replaced on the 40-man roster with another player).

And a player cannot be placed on the 15-day DL any earlier than nine days prior to MLB Opening Day.

bobby valentine returns to managing...brewers

Bobby Valentine

another day...another bobby v. to manage brews statement shot down hard...

"Bobby Valentine told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he hasn't had any contract talks with the the Brewers."

"Jon Heyman of reports that the Brewers have not reached an agreement with Bobby Valentine as manager."

something must be going down...this is the 2nd false alarm in the last 72 hours.

Before Valentine gets the job the Brewers have to fire Bob Brenley.


Kerry's $11MM option turned down by the Yankees.

Is Hendry contacting his agent?

someone will give him 5-7m a year, probably.

I don't know about that. His command has pretty much deserted him since he left the Cubs, and based on what I saw in the playoffs his fastball wasn't that great either. I could pretty easily see him coming back to the Cubs, for $3 million with some incentives and an option year based on innings.

The Cubs could certainly use a mature bullpen presence and after the Sandberg debacle, I bet ownership wouldn't mind pushing Hendry in that direction.

I don't know what kind of shape he feels his arm is in, but he may be thinking it's time to try starting again.

He had two very good months with NY: 26IP, 31K, 0.69ERA, 14H, 18BB. On the other hand, he was not very good for Cleveland.

I didn't think he pitched that poorly in the playoffs. The fastball wasn't outstanding, but they had him at 93 against Texas.

I agree that if the money is right, I could see him back in Chicago. I'd be surprised if he was a starter ever again.

That Yankees ERA is an illusion caused by ridiculous HR/FB and LOB numbers along with a pretty lucky BABIP. It will be interesting to see how many GM's pick up on that, or just look at the shiny ERA and think he was back to his 2008 form.

thought he was throwing Mariano's cutter now which would explain the loss in velocity.

Fangraphs shows similar overall velocities the last 3 years, but a drop with the Yankees, although a large increase in usage of his cutter. Pitch f/x caveats and all...

bring him, Ryno, Zimmer and DeRosa back and Cubs fans will have all the white guys they need to be likeable again.

M's got the best white guys around


lulz...Almost Live. Bill Nye was part of this comedy troupe, too.

Fangraphs shows a drop in his fastball of a MPH and his slider, which was probably his best pitch in '08 being scrapped, unless I am misreading it. Looks like was throwing the slider too hard with the Injuns... are you allowed to say Injuns or does that send the casino owners in a tizzy?

You can say whatever you want as long as you don't mind people thinking that you are an asshole AND a racist.

It's amazing you haven't given yourself a stroke.

"Free-agent pitcher Kerry Wood would be welcomed back to the Chicago Cubs if payroll permits, according to a source familiar with the situation."

Cubs #1 position-player prospect Brett Jackson grounded a single to CF to drive-in the tying & go ahead runs in the bottom of the 7th, ex-Cub Josh Harrison (sent to PIT in the Grabow/Gorz deal in 2009) had two doubles and a single, and three Cubs pitchers (David Cales, Chris Carpenter, and Kyle Smit) threw 4.1 IP of two-hit shutout relief, as the Mesa Solar Sox overcame an early 6-0 deficit to rally and edge the Scottsdale Scorpions 7-6 this afternoon in Arizona Fall League action at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

18-yr old 2010 overall #1 draft pick Bryce Harper (Washingtion Nationals) looked overmatched at the plate, but he made an outstanding throw from RF to nail a Mesa runner at the plate.

Loves me some AFL... Thanks Az Phil!!

bengie molina is the slowest human being in the history of baseball...

Two questions. Who else has played baseball besides human beings, and did you ever see Cecil Fielder run?

"Who else has played baseball besides human beings...?"

My money's on John Kruk.

Cliff Lee's agent hoping Yankee brass is ignoring tonites game like the rest of America.

Note: Though it's on John Sickels' site, the posting is by toonsterwu under the FanPosts category. That's not to denigrate it -- it's just that I thought it was a Sickels post until I got down to the comments section and saw some of the back-and-forth there.

Typical of toonsterwu, he gives quite a bit a good detail and explains his reasons fully. A definite good read and well worth the time.

Well, if you can think of a way to get rid of Soriano's contract...or Fukudome's?
Speaking of punting the World Series, don't the Giants have a black hole in their payroll matching the Cubs (Zito and Rowand)?

Somehow that didn't derail their 2010 season. Of course having post-season superhuman efforts out of Uribe and Cody Ross didn't hurt and we dont have anything to match Posey, plus Lincecum and Cain.

Zito: started for 2007 season, 7/$126
Soriano: started for 2007 season, 8/$136
Rowand: started for 2008 season, 5/$60
Fukudome: started for 2008 season, 4/$48

Having the best ERA in baseball and a league-average offense is always almost good enough to get into the playoffs.

Unless you're the Toronto Blue Jays.

It helps when the Yankees and Red Sox aren't in your division.

Submitted by Rob Richardson on Thu, 10/28/2010 - 3:03pm.
It helps when the Yankees and Red Sox aren't in your division.


BOB R: I think the MLBPA will be pushing hard in the next CBA for an additional Wild Card team added to each league (so that there will be two Wild Card teams in each league), with a one-game play-in the day after the end of the regular season between the two Wild Card teams in each league at the home parks of the Wild Card teams with the best records, and then the Wild Card winner from each league would advance to play the team in each league with best regular season record.

MLBPA wanted this in the last CBA, but owners successfully got it tabled. I don't think it will be tabled this time.

Besides getting two more teams into the post-season, this will also make it possible for three teams from the same division (like for instance the Yankees, Red Sox, and a third team from the A. L. East) to get into the post-season.

As bad as adding another wild card team from each league into the post-season (albeit just a one-game play-in) might sound, the alternative proposed by several of the small market/lower revenue clubs is a realignment based on putting all of the large-market/higher-revenue teams into the same divisions, and then playing something of a balanced schedule so that the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, et al don't play more games against each other even though they would be in the same divisions. I'll take the MLBPA idea to add one additional Wild Card team in each league and a one-game play-in over that one.

It's not a bad idea, until a 96-win non-division winner gets knocked off in a one-game play-in, and a new round of bitching starts.

Before we know it, this could be like the NHL, with every team except Toronto making the playoffs.

what I've read(which of course I can't find now) indicates that the players absolutely abhor the idea of any type of 1-game play-in and would much prefer a 7-game first round.

although they are open to more playoff teams as well (sure, why not? more money)

they may be willing to compromise and add a WC team and a 1-game or possibly 3-game set if they get a 7-game LDS though.

best thing is go back to 154 game schedule, add an extra WC team, the 2 WC's play a 3 or 5-game set and then 7-game sets the rest of the way. That would bring back the importance of winning the division as well.

no, I wouldn't like it, but if they're going to expand the playoffs anyway, that would be my preference.

Any reduction in the number of games in the regular season seems unlikely.

'prolly so

although I have no idea why 4 less home games for teams not in it would really be such a stumbling block. No one goes to their games anyway and I'm sure the much higher playoff and TV revenues could be spread out to make up for any losses.

I do know that one less week of the Cubs this year would have been good for all of us.

I haven't done the math, but it just seems that the lost revenue of games for each team would be greater that the revenue added by the extra play off games.

Maybe if they go with an NBA style 16 team month long playoff?

me neither, but considering the no-shows and cost to staff the park, I can't imagine a lot of teams are making a whole lot of money those last 4 games of Sept/Oct and if they add an extra WC with less games, odds are a few more teams would be in contention that last week anyway to raise gate receipts.

I doubt it would impact their local TV revenues much either, and if you share the wealth of the increased playoff revenue package, it would hopefully offset most of that and make for a better product.

"The New York Yankees and manager Joe Girardi have reached agreement on a three-year, $9 million contract with incentives that could add another $500,000 for winning the World Series, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations."

[ ]

"Joe told Cashman back in August that he had no interest in the Cubs job," the source said. "He had too many good things going in New York to be interested in that."

That was pretty much a given to the reality based baseball community. All the talk of how Girardi was at the top of the Cubs so called managers to be, was a crock.

The Cubs manager spot is not one of the most coveted in baseball. Its probably the exact opposite. Your gonna lose a lot and people are going to question your ability to manage. Girardi can put up with that while winning in New York. No fool in his right mind would leave that to take the Cubs job where you will get shit on just as much by the press and the fans and lose.

i doubt leaving a place where the fans liked him and he gets a 1/4 billion dollar payroll was something he strongly considered even if it could make him an extra 500K-1m a year.

plus he doesn't even have to deal with NL lineups where pitcher-hitting strategies are in play.

official Elias rankings out...dunn a type A rather than a type B someone's reverse engineered list had.

dlee/ type A, too.

Before we know it, this could be like the NHL
I think it will be fantastic when Edmonton gets an expansion mlb franchise followed by Ottawa...and then Montreal, oh wait, they tried that.

Interesting article on bloated MLB contracts written from the Mets perspective:

The interesting Cubs angle: Apparently they talked to Paul Sullivan to get the Cubs' side of the story, who named Fukudome and Silva. He also mentioned Zambrano, if only to say he won't waive his no-trade clause.

But not a word about Soriano. One might say it's because Soriano has the no-trade clause - but then why mention Zambrano?

Does Sullivan really not consider Soriano to have a bloated contract?

Sullivan posts here under the pseudonym "E-Man", fwiw.


The article seems to be about bad contracts that might be swapped. Maybe Soriano's contract is beyond that.

I considered that, but Vernon Wells and Barry Zito are in there.

I also considered the "bad contract, but not a guy we want to trade" category, but the list also has guys like Michael Young who fall into that group.

Seattle is paying $5.5 million of Silva's contract next year. From the Cubs' perspective, that's $6 million out of pocket for next year.

Which isn't too far out of line if his production matches what he did this year (worth $8.6 million in Fangraphs whacky valuation model).

The only guys that you'd really think have no chance of "paying" for themselves next year are Fukudome (worth $5.8 million) and Soriano ($11.7 million), but the Cubs payroll still feels bloated.

silva has a 2m buyout coming after 2011, too, fwiw....well either that or picking up his 12m option.

How about a crazy deal like Fukudome and Grabow for Carlos Beltran, who could not only play RF when not on the DL, allowing Colvin to play 1b, but we would have 3 Carlos' on the team, sure to create some wacky fun.

that would be crazy if you're Sandy Alderson

Chirinos on 40-man, Adduci out.

adduci had no business being on the 40-man anyway

And so James Adduci is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA (AKA 6YFA) if he does not sign a 2011 minor league contract with the Cubs.

Cub employee busted for pot. Corey Miller, bullpen catcher.

busted for pot is one thing...have almost 9lbs. of it in a suitcase is another.

seems the girl he was with is taking the charge for it, though. yow.

Submitted by crunch on Fri, 10/29/2010 - 7:00pm.
busted for pot is one thing...have almost 9lbs. of it in a suitcase is another.

seems the girl he was with is taking the charge for it, though. yow.


CRUNCH: Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, I strongly suspect there will be an opening for Cubs Bullpen Catcher #2 in 2011. Interested?

i'm holding out for an assistant scout position in the Canadian provinces.

I wouldn't recommend "holding" anything.

Az Phil--

I met a young man in Houston who had a Tovar jersey on and yelled at Tovar and was super excited to get Tovar's autograph after bp. When I kinda gave him a funny look, he says "Dude! Bullpen catcher is like the coolest job ever! League minimum and you just play catch all day!!!"

I've been a huge fan of bullpen catcher ever since; I think that young man had a great point.....

...but he was probably high. =(

TONY: Somebody told me a while back how much the Cubs BP catchers make, and I'm thinking it was something like $100 per game. Of course they also get to wear a Cubs uniform (and get asked for autographs), they stay in the team hotel on the road (sharing a room with the other BP catcher), and they get something like $25 per day meal money on the road. (Actually I'm a bit surprised that the Cubs bullpen catchers don't have to pay the Cubs for the privilege, like the lucky fan who wins that Menard's Grounds Crew for a Day thing).

So ideally you would be single and with another source of income (or a wife or girlfriend who makes good money), and (most importantly) do NOT speed through Nebraska. Sounds like Miller forgot about the latter.

That might explain why his friend had 9lbs of pot in her luggage, supplementing their income.

that's f'n awesome.

I strongly suspect there will be an opening for Cubs Bullpen Catcher #2 in 2011. Interested?
Koyie Hill meet your 2011 job description, at least they will look like they are throwing 5 mph harder when pitchers warm up in the bullpen.

John DeWan posted ten scary stats for Halloween, for 2010, no Cubs made the list...#1 makes DP DLee look like an amateur.

#1) The Royals' Billy Butler grounded into 32 double plays. No one has hit into more in the past twenty-five years (Jim Rice, 35 in 1985)

How about these scary stats:

Hill .188 .556
Fuke .210 .688
DeW .226 .647
Cast .232 ..565
Aram .240 .794
Sori .244 .767
Byrd .247 .622
Nady .255 .548

..what the Cubs starting lineup hit in September.

Castillo hit .357.1.186 so it was good we kept him on the bench.

i just hope dewitt isn't our leadoff hitter next year.

he doesn't hit for contact well enough, he doesn't have the speed, and he sure can't go 1st to 3rd or 2nd to home reliably enough on deep hits.


I don't want DeWitt to be our leadoff hitter because he sucks.

yes, dusty is always doing horrible things no other manager ever does. neifi led off 30-40 times over 1 full season and parts of 2 others, but i think history shows it's 130-240 games.

speaking of...i know e.andrus (TEX) is fast, but ugg...what a step backwards for him.

and i still don't want dewitt leading off.

and going off on a tangent...i wouldn't be shocked to see a 2011 lineup featuring soriano/fuku taking turns leading off according to matchups.

as it is the team doesn't have a leadoff hitter that fits anyone's conventional definition too well and i could totally see the organization/quade doing this.

hell, as it is there's no one worth a damn to lead off vs. lefties except a guy like soto who you probably wouldn't want leading off anyway. byrd, though he makes some nice plays in CF, isn't really as fast as it seems he would be. castro seems to be locked into the contact-hitting #2 slot vs. either LH/RH pitching.

For shits and giggles, using lineup projector at Baseball Musings and career splits, plus assuming (why not) Dunn at 1B:

vs. RHP: Fukudome, Dunn, Castro, Ramirez, Soto, Soriano, Byrd, pitcher, DeWitt

vs. LHP: Soto, Baker, Dunn, Ramirez, Castro, Soriano, Byrd, pitcher, Fukudome

But my guess is that Quade prefers to be employed.

There are three outfielders in the high minors who could lead off, but outfield is where all the free-agent dead weight is.

So hurry up, Hak-Ju Lee!

What's the nice way to say "because other people do the same stupid thing, it justifies me doing something stupid" is stupid?

I can just imagine crunch and Dusty spending all those years gnashing their teeth as Wade Boggs batted leadoff for those crappy Boston teams.

who's trying to justify it?

i'm just saying it exists, it's nothing new, nor is dusty too unique.

you should also stop daydreaming about what grown men might be doing with each other...ew.

Submitted by crunch on Sat, 10/30/2010 - 1:24pm.
i just hope dewitt isn't our leadoff hitter next year.

he doesn't hit for contact well enough, he doesn't have the speed, and he sure can't go 1st to 3rd or 2nd to home reliably enough on deep hits.


CRUNCH: There has been mention in recent years about adding plate discipline/patience/pitch recogntion as a 6th tool for position players, but there should also be a 7th tool -- baserunning. Not base stealing, but base running. That is, a player's ability to consistently score from 1st base on a double, to score from 2nd base or advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to the outfield, to advance an extra base on a play at another base, and to advance a base on an out with less than two outs, and NOT make stupid decisions like making the 1st or 3rd out of an inning at 3rd base, or oversliding, or just generally stupidly running into an out. Good (savvy) baserunning does not necessarily correlate directly to speed, because there are plenty of fast guys who are brain dead when they run the bases, but teams with slow runners tend to play more station-to-station baseball and risk leaving more men on base as a result. Good (savvy) baserunners also put more pressure on the defense to make perfect throws.

Az Phil--

While I agree entirely with what you say, isn't it imperative on the organization at all levels to teach/instill this sort of thing?? I've thought the Cubs have sucked at these exact things for a long time, but I blamed the organization for not stressing it as opposed to the players for not having those 'tools'.

While I understand telling the players to 'run faster' or 'throw harder' is a moot point, as those are tools, I would think 'don't be an idiot on the bases' or specifics like 'don't make the third out at 3B' being taught/reinforced might actually make a difference, and then baserunning would inherently be a 'skill' (which could be learned) vs. a 'tool' (which cannot).

Teaching instinct tools is grey area. It can be 1 speech or years before anything, if anything, happens.

One can also overcome the lack of tools and use research to find handicaps in pitchers/fielders. Ryan Klesko stole a bunch of bases over a couple of years with SD without speed or traditional skills by doing a lot of homework on pitchers and knowing what the guys behind the plate can do. He gave up this "work/research" after a few years citing how hard it is vs. return and the fact he was happy he was able to prove his worth as an everyday player after ATL determined they didn't want him as a 1st base starter anymore.

C.Patterson had all the speed in the world, but he was so mentally blocked/confused early on in his career about running it was almost embarrassing to watch him on 1st trying to decide if he was going to run or not.

IMO...speed and reacting to a situation where speed is useful is a mixture of tool and skill when you put it all into action.

Az Phil, have you heard any mention of who will be sent to the Dominican Parallel Lge this winter? Thanks as always.

Submitted by Hagsag on Mon, 11/01/2010 - 5:26am.
Az Phil, have you heard any mention of who will be sent to the Dominican Parallel Lge this winter? Thanks as always.


HAGSAG: No I have not.

BTW, the Cubs thought Alberto Cabrera was going to pitch in the DWL this off-season, but Latin American players who throw at least 130 IP in MLB and/or minor leagues during the season are not permitted to pitch in a Latin American winter league, and Cabrera threw 136.0 IP combined at Daytona and Tennessee in 2010.

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