Cubs Spring Training Notes

- Quade has named his Opening Day starter and it won't be Zambrano's 7th straight start which would have tied Ferguson Jenkins for the Cubs record. Instead it will be Ryan Dempster, followed by Z and then Matt Garza. Z will get the road opener start against the Brewers. Presumambly the last two spots are still open with Randy Wells and Carlos Silva likely occupying them with James Russell and Andrew Cashner on the outside looking in.

- The Jose Ceda deal is looking good.

- Some bright one in the Cubs office thought it would be wise to compare Starlin Castro to Derek Jeter on an outdoor billboard (eye roll). The Cubs.com article says Castro has been working on making the routine plays and his footwork over the offseason and you do have to like this bit of humility.

"I feel like I have to make the team like I did last year. There's no
pressure. I don't feel like I've made the team. I have to work hard
every day."

Which does offset this bit of information...

Soriano took Castro into his home last year and taught him the importance of being prepared for games.

I imagine that includes things like this:

which might explain why this happens sometimes:

Alright, that was a bit of a low blow, what do you think about that Fonzie?

To all the Dead Presidents...

Comments

Going for "zany" over "crazy" for an opening day starter this year. Bold move.

[edit]
Or maybe it's "krazy" over "crazy."

Carlos Silva has been taking a page out of Castro's workouts, practicing his forkwork on routine pies.

On Castro...

...What does he have to work on?

"Defense, and that's it," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Every aspect of defense. I believe he's going to be a good offensive player. I know what we need from him defensively -- we need to be better up the middle and obviously he's a huge part of that.

I think Quade gets it. I still wish they would have found a veteran SS FA over the off season in case he pulls a Cedeno and decides to be terrible.

(shakes head)

Oh Come on, man! I mean really? Really?

No offense to you, E-Man, but I wonder hoe long this "really" phenomenon will last. I somewhat remove myself from pop culture, so these new fads take me by surprise. I have a feeling that "really" will fall even harder than the once famous "whazzup" campaign by Budweiser.

I dunno, dude. My generation was saying dude, like, dude, 40 years ago, dude, but, like, dude, I'll admit the girls weren't calling each other dude.

Dusty put a twist on "Dude" by spitting every time he said "Dude".

The Dude abides

It is pretty odd and amusing that chicks call each other "dudes" now, as you say, O&B.

I think the Really? phenomenon already ended. The SNL stuff got old a long, long time ago.

Castro? The third rail of Cubdom?

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  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 15 hours 2 sec ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 15 hours 5 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 15 hours 10 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 15 hours 22 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 15 hours 33 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 15 hours 58 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 17 hours 50 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 18 hours 7 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 18 hours 12 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 18 hours 56 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 23 hours 47 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 9 hours ago view