4th of July Weekend Thread

The Cubs activated Kerry Wood before the game and put Carlos Zambrano on the disabled list. With the All-Star Break looming, Z may only miss one start. In the meantime, Wood sat on the bench while Wells gave up the game tying home run in the 7th and then the lead.

Oh Q-Ball, you're nothing if not consistently wrong...

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Is Sean Marshall dead? Why was he not pitching against Dunn?

-edit- or Pierre for that matter?

Because Wells was pitching so well up to that point? I mean, he had only given up 3 or 4 hard hit balls leading up to Dunn.

what happened was quade only had ninja up in the pen so ozzie pinch hit dunn a bit early in the game compared to what a lot of managers would do...stacked lefties, paid off. meh.

it wasn't until the HR was given up that anyone even got up in the pen...understandably, imo. wells was doing good enough to cruise after a rough 1st.

must be a different Randy Wells that has pitched well this year that deserved the benefit of the doubt.

but still that's 3 hitters since the HR, did everyone forget how to delay a baseball game on the Cubs bench?

he looked awesome today after the 1st.

his 6th inning was a 3 pitch inning, btw.

ninja didnt start warming until after the HR...there was a visit to the mound for a delay.

so Q-Ball just had no idea that the White Sox had lefties coming up or on the bench?

20 years in baseball doesn't teach you everything I guess.

he claimed in the post-game he was going with 1 guy, ninja, there no matter what.

ozzie just layed it on thick sending dunn out there to pinch hit before pierre...quade knew what could happen, he just made his choice.

Yeah.....spellcheck is the man!!!!! WOOOT!!!!!

...oh.

"Oh Q-Ball, you're nothing if not consistently wrong..."

let Z manage/play...poor performance will be handled with therapy or black eyes.

Q-Ball admits the strangest things in postgame interviews. He said he was trying to force Wellsy through the seventh and hoped he could go eight because he was pitching so great...this after the score was tied 4-4. He said he would have brought in Samardz earlier if they were protecting a one run lead (but with the game tied who gives a f$%k?) He also said that if he had to relieve Wells in the seventh it would mess up his pen-plan because it might leave him with only Wood to close and "that wouldn't be fair to Woody."

...

Ok..I know that it's not all poor Mike Quade's fault.....that the Cubs would be in contention if it wasn't for all the injuries...or whatever the hell....

But jesus.....can he just make some good basball decisions please?
Weird lineups, leaving pitchers in too long, not using the bullpen properly, ignoring apparently stats....I don't get it.

Why is he an all star coach again?

All-star coach means friend of ASG manager...

Memo to this baseball nightmare I seem to be having:

Please end soon.

On the bright side, both Q-Ball and Hendry are signed through next October.

Ricketts better get the contract extension pen ready!

I think todays post-game is suffering from over-analysis. The Cubs got beat pure and simple. Say Q-Ball makes different decisions and the Cubs are beat anyways... you just don't know. Let's move on.

pretty much...it just sucks when you take a managerial gamble and it blows up in your face. i don't mind the wells thing, but i wish he at least had a token lefty warming up with ninja.

wells finished up the 6th in short order...wasn't much of a reason to think he couldn't handle the 7th even after giving up a single so it's not like i blame quade for not having someone up warming going into the 7th.

Yes, he looked sharp in the 6th and seemed to be cruising, but then again, prior to yesterday, he had not yet recorded an out in the 7th inning all year. So it might have made sense to at least have someone stirring.

Ramon Ortiz was pulled from the Iowa Cubs game tonight after throwing four shutout innings and 54 pitches.

I strongly suspect this means that Ortiz will be brought up to take Zambrano's slot in the rotation at Washington next Tuesday and at Pittsburgh a week from Sunday.

and you are right 99.4% of the time

Why bring up old tires to start. He didn't dazzle in AAA in any event. I would rather see youngsters, even though they aren't any that have really earned it. This is the dilema they are in by their poor system. The all-star manager said he wanted to have a coach that had never been there before. He could have said he wanted to have a coach that will never have a chance to be there ever unless it was as a fan.

Submitted by TJ on Sat, 07/02/2011 - 7:36am.
Why bring up old tires to start. He didn't dazzle in AAA in any event. I would rather see youngsters, even though they aren't any that have really earned it.

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TJ: If Ramon Ortiz were to pitch well over the next month, the Cubs could maybe get a second-tier prospect for him at the 7/31 non-waiver trade deadline, or even at the 8/31 post-season roster deadline.

I'm not saying it's likely, but you never know. Every year some pitcher thought to have been long gone from the big league scene reappears and pitches lights-out for a couple of months before disappearing again the next year. That could happen with Ramon Ortiz, and so I think it wouldn't hurt to give him a look.

That said, I do think the Cubs are waiting for Jay Jackson to put together a couple or three decent outings in a row at AAA, and then he will get brought up to Chicago and inserted into the starting rotation. J. Jackson will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time this December, and I think he is a virtual lock to get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline (if not sooner) even if he continues to struggle at AAA.

One thing to keep in mind about J. Jackson is that he is only 23 years old (he is one year younger than Andrew Cashner and two years younger than Chris Carpenter), and he spent the entire 2010 season at AAA as a 22 year old. If you remember, J. Jackson struggled at AAA the first half of last season, too, and was even moved to the bullpen at one point (which negates the extra plus you get when his bat is in the lineup because he is one of best-hitting pitchers in the minor leagues), before being moved back to the I-Cubs starting rotation at mid-season and pitching very well the last two months of the 2010 PCL season.

the Cubs could maybe get a second-tier prospect for him at the 7/31 non-waiver trade deadline, or even at the 8/31 post-season roster deadline. I'm not saying it's likely, but you never know.
=========
Maybe they can re-acquire Ryan Buchter from Atlanta. Who has been "scouring" the majors and minors for someone just like Ortiz (Lopez), etc? Oh, wait...

And I thought the Jeff Russell starting experience was ugly but not compared to the Dud Davis, Rog Lopez and Russ Ortiz plan.

Bad Dream, please end.

Today is the start of the annual International Early Signing Period.

Beginning on July 2nd every year, MLB clubs can sign 16-year old international players who reside in any country except the U. S., U. S. territories, and Canada, who were not eligible to be signed during the previous year's International Early Signing Period.

Players who turn 16 during the International Early Signing Period can sign beginning on their 16th birthday.

Players who turn 16 after the end of the International Early Signing Period are not eligible to be signed until the following season's International Early Signing Period.

The International Early Signing Period essentially ends on August 31st, although a player who turns 16 after the 8/31 deadline could be signed IF the player is placed on the roster of a minor league club (or even an MLB 40-man roster) whose regular season will conclude after the player turns 17 the following season.

In other words, let's say the Cubs sign a Venezuelan mega-prospect who turns 16 on September 25th. To do it they would have to sign the player to a Major League contract, place him on their MLB 40-man roster, and keep him on their MLB 25-man regular-season roster (or DL) for the entire next season, becaue there are no Cubs minor league affiliates still playing regular sesason games on September 25th.

If the player is born during the first week of September (let's say Septembe 3rd), the Cubs could sign him when he turns 16 and then place him on the Boise roster (DSL Cubs #1 and #2 and the AZL Cubs always conclude their regular seasons prior to the 8/31 International Early Signing Period deadline), but ONLY if Boise's regular season the following year extends at least as far as the player's 17th birtday. And then the player would not be eligible to play for one of the Cubs DSL teams or the AZL Cubs during the season after he signs, either. He would have to remain on the Boise roster for the entire next season, basically wasting a year of development time (figuring he's not going to be ready to play at Boise at age 16).

But anyway, here is the list of the Top 40 international 16-year old prospects (all are from Latin America) likely to be targeted by MLB clubs this year, as compiled by Baseball America.

The Cubs have reportedly been linked to Venezuelan catcher Marck Malave and Dominican catcher Eric Otanez.

Players prresently in the Cubs organization who signed as 16-year olds in past seasons are:

Carlos Zambrano, RHP (1997)
Carlos Marmol, C (1999)
Jonathon Mota, SS (2003)
Rafael Dolis, RHP (2004)
Alberto Cabrera, RHP (2005)
Marwin Gonzalez, INF (2005)
Jeffry Antigua, LHP (2006)
Starlin Castro, INF (2006)
Miguel Gonzalez, C (2006)
Larry Suarez, RHP (2006)
Junior Lake, SS (2007)
Carlos Romero, C (2007)
Jose Tineo, RHP (2007)
Joel Altagracia, 1B (2008)
Antonio Encarnacion, RHP (2008)
Ramon Garcia, RHP (2008)
Alvido Jimenez, RHP (2008)
Gioskar Amaya, 2B (2009)
Manuel Barrios, OF (2009)
Augusto Colina, LHP (2009)
Marco Hernandez, SS (2009)
Victor Salazar, RHP (2009)
Luis Villalba, LHP (2009)
Oliver Zapata, OF (2009)
Jeffrey Baez, OF (2010)
Jeimer Candelario, 3B (2010)
Antonio Gonzalez, INF (2010)
Gabriel Jimenez, 1B (2010)
Jose Martinez, LHP (2010)
Alberto Mineo, C (2010)
Carlos Penalver, SS (2010)
Wilfredo Petit, C (2010)
Alexander Santana, RHP (2010)
Francisco Sanchez, SS (2010)

Although they are no longer in the Cubs organization, SS Ronny Cedeno (1999), 2B Robinson Chirinos (2000), and CF Felix Pie (2001) also were originally signed as 16-year olds by the Cubs.

Ariz Phil - thanks for the info! Would you attribute the current success (16-13 record) of the DSL Cub#2 team to players playing above expectations or did the Cubs distribute prospect talent more evenly this year between both of their Dominican teams?

Submitted by Eric S on Sat, 07/02/2011 - 11:47am.

Ariz Phil - thanks for the info! Would you attribute the current success (16-13 record) of the DSL Cub#2 team to players playing above expectations or did the Cubs distribute prospect talent more evenly this year between both of their Dominican teams?

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ERIC S: Last yeat DSL Cubs #1 had the best record in the DSL during the regular season, and DSL Cubs #2 (AKA "Bad News Cubs") had the worst record.

I think the main reason for this disparity is that while the Cubs better Latin American position player prospects were fairly evenly distributed betwen the two squads (Gioskar Amaya and Oliver Zapata spent the entire 2010 season with #1 and Marco Hernandez and Delbis Arcila were moved to #1 from #2 during the season, but Wilson Contreras, Brian Inoa, Johan DeJesus, Gregori Gonzalez, and Eduardo Gonzalez spent the entire season with #2), ALL of the Cubs best pitching prospects either spent the entire 2010 season with #1 (Willengton Cruz, Rafael Diplan, Ramon Garcia, Felix Pena, Yilver Sanchez, Jean Sandoval, Jose Tineo, and Luis Villalba) or were moved to #1 from #2 during the season (Amaury Paulino, Starling Peralta, and Santo Rodriguez).

It was the outstanding pitching that made DSL Cubs #1 the best team in the DSL last season, and it was the lack of quality pitching (especially after Paulino, Peralta, and S. Rodriguez were transferred to #1) that made DSL Cubs #2 the worst team in the league.

This season the Cubs better Latin American position player prospects are once again distributed fairly evenly between the two DSL squads, but this year the Cubs chose not to load up DSL Cubs #1 with all of the better pitching prospects.

BTW, ten Cubs pitchers who pitched in the DSL in 2010 are in the U. S. this season. I have never seen that many Cubs pitchers come to the U. S. from the DSL at one time before. Maybe four or five, but not ten.

Also, because the Cubs activated a second DSL team in 2008 (expanding one DSL Cubs roster of 35 players to two teams totaling 70 players), the number of Cubs minor leaguers who will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft will increase by about 50% in December 2012. (Again, not this coming December, but in 2012). As a result, the Cubs will probably lose several players in the minor league phases of the Rule 5 Draft every year starting with the 2012 Rule 5 Draft, because there won't be enough slots available on the MLB 40-man roster and the AAA Iowa 38-man roster to protect all of the prospects in the organization who came through the two DSL teams, leaving a lot of Rule 5 eligibles on the Tennessee, Daytona, Peoria, Boise, and Mesa reserve lists (rosters). And as you know, players selected in the minor league phases of the Rule 5 Draft (off AA and Class "A" rosters) don't get returned. They are gone.

Another interesting thing about having two teams in the DSL is that the Cubs can sign two hot-shot shortstop prospects (like Carlos Penalver and Francisco Sanchez) and both can be everyday shortstops, giving them more experience at the position than they would otherwise get if there was only one Cubs DSL team and both players had to share playing time at shortatop, with the other serving as the DH or playing another position each day.

Thanks AP. Hopefully, the next Roberto Clemente type Rule 5 aquisition is not made at the Cub's expense.

How many other franchises use multiple DSL teams? The way you phrase it, it sounds like a serious disadvantage to develop so many guys just to lose them to eventual Rule 5 exposure.

Submitted by John Beasley on Sun, 07/03/2011 - 9:42am.
How many other franchises use multiple DSL teams? The way you phrase it, it sounds like a serious disadvantage to develop so many guys just to lose them to eventual Rule 5 exposure.

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JOHN B: All 30 MLB clubs have at least one team in the DSL, but the Cubs, Mets, and Yankees are the only ones with two.

However, the Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and Tampa Bay Rays operate teams in the six-team Venezuelan Summer League (VSL), so that's just like having two teams in the DSL.

BTW, the VSL is designed for Latin players from Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Columbia, and Panama, and the Cubs actually now have enough Venezuelan players on their two DSL rosters to stock one team in the DSL and one team in the VSL if they wanted to do that, but they choose to operate two teams in the DSL instead. (Prior to the Cubs establishing their second DSL team in 2008, the Cubs and Twins fielded a "co-op" team in the VSL where both organizations contributed 10-12 players a piece, but it was an awkward arrangement and so it lasted only one year).

According to Baseball America, the Cubs signed 16-year old Dominican SS Enrique Acosta to a $1.1 million bonus. If I am not mistaken, that is the first time the Cubs have doled out over a million dollars to a non-Cuban Latin American amateur.

Acosta, 16, is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound righthanded hitter who is considered to have one of the top bats this year in Latin America, though he'll likely move off the position, either to a corner outfield spot or possibly third base.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

Not further scouting details without a subscription.

BA ranked him at #9. Oddly, it's not ranking based on talent but on $$ for signing bonuses.

The rankings are a forecast of the expected top 40 signing bonuses, NOT a ranking of the top talent in Latin America

9. LUIS ENRIQUE ACOSTA, SS
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 180
per Ben Bader...

Acosta, who is represented by Rob Plummer, has one of the best bats in the Dominican Republic. Acosta, 16, has a short load and gets his hands started easily with a clean, efficient swing and good bat speed. He has a good approach to hitting for his age and uses the whole field. Some scouts say his swing is shorter than Ronald Guzman's and Elier Hernandez's and that he has more power as well. He gets good extension and the ball jumps off his bat. He could have more pop once he learns to incorporate his lower half into his swing. He does have a tendency to open his hips early, leaving him susceptible to breaking balls. Acosta's speed, range, hands, arm and accuracy will force a position switch. Some scouts think Acosta has an outside chance to handle third base, though many believe he's a corner outfielder.

So far their prediction$ have been way off and frankly, the Texas Rangers are walking what Skinflint Ricketts has only been talking.

so now the suits arent signing enough 16 year olds?

and i thought it was bad when the ricketts kicked muh dog and it up n' died.

they must have burnt down your farmhouse and salted your croplands.

You must have missed the memo where Ricketts said we were going young and investing in player development...not free agents.

But what I'm referring to is the part where Baseball America said the rankings were predictions of bonuses. The Rangers have already dropped a $5 bomb and a $3.5 bomb on them.

that rangers signing for the $5m outfielder was a weird one...i wonder who they were bidding against.

i'm just glad the cubs snagged a SS/3rd out of the lot of kids, even if he may end up LF/RF before it's all over.

projecting 18 year olds is hard enough...it'll be 2 years+ before we even see these kids...well, AZPhil might see them earlier.

Surely our ML system will develop these kids into fine ballplayers.

hopefully no one as crappy as zambrano, castro, marshall, marmol, soto, etc.

doooom.

Anytime your system can develop 5 average players over a ten year period, you have to be thrilled!

Hard to call Castro average or, for that matter, Marmol or Soto.

While we aren't the best at developing hitters generally and I am not always positive about Wilken's choices for early round picks, I think we have done ok with recent player development, particularly in comparisong to our development of players in the 1990s.

Both guys are good league average-ish starters.

I'd feel better about the arms if they didnt all end up in the Bullpen.

Not hard to understand the orgs struggles when our hat hanging moment is, developing

A 3rd starter
2 bullpen arms
.217 hitting catcher
.760 ops-ing infielder

Over a 10 year stretch.

Soto is average at best. Let's stop pretending he's the second-coming of Joe Mauer.

Repeat...

Zambrano is a 3rd starter.....now.
THey developed a starting pitcher...who they have had for a decade, with 122 wins and an era of 3.55.

The Cubs mnor league system is much maligned for a reason, but let's not revise history here.

Submitted by Dusty Baylor on Mon, 07/04/2011 - 10:16am.
Zambrano is a 3rd starter.....now.
THey developed a starting pitcher...who they have had for a decade, with 122 wins and an era of 3.55.

The Cubs mnor league system is much maligned for a reason, but let's not revise history here.

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

DUSTY B: IP per start matters and so does durability (staying off the DL), but as a general rule of thumb I usually tend to rate starting pitchers this way:

1.15 WHIP or below: #1 starter
1.16 - 1.30 WHIP: #2 starter
1.31 - 1.40 WHIP: #3 starter
1.41 - 1.60 WHIP #4 starter
1.61 - 1.75 WHIP #5 starter

Any starting pitcher with a 1.76+ WHIP should not be in a starting rotation.

I base this rating on placing starting pitchers in groups of 30 (there are MLB clubs, hence there should be 30 #1 starters, 30 #2 starters, 30 #3 starters, etc).

So if you accept my non-scientific criteria, Garza is a solid #2, Zambrano is a #3, Lopez is a #3 (but only three GS), Dempster is a #4 (but borderline #3), and Wells is a #5 (close to being a #4).

I believe to be a contending team, an MLB club really needs a combination of three #1 and/or #2 starters, a solid #3 working as the #4, and a #4 working as the #5.

Garza has consistently fallen into the #2 starter group for the last four seasons, but with his stuff, he could yet morph into a #1.

Zambrano was a #1 in 2005, a #2 in 2004, 2006, and 2008, a #3 in 2003, 2007 and 2009, and a #4 in 2010. So who is the real Carlos Zambrano? That's the problem. He's been all over the map.

Dempster was a solid #2 starter in 2008 after being moved back to the starting rotation from the bullpen that season, but he was only a #3 starter in 2009-10, and has been a #4 this season. And with age not on his side, it doesn't look like he will ever be anything more than a #3.

Wells was a #2 starter in his rookie season (2009), but fell to a #3 in 2010, and to a borderline #4 (or worse) this season.

Lopez was a journeyman #4 starter in 2005 and 2006 (with BAL) and in 2010 (with PHI), but was a #3 starter over a half-season (only 14 GS) with COL in 2007.

Note that when the Cubs won the N. L. Central in 2003, Mark Prior was a #1, Kerry Wood and Matt Clement were both #2 starters, and Carlos Zambrano was a #3 as the Cubs 4th starter. 5th starter Shawn Estes was the weak link (a #5, but at 1.74, just barely).

In 2007 (when the Cubs won the N. L.Central), Ted Lilly was a #1 starter, Rich Hill was a #2, and Carlos Zambrano, Jason Marquis, and Sean Marshall were all #3 starters (Ryan Dempster was the closer).

In 2008 (when the Cubs had the best record in the N.L. during the regular season), Rich Harden (acquired in a mid-season trade with OAK) was a #1, Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster, and Carlos Zambrano were all #2 starters, and Cubs 5th starter Jason Marquis was really a solid #4.

The 2009 Cubs (who has a winning record but did not qualify for the post-season) had Lilly as a #1, Wells as a #2, and Zambrano, Harden, and Dempster all #3 starters (same configuration as the 2007 club).

The 2010 Cubs had Lilly as a #1 (but he was traded mid-season to LAD), Carlos Silva was a #2 (but he was shut-down the last two months of the season), Dempster and Wells were both a #3, and Zambrano, Tom Gorzelanny, and Casey Coleman were #4 starters.

The Cubs probably miss Ted Lilly, who is still a #2 starter with LAD in 2011 after being a #1 MLB starter in 2007, 2009, and 2010, and they also miss Tom Gorzelanny, who was an MLB #4 in 2010 but has been a #2 MLB starter for WAS in 2011. What's really galling about the Gorzelanny trade is that he was traded during the off-season ostensibly to save the Cubs $2M in 2011 payroll, but they ended up spending the $2M on Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez (both inferior to Gorzelanny).

BTW, Coleman, Russell (as a starter), and Davis have 1.76+ WHIPs in 2011 and should probably not be MLB starting pitchers (at least Davis has been released and Russell has been moved back to the bullpen).

This may be lead to tons of attach on this site, but IMO there is much more to being a number one than particular stats, especially WHIP. Jack Morris is the example I always think of, where during his best seasons, he seemed to hold the other team to just less offense than his team scored (i.e., he'd win 1-0, then win 7-6). This could be luck, but consistently eating lots of innings and getting the win indicates, IMO, that he was a number one during those years, regardless of his WHIP.

What seasons were his best seasons?

The three when he was the #1 starter on teams that won the World Series.

BTW...not saying Zambrano is currently a #1 starter.

Hell for that matter Zambrano....not if you look at his career #'s...but anything is better than producing the mostly zeroes of the 1990's....god....

byrd up and in the lineup (CF, hitting 6th), montonnononononez down

9ip 4h 2bb 7k...1er...all hits singles...115 pitches for garza.

...for the 1-0 loss. sigh.

yanks release c.silva, fwiw.

It'd be hilarious if Hendry tried to sign him back and he demanded more money.

Mass Cub fan suicide if that happens.

We don't no more stinkin reasons.

K. Fukudome rf
D. Barney 2b
S. Castro ss
A. Ramirez 3b
C. Pena 1b
M. Byrd cf
A. Soriano lf
G. Soto c

...and lopez going for the cubs

...if anyone is actually watching this. i kinda wish i wasn't homebound right now even with a wsox/cubs game on. 34-50. woo!

I'm convinced Ivan Dejesus is blind.

well, being that it's late in the game and with the weak hitting middle of the order due up, no doubt Wavin'Ivan thought it was wise to give the fleet-footed Soto a chance to put the Cubs ahead

Not sure if anyone else has seen this yet but it appears that AZ Phil will be getting a good look at Hayden Simpson soon.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5951

That's a good move. The guy needs to just work on getting him arm strength and physical condition back to where it was before his second bout of mono.

Soriano actually made a play at the wall, fucking shocking.

via rotowurld

"Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Ryan Dempster will miss his next scheduled start due to back pain."

cue another casey coleman visit...

...and c.carpenter down, c.coleman up

Twittenmyer should just read MLB.COM where the probable pitchers have been up waiting for the media to find them

Coleman vs Zimmerman (got to hate our chances here)

Ortiz vs Detwiler (a 2011 double-debut)

Wells vs Gorzelanny (ex-factor matchup:Wells has been literally twice the pitcher Gorz has been this year...and not in a good way)

Garza vs Hernandez (I'm looking forward to this one as the 1-2 Cubs try to even up the series)

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