Plus Five MPH is Back

Like a bad penny, the Cubs can't seem to catch a break. Here is the list of the broken catchers:

Steve Clevenger -Oblique rib cage strain. He is scheduled to return to the batting cage this weekend and might be ready to come off the DL by next weekend in Pittsburgh.

Geo Soto - Went on the DL with a knee meniscus tear and had it repaired/ trimmed on Friday. Out at least 3 weeks.

Welington Castillo - Had an MRI of his knee this am and has a mild medial collateral sprain. Out of action about one week if things go well.

So who is left, you ask? Hint: Blake Lalli isn't in the starting lineup tonight...

Blake Lalli?

He was brought up when Soto went on the DL. Hitting only .178 in 20 games in Iowa, he was supposed to be a warm body off the bench but not really expected to start.

Per this Carrie Muskat article (http://t.co./TxaA2klP), ol #55 is back to bring his replanted fingers to the catching corpse (pun intended). Remember that Hill had almost amputated several fingers in his throwing hand on October 16, 2007 in a table saw accident. His surgeon had him hold a baseball to put the fingers and thumb back, so that even if they wound up stiff, he'd be able to hold a ball. Switch hitting Hill is a stiff from either side of the plate. Career line  in 833 AB is .211/.275/.298/.573, but if it was possible to believe,  he is worse vs left handed pitching (.091/.167/.091/.258). 

In honor of the Kerry Wood retirement, the Cubs new braintrust wanted  to splurge but after a quick scouring of the minor leagues they settled for "cash considerations" to purchase the contract of Koyie Hill from the Reds. we all know Koyie can't hit and he continued to prove that with a .195 average in 14 games for AA Pensicola.

He's in the lineup tonight catching ol' pal Ryan Dempster, and to complete the Cubbery, he's hitting against a lefty starter (Danks).

Tonight's lineup: Johnson CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Baker RF, Mather 3B, Hill C, Dempster P vs. lefty John Danks, 2-4, 6.46 ERA

And Randy Wells is reported to be back from Iowa taking Kerry Wood's roster spot. I'm still not quite sure how Hill gets on the roster unless Castillo is going on the DL, but we  haven't gotten confirmation of that yet. It is possible that Casey Coleman will go back to Iowa as Travis Wood is scheduled to start Tuesday vs. Houston (in Volstad's spot) and Muskat tweets that Wells is supposed to be used in long relief this time around.

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Epic post header/headline.

*golf clap*

Sorry I couldn't embed links. Wrote this on my iPad as I'm away this weekend and it's much harder to craft the article this way.

(p.s. thanks Cubnut. Koyie Hill getting two TCR articles in one day would be legendary Cubbery)

Ok. CAstillo gets the lion's share of time behind the plate...Hill spells him twice a week until Clevenger or Soto is healthy.
Great.

Pathetic Cubs. Really..

cast is injured and svememem has already said k.hill will get most starts.

didn't see the Castillo injury until after i'd shot my mouth off..lulz

i imagine that would be the case if welly wasn't injured, but hill wouldn't be here if he wasn't so it's kinda moot.

they needed someone fast, but wow...k.hill? maybe dumpster put in a personal call.

But when Castillo is able to play again next weekend and/or Clevenger is ready to be activated off the DL, Hill will be outrighted to Iowa?.............Right?..............right??????????????

sadly (or not) it'll probably be blake lalalialilaili unless k.hill is totally inept.

They better not be starting Hill over any of these guys whenever they return. I would expect the rotation to be:

6 starts by Castillo vs. 1 start by Hill
6 starts by Clevenger vs. 1 start by Hill

Until then, the other guys need to step up in generating offense to fill the offensive void created by both Hill AND a pitcher both being in the batting order.

i imagine...hope...khill will be on backup duty (if lalialaili isn't the chosen one) once one of the other 3 come back.

barring lasting injury, i expect k.hill to be putting in significant AAA time (at least until Sept, if then).

Un. Fucking. Believable.

After watching all these Wood 20K highlights, I wonder what Sandy Martinez is up to these days. Couldn't possibly be worse than Hill.

Just looked it up for fun. He's only 41 years old, and had a .363 OBP in 1998. Despite being retired for 8 years, I'd still take him over 3-Finger Hill.

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  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.

  • Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...

  • nice.

    also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.

    also also, the wsox are 19-8.

  • Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.

  • Fully agree on Addy -- hope he is our SS for a long time. I'm just surprised he has 4 errors already -- the last 2 on routine plays.

  • Guess how many Carlos Correa has?

    3

    I would still rather have Russell, right now, than any shortstop the team has had in many years. The future is bright enough to wear shades.

    EDIT: Gonzo WOULD have been my favorite, 'cepting a certain error of a double-play ball...

  • Hi Phil, made it home tonight safely. Looks like Cease is getting better each outing. I see Crow did ok today too. I will be reading your write_ups everyday. Great seeing you while there!

  • tomorrow's game is a 12:35pm EST game for some ungodly stupid reason...then it's back to wrigley field for a night game on the 5th.

  • The best part of tonight's game was 6 different players with RBIs. Truly a lineup that doesn't give up top to bottom.

  • excubs [email protected]_NEWS

    Jake Arrieta first Cub to go 6-0 in first six starts since Three Finger Brown in 1908.

  • Russell now with 4 errors -- that's a big (unpleasant) surprise.

  • Thanks Phil!

  • Throwing error to 2nd on a possible double play ball.

  • 19-6...unf.

  • Can someone tell me what happened on Russell's error?

  • BILLY BUCKS: As things stand right now, Dylan Cease will be in the Eugene starting rotation when the NWL season begins play in June, and if he peforms well there he could perhaps move up to South Bend toward the end of the minor league season or for the MWL playoffs (if South Bend qualifies).