Archive - 2007

November 29th

November 28th

The NL Central Goes Shopping

The editors at mlb.com obviously sent all of the team correspondents a mass email ordering them to write Winter Meeting shopping list stories...pronto! Well, their loss of editorial independence is your gain. Here, based on those stories and reports from a few of the hometown papers, is a summary of what the Cubs’ NL Central brothers might be looking for during next week’s meetings in Nashville: Brewers NL Central teams posted four of the five worst bullpen ERAs in the National League last season, with Milwaukee (4.15/12th in NL), Houston (4.62/14th), Pittsburgh (4.77/15th) and Cincy (5.10/16th) positively embarrassing the Cubs (3.76/3rd) and Cardinals (4.00/9th). No surprise then that so many of the division’s teams are hoping to address bullpen issues. The Brewers actually lost their best reliever, closer Francisco Cordero, who signed last week with the Reds, plus set-up man Scott Linebrink, who signed with the White Sox. (You think Kenny Williams will ask him to play centerfield?) GM Doug Melvin says he doesn’t anticipate trading for an established closer given the typical asking price, but he’s also understandably wary of the three remaining, free-agent closers—Gagne, Percival, and Dotel—given their colorful injury histories. Sounds to me like Doug Melvin has a problem.

November 27th

Kerry As Kloser? Krazy

Jim Hendry acknowledges that Kerry Wood will have to show he can occasionally pitch on three consecutive days to become a full-fledged closer. But can he even pitch on two? Woody pitched in both ends of the 9/15 doubleheader in St. Louis, but other than that, he never pitched in consecutive days in ’07; in half of his 22 appearances, he was going on two, three or four days rest.

November 26th

The Hendry/Piniella Plan (Apparently)

With the MLB Winter Meetings set for next week in Nashville, the Hot Stove League should start to heat-up. So here is a summary of what appears to be the "Hendry/Piniella Cubs Plan for 2008" (or whatever they call it internally) that was apparently devised at the Cubs Organizational Meeting in Mesa last month (and I am NOT necessarily advocating any of this stuff):

November 22nd

Cubs Sign Six Minor League FA

The Cubs have signed their first batch of minor league free-agents. Minor League FAs signed prior to 11/20 are normally the ones most in demand, and so they often get the best deals, including more money and usually an NRI to Spring Training. The six minor league free-agents signed recently by the Cubs are:

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 8 hours 33 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 8 hours 53 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 8 hours 54 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 8 hours 57 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 9 hours 5 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 9 hours 32 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 9 hours 48 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 10 hours 19 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 10 hours 34 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 14 hours 50 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 15 hours 31 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 15 hours 35 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 17 hours 30 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 19 hours 18 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 19 hours 52 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 20 hours 6 min ago view