Archive - Aug 2010

Date

August 30th

Scoring a run in the bottom of the 7th to take the lead and then seven more in the bottom of the 8th to put the game away, the AZL Cubs closed out their 2010 Arizona League season by coasting past the AZL A's 11-4 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa Sunday night.


August 27th

This is (of course) very much subject to change, but as things stand right now, here are the projected roster and payroll for the Cubs circa post-season 2010 into Spring Training 2011.


August 25th

Reader dcf (he of the Ron Santo for the Hall pieces from a few years back) stops by with a guest column on the Lee-Ramirez-Zambrano years


The August 18th trade of Derrek Lee to the Braves for three minor league pitching prospects represents not only the end of an era, but also the end (and to some extent the failure) of a long term strategy. For some time, the Cubs have built their team around three core players, Lee, Zambranoand Ramirez, allocating a large percentage of their available salary dollars to these players in long term contracts. This strategy has not yielded the results anyone would have hoped for.

August 24th

The Cubs came out thumping last night for their new manager knocking out 15 hits and taking 6 walks, 3 of them by Soto as they pitched around him in the 8th spot. The last time the Cubs had an interim manager it was 2002 and the job went to Bruce Kimm (with Rene Lachemann getting one game before Kimm took over). The Cubs responded well that first game for Kimm, winning 7-3 over the Braves, but he ended up going 33-45 on the year, nearly identical to Baylor who was 34-49 before being fired.

You have to go to 1991 for the next mid-season firing, when Don Zimmer got canned after going 18-19 and once again a one game gig was given to bridge the gap, but this time to Joe Altobelli before Jim Essian took over.  If my math is right, the Cubs won that game as well for Essian, a 5-2 win over the Mets thanks to Greg Maddux, but Essian didn't fare much better than Zimmer did for the rest of the season finishing with a 59-63 record.

Some other interim manager results since 1970 for the Cubs.

August 23rd

This topic doesn't really merit a full post, but the site won't allow me to reply directly to inquiries aimed my way about Marquez Smith so I took another route in.

August 22nd

MAJOR NEWS UPDATE:

Lou Piniella will resign after today's game vs Atlanta. His mother's health has not improved and instead of going the medical leave of absence route again, he's handing over the managerial chores to...THE FORMER IOWA CUB MANAGER... drumroll, please...[[[Mike Quade]]]. Pfffft.


There is a segment of the news reporters who actually cover medical meetings and try their hand at using medical lingo on their readers. I found this article online (and several other sources picked it up including the LA Times) but it originates from a news feed that the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine provided after their 2010 annual meeting from Providence, RI.

This is clearly an epidemiologic study. I'm thinking medical sabermetrics is a better term.

The study was based on data from MLB's disabled list published online data from 2002-2008, so it didn't really need a doctor to do this, it probably was done by a doctor who is a baseball junkie. Hmmm.

Dr. (and Major) Matthew Posner took the raw information and tabulated the frequency and distribution of injuries by anatomic site, position, AL vs NL and time of season (before or after the All-Star break). Nicely done. Clean and simple.

"Even though baseball is a passion of many people and our national pastime, there is very little information about the epidemiology, characteristics or distribution of injuries in Major League Baseball,” said Maj., Matthew Posner, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. “This study attempts to evaluate Major League injuries over the period of six years.”

On to Dr. Posner's findings after the jump...

August 21st

August 19th

With Derrek Lee's departure to the South and front running Braves, the Cubs lost one of their finest players over the last 30 years. But just how fine was he?

I think we can agree that since 1980 (arbitrary cutoff by me, live with it) that Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa are your top two Cubs depending on how much you want to dock Sosa for his alleged indiscretions. That leaves a quartet of Cubs vying for spots 3-7 among position players: Mark Grace, Andre Dawson, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee.

Let's go to the HTML table:

August 18th

UPDATE by Rob G: The deal is done and the Cubs get RHP Robinson Lopez (age 19), LHP Jeffrey Lorick (age 22, 20th round pick in 2009) and RHP Tyrelle Harris (age 23, 19th round pick in 2009). I bumped this up top, but be sure not to miss Arizona Phil's 2010 Rule 4 draft update below this post.


In today's installment of "Who Can We Pawn Off On The NL East Leaders?" we pass along word from David Kaplan (@thekapman) that the Cubs and Braves are "very close" on a deal that would move Derrek Lee to Atlanta. Kaplan says the deal "should get done later today."

Sorry to hear that D-Lee could be operating out of the first-base dugout this weekend when the Braves visit Wrigley? This will cheer you up.

The deadline for signing HS, JC, and college players (other than seniors) selected in this past June's Rule 4 Draft has past, as the Cubs announced the signing of four draft picks (RHP Ben Wells, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, LHP Casey Harman, and LHP Brian Smith) prior to the midnight deadline on Monday.  


In total, the Cubs signed 29 of their 50 draft picks, just about the usual number they sign each year. In addition, the Cubs signed four Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) to provide depth at Mesa and Boise.


Here are the 2010 draft picks and Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) who were signed by the Cubs, and those who the Cubs were not able to sign. The highest draft pick to get away was 6th round pick OF Ivan DeJesus, who will be attending UAB.

August 17th

That's the story on NBC Sports citing Talking Chop of SB Nation, which isn't what I'd call a go-to news source. But alas it's out there and if the Braves do put in a waiver claim, I'd like to hope Hendry just lets him go to the Braves and saves the money for the rest of this year and most likely next. Granted, Aramis still has a a NTC and would have to approve the deal even if the Cubs just let the waiver claim go through, but it would take the Cubs off the hook for 2011 on the assumption that Aramis was going to exercise his option.

Not much else going on, nice little weekend of playing spoiler to the Cardinals by taking two out of three, but they couldn't keep the momentum going today against the first place Padres. Gorz pitched well for six innings, but then the 7th happened and then the bullpen and the Cubs stayed within a half game of the 5th pick in the 2011 draft. After the game, Lou felt the need to vent about the young pitchers whose names he'll forget by Day 2 of his retirement.

The signing deadline for the 2010 draft came and went on Monday and according to Cubs.com, the Cubs signed 29 of their 50 picks, 15 of their top 16 picks and 21 of their top 25. The top holdout was 6th round pick Ivan Dejesus (standard disclaimer that he's not related to that Ivan Dejesus).

According to tweets by Chicago Cubs Online, Oneri Fleita mentioned ont he radio that Chris Archer, Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters will be 3 of the Cubs heading to the Arizona Fall League with Vitters getting time at 3b and 1b. The Cubs will send 2-4 more players when they make their official announcement later this month.

UPDATE: As I noted, Talking Chop should not be your go-to news source as just about everyone with the Braves is dismissing the idea.

August 13th

Derrek Lee is back, Hoffpauir gets sent back down...okay, why not?

With Soto on the DL, Aramis still out, Colvin in the penalty box and Soriano incapable of moving spots in the batting order without the Earth's magnetic fields being reversed, we get to witness the following lineup featuring Blake DeWitt batting 5th.

Fukudome, Castro, Lee, Byrd, DeWitt, Soriano, Barney, Hill, Diamond

vs.

F. Lopez, J. Jay, Pujols, Holliday, Rasmus, Molina, Schumaker, Westbrook, Ryan

In happier news, Castro is just 17 plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting title race, in which he'd currently be third, just two points behind Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies.

Cubs get to play the role spoilers this weekend or more likely the role of roadkill. Happy weekend everyone!

August 12th

The things you miss not caring about this team...

The Little Cajun That Could was traded to the Giants yesterday for speedy center fielder Evan Crawford. The two reports I read on him are hardly flattering...beyond his speed.

In terms of pitch selection, Crawford is not afraid to work deep counts. However, I’d attribute this more to laying off all offspeed offerings to hide a weakness and not good pitch selection. Crawford looks for the first decent fastball middle-in and tries to yank it down the line. When he’s forced to fight off pitches with two strikes, I’ve seen curveballs make him look silly in the box.

Considering it was a waiver wire deal, you can't expect much to receive much for Mike Fontenot anyway. Darwin Barney has been called up to take Fontenot's spot on the roster.

Geovany Soto went to the disabled list and Derrek Lee is tending to his grandfather, paving the way for Micah Hoffpauir and Welington Castillo to get called up.

All of this was news to me this morning.

The Cubs are currently the proud owners of the 7th spot in the draft and just 2.5 games from the 4th spot, with a little work I think they could even manage to catch the Mariners for the third spot.

As for today's game, the power hitting, but OBP challenged Colvin is leading off, it's like those two two plus years of Soriano in the leadoff spot never happened:  lf colvin, ss castro, rf fuke, cf byrd, 1b nady, 2b dewitt, 3b baker, c hill, p wells

One last piece of fun, Cubs OBI%(Other Baserunners Driven In) this year via Baseball Prospectus. It really should be the go-to stat when folks talk about driving in runners. If I ever accomplish anything with this blog, it will be making this stat more widely accepted and known. The best in the league will be in the low 20's and anything in the 15-17% range is acceptable to good and just like BABIP or many of the rate stats out there, it does fluxuate widely from year to year, but the power hitters who can put the ball in play will tend to be more consistent from year-to-year. For comparison, here's the Cubs in 2008.

Castro
16.3%
Soto
16%
 Soriano 15.7%
 Ramirez 15.3%
 Lee 14.3%
Byrd
13.9%
Fukudome
13.4%
 Nady 12.9%
Colvin
12.0%
Theriot
10.4%
Baker 9.6%

The real treat here is that Soto has batted 7th or 8th most of the year, while being the best Cubs run producer. I know, nothing ground-breaking in terms of information, but still fascinatingly inept to witness.

August 10th

Yeah, we're all pretty sick of the 2010 Cubs. But just for a moment, imagine being Lou Piniella.

Close your eyes and just... imagine having to walk into the little "how come" room and explain this team to the media.

It has to be the absolute worst kind of hell.

Seriously, if you made a movie and had to depict hell, what better place than that little room? Day after day after day...

Now, I don't know exactly what he's thinking, but I would imagine it would be something close to this.

I'd give a million bucks to have a beer with the man, hear it for real...

 


You can view Tim Souers work on a daily basis at Cubby Blue.

August 6th

The site is broken.

The Cubs are broken.

I'm swamped.

The Friday beatdown lineup, yep, Soto batting 8th.

LF Colvin, SS Castro, 1B Lee, 3B Ramy, CF Byrd, RF Fukudome, 2B DeWitt, C Soto, P Gorzelanny

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