Archive - 2010

September 6th

What a strange day at the ballpark. I arrived about 11:30 A.M. in time to see the Iowa Cubs' GM unloading champagne out of the back of his SUV. Special shampoo for the clubhouse showers. I had to leave five hours later for a wedding reception with the potential pennant-clincher still unresolved after 10 innings. Turns out I'd only seen two thirds of the game.

On my way into the ballpark a team official in a championship frame of mind mentioned to me that 18 of the players had been to the clubhouse chapel service that morning. It wasn't clear if he thought that somehow boded well for the game ahead. I asked him if Jeff Samardzija, the appointed starting pitcher, had been there. No, apparently he has neither a prayer nor a clue. What would Touchdown Jesus think?

September 5th

Thanks to a 33 year-old journeyman who's probably had all he's likely to get of the big leagues, what remains of the Iowa Cubs took another big step toward a division pennant and the PCL playoffs with an 8-5 win over the Memphis Redbirds last night in Des Moines. Jeff Samardzija will take the mound this afternoon and try to toss the clincher.

September 4th

The newly named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, Iowa's Ryne Sandberg, must be assembling his lineups at this point like Mr. Phelps uesd to put together his teams on Mission Impossible. The Phelps character would listen to the tape describing his task, should he choose to accept it, and toss 8x10 glossies on the table of the available personnel best suited to accomplish it.

Last night Sandberg was without Sam Fuld due to an injured foot in addition to all the horsepower already summoned to Chicago. His starting pitcher was Chris Carpenter, a touted prospect yet to throw well since his promotion to Triple A. The opponent was the Memphis Redbirds who arrived in town deadlocked with Sandberg's club for the top spot in the PCL American North. This weekend's games are the last four of the regular season.

Iowa scrounged a gutsy 4-2 win to nudge a game in front with three to play.

September 3rd

You may have thought I've been on vacation since May, but really just the last week and next. Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things when I return.

In the meantime, the Mets visit Wrigley for this weekends exhibition. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and his surprising 2010 season start off the set against Randy "Sophomore Slump" Wells.

Fukudome, Castro, Byrd, Ramirez, Nady, Soto, Soriano, DeWitt, Wells

vs.

Pagan, Duda, Carter, Wright, Davis, Arias, Thole, Tejada, Dickey.

Gorzelanny has a hairline fracture in his pinkie and will miss his next start, hints are that he'll avoid the disabled list and pitch again this season.

Welington Castillo was called up.

The Cubs are currently tied for the 7th spot in the draft with the Nationals, a half game from the 6th spot owned by the Royals, 2 games from the 5th spot owned by the Dbacks and 3 games from the 4th spot owned by the Indians. I think the Pirates, O's and Mariners are pretty safe to take the first three picks. On the other side, it doesn't look the Cubs could do much worse than the 8th spot in the draft as they're 5.5 games behind the Astros and Brewers for the 9th spot.

Happy Weekend everyone.

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.

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