Archive - 2010

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

August 3rd

Things have gotten so bad with the Cubs that Ron Santo's heavy sighs and plaintive wails and exclamations of "C'mon!" and "No!" actually capture precisely the way I now feel while listening to or watching the action.

Tuesday night the Cubs fell to a season-worst 15 games under .500, losing their seventh in a row, 4-3, to the Brewers. (Lest we forget, the Brewers had lost five in a row before this series began.)

August 1st

Now that the trade deadline is behind us, what are Cub fans supposed to pay attention to? The games?! I tried that earlier tonight, and I'm sorry I did.

— I heard a recorded interview with Derrek Lee on WGN Radio early this evening in the run-up to the Cubs/Rockies game. David Kaplan asked Lee about Ryan Theriot, and Lee described him as "a grinder." In that moment, I came up with my own definition of a grinder. It's a guy who plays hard enough to occasionally make you forget that he's not very good.

July 31st

Manager Ryne Sandberg's Iowa Cub lineup SCORED 4 runs in 9 minutes? I LOVE THIS STAT! That translates to 26.6 runs per hour. Thankfully, they suspend games in triple-A rather than just wash them out and make it a do-over. The RPH just might go up when the game resumes in a month.

Manager Lou Piniella's Chicago Cubs GAVE UP runs at a similar velocity. After last night's 17-2 debacle vs the Rockies in an 8th inning that saw 11 consecutive hits (13 total hits but 11 hits with 2 outs) and 12 runs score...that's what I'm talking about, RUNS PER MINUTE. The only problem is that the Chicago National League franchise's role model has been Captain Peter Wrongway Peachfuzz. It was too painful for me to use a stopwatch on that fiasco. The last time the Cubs gave up 12 in one inning was Sept. 24, 1985 vs the Expos. The Expos won that game 17-15 and Expo hat wearing Andre Dawson went 4-6 with 8 rbi and 3 homers. Oddly, a pitcher named Ray Fontenot took the loss for the Cubs. At least those Cubs scored 12 runs over the last 3 innings, which is more than this inept group could claim.

Why can't the I-Cubs just play out their schedule at Wrigley and hide the lame ducks in Des Moines?

As far as the trading deadline ending later this afternoon, the Saturday morning latest says Lilly is still on the block with the Dodgers, Twins, Tigers and Yankees for some reason showing interest. "Minor sniff's" on Xavier Nada and Little Babe Ruth are out there per Ken Rosenthal. Something about interest in DBack Kelly Johnson too. If they wanted him now, it seems they missed the boat since he would have come for less when he was a free agent nobody wanted last off-season. Did Jim Hendry misread the saying as buy-high and sell-low? I hate it when we get stuff bass-ackwards.

and a bit more detail on runs-per-minute after the break...

July 29th

Orioles President Andy McPhail, of the royal baseball McPhail lineage (grandpa Larry, dad Lee) had a chance to snag another ex-Cub and went another direction today by hiring non-nonsense manager, Buck Showalter.  Recent speculation by Tribster, Steve Rosenbloom, had Sandberg on Andy's speed dial but it seems it wasn't so. The O's beat writer for mlb.com said the short list was former O's catcher Rick Dempsey, former Indians manager Eric Wedge and Bobby Valentine, who has recently volunteered his services as the next Cub manager.

With less than 48 hours to go on the trade deadline and the Cubs season over long ago, Hendry seems on the brink of not being able to move any of his overpriced talent.

Well-done sir.

The latest of course is that Derrek Lee wouldn't waive his NTC to go to the Angels  who happen to reside in Southern California where he is building a home. As a 10/5 man, he has earned that right,  so fair enough. But please don't invoke the love of the city or your teammates because you're kind of screwing them over.

"I think the bottom line is family. I like Chicago, I enjoy my teammates. It was the decision we made."

You may be thinking that he just didn't want to go to the Angels who are pretty much out of it, but according to Bruce Levine, the Rangers came up with an offer as well and they're very well on their way to the playoffs at the moment. I don't know anything about Lee's personel life, but for the $13M he's making this year, it seems like he could overcome the 2-month inconvenience. Since Lee is still having a crap year and the team is obviously moving on past him for 2011, it'd be nice if he was benched for prolonged period of times to start giving whomever the Cubs think might be next year's first basemen some much needed game experience (Colvin, Soriano, Ramirez, Hoffpauir, etc).

- Ted Lilly seemed like a slam dunk to get moved, but teams seem to be balking at picking up his salary. The Cubs should of course just offer to pay most of it, if it can net them a decent pair of prospects, but Hendry still can't figure out how free agent compensation works, so I'm doubtful he'll figure out the idea of sunk costs. The Phillies are of course out now as they picked up Roy Oswalt, leaving the Mets, Twins and Dodgers as the most likely targets, although all seem hesitant at this late hour.

On the other hand, if these teams are so hesitant to pick up his salary or Lee's, both should easily clear waivers and if they don't, dear god Hendry, just let them go and save the money since there's no way in hell you'll offer them arbitration cause you never do that.

- I haven't heard much on the Ryan Theriot front lately past the Rockies and Tigers rumors. Xavier Nady's continued awfulness has nullified his trade value.

So at this moment, we all have the joy of following a terrible team that can't even conduct a proper fire sale. Cubs fever...catch it.

July 28th

On Memorial Day, 1922, the Cubs and Cardinals completed a trade between games of a split doubleheader. After playing for their respective teams in the morning game, Cubs outfielder Max Flack and Cards OF Cliff Heathcote were traded for one another. Each man played for his new team in the afternoon.

The Cubs and Rockies have no doubleheaders scheduled this weekend, but in line with rumors that have been coming out of Chicago the past couple days, the Denver Post is reporting that Ryan Theriot may begin the weekend series as a Cub and end it as a member of the Rockies.

Four pitchers combined to throw a five-hit shutout, and Vismeldy Bieneme reached base four times, stole two bases, and scored three runs, as the AZL Cubs blanked the AZL Padres 3-0 in a game that was played in a steady monsoon drizzle at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa Tuesday night.  


July 27th

By all accounts, Ted Lilly will be an ex-Cub by Saturday's trading deadline, in which case tonight's start at Houston will be his last for the team. Signed in December, 2006 after finalizing a deal with Cubs GM Jim Hendry moments before Hendry underwent an angioplasty, Lilly will go down as one of the GM's savvier acquisitions.

If you're a Twitter user and are not currently following us (@thecubreporter), please do so. The goal is to get to 600 followers—we're currently at 584—before Alex Rodriguez hits his 600th home run.

And then rub his nose in it.

July 26th

A couple items from the rumor mill...

Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs are running a Kosuke Sale. And Bruce Levine is apparently reporting that Ryan Theriot's stock went up over the weekend and that he is now on the radars of the Rockies, Padres, and Tigers. Tip o' the hat to @TheCCO, who passed along Levine's report, and also to Tim McGinnis of Aisle 424 (@Aisle424) who wrote so eloquently of Theriot:

July 25th

The last post is getting a little long in the tooth and a little bitchy, so let's move on to happier things like Andre Dawson's Hall of Fame induction today and the Cubs on the brink of a three game sweep over the Cardinals.

I don't have much to add actually on Dawson's speech today much like anything involving this site lately, but that smiling photo with the plaque classes up the joint.

As for the Cubs, they're third in the league in runs scored in July behind the Giants and Yankees. Who'd thunk? Three guys have OPS numbers north of 1.000 (Castro, Ramirez and Soto) with Byrd, Lee and Colvin around the .800 or above mark, leaving Soriano(.732 but with 5 HR's) and Theriot(.641) to bring up the rear.

Z threw two scoreless last night for Iowa with no walks, a hit and three K's and should join the team this week if he apologizes to his teammates for...giving a shit about losing? And probably for destroying the Gatorade cooler, I hear it was a clubhouse favorite.

Dempster got beat up a bit against the weakly 'Stros last time, but the offense bailed him out of a loss.

Lineup for tonight's game from Muskat's twitter feed:

rf colvin, ss castro, 1b lee, 3b ramy, cf byrd, lf sori, c soto, 2b riot, p demp

Pages

X
  • Sign in with Twitter