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April 21st, 2010

The Future History of Cub Managers, 2010–2013

(Apologies in advance if the readings from my crystal ball prove faulty. It's something about the neighborhood. Even the cable reception is erratic around here.)

 

by Paul Sullivan, Tribune Reporter
2:17 p.m., CDT, May 6, 2010

PITTSBURGH – If you thought that watching his team lose to the perennial doormat Pirates, 9-3, on Wednesday night and plummet into the NL Central basement was the toughest thing Jim Hendry has ever had to do as a baseball man, an hour after the game you were proven wrong.

Hendry informed the assembled media and all of Cub Nation that he was firing his good friend and Cub manager for the past 4+ years and 526 games, Lou Piniella.

"There's no two ways about it. This stinks," said an emotional Hendry, "but after a very disappointing season last year and the awful start we've had this year, we're going to have to take the team in a different direction. Alan Trammell will be taking over the ballclub for the rest of the year, and I know that he and the other coaches are going to do everything humanly possible to turn this thing around.

"There's still time to make this a special season, but the ballplayers have to start doing the things they're capable of. I know that, Alan knows that, and the ballplayers know that."

April 20th

Angels Nip Cubs at Diablo Park

Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield each had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI, but the EXST Angels rallied for five runs in the bottom of the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.


Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) once again was a DH, getting five Plate Appearances in the first seven innings. He roped a liner into the LF corner in his first AB (but only managed to get to 1st base), then was called out on strikes in his second PA, before grounding out three times in a row (1-3, 5-3, 5-3) to complete his day at the plate. While he seems to be swinging the bat OK, he also seems to be running a bit gingerly.


Ryan Dempster to the Bullpen?

This is just me speculating on what the Cubs will do on Saturday when Ted Lilly returns to the rotation. The most likely option is still either Tom Gorzelanny or Carlos Silva with odds favoring Gorzelanny heading to the pen as Lilly just replaces another lefty. And then either James Russell or Jeff Samardzija going back to Iowa, although someone in the pen still has a week to get their ticket punched.

Lou did not commit to it being Gorzelanny or Silva as of yesterday, even if that's the most likely scenario:

``I didn't say that. I never said that. You all [media] can say what you want. All I said basically is that somebody's got to leave the rotation to go into the bullpen. That's all I said.''

Lilly Pitches, Hits, and Runs in Sharp Performance at Peoria

Ted Lilly threw 87 pitches—61 for strikes—in a seven-inning stint at Peoria last night, in which he gave up just one run and three hits while fanning nine. The Chiefs beat the Burlington Bees, 2-1.

Lilly walked the first man he faced and gave up a triple to the third Burlington hitter. He was almost perfect after that.

Lilly, as quoted in the Peoria Journal Star...

“I struggled with (my command) at times, but for the most part I felt alright. I was mixing my changeup more than I have, so I was getting a feel for it tonight.”

Tags: 

April 19th

There's Ugly and Then There's Cub-Ugly: Mets 6, Cubs 1

Here's the ugly box score, and here are some details...

The good: Randy Wells allowed just one scratch run over six innings, yielding six singles and a couple walks while fanning five. At the plate, Wells delivered two singles of his own, one of which figured in the mini rally that netted the Cubs' only run of the game. Also, Marlon Byrd, moved up to the leadoff spot in Lou Piniella's new-look batting order against southpaws, collected three hits and the only Chicago RBI of the night.

The bad: Where to begin?

Giants Sweep Cubs in Split Squad Double-Bill at Fitch Park

The EXST Giants swept the EXST Cubs by the scores of 7-0 and 9-2 in a “Split Squad” doubleheader played at Fitch Park in Mesa this morning. The EXST Cubs are now 2-3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games.


The games were played simultaneously, one game on Field #2 and the other on Field #3. Both games were abbreviated due to the squads having a limited number of pitchers available to throw in a game.


Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) saw his first game action of the 2010 season today, getting four Plate Appearances in the game on Field #2. He hit the ball hard all four times, grounding out sharply 5-3 his first time up, flying out twice (F-8 and F-9) in his next two ABs, and then crushing a double off the fence in right-center in his 4th and final PA. The 23-year old 6'4 235+ Ridling (310/357/466 with 16 HR & 97 RBI, 34 doubles, and a league-leading 166 hits in 136 games at Peoria in 2009) will probably be at Fitch Park for about another week before joining the Daytona Cubs.


Ridling replaces Matt Spencer as the newest EXST “AB Hog,” as Spencer (broken toe) has completed his rehab and is en route to Daytona, where he will play until the Cubs can open up a roster slot for him at AA Tennessee. 


Francisco Guzman had the best day offensively, ripping an RBI triple to CF and beating out a routine ground ball to 2nd base for an infield single, while also scoring two runs. Otherwise, Cubs bats were quiet on both fields.


Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (EXST Cubs players only):


April 18th

You Are Now Free to Vomit: Cubs End Homestand with Loss to (Gulp!) Astros

The Cubs squandered another superb start, this one by Ryan Dempster, and lost 3-2 to the Astros in 10 innings Sunday afternoon. To make matters worse, the bullpen culprits on this day were the Cubs' two relief studs so far this young season, Carlos Marmol, who surrendered the tying run in the 9th, and Sean Marshall, who took the loss after allowing a double by Jason Michaels and a sacrifice fly by Pedro Feliz in the 10th.

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  • Well I guess if pitchers can keep working the edges of the plate to perfection it will be a long season. But that doesn't seem likely. Rizzo finally, fully, snapping out of it would help.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • If I didn't believe in coincidences (or science), I would apologize to Gordon Downie--one of my favorites. Sad news about a great talent.

    CTSteve 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • Hi Arizona Phil,

    Has there been any news on Oscar de la Cruz' health?

    Raisin101 8 hours 20 min ago view
  • bruh...

    crunch 9 hours 35 min ago view
  • O&B: Cease was apparently working on his off-speed pitches in his first & thrd innings, because in his second inning of work he just blew the D'backs away with high-velocity gas (that's when he hit 99-100 and struck out the side). 

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 54 min ago view
  • Wow, Lyin' CTSteve? He was just BEGGING for my endorsement last year!  Lame!

    Transmission 9 hours 59 min ago view
  • 1. I did not say the thing I insisted that Trans write down and attribute to me, or it was taken out of context.

    2. Trans and his "roast" (aka, a Salisbury steak TV dinner by Swanson) are very low energy.

    3. Make TCR great again.

     

    CTSteve 10 hours 5 min ago view
  • Yeah, I'm fine if I don't hear another one, furlong time.

    Transmission 10 hours 7 min ago view
  • nice recap, horrible game...i hope to never hear another horse pun/joke for at least a decade.

    crunch 10 hours 19 min ago view
  • Recap posted.  ~sigh~

    Transmission 10 hours 37 min ago view
  • THAT WAS TURRIBLE.

    MY GAWD.

    crunch 11 hours 34 sec ago view
  • Ok, fine. I'll do a recap.

    Transmission 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • Thanks for the post AZ. That's a huge attendance. Scouts must be excited about somebody.

    Would you say Cease's performance was a result of working on his change or was it just a bad outing? And isn't Ademan some ridiculous age, like 17 or something?What are your thoughts on him?

    Old and Blue 14 hours 12 min ago view
  • LOL and yes. No need to even be that formal, can just say "Trans, keep my name out of this abomination of a discussion."

    Transmission 16 hours 43 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat Verified account
    [email protected]

    Shane Victorino was released. Will have more details later. He was on Iowa #Cubs roster

    QuietMan 17 hours 28 min ago view
  • *tumbleweeds*

    wonder if he was released to retire or to try to latch on with someone else...

    crunch 17 hours 30 min ago view