Cubnut's Archives

Kerry Wood's Back Holds Him Back

Gordon Wittenmyer reporting in the Sun-Times that back spasms will keep Kerry Wood from making his scheduled pitching appearance today.

Manager Lou Piniella downplayed the significance of the injury, but
Wood was examined by team doctors today to determine the severity of
the injury...

Piniella stressed there's nothing wrong with his arm and he's not
concerned about this being an issue with Wood's ability to close.

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Gameday Open Thread / A's @ Cubs; Cubs @ Giants

In the first half of Wednesday's day/night Cubs exhibitiongameathon, Ryan Dempster gets the start at HoHoKam (2:05 Central Time), while in the second game, starting at 9:05 Central Time, Jon Lieber throws against the Giants.

If Lou Piniella sticks to his vow to name the five-man starting staff by the end of the week, this would be the last chance for Dempster and Lieber to make their respective cases. Jason Marquis, who allowed just one run in five innings against the Royals Tuesday, has made a pretty good case for himself already.

Miniscule sample sizes and spring training weirdness aside, here's how Dempster, Lieber, and Marquis stack up so far:

Gameday Open Thread / Royals @ Cubs

It's back to Cactus League play as the Cubs host the Royals at HoHoKam Tuesday afternoon at 3:05 Central.

Kosuke Fukudome will see some familiar faces in new Royals manager Trey Hillman, who managed the past five seasons in Japan, and righthander Yasuhiko Yabuta, who pitched the last 12 seasons for Chiba Lotte. Yabuta has given up 14 hits and 8 earned runs in 7 innings pitched and Fukudome is hitting .229--I wonder if they'll talk about the good ol' days.

Great Moments In Brian-Roberts-To-Cubs-Trade-Rumor History

Roberts Rumor Process
"The first test of Andy MacPhail's authority as Orioles president of baseball operations will come if a rival club makes a strong push to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts.

"A year ago, Orioles owner Peter Angelos refused to allow his previous front office to trade Roberts...Orioles executives, however, say privately that they are not under orders to keep Roberts.

"The Mets and Astros were among the teams that showed interest in Roberts before signing free-agent second basemen Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, respectively.

"The next team to take a run at Roberts could be the Cubs, who failed to land Matsui."

-- FoxSports.com, 12/3/07

Gameday Open Thread / Angels @ Cubs

The Angels (10-6) visit HoHoKam this afternoon at 3:05 to play the Cubs (6-12). The game will be carried on WGN Radio, WGN-TV, mlb.tv and Gameday Audio, but no one will be tuning in, as the world's attention will be focused instead on the University of Illinois' attempt to secure an NCAA Tournament berth.

Gameday Open Thread / Cubs @ White Sox

Rich Hill (0-1/7.04) throws against Nick Masset as the Cubs make their only visit to Tucson Electric Park this Cactus League season. (The Sox will travel to Mesa next Saturday.) First pitch is at 3:05, and the game will be telecast in Chicago on WGN, though described by the insufferable White Sox announcing team. (Wild guess: at some point in the broadcast, lifetime .239 hitter Hawk Harrelson will talk about how much more fundamentally sound baseball players were in the Old Days.) Pat and Ron will also have the call on WGN Radio.

Gameday Open Thread / Padres @ Cubs

The Cubs host old friend Greg Maddux and the Pads, Thursday at 3:05 in Mesa. With his family's welfare in the balance, Jason Marquis will start for the Cubs. Marquis has allowed seven hits and two walks in two starts (5 IP) so far this Spring.

The game will be carried live on mlb.com Gameday Audio.

Sam Fuld, the Hitless Cubs Club, and "Law & Order"

In the Comments last week, loyal TCR reader The Joe asked which Major Leaguer had the most at-bats without ever getting a hit. (The question stemmed from the fact that Cubs CF candidate Sam Fuld currently has the roundest of lifetime batting averages, .000, after his 0-for-6 showing last season.)

According to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index, the answer is Mets pitcher Randy Tate, who had 41 at-bats in 1975 without once hitting his way on base. Among non-pitchers, the more interesting record, I think, Mike Potter ('76-'77) and Larry Littleton ('81) share the mark with 23 hitless at-bats for the Cards and Indians, respectively.

But what about the Cubs? I figured that an organization which has fielded so many craptacular teams with roster spots filled by so many never-developed young players and over-the-hill old players would have some worthy entries in a category like this one.

So I waded back into the B-R Play Index and changed the original search parameters a bit to find the 10 non-pitchers who accumulated the most AB's for the Cubs without getting a hit. Note: the players listed may have hit safely before or after they wore the Cub uniform; the point is, they were hitless while they were ours.

Anyway, here are the Top Ten Members of the Hitless Cubs Club:

Gameday Open Thread / Cubs @ Royals

The Cubs (4-7 in Cactus League play) meet the Royals (5-5) in Surprise, Arizona (which, if it had any real guts, would add an exclamation point after its name. "Surprise!, Arizona"--now that's a town with character).

Ryan Dempster starts against Brett Tomko. Making his third appearance of the Spring, Dempster comes in at 1-0/3.60.

Yesteday, the Cubs split the squad and beat the Diamondbacks 4-1 in Mesa, while losing 7-6 to the A's on the road. Jon Lieber's four shutout innings against the D-Backs were one of the day's highlights.

Gameday Open Thread / Cubs @ Athletics

The Cubs play the A's this afternoon at 2:05 Central Time in Phoenix. You can hear the game via the mlb.com Web cast.

Jason Marquis starts for the Cubs against former White Sox farmhand and non-roster invitee Gio Gonzalez. The lefty led all of minor league baseball in strikeouts last season and fanned three Giants over two scoreless innings in his Oakland debut last Saturday.

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 11 hours 53 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 14 hours 51 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 15 hours 4 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 15 hours 13 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 15 hours 18 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 15 hours 36 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 16 hours 12 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 16 hours 30 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 16 hours 32 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 16 hours 50 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 16 hours 57 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 17 hours 53 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 18 hours 10 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 18 hours 15 min ago view