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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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 3 hours 17 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 3 hours 29 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 3 hours 56 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 4 hours 43 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 4 hours 57 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 9 hours 13 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 9 hours 55 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 9 hours 59 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 11 hours 54 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 14 hours 16 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 14 hours 29 min ago view