Rob G.'s Archives

Let’s Play Two…With No Break

Hoo-boy, the night game to day game turnaround is a tough one, but today's is going to be even worse than usual. The Cubs pulled out an 8-6 victory in 18 innings last night (not the only 18-inning game in the majors last night, incredibly), but it took two innings from today's scheduled starter, Rich Hill, which means they have about 3 hours to figure out who's going to start today.

Roger and Me

We have a small disparity in experience between our two starting pitchers tonight. Let's look at the tale of the tape:
Clemens  vs. Mateo:
  681 &nbsp&nbsp GS &nbsp  1
  345 &nbsp&nbsp W &nbsp&nbsp  1
  4552   K &nbsp   3
  4764.2 IP &nbsp  7
No pressure kid, good news is you have Blanco behind the plate to make sure you throw strikes. The other good news is the Astros offense is just about as pathetic as ours. The bad news is you have Blanco behind the plate and he has to hit. Go Cubs!

7 Walks!!!!

Seven walks in eight innings and zero runs allowed; that can't happen too often and I don't know if I should praise Z for gutting through a game without his best stuff or laugh at the Astros for their ineptitude at getting guys home. The Cubs now have 5 shutout victories this year, 3 of them against the Astros, 2 of them in games started by Zambrano (The other was by Sean Marshall). The other 2 shutouts were in back-to-back games versus the Nationals in games started by....wait for it.....Zambrano and Marshall.

Cubs Try to Avoid the Sweep

As expected, Prior hit the DL yesterday with shoulder issues although surgery isn't expected (at the moment). He won't be throwing for at least 10 days and really what's the point of trying to bring him back this season. Shut him down! Another one of the "Cubs Young Guns" (&copy TCR Inc, All Rights Reserved) hits the mound today. Anyone want to take the over on Marmol hitting 110 pitches in 6 innings? Go Cubs!

Will Angel Get His Wings?

With word that Mark Prior is likely headed back to the DL and probably done for the season, there should be another rotation spot up for grabs. Guzman will get his shot starting today and just like Rich Hill, it'll be a matter of finding the strike zone consistently for him to be successful, something he's shown to be more than capable of throughout his minor league career. Much like Hill, the Cubs just need to show some patience with Guzman, let him pitch every 5 days and re-evaluate at the end of the season. Go Cubs!

Not Your Older Brother’s Rockies

The Rockies whom have resorted to legalized cheating by placing baseballs in a humidor to nullify the "Coors Field effect" are in the thick of the division and wild card races. Has it helped? Here are their regular starting roation's ERAs, home ERA is listed first: Byung-Hyun Kim: 2.75/6.85 Jason Jennings: 3.00/3.84 Jeff Francis: 3.02/3.75 Aaron Cook: 3.81/4.11 Josh Fogg: 5.46/3.88

Would You Care for Some Pie?

Much is written here about not wanting to rush Felix Pie, and some in the TCR community even question whether the Pie Man is even a top prospect. A couple of days ago, Dusty Baker was asked by the Chicago media whether the Cubs might consider recalling Felix Pie from the minors anytime soon. According to Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune, Dusty replied:

Prior’s Revenge

Once again, I'm in a bit of a crunch at work, so this will be brief. All I ask is for the real Mark Prior to show up sometime before the season ends, the guy with the impeccable control, the killer breaking stuff and the winner-take-all competitive edge. You know the guy who we saw for most of 2003, the last month of 2004 and the beginning of 2005. Because the guy who's been wearing his jersey since he took a liner off the forearm isn't very good. Go Cubs!

Lightning Round Preview

This one is going to be quick as I gotta run, but since the Cubs have won 3 straight since I decided to moan about each day's starter, I can't mess with the streak. Z's having a nice year, 12-4 looks pretty and all, but he's had the benefit of tremendous run support and honestly hasn't looked all so hot since July. But hey, it's better to be lucky than good. It would be nice if he could be both though. Go Cubs. GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTEEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT]

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  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 24 min 54 sec ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 33 min 37 sec ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 1 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 29 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 2 hours 52 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 6 hours 32 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 7 hours 45 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 8 hours 8 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 12 hours 13 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 13 hours 1 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 13 hours 34 min ago view