How Far Koskie Has Come
Haven't seen a lineup yet for this afternoon's Cubs-Mariners game, but Lou Piniella's stated plan with Corey Koskie is to "probably play him every couple days and see how he does..."
Koskie started Tuesday's game against the Dodgers and ripped a double off the centerfield wall in his first at-bat. He also walked and grounded out.
In looking for some information on Koskie, I came across an mlb.com article from April of last year, when the longtime Twin, still suffering from the after-effects of a concussion he suffered as a Brewer, dropped by the Metrodome.
The former Twins third baseman was...visiting with some
of his old teammates on Wednesday and talked about the constant
struggles that he still has with post-concussion syndrome.
...Just being down on the field at the dome
without having any problems was something that he considered to be a
It's been nearly two years since Koskie was last on a baseball field.
He suffered his concussion on July 5, 2006 when he chased down a
shallow popup while playing for the Brewers. He did not hit his head on
the play, but the effects of the concussion he suffered has been
lingering ever since.
That means getting dizzy and nauseous at times, and Koskie said
it's not necessarily during just physical activity. He can be watching
hockey on TV or a fast-paced television show when the symptoms develop.
"I don't know if I'm going to wake up one day and it will all be gone,"
Koskie said. "Or if there is going to be some stuff that's lingering
and I have to deal with it the rest of my life. I just don't know."
Koskie became a free agent this past fall when the Brewers
declined their 2008 option on his contract. Whether any teams would be
willing to take a chance on the 34-year-old, once he's fully recovered,
is also uncertain.
And until Koskie knows what his future entails, being around
baseball is tough. Just how much he misses the game was clear from the
look on his face, and he even declined the chance to go lean on the
batting cage and talk to some of the Twins as they took batting
"I'm not going to lean on the cage until I'm retired or I've got a
uniform on," Koskie said. "Right now, I'm in this kind of halfway
thing. I would still like to play baseball, but physically, I'm not
able to right now."
As a part-time Twins fan and full-time White Sox-hater, I have always liked Koskie, who delivered many Sox-killing hits in his Minnesota days. But just on a human level, the possibility that Koskie could stick with the Cubs will be, as Piniella says, "a nice story if it materializes."
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Castro, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.