Samardzija Down, the Other Fox Up....

It looks like I was on to something yesterday when I mentioned that Jeff Samardzija might get sent down. Chad Fox gets the call-up and has been added to the 40-man roster. As in years past, when Fox blows out his arm and has to go on the 60-day DL, the Cubs can call up anyone from their organization for the playoffs to take his spot (as long as he was with the organization by September 1st I believe).

Also, Derrek Lee sits again with the bulging disc issue and the lineup for tonight is Soriano, Riot, Bradley, Ramirez, Soto, Johnson, Hoffpauir, Miles and Harden against lefty Mike Hampton


chad fox and angel guzman both to the DL with undisclosed hand injuries after greeting each other with a failed high-5.


I hope no one is too excited about Chad Fox. I think the Cubs just feel like they owe him one from Dusty re-ruining his arm a few years ago.

Fox had problems with control though the last few times he's been on the team so I don't see him exactly coming into Lou's good side.

My nickname for Fox: twigs and duct tape. As in whats keeping his arm held together :)

chad fox didn't need help ruining his arm...and if that's a concern you'd probably want to avoid gregg/marmol recently throwing 5 out of 6 days in a row for 100-120 pitches each.

Oh I was just joking about Dusty ruining his arm, BUT the game that he did have his injury in 2005, he came into the game in a 10-3 game. Therefore its always stuck in my head that in an alternate universe Dusty could have saved Fox for a different situation.

yeah...guys like chad fox and rondell white amaze me.

somehow...somewhere...they will find a way to get injured.

fox likes to get his over with real quick, though. heheh...

I was at that game.

Dunn's hr hit off Fox, looked like it was shot out of a bazooka, it was a line drive out of the park.

Glad Smardzdick got sent sent down as he clearly is not ready for the bigs yet, but I am sorry it needlessly came up at the expense of losing Vizcaino.



Got his first RBI yesterday and his first XBH today. Hopefully Skinny Dick will get it going.

So, we ate $3.6M in salary for cutting a guy who hadn't given up a run yet, so that we can give Samardzija a few weeks in the bigs and replace him with Chad Fox?

A bizarre move a few weeks ago, now just turned into an idiotic one.

Although I approve of a lot of the offseason moves that Hendry has made and a lot of how Lou has handled playing time, there has been some embarrassing mismanagement of the roster recently. Skipping over my probably unjustified love of prospects, I'll just look at the bullpen. The releases of Gaudin and Vizcaino made very little sense; Vizcaino certainly could have done what Samardzija did in his few weeks and is probably as likely to succeed as Chad Fox is, and Gaudin makes at least as much sense for the Cubs bullpen as does Patton (who I like, but how often do Rule 5 pitchers work out?). Also, the trade of Wuertz looks like a mistake (at least the Cubs got a couple minor leaguers back for him). How much better would the Cubs bullpen look with some or all of those guys still in it? Keeping all three would have been tough, but clearly there was room for at least one and possibly two (if they end up returning Patton).

Just so this isn't entirely a "FIRE HENDRY!!!!" rant; they've done a good job putting together a competitive team lately, and I really think the offense and rotation will give them time to find an adequate combination of relievers.

Everyone looks for bullpen help in July. The only way the Cubs, without really overpaying for a reliever, can improve the bullpen is from within, and I just don't see where that is going to come from at this time.

Well, Ascanio and Reinhard have been kicking a fair amount of ass. It's not like they need to call up a couple guys to take over the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning roles. They need a middle reliever or two. Guess we'll get a look at Randy Wells on Friday, as well.

but how often do Rule 5 pitchers work out?

I don't know how often, as in how many are successful out of the total universe of Rule 5 pitchers, but-- I do know of one particular Rule 5 pitcher named Johan Santana who did pretty well after the Twins picked him up. Another notable Rule 5 pickup in Cubs history was catcher Jody Davis.

Some other notable Rule 5 picks:

Our own Hack Wilson, Tony Taylor* and Guillermo "Willie" Hernandez
Cecil Cooper
George Bell
Darrell Evans
Fernando Vina
Bobby Bonilla
Mitch Williams
Josh Hamilton
Joakim Soria

....and of course, the greatest Rule 5 pick of all-time, Roberto Clemente himself.

*The Cubs got some decent play from Taylor and turned him into Don "No-Hit" Cardwell via trade. Which was turned into Larry Jackson via trade. Which was turned into Fergie via trade. Which was eventually turned into Bill Madlock via trade. Which was then turned into Bobby Murcer via trade. The Cubs got one HELLUVA lot of value out of Tony Taylor.

Point taken, but is David Patton one of those high-upside picks? I've never heard him described that way. I'm not opposed to having him--he's done okay so far and looks like he's got good enough stuff to be a successful relief pitcher eventually. But I just think that Wuertz or Gaudin might have been better bets. Of course, it's kind of early to know that.

Go Reed Go!!! Gathright might never start again in CF, not that that would be a problem.

Oh wait, I shouldn't be posting now as the Cubs are winning. I am suppose to be hiding from TCR...sorry!

Hunter Pence should have to look at 4 pitches about a foot inside every time he steps to the plate against the Cubs. He absolutely murders Cubs pitching, so why not make him really earn first base instead of all the XBH he gets?

that Vizcaino was released for reasons other than his baseball ability...

I keep forgetting about his tardiness.

I hate Lance Berkman!!

I hate the Crawford Boxes. Most high school fields are longer than 315 down the line.

That's not even a home run at Wrigley. Cheap.

And I'm not worried at all about Chad Fox. He won't be anything special, but he'll be fine filling in Samardjiza's role.

Soothing win.
It sure is nice to see a game where things worked out the way we had all envisioned back in March.

Manny Acta looks very frustrated.

And a BB RBI on a pitch that looked like it was headed for the upper deck. Literally. God, this isn't good baseball at all I should go to bed.

Trade idea:

Oakland is desperate for sluggers, we need middle relief help, and a lefty reliever would be particularly welcome. What if the Cubs sent Jake Fox to the A's for Jerry Blevins, who was sent to Oakland for Jason Kendall two years ago? Would help both teams....

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.