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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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • 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.