The Cubs Face Life Without Rammy

Assuming Aramis Ramirez is out of the Cub lineup for exactly 8 weeks from this past Friday night, he'll be back for the July 4th game between the Cubs and Brewers at Wrigley Field, the third game of a four-game series.

In the interim, the Cubs will play 48 games, including all 15 of their interleague games against AL Central teams. Ramirez will also miss 20 games against NL Central opponents and the one and only visit by the Dodgers to Wrigley Field, which, owing to other, non-injury events, will now be completely Ramirez-free.

Here is what the next 8 weeks hold for the Cubs and their two leading division rivals:

Games from now through 7/3   50 48 48
   — Home games 27 24 24
   — Away games
23 24 24
   — Games vs. winning teams
37 27 15
   — Games vs. losing teams
13 21 33
   — Games vs. other two

6 v. Milw; 3 v. Cubs   

6 v. StL; 2 v. Cubs   

3 v. StL; 2 v. Milw


Not even 20% into the '09 season, the differences between many "winning teams" and losing ones is pretty slight. That said, it's heartening to look at the Cubs' schedule and see the Padres, Astros, Pirates, and White Sox coming up, while the Cards' workload these next eight weeks includes nine games against the Brewers, home-and-home series with the up-and-coming Royals, and a four-game set with the Mets in New York.

None of this is going to make it any easier to see Mike Fontenot, Bobby Scales, and Ryan Freel patrolling Ramirez's rightful place at third base for the next couple months. But it's the best I can come up with right now.



'When we get Zambrano back, now we've got Wells and we've got Marshall to look at, and then we'll have to make a decision,'' said Piniella, also referring to right-hander Randy Wells, who's filling in for Zambrano in the rotation. ''I like the way Wells throws the ball, so he'll be staying. So it's just a matter of where.''

Move Marshall out of the rotation? That's a dumb idea. Keep Wells, dump Patton. It was a "cute" idea, but the kid has no place on a team that has designs on reaching the playoffs. Wells OTOH would be an ideal long/middle reliever.

I'd also trade Jake Fox for a lefty reliever so I could dump Cotts, but that's just me.

Also, how long until Gooz supplants Heilman as the 7th inning guy? Heilman is back to his Mets-level of sucktitude, damn, can he EVER throw strikes? Awful.

Nice to see Lou has finally figured out how to use Gregg correctly, he's looked MUCH better now that he is settled in to that one-inning, fresh-inning pattern.

Marmol's arm is going to fall off.

I wouldn't say that Patton has no place on a playoff calibre team, it's just that our bullpen has been so shitty Lou's felt like he's been forced to use Patton in situations he probably shouldn't have.

The Marshall thing is probably because we don't have a useful lefthander in the bullpen, moreso than how he's pitched.

Marmol's arm is going to fall off.

Oh please. That kind of thing never happens.

I bet Prior will win us a Cy Young this year, narrowly beating out Wood. Chad Fox will give them both a hearty handshake with his pitching arm.

I don't know what Marshall needs to do to stay in the rotation. His L/R splits are not that differentiated so not sure what value he brings as a lefty reliever that Wells just could not provide as a righty reliever.

I am slightly worried by Marmol's work load thus far too. It is not just the innings, but the number of pitches he has thrown.

Big win Sunday though. Much needed going into offday. New we get SD and HOU at home and should be able to feast on them some.

I'm perplexed regarding Lou's continual usage of Howry - there must be better options from the minor leagues at this point. Anyone would probably be a better option, lefty or righty.

Woah, I meant COTTS. Need that second cup of coffee quite badly, apparently. Lou's devotion to Cotts does remind me of his similar feelings towards Howry.

Freudian slip. And a good one, at that.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • From Keith Law:

  • This from a Kiley McDaniel chat a couple weeks ago...

    "Comment From Wrenzie
    Who has more ceiling between Yusniel Diaz or Eddy Julio Martinez?

    Kiley McDaniel: Martinez. I have Eddy (20 years old) as a 65 runner with a 55 arm and 50 raw power that profiles as an everyday CF that could be above average depending on if the bat is a 45 or a 55. I have Yusniel (19) as a 60 runner with a 55 arm and 40 raw power that can be an everyday guy if he hits enough (50 or 55)."

  • "Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
    Arizona Phil 7 hours 23 min ago"

  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.