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:

  Cardinals  
Brewers 
Cubs  
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.

 

Comments

'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.''

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/15674...

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

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  • jacos 34 min 44 sec ago view
  • For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.

    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 1 hour 40 min ago view
  • tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.

    crunch 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 37 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 41 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 46 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 8 hours 31 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 8 hours 33 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 27 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 32 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 15 hours 47 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 15 hours 50 min ago view