Harden Goes to DL So Randy Wells Isn't Going Anywhere

Reader Osiris flagged this bad news by way of Paul Sullivan in the Tribune:

The Cubs placed Rich Harden on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain on Friday, and inserted Randy Wells into the rotation for Saturday's game.

This will allow the Cubs to activate Carlos Zambrano without having to make another roster move, i.e., demote Wells. Harden felt "a twinge" when he pitched last Sunday against the Astros.

You may vomit as you see fit.


Another two weeks of Patton taking up valuable oxygen.

What is the plan with this guy? He hasn't pitched in weeks. So, if you don't want him up with the big club then release him right? Maybe Hendry's trying to deal him. Bring up Fox and let him pinch hit or something. He may even be a defensive upgrade at 3rd over the likes of Freel and Fontenot. Well...surely not, but still.

...oh, about a week back (about a weak back).

felt a twinge? Hopefully it's not Chad Gaudin part deux.

Wells will pitch Saturday

So who is taking his (and Marshall's) spot in the bullpen, Patton (do his leather shoes reflect up?)

Patton hasn't pitched in 14 days. It makes zero (insert curse here) sense to have him on the roster.

yeah I agree he's not contributing much. But, then again he's not un-contributing much either.
I'm not sure that Ascanio, or whomever'd replace him would make much of a difference. I'd keep him.

Oh good, Z's back. We need the offense.

I don't know about you, but knowing we could have picked him up for Uncle Milty money, I die a little bit every time Raul Ibanez hits a home run. And he just crushed his MLB leading 16th (41st RBI) of the year off the Yanks.

ibanez can barely play LF...much less RF.

I'm not sure this is true. Living in Philadelphia and watching several Phillies games this year, Ibanez has seemed fine (and even good) in LF.

Of course, we're used to watching Pat Burrell out there (who could barely move), so almost anyone would seem an improvement. But I think Ibanez's defense is totally adequate, and NO LIE his offense would DEFINITELY be better than the shit Bradley is doing.

Plus, Ibanez is a COOL DUDE.

As of right now, Ibanez is actually a hero in Philadelphia and has already become above and beyond one of the city's favorite players (can Chicago say this of Milton Bradley?).

Loooong way to go, but Ibanez has far and away been better than Bradley this year. Better hitter (by far), better fielder (perhaps), better baserunner (by far) and, of course, better health-wise.

I actually had hoped the Cubs would have signed Ibanez over Bradley despite the fact that Ibanez is 7-8 years older and because of his reputed/alleged poor outfield defense (I didn't expect the Phillies to sign Ibanez for whatever reason). I reading about Ibanez's workout regimen last year, which includes lots of stretching and core work, and it totally demonstrated a really enlightened and smart effort/approach to staying strong physically and mentally.

In short, Ibanez seems to "get it" and I would be really surprised if Bradley comes close to outplaying Ibanez over the next three years.

Just sayin.

yeah, i kinda burried him with that blanket statement. he's not in that cliff floyd or adam dunn class of player with the glove.

Another little death: Ibanez solo HR off Pettite.

I like Milton, I really do, and I still think/hope he will come around. But still: Raul Ibanez, holy god.

Soriano, Theriot, Fukudome, DLee, Hoffpauir (RF), Scales (3B), Hill (C), Miles (2B), Z.


Gywnn, Eckstein, Gonzalez, Hairston, Giles Kouzmanoff, Burke, Blanco, PV

I am not kidding: Why the FUCK bat Z 9th with this lineup?!

Harden to DL?

And the ugliness just keeps coming. This getting ugly fast.

I said this for weeks, we need to get healthy. If this team is not healthy it is not deep enough nor good enough to win. And as bad as the minors are, you can't expect any real help from there.

This getting ugly fast.

The Cubs are 11-7 in May.

Some kind of ugliness... eh?

I was talking about injuries.

I was talking about injuries.

Sure... except you said this:

If this team is not healthy it is not deep enough nor good enough to win.

Even though the team hasn't been healthy, and has still won. But hey... don't let facts get in the way.

"Even though the team hasn't been healthy, and has still won."

You are correct they are not winless on the year. So they have 'won'. But unfortunately they are on the verge of becoming 21-19 on the season, and playing horribly lately. When I said 'win' there I did not mean win a game, I mean win over the long haul, which i think we are starting to see some of the effects of.

Losing 3 in a row to St. Louis is always ugly, but losing it the way they did is even worse. Then getting shut AGAIN in SD, that's ugly. It reminds us all of the playoffs. Which was uglier than just about anything I've ever seen.

Lou on pregame interview with Santo said Harden is out with a mid-back sprain. No other details, ie. no mention of injury. The DL time is retroactive to after his last start, which was last sunday vs Astros.

Well that could have been much worse. Hopefully Z settles down now. 31 pitch first inning not what we would have hoped for.

1-0, game is essentially over.

Aaron Miles = rally killer

There are many cases on this team of players really struggling offensively, but a couple players we haven't had to worry about are now ice cold. Both Soriano and Theriot started off the season great, really carrying this team early on. But now they have been struggling for a awhile.

Soriano since April 24: 24-105 (.229)
Theriot since April 26: 20-89 (.225)

Really right now the only regular hitting well is Fukudome (pleasant surprise to me). If you look at the numbers it really is surprising they are still over .500. We really need ARam back and some of these players finally get out of the bad funks (Bradley, Lee, Fonty, Soto).

Uhh... Lee hasn't been hitting well? Really?

He has been better lately, but not sure he could be any worse. But he is still only batting .244. But at least he has shown some signs of hitting well.

Lee in May: .326/.396/.581

(sample size alert... of course... Lee's April also needs a sample size alert)

Lee last 5 games (including tonight) - 9-18 (.500)
Lee previous 8 games in May - 6-27 (.222)

He has done well the last 5 games counting tonight, still not good overall on the year.

He has done well the last 5 games counting tonight, still not good overall on the year.

Pretty sure that isn't what you said. You said, "right now the only regular hitting well is Fukudome ... We really need ... some of these players finally get out of the bad funks (... Lee ...)."

But hey... when your first argument is wrong, go ahead and make a new argument.

Yeah, I was only looking at overall season numbers when I said that (not looking at a players last few AB's). But you are correct Lee has done much better over the past 5 games. Hopefully that will get him going to get his numbers back up to respectability.

cubs 2-12 when they make a error.

cubs 0-4 when miles and hill both start.

rich hill gets another win for orioles.

"rich hill gets another win for orioles."

I can't believe big_lowitzki didn't catch this one. I will help him out.

Rich Hill did not get the win in this game. He left with the game tied 2-2.

by the end of next weekend, they will not be above .500, imo.

Cotts SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hey lou how bout starting these players saturday




the cubs have not lost all year with these starters

manny I will take the blame for rich hill wins though he did pitch a good game,chalk it up to a few to many (pops).

I don't think I've seen the Cubs offense struggle this much in a very very long time.

I don't know if there is a solution, you can't just plug in Fox and think he's going to do something when the other guys aren't doing squat.

It sucks to be a Cubs fan right now, lets hope beyond hope that they can turn it around somehow.

that's all I got...

2004 redux...great team on paper, can't stay healthy.

Last year's OBP for the Cubs: .354

This year's, so far, .329, just above Pittsburgh.

Last year almost all the hitters worked the count consistently.

This year Fukodome is working the count consistently.

That's the big difference I'm seeing.

OBP is mostly a function of batting average. Last year the Cubs OBP was 76 points above the team BA. This year it's 83 points above.

But last year we ranked 5th out of 30 teams in BA and right now we rank 25th!

And how did you not notice the power outage? Last year 5th in SLG. This year 22nd.

And then there's the pitching. 5th in ERA last year. 15th so far this year.

The big difference I'm seeing is --- give Hendry any fiscal constraints at all and he folds up like a cheap suit. It's like he learned nothing from 2004-2006.

is that Hendry will offer any and all top prospects for marginal talent. We don't have much in the minors, but I really don't want to lose what we do have to acquire a Steve Trachsel-esque pitcher or a hitter of such level.

My reasoning is based on two points. First we are not struggling because we have lesser talent. Thus we are not likely to put anyone currently in our lineup on the bench (with the exception of Fontenot and Marshall). Thus anyone we acquire will be either to fill on for injured players or be a minor player; in either case, we will likely overpay for what the player will bring. Unless we are willing/able to bench Bradley (if he doesn't come around) or a starter is out for the year, I think a trade is not going to be the impetus to win. We need to be healthy and playing at expected levels, not trade to hope for some magic.

Second we finally are beginning to develop some players on whom we can base our future. The team is getting old in many places and Hendry's back-loaded contracts make any major free agent acquisitions less likely. Finally we have a few players who are either giving us high hopes (Thomas, Jay Jackson and particularly Vitters, for example) or can project to be good (Cashner, Castro or Searle for example). I want to retain these possibilities, even at a lesser level; I like that we have a group of pitchers that look like they will at least be serviceable middle relievers in Blake Parker, Jeff Stevens, John Gaub and Alex Maestri.

Mainly I want to win or lose with what we have; if we are not good enough, I don't think a trade will help us enough to make a difference. And any such trade will likely hurt us more in the future than any help we receive now.

That's why I am not that concerned with the record. If they end up stinking up the joint then maybe they become sellers in July and it would be interesting to see them restock the minor leagues a bit. The question then becomes, has Hendry developed a minor league scouting structure capable of making the right choices there. Right now I don't have a lot of faith that he has.

As we start to complain more and the boos begin to fill Wrigley, naturally Piniella and others will start to complain about us fans not having any patience. He missed the first 96 years of that patience, so I'll have no sympathy when the boos do start coming. Frankly, I just hope that if the team sucks this year that the fans would stop coming, then the team can begin to wonder which they'd rather have. An empty stadium or a stadium full of boo birds. Either way the only answer is winning.

Hendry and Piniella raised the bar and if they can't finish what they started the Cubs management should do what the Bulls did when Doug Collins couldn't get to the next level.

Last year we were ranked first in bases on balls, this year tenth. OPB is a function of batting average + walks, which is why our ranking in the league has fallen to about the same levels for OPB and walks. They're not working the count this year like they did last year. Which is one of the reasons why the power is down. That and Ramirez is AWOL this year and Bradley is nothing more than a caricature of himself and Lee has turned into a contact hitter and DeRosa is gone and nobody in their right mind serves up a fastball to Soriano and ... the list goes on I guess.

I agree with you about Hendry that he's screwed the pooch in order to stock the team with has beens but the only way around that is to remove Hendry. He's not gonna get rid of himself.

Which is why my mantra lately is that I'm ready for a reboot. I just wish the sale would get finished because despite any happy talk you hear from Hendry and/or Ricketts, any time new management comes in there is a re-org. That's just how things work in business.

I'm just waiting for Hendry's next move to move the few prospects we have for Peavy and then watch Peavy go down as another overpriced, hurt pitcher.

OPB? I thought we were talking about OBP.

Look, you aren't just a little bit wrong. You're totally wrong. The Cubs walk rate per plate appearance last year was 9.96%. This year it's actually a little bit HIGHER -- 10.03%. You need to rethink your theory that they're not working the count like they did last year when the 2009 Cubs are actually walking at the same rate as last year's edition.

As I said earlier OBP is mostly a measure of batting average. Lower team batting average means fewer plate appearances and that's why total walks are down even though the walk rate is up.

Cubs ERA over the last 7 days 3.96.

What a waste.

that's a lot of useless words that could be summed up with "nolasco's fastball is sitting flat and his slider is lacking movement."

that's pretty much it. his velocity is there, but his fastball is sitting straight (l.hawkins) and his slider isn't breaking properly. release point? unlucky? mechanical? dunno.

a trip to AAA won't hurt nolasco, but it's not like the marlins have a SP in waiting to replace him...esp. with a.sanchez out.

You guys crack me up.

At the beginning of the season someone says to you. "Soto,Lee, Fontenaught and Bradley are not hitting and AramRam is on the DL, predict how the Cubs will be doing." What would you have said 'probably playing .650 baseball'?

The bats are struggling. With the possible exception of Lee, there's no reason to think those struggules are anything more than a temporary blip (though Lee has been doing better as noted).

I didn't watch much of last night's game, but Wainwright and Carpenter are pretty damned good pitchers who were pretty sharp when they beat the Cubs. I assume Peavy was the same. So the 5 game losing streak is summed up by a Soto line drive that was a foot two short, one good start by a mid-range starter and 3 ace caliber pitchers shutting down a team that's in a bit of a funk, and missing it's most well rounded hitter.

Shrug. It's a long season.

that's so damn...logical.

it's my ledge and i'll jump if i want to!

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 8 hours 2 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 8 hours 22 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 8 hours 24 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 8 hours 26 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 9 hours 1 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 9 hours 17 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 9 hours 48 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?


    jacos 10 hours 3 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 14 hours 19 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 15 hours 1 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 15 hours 5 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 16 hours 59 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 18 hours 47 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 19 hours 21 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 19 hours 35 min ago view