Miles Activated; Fox Trots to Iowa

As mentioned earlier, Aaron Miles has been activated and slugger Jake Fox has been sent down giving the Cubs the worst bench that has ever been assembled. Okay, tonight's actually isn't so bad with the lefty Wandy Rodriguez on the mound: Fontenot, Hill, Blanco, Fukudome and Hoffpauir. But for the next couple of weeks, assuming the normal starters of Fukudome, Fontenot and let's say Miles at second base, the bench will be: Hill, Johnson, Hoffpauir, Scales and Blanco. 

Wittenmyer though says the plan is to give Jake Fox regular at-bats so that they can call him up in 11-12 days so he can sit on the major league bench again when interleague games begin. I suppose he'll DH a bit, but he'll have to fight Hoffpauir for those at-bats and Fox is on the short side of that platoon.  Also, don't be too suprised if Lou changes his mind on all of this in a week and a half and realizes he wants to give some regulars a break by DH'ing them and Fox's defensive limitations get him passed over by the Miles, Scales and Blancos of the world.

Lineup for tonight: Soriano, Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Johnson, Soto, Scales, Miles, Zambrano


Bourne, Tejada, Pence, Lee, Berkman, Blum, Kata, Quintero, Wandy.

Also, the Astros have been flipping starters for tomorrow's finale between the originally scheduled Mike Hampton to Roy Oswalt back to Hampton and currently settling on Russ Ortiz. It's like Cecil Cooper wants to get fired.


That's rithickulous.

Does Wandy own us? It feels for some reason like he does.

Edit* 4-4 with a 4.39 ERA. Just about his career average.

I always remember Rodriguez to be an extreme home/away pitcher. 3.92 career home ERA; 5.40 on the road.

I thought the same thing -- he always seems to shut the Cubs down. Tonight seems more the norm than the exception.

Tough loss -- let's get one tomorrow and make it a good trip.

I still can't help but wonder why Aaron Miles? We made fun of mcfail for these moves. Hendry gets a pass?

wasn't hendry GM for mc?fail during mcfail's last few years?

The same things people said about Miles are what we said about DeRosa when he signed. That's why Hendry gets a pass. Plus Miles was sending line drives all over the park tonight.

Wait....were we saying about DeRosa: Wow, he really doesn't hit or get on base much...or He's small, but he's slow?"

We were saying that he was a utility man who was coming of a career year in Texas and didn't deserve the contract he was given. are right then..

Has any NL outfielder been worse than Bradley so far this year?

If so, it would boggle the mind.

He seems too close to the plate -- inside fastballs eat him alive.

He really looks awful at the plate, too. I mean, my lord he was totally getting the calls yesterday and today so he can't pull that umps are picking on me crap.

I was in the let's be patient camp but he's pissing me off.

Rodman was a horse's ass who was entertaining and produced.

Bradely is just a horse's ass.

Franceur has been worse. Chris Young isn't doing my fantasy team any favors, either.

Vitters with another 0-fer tonight.

I don't think he has a hit since the Trib labeled him "the real deal" several days ago -- his average has dropped about 30 points since then.

Good thing we still have that hot-hitting righty bench bat around to help us solve lefties...

Oh, wait...

Can we send Miles to the DL again yet?

the outfielders tonight went 1 for 11 plus 1 walk. seems like grumbling about the bench becomes immaterial.

was hoping lou would have kosuke run for bradley and let hoff-power hit for johnson. kosuke looked as though he had been awakened from a sound sleep to pinch-hit.

doubly aggravating to waste a no-antics gem from z. those are rare enough that pissing one away just plain hurts.

I miss Jim Edmonds and his big, looping swing.

yeah kosuke made lou look smart on that at bat

they can say what they want lou may give fox 2 games at dh
i see him giving poor hitting and poor defensively soriano
some dh spots and then you have one dh game for lee and hey what about bradley.

Can someone translate? I sense a good point here, but for the life of me I cannot parse this out.

He said, "robble robble robble," then he said, "wha-whaaa-whaa-wa-whaaaa," then he finished of with, "dierka dierka dierka, muhammad jihad."

The first one is either Hamburgler or Grimace. Then the Charlie Brown teacher. Then the spies from Team America

In English: "Lou will DH Soriano for a couple games and Lee the other. Maybe Bradley will DH a game."

when it comes to beating the cubs


I seem to remember, maybe last year (I hope you are okay with commas), when we hit him pretty hard. This team's approach at the plate is a ghost of last year's.

Last year our little Cubby team was 3rd in MLB in OPS. This year, so far, about 12th or so.

Miles did look good in the field, though. I have to admit. If only he had Soriano's bat.

Oh, whoops! What an awful thing to say.

Could Miles even lift Soriano's bat?? Lol..I kid...

Good news of the night the Brewers lost so still 2.5 games out...bad news of the night the Cards and Reds both won so we are in 4th place again.

Anyone else curious why the Goozer got the call tonite?

Actually, at the time, I was really pleased with the decision.

Silly me.

Because he's been really good?

I think he was working on a 12 1/3 scoreless streak until that game.

This game isn't on Guzman, this game is on more of the same, an absolute inability to score runs.

Hopefully we can win the series vs Russ Oritz(!) tomorrow. If we can't plate a couple against Russ Ortiz I really have to wonder about the heart of this team.

Well yes, the reason that I was really pleased with the decision was because, as you point out, Guzman has indeed been really good.

I guess what I was curious about was Lou deciding it evidently is time to try alternatives to Marmol and Gregg.

And it still didn't work!!! I hope that he takes a big bottle of valium with him on road trips...

Pitching Guzman was the right thing to do there, it just didn't work out. Sometimes that happens. Had we scored more than one run in 9 innings, it may have ended differently.

This team is a waste of $140 million dollars. How can this offense be so bad?

Just because you paid $35K for your Geo Metro doesn't make it a luxury car ... even if you call it a Geo Soto.

Yeah, I long for the days when we could go into Houston and score 7 runs. What were those days called again? Oh yeah, they were called 'Tuesday'.

F*** that, it was Brian f***ing Moehler. Of course the Cubs scored 7 runs. That doesn't prove anything.

Rodriguez has a 2.15 ERA at home this year. The last time Moehler faced us he beat us, holding us to three runs in 5 innings. Wait a second... breaking news... This just in! The Cubs are not going to score 4 runs in every game for the rest of the season!

You can flip out every time we lose a game, and call all the players horseshit, but it's not going to ,you know, do anything.

Nothing heals a tough loss like busting TRN's balls.

Seriously, though, I know they aren't going to score a bunch of runs every day, and yes Wandy 'Who the f*** is Wandy?' Rodriguez has been good decent this year. He has good home stats, and why not? Two of his 7 home starts have been against an anemic Cub's offense.

The thing is... every time the Cubs have been presented with a challenge this year, they've just rolled over. They don't grind. They don't make the opposing pitcher work. They're lost.

I know, I know, Aramis this Aramis that... but they need to find ways to win without Aramis. What if they somehow make it to the playoffs but Aramis has a bad series?

And another thing, Milton Bradley is pressing like no one I've ever seen. The swings he's putting on the ball are insane. He needs to just make some contact.

I use because they give the players OPS in the box scores, but just about any site that focuses on US sports will have it.

Take a look at this link and tell me what the Cubs' record has been over the last 10 games.

Blah... 6-4. That has nothing to do with what we're talking about. If I'm an NL team, I don't fear the Cubs at all right now. Just throw your s*** in the dirt and they'll swing.

Yeah, they might win 6 of 10 during some stretches, but they also might lose 8 in a row too, a 10-game window is not all that telling.

Ryno's point that they aren't scoring runs is right on. Sure, they scored 7 the other day, but here is the breakdown of runs scored per game:

Before Ramirez Injury: 4.80

Since the Injury: 3.90

Since the Start of the May 19th Road Trip: 3.15

It's been a struggle.

If you win 60% of your games, you will win 97 games. If the Cubs won 97 games, they would make the playoffs.

Amazingly, they are winning with a lot of players underperforming. If you really think that Bradley will finish the year with an OPS 130 points lower than his career numbers, or that ARam won't come back and play, then sure, go ahead and freak out every time the Cubs lose.

You are becoming manny...

Yesterday it said 7-3. :)

It's going to take about 90 wins this year to win division.

Rodriguez has been good decent this year.

Wandy Rodriguez currently has an ERA+ of 149.

He is 7th in the league in ERA. 8th in the league in strikeouts. 10th in HR/9. 8th in ERA+.

That is just decent? He has been one of the top 10 starters in the NL this year.

Fine, but it's Wandy Rodriguez. He won't finish the season with those numbers.

''We found something I think will help him get to the ball much easier,'' said Piniella, who wouldn't elaborate. Piniella spent about five minutes talking in the clubhouse to Bradley about it before Wednesday's game, at one point standing to demonstrate stance balance and back-arm hitting motion. ''It's fairly minor. He doesn't have to change much at all except one little thing.

''I have a pretty good feeling that this'll help.''

and then we have this...

Jake Fox, the hitter without a position, was sent back out to Class AAA Iowa to make room for infielder Aaron Miles (shoulder), who was activated from the DL -- despite Fox's 5-for-6 production as a pinch-hitter.

''My God, don't tell me that,'' Piniella said. ''Really? Five-for-six pinch hitting? Oh, well.''

If only we had someone to keep Lou up to date on these things. Maybe send Miles down, call up one of the kids from A ball to show the skipper how to check player stats on

What the fuck does Alan Trammell do all game? Tell dirty jokes and fetch Lou seeds?

Apparently Alan Trammell doesn't think it's his job.

Or, we may wonder what else Lou wouldn't know if Trammel weren't there!!

As a sarcastic person myself, Lou's statement doesn't sound particularly serious to me.

That last bit is SO Dusty Bakerish. A Dustyism, if you will.

The Cubs offense by the numbers...

4.38 Runs per game, 11th in the NL
.738 OPS, 9th in the NL
.408 SLG, 9th
.330 OBP, 10th
.250 BA, 11th
10th in BB's
.249 BA with Runners On, 13th
.743 OPS with Runners On, 12th
.233 BA with RISP, 14th
.695 OPS with RISP, 15th

Dismal. Shows how lights out the starting pitching has been considering we're still 2 games above .500.

It's those bottom numbers that are really killing us, and with the pressing caused by the offensive woes, I think it's becoming a it's own problem.

o come on, small sample size, right?

are you certain those charts were not printed upside-down?


6/45 .133 .286 .289


Crunch rebuttal in 5, 4, 3...

He was ESPN 1000 and kept saying "Cubs need better pitching" along with the hitting.

Better pitching?

What do you want shutouts every game? Your mullet must have sucked out any brains you had left.

Recent comments

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  • 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.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?