Cubs Get a B.J.

The Cubs have signed recently released Toronto Blue Jays reliever B.J. Ryan, according to the Chicago Tribune. The article says he'll first report to Mesa and then Triple A Iowa before supposedly joining the Cubs at some point in the 2009 season.

I figured they'd sign him and rush Sean Marshall back into the rotation until Ryan Dempster was back, but it looks like the Cubs have another plan. Maybe when Ryan is set to join the major league club, they'll send Marshall down and have him stretch out in the minors getting ready for an inevitable injury. Or they'll just send Jeff Stevens or Jeff Samardzija down and go with two lefties. 

UPDATE: Bruce Levine says it's a one year minor league deal and he'll be working on building up his arm strength, so he might not be joining the Cubs any time soon. They could even be breeding him to try to return as closer for next season assuming Kevin Gregg leaves via free agency.

Comments

This actually intrigues me. The guy was good just last year. A change of scenery, with a new pitching coach, may help him make that minor adjustment to be a dominating, or at least good or decent, pitcher again.

He was pretty good in June. And has been decent against lefties this year.

Definitely well worth the risk.

great signing. he could be hurt but his numbers against lefties weren't horrible. at worst he'll be a real loogy.

I think it's a good move as well, even if he doesn't face a righty at all. The bullpen definitely needs some 6th and 7th inning support, and he's one guy who can potentially do that.

I forgot Option C...

Lose Aaron Heilman at the airport...

from the last thread

Johnson, Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Baker, Hill, Harden.

Morgan, Johnson, Zimmerman, a few HR's by Adam Dunn, Willingham, Guzman, Bard, Gonzalez, Lannan for Nats

Who are they going to breed him with so that the baby is ready to pitch next year, Mork?

I wish it were B.J. Surhoff. Still not a bad gamble, just don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed if he can't get it together.

mmm...useless.

thank god it's a minor league deal. maybe he'll be up by september to throw 86mph fastballs with no control.

i didn't know the deck chairs needed rearranging that badly...but at least it's low/no risk.

He's a lot more likely to contribute to the big league team than any given player we drafted. Maybe he'll be able to keep Marshall out of left field.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/07/the-middle-i...

I would say Sanchez or Escobar are the only ones that would really help much, maybe Christian Guzman.

Think Braves would take Jake Fox and/or Hoffpauir and/or one more body for Escobar and play Fox/Hoff at 1b? They can't be happy with Kotchman.

I'll answer my own question and say no, but besides Sanchez the only other decent middle infield bat.

here's the reliever list

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/07/trade-candid...

Heath Bell at $1.3M would be neat, albeit costly.

I don't think that Escobar or Guzman are really going to be that much better than Baker/Fontenaught in the 2nd half, assuming the idea is to move Theriot back to second.

I wouldn't think the braves are too high on Hoffpauir, his bat seems to be a lot like Kotchmans', trading some power for some OBP.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=...

Never read this before, long story detailing baseball and steroids.

ibid for what ya'll are saying.

Wasn't Troy Percival out for a year with perhaps similar issues?

He has had an excellent re-birth.

Maybe the Cubs will get lucky with another reclamation project?

troy wasnt throwing mid/high 80s with no control, though.

i see very little upside to bj...that said, i see very little downside considering it's a minor league deal and it's highly likely he'll stay there until Sept. unless someone gets injured or he shows something.

from Randy Bush

"What's great is that he wants to do it the right way -- he wants to go to Mesa, he wants to work on his delivery," Bush said. "He wants to get back to where he feels good about where he's at. When he's ready to go, that's when he'll go to Iowa."

Makes you wonder why the Jays didn't just disable him.

Is Randy Bush the new Dick Pole?

Damn, I got all excited and thought the Rays had given up on Upton.

Didn't know there was such thing as a good BJ and bad BJ, did you?

Sadly, yes. I am not going to google it for you, and I am not trying to imply that this particular one is a shared experience, but Perry Ferrel has got a story about a bad one.

I don't think that's a story I'd want to be in on.

Speaking of reclamation projects, Marmol has given up his hup-hup-pose (I call it mad dog, but it could be called walking dog). Although he walked Morgan, he picked him off in a crucial 8th inning moment. Now if we can get Sori to stop da hop.

Now if we can get Sori to stop da hop.

The hop is the least of Soriano's worries.

Was Harden throwing a slider tonight? He struck out Zimmerman on a wicked-looking pitch in the first or second inning. It was timed at 88 mph on the TV radar gun. I didn't even know he throws that pitch.

He's just two different pitchers, home and road.

looked like he threw a few sliders early in the game to me...seems to be throwing them more often lately (which means he's actually throwing one again)

he was also sitting between 93-96 most of the game on the CSN gun...maybe the smell of free agency will inspire him the 2nd half.

Milty: "I'm gonna be hitting the whole second half. Um, starting tomorrow."

What a complete tool.

Did you think that when he said this he was guaranteeing an 80 game hitting streak?

No, but it's just classic for a all-mouth tool to guarantee he's gonna hit, then go 0-for-5 and be the only starter not to reach base against a team that is 40 games below .500.

Just shut up and hit, Milton. Don't worry, we'll notice.

Any chance we can trade for that Sam Fuld -- he reminds me of Grady Sizemore. Maybe we can ship out Bradley for him.

[Fuld] reminds me of Grady Sizemore.

Huh?

I see this as a low-risk, high-potential move. His name still evokes memories of that lights-out closer he used to be; He's not that guy anymore, this is clear, but he's a veteran and knows what it takes to get back on track and could be the next effective Cub's loogy.

They could even be breeding him to try to return as closer for next season assuming Kevin Gregg leaves via free agency.

Thank god this is just speculation. This isn't going to happen.

I figured it was almost a certainty when I heard about it a few days ago. I'm just glad it's a minor league deal.

I'm really glad he wants to "do it the right way" and "figure his delivery out", but I'm just not sure what there is to figure out. He doesn't throw 92 anymore. Draw your own conclusions as to why that is, but he just doesn't. He can't come inside to right-handers and he's gotten into a nice routine of hanging breaking balls. I'm not particularly optimistic that there's anything to figure out or fix. But, the good news is that if there isn't, he can learn that in Iowa instead of in a pennant race.

imo...there is nothing to figure out.

he's thrown 1 way most of his life...an inverted L style of delivery kinda like the inverted W people like to pick on except he keeps his elbow on line or below the shoulder.

he's shredded his elbow and had it patched, his shoulder is an on/off nagging thing...even with a healthy elbow it doesn't look like he's comfortable throwing the way he knows how.

i would be pretty surprised if he changed anything now, but when you're throwing mid-80s and lacking clear control it's time to do something i guess. he's made a claim to "work on delivery" before, but he's never made it while going to A-ball to do it.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090716&c...

both making good progress, team backing off pursuing a catcher, Dempster may only miss one more turn through the rotation

Scott Olsen scratched for tomorrow's start, Cubs get someone named Craig Stammen

.

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  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 7 hours 32 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 7 hours 37 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 8 hours 9 sec ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 8 hours 25 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 9 hours 5 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 10 hours 17 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 10 hours 34 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 10 hours 38 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 11 hours 23 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 16 hours 14 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 17 hours 28 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 17 hours 31 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 18 hours 50 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 2 hours ago view