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.


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.


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.

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

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.

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.


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 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.

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


Recent comments

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