Soto Activated; Hoff Sent Down

The Cubs had to make a roster move today to accommodate Geovany Soto and the victim was Micah Hoffpauir. He'll surely be back up when rosters expand on September 1st and possibly sooner. After a good start to the season, he sort of crescendoed at a .920 OPS on May 20th and since then has hit 182/217/336 in 115 PA with 4 HR's, mostly in part-time duty.

That leaves the Cubs bench with Jake Fox, Koyie Hill, Aaron Miles, Sam Fuld and either Mike Fontenot or Jeff Baker depending on who gets the start. 


LIneup for tonight: Fukudome, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, Soto, Soriano, Fontenot, Theriot, Zambrano

If Soto comes back with a vengeance, that has to be my favorite lineup of the season...hopefully they score some runs this weekend and Lou sticks with it.

By the way, the Rockies are the best team in baseball since June with a .661 winning percentage and 39 wins (tied with the Angels) including 14 straight wins versus NL Central opponents. It's gonna be a tough series...

UPDATE: Z didn't finish his warm-ups and Sean Marshall will make a spot start.


bradley in the 2 slot...i like that.

So much for getting more left handed...fuld is our power bat off the bench? Bradley's OBP gets put to the test.

Stl 3 , pirates 4 top 6

yeesh...Z never finished his warmup. left early, to the lockerroom...hasn't emerged since.

he threw 5 pitches before he shut himself down...that's not even CLOSE to throwing full speed or with full pitching motion.

hello DL.

getting word that he's scratched possible back injury. marshall to start.

Isnt it great when Z bunts for hits and tries to put on power shows during batting practice?

Grow the fuck up.

did he hurt his back swinging? is saying "Victor Zambrano" was scratched and replaced by Marshall, so I don't see what the big deal is.

Whats wrong with Marshall? Seems like he's been bad for the last few weeks. I know this start was on short notice, but he was having a great year up until this point.

Sean, are you enjoying the thin air here? Oh by the way, head down to the bullpen you're starting.

ESPN showed a stat the other night - Marshall was leading the league in reliever ERA. Not that I dislike Marshall, but he's not even a top 10 reliever in the NL, so you had to know where that ERA was going. The good news is that this start didn't hurt that particular stat.


Soriano broken bat hit, Len saying Soriano should be at second,then they do the replay, Len does not look like he
turned it on, Brenley are you surprised.

At least Soto is back...

3K, 1 GIDP...

Yeesh, brutal.

Soriano sucks. Soto sucks. Fontenot sucks. The bullpen sucks.

Someone needs to sit Zambrano down and tell him if he wants to be paid ace money (which we unfortunately paid him before having this discussion) he needs to stop thinking he's a legitimate hitter and start taking less ridiculous swings.


Lee refused to label this series and the one against the Phillies as defining.

"The only thing that will tell us about our team is where we stand on Oct. 4," he said. "These games mean nothing. We can win all seven, but if you lose seven next week ... you just have to play good the next two months."

Does Lee really believe this stuff is it just me but does this team just lack a sense of urgency at all times? They aren't good enough to just coast.

you always want to play well, but there's no must-win series in the beginning of August. He's right, they need to play well for two months, not just this week.

I know it doesn't good in a soundbite, but it's the right attitude.

Cubs got screwed tonight anyway once Z went down. Lee missed a 3-run HR by about 5 feet...them the breaks.

Fan falls on field, bloodies himself up

They didn't show the fall, but it must have been really awkward for him to ding his head. Gotta hand it to Albert P., who's right there to help the injured guy and get his kid a souvenir. Cardinal or not, Albert is the best.

That's pretty awesome. I wasn't aware of how active Pujols is with Down's Syndrome (apparently being a father of child with it)...I respect him a lot more. Damn it, why can't he give me something to hate?

If there is anything that popular media has taught, it's that anyone who appears to be this perfect on the surface has to be doing something evil in secret. I guarantee he eats puppies or commits ritual sacrifices of panda bears or something.

Either that or baseball is a romantic comedy.

It is a romantic comedy. Jim Edmonds is his love interest.

The only thing humanity loves more than heroes are fallen heroes.

He's not the father, he's the step-father. And I am pretty sure he got married after he hit the bigs... after you could speculate see he was going to make $100+ million in his career. He's a tempting target to hate, but that kind of stand up manning just doesn't happen much in America anymore. He gets a pass from me.

looks like White Sox might have made the claim on Rios

you have to be some kind of special to want to take on that contract. jays would be stupid not to just give him up.

replacing rios isn't exactly hard.

let's see how jp retardii can screw this one up.

Z back to Chicago for an MRI on his back, Lou says he would have started Dempster tonight if there was any warning...

also, Milton in the 2 spot looks like a long-term idea..

John Gaub, for the I-Cubs pitched another 2 scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and 4 K's.

ERA now 0.54.

Maybe it's time to take a look (hard for him to be any hotter) if Lou would use him

...although I understand we may need a starter if Z's MRI is problematic. The I-Cubs starters at this point are Mitch Atkins, Caridad, Fossum, J Russell and JR Mathes. I guess they'd bring up Atkins again but others would know who's pitching best of that group. Cashner?

OK is this belaboring the obvious? Why not make Marshall the starter and have Gaub replace him in the pen?

I'm all for that plan, Lilly though should be back pretty soon as well....probably won't need a starter for more than 2 starts.

I think it's ridiculous that with the off day on Thursday, that a starting pitcher who had four days rest since his last start (Ryan Dempster) wasn't prepared to start in place of Zambrano last night. Or knowing he had back spasms in his last start, the Cubs even could have just skipped Zambrano's turn at COL and scheduled his next start on Tuesday vs PHI (first game of the homestand) and sent him home to sleep in his own bed, going with Dempster-Wells-Gorzelanny-Harden FRI-MON versus the Rockies. The Cubs shouldn't have had to start Marshall last night.

Was Dempster even at the stadium?

it seems to be dusty's fault...i mean a breakdown of communication between Z and the rest of the coaches.

Z should have fessed up earlier and the staff should have planned ahead, but dusty plays favorites with mark prior and...oh sorry, wrong side of the wrong rant...

it happens, but this was a combined effort at screwing the team over at the last minute. fun stuff.

the staff seemed pretty shocked Z wasn't going to be ready. there was definitively no backup plan in place.

Submitted by Cubster on Sat, 08/08/2009 - 6:09am.
...although I understand we may need a starter if Z's MRI is problematic. The I-Cubs starters at this point are Mitch Atkins, Caridad, Fossum, J Russell and JR Mathes. I guess they'd bring up Atkins again but others would know who's pitching best of that group. Cashner?


CUBSTER: Andrew Cashner is the Cubs top pitching prospect, but I don't think he would be brought up to start against the Phillies in the middle of a pennant race.

With Jeff Samardzija having thrown four innings last night, I would think the Shark would most-likely be the one who gets the start next Wednesady if Zambrano can't go. If that is the case, the Cubs should option Samardzija to Iowa today and recall Jeff Stevens (giving the Cubs an extra bullpen arm), while keeping Samardzija with the club in Colorado. Then if it turns out Zambrano can't make his next start, the Cubs can place Zambrano on the DL retroactive to Sunday 8/2 (making him eligible to be reactivated on Monday 8/17, meaning he would miss just one more start), and recall Samardzija from AAA next Wednesday as Zambrano's roster replacement.

Or with the Iowa Cubs playing at Wrigley Field on Sunday, the Cubs could just have LHP Casey Fossum remain in Chicago after Sunday's game and be available to start (if necessary) next Wednesday versus the lefty-heavy Phillies. Fossum started for the I-Cubs last night, and so he is already in the same rotation slot as Zambrano.

Fossum has pitched very well in his last five starts at Iowa (29.2 IP, 19 H, 9 ER, 10 BB, 26 K, 2.73 ERA, 179 OBA, and 0.98 WHIP), and because he was released earlier this season by the Mets, the Cubs would only have to pay him the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary, so he could just get released if he is needed for only one start and doesn't pitch well, or if he does pitch well, he could be kept around as the 12th man on the staff.

Speaking of the Mets and the Iowa Cubs, the Cubs have traded AAA Iowa OF-1B Jason Dubois to the Mets AAA Buffalo affiliate in the International League, apparently for the usual PTBNL or cash.  


With Micah Hoffpauir having been optioned to Iowa and with Brad Snyder back from the DL, Dubois was not likely to get much playing time at Iowa the last month of the PCL season, and he wasn't likely to get a September call-up to Chicago, either.

For those who did not hear, Randy Bush was on Bruuuuuce's show this am on Talking Baseball.

He stated it is probable that Z will be placed on the DL.

Discussion ensued with Levine and his co-host, that Samardjia might be worthwhile to try as a starter. He believes he'd be more successful as a young pitcher in a starting role.

"He believes he'd be more successful as a young pitcher in a starting role."

God I would hope so. Sarcasm aside, I see him as having a little Dempsteritis, in that his command would probably improve as a starter.

Stevens is probably coming back, so either Marshall or Shark to the rotation probably makes the most sense.

shouldnt a guy have a pitch besides a fastball (and a little more control) before being a starter?

how many offspeed pitches he throw a game? 1? 3?

it's a steady stream of that low90s and mid-high 90s fastball for the most part.

For the out of towners on TCR, tonight's game is also supposed to be on MLB Network.

had a helluva fun night...

apparently that happened in January...sobriety ain't easy

It's good to be king.

He apologized today and claimed it was a "one time thing" and he's embarrassed. Sounds a bit like David Ortiz' b.s.

it is b.s. if his past is any inclination.

his timeline of how long he's been clean when talking to people doesn't coincide with me seeing him kicking back beers.

One time thing, but a three thing time?

He should have just said he wasn't drinking and that it was Perrier he was drinking off the girl. Just because you're saved or born again or whatever, doesn't mean you shouldn't have any fun for the rest of your life, does it?

you're talking about a guy who's probably got some team regulations on his activities.

then again, i dunno how that's been handled since he moved from CIN to TEX...and it's not like TEX is gonna cut/void the guy over this.

it also doesn't fit the 'whore who found jesus' talks he likes to give for inspiration.

you should have seen this guy in highschool..90+mph fastball, could KILL the ball, and looked like a f'n monster compared to his teammates. rare specimen.

btw, his wife sure puts up with a lot of shit from this guy...for many many years...but she still sticks around.

Any word on how long Zambrano is out? And when can we stop pretending this isn't a huge injury in a season where the Cubs are just barely playing passable baseball?

For you Jason Marquis haters... I heard on the radio (but I didn't confirm it's accuracy) that every single team Jason Marquis has been on since coming to the majors has made the playoffs.


Imagine what he and Koyie Hill would do on the same team!

But how often has Jason Marquis actually made the playoff roster?

Seriously though, he is a valuable guy to have. He makes all his starts, typically pitches at least 6 innings, keeps his team in the game, and does some decent things with the bat. He's great to have as a 5th starter on a contender. Unfortunately, he's not worth the $10 million per Hendry gave him.

Is he worth the $7 million a year Hendry actually gave him?

Sun Times just broke the news that Z is on the 15 Day DL.

Lefty relievers moving up the food chain. (This is two days old and may be old news.)

Dustin Sasser to Tennessee, Casey Lambert to Iowa.

Sasser had a nice set of numbers at Daytona: 45 hits in 62 innings, with 51 strikeouts, 25 walks. ERA 1.60, WHIP 1.13.

His "twin," Luke Sommer, had similar numbers (more hits/inning) but Sasser got the promotion.

Lambert's star has dimmed a little this year but he has been pitching decently since he rested a sore elbow and moved back to the pen.

Recent comments

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  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).