Some Good News...
Aramis Ramirez should be able to play Friday and the Pittsburgh Pirates are coming to town...and we're on day 10,256,753(est.) of the last apocalyptic asteroid hitting the Earth.
That's all I got...hey, you get what you pay for here at TCR.
Okay fine, more ranting, raving and rumbling after the jump...
- I guess when the team is playing so bad, it's easy to set your sights elsewhere, but the guy turning himself in who threw the beer at Shane Victorino is "breaking news?" Really? Sun-Times had not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 articles (cue Feist ) on it last night.
- Justin Berg was perfectly adequate in his 2 inning major league debut last night, throwing 17 strikes on 26 pitches inducing 3 ground-balls outs including a double play with his sinker/change combo.
- The answer to the Cubs second base problem apparently is hoping that Jeff Baker stays hot. Why not?
- Somehow the writer of this "rumor" for Yahoo got "The word is that Cubs executives are not amused." and that "The rumor going around is that the team may be losing patience with Piniella, according to the Chicago Tribune." If you look at the actual Trib article, there's no mention of any Cubs executives and it's just a piece by Paul Sullivan trying to stir the pot that Lou is beginning to receive some heat, but it doesn't specify from whom and most likely he's just trying to compare it how the fans turned on Dusty Baker if you examine the quotes from players. Nothing to see here...move along.
- There was a request to create an open thread and discuss how to fix the team. Here's my take...keep Aramis healthy. The team is 26-17 when he' s played...32-38 without. In somewhat seriosness though, they'll be more time for what the Cubs should do this offseason, but if you're gonna play that game now, just try to keep in the mind the difficulty in trading players and then multiply by 1,000 when you take into account most of these guys contracts. No one is going to touch Alfonso Soriano right now, so if you think the Cubs need to move money, your best trade bets are Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly in the lasy year's of their deal or maybe Kosuke Fukudome if he keeps up the hitting the rest of the year.
- Randy Wells vs. Charlie Morton today, Tom Gorzelanny against his old teammates and Zach Duke on Saturday and Russ Ohlendorf and Rich Harden on Sunday.
Enjoy the weekend....
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.