Your 2009 Wild Card Cubs!
And here are the 29 players eligible to play in the 2009 post-season for the Chicago Cubs:
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Tom Gorzelanny
* John Grabow
* Ted Lilly
* Sean Marshall
# Koyie Hill
# Andres Blanco
* Mike Fontenot
# Aaron Miles
# Milton Bradley
* Kosuke Fukudome
* Sam Fuld
Any player who is on a club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB 15-day or 60-day DL as of midnight August 31st is eligible to play in the post-season (LDS, LCS, and World Series) should his team qualify.
Prior to each post-season series (LDS, LCS, and WS), each participating club submits its 25-man roster for that series to the MLB office. However, the 25-man roster (Active List) can be altered at the start of each series, depending on how the club matches-up with its opponent.
For instance, if a club so chooses, it could go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players in the LDS, replacing a starting pitcher with an extra "bat off the bench." And then the club could maybe replace a left-handed reliever with a right-handed reliever and/or a "5th outfielder" with an extra middle-infielder in the LCS, and then perhaps replace the extra utility infielder with "no defense" DH for the World Series. As long as a player is on the 8/31 post-season roster, he is eligible to be added to his club's 25-man roster for a post-season series.
In addition to the 29 Cubs players eligible to play in the 2009 post-season, any post-season eligible player who is on the DL at the start of a post-season series is considered a "roster exemption," and can be replaced on the Active List by any player (regardless of position) who was in the organization as of August 31st (and this includes minor league players). However, a minor leaguer who is selected to be a post-season roster-exemption "replacement player" must be added to his club's 40-man roster before the player can be placed on the 25-man roster.
Also, a player who is injured during a post-season series can (with the approval of the MLB Commissioner) be replaced prior to the conclusion of that series by a player who plays the same position as the injured player (a pitcher must replace a pitcher, a catcher must replace a catcher, etc). However, if an injured player is replaced during a post-seson series, he is ineligible to return to the Active List (25-man roster) for the balance of that post-season.
So prior to the start of NLCS, the Cubs can designate 25 players from their 8/31 post-season eligibility list as "active," with the additional right to replace any post-season eligible player who is on the 15-day or 60-day DL at the start of the NLCS with any player who was in the organization as of midnight 8/31, regardless of position.
INF Andres Blanco (strained calf), RHP Chad Fox (sore elbow), OF Reed Johnson (broken foot), and RHP David Patton (strained groin) were on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL on 8/31, but Blanco was reactivated from the DL today, and Patton is supposed to be reactivated tomorrow. Johnson is still recovering from his injury, but he will probably be going on a minor league rehab adssignment in a few days and should be 100% healthy by October. So unless somebody gets hurt during the last month of the regular season, Chad Fox will be the only Cubs player who was on the DL on 8/31 who will likely qualify as a potential post-season roster-exemption. However, the Cubs could have had a second potential post-season roster-exemption, but (apparently) chose not to take advantage of the opportunity.
LHP Neal Cotts is on the Cubs 40-man roster, and was on optional assignment to AAA Iowa when he suffered a season-ending elbow injury in July that required "Tommy John" surgery. Cotts was placed on the Iowa DL at that time, but if the Cubs had recalled him from his optional assignment yesterday and immediately placed him on their MLB 15-day DL, they would have had a second potential post-season roster-exemption.
It probably won't matter, partly because the Cubs are unlikely to get into the post-season, and partly because they probably wouldn't need more than the one post-season roster-exemption that Chad Fox provides. But still, why not take advantage of the rules and get a second potential roster-exemption in case it's needed?
For instance, maybe Micah Hoffpauir has a hot September (leading the Cubs to the top of the "Wild Card"!), and Justin Berg throws "lights out" (a la Les Lancaster '89) while Aaron Heilman gets creamed, such that the Cubs want to replace their 3rd lefty reliever (Gorzelanny) with an extra bat (Hoffpauir) and an ineffective righty reliever (Heilman) with a hot one (Berg). Right now they could do one move, but not the other (unless another post-season eligible player goes on the DL prior to the post-season). But simply by recalling Neal Cotts from his minor league Optional Assignment yesterday and placing him on the MLB 15-day DL (as they did last year with Rich Hill), they would have had two post-season roster-exemptions instead of one.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
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.