TCR Friday Notes and a Call for Help
- Cubbery at its finest:
As Lee and Baker were mobbed by teammates in the dugout, relief pitcher Angel Guzman
slapped the side of Lee's helmet, causing Lee to experience neck spasms
that forced him to come out of the game for defense in the bottom of
- Rich Harden is shutting it down for the year, a mutual decision between him and the club. The tone of the article sounds like there isn't much interest by either party in reuniting beyond this season. Fine by me, but will the Cubs offer arbitration?
- Wittenmyer has a rundown of the Cubs rotation down the stretch.
Fri-Sun @ Giants: Zambrano vs Lincecum tonight, then Gorzelanny and Wells.
Tues-Thurs vs. Pittsburgh: Dempster, Lilly and Z for the doubleheader on Wednesday, then Gorzelanny
Fri-Sun vs. Arizona: Samardzija, Wells and Dempster.
- Fangraphs takes a shot at Tyler Colvin, misrepresenting that he was sent down to start the year, although it was actually because he was still rehabbing his elbow and Daytona uses a DH. Nonetheless I have to agree he's nothing more than a fringe prospect. If they can't get Felix Pie to work out, I don't see Colvin having much of a shot. Fangraphs also ran a piece on some of the recent Korean signings by the Cubs with Hak-Ju Lee leading the way.
- The Cubs sale inches closer to completion with bankruptcy court approving the deal. The Cubs will enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 12th as part of the deal with an approval hearing on October 13th. They hope to have the owners approval by then. According to the Trib article, the first opportunity by the MLB owners to vote will be October 5th.
- Milton's signing is in the running for worst contract of the offseason over at MLBTR.
- Don't forget to join the fun at The Bear Truth, hopefully we can get a crowd for Parachat during the game.
- We're going to be doing a slightly more involved upgrade here at TCR once the season ends and I could use some help testing out the site. If anyone has some time next week to bombard the test site comments and check it out at a scheduled time, let me know. What that time is yet I don't know, but probably near game time of one of the Cubs/Pirates games next week.
- A lot of folks were upset over Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame acceptance speech. It certainly wasn't the most gracious thing I ever heard, but at least it wasn't boring. Name how many Hall of Fame basketball, football or baseball speeches anyone ever remembers? Now granted I'd pay more attention to an MJ speech over most players, but it was indeed memorable and certainly fit the character of the player many of us grew up watching and sadly idolizing. Joe Posnanski and Jason Whitlock have good articles justifying the speech if you're interested.
Why am I writing about the Bulls and MJ? Because this abomination of a Cubs season is still going on. Hell, they made me starts a Bears blog.
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.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump