Colvin Four-Hit Day Not Enough to Lift Cubs to Victory

Tyler Colvin went 4-5 with two singles, an RBI triple, and a solo home run, but it wasn't enough, as the Cubs and the San Diego Padres played to a 2-2 tie in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 13,462 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this afternoon in sunny Mesa, AZ.


 


. box score


The Cubs had chances to score against Padres starter Clayton Richard in the bottom of the 1st (runners on 1st and 2nd with one out, but Aramis Ramirez and Marlon Byrd struck out swinging), and then again in the bottom of the 4th (runners on the 1st and 2nd with no outs, but Geovany Soto rapped into a 6-4-3 DP and Mike Fontenot tapped out 1-3 to end the inning).


The Cubs finally did get on the board with one out in the 5th, however, as Tyler Colvin mashed a home run over the RF fence off Richard (who is a lefty, BTW).


Meanwhile, Cubs starter Carlos Silva was throwing five shutout innings, before allowing two runs in the 6th (the second run scoring after he had left the game) as the Padres took a 2-1 lead.


Facing a mostly minor league lineup, Silva allowed two runs on five hits (two triples, two doubles, and a single), while allowing no walks and striking out three (6/7 GO/FO). He also gave up a couple of fly outs to the warning track, but he (generally) threw strikes, and (at least through the first five innings, anyway) made good pitches when he needed them most.


RHP Esmailin Caridad relieved Silva, entering the game with one run in, one out, and Nick Hundley (who had just ripped an RBI double) on 2nd base. Caridad struck out Matt Antonelli, but Hundley stole 3rd base and scored on an errant throw into LF by Geovany Soto. (The run was earned because Caridad gave up what would have been an RBI single later in the inning). Caridad then retired the Padres 1-2-3 in the 7th (6-3, Ks, F-8)


For the day, Caridad went 1.2 IP (30 pitches - 21 strikes), allowing just the one hit, no walks, and two K's, but he did allow one inherited runner to score.


The Cubs tied it up in the bottom of the 7th against Padres RHRP Luke Gregorson (rumored to be a possble Cub trade target), as Mike Fontenot lined a lead-off single to left (his second hit of the day), and scored on a one-out triple by Tyler Colvin. But Jeff Baker and Derrek Lee were called out on strikes, leaving Colvin (representing the go-ahead run) stranded at 3rd.


RHRP Brian Schlitter was brought up from minor league camp for today's game and pitched the 8th (14 pitches - 8 strikes, 1/1 GO/FO), allowing an infield hit and a walk, while striking out one.


After struggling in yesterday's game (when he allowed three runs on three hits, a HBP and a HR), Cubs closer Carlos Marmol was brought into the game in the top of the 9th. He walked the first man he faced, but then got an out on a 1-4 SH, before striking out the last two men he faced (essentially blowing them both away). Marmol threw 22 piches (13 strikes) in his one inning of work.


RHP Jeff Stevens was also brought up to HoHoKam from Fitch Park today, and he threw a 1-2-3 10th (P-2, F-8, Ks), disposing of the Padres on 15 pitches (10 strikes). Stevens has pitched better since he was optioned to Iowa.


The Cubs had a chance to possibly win the game in the bottom of the 10th, as Tyler Colvin lined a lead-off single (his 4th hit of the day!), but Jeff Baker bunted into a double play, and PH Logan Watkins (up from Minor League Camp) struck out swinging.


The game was called after ten innings by mutual agreement.


Andres Blanco was in the Cubs original starting lineup today (batting 8th and playing shortstop), but he was replaced by Mike Fontenot prior to the start of the game. That's because Blanco was traded to the Texas Rangers this afternoon for a Player to be Named Later (PTBNL) or cash (usually $50,000).


Fontenot made an error (booted the ball) on his first fielding chance at shortstop in the top of the 1st inning, and then he was unable to throw out a batter on a grounder in the hole in the top of the 2nd (bouncing the ball to 1st), but he played flawlessly the rest of the way, handling four chances (one L-6, two 6-3, and a 6-4 FC).


The Cubs will play the Seattle Mariners tomorrow in Peoria, before returning to HoHoKam Park on Monday.

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Comments

"he was unable to throw out a batter on a grounder in the hole in the top of the 2nd "

Theriot taught him that.

For the record, I still say getting rid of Blanco or not keeping someone like Barney on the team who can actually play SS is a mistake.

And the never ending talk we heard all spring about how Castro is big league ready right now is a joke. Everyone seems to forget his 39 errors last year, which he proved this spring wasn't a mirage.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/03/...

"If everyone will stay out of the way, we'll get it done," Selig said, adding that MLB will "find the right economic solution that we can live with and the Cubs can live with and everybody else can live with, and it's doable from a public sector standpoint."

Maybe I'm being naive about the political realities of this situation, but it sounds like Selig believes that he and MLB are in charge of this legislation rather than the legislators. From what I've read, it sounds like Rep. John McComish and the other legislators are put off by the heavy handed way MLB has approached this.

From an outsider looking in, it seems completely irrelevant that the other 14 Cactus League teams are against the tax. The state is levying the tax to build up money in a state-run fund that will ultimately benefit Cactus League teams. MLB teams are going to benefit from the tax. Why should they also be allowed to decide who is taxed to raise the funds?

I think that's a wonderful slogan he's got there "MLB Baseball, you can live with it." I think the other teams' bitching and moaning is more about PR for their own fans' sake than any real concern with the original proposed tax. If the Cubs go to FL it will eventually destroy AZ baseball, because it will quit making financial sense for these other towns to build and support what are essentially AA stadiums, without the 8,000 extra tickets they sell when the Cubs are "in town".

I personally think the cubs will regret moving Blanco i would have preferred him over Baker.
I will be interested to see how many games in april Fontenot is gonna see time at short probally two.

Is it too early to melt down the Fontenot statue we erected in 2008 to make a Colvin statue?

Convenient absence? Paul Sullivan will be crushed.

The only meeting of the Cactus League season between the Mariners and Cubs is Sunday, 1:05 p.m. PT, at Peoria Stadium, where a huge crowd is expected to watch the interleague game, pushing the home attendance over the 100,000 mark for the 12 of the past 13 years. Mariners left fielder Milton Bradley, who played against the Dodgers on Saturday, probably will get Sunday off and spend his day taking extra batting practice.

http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/news/article....

The reason the Cardinals declined to reclaim Mike Parisi is that it costs $25,000 to reclaim a Rule 5 player, and because Parisi had been outrighted previously in his career, he has the right to refuse an outright assignment. So the Cards would have been spending $25,000 on a player who might opt to be a free-agent, and if that happened, they would have been out the $25,0000 AND the player. This way, they can spend the $25,000 they might have used to reclaim Parisi on a waiver claim where the player they claim will actually have to report to the Cardinals.

As to why Parisi agreed to report to Iowa (and again, he actually has seven days to decide because he was outrighted during Spring Training), if he opted to be a FA immediately, he would receive no termination pay. By accepting the outright assignment, his contract remains in force and he can still be a FA after the end of the MLB regular season. (For that same reason, Parisi probably would have accepted an outright assignment back to Memphis, too, it's just that the Cardinals did not want to bet $25,000 that he would).

The next ten days should be real interesting. Not only at the major lge level, but also how the dominoes will fall at the minor lges.
At least it seems that there are some decent dominoes in the minor lge system.

Submitted by Hagsag on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 8:30am.
The next ten days should be real interesting. Not only at the major lge level, but also how the dominoes will fall at the minor lges.
At least it seems that there are some decent dominoes in the minor lge system.

======================================

HAGSAG: For the first time in as long as I can remember, the Cubs have no use for minor league free-agents as roster filler at Iowa. They literally can staff the rosters of all of their full-season and short-season teams with organizational players, including several top prospects at various stops along the way.

While the Cubs may not have as many Baseball America "Top 100 prospects" as some organizations (although the Cubs do have five), they have tremendous organizational depth at most all positions (the one exception being catcher).

Damn that "Teflon Tim" Wilken! lol

The depth in the Cubs system is definitely striking. I was daydreaming about minor league prospects the other day, and I realized that the Cubs have essentially a full roster worth of minor league prospects who have a legitimate chance of being in the majors in some role in the next four or five years. Excuse the absurdly optimistic exercise below, but to illustrate, this would be the dream 2012 or 2013 roster, made of only homegrown talent--for those who actually don't feel like looking at it, there seem to be shitload of players with major league quality upside if not star quality upside (and I think that's why the Cubs farm system has climbed so many ranking systems):

SS Hak-Ju Lee
2B Starlin Castro
1B Josh Vitters
RF Kyler Burke
CF Brett Jackson
LF Tyler Colvin
C Geovany Soto/Welington Castillo
3B Ryan Flaherty
SP Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells, Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Casey Coleman, Chris Archer, Dae-Eun Rhee

Bench: DJ Lemahieu, Logan Watkins/Darwin Barney, Sam Fuld/Brandon Guyer, Micah Hoffpauir/Blake Lalli, Welington Castillo/Chris Robinson.

Bullpen: Carlos Marmol, Esmailin Caridad, Justin Berg, John Gaub, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, Marcos Mateo, Rafael Dolis, Blake Parker, David Patton, Andrew Cashner

I don't think that Patton counts as 'home grown' and Chirinos would probably be my backup catcher but nice list.

Yeah, "home grown" isn't accurate on Patton, but he's a long term investment drafted from a crop of young players eligible for the Rule V. Not an integral part of that list.

I'd just like to emphasize again that imagining all of those players will stay healthy achieve their ceilings is absurd, but the Cubs have better depth in the system than I remember them having in the past.

Gaub, Archer, Berg, Robinson, Burke--all traded for. Ryan Buchter is another one. But as long as you get them while they're still minor leaguers, we should consider them home-grown if they make it.

It's useful to remember that Wilken goes into the draft with a wish list, and most of those players go to other teams. Sometimes you're able to trade for them later.

"Gaub, Archer, Berg, Robinson, Burke--all traded for. Ryan Buchter is another one. "

Indeed, one of two main objectives of the minor leagues. This needs to be accounted for in giving management praise or scorn.

fwiw, Berg was acquired pre-Wilken.

I saw Jason Dubois in the Cubs dugout yesterday on TV. I am sure his days are numbered.

Hey Arizona Phil I was at the game yesterday. How many homeruns do you think Silva would have given up if the wind would have been blowing out like it does 90% of time. I thought he got hit hard just like when he pitched only two inings against the Reds last Sunday.

CHC/SEA tonight on MLB Network 9pm EST (taped "delay" replay)

I'm listening to the Cardinals crush the Mets (Cubs not on yet) and they keep talking about Parisi who apparently is pitching in relief for the Cards. I could have sworn he was on the Cubs and was even the subject of a TCR article yesterday...turns out they have a guy named Pete Parise and they pronounce his name the same. What are the odds?

loo confirms colvin made the team.

"I mean, if we can't take Colvin after the spring he's had, something is wrong"

that 0% spring walk rate and 6% minor league walk rate...phew...g'luck dude.

Didn't Hoffpauir get cut two springs in a row after similar performances? What exactly is the plan, to make Fukudome the 5th outfielder?

on one hand i can agree with bringing the hottest bat in the cactus league up...on the other i hate how he's not going to keep getting regular/consistent AB's.

But then, You probably will be saying, "What the hell is the MLB hottest Spring Training hitter doing in AAA when our ___________ fielder can't hit worth a shit?!" right?

based on what i've said about colvin the past week+ i'd call that dead wrong.

also, im one of those people that don't mind fukudome. i think he's good...even if he's not worth what he's paid. he plays decent D, gets on base, and occasionally gets a decent amount of doubles...be nice if he could manage 10-15 more homers a year with it, though.

I am not talking about Fuku as much as the left fielder, and a platoon sometime with Byrd.

Lou stated he will use Colvin in all three fields. Are you saying when Sori goes into one of his patented slumps, you would not clamor for Colvin if he was in AAA to give him some "days off".

Hmmm...

it don't matter what i think, but soriano don't sit when he's healthy...and with lou he don't sit when he's healthy enough to swing a bat regardless of his legs so i dunno how that will work out.

they'll have to force some of these guys to sit if everyone stays healthy, though...they can't let him rot. he's not showing signs of the deadly lou doghouse disease that eyre and wuertz had. they haven't been working out soriano at 1st base to allow him to rest dlee...as if dlee needs to rest much when he's healthy.

When Lou said Colvin will start 2-3 games a week, I thought, "I've heard that before."

It seems like whenever there's a plan to get a kid some regular spot starts, it always goes to hell. Colvin might make 1-2 starts in all of April. My guess is sometime around Mid-May, unless a starting OF'er is on the DL, Colvin will be sent back to Iowa to get regular AB's.

2-3 games a week really isn't often enough anyway. He needs 3-4 at least to justify this (and he would need to continue to hit well enough to justify the playing time). He would need to start the majority of the games. Until Nady gets healthy, Colvin should be on a four-day cycle of LF, CF, RF, Bench. Or he should go back to AAA.

Well... I guess Dempster is ready for the regular season.

on minor league deal...

Wuertz is having shoulder issues.

colvin should go to iowa & i'm not saying that just because i live there - what are the odds that a guy who hit .500 for a month in whatever circumstances stays hot, regardless of how much he plays? tell him, 'nice spring kid, you earned yourself a promotion; go take a walk or two in triple a'...even if all else goes according to plan [whatever that means], marmol & the pen will be the undoing of this team - i am already planning on a turn-off-the-radio strategy when marmol enters, before hughes says, 'time to fasten those seatbelts...'

First of all, if Colvin had spent spring training taking walks he WOULD BE at AAA and not on the team. Cubs minor leaguers have to hit their way on to the big club. The organization doesn't value walks at all. Never has. Look at this last year---

AAA Iowa: 13th/16 in team BB's
AA Tenn: LAST in team BB's, SECOND in BA
A+ Daytona: 10th/12 in team BB's
A Peoria: 12th/14 in team BB's, FIRST in BA

In a system like that, what exactly is another year in the minors going to do for his BB totals?

Then, Name some Cubs minor leaguers who walked more that twice all spring training. Jackson, Snyder? 4 times each and then sent packing to minor league camp after a brief look. Fuld has 3. That's it.

So, there's nothing alarming about Colvin not taking walks. Why should he now with so much on the line personally and when he's hitting everything they throw at him?

Sure, Colvin isn't an OBP machine, but he does know how to take a walk once in awhile. It's not like he's another Josh Vitters.

Nothing alarming? Ok this is the part where people like me and others say the system is screwed up from the drafting to the coaches to the entire philosophy.

Now this is the part where you name all the awesome Cubs prospects who have came out of that system since Mark Grace and suddenly you find it very alarming.

Colvin is everything that is wrong with our system, but propped up on a pedestal as the benchmark for success. Just hit the crap out of the ball in A-AAA isn't good enough, you need to show skills to succeed in the majors, not just in AAA.

"Now this is the part where you name all the awesome Cubs prospects who have came out of that system since Mark Grace and suddenly you find it very alarming. "

Very good and valid point about Cub's every day player prospects.

"Ok this is the part where people like me and others say the system is screwed up from the drafting to the coaches to the entire philosophy."

I agree that the current roster is not stocked with All Stars from the minors, however, you are one of the people that obviously refuses to see progress. Who are "the others" that are bashing the Cubs MiLB system? Can you show me some of them. For the year 2010?

And, further, you and Tim Wilken bashers (he knows who he is) refuse to give any credit for at least the arrow getting pointed in the right direction - if not developing solid/useful MAjor League players (the MAIN objective of the minors), than developing players to the point that they are desired as trade pieces.

Look - I plainly see that while the Tribune owned this team there have been problems drafting and developing, but I also now have seen progress under Tim Wilken's guidance. Things are improving. There are FOUR rookies that will be on the team, plus other players that are "home-grown-ish".

You may want to also acknowledge the "others" that are considered "scouting experts", as well, that note the team's overall improvement of the entire farm system.

We are all impatient with this god damned frustrating team, but I am personally more encouraged about player development than I have been in many years.

Ok this is the part where people like me and others say the system is screwed up from the drafting to the coaches to the entire philosophy.

I thought I just said that. The Cubs minor league organization puts no value on taking walks. And that includes our HoF'er AA Manager at Tennessee, the man Cubs fans are sure will be replacing Lou Piniella some day -- his team was dead last in taking a base on balls.

Was reading an article on Heyward and the 2007 draft was mentioned. Some interesting selections, as we all know the Cubs selected Josh Vitters at #3 and he is what in A ball still?

Take a look at some of the ones that went off the board after him...

Matt Wieters #5
Matt LaPorta #7
Jayson Heyward #14

We had a chance at Matt Wieters and we took fucking Josh Vitters? Why because of money? Were the #3 spending team in all of baseball but were cheap on signing drafted players?

So i did a little digging around and came across this article which really doesn't surprise me, just reaffirms that we have had a shitty scouting department for years.

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-cubs-...

Baseball America came out on Friday with their draft spending list, a ranking of the total amount of money each major league team spent to sign the players they selected in June's amateur draft. The list is a subscription article, so I won't give away too much of it, but I'll let you in on one secret.

The Cubs finished 26th out of the 30 clubs, with just over 4 million dollars spent. The 4 teams that finished behind them? 3 didn't have first round picks, and the 4th didn't sign theirs.

So basically the reason a Matt Wieters type isn't going to be on our roster for the next decade is because we didn't want to pay 6 million for Wieters. Vitters got 3.2, and the rest of the money we easily throw away on the Aaron Mile's of the world.

The Cubs need to stop being cheap bastards in the draft and select the best player, not the best player you can sign the easiest.

I would rather invest the cash into a stud prospect than invest the cash into some journeyman nobody that won't be around long and does nothing for the franchise.

"Baseball America's Prospect Handbook for 2010 hit the stands on Tuesday ... with the Cubs top prospect, Starlin Castro gracing the cover. Castro was named the top prospect in the Cubs' organization.

Baseball America also recognized the improvement made in the Cubs' farm system. The Cubs organization jumped from 27th in baseball to 15th in Baseball America's pre-season talent rankings."

IIRC, didn't the team "invest the cash" into Mark Prior?

I am just as frustrated, but I stand by my opinion (and the "trades") that the team is at least moving in the right direction.

Yes, he was a 19-year old in A-Ball. Does that surprise you?

Vitters is 3 years younger than Wieters. If the draft were reversed and Vitters developed into a better player than Weiters would you just be saying how it "just reaffirms that we have had a shitty scouting department for years." ?

So: A) the jury will still be out on this one for a few years, and B) comparing one draft pick to another is not an effective way to compare systems or judge scouting.

I mean, we took Lavalroe Cash in the 12th round of 1999 when Albert Pujols went in the 13th round to the Cardinals. This just confirms to me how terrible our scouting has always been.

That is a bit disingenuous to comp anyone to Pujols. He was an obscure player that nobody had a beat on. Johnny Unitas went late in his draft just the same.

Weiters/Vitters were both very known and were going top of round one regardless.

The thinking at the time was that Vitters was the cheaper sign. We just didn't bitch as much since the Trib opened the pocketbooks to bring in Soriano,Lilly,DeRosa,Marquis etc. during that offseason.

actually, i think the cubs already had a catcher and didn't feel the need to hand another one a MLB contract compared to the need of a future 3rd.

I don't know if by June they were that sold on Soto.

Anyway, pointing to the Orioles as a well run ball club is a bit stupid. There's a reason that Weiters went that late.

Its not disingenuous, I was clearly exaggerating to make a point: even if one prospect picked below another does better than the higher one, that is not grounds for debasing the entire scouting department and minor league system.

But for the record, while Pujols was not being talked about like Vitters/Weiters, he was an honorable mention pick for the All-USA Today team in 1997 and 1998. He was All-State in Kansas twice, led the team to the state championship, set American Legion records for home runs and RBI - in just over 60 games he had 35 HR and 124 RBI, while hitting nearly .600 - and hit .461 in his year of junior college right before the draft. So he was not obscure. In fact he had a ton of scouts come to his games, it's just that they didn't judge him well. As his college coach said: "I had scouts come to me the next year after the draft and tell me they didn’t turn him in as a guy worth drafting. They don’t know what the hell they’re doing here in the Midwest as far as drafting. There are some idiots here that think they know the game. It is damn ridiculous — 13th round."

way to Fox News that one...

the ranking and quote you used was for the 2009 draft which they got Brett Jackson for a cheap 972K(below slot) and before Ricketts took over and they clearly had a strict Trib draft budget. The Cubs also spent quite a bit more in the Pacific Rim than other teams (plus other signings in the Australia, Italy, and of course Latin America over the years). You need to compare total amateur signings (not just the draft) for a fair comparison.

They were pretty low in total bonus money in the 2006 draft, but didn't have a 2,3 or 4th round pick. On the other hand, they gave Samardzija first round money that year and Huseby 1st/2nd round money. Logan Watkins was another player recently paid well over slot money(E-Pat, Gallagher are couple more off the top of my head). I don't have my BA prospect handbook in front of me, but I thought I recall in the 2009 version that they've varied quite a bit from year-to-year in draft bonuses from near the top to near the bottom. But I can't confirm that at the moment...

Wilken says he just liked Vitters more and were worried about Wieters staying behind the plate. It's also when the team went up for sale, so I'm sure they cheaped out a bit on that one. Hopefully the Ricketts are serious about focusing on the best amateur talent.

Of course, they could have easily had Chapman if they wanted to...so not a great start.

ROB G: "way to Fox News that one..."

LOL

Used as a verb - He "Fox Newsed him on that..." HAHA

No Good Will Come of This

I would rather Fox News something than CNN it.

"atleast dozens of people"

Google that to find out.

"I would rather Fox News something than CNN it."

Shocking...

or you could grossly overestimate it as well to fit your narrative or edit in shots from a previously larger rally to make the current rally seem bigger.

http://gawker.com/5402792/team-jon-stewart-wi...

http://mediamatters.org/research/200911110019

fantastic journalistic work all around...Pulitzers for everyone...

Fox News tells Fox News consumers things Fox News consumers want to hear...

...now if they could do that without making every other news organization seem like "evil liberals" then they might do a little more good in the world.

It's amazing how many Fox News patrons think the AP is a liberal mouthpiece...hell, they think almost every news outlet is a liberal mouthpiece.

It's a battle no one's fighting, though "one side" is gearing up to fight something that doesn't exist.

The reason for that, of course, is that almost every news outlet IS a liberal mouthpiece. When FoxNews gives both sides of the story, people are aghast that the conservative side is actually getting a hearing. Something they never get from most other outlets.

and we come full circle.

keep fighting that battle.

I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention. I was browsing some of the web's many fine sources of hardcore pornography. That's what happens when these sort of conversations break out. TCR loses readers to wonderful, wonderful porn.

And yet you came back!! TCR readers have always watched wonderful, wonderful porn. It's not like when the conversation is riveting here we stop watching it.

and we come full circle, again. different circle, but the olympics have taught all of us circles to get along.

Helpful Hint: Don't look at porn with "Granny" in the title. Never worth it.

You're ruining my refractory period.

"When FoxNews gives both sides of the story..."

When have they ever done that?

If what you mean is that they provide their delusional view of reality to contrast actual events covered by other news outlets, well then yes, I suppose you are right.

Jesus Christ. The only thing worse than a blind liberal is a sanctimonious one. I wish you guys would keep that in mind when going on your quarter annual "Hitler spawned the Republic party" rants.

I don't go on those rants because unlike those holding posters at tea party rallies, I actually know that there is a difference between fascism, communism, conservatism, etc.

Hey...they report, you decide.

When FoxNews gives both sides of the story...

Wowsers... This is an incredible statement. All I got to say is it takes a pretty big echo chamber to fit both Sean Hannity's head an all Glenn Beck's chalkboards.

If you look at the independent research of which networks lean what way, Fox News comes out as the one that leans mostly to the center (but still on the right side), while CNN and MSNBC tilt heavily into liberal territory. Along with CBS, NBC, and ABC somewhat. I think ABC was trending more to the center but leaning left.

Just remember CNN's Anderson Cooper, who has no political dog in the fight he says, introduced the word Tea Bagger to the political discourse when describing Tea Party protests. That word has been picked up across the political spectrum to belittle the movement. And CNN was the one at an early Tea Party rally that tried to ask a question to a Tea Party person but wouldn't allow them to answer and the people around them kept telling the reporter to shut up if she wanted an actual answer. The reporter then feared for her safety because of the nasty evil Tea Party people/Theme the Democrats want to portray them as. And CNN just reported "dozens" of people showed up in Nevada where 20,000 showed up.

And lets not forget CNN sold its political soul to Saddam Hussein for access while Fox News told Saddam he can shove it up his ass. They had to report what Saddam wanted them to report, or he would kick them out of Baghdad. CNN said no problem, we will be your propaganda mouth piece.

But FoxNews is the stupid ones. And people wonder why CNN is in a free fall with losing viewers.

independant research?

CNN sold it's politcal soul to Hussein?

the notion that news outlets ignores the tea party (this one doesn't even hold a shred of weight except on talk radio)? btw, the tea party protests get a lot more coverage with a LOT less people than most of those "liberal protests"

what news organization takes notes from "up top" from non-editors who aren't even in the news division? there's one that i know of...Fox.

also...

http://i42.tinypic.com/mhdee9.jpg

btw, yes i've heard about the CNN thing...i don't need context. it's a bit overblown by the "media critics" and over-simplified in your statement but what does what CNN doing have to do with what Fox does?

CNN is entertainment tonight...

Where we all the Tea Party activists when Bush/Cheney were giving out the huge medicare stipends in 2007 and the Wall Street Bailouts in 2008?

They reek of right wing shills that can't get over the fact that we have a black president.

Fox news doesn't help matters with the spin RXing that they do.

But FoxNews is the stupid ones. And people wonder why CNN is in a free fall with losing viewers.

You are incorrectly assuming that cable news television viewers are a representative sample of equal parts liberal/conservative. This is wildly incorrect. Most people have moved on with their lives, but the tea baggers are bitching and moaning like spoiled babies. They're annoyed and watching Glenn Beck to feel better.

It is extremely ignorant of the truth to say Fox News is anything but a conservative echo chamber.

Even when I was a Republican and Conservative (and yes, I was one, not many years ago), I never once tried to convince anyone that Fox News was reporting unbiased news.

And further, I can live with biased commentary shows, like Hannity, O'Reilly, Maddow, whatever, that's fine. We all know what they are all about, but when you let that slant affect your actual news reporting by having anchors take part in tea party demonstrations on-air, etc, etc: that is just reprehensible. Fox has left journalistic integrity behind long ago.

But this is a big fucking stupid argument anyways, because Fox news is not the problem. How many independents do you think watch Fox news?

The only problem I have are the whining douchebags throwing their freedom bricks through windows like they are performing some great patriotic service to our country by performing domestic terrorism.

Obama won, you lost. You're just going to have to deal with the new legislation. You want to protest, take it to the polls like a big boy.

Liberals are always so tolerant until another group stands up and gets in their way then they are tea baggers and racists.

Thank you Dr. Aaron and Ryno for calling anyonewho opposes Obama a racistand sexually derrogatory comment.

I should also note to you Ryno than CNN and MSNBC are left wing Echo Chambers. Its just that you guys are pissedanother side actually has a voice to cut through your bullshit.

Thats another thing liberals think FoxNews is this evil place but alwayssay CNN and the rest of the media are just fine.

Thats a clear disconnect in reality.

Thank you for generalizing from what a few bloggers say online to what all "liberals" do.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I looked compared Colvin's to Corey Patterson's minor league numbers the other day. As a set of statistics they have some similarities. Here are their BB/PA, K/PA, and BB/K , with Patterson first then Colvin:

Corey Patterson: BB per PA: 129/1961= 6.58%
K per PA: 379/1961= 19.33%
BB/K: 129/379= .3404

Tyler Colvin: BB per PA: 105/1868= 5.62%
K per Pa: 341/1868= 18.25%
BB/K: 105/341= .3079

I didn't filter out Patterson's time in AAA in 2005, 2008 or 2009. He collected 543 of his minor league PAs in that time and put up respectable slugging numbers but his iso obp was not significantly higher than in previous times through the minors.

There are significant differences between Colvin and Patterson, of course. Colvin doesn't have Patterson's speed and (I think) cannot quite match Patterson in his prime on defense. He could, however, exceed Patterson's best power year--2004 in which he hit 24 HRs. As a player, Colvin flat out has a better fundamental swing than Patterson does. He's not a dead pull hitter like Patterson was with the Cubs; he can drive the ball to left center and slash it down the line in left.

My real point here is that we were all justifiably excited about Patterson when he was a prospect. In hindsight, we've all decided he was an awful prospect. But the really disappointing thing about Patterson at the plate was that he stopped developing and actually seemed to take steps backward when he hit the majors. Not everybody does that. Plenty of quality major leaguers improve upon their minor league rates during their careers in the majors. Colvin has a .798 minor league OPS right now. If, with the extra muscle, he can (eventually) maintain an OPS of .800 or higher, he'll be a quality major league CF, especially before he hits free agency and his cost starts to detract from his overall value.

Patterson took steps backwards every year after he left low A until 2003. Then he looked like he was going to get things going again in Baltimore, but the next year totally fell flat.

None of that has anything to do with Colvin. It's about as rational as saying I like Old Style because I am a Cubs fan.

Why do they black out the Cubs game on mlb network in Chicago?

last game ran long. it's probably delayed until royals 30/30 is over.

they showed that CLE/LAA game on a 1-hour "live delay."

game should be on now if it's not blacked out.

The M's announced that Milton is their cleanup hitter this year. Nobody seems to pay attention to what kind of a hitter he is, never mind the being crazy and injured part. Milton has never been a run producer, he's a table setter/nice bottom third of the order hitter.

I think it's a you gotta play em somewhere thing. They don't have a run producer in their lineup. I would probably bat Bradley in front of Kotchman, though.

well the one thing Kotchman has going for him is putting the ball in play. I don't feel like doing a full study here, but at least in 2008 he drove in just under 17% of runners on base which is average to above average in a similarly big ballpark.

With Ichiro and Figgins theoretically getting on-base in front of him, it's either gonna be a lot of double plays, hit or runs or RBI opportunities.

Not the worse thing they can do, especially with an extremely low power lineup.

.318 .438 .544 .983

That's what Bradley has done batting 4th in his career. Far better than at any other spot in the order. Of course with the Cubs, he fell flat on his face batting cleanup.

I don't get Kotchman batting third though....

What's his career ISO OBP, I bet it's not .120. Besides his swing issues last year, his approach seemed to be to look for walks with guys on base, which based on your stat line there seems like it's probably a career thing.

Milton Bradley is a bad RBI guy. He should be batting 2nd, or maybe third on the Mariners team (which should be batting Figgins leadoff and Ichiro second).

And Milton pointed out that was one of the reasons' he failed in Chicago, because they "did not know what type of player" he was.

Well he's got his excuse ready if needed.

Jacque Jones(notes) has been told that he will not make the Minnesota Twins’ opening day roster.

Jones hit .344 this spring with two home runs and three doubles. But manager Ron Gardenhire told him on Saturday that there wasn’t enough room for the veteran outfielder on a loaded Twins roster.

Jones will finish out spring training with the team and travel to Minnesota to play in an exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals. After that, he will report to Triple-A Rochester.

After playing in the independent Atlantic League in 2009, Jones signed a minor league deal with the Twins in February. He spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Twins before leaving in 2006 for the Cubs. He also played for Detroit and Florida in 2008.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AhZq1ar...

I had no idea. And he's hitting .344 this spring. So much for spring training stats.

He bounced he ball to the infield six times though, in Spring Training.

So basically with Colvin on board, Fuld and Hoffpauir will be optioned to AAA and the last spot is between Casey and Millar with it presumably going to Casey given Arizona Phil's info on the team telling him to look for housing in Chicago. It will be interesting to see what they do with Millar and what he is willing to do.

"with Millar and what he is willing to do"

He's signed to minor league contract,right?

Tell him to get his MLB Network polo ironed and head to the studio.

You mean Tracy?

Millar.

I meant WISCGRAD:

"last spot is between Casey and Millar..."

Chad Tracy and Kevin Millar - unless I missed something...

Yeah, typo.

Texas may have an interest in Millar.

"There are other players on the Rangers’ watch list, like Kevin Millar, a non-roster invitee with the Cubs. But Millar may be in the process of earning that same bench/pinch-hitter role for Lou Piniella."

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallastexas-rangers/p...

Send us another $50K and he's yours.

Wouldn't Texas just wait until the Cubs cut him loose? I can't imagine the Cubs taking Millar over Tracy.

to bat pitcher 8th, Cedeno will bat 9th...

Iwamura to leadoff and McCutchen 2nd

intriguing...

That's actually a pretty nice setup if you're Garrett Jones or Ryan Doumit. Those guys are going to drive in some runs.

if by intriguing you mean, stupid...yeah

let's get an inferior hitter more ABs in order to set up cedeno protection via...iwamura? sure...

I think you mentioned this before, but the Lineup Analyzer says Theriot should bat 9th and Fukudome or Lee first... at least when Z is pitching.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/Lineup...

The problem with doing this, as the Brewers manager realized in 2008(?) is the impact it has on your sixth and seventh hitters, something that the spreadsheet calculations dont' take into account. Whoever the Pirates manager is should buy something called a Newspaper if he can't manage to find his way to the internet.

batting a pitcher 8th or 9th doesn't make a big difference imo

the first time through the lineup, it's a good bet to kill a rally earlier than you'd like, for theoretically bigger gains the 2nd or 3rd time through. Batting McCutchen 2nd is a good idea though...

it's a coin flip decision imo and the manager will catch more grief because it goes against the norm from the press and his own players when it doesn't work, like not using your closer in strictly save situations.

The Cubs probably should have tried it when Soriano was hitting leadoff.

LaRussa did it for most of '08 and the middle of '09. Macha tried it for a handful of games in '09 and Yost did it for like 2 months in '08. Be curious what their runs per game were like in each situation (small sample size caveat, other factors, etc)...

haha, Cards did it to get more ABs for Pujols. Pirates are doing it because their pitchers are better hitters than Cedeno.

it's lame any way you mix it...

it blows me away how people who claims to love stats can look at data that's directly affected by having a pitcher bat in front of a guy and turn it on it's head to mean nothing...even though it's based on that.

the results seems more important than the logic behind it. we're not producing cancer and mental illness meds here...

we're taking a mix of weak hitters and putting the weakest one up top without consideration of lineup construction at the bottom.

people are well prepared to deal with middle-lineup guys, but the science behind the guys who aren't polished/predictable and are free swinging hackers is nearly pure ass...and playing loose with the things that allow these guys to produce is pure ass.

the overall affect may be minimal, but we're talking about minimal producers anyway.

most pitchers either take an out and/or move a runner (usually both if there's a guy on base)...you sure as hell don't want most swinging. hell, the ones that do swing that we celebrate have a hard enough time proving they should have a bat in their hands...

how did it get more at-bats for Pujols? or did you mean more runners on-base in front of Pujols?

I thought that was the whole logic behind moving the pitcher to the 8th slot. It allowed him to move Pujols to the 3rd spot. *shrug*

Originally LaRussa did it to get more at bats for McGwire.

He put McGwire in the #2 spot and put a hitter at #9 in lieu of a Pitcher.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?form...

any other questions I should ask? I'm not gonna add more than one or two more, but let me know if you have an ideas.

otherwise I'll post it later tonight.

obviously the answers have to be clear, so no # of Z meltdowns or things like that (although I assume those were jokes).

Number of Silva starts?

good one...seriously.

marmol-watch would be a personal one...if he's only got his slider he can't just throw that month after month and get away with it.

that is a good one

not sure how I'd frame the marmol-watch question though

it's probably too arbitrary anyway...if ninja/grabes/gray/guzman (sigh) were legit upgrades nipping at his spot it would be more relevant.

berg's 2 fastballs would like an honorable mention with that group, too.

How about number of games played (or games won) with none of the following on the DL:

Lee
Ramirez
Soriano
Zambrano
Lilly

Castro AB's.

RBI double in the first off some joker named Fisher...

Byrd hr as well, 3-0 Cubs after 1.

other than get getting caught 3 times stealing versus 2 successful steals, .408 BA with a .472 OBP at the moment

for a guy that likes to pounce on the first fastball he sees, he should see plenty in the leadoff spot.

Hope springs eternal.

for a guy that likes to pounce on the first fastball he sees

Does he?

been my impression that he doesn't miss a chance to swing at a fastball he likes...

mind you, I don't care, although it might not be the best skillset for a leadoff guy that you want to work the count. He's not allergic to taking walks and no reason to let something you can handle go by. Nomar and Barrett were 2 notorious first fastball i see I'm swinging, but doesn't mean they chased a lot either.

as long as he gets on-base at a .350 or higher clip...

I looked around for a place I might find statistics on that, because I'm honestly just not sure how much Theriot does that (I didn't intend to argue with you, I just thought you might have a statistic to report)--I couldn't find anything. Anybody know of a source that records that info?

don't know anywhere that has that info that specific...

you can find out averages by pitch count and fangraphs has pitch types, but not by count. You should be able to dissect it using Pitch F/X data, but not sure it's been done in a handy way yet.

But yeah, that was more of an impression of mine than something I could necessarily prove with an easy to look-up stat...

You can see how it does with first pitches by looking at his 0-0 batting results and adding in his 0-1 an 1-0 opportunities - but that doesn't break it down by just fastballs. ESPN, for one, has those numbers

Hanley Ramirez (because he's at the top of the batting list) swung or took a strike on 29.7% of first pitches last year. Theriot did the same at 23.9%, so in that highly scientific study it he's not swinging all that much. I would assume that Theriot sees a greater percentage of first pitch fastballs than Ramirez.

don't have it broken down by count, but Theriot had a .307 BA against fastballs in 2009, third best on the team behind Lee and Ramirez

.339 the year before, 2nd best behind Reed Johnson.

Theriot's hot zones have been middle-in and up and in, surprisingly for a short guy, he doesn't like the low pitch.

but to clarify, Theriot doesn't let a lot of fastballs go by in his zone imo.

Thanks, Rob! I knew that Theriot usually looks for a pitch up, but I wasn't thinking of that in relation to his tendency to swing at fastballs.

But I do think there's a difference between swinging at fastballs and swinging at fastballs before he has a strike on him. Like I said, I don't doubt you--and you've done a good job cobbling together some other data pretty convincingly. (I wasn't about to do that leg work.) I'll keep an eye out this season. Maybe I'll tabulate a bit (I won't).

I would fully accept his defensive shortcomings at SS if he can hit around .290 this year and stops trying to steal.

In fact, Theriot is a good example of the difference between speed and base-stealing abilities.

Which one are you saying Theriot has? Because I'm ready to argue with you in either direction.

He means "doing speed" not actually running fast. Rob G and I had this out last off-season. I settled for a pyrrhic victory that if he has speed it doesn't give any benefits on the field or running the bases so it's not really there.

In 2003 some random scout had him timed quickly home to first was Rob's evidence to the contrary.

and triples and stolen base attempts and the Cubs had him try switch-hitting to take advantage of his speed in the minors.

Do you think Lou lets him run 30+ times a year because he's as fast as Soto?

he's not Juan Pierre, he's not even a healthy Soriano, but he has above average speed for a major leaguer. It certainly isn't his baseball smarts getting him 20+ steals a year.

I can go with above average speed. But above average speed alone does not a base stealer make (while excellent or elite speed can make up for not getting good jumps--and on the other side of the coin, Bengie Molina isn't going to be stealing many bases no matter how well he reads a pitcher).

Baker, Fontenot and Byrd with home runs, Theriot 3/4

Berg goes an odd .1 IP, Marshall K's 4 in 2 IP, and Russell keeps his 0 ERA

i know it's spring and all, but watching pat burrell play RF is just painful...still...

I saw that disaster. I also know it's spring and all, but that might have been one of the worst routes I've seen a fielder take. Yikes.

You missed Fox in left last year.

Scales was worse.

future HOF'r bobby scales doesn't need your love

Oh, I still love him.

I was amazed when the Cubs managed to replace Fox with a LF who was actually weaker defensively than he was (it may have just been a rough week or two for Scales--very small sample size, obviously).

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