Shoeless Z

Shoe? He don't need no stinkin' shoe

more after the break...

3 feet in the batter's box?

Z, to paraphrase Ed Sullivan, "a really big shoe".

more fun than a kick in the...

Z, hanging 15.


sorry, lost the first comment when I reworked the Z pics.

from 6-0 to 9-0. Fukudome, Soto, Colvin, DLee all getting in on the fun. Even ARam gets a clean line drive single.

Bob Brenly said he wonders what the Pirates are thinking.

looks like his foot is invisible

Brewers could use some starters, we need a reliever

Gorz for Coffey and/or Villanueva and if it's "or" Brewers toss in a minor leaguer

or toss in Grabow and give us back Mitch Stetter

The team is playing a lot looser now that Z has been sent to the bullpen. Obviously, it was his presence in the dugout that was making the hitters suck.

No fair, Soto is trying to pad his stats against some scrub, and they decide to get Hoffman some work.

riot's raised his average 41 points today.


Lou's decision to move Z has sparked the team!

well, after the last 2-3 days it's probably safe to say soriano's "hop thing" is showing no signs of stopping.

if someone goes to the press and says a bunch of words people get satisfied for some weird reason. they see responsibility and "manning up" and other illusions of common sense coming into play.

soriano loves to placate situations with words then keeping on doing what he wants in action.'s not like he's a dick. he does listen to others about his hitting and puts his work in and all that crap, but he just tends to do whatever he wants when he feels like it.

No one's told him to use a smaller bat, and to lay off sliders low and away?

Samaramadingdong at Iowa in a 5-1 loss pitched in the 8th...

1 IP, 1 H, 2R, 0ER, 3 BB, 0K

Walks 'ill kill ya.


David Kaplan and caller Chuck...

when i see stuff like this in real life...such as on the street or in a coffee shop...i try to get away from it.

others tune in to listen to and participate in it...whew...not my thing. wow.

i barely made it through the 3 minutes...heh...

I am going to call it as I see it... of as long as Soriano is coming off a .240 season, at least.


You beat me to this one by almost 24 hours, but I just posted it anyway.

i haven't seen someone so lost on the curveball as ike davis in forever.

I would have to assume that he's thinking it is something else - he didn't just miss it, his bat was through the swing by the time it got there.

Bats are afraid.

He really can't hit a breaking ball. That's followed him everywhere he's been. He strikes out a lot. 112 Ks in 488 PAs between A & AA last year. He had trouble hitting that weak ass breaking stuff. Once the big boys start snapping off the nasty stuff on him, he's going to have a lot more swings like that one.

hell, he didn't even swing at marshall's and took a strike on one while "bailing" out of the box turning his back thinking it was coming inside.

tonight he's looked just as bad.

I'm starting to understand the role of Byrd on this team. The Cubs have historically (and by historically, I mean the last 5-6 years) been terrible against lefties. It's nice to finally have a batter that mashes lefties.

I would like to a serious platoon with him and Colvin. Let them both destroy their match upds.

Just for fun...

Per BA webite, through 14 games at AA, Castro is hiting .426 wih 15 RBI and 11 XBH.


small sample size still but Colvin is putting up some nice numbers, too.

Word. Suddenly the Cubs have four outfielders with nice OPS numbers. If our first baseman and third baseman could hit like their usually selves, the offense would be really intimidating.

In the double-header today Chirinos (C/inf, AA) hit his 5th homerun of the season and his 4th and 5th doubles. He's batting .383. With all those guys hitting, you've got to wonder if any one of them would be doing nearly as well if the others weren't also pounding the ball. But at Chirinos's age, he has to earn himself a callup to the majors if he can continue to show the ability to make contact and hit for power while playing C and being capable of playing a variety of other positions.

Pelfry... the Silva of the East

was looking for some info on a couple of early 00's cubs players and ran across a jim callis chat from 2003...

Q: Michael Smith from Chicago asks:
Hey Jim if Bobby Brownlie would of signed before you came out with your top ten Cub list where would he rank? With Brownlie in the mix where would the Cubs farm system rank overall in baseball?

A: Jim Callis: I'd be tempted to put him third, because I think he's more advanced than current No. 3 Andy Sisco and No. 4 Felix Pie. If I took the approach that he hasn't proven anything yet, Brownlie could go as low as 9th or 10th. The Cubs are stacked. One player wouldn't be enough to put the Cubs in the No. 1 farm system spot over the Indians. They're a top five organization, however, and we'll release our rankings in the upcoming Prospect Handbook.



Q:Keno Leighty from Vancouver, WA asks:
Hello Jim and thanks for the chat. Is Angel Guzman a future #1 starter or will he figure to be a middle of the rotation guy? Also what is his injury past? Thanks.

A: Jim Callis: Possible No. 1, though that's his ceiling and not a certainty. Some in the organization think he might follow Mark Prior's express route from Double-A to the majors this year. I'm not aware of any injury history with him.

the q/a is part tragic and part funny...the cascade of injuries that took down most of the kids mentioned hadn't started yet.

it also seems baseball prospectus compared ex-cub brendon harris to albert pujols in their annual prospect rankings that year and people were shocked baseball america wasn't as high on him based on a chunk of the questions.

it seems to be from Feb. 2003...

also...from the lol dept...

Q: Sean from Calistoga asks:
What are your expectations for Carlos Zambrano this year and in the years to come?

A: Jim Callis: Long term, I see him as more of a reliever than as a starter.

our future 8th inning guy is still on the DL...but he feels good!

(I know, I Know, let it go...)

Kerry Wood? We can't afford no stinkin' Kerry Wood.

Why aren't you posting anything about Milton Bradley? He just took another week off. Didn't even have the courage to play in Chicago. Knowing stuff like that is very important to, uh...

not exactly sure why it's important, BUT IT IS!

What is your problem? You have been doing this to every one of Cubster's post the past few days. When I follow players day in and day out while they are on the Cubs, I am still somewhat interested in what happens to them after they leave the team. In addition, we are always trying to evaluate Hendry's moves, including players he has traded away, players he had the chance to sign but didn't, etc. For example, I like to see Silva doing well and Bradley sucking, and it not the other way around. So ex-Cubs news is interesting. You've been here awhile, surely this is not the first time you've seen this. If you are not interested in reading anything about Bradley, then don't. But no need to attack Cubster for posting this stuff.

I'd like to think that Lee's bomb is a sign that he's going to start turning things around soon. And Aramis hit the ball on the screws yesterday, but he hit it right at the defense. But time will tell if it actually starts clicking for them.

It will be difficult for them to maintain a .250 BABIP & .149 BABIP respectively if they are hitting the ball as hard as they did yesterday. It's a completely different lineup when Aramis Ramirez is hitting. Also, with Marlon Byrd's massive 600/577/840 lefty split, maybe the Cubs lineup won't be so impotent against the Doug Davis's and Zach Duke's of the world like they have been in the past.

Still, for all the optimism, let's not forget these are the same guys that slumped for an entire season (last year).

Ramirez's swings are looking better. He'll thaw in the next 20 games at most. A little bit of Santo Domingo weather wouldn't hurt.

Aram's swings looked much better yesterday, but that makes one day in a row they looked okay.

He's been dipping all season and you can't even hit a ball off a tee when you move your head as much as he has been.

So the Astros start out 1-9 this year, then they go 7-1 during the last 8 games. If anyone figures this game out, let me know.

I guess everyone is probably rolling their eyes at this, but I think it's pretty cool.

If the annual series is split 3-3, the Crosstown Cup will be awarded to the winner of the series' last game.

Now that's just goofy. They should run it like they do the Ryder Cup. If the series winds up tied then the Cup is retained by the team that held it coming in.

I will give it to Colvin he is really impressing me. He might be one of those guys who doesn't light the world on fire in the minors but just excels in the majors for some odd reason.

Keep up the good eye and power stroke. Next step in his evolution is when the league adjusts, can he?

"Next step in his evolution is when the league adjusts, can he?"

So true.

I can give you 25 lbs of Instant Magic Muscle reasons he's succeeding.

Next step in his evolution is when the league adjusts, can he?

Absolutely. The real test is how does he react when he starts to struggle?

Well, at least you have owned up that not every single prospect is shit and the Cubs have the worst minor leagues in baseball as you usually do.


I didn't own up to anything, I have 20 years of history on my side that this organization doesn't know its ass from a hole in the ground in developing positional talent.

I am the biggest pro-prospect guy around here. I wanted Choi, Murton, Theriot, Patterson, Pie to all do good. But at the same time i recognize players glaring faults. Like Pie had no business being in the majors when everyone wanted him on the roster. What would it hurt for him to actually develop for the next 3-5 years? What he gets called up when he is 25? Clearly that would be to late in his career to be worth anything. Now everyone wants Castro to be Pie Version 2.0, brought up too early, destroying anything of value from him.

I like some parts of Colvin and not others, and I am still not part of the play Colvin over Soriano crowd. Though Soriano's defense lately will want me to have anyone out there but him.

Well, the Cubs ran out of options on Pie.

That's not close to being an issue with Castro yet. But if Castro continues to hit he should see AAA soon, and then his offense will again be the determining factor in deciding whether he sees Wrigley before September. He's hardly being handed anything.

It'd be nice if Kyler Burke and Josh Vitters would start hitting. They seem to be the only high-profile slugger prospects in our system right now, though Chirinos (old for his league) and Castillo (of the sub .200 average but over .600 slugging percentage) are showing decent power for catchers.

Well...they could have...I dunno....played Pie? For more than 6 weeks? I know I'm a pain in the ass on this..always have been, but they never really gave him a shot. Brutal.

I'm assuming that is a response to MikeC, but just in case, I'm right there with you. They still ran out of options on him, though, which wouldn't have meant getting rid of him had they been willing to make a role for him on the major league team.

Maybe the Cubs can pick up Embree:

Alan Embree said Monday that he will opt to become a free agent if the Red Sox do not call him up to the majors this week. "There's not going to be any extending of the deadline anymore. I've been a good soldier, I did whatever's asked, and I did what it took to get ready," Embree said from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hasn't allowed a hit, walk or run in his last five outings. But with Tim Wakefield joining the bullpen this week, it's doubtful that the Red Sox will have room.

he's a seems they're in the market for a righty. i hope they find him fast.

i'm still getting over this Z-in-pen thing.

Cashner and Diamond are both pitching very well in the minors, and so is Jay Jackson. They're all slotted as starters right now, but the Cubs shouldn't be that concerned about impeding Diamond's development, and most people (not necessarily the Cubs) seem to think Cashner is 8th or 9th inning material in the long run. Caridad is also due off of the DL fairly soon.


The biggest problem in that bunch of guys right now is Grabes, who's going nowhere. I'd be okay with picking somebody like Juan Cruz off of waivers, though. Those personality problems were all the way back in 2003, weren't they? Maybe he's matured.

The other problem with Cruz is that you just don't know which Cruz you will get:

ERAs by Year

2002: 3.98
2003: 6.05
2004: 2.75
2005: 7.44
2006: 4.18
2007: 3.10
2008: 2.61
2009: 5.72

True. That's true of most relievers, though, isn't it?

I'd be okay with Rob G.'s suggestion of a Gorzo for Coffey and a minor leaguer deal--the Cubs have a surplus of left-handed starter types right now, might as well use them somehow. But Cruz seems to actually be a better bet to be effective than Coffey (of the career 1.46 WHIP and nowhere near Cruz's K ability).

Crazy thought of the day-

Call Sox offer them Gorzy and Soto for Thorton and AJ.


There is a pretty lengthy discussion about the merits of Juan Cruz over at Goatriders. One reader (SMan) argues that Cruz's weakness has been that he cannot be trusted in high pressure situations and thus has been relegated to low pressure/mop-up type of situations. He concludes with the following statement:

"We need Bullpen help, we don’t need mop-up guys with arguably average low-pressure results but horrible track records in pressure situations. Might as well take our chances on what we got if its between them and Cruz; at least we know they have upside…"

Check out the whole thread for the entire discussion over at:

More discussion at:

Personally, I tired of Juan Cruz several years ago and I don't want him back. Another million dollar arm with a 10 cent head.

It's been implied, by one of the posters, that he imbided too much of the Wrigley night life. Maybe he matured.

As someone correctly pointed out in the comments of Rob Neyer's blog, Cruz has allowed every inherited runner he's got this season to score. Sounds like a Wrigley disaster.

i'm still getting over this Z-in-pen thing.

I happen to feel better about the pen. Let me put it another way: In Saturday's game, who were the Cubs going to turn to if not Z in that very key situation? Marmol? How would you feel about that?

Expensive bullpen arm, sure, but a great reliever fill-in until Hendry does what he should have done in the off season: solidify the bullpen. And I'm not dogging Hendry on this issue. He's screwed a lot of things up, but we don't know how short his leash was this off season. My guess? Real short.

"In Saturday's game, who were the Cubs going to turn to if not Z in that very key situation? Marmol? How would you feel about that?"

well...Z didn't exactly make me feel better with that outing. all i saw was a 120+ pitch arm doing the same thing he always had with his day being over quickly.

the guy isn't holding back some "woah" pitch or something he doesn't want to show too many hitters than he can just let go because he doesn't want to break it out early when he might have to face the same 9 guys 2-3 times through the lineup.

It's funny, we've decided not to use some guys in high pressure situations because they have given up too many runs in too few innings this year. But Z gets the 8th inning because he's got stuff, even though he has given up too many runs in too few innings this year. We excuse Z because he has a track record that says he's a good pitcher. These other guys simply don't have track records. How do you get a track record, again?


yeah, stop Badgering me, remember I wield a scalpel in my spare time.

i can hear zombie ticking from here...can hardly wait until 1st 8th inning blown lead @ home when he gets the latroy hawkins treatment; there will be casualties...

5/125M with 6th yr option...

So Howard and Soriano will be free agents in five years?

Welcome to the 2015 Cubs 400 lb Ryan Howard!!!!

Recent comments

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 40 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 20 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 7 hours 21 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 17 hours 3 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 20 hours 57 sec ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 20 hours 13 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 20 hours 22 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 20 hours 27 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 45 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 21 hours 22 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 21 hours 39 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 21 hours 41 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 59 min ago view