Sandberg Auditions in New Orleans

Iowa Cubs skipper Ryne Sandberg got tossed from the game for arguing a called third strike in the top of the 9th inning of his team's 2-1 loss in New Orleans last night.

Right now the top two layers of the Cub organization could be peeled and tossed like a rotting onion. Maybe Castro and his band of Smokies should all come north together. Things are at a low ebb.



... but it looks like Castro at least is coming north.

Fountainout to 3rd - Baker to optional AAA and Ramirez to pine? Does Gray go down and Cadidad replace him or just Gray going down for Castro?

Castro to SS, Theriot to 2nd. Nady to DL, my guess.

ESPN 1000 says Tracy to AAA.

Also Vitters to AA.

Cashner to AAA.

a solution to a problem we didn't have. awesome.

You probably won't be too surprised to learn I disagree. I think Theriot is a crap shortstop and even if Castro comes up and hits 240, we're still better off.

I don't want to make a big thing of this, I'm just saying that we are severely lacking in defense at SS.

Things are at a low ebb.


ESPN now carrying the story, although no confirmation yet from the Cubs.

Vitters and Cashner also bumped up a level.

According to Al at BCB, it'll be Chad Tracy headed down, although he gives no source for that.

I can't be certain, but I strongly suspect that it's ESPN 1000 as his source ; )

Wonder if this means that Soto gets to bat somewhere other than 8th.

Who's been playing 3rd at TN?

Question on Castro: At what date would his arbitration be pushed back a year? Did we screw ourselves by not waiting a couple more weeks?

He might be a great player, but the Cubs are missing alot more pieces than better fielding at SS.

Yeah, I don't really get it. I thought Cashner would have been called up of any of the big three.

Moving Cashner from being a AA starter to a MLB reliever smacks more of desperation than promoting Castro, in my mind.

Except Cashner was a lights-out closeer in College, and scouts have predicted that's where he'll end up.

Except this isn't 2007 and the Cubs have said they want to develop him as a starter and except the fact that he stunk in short relief the last time he tried it.

You mean in spring training?


Well of course sping training should be used to gauge anyone's ability. Not performance in the minors, or scouting done, or by any past performance.

Come on Neal. Again, the light seems to have come on for Cashner in AA this season, but it's not like he's been lights out in previous seasons, and scouts have questioned his ability to develop secondary pitches, and that he may be better as a short reliever.

Let's take a look at the evidence.

He's a starter. He's doing very well as a starter. The Cubs have said repeatedly that they want him to be a starter, and increased his pitch limit this year.

Now let's look at your conclusion. He's pitching really well- move him to the bullpen.

I don't understand the logic you are applying. He had a chance to make the bullpen out of spring training - he blew it. You say that ST means nothing, but it seems to mean a lot to Tyler Colvin. Now he's pitching like a top 10 starter prospect in all of baseball and you want to move him to the bullpen- why?

The light came on for Samardijza as a starter when he first got called up - how's that working out?

You're right. Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano were ruined by starting in the bullpen. What was I thinking.

This is not suggesting that the Cubs bring up Castro..and make him the first baaseman.
Cashner has pitched in the bullpen. He's had a good season, all 6 starts. Great. Hopefully, this is the corner being turned. I just don't see how bringing him up to pitch in the bullpen "smacks of desperation."

Because it retards his development as a starter.

Fine Neal..Fine.

Cashner isn't exactly efficient throwing the baseball.

And what does this organization need? Bullpen arms, we don't need any starting pitchers anytime soon.

So why the hell would we keep developing him as a starter when we need bullpen arms?

Carlos Marmol was a starter, turned into an outstanding reliever.

So you like Silva as our #4 starter next year? Ted Lilly's a FA.

Jay Jackson should not be entirely overlooked.

Of course, it seems that the light went on for Cashner this season....

According to the guy at MLB trade rumors "Chicago has already pushed his free agency back a year, but he can still qualify as a Super Two after 2012. "

Pretty much it seems like May is the date for doing that, but I am sure AZ Phil can clarify, yet again, for the rest of us.

But of course there will be a new labor deal in place in a few years anyway, so who even knows if the super two rule will even exist.

Well 2012 would be his super 2 year - but it's like $500K - the arbitration thing, which may be revised as well, is the much larger concern.

I have to say I'd rather bitch about him making too much in Super 2 or subsequent arb filings than the althernative.


This in not Tampa Bay.

And by then alot of money will be off or coming off the books.

But there's also some talk that the Super Two will be dropped for 2012 in the next CBA.

"The Cubs are missing a lot more pieces than better fielding at SS."

How about better hitting in the 2 hole? Castro leads the Southern League in hits.

Maybe you like the way the Cubs shape up at the top of the order, but I don't like Theriot or Fukudome up there. They're just not my idea of table setters, or guys you want to see hitting with men in scoring position.

The two winning teams in the org, Peoria and Tennessee, have a lot going on at the top of the order. (They also have good pitching, but so do the Cubs.) Campana and Castro have been phenomenal. Call it scrappy, call it whatever you want. Fukudome doesn't have it. Theriot has it some, but not enough.

Yeah, Fukudome and Theriot have been killing us at the top of the order. That's really been the main problem with the team, those guys not advancing on enough wild pitches.

The Cubs just got swept in Pittsburgh. Fukudome sat against the two mediocre lefties, and got no hits in the series. (They'll be seeing a lot of lefties.) When he sits, there's nobody to bat second.

Castro solves that problem, as I indicated in spring training.

As long as Castro is not taking at bats from Nady.

A real shortstop, that's a good start. Ryno is pleased.

Well as long as you're happy.


If Lou sits Castro after his first error I'm gonna send a "Fire Lou" letter every 5 minutes to the Ricketts family and have it delivered by this guy:


f*ck yeah!

it's like no country for old men without all the artsy bullcrap getting in the way of the creative ass kicking.


domino effect rippling through the organization - how far & wide? can't be much left to burn on the zombie fuse as the starters' era's start climbing...$15 million 3B-man hitting sub .150 & now adding multi-error games to his rep so let's demote his sub...this pittsburgh debacle was a real humbler; if the cubs were a drunk or a stock market index, it would be looked back upon as a bottom [i hope]...

Why can't the Cubs just get a do-over like Nasdaq did yesterday?

Location- Denny's in Northern KY
When- Friday a.m.

Lou and Fontenot in booth eating grand slams
Castro is closing in on Cincinnati

~cut to scene~

Lou-I thought it would uh.uh.uh be you

Fonty-I'm smart, I have talent, I'm no Cedeno!

Lou-It was you Fontenot. You broke my heart!!

~Lou picks up Fontenot by his head and kisses him on the cheek~

The kiss of death for Fontenot.

~end scene~

Let's all gather round the TV sets to watch another rush job to the major leagues flame out.

Z in the bullpen, and Castro in the majors at age 20.....what a dumb ass franchise this is.

God hopes he does good, this franchise could use a bump in developing any hitter with significant value. I just don't think he is personally ready to handle major league pitching.

If you compare his numbers to Edgar Renteria's (who was a year younger) and Hanely Ramirez's when they got called up Castro stacks up pretty well - striking out even less.

I think he'll be OK. A lot like Theriot, but hopefully with the ability to turn a ball hit into the hole into an our occasionally.

MikeC: It's easy to draw comparisons and just assume another hot shot rookie will flame out, but let's just see what happens. They were just swept by the Pirates; It can't hurt.

And it's not like Castro will benefit in the minors from a player development perspective. Cub system player development is an oxymoron.

And hopefully his power develops. I don't expect him to be a 20 hr guy, but having a SS who hits more than 4-5 hr's in an average year would be nice. I like Theriot a lot more as a second baseman, and if it gets Fontenot out of the lineup I love it.

The only question then is, will Castro hit enough at this point to stay and will his throwing "yips" disappear?

David Kaplan is reporting via Twitter that they're going to start Castro tonight. I disagree with this--the kid's never played above AA! Why would you have him start on his first night with a big-league team? I say let him get adjusted for a day or two and then start him maybe Sunday. Give him a PH at-bat tonight or tomorrow night to see MLB pitching for the first time.

Conversely, why give him time to think about it? He's red hot in AA...have him get in there and get 3-4 at-bats every game right away. Homer Bailey has good stuff..but it's not like he's going up against Halladay or anything..

I am more concerned that anyone is following Dave Kaplan's twitter.

Surely Dusty Piniella will find plenty of reasons to bench Castro. When you run 6 starts/week through Lou's "what I say to what I do" converter that's only 3 starts/week.

I thought Lou wanted him to come up with team from ST.

Lou also said if Theriot got hurt, Castro was coming up.

Homer hasn't been much more than a AA pitcher for most of his big league career, anyway.

You have a good point, but I'll nit-pick and mention that Castro is actually coming off a cold week or so, and only picked it back up in the last couple of days.

He's got 10 strikeouts on the season, he hasn't had any cold weeks. He's also got a .415 BABIP - he's not going to be a .330 hitter, either.

By the way, in a "holy shit I'm old" moment for your old pal Wes, I just discovered this roster move means there's a Cub on the 25-man born in 1990.

Baseballprospectus has a blurb up on the call-up and it's pretty rosy.

Certainly not .376, but he should hold his own, as in yesterday's Scouting Notebook, a scout believed he could be a future 70 hitter, which is nearly batting title territory. Beyond the ability to hammer line drives all over the field, Castro has a good, not great approach, but he's not overly aggressive like Corey Patterson was, and it shouldn't be a problem in the big leagues.

Last time I say it... I don't care if he hits 240, it will be worth it to have a real SS that makes outs on defense.

what is castro supposed to help, anyway? setting up dlee/aram to uh...nevermind. maybe if they bat him 5th soriano could hit him in until his bat goes dormant.

at castro's best he's a singles/doubles slap hitter who isn't going to draw walks.

for as much stuff as castro gets to with his glove you can't exactly count on him to seal the deal.

...still waiting on that RH reliever

"still waiting on that RH reliever"

Any catchers down on the farm not doing good?

bobby scales could do it...just saying.


There is a decent chance we will face a rain delay tonight in Cincy. Storms are a brewin'. It would be nice to have craZy throw long relief And maybe even hit. Swept by the If I see him, I will tase Marty for all Cub fans.

Swift shoe to Marty's sack for me would be appreciated.


Recent comments

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.