I-Cubs Ride Hot Streak in Nevada

The  I-Cubs are off today and on their way home to begin a binge of games in Des Moines over the next six weeks after a junket to Nevada where they cleaned up by going 7-1 in Las Vegas and Reno. Seems like a good time to check up on them.

In the last 10 days the club has raised its team BA about 25 points. While winning eight of their last nine they've pummeled the opposition by a count of 74-26. Chad Tracy didn’t play in yesterday’s 6-1 getaway win in Reno, but Iowa is 7-0 in his starts since he was demoted in the Castro shuffle. He’s hitting a little league-esque .581!

Thomas Diamond was yesterday’s winning pitcher. He didn’t walk a man in six one-run innings while running his record to 3-0 and now sports a flashy 2.08 ERA for the year. He’s only given up more than two earned runs once in eight starts, and then only three, but hasn’t stretched out too far yet, logging only 43 total innings. He also bears a striking resemblance to golfer Hal Sutton even though his middle name is Nicklaus [yes, that’s how it’s spelled].

Jay Jackson threw another scoreless inning yesterday as he preps for a possible role in the Wrigley relief corps. In contrast to the parent club, the I-Cubs’ bullpen has compiled an ERA of 2.89 in 123 innings.

Another contrast between the siblings is that Iowa is 17-3 when outhitting their opponent. After last night’s mini-sweep of the Rockies the C-Cubs are only 11-9 in that category, another indication of their penchant for wasted opportunity.

Behind the plate Wellington Castillo continues his one-man speed trap for PCL base stealers. He leads the league with a 58% CS rate [10-17].

Micah Hoffpauir finally nudged his BA north of .200 on the road trip, but even when he struggles, he produces. For the year he’s managed to drive in 29 runs with only 28 hits. Very soon he’ll own the team record for career doubles.

Darwin Barney has gotten hot enough to be hitting just over .300 for the year, but he’s fanned 22 times while drawing only five walks. He would seem like a nice accent to a trade package given the talent above and below him in the organization at SS.

Cashner should pitch the Sunday matinee here after winning his first two Triple A starts on the road and I hope to have my first look at him then.



Does anyone know why Blake Parker never gets mentioned in the conversation about possible Chicago bullpen call-ups? He's been really good as the closer at Iowa. Is his stuff not up to snuff?

Mike's comments below echo what I heard. Parker, like others, had a chance to make the team out of ST, but didn't get the job done.

Mike: Nice article. The players I am keeping an eye on are the Bullpen Guys; quite obviously, this is an urgent need in Wrigley.

In addition to Jackson, can you comment on BLAKE PARKER and JEFF STEVENS? It appears Parker is still missing bats but also hasn't walked anyone lately, which was his problem initially. And STEVENS is also dealing. Though he failed last year, he has an advantage in that he is already on the 40-man.

Parker or Jackson would require a 40-man move, though the Cubs have several options: 60-Day Guzman, or Outright Hoffpauir, or outright Berg.

If we like Hoff we can re-sign him, I don't think anyone is going to jump on a 30-year old, .207 AAA First Baseman, though I might be wrong.

I don't think Justin Berg is a major-league pitcher. His minor league numbers show that batters always made contact on him, and his peripherals are actually worse than his 6+ ERA. He should go.

PS, and MITCH ATKINS is also pitching well. Not sure I want him in Wrigley though, he seems very "smoke and mirrors". He just doesn't have good stuff. I give him credit for getting alot of mileage from the pedestrian stuff he does have.

Agree about Berg. You have to miss a bat once in a while.

I'm impressed that Sandberg has taken this roster and turned it into a team that can have a winning streak--although the pitching is quite good. But they've been scoring runs lately in the usual Iowa manner. Von Joshua's mojo seems to be working again. Everybody is hitting or has started to hit (Adduci, Hoffpauir) except Chris Robinson.

Speaking of pitching, Chris Archer (Daytona) had a good outing yesterday: 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 walks, 10 strikeouts.

it is impressive how Sandberg and Joshua are hitting and pitching the team to victory...

You sound like crunch. Are they overpaid, too?

by baseball standards? No

life standards? probably

both combined could save you enough over lou and our greek god of batting coaches to buy a high-end reliever.


I'm not sure I realized Berg was still with the team until I read that.

14 IP, 6.43 ERA, 10 BB, 3 K, 13 H

He writes a good song, though.

Submitted by Q-Ball on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 8:27am.

Parker or Jackson would require a 40-man move, though the Cubs have several options: 60-Day Guzman, or Outright Hoffpauir, or outright Berg.


Q-BALL: Blake Parker was added to the Cubs 40-man roster last November. You are right about Jay Jackson not being on the 40, though.

command holding back both parker [walked 9 in 16 IP] & stevens [10 in 21]...atkins has given only 15 hits in 25 IP & has a 0.92 WHIP [same as jackson's]; last 2 appearances starts after 8 relief outings to start the year...

WGN-HD available on DirecTV...


... plus ESPNU HD and TravelChannel HD. Thanks for the link/info!

With a name like that, he's got to be a good pitcher. In 1896, that is.

so when zorro rejoins the rotation who leaves? are we going 6-man? did anybody ask 'the decider' these questions?

Time to put away your Tom Gorzalany jersey.

Don't know if this was posted but radio is reporting Marshall will be the 8th inning guy.

probably not tonight though agains the lefty-heavy Phils, he's gone 3 days in a row.

great news for my fantasy team though...only took Lou a month and a half to realize what everyone could see the first week.

it would seem so easy to trade a starting pitcher in this market...

seems to me the move to long relief for Z is a delay tactic since he could be in the rotation in 3-4 days if they wanted him to be on an 80-90 pitch count and be up to normal by 2-3 starts. How much work is really going to get in mop-up duty?

Bad news, Gorz: Your rotation spot and, as a result, perhaps, your entire Cubs career might ride on your performance tonight. Welcome to CitBank.

probably no Marshall tonight, leaving Russell and Grab-Ass to face Utley (if he's over the flu), Rollins, Victorino (switch-hitters), Howard and Ibanez

You don't think Gorzellany goes the distance?

is there rain in the forecast?

He's the lefty version of Rich Harden. If he could just get through the first innings in decent shape, he could probably get pretty deep into games. Against the Phillies I expect another five inning, 7K, 4BB outing, though.

16.6 pitchers per inning on the season. Not Madduxian, but not evil bad either. That comes to 116 pitches for seven innings.

He's been lucky on his FB/HR ratio, though. Hopefully that luck continues, at least one more night.

nothing like the Phillies offense and Citizen Bank Park to test the theory.

He's also been unlucky on his BABIP, so maybe it'll even out a bit.

That is a helluva' lot of pitchers per inning. Do teams have that many pitchers on a roster?

good thing we got everything ironed out before we start playing the big league portion of the schedule...

I have to admit I'm pretty excited about Diamond and of course Cashner.

Diamond was the top prospect in the Rangers system in 2005, dropping to 3 and 4 the following years before undergoing TJ surgery, which usually isn't more than a speed bump. Problem was he had an ankle injury while rehabbing the arm that delayed him further and for whatever reason the Rangers soured on him.

awesome story from Wikipedia if true

In the fall of 2004, Diamond made a name for himself in an obscure Instructional League game during which he tripped and fell on the mound while attempting a pickoff move. The opposing Oakland A's prospects laughed at Diamond, who then walked off the mound towards the A's dugout and told them that the next person to laugh was going to be wearing a fastball in the temple. Diamond then threw his next pitch three feet behind the hitter at the plate and then delivered nine consecutive strikes to punch out the side.

oh snap...

Diamond's peripherals don't look so good this year. His 1.82 SO/BB ratio is not so good, and he will not be too successful in the big leagues if that ratio continues. He is also 27.

UPDATE: Looks like his SO/BB ratio either went up after yesterday, or was misrepresented where I saw it earlier. But still it is only 2.18. That needs to get better.


I floated you a trade idea btw.


and i'm thinking about it. its intriguing.

no rush.

Looks like Ricketts' Toyota sign will happen, but only if it's more horizontal and less vertical and mounted inside the park. The locals also aren't buying Ricketts' BS about just one sign. They want a comprehensive plan for all future signage, not a piecemeal approach.



"The locals also aren't buying Ricketts' BS about just one sign."

Screw them!! They don't live in Wrigley Field.

If they don't like it, Ricketts should move the team to Addison and see how those a-holes like their property values then.

that tale about diamond would make a great movie scene!

Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Rollins SS, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C and Moyer

Phillies with a .846 OPS against lefties so far this year, tops in the majors.

Cubs at .783 for 5th best...

Cubs lineup vs. Moyer: riot, castro, lee, byrd, rami, sori, BAKER (RF), soto, gorz.

no Nady, ruh roh

Jeff Stevens at the park, not sure who's going although I'd guess Caridad back to DL or Berg sent down.

"no Nady, ruh roh"

Is he hurt? Besides, you know, the whole no right arm thing.


could just be the couple 3 lefties (4 w/ Moyer) and the switch-hitters...figured they'd run on him all day.

So Lou puts a guy who's played outfield a grand total of 3 times in last 3 years in right against one of the most potent lf lineups in NL?

Because he bats RH?

Just checking.

Baker did go 1/3 against Moyer last year with a double.

You cannot refute that sort of statistical ownage.

Now I'll sleep better.

Caridad to the DL it is...

I love batting one of the team's best hitters, and highest OBP guy, right in front of the pitcher.

And Baker? Really? Can't Colvin play right?

Lou's following Dusty's "Desperate Times Call for Stupid Means" book.

it'll only be his 3rd start since the last week of april.

they gotta play sometime.

right field???

yeah, him over nady and giving either castro or riot a break is an odd one...

still, baker's gotta see some time starting in order to know what pitches still look like...he's no colvin hehe.


bunch of quips from radio appearance by Ricketts on the Wriglet Field experience...

Recent comments

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  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).