CSI Randy Wells and John Grabow's Magical Mystery Knee
A collective cheer can be heard in that state of mind known as Wrigleyville...
UPDATE: (tweet from Gordon Wittenmeyer) Grabow to DL, Cashner called up.
I wrote this piece before the update. Sometimes things just make sense.
Randy Wells, aka Buzz Lightyear "To Infinity and Beyond" (5 runs and no outs is an ERA of ∞) gets a DO-OVER. After Randy Wells failed on just about all of the 16 pitches (and 5 runs) he threw in the first inning 'bullpen' tryout on friday vs the Cardinals. He gets to show management that he actually can once again go deep into a game with a quick return to the first inning on the holiday-day game against the Pirates. His competition for that bullpen spot, Tom Gorzellany won the battle to the bullpen. Gorz matched Wells with five quick runs vs the Dodgers on Wednesday's game which was so disappointing that Com-Ed pulled the plug on the Wrigley light grid.
Wells also is returning to the scene of the crime from May 6th, his other ugly outing. As we recall, he also gave up 5 first inning runs in the first on two walks, two singles and two doubles. Lou didn't have quite the quick hook that day as Wells stayed in to give up two more runs in the 2nd inning in what was to be an 11-1 blowout to the Buccos.
Oh, oh Domino. Tom Gorzellany will be in the pen, ready to pitch mop up in the first few innings if history should repeat itself. Gorz, the newest long reliever supplants big Z in the bullpen. Zambrano is supposed to start Wednesday in Pittsburgh, although Z never did get stretched out in a game even as the opportunity presented itself in Wells "oopsie" friday.
With all the roster shuffling soon to occur, the questions are who goes away when Andrew Cashner arrives this week and why isn't Cashner coming today? Is it management indecision or can't they get the radiologist who read John Grabow's MRI to review it again to see that there IS something wrong, very wrong.
From today's Sun-Times:
Grabow already has undergone an MRI on his left knee after experiencing discomfort, but no injury was found.
Grabow did get a cortisone injection ito his left knee on May 9th. I'd say it didn't help and based on his stats, he was 0-2 with a 9.26 ERA before the shot and now 8.1 innings later it's higher at 9.45.
Cortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory and when injected into a joint, it works by calming down the swollen joint lining (synovium) of the knee. If the knee has damage to the articular cartilage (chondromalacia or if more extensive, osteoarthritis) that worn area can lead to inflammation. If he has a meniscus tear (the shock absorbing C-ring of cartilage) that too can lead to inflammation. If there is something structurally torn that can be smoothed off or trimmed arthroscopically it can help, although in the big picture it might just be temporary, if Andre Dawson's knees are used for perspective.
Jeff Russell's kid has pitched well and doesn't deserve to visit Ryno in Iowa. In 19 games his ERA is 2.33 and WHIP 1.03. Even in his lone bad outing against Arizona where he gave up 5 runs, only one was earned and he's had 13 appearances where he didn't allow a run (including the long relief outing vs StL on friday of 4 innings when Wells didn't get an out). Grabow, in 23 appearances HAS been scored on in 13 of them.
Bob Howry spot is secure (for now). You know, it's that veteran presence in the bullpen management seems to crave. On Memorial Day, it's just not right to let a veteran go.
Jeff Stevens (we hardly knew ya) could go back on the Des Moines shuttle but if he does go it makes the bullpen leading to Carlos Marmol lean to the left with 4 leftys (Grabow, Marshall, Gorz and Russell) and 2 rightys (Howry and Cashner). So Stevens should stay.
Grabow sticks out of that pack like a sore thumb...
...sort of like, Aramis Ramirez, he of the donut grip and padded bat, now that's a sad story for another day.
Lou Piniella has promised lineup changes too. Did Tyler Colvin's mom get sharper pins for her voodoo Piniella doll or does that mean (yawn) Xavier Nady in "Louspeak".
"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.