Updates on Beatings, Byrd and Berg
Lineups for Cubs @ Diamondbacks...
Cubs vs. Ian Kennedy
Fukudome 9, Theriot 4, Byrd 8, Colvin 7, Nady 3, Ramirez 5, Castro 6, Soto 2, Gorzelanny 1
D-backs vs. Tom Gorzelanny
Young 8, Johnson 4, Upton 9, Montero 2, Reynolds 5, LaRoche 3, Drew 6, Gillespie 7, Kennedy 1
The dramatic high point of my Independence Day was seeing a little kid take a dump in our community pool.
Speaking of the Cubs...
— Sunday's 14-3 loss marked not just the Cubs' second defeat to the Reds by 11 or more runs in the course of their four-game series, it was the Cubs' third such shellacking in their past nine home games. (You may have forgotten this doozy from a couple weeks back.)
Not sure what other point to make about this except personally, I'm pretty numb to the whole business. The 14-3's no longer bother me any more than the 3-1's or 2-0's.
Acceptance is the last of the Seven Stages of Grief, right?
— For the second consecutive year, the Cubs placed just one player on the NL All-Star team. Last year it was Ted Lilly; this year it's Marlon Byrd, a first-time All-Star whose performance this season (.309/.355/.482) has been one of the Cubs' few bright spots.
Alfonso Soriano, who was voted onto the team by the fans in '08 and named as an extra in '07, finished 11th among NL outfielders this time around with a little over 865,000 votes. That meant Soriano collected about 40% as many votes as the Dodgers' Andre Ethier, who came up third in the fan tally for an outfield spot behind Ryan Braun and Jason Heyward.
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) tweets that the Cubs are "talking Lilly deal" and hoping to re-sign the lefty as a free agent at year's end. Gammons also says that the Cubs are "marketing" Derrek Lee.
Marketing a .227-hitting, 34-year-old first baseman can't be easy, but we do have the "Easiest GM To Make A Deal With" in our corner.
— Aramis Ramirez was out of the Cubs lineup Saturday and Sunday because of recurrent problems with his left thumb and swelling in "the meat portion of his left hand," according to the manager.
Since his return from the DL nine days ago, Ramirez had gone 7-for-30 and at one point, had raised his average to .180. That's the highest it's been since he was hitting .200 (3-for-15) following the fourth game of the season on April 9th.
(UPDATE: Per batting orders posted above, Ramirez is in Monday's starting lineup.)
— Wittenmyer tweets that the Cubs have recalled Justin Berg and re-demoted Jeff Stevens, who gave up three hits, three walks and four runs in yesterday's bloodbath without retiring a hitter.
— The Cubs open a three-game series in Arizona Phil territory on Monday afternoon, with Tom Gorzelanny opposing Ian Kennedy. As Bleed Cubbie Blue put it so succinctly a little while ago, "Cubs' awful offense to face Diamondbacks' putrid pitching. Something's gotta give."
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.
Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...
also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.
also also, the wsox are 19-8.
Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.
Fully agree on Addy -- hope he is our SS for a long time. I'm just surprised he has 4 errors already -- the last 2 on routine plays.
Guess how many Carlos Correa has?
I would still rather have Russell, right now, than any shortstop the team has had in many years. The future is bright enough to wear shades.
EDIT: Gonzo WOULD have been my favorite, 'cepting a certain error of a double-play ball...
Hi Phil, made it home tonight safely. Looks like Cease is getting better each outing. I see Crow did ok today too. I will be reading your write_ups everyday. Great seeing you while there!