Short Relief

Deep Threat beat Rich Harden Friday night, a guy he relieved effectively a few times in late 2008 when both were better pitchers than either of them has been in 2010...Brad Snyder mashed TWO three-run homers last night as the I-Cubs won again to preserve their one-game lead in a division where all four teams are separated by a mere one and a half games. If the Iowa record could be promoted to Chicago the Cubs would find themselves a scant half game behind the Reds...let's see, there was one other thing - oh yeah, Zambozo's coming to town on Tuesday and Wednesday on a rehab assignment before assuming his new duties as the Cubs' anger manager. I suppose it's too much to ask that the tranquilizer darts wear off while he's back in town for the first time since playing here on his way up as an allegedly teenaged man-child, but I'll try to drop in just in case.


Reds manager Dusty Baker on the triumphant return of Edinson Volquez: “It’s like a major trade."

Dusty loves his PED'd up players.

Dusty is an idiot. Volquez is coming back from TJ surgery, he's not likely to contribute much this year as his performance should be all over the place and his pitch counts should be low - then again, this is Dusty-ball we're talking bout, Volquez is more likely to blow his arm out again than get through the rest of the season healthy.

I can just see the press conference now:

Reporter: "Dusty, why did you bring back Volquez after he threw 87 pitches and then sat during a 3 hour rain delay?"
Dusty: "(continuous spitting while chewing on a toothpick)"

they're in 1st place, yo.

let's not micromanage a sane decision and predict doom from a player doing something lots of other players/manager do.

the guy put in 30+ innings of minor league rehab and threw nearly 100 pitches in his first rehab outting in A ball before putting in the 20+ inning in AAA where he also threw about 100 pitches per start.

As I've said before, the Reds are in contention in the division because the Cubs and Brewers suck. Not because Dusty or the Reds have done anything particularly well.

Dusty is still a jackass, period.

yeah, he kicked muh dog and it up n' died.

I'll agree that Dusty is a jackass, but I am not sure I follow the first part. The only reason any team is in contention in its division is because it has played better than the other teams in its division. This seems obvious.

I mean, I guess you are right in that if the Cubs and Brewers had managed to win about 20 more of their games so far this year, and they had both swept their season series with the Reds, then the Reds would be about 8-9 games back of both of them, and perhaps would be considered "out of contention." But what is the point of this type of thinking? You can do this with any team in baseball and say that they could be in or out of contention if teams records were drastically different.

per muskat...

Colvin, Castro, Lee, ARam, Byrd, Soriano, Soto, Theriot, Gorz

speaking of short relief, is it too much to hope that marmol will not be available tonight? and, that the offense can actually solve halladay for enough runs to get a lead to be saved?


And Yes.

marmol will be neither available nor necessary tonight...

Marmol always impressed me as the kind of player a smart GM trades when his stock is up.
But then Jim Hendry is our GM....

He does not have great control, but is also one of the most difficult pitchers to hit in baseball. I want him to spend his entire career as a Cub.

I would trade Marmol now if I were Hendry - the long term track record on guys who put up numbers like his aren't great, and his skill set doesn't (to me) match being a closer anyway.

Depending on what you get, I would certainly be willing to move Marmol for the reasons you point out, but what part of his skill set doesn't match being a closer?

the skillset of blowing too many games from walking too many guys?

That's kind of what I thought, but TRN is on record as saying that walks late in a game are no worse than walks early in a game. So assuming he would be willing to pitch Marmol in high leverage situations, there must be another reason why he doesn't think he has the a good skill set to be a closer.

What guys have put up numbers like Marmols?

I don't have a BR insider account, but what I can see:

Guys who have had 13+ K's per 9 for 60+ innings:

There's only one guy who was able to maintain it, and he's a 5'10" right hander throwing left handed who has missed large parts of 5 seasons over his career.

But a guy who is as good as F-Rod, Broxton, or Lidge isn't worth keeping around?

I'm not opposed to trading him, I would just want to make sure the Cubs got plenty in return. He's worth keeping around if the return isn't substantial.

Broxton has been around less than Marmol, Lidge has had two or three lost seasons and F-Rod is a gimmick pitcher now. If you can get a piece that the Cubs need, like a 1st basemen or 2nd basemen for Marmol, you need to look at it. Right now he's just lipstick on a pig.

marmol photo after the Saturday loss to the Phils

not to distract from the point, but gagne 2003 was just awesome.

With the big league club far out of it, I am constantly looking for reports on the minor league system. Found this at minor league ball. Link contains a long write up. Maybe the great one (AZ Phil) could comment on the write up? The list is below:

1 B Jackson
2 Cashner
3 Vitters
4 J Jackson
5 Hak-Ju Lee
6 Chris Archer
7 Trey McNutt
8 Christopher Carpenter
9 Hayden Simpson
10 Reggie Golden (assumed to sign)
11 LeMahieu
12 Barney
13 Rafael Dolis
14 Jae-Hoon Ha
15 Kyung-Min Na
16 Diamond
17 Su-Ming Jung
18 Chris Rusin
19 Casey Coleman
20 Kim-Jin Yeong
21 Dae-Eun Rhee
22 Ryan Flaherty
23 Robinson Chorinos
24 Austin Kirk
25 Junior Lake
26 Logan Watkins
27 Matt Sczur
28 Dong-Yub Kim
29 David Cales
30 Matt Cerda

Honorable Mentions:
Alberto Cabrera
Kyler Burke
Wellington Castillo
Brandon Guyer
Micah Gibbs
Brooks Raley
Jeffrey Antigua
Pin-Chieh Chen


If you read the write up you might agree with me that the projections are very favorable. Some comparisons from the article:
Brett Jackson = Grady Sizemore "Lite"
Cashner = Verlander (SP)/Broxton(RP)
Vitters = Pablo Sandoval
Jay Jackson = #2/#3 starter

Not knocking the author, but the whole thing is very optimistic

Goddamn Teflon Tim Wilken!

How does this poor evaluator and bum manage to keep his job???!!

I mean, did you SEE what the Cubs did to Roy Halladay tonight?

16) Thomas Diamond RHP Iowa (AAA)- Former top prospect, FB sits in the low 90s solid SL and John Sickles noted his CU is much better then earlier in his career. Could be a back of the rotation starter or valuable lefty out of the pen

Nice to know Diamond has a fall back option if he shreds his actual pitching arm.

Could be a back of the rotation starter or valuable lefty out of the pen
or he was just describing Sean Marshall's career path and wanted to use the cliche, diamond in the rough but he got confused and it spilled over onto his prospect writeup

For those wondering about Simpson, Bruce Miles says:

"I had a chance to ask GM Jim Hendry about pitcher Hayden Simpson, this year’s No. 1 draft pick. Jim says Simpson has mononucleosis and that the Cubs will take it easy on him. That was the plan anyway, since Simpson had a busy spring in college."

about time someone followed up on that...

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • 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). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.

  • Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.

    Arietta though.