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.

Comments

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?

Yes.

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:
Wagner
Dibble
F-Rod
Broxton
Kim
Benitez
Lidge
Mantei

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

http://www.gold-speculator.com/attachments/ri...

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:
http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/7/18/1575...

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...

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  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 3 hours 39 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 7 hours 7 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 9 hours 39 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 10 hours 12 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 10 hours 13 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 12 hours 11 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 14 hours 30 min ago view
  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 15 hours 26 min ago view