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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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 38 min 54 sec ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 39 min 55 sec ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 10 hours 21 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 13 hours 18 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 13 hours 31 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 13 hours 40 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 13 hours 45 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 14 hours 3 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 14 hours 40 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 14 hours 57 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 14 hours 59 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 15 hours 17 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 15 hours 24 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 16 hours 20 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 16 hours 42 min ago view