Mike Quade Era Starts With A Bang, Will Surely End with a Whimper
The Cubs came out thumping last night for their new manager knocking out 15 hits and taking 6 walks, 3 of them by Soto as they pitched around him in the 8th spot. The last time the Cubs had an interim manager it was 2002 and the job went to Bruce Kimm (with Rene Lachemann getting one game before Kimm took over). The Cubs responded well that first game for Kimm, winning 7-3 over the Braves, but he ended up going 33-45 on the year, nearly identical to Baylor who was 34-49 before being fired.
You have to go to 1991 for the next mid-season firing, when Don Zimmer got canned after going 18-19 and once again a one game gig was given to bridge the gap, but this time to Joe Altobelli before Jim Essian took over. If my math is right, the Cubs won that game as well for Essian, a 5-2 win over the Mets thanks to Greg Maddux, but Essian didn't fare much better than Zimmer did for the rest of the season finishing with a 59-63 record.
Some other interim manager results since 1970 for the Cubs.
1987 - Frank Lucchesi (8-17), lost first game to Pirates 4-1. Replaced Gene Michael (68-68).
1986 - Gene Michael (46-56), lost first game to Cardinals 1-0. Replaced Jim Frey (23-33).
1983 - Charlie Fox(17-22) , won first game 2-0 over Reds. Replaced Lee Elia (54-69).
1980 - Joey Amalfitano (26-46), lost first game 14-6 to Giants. Replaced Preston Gomez (38-52).
1979 - Joey Amalfitano (2-5), lost first game 3-1 to Mets. Replaced Herman Franks who resigned (78-77).
1974 - Jim Marshall (25-44), lost first game 10-2 to the Phillies. Replaced Whitey Lockman (41-52).
1972 - Whitey Lockman (39-26), lost first game 6-5 to the Astros. Replaced Leo Durocher (46-44).
Kimm nor Essian got to keep the job the following year and I'm sure the same will happen for Quade unless the team goes on a crazy hot streak to finish the year. Gene Michael was the last interim manager to keep the job after the '86 season although he didn't even make it through the '87 season. Amalfitano did get a chance in the strike shortened '81 season but with poor results. Marshall stayed through 1976 before being replaced by Herman Franks in 1977 and Whitey Lockman stayed on for 1973 and part of 1974.
Quade's big move for tonight against the lefty Lannan is to move Soto up to the 6th spot, offsetting that inspirational move by batting Jeff Baker 5th and playing him in RF. Dewitt stays in the leadoff spot after going 3/5 with a HR and a 2B. Byrd sits after being hit in the hand yesterday and leaving the game early.
DeWitt 2B, Castro SS, Nady 1B, Ramirez 3B, Baker RF, Soto C, Soriano LF, Colvin CF, Zambrano P
And Justin Berg has been optioned to Iowa, lefty Scott Maine has been recalled (acquired in the offseason in a deal for Aaron Heilman).
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.