All Quiet on the Wednesday Front
Some day olds news for everyone...
- Hendry flew out to Arizona yesterday to interview Ryne Sandberg for the manager's job in 2011. I like to imagine that hiring the owners choice in Sandberg is the only way Hendry keeps his job, but I've been surprised before.
- Tyler Colvin is out of the hospital and back home in South Carolina after surviving the Flying Bat of Death.
- Tom Gorzelanny will pitch Friday against the Cardinals with Coleman and Samardzija pitching the other 2 games. Carlos Silva is still attempting to make one more start before the season ends. I hear the starting pitcher gets to go first for the post-game spread.
The always anticipated "Ask Paul" segment yields:
- A small criticism of Mike Quade for playing Nady, Fukudome and Hill over Hoffpauir, Snyder and Castillo.
- that Hendry will submit a list of top manager choices and Ricketts will go over the list with him and Sullivan then suggests Hendry should leave if Ricketts vetoes his choice. I will now be rooting for whomever the Ricketts want and hoping it's not who Hendry wants.
- depending on the manager for next year, talks about Rothschild or Trammell returning or not returning.
- suggestions of Adam Dunn or Aubrey Huff for first base next season.
- The Cubs minor league record was 374-316 on the year, second best in baseball behind the Cards.
- The Cubs have used 18 rookies this year, most since the 19 used in 2000.
- Marmol is on pace for 135 K's which would break Bruce Sutter's 1977 club record of 129 K's for a reliever.
- As AZ Phil mentioned in the comments, Soto and Colvin have been placed on the DL and Esmailin Caridad has been activated off the 60-day disabled list. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs placed Mitch Atkins on waivers. He still has one club option left if he is claimed by another team. The last player I recall the Cubs placing on waivers this late in the season to make room on the 40-man roster was Casey McGehee at the end of 2008. By this impenetrable logic, we can only surmise that Mitch Atkins will go on to a fine major league career with another organization.
- Mark Potash takes a look at Carlos Zambrano who is 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 9 starts since returning to the rotation and makes the case the Cubs should seize the opportunity to move his contract this offseason or be sure he gets plenty of rest next season if they plan to keep him. He believes that the normal lack of innings is a big reason behind his successful September and cites a 9-3, 1.98 career mark when having 6-8 days rest.
- Also some more first base talk from Wittenmyer, mostly filling word counts about the possible return of Xavier Nady to play first base next season.
- Randy Wells vs. Jonathen Sanchez tonight as the Cubs get 6 more opportunities to affect the NL West and wild card races with 2 more against the Giants and another 4 in San Diego next week. The Cubs currently reside at the 8th spot of next year's draft, but just a game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Kevin Towers lands the D'Backs GM job, Brandon Webb to the Cubs watch starts now.
- Be sure to check out FJM day over at Deadspin, the most entertaining baseball related items you'll read all year.
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?