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.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.