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.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.