Cubs Spring Training Notes

- Quade has named his Opening Day starter and it won't be Zambrano's 7th straight start which would have tied Ferguson Jenkins for the Cubs record. Instead it will be Ryan Dempster, followed by Z and then Matt Garza. Z will get the road opener start against the Brewers. Presumambly the last two spots are still open with Randy Wells and Carlos Silva likely occupying them with James Russell and Andrew Cashner on the outside looking in.

- The Jose Ceda deal is looking good.

- Some bright one in the Cubs office thought it would be wise to compare Starlin Castro to Derek Jeter on an outdoor billboard (eye roll). The Cubs.com article says Castro has been working on making the routine plays and his footwork over the offseason and you do have to like this bit of humility.

"I feel like I have to make the team like I did last year. There's no
pressure. I don't feel like I've made the team. I have to work hard
every day."

Which does offset this bit of information...

Soriano took Castro into his home last year and taught him the importance of being prepared for games.

I imagine that includes things like this:

which might explain why this happens sometimes:

Alright, that was a bit of a low blow, what do you think about that Fonzie?

To all the Dead Presidents...

Comments

Going for "zany" over "crazy" for an opening day starter this year. Bold move.

[edit]
Or maybe it's "krazy" over "crazy."

Carlos Silva has been taking a page out of Castro's workouts, practicing his forkwork on routine pies.

On Castro...

...What does he have to work on?

"Defense, and that's it," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Every aspect of defense. I believe he's going to be a good offensive player. I know what we need from him defensively -- we need to be better up the middle and obviously he's a huge part of that.

I think Quade gets it. I still wish they would have found a veteran SS FA over the off season in case he pulls a Cedeno and decides to be terrible.

(shakes head)

Oh Come on, man! I mean really? Really?

No offense to you, E-Man, but I wonder hoe long this "really" phenomenon will last. I somewhat remove myself from pop culture, so these new fads take me by surprise. I have a feeling that "really" will fall even harder than the once famous "whazzup" campaign by Budweiser.

I dunno, dude. My generation was saying dude, like, dude, 40 years ago, dude, but, like, dude, I'll admit the girls weren't calling each other dude.

Dusty put a twist on "Dude" by spitting every time he said "Dude".

The Dude abides

It is pretty odd and amusing that chicks call each other "dudes" now, as you say, O&B.

I think the Really? phenomenon already ended. The SNL stuff got old a long, long time ago.

Castro? The third rail of Cubdom?

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 13 min 28 sec ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 33 min 21 sec ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 34 min 32 sec ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 36 min 43 sec ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 45 min 30 sec ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 1 hour 28 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 6 hours 30 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 7 hours 11 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 9 hours 10 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 10 hours 57 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 11 hours 32 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 11 hours 45 min ago view