Randy Wells is the Day 2 King Of The Mountain!


There are 2 spot open for the back of the Cubs starting rotation, and watching who wins 'em ought to be pretty entertaining even if you feel it's a foregone conclusion that it's Randy Wells and Carlos Silva or Wells and Andrew Cashner.

Randy went 2 innings of 2-hit ball with a strikeout yesterday, and he started so that was against the Brewer "starters".
Young Cashner had a throwing error and a wild pitch that resulting in one of the 2 runs he gave up in his two innings.

If we were keeping simple tabs on these guys, I think so far Wells would have a "good", Cashner a "not so good" and I already can't remember what James Russell did the other day, but I think it was a "not so good".
I might re-visit this illustration as time goes on to keep tabs on who's "king of the mountain" because surely there will be some headlocks and brawling and tumbling down the almighty mound...

Uh, and Reed Johnson led off and got a couple hits, Tyler Colvin got a triple.

Ryan Dempster starts today, and we'll see who comes in in the 3rd - maybe it's Coleman or Looper.

Also, the Cubs are looking for a PA announcer at Wrigley.
Here's the story, and they're having you send your audition tape to CareerBuilder 

It says you must have a "deep knowledge of baseball", which I think in this case means being able to pronounce "Samardzija" and... like that one game where the tornado sirens went off?
As official PA guy you should be able to yell, "GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!"


Chris Carpenter Sustains Injury, Leaves Cardinals Spring Training Game


and his replacement, reliever mitch boggs, leaves with a back strain.

twitter sez minor hamstring injury...

Doesn't sound like a big deal.

"Carpenter said he threw one more pitch after feeling the hamstring tug. He said he wasn't that concerned about the injury."



byrd seems to be quade's guy in the 3 slot.

Chris Archer today vs the Orioles:

1.0 IP 0 Runs O Hits 0 Nothin' 3 Strikeouts

I really don't have an opinion about the trade since you can't truly judge a trade until quite a ways after the fact, but it would be quite Cubslike if Archer won a rotation spot and had a better year than Garza.

s.castro picks up his 1st throwing error on the year. he's season-ready now.

dumpster - 3ip 2h 1er 1bb 3k
wellemeyer - 2ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k

damn...Sonnanstine (TB) gave up 6 hits today in 2ip...5 HRs.

Jim Hendry and Andy McPhail weep.

Garrett Anderson retires.


now on SI


5 year rank is 13, 2010 rank is 5

one green light in Garza with this interesting note...

his UCL is actually covered in scar from a youth injury, which doctors believe makes it stronger than normal.

and the rest of the starting staff is a red light as well as Marmol and Wood.

i was interested until i saw who wrote the article...

Do these ratings strike anyone else as a tad arbitrary?

his dad is a doctor...i trust him, yo...i trust him.

he's the self appointed god of "injury statistics." lulz.

his dad is a doctor...i trust him, yo...i trust him.
Based on the green, yellow and red light ratings...does that suggest his mom was a traffic cop?

...not touching the "red light" I'll leave that one for Johann's mom.

last year


Red: Ramirez, Soriano, Lilly, Marmol
Yellow: Guzman, Soto, Lee, Bird, Z, Dempster, Wells
Green: Gorzelanny, Fukudome, Theriot, Fontenot

under Randy Wells, claims the history of converted catchers to pitchers is not good when it comes to injuries.

primer on ratings


fwiw, a red is 51% chance of an injury putting player on DL, so it's not a death sentence, nor even a certainty, just slightly better odds then guessing a coin flip.

I guess mariners are sticking with him, I just assumed he was released.

3/3 today

it is a contract year, so he may try this time.




Has he had a resolution to his latest legal problems?

believe all charges were dropped

Ok, then the M's keeping him makes more sense. I was thinking if the threat of jail time was hanging over his head the team could be excused for not wanting that further distraction. Bradley's asking for help last year probably also bought him some forgiveness and another opportunity, but I would think he's still on a short leash.

hah... high five

just on Tuesdays


F. Perez hurt already
Colvin to get start at 1B on Friday
Cub Carpenter sent home with the flu

mlb has it's ipad/iphone apps up for 2011.

...saw this 5 dollar app called "Pennant" in the iTunes store which seems like a unique way to look up historical game data back to 1951.

might take a look at the author's video presentation of it on his website...


From Musket's write up of today's win (tomorrow's preview).

Carlos Pena will be back in the lineup at first. Let's see if the Brewers utilize the defensive shift again. Milwaukee did that Monday, and Pena grounded out both times.

So much for my hope that Pena will use the whole field.

There was actually a decent article about Pena's response to TRN a couple days ago.

He basically said it makes more sense to stay with what you know so you don't screw up worse. I'll buy it, as long as he hits at least .240...

...Then he said "Screw The Real Neal" ;)

Good. He knows the past two seasons he's hit in the .220s and the .190s this way so why mess with success, huh? If it ain't broke don't fix it.

I guess he means "If I got $10 million, I won't worry about it."

I don't know what Pena's problem is, but I doubt it's the shift.

Adam Dunn hit .260 against the same shift, with more home runs than Pena. Looking at the mlb.com home-run charts in their home ballparks, I see that Dunn hit 20 home runs in Nationals Park, Pena hit 18 in Tropicana. 13 of Dunn's HRs were to the right of dead center, while 12 of Pena's were to the right of dead center (and 1 was dead center). One curiosity is that all of Pena's 5 other HRs were to the left of the distance sign in left center, while all of Dunn's 7 left-field HRs were to the right of that number. Dunn never came anywhere near the left-field line.

At any rate, if Pena wants to learn to swing toward left, there is a knowledge base of Cub alums he can call up for advice, guys like Jacque Jones, Hollandsworth, Choi, Edmonds, etc., etc.

By the way, if you want to see a good old-fashioned dear-to-my-heart dead-pull hitter, look at Tyler Colvin's home runs.

I thought I read Pena's problems started when he became a pull hitter.

Not according to his 2007 home-run chart at Tropicana, where he hit 23 home runs, half his total. That was the year he hit .282 and had an OPS of 1.037.

I count 2 home runs directly at the 370 sign in dead right center and 8 or 9 HRs (the graph is crowded with h's) well to the right of the sign.

I'd like to see a few examples of power hitters who are not pull hitters.

Well, other than strikeouts, the reason his batting average is low is a low BABIP. The best ways to have a low BABIP is to:
1. Hit a lot of fly balls that don't leave the park
2. Pull everything so that the defense can stack the odds against you
3. Be slow

Last year I supsect Pena was guilty of all three.

I would say the best route to a low BABIP is not to make solid contact, not to "square the ball up," as the baseball people say.

But looking at it that way makes BABIP something of a circular concept, and takes the fun out of it.

I haven't seen Pena hit, so I really have no idea what's wrong with him. Just looking at his hitting highlights, which are usually home runs, it's kind of an ugly swing. Maybe he's not really a major-league hitter.

It's one year, so who cares?

Historically, Hank Aaron was an all-fields home run hitter, though he gradually became more of a pull hitter late in his career -- possibly after he realized he was close enough to Ruth's record to break it. I recall Sosa also hit quite a good number of his home runs to right field, especially later in his career when he stood so far off the plate and couldn't catch up on fastballs like he used to.

I used to have a baseball game that used spinners on top of discs that showed a player's batting outcomes with hall of fame players. I can't recall the name of it, but the background of the game board was Wrigley Field with the center field bleachers NOT covered with the Astroturf hitting background. Anyway, I had "Hall of Fame" player disks and the Hank Aaron disc was nearly equally divided between home runs to left, center and right fields, whereas Ernie Bank's disc was heavily weighted to left field home runs, very few to center and none to right.

The Aaron I remember was a pull hitter; but the stats are spotty. In Aaron's home-run log, BR comes up with this breakdown of his 40-homer 1960 season: LF (16), LF-CF (5), CF (6), CF-RF (1), RF (0), no information (12).

The wrong-way power hitter in that 50's-60's NL HOF cohort was Clemente who hit double-digit triples most years but only 240 home runs over 18 seasons.

Tyler Colvin and Carlos Pena are very different hitters. Most of Colvin's homeruns may be on his pull side, but he can hit line drives to left with the best of them (okay, maybe not up there with Jacque Jones, but Jones could only hit to left).

I agree, Colvin is happy to lash a line drive over the shorstop's head. He jumps on his HR's and jerks them to right, but with a little loft he could probably hit some to left-center as well.

Recent comments

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  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.