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!"

Comments

Chris Carpenter Sustains Injury, Leaves Cardinals Spring Training Game

http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2011/3/1/2023077/...

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."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2011/news...

fuku/castro/byrd/aram/SOTO/dewitt/r.johnson/lahair

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.

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/new...

now on SI

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers...

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

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

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

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers...

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.

Racist

Cracker!

------------

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

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

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...

http://www.pennant.cc/

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.

Edit:
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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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 5 hours 52 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 8 hours 49 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 9 hours 2 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 9 hours 16 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 9 hours 34 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 10 hours 11 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 10 hours 28 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 10 hours 30 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 10 hours 48 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 10 hours 55 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 11 hours 51 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 12 hours 9 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 12 hours 13 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 13 hours 23 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 14 hours 2 min ago view