This is Your 2011 Cubs

via Rotoworld...

Marmol entered a 3-1 game and allowed the six runs on five hits and a walk before being yanked having recorded just one out. The last time a Cubs pitcher allowed six runs in the ninth inning with Chicago leading entering the frame came in 1911.

Also it seems that Q-Ball doesn't have the respect of everyone in the clubhouse...a response to Z breaking a bat over his leg last night.

‘‘I don’t like that,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I’m glad he’s OK. I get his frustration, but he can do something else. I cringe because he can hurt himself.’’

‘‘I work hard. My legs are strong,’’ said Zambrano, who was upset at himself because he missed a hanging breaking ball he thought he should have hit. ‘‘It’s nothing to worry about. If you want to see how I can break bats over my legs, come back tomorrow and watch me lift weights.’’

But what about the manager’s concern?

‘‘What manager?’’ Zambrano said.

Don't forget that Dempster was picked over Z for Opening Day and Dempster couldn't have been more vocal about wanting Q-Ball to get the manager gig. It could be nothing, could be something....

I heard Darwin Barney on XM Radio this morning, nothing earth shattering as you'd expect, but I have to say he does come off quite professionally and says all the right things. Said that Carlos Pena could be a preacher if he wanted, seems to be a very vocal and encouraging presence in the clubhouse. Also had good things to say about Marlon Byrd, relating a story in spring training that after Byrd got on him a little bit in the batting cage that Barney encouraged him to keep doing it whenever he caught Barney messing up and that he was committed to improving himself.

Today's lineup vs. Brett Myers: Fuku RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Pena 1B, Ramirez 3B, DeWitt LF, Soto C, Colvin CF, Davis P


Yeah, I remember Barney talking in ST about Byrd and how he's in his face about his diet. I seem to remember that Byrd was bringing Barney breakfast every day, because he didn't like what he was eating...

he related that same story on XM this morning as well...

Well as long as Rickett is not caught up in this....what?

Seen this? Sweet Jebus... He says Soriano was finally living up to his $136M contract before getting hurt... Has Heyman watched ANY games?


Barney also said Byrd was trying to be back in 2-3 weeks, although either Sun-Times link or another story I read said something like 6 weeks and mid-July.

"Don't forget that Dempster was picked over Z for Opening Day and Dempster couldn't have been more vocal about wanting Q-Ball to get the manager gig. It could be nothing, could be something...."

It is likely that neither Z or Dempster will be on the roster the next time the Cubs make the payoffs.

Likely? more like definitely. Include Quade and Hendry too.

well in case anyone thought Z was worried about Q-Ball and the bat breaking

putting a demo on how to do it for reporters

Byrd said healing is a 4-6 week proposition in total, so i guess he could be back in 2-3 weeks.

Garza threw 30 pitches off the mound today, no problems, another session this weekend and could be ready to go Monday.

Cubs can't even get their logo right...


looks like they're mounted on a screw or nail and flipped over

Someone had to have messed with it. Sullivan maybe.

Wind blowing straight out, OF's should be busy.

Wind blown hr by Kosuke. This could be a fun game to watch.

and I benched him on my fantasy team today...


well I'm surprised

Cubs are 1st in BA, 3rd in OBP, 5th in SLG and OPS and Runs Scored Per Game.

AVG and OPS drop to 11th though with RISP

Yeah, the announcers said last night they were 6th in runs scored, and we've played a couple fewer games than most.

How many times have we scored four runs, though?

I counted 30, 12 resulting in losses.

32 and 8 losses for the Brewers (5th in total runs) so a little bit of offensive consistency and going into the season with no 6th starter.

not surprised by this

2nd to last in errors, last in assists and last in majors in defensive efficiency

it may not show up in the #s, but ive seen a pathetic amount of double plays not turned this has matt garza.

Cubs team ERA 5.37---next to worst team ERA, Houston 4.42


worst BABIP in the league at .314 thanks to the shitty defense, also looks like the second worst LOB%

HR rates actually aren't too bad, .99 HR/9 and 9.5 HR/FB%

K/9 is 4th best in majors, but BB/9 is worst in league.

Fangraphs has their ERA at 4.80 fwiw (don't know why the discrepancy to ESPN), and FIP at 4.10.

As a BIG hockey fan from the middle of nowhere (Upper Michigan) that required us to drive at least 9 hours to get anywhere (Chicago), I can very much relate to this story. My favorite part is that he turns right confidently when walking out of the hospital with no clothes...

That's a pretty good story.

shall we take bets that the Cubs decide to option Randy Wells if he doesn't pitch well this weekend and keep Davis and Lopez when Garza gets back?

Omg......Lol.....that thought makes me sick to my stomach.....Lopez' big claim to fame is twice leading the league in losses.....

they did say Lopez could be a swingman type, which means Maine or Russell goes down, probably Maine.

But let's say it wouldn't completely surprise me.

Davis and Lopez are veterans, they're pretty scrappy, and I bet they're winners too.

If they are also gamer, how could we not keep them.

Does Tom "we're building from within" Ricketts know this??

Jake "Spring Training" Fox DFA'd by O's

I don't know how his receiving skills are, but it looks to me like this guy is ready to play somewhere in the majors. I seem to remember that AZ Phil thought he would be at least a capable backup. Too bad we have 'yeah, boy Koyieee' and Castillo in front of him... Trading chip?

well if Robinson Chirinos can be one, sure...

probably not a big market for a guy projected to be utility bench guy. I'll take him over Koyie though and at the moment Soto.

He is knocking a few more over the fence this season and his BB and K totals have always been good.

AZ Phil - care to weigh in on this?

Submitted by Jace on Wed, 06/01/2011 - 1:54pm.
I don't know how his receiving skills are, but it looks to me like this guy is ready to play somewhere in the majors. I seem to remember that AZ Phil thought he would be at least a capable backup. Too bad we have 'yeah, boy Koyieee' and Castillo in front of him... Trading chip?


JACE: As I have mentioned here before, I believe Steve Clevenger profiles as an ideal back-up C-1B-LHPH at the big league level. Although his receiving skills are just average (he is a converted infielder, having played SS in college and 2B his first year in the Cubs organization) and although he has a slightly below-average arm, pitchers who have worked with him (minor league guys) have told me they really like to throw to him because he is a student of the game (probably a future manager) and can really pick-apart the other team's hitters, probably because he is a good hitter himself.

Back when AZ Phil was a young fart, there was a back-up catcher in the big leagues named Charlie Lau, and he would later become a reknowned hitting coach with the Kansas City Royals in the 1970's. Clevenger reminds me a lot of Charlie Lau as far as his ability to analyze the game.

I strongly suspect that Steve Clevenger will eventually be an MLB back-up catcher (and sooner rather than later). And I know of at least one scout from an organization other than the Cubs that feels the same way. So if the Cubs don't add him to the 40-man roster post-2011, I would say he would be a good candidate to get selected in next December's Rule 5 Draft.

BTW, the reason Clevenger keeps getting assigned to AA Tennessee is because the Cubs want to maximize his playing time, which would be a problem if both he and Welington Castillo were on the same team. And since W. Castillo projects as a #1 MLB catcher (although maybe not with the Cubs), Castillo gets to play at AAA Iowa, while Clevenger is (seemingly) stuck at AA. Also, Clevenger is better working with kid pitchers, while W. Castillo (who still has some rough edges behind the plate) functions better with older and more experienced AAA pitchers who can help get him through the tough times.

As if on cue, Clevenger hits a 3-run homer tonight (#7).

Wow, thanks, Phil. With his bat, he would sure be an improvement over Koyie, now that his catching and throwing both seem to have fallen apart...


this team takes more balls to the face than a crackhead hooker.

now it's aram.

and k.wood + s.marshall combine for failure after d.davis sets up 2 men on base for them to help out the cause of screwing up.

a single off marshall by bourne...who K'd off marshall 6 times in a row before this.


what happened?

brings in Marshall to face Bourn in a tie game with bases loaded, Bourn singles of course.

Lemahieu in the game for Aram?

LeMahieu grounded out, second baseman Keppinger to first baseman Ca.Lee.

LeeMayWho heard muttering "I cudda swore that was a hit" while jogging back to the dugout.

Hows his timing look?

re: aram

took a ball to the face while diving/fielding...busted open his nose and/or mouth.

"cst_cubs cst_cubs
Ramirez got a fat lip on the ball-off-face play that knocked him out of game."

"CarrieMuskat Carrie Muskat
#Cubs Ramirez will need stitches. Ouch."

day to day...

I can't say Colvin looks like he has ANY timing back.

I can't say it's ever a good idea to judge a player based on three at bats.

I'm not judging anything. In today's 3 at-bats, he doesn't look like he has his timing back.

he hasnt looked like it all year except a few stints during spring.

even in AAA he wasn't doing much.

he's swinging at everything, too.

Was 'Camp Colvin 2011' spent sitting around the big screen, eating Cheetos, watching highlights of how good he looked at times in 2010?

He walked today, and last time we checked he was walking more and striking out less than he did last year...

by what...1 or 2 walks or something?

there's nothing about colvin's game now or in the past that involves caring about whether he walks or not because he never walks enough to consider it.

he's pure contact. he needs consistency and power or his bat game is crap.

That's fine and all, but if he is walking more than he did last year, is it not reasonable to assume that he isn't swining at anything more than he did last year, or not appreciably more?

According to the numbers at Fangraphs - Colvin has swung at 0.5% more pitches that he's seen outside of the strikezone this year, and 4.2% more pitches inside the strike zone, while swinging and missing 20% less often overall.

Just call it reverse LeMahieuing it and let it go.

if you count his 2bb in 60-ish pa in the minors he's walking less.

the point is, he doesn't walk enough to even care. projecting to walk even 5-10 times more a year doesn't even matter.

if he doesn't make quality contact his hitting game is crap. if he's not hitting for power while doing it he's not a starter.

jacque jones jr. will hopefully start hitting for power.

Colvin is the homeless man's Jack Jones

Albino Jacque Jones? Jones smiled more, and although he wasn't very good for us, he was consistently not good for us, and nobody ever built an ad campaign promoting him here.

27 Homers and an 833 ops on a really bad 2006 team. Played passable defense in CF.

Totally reasonable CFer or 4th ofer on a good team. Wished we had gotten Furcal and Brian Giles instead of Glendon, Neifi and Jack Jones that off-season though.

...passable defense in CF.

Except for his throws to cut-off men or the IF.

What games were you watching?

Meant adequate range. You are right about his arm though. That Murton, Pierre, Jones OF in 2006 had to be the worst throwing outfield in history?

Read post #42. I was giving you the beneifit of the doubt about last night's game. He's only got two at bats today.

Uhh, you are aware that I WROTE past #42, right? I'm not sure what you think I am saying...
I am saying that he has failed to impress since the call-up... Have you read the article about how he feels he has his timing back? What have you seen that would lead you to believe he has it back? Walks have little to do with timing... The sac bunt from last night?

You are judging that he doesn't have his timing back based on two to three at bats. I am saying that two or three at bats is too small a sample to judge anything.

A nice sac bunt, two groundouts, a pop-out and a walk, assuming you watched all five plate appearances, and you have judged that his timing is off.

What does that mean that your timing is off? I thought it means that you're swinging too soon (which would be a strike or a pulled foul) or too late (which would be a strike or a opposite field foul) - none of Colvins' grand total of five PA's ended like that, so what do you mean that his timing is off?

Look... (deep breath)
I am NOT saying that the 2 partial games that he has played since he has returned are proof that he is washed up, or the worst player that the Cubs have ever had. I am saying that it looks like right now, HIS TIMING IS OFF!
Let's look at his ABs from today -

First AB - looked at strike one
swung at strike two
fouled off a pitch
grounded out to the first baseman.

Second AB - took first pitch for a ball
fouled off strike one
fouled off strike two
took three consecutive pitches in the dirt, WALKED

Third AB - took ball one
fouled off strike one
took ball two
foul tip strike two
popped out to the third baseman

What do you see above that would make you think that I am incorrect in saying that it looks like his timing is off???

Once babe Ruth struck out four times in a game.

The next game he hit two home runs.

Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever look at a handful of at bats and think you've learned anything important. Ever.

I don't know if he's timing is "off". I am smart enough, however, not to worry about three fucking at bats.

"Never ever ever," etc.

You can learn a lot about a hitter watching individual at bats.

In the week before Colvin was sent down, I saw him take a 2-0 fastball down the middle. I thought, Hey, Genius, what are you looking for on two-and-oh? I even had a few nasty thoughts about his hitting coach.

Then a couple days later, he gets a good rip at a breaking ball on 0-1, and fouls it back, so now it's 0-2. The next pitch he swings weakly at a breaking ball low and outside.

Does Colvin know that pitchers try not to throw the ball in the strike zone on 0-2? That they hear about it from their coach and manager--"Why didn't you bury it?"--if they give up a hit when they're way ahead in the count?

Colvin is messed up. The dumb ones take longer to learn how to hit. He's going to have his hands full keeping up with the other young outfielders, especially if (like Jackson) they're smarter than he is.

This is one of the dumbest arguments I have ever read. It looks like you are arguing just to be arguing. It is perfectly fine to watch one game and say "he didn't really look comfortable in the field," or "his timing looked off at the plate." Hell, you can watch one at-bat and say "he didn't seem to be seeing the ball out of the pitcher's hand real well." Hell, Babe Ruth himself would have probably told you that his timing was off yesterday but he felt better at the plate today. Do any of these comments mean that whatever condition will hold for weeks, or a career, etc.? No. Jesus. This is stupid. I can't believe you wasted that much time arguing about this. And I can't believe I wasted this much time typing this.

It's perfectly fine to do anything. It may be stupid, but it's perfectly fine.

Colvin says his timing is fixed. Jace watched three at bats and decided he was wrong...

Jace was right, because obviously, baseball expert that he is, he would know more than the actual player.

The most important thing is knowing what you don't know. That's what I was trying to get across, not that I think Colvin's timing is fine, just that I am willing to admit that watching 3 at bats isn't going to tell me anything.

It's amazing you guys aren't trying to get Jim Hendry promoted to president, or God, you think just like he does.

If this exchange has taught me anything, it is to never ever ever ever ever ever ever engage you in anything ever again. What an incredible waste of time!

First AB - looked at strike one
swung at strike two
fouled off a pitch
grounded out to the first baseman.

Outcome - Left Handed hitter power pitcher pulls ball. Verdict, Jace is wrong.

Second AB - took first pitch for a ball
fouled off strike one
fouled off strike two
took three consecutive pitches in the dirt, WALKED
Outcome - Walk.
Verdict - incluclisive, lack of details on direction of foul balls, but he hit everything he swung at.

Third AB - took ball one
fouled off strike one
took ball two
foul tip strike two
popped out to the third baseman

Outcome - Power hitter hit opposite field pop-up. Verdict Jace is correct, though again, batter hit everything he swung at.

Overall conclusion: Too little information provided to make any authoritative conclusion.

He missed one pitch on the day...

I'd feel better about his prospects if he EVER hit other than the first 6 weeks of last season.

6 years of being a mid 700's ops Minor League guy should carry more weight than 6 weeks of being a good offensive force 12-14 months ago.

4th outfielder IF he can regain some semblance of April/May 2010. AAAA slugger if not.

2nd half of last year he had an OPS of .787

In September it was .808

And for Jace on June 25th of last year his timing was off, 0-4 with 2 K's... his next start he went 3-5 with a home run.

Of course, that's impossible that he could go 3-5 in a game after May 17th of 2011.

"I can't say it's ever a good idea to judge a player based on three at bats"

(says the guy who just made a joke about LeMahieu after two at-bats).

(says the guy who just made a joke about LeMahieu after two at-bats, that was way over my head because the joke was the whole reason LeMahieu is in the majors was based on a decision made because of too small a sample, exactly the same thing we are discussing here, and the #1 problem with the Cubs organization that happens time and time again for years and years but I cannot or refuse to recognize).

Come on guys, it's really not rocket science. It's math and logic.

day off tomorrow...then the hell part of the schedule starts.

cards/reds/phils/brews/yanks/wsox til the 22nd of june.

that's gonna throw us into the basement like a wad of dirty laundry...1-5 @ home vs. the bucs & stros; ye gods!

Games under .500 on June 22nd?

I am going w/10.5

What about number of DL trips for A-Ram by 9/1?

They're 8 games under now, I think we're looking at 14-15 games under, at least.

20 under .500 by 6/22

hope jacos doesn't see this one

no one cares about Kerry Wood anymore

kerry woods #1

Of course, that's impossible that he could go 3-5 in a game after May 17th of 2011.
At Iowa?

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  • The hot start was nice, but it won't always come easy. It's nice to see them have to work for it every once in a while.

    Ryno 25 min ago view
  • Hey, AZ, are you as high on DJ Wilson as your pal John Arguello is?

    Old and Blue 42 min 27 sec ago view
  • Phil, I just wanted to say thank you for diligently tracking the Cubs prospects in extended spring training and sharing your knowledge with us. It's remarkable how you're able to keep box scores for multiple games at once. I, and I'm sure others here, appreciate the data and insight you provide for us.

    K Dub 3 hours 35 min ago view
  • Thanks PHIL.

    Boy, that is a nifty K:BB ratio Hudson has going at almost 4:1!

    I hope he continues improving.

    The E-Man 9 hours 33 min ago view
  • And of course the Bucs won again playing AZ (not PHIL). They dont seem to have a problem yet with the bottom feeders.

    They picked up 3 games this last week.

    I'm looking forward to them coming to the Chi.

    The E-Man 10 hours 1 min ago view
  • Don't mess with the SI jinx. Since the Javy/Cubs cover came out, he is 2-for-20 with no walks.

    billybucks 10 hours 11 min ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: If all three are assigned to Eugene, the Cubs can play Galindo, Paredes, and Paniagua at the same time by moving Paredes between SS-3B-DH, Galindo between 3B-1B-DH, and Paniagua between 1B-LF-DH. 

    The Cubs like to have their players (including their minor leaguers) learn to play more than one position even if they eventually are projected to settle at one spot, and I suspect that will be reflected at Eugene, with just about everybody who will be assigned there able to play at least two positions. 

    Arizona Phil 10 hours 32 min ago view
  • Thanks - at least the scorer was consistent

    Eric S 10 hours 46 min ago view
  • I don't think the error call was completely out of the blue but the ball took a very bad hop and would have taken a very good play to get it. Same with one of the Stella throws where I think it could have easily been ruled a hit. Neither were cut and dry calls though imo.

    johann 11 hours 15 min ago view
  • chased a high fastball...

    I think his BABIP during his run has been around .950

    Rob G. 11 hours 31 min ago view
  • Great stuff CubbyBlue!!! I think it inspired today's six spot as well.

    Eric S 11 hours 34 min ago view
  • That's all fine and good, but I think it's short-changing the Arrieta-like affect of his beard

    Eric S 11 hours 38 min ago view
  • Was the error scored on Zobrist's third ab ruled correctly? Ron was saying that it was a pretty tough chance for the fielder

    Eric S 11 hours 47 min ago view
  • Did anybody see that Zobrist strikeout?

    That was extremely disappointing.

    Old and Blue 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • Strangest win of the year, and one of the sweetest. Twice I thought it was easily in the bag, then after the first 2 hitters in the 9th I thought all was lost. Big game for Grimm, Strop & Rondon. But, man, those Cards can hit for power.

    billybucks 13 hours 59 min ago view
  • Very satisfying, gut-check win today. The beers on the trip back to Chicago are going to taste fantastic.

    Eric S 14 hours 15 min ago view