Tony Campana is fast.

 

Honestly?
There was NO WAY the Cubs could beat the Brewers 2 nights in a row.
None.
We're allowed one shiny W maybe once a week - I'm totally used to it.
So when it went extra with Jeff Sam coming in, I turned it off.
(Doesn't help that I have the Summer Lung Fungus that's going around, but there you go.)

Turned on computer this morning and well, lookie there.
I guess Campana turned a single into a double, Fukudome moved him to third, and then Starlin Castro knocked him in with his 3rd hit of the night.

I wish I could take Campana more seriously, like one more hit every couple games, maybe a walk now and then (he's only got one in 22 at bats...)
But he definitely scares the CRAP out of people, and that's just more fun to watch.

You notice he doesn't really run through the bag at first?
He does that stretch thing and brakes immediately.
I wish he'd just fly on through and see if he's not ohhhh, maybe .004/second faster. 

Anyway, Cubs 5 Brewers 4.
Freaky.

And a tip of the hat to Brewer manager Ron Roenicke for keeping "I just gave up two doubles in a row" reliever Marco Estrada in there and throwing to Aramis.  
Boom, as they say. 

Comments

It's not official until Hendry hugs him-

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

Strange article considering most potential FA's will just tell you what teams they have no interest in going to and giving themselves the least amount of leverage in contract negotiations.

The team is so bad and farm system so thin that I kind of think the Cubs should just take a pass on both Pujols and Fielder this off season and try to get some bad money off the books before buying top-dollar free agents.

On the other hand, I'm sort of Cub-depressed right now, so I might not be thinking clearly.

"pass on both Pujols and Fielder this off season and try to get some bad money off the books before buying top-dollar free agents."

Agree, I just don't see Fielder aging well with that body.

Knees are going to be mush.

Is anyone else, like me, moderately interested in 1B Rebel Ridling or Justin Bour?

I'm more interested in Bour. Seems like 2012 is a good year to use Colvin, Soto, or even Ridling, LaHair or Flaherty at 1B and see what they've got. I don't see this team competing next year unless they get really lucky and a bunch of prospects and young players have breakouts.

I find Ridling as interesting as Julio Zuleta.

Bour is 2-3 years away of being any kind of impact. If he continues doing what he's been doing, he could see the majors by next year I guess, but feels like a guy that would take a bit to adjust. Also feels like a guy that the cubs wouldn't give much of a leash unfortunately.

So....RE-Ridling-Zuleta......What makes you think of Zuleta Rob? He's a little old for AA....but it's not like it's his third season there or anything. He's steadily, if not spectacularly moved up a level each year.
Meh...I'm just saying, it's nice to have players doing something positive in the minors who aren't 29-33 year old guys hanging on at Iowa.
Agreed on Bour, if he got up next season....he'd get the Kieschnick treatment:here's 100 atbats....what? you're not hitting .350/.450/.550??? Demoted.....

I'd like to see Matt Spencer get an opportunity before Rebel. Same age, same level. Just been a more consistent production source for a longer period.

random reference to a pudgy first basemen that no one thinks too highly of except Ridling's parents and the Cub minor league freaks that attach themselves to anyone that doesn't completely suck.

I wish him the best of course, but when your ceiling is the bench, don't get too excited. He's certainly not gonna be anything more than a cheap, below average first basemen in the majors if everything goes right for him.

And the fact that he hits from the right side is going to seriously deter his chances of getting much of a shot to be a regular first basemen anywhere. The right handed hitting first basemen usually have much higher ceilings that are afforded the chance to prove themselves.

Sheesh Rob.....way to piss on my mild optimism...

=P

well I do like Bour, well at least the 277 PA's this year by him.

K, BB rates are solid, showing serious power, just has to keep it going up the ladder.

Submitted by Rob G. on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:35am.
well I do like Bour, well at least the 277 PA's this year by him.

K, BB rates are solid, showing serious power, just has to keep it going up the ladder

==============================

ROB G: Justin Bour finally has developed a power stroke and that's good (he learned it at AZ Instructs last fall), but he still REALLY struggles versus LHP. Right now he would project as a LH platoon guy who can only play 1B (and he's just barely passable there).

Matt Spencer also struggles to hit LHP (although not as much as Bour does), but at least he can play 1B and all three OF positions (albeit CF only in a pinch). I could see Spencer being a LH platoon 1B-OF-PH in the big leagues eventually.

Rebel Ridling is an above-average defensive 1B and is probably a better hitter than either Bour or Spencer, but a RH hitting 1B needs to hit home runs, and I'm not sure that Ridling will ever hit quite enough of them to make it as an MLB 1B. Also, his doubles are way down this season, and two-baggers were always his specialty. He's got to rack up a lot of XBH to advance.

Ridling's doubles are down because his at-bats are down. Last year and the year before he hit 34 doubles, this year he has 8; but his slugging pct. is higher this year than in previous years. Almost at the halfway mark, he only has 202 at-bats. With 9 home runs, he should top his previous high of 16.

Everyone scrambles for at-bats Tennessee. Ridling has played first in 39 games, but Vitters is listed there in 21 games and Lalli 19. Ridling has played left in parts of 23 games. It's musical positions, because of the talent mix and maybe also the manager's philosophy.

Ridling's doubles are down because his at-bats are down.

That would be interesting, if it were true. Too bad it is complete bullshit.

Ridling has averaged one double for every 25.25 at-bats this year.

Last year (2010) he averaged one double for every 13.8 at-bats.
For his minor league career he has averaged one double for every 15.9 at-bats.

I should have said, his doubles are down because his at-bats are down and his home runs are up.

(Ridling has a home run every 22 at bats, compared to every 35 at bats in the previous two seasons.)

Actually I did say that, but apparently not clearly enough to meet your strict--not to say pissy--criteria.

Pretty sure that this is exactly what you said:

Ridling's doubles are down because his at-bats are down.

Which, again, is complete bullshit.

well a LH hitter struggling against lefties isn't that big a deal, plenty of a decent to very good careers have been made.

Granderson, C. Pena, J. Jones come to mind...

but anyway, Bour still has quite a bit to prove.

-edit- Bour's splits this year if anyone was interested

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats...

.481 OPS vs. lefties this year in 61 AB's
1.121 OPS vs. righties this year in 186 AB's

Well, we're paying a guy $10M to give us .339 OPS right now so it may be a comfort zone for the current administration.

Who is getting $10 mill for a .339 OPS?

I can't figure it out... maybe he's exaggerating to make a point? I was looking around at the stats to try to figure it out and noticed Carlos Zambrano's batting line:

313/353/469

Neat.

Pena's OPS is .339 against lefties.

Well it's a good thing he gets to hit against righties too then?

Oh, sure, I'm fairly happy with Pena, he's doing what the Cubs hoped he would do. I just thought there was some mystery about where that .339 number came from.

Well I was confused...thanks for the clarity! Much apprciativo...or something..

Optimism as in I'm glad the Cubs have a draft pick, that is moving steadily through the system, and is playing well in his first attempt in AA..after such luminaries at 1B there as Matt Craig, Jake Fox, Russ Canzler, Blake Lalli, Doug Deeds, Brian Dopirak..etc

Canzler has a .909 OPS at Durham this year, the same AAA team as Guyer and Chirinos. But he can't play third in the majors (.866 career FP), so, as Rob says, he's just another righty-hitting 1B wannabee.

Anyway, Canzler's another pre-Wilken pick. Usually the Wilken guys have a little added value somewhere, which I'm hoping is true of Ridling.

Of the names you mention, I still like Lalli. Solid lefty hitter, doubles power, tends to hit cleanup, can also play third and catch. Lalli is Wilken-era but was undrafted!

People are forgetting that Vitters plays one game at first for every two at third, so he is also in the mix for first base next year. Also, I wouldn't rule out Pena.

It makes me wonder what exactly Blake Lalli is so bad at, as to not get a shot as a backup at least.

the only interesting thing about Lalli is he takes walks and doesn't strike out a lot.

Seems like a decent bet to keep up an okay average and OBP. He's been in AA now for 3 years though and no home run power. I forget what AZ phil says about his receiving skills, but there's a long line of backup catchers in the organization.

Blake Lalli is kind of a "catch-and-throw" type catcher, but he's a bit stiff behind the plate. He's more of a third-catcher type whose best position is 1B. He can also play 3B.

He's certainly an accomplished AA hitter, though. (Of course he's been there since 2008). He's never had the chance to play at AAA because the Cubs utilize him as a player-coach-mentor at Tennessee, and he doesn't seem to mind. He'll probably be a minor league coach or manager eventually (and since he's 28, eventually could be next year).

Vitters will have to hit .245 to get on base 25% of the time.

I'd rather bring back Neifi! to play 1st.

We were kind of hoping that Vitters' .245 days ended around May 1. Since May 9th (where they start showing game logs for him at firstinning.com) he is hitting .350 (36/103).

most of the damage has been in June (or maybe late May/June)

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats...

.736 OPS in April
.693 in May
1.105 in June

nice numbers with RISP and Runners on as well.

and won't be 22 until end of August, 2nd youngest position player on the team behind Junior Lake, and P Nicholas Struck is younger as well.

I'd have to lump myself in as a card-carrying member of the Cub minor league freeks club. Tuesday bowling league and monthly bunko also perks of membership. Now where did I put my Hee-seop Choi jersey?

I saw Rebel play in 2009. I don't really have much to say about him, and I'm no expert, but I can say when he hit the ball, the ball seriously jumped off the bat. He's beefy.

I would like to know A. does Rebel know the strikezone? Can he make an opposing pitcher pitch to him? B. does Rebel save throwing errors?

If the answer is yes to those two questions, consider me interested.

"Campanan can fly"

He has to because he doesn't walk.

Castro does the stretch thing and brakes immediately too. He's gonna hurt himself.

I've been thinking for a while that Castro needs to learn to really run through the bag, not to the bag. He puts on those brakes way too early.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

"But the Ricketts family might not have deep enough pockets for a premier free agent, at least right now. Multiple reports said that Pujols turned down a contract in the range of eight years and $200 million from St. Louis.

A source told the Sun-Times that the debt structure of the 2009 Ricketts deal to buy the Cubs precludes that kind of outlay for two or three years."

So how about some Chicago reporter being curious enough to ask Ricketts to explain what's going to happen two or three years from now that will allow them to spend on free agents?

This season is flying by

Cubs optimistic about second half of 2011
With young talent rising in system, future bright on North Side
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com | 06/15/11 2:41 AM ET

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?c...

"Barney and Castro have a way to go, but they're at least fun to watch. On this 2011 Cubs roster, that's saying something."

anyone who writes for a national news/blog/whatever organization that mentions d.barney as a piece of the cubs future isn't qualified to write about the cubs.

i think the guy is neat, but if it wasnt for the injuries, early b.dewitt suck, and 10000 errors committed early on (and still being committed because 2nd wasn't the problem) we probably wouldn't be seeing much of d.barney.

Submitted by crunch on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 4:57pm.
anyone who writes for a national news/blog/whatever organization that mentions d.barney as a piece of the cubs future isn't qualified to write about the cubs.

i think the guy is neat, but if it wasnt for the injuries, early b.dewitt suck, and 10000 errors committed early on (and still being committed because 2nd wasn't the problem) we probably wouldn't be seeing much of d.barney.

=========================================

CRUNCH: Baseball America had Darwin Barney rated #12 among their Top 10 Cubs prospects this past off-season (that's pre-Garza trade, with Barney moving up to #9 after the trade), and I've had Barney among my Top 15 Cubs Prospects for the last two years (#14 pre-2010 and #15 pre-2011).

The problem is that Barney's value is as a shortstop, not as a second-baseman. And what's frustrating watching the Cubs this season is that Barney is actually a better defensive SS than Castro, and Castro is better defensively at 2B than he is at SS (I saw him play a lot of 2B, SS, and 3B in the AZL in 2008), but the Cubs won't switch them because I guess they figure eventually Castro will end up back at SS (probably with LeMahieu at 2B), and they don't want to mess with Castro's head by moving him to 2B and then later moving him back to SS.

As I've said all along, Barney is no slouch as a shortstop. I firmly believe he will be an everyday SS in the big leagues, but just probably not with the Cubs. I think he will get traded within a year or two.

I've been listening to WGN radio right now and Q-Ball just said that they are going to make D.J. the backup SS behind Castro.

I'm losing all hope.

"What's frustrating watching the Cubs this season is that Barney is actually a better defensive SS than Castro, and Castro is better defensively at 2B than he is at SS."

I agree that Barney is the better SS and that his value in a trade would be higher at SS.

Here's my question: So what?

Castro is the 800-lb. gorilla, as in: "I have an 800-lb. gorilla at home."

--Where does he sleep?

"Wherever he wants."

A player is not happy playing 2B for X-team when he could be playing SS for Y- or Z-team. You could tell Castro to move over to second, but he would have a short career as a Cub.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Thu, 06/16/2011 - 8:55am.
"What's frustrating watching the Cubs this season is that Barney is actually a better defensive SS than Castro, and Castro is better defensively at 2B than he is at SS."

I agree that Barney is the better SS and that his value in a trade would be higher at SS.

Here's my question: So what?

Castro is the 800-lb. gorilla, as in: "I have an 800-lb. gorilla at home."

--Where does he sleep?

"Wherever he wants."

A player is not happy playing 2B for X-team when he could be playing SS for Y- or Z-team. You could tell Castro to move over to second, but he would have a short career as a Cub.

===================================

VA PHIL: So what?

Well, there are very few ways the Cubs can improve their defense (one of the worst in baseball) in-house, but one way would be to play Barney at SS and Castro at 2B.

Castro played 2B, SS, and 3B at EXST, AZL, and AZ Instructs in 2008 and looked best at 2B. That's his best position. 2B.

That's what.

If Darwin Barney was at least a Neifi Perez level offensive force, then I can see the logic of the move.

As it stands I think the play is to hope Castro gets better at short, and the Cubs can find a 2nd base upgrade.

I wouldn't play any of them at SS. I'd find a boring journeyman SS who 1. knows the strike zone and 2. makes the routine plays every time and will occasionally make the tough play.

Then I'd send Castro back to the minors and marvel at his batting numbers until he improves defensively. Maybe he could get a AAA batting title or something.

But I've already done my Castro defense rant several times in the past. I promise this will be the last.

Maybe it's my imagination but he doesn't seem to be making any progress with the "getting better" thingy.

Crunch, I couldn't agree more.....some idiot I was discussing this with called him a poor man's Pedroia.....more like destitute man's Pedroia.....or something

Ricketts just gave Hendry and Quade the dreaded vote of confidence, although in this case it's dreaded because he's too stupid/cheap/etc. to actually fire them.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Ricketts also said people can forget about him hiring a baseball guy to replace Crane Kenney and oversee Hendry.

everyone remembers that Andy McPhail was a baseball guy overseeing Hendry, right?

it's not some surefire plan, unless the baseball guy is Schierholtz (sp?) or Pat Gillick.

Larry Beinfest would be a nice get. Maybe with Logan White as the GM?

I thought you wanted a philosophy change?

White/Tim Wilken not all that dissimilar and I don't think Marlins are all that saber-inclined.

Not that those aren't good names, but I'd rather they pillage the Red Sox organization or something similar.

If they just want an old baseball guy, pay Pat Gillick whatever he wants.

Red Sox organization has already been pillaged. Hoyer is who I would have wanted the Cubs to get.

Beinfest has consistently been a winner in a tougher division with about a quarter of our payroll. I think He'd be an excellent choice to be the Gillick/McFail/Schierholtz type of President.

Logan White as GM

Wilken can stay as Scouting Director.

Then maybe a sabr inclined assistant GM like DePodesta?

why would those two hire a saber inclined assistant?

Beinfest and White are about as old school scouting/tools as they get.

The idea would be to have some differing opinions filling out the FO. Casting a wider net if you will.

the Ricketts comment was that he's not interested in hiring a baseball guy to oversee the baseball guy who oversees another baseball guy.

maybe Paul McCartney can play first bass next year.

He' a lefty!

and he can play all the positions on the team! Another DeRosa-type!

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