Starlin Castro's Independence Day Connection

 

I am so happy for the kid.
The lone Cub All-Star for 2011, Starlin Castro.

Kinda weird that it happens during the 4th of July weekend, though.
Independence Day.
I'm not a conspiracy guy or anything, but there are some weird similarities here.


Indesputable facts, if you will.
For instance, how many American colonies told the British Empire to bugger off when the Declaration of Independence was signed?
That would be thirteen, right? 
Starlin Castro's number?
Uh, thirteen. 
The date?
July 4.
Starlin's first game?
He went 4 for 4 with a 4-bagger in his first at bat. 
What is it that adorns the American Flag?
Stripes and...Star(lins).
Crazy, right?
The colors of said flag and the colors of Starlin's hat?
Red, White, and Cubby Blue.
Did you know that the name of Paul Revere's trusty steed was Castro?
Little known historical fact, my friend.

Coincidence?
You tell me.

Here's what I do know: Starlin Castro is carrying on a not-so-proud Solo-Cub All-Star tradition.
If I counted right, in 11 of the last 15 years the Cubs have been represented by one, lonely guy on the All-Star team.
4 of those years were Solo Sammy.
The rest were Steve Trachsel in '96, Mark Grace in '97, Big Z in '06, D. Lee in '07, Ted Lilly in '09, Marlon Byrd last year and now...Starlin Castro. 

Still, pretty awesome for Starlin, not so awesome for the team.

Well... at least they didn't get swept by the Sox yesterday.

Comments

I might watch the AS game for a change, just to see how Starlin does. He's not perfect, he has his flaws- like a fine piece of leather.

casey coleman has given up 2 runs in .1ip so far.

...i think that lowers his ERA, though.

maddux he is not...

If you must stay in today, don't watch this disgrace of a team .
Instead watch John Adams miniseries on HBO

Instead watch John Adams miniseries on HBO

----

I like when he snorted the huge pile of cocaine on his desk and yelled, while referring to George Washington, "That f%ckin’ guy. He never tells the truth. That motherf$cker."

c.pena shows the dugout (aka, soriano) what happens when you run on a fly ball. triple with 1 out, rather than "settling" for a double.

...and a simple single plates him. 1-2.

take note soriano.

aram going 1st to 3rd on a single to right/center...hustle is "in" today for the cubs.

byrd showing it, too...but well, he always does.

cubs lead...woo. 3-2, top 4.

This has always been my critique of Ozzie Guillen- when you use so many guys out of the bullpen, all it takes is one guy to have a bad day for the game to get away. Today it was Wood. Got out of it with a tie game.

pure cubbery in the 10th...nice loss, guys.

Project No. 2 overall pick rolls on ...

Seems like a better plan than most others pursued by the Cubs over the years.

Our crackerjack ★Cubs★ manager and top notch defense sure make small ball look easy.

Pirates 1 game out of 1st....

It would be really neat to see the Pirates make the playoffs.

It would be really neat to see the Pirates make the playoffs.

----

But if it's like the early 90's, Pirates "fans" wouldn't come out to the park to see the Pirates in the playoffs.

They drew well for their home playoff games in 1990-1991-1992.

From the I-Cubs website...sunday Jay Jax finally pitched a good game.

RH Jay Jackson flirted with a complete game shutout, but settled for a victory in the Cubs' 8-1 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs at Principal Park last night. Jackson allowed one run on eight hits in 8.1 innings in the team's longest outing of the year. Jackson also contributed an RBI single to the offense that was led by homers from Fernando Perez and Bryan LaHair along with three hits from Marwin Gonzalez.

So Mateo likely on the DL tomorrow to make room for Ortiz?

Ortiz has always reminded me of Juan Cruz.

Mateo hurt his pitching elbow. MRI to follow in Chicago.

http://tinyurl.com/636224q

When manager Mike Quade noticed Marcos Mateo shaking his hand after a 3-2 pitch to Jayson Werth on Monday, he wondered what was going on. When he visited the mound one pitch later...

So I ask, why didn't someone go out to the mound if Quade noticed it one pitch earlier?

Couldn't be much worse if Mateo was rounding third base and he saw DeJesus wavin' him home...

Mateo injured his elbow, and it is serious enough to warrant an MRI, most likely in Chicago. Quade did not know the extent of the injury when he met with the media after the Cubs' 5-4 loss to the Nationals, but appeared prepared for a difficult prognosis.

chalk up Mateo's arm as one more notch on the belt of our gunslinging (BB gun, as in birdbrain?) manager.

I think the answer to your first question is that Quade is not a MLB manager and is a functioning caretaker until some change is made at the top.

With an injury DL move, they could recall Carpenter without waiting the 10 days. I imagine they will option Coleman after selecting Ortiz's contract tomorrow.

Submitted by George Altman on Mon, 07/04/2011 - 7:01pm.

With an injury DL move, they could recall Carpenter without waiting the 10 days. I imagine they will option Coleman after selecting Ortiz's contract tomorrow.

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

GEORGE A: I agree with you about the Cubs likely recalling Chris Carpenter if Marcos Mateo is placed on the DL.

Also, since Casey Coleman is starting in Ryan Dempster's slot, the Cubs could option Coleman to Iowa today to create a roster slot for Ramon Ortiz, but have Coleman remain with the Cubs and prepare in the usual manner to start (if necessary) on Saturday if Dempster is not ready to go.

If Dempster is not ready to make the start on Saturday, the Cubs could place Dempster on the DL retro to 6/30 and "recall" Coleman from his Optional Assignment to make the Saturday start (although he actually wouldn't have left), and then Dempster could be reactivated as early as Friday 7/15 (second game after the All-Star Break). And Carlos Zambrano is eligible to be reactivated from the DL on Saturday 7/16.

If Dempster is ready to pitch on Saturday, the Cubs could send Coleman back to Iowa to make his next start there. But I would hope that the Cubs would be smart enough to not have Coleman actually go to Des Moines until they know for sure that Dempster can make the start on Saturday at Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile RHP Nick Struck has been moved up to Iowa from Tennessee to replace Ramon Ortiz in the I-Cubs starting rotation, and will make his AAA debut tonight, although if it wasn't that Trey McNutt was struggling to come back from his blister & rib injuries, I think it would have been McNutt rather than Struck going up to AAA.

Matt Loosen (who was hands-down the #1 starter at Extended Spring Training) gets jumped from Peoria to Tennessee to replace Struck, and RHP Starling Peralta and LHP Frank del Valle (the top two pitchers at AZL Cubs) get jumped up to Peoria.

Also, RHP Pete Levitt (Cubs 2011 32nd round pick out of Mt. Olive College) gets moved up to Peoria from the AZL Cubs, RHP Larry Suarez gets bumped up to Daytona from Peoria, and RHP Marcus Hatley has been promoted to Tennessee from Daytona.

The Cubs will have another opening at AAA if Chris Carpenter gets recalled to replace Mateo, and if Carpenter does get recalled, I would think that veteran AAA RHRP Jeff Stevens will get moved back up to Iowa from Tennessee, with either RHP Oswaldo Martinez, RHP Juan Yasser Serrano, or LHP Casey Harman going up to Tennessee from Daytona.

I would also think that LHP Austin Kirk (who threw a complete game nine inning no-hitter for Peoria yesterday) will (finally) get his Letter of Transit to Daytona, and probably very soon. Kirk had three really bad starts before yesterday's gem, so he really needed to show the Cubs that he was back in the saddle again. (Which he did with an exclamation point!).

One other Cubs minor league roster move of note is that 3B Marquez Smith has been reactivated from the DL at Iowa. Smith injured his hand a couple of weeks ago and went to see a specialist, but apparently it wasn't as bad as was originally feared. With M. Smith coming off the Iowa DL, it could mean the end of the road for Augie Ojeda, especially with Marwin Gonzalez hitting like he has since getting promoted from Tennessee to Iowa (.524 in seven games since getting moved-up to AAA). Supersub Jonathon Mota can also play SS (in addition to every place else on the diamond), so the I-Cubs would be well-covered at SS even if Ojeda gets released.

I would also think that OF Evan Crawford (acquired from SF for Mike Fontenot last year) will be getting a promotion to Tennessee before much longer. He is one of the fastest players in the organization (he is a 440 relay-type long-strider) and is a good base-stealer (20/25 SB at Daytona in 2011), is an outstanding flyhawk (but with a below-average arm), and has developed into a very good hitter (330/395/431 at Daytona) with lots of doubles and triples (albeit without HR power). His major problem going into this season was a lack of plate discipline (too many K, not enough BB), but he has improved in that area. BTW, Crawford and Jae-Hoon Ha were the co-MVPs at Cubs AZ Instructs last fall, and Crawford is a much better prospect than a lot of Cub fans realize. (He played college ball in the Big Ten at Indiana U.).

And the Cubs indeed have optioned Casey Coleman to Iowa to make room on the 25-man roster for Ramon Ortiz, and Chris Carpenter has been recalled from Iowa to replace Marcos Mateo, who was placed on the 15-day DL.

Mateo was starting to look legit.

It's almost like he got used for a really long relief outing, and then got hurt his next time out.

Prior to last Thursday when Marcos Mateo threw 5.0 IP and 57 pitches versus SF in relief of Carlos Zambrano, the most IP Mateo had thrown in a game this season was 3.2 IP (once - 5/24 - 35 pitches - for Iowa) and the most pitches he had thrown in any one game was 40 (once - 6/10 - 2.0 IP - also for Iowa).

Mateo was used as the co-closer (with Scott Maine) at Iowa after being sent down to AAA on May 17th, and was not stretched-out to be used in long relief.

Same thing when Quade allowed Jeff Stevens to throw 89 pitches over 3.1 IP versus LAD on April 22.

You can't just expect a AAA late-inning reliever to suddenly and magically be able to throw multiple innings and a boat-load of pitches without stretching him out first.

Do you think Sandberg knows this?

Yet, it's sorta expected at the NCAA level, perhaps due to the less grinding schedule. Both UVA and uSC's closers threw 90+ pitches in the CWS two Fridays ago, with uSC's closer pitching 2 consecutive days the following Monday and Tuesday.

Marcos Mateo threw 5.0 IP and 57 pitches versus SF in relief of Carlos Zambrano, the most IP Mateo had thrown in a game this season was 3.2 IP (once - 5/24 - 35 pitches - for Iowa)
---
AzPhil: I couldn't agree more on this point (Jeff Stevens included). Quade should be fired for a lot of reasons but ruining young arms is way beyond his stoopid intra game strategy failures. This is exactly how to ruin a pitching career (no matter how marginal it might have been in the case of Stevens and Mateo).

I hope Quade gets a reputation as a pitcher-killer.

Just look at what Dusty did to Aaron Harang's career. Chad Fox was already on the duct tape trail and never blamed Dusty but we all know better.

highschool and college games would horrify you.

Sad........but true.

Sad........but true.

******

That sounds like a song.

"To be honest, I've been real happy … with the way this bullpen has been managed. I don't think we've hurt anybody. I don't think we've asked too much of anybody."

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

Amazing, but when you've got a track record like Quade to fall back on, you know, 37 essentially meaningless games at the end of a meaningless season, you get some leeway.

The fact that it doesn't even cross his mind... good thing he's not stupid.

21 year old Peoria starting LHP Austin Kirk with a no-hitter thru 6IP, score tied 0-0. Kirk continuing a solid campaign, notwithstanding 4-5 WL record.

Daytona Cubbies put a 10 spot (including 1 grand slam, no other HRs) up in the 5th inning against the Tampa Yankees, leading 12-2 in the 7th. Notable: Michael Brenly with 2 doubles tonight - had only 4 extra base hits (all doubles) going into tonights game. Battling with Micah Gibbs as biggest player, least amount of power in the farm system.

Kirk with no-no thru 8IP, 2BB, 10K. And finishes the no-hitter with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, Chiefs win 2-0.

If we ever sign some of our high draftees, Kirk should get moved up to Daytona.

I said it before the season, and I'll say it again... any system which has Austin Kirk ranked outside of it's top 20 must be really, really good.

Or really dumb

MiLB.com has a new feature article on Rebel Ridling up today.

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/artic...

And elsewhere, Chairman Ricketts is pressuring cash-strapped Boise to build him a new $23 -$30 million stadium. He's on his way to tour the 22 year old facility which Oneri Fleita describes as falling apart. Boise shelled out $20,000 for a study but having spent that they say they're out of money to do anything more.

Tom Ricketts and ever sports owner should be flogged. When will this once intelligent country rise up and stop subsidizing billionaires?

Answer: Never.

Tom Ricketts and ever sports owner should be flogged. When will this once intelligent country rise up and stop subsidizing billionaires?

Let me just change one thing:

Tom Ricketts and every corporation should be flogged. When will this once intelligent country rise up and stop subsidizing billionaires?

It only costs a couple hundred dollars to start a corporation.

Agreed. We do the same nonsense with Walmart and other companies.

The Cubs have no ownership stake in the Boise Hawks, nor do most major league teams with their minor league affiliates. The Cubs can shop their short season affiliate if they wish and I'm sure have plenty of interested parties.

It's up to Boise and the corporation that owns the Boise Hawks to decide if it's worth keeping them. But even if they don't care about the Cubs, if they want any team there, they'll need to attract them somehow.

honest question: Where can they go?

Flashback to last August: //Oneri Fleita, Vice President of Player Personnel for the Minor League Department of the Chicago Cubs was in Boise for the signing of the player development renewal contract. "We're excited to renew our contract with the Hawks," said Fleita. "Boise has some of the best, supportive and baseball educated fans. Between the fans, host family program, and Hawks front office staff we couldn't ask for a better city to have these kids come play in."//

plenty of empty parks all over the united states that want baseball. hell, tucson AZ has 2 of them...SD is using one for a temporary home for their AAA team.

i can think of one in the western part of NC...i'm sure there's others littered around the US.

All of the Cubs minor league Player Development Contracts (PDC) expire in September 2012, so that's when the Cubs can change affiliates.

I have heard that the Cubs will likely try to change their Hi-A affiliate from Daytona in the Florida State League to someplace in the California League. The Cubs and Brewers are the only two MLB clubs with Hi-A affiliates in the Florida State League (Cubs in Daytona and Brewers in Brevard County) that do not have Spring Training in Florida, and the Astros are the only MLB club with a Hi-A affiliate in the California League (Lancaster) that does not have Spring Training in Arizona. So the Cubs could just switch places with Houston, exchanging the rain-outs and hurricanes of the Florida State League for the dry desert of the California League (while also trading a pitcher's league--the FSL--for a hitter's league--the CAL).

As for Boise, the Cubs had their Short Season-A (SS-A) affiliate in Eugene (also in the Northwest League) before they moved to Boise ten years ago, and I would think they would just find another home in the NWL if things don't work out in Boise. No big deal.

There is another eight-team league called the Pioneer Baseball League (PBL) that has teams in Montana-Wyoming-Utah-Idaho, but it is rated as a Short Season - Rookie (SS-R) league (like the Arizona League, Gulf Coast League, etc). All of the parent clubs in the PBL are Arizona Spring Training teams, but six of the eight MLB clubs that have teams in the PBL actually use it as their one and only SS-A team (despite the SS-R classification). So the Cubs could switch their SS-A affiliate to someplace in the PBL.

The Rockies are one of only two MLB clubs that use the PBL as an SS-R (the Diamondbacks are the other one), with a PBL affiliate in Casper, WY. The Rockies also have an SS-A affiliate in the NWL (Tri-City), but they haven't established an affiliate in the Arizona League (AZL) yet despite moving their Spring Training and Minor League Operations from Tucson to the Phoenix metro area (Scottsdale - Talking Stick), so perhaps the Cubs could move their SS-A affilate from Boise in the NWL to Casper in the PBL, with the Rockies moving their Casper affiliate to the AZL (the Rockies and the White Sox are the only teams that have Spring Training and their Minor League HQs in Arizona that do not field a team in the AZL). Then the the PBL could be re-designated as an SS-A league.

The Toronto Blue Jays are the only MLB club that has Spring Training and it's minor league HQ in Florida that also has an SS-A affiliate in the Northwest League (Vancouver), so if the Cubs did leave the NWL for the PBL, the Jays could maybe move their SS-A affiliate from the NWL to the New York-Pennsylvania League (NYP), which would be closer to the Jays' Spring Training & Minor League HQ in Florida, keeping the NWL with an even number of teams (albeit six instead of eight).

Actually, the Arizona Diamondbacks have affiliates in both the Pioneer Baseball League AND the Northwest League as well as a Short Season - Rookie (SS-R) team in the AZL, so it's possible that the Cubs could (like the D'backs) establish an affiliate in the PBL IN ADDITION TO the ones in the NWL and AZL to help accomodate all the extra players they now have coming to the U. S. from their two Dominican teams (70 players combined on the two Cubs DSL teams each season since DSL Cubs #2 was established in 2008). That would be consistent with the Ricketts stated desire to spend more money on Scouting and Player Development. (Despite signing only 14 of their 2011 draft picks, the AZL Cubs and Boise rosters are already full, making a third Short Season team in the PBL more than just a luxury).

so it's possible that the Cubs could (like the D'backs) establish an affiliate in the PBL IN ADDITION TO the ones in the NWL and AZL

=========

Are the Cubs allowed to do that? Don't all the teams have the same number of minor league affiliates?

Submitted by Jumbo on Tue, 07/05/2011 - 5:43pm.
so it's possible that the Cubs could (like the D'backs) establish an affiliate in the PBL IN ADDITION TO the ones in the NWL and AZL

=========

Are the Cubs allowed to do that? Don't all the teams have the same number of minor league affiliates?

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

JUMBO: No.

A Cubs affiliate can pretty much go wherever they want I'm guessing.

if you're wondering how Rebel stacks up against Kyle Russell this year

comps:
Rebel Ridling AA .309 .360 .494 .855 12HR 48RBI 74games
Kyle Russell AA .274 .341 .544 .885 16HR 50RBI 79games

If the town council, or whatever they have in Boise had $20K for improvements and spent it all on a study they should be out on their asses as well.

I found an article that explains what's going on...

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/yb/...

Thanks.

It's a very opinionated piece of news. I found these two sentences quite amusing:

The scoreboard does not feature video or the speed of the pitch, basic amenities that add to the ballpark experience. Much of the first-base bleachers are baked by the sun at night, making it an uncomfortable place to sit and forcing the Hawks to charge less for those seats.

Not sure what they're serving the players, but 4 places to piss should be enough for 40 guys.

government efficiency at its best...

This year, the city of Boise commissioned a $20,000 analysis of the market viability of a multipurpose stadium. The 53-page report suggested that a new stadium would increase attendance at Hawks games from the current average of 2,800 to roughly 4,000 and it could host a variety of other sporting and community events.

The Hawks paid for their own study in 2010 and reached similar conclusions about the potential benefits and uses of a sports and entertainment complex in the Treasure Valley.

Quade hitting dustylike levels with his thoughts

http://www.suntimes.com/mobile/6343536-463/cu...

Mateo DLed, Coleman Optioned, Carpenter Recalled, Ortiz Purchased

But just think, when he comes off the DL, it will be like making a mediocre mid-season AAA callup.

Cubs Minor League Strikeout Leaders:

1. Austin Kirk - 82 (PEORIA)
2. Ramon Ortiz - 81 (IOWA)
3. Nick Struck - 73 (DAYT/TENN)
4. Matt Loosen - 68 (EXST/DAYT/PEORIA)
5. Robert Coello - 66 (IOWA/TENN)

I'm hearing Castro will be on the bench today?

I wonder who starts at SS. I would like to see how Barney handles SS.

Johnson RF

Baker 2B

Ramirez 3B

Soto C

Soriano LF

Byrd CF

Pena 1B

Barney SS

Ortiz P

Q-Ball dropped him to seventh but why does this guy .092 .241 .200 .441 ever start against an LHP? Baker is a first baseman and it was just a few months ago that Bleak DeWitt (.375 .400 .458 .858 against lefties) was supposed to have a lock on 2B.

Now watch Pena go 4/4.

I'm formulating a hypothesis that Quade is baseball retarded. It's a developing theory.

single, single, single...bases loaded, 0 out, bottom 1st...welcome to the cubs r.ortiz.

wow.

jeff baker...nice error. not even close...

71st of the season for the cubs.

The Russ Ortiz experience, oddly familiar...

First 3 hitters with singles, bags loaded.

Randy Wells smiles. Dud Davis smiles. Rog Lopez smiles. Jeff Russell smiles. Casey Coleman smiles.

Pat Hughes: Perfect double play ball, "Baker goes to Barney and throws the ball away..."

followed by an error scoring 2 runs...

your 2011 Cubs everyone

Why is it always the first inning that these games are decided. Geez.

When was Quade promoted to a 2 star general? He has two gold stars on the back of his hat tonight.

When was Quade promoted to a 2 star general? He has two gold stars on the back of his hat tonight.
---
"How's it goin' Eisenhower?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Oy4Prsai0

MLB in it's wisdom is having anyone who is apart of the All-Star game wearing gold stars on their uniforms. Castro has em too but he's not playing tonight.

Stripes=awesome

Quade should wear a dunce cap instead.

Quade should wear a dunce cap instead.
---
I envision Quade as wearing the Sorcerer's Apprentice hat...gotta like the part where the enchanted brooms attack him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-7Qar1lFjo

Actually, this is a fine metaphor for the whole 2011 Cubs season. Will the real wizard will show up to fix the apprentice created mess?

Has anyone heard anything about Ty'Relle Harris since his accident?

broken bones in both legs, not gonna be doing much for 6 weeks if not longer(accident happened around June 17th).

Thanks!

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/07/05/75-extra...

Aramis named NL Player of the Week,
Q-Ball named worst manager of the Week for the 10th straight week.

See! I should have read further before posting about Quade.

Jeff Baker out, back spasms...

Ramon Ortiz... our new #2 pitcher.

Just talked to Kevin Slowey. He reiterates that he'll likely be pitching for another club before long. He wants to start, and Twins know it.

hopefully Casey Coleman, Rodrigo Lopez and Randy Wells aren't blocking his way to the Cubs.

~sigh~

m.tejada is playing 2nd tonight for SF. ha.

White Sox sign a guy the Cubs drafted in 2009

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/201...

Keenyn Walker

What a parade of crap pitchers we have to go through because our farm system is out of anyone even remotely good to call up.

We got the blind squirrel finds a nut farm system.

not to question the brilliance of Q-Ball, but with Clippard in, don't you want to p-hit Reed with Fukudome in a 1-run game and a man on second?

Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense
------------------

And you may ask yourself - Well...How did I get here?

"don't you want to p-hit Reed with Fukudome in a 1-run game and a man on second?"

Runner on second, two out. Johnson (who hit a gapper double the previous AB) has 22 RBI in 122 PAs, while Fukudome has a sickly 11 RBI in 291 PAs.

No, I don't want Fukudome out there unless it's the first batter in the inning and I need a walk. If he did walk, I'd pinch run. But in any case, your question implies a level of chess playing (as opposed to managing of professionals) that I don't think exists.

your question implies a level of chess playing (as opposed to managing of professionals) that I don't think exists.

Huh? Managers play match ups and situations, exactly as Rob is suggesting, all the time.

Actually, they don't. Speak for yourself. This is a game you like to play.

A player who starts a game, as Reed Johnson did in this case, gets a "presumption of competence," or whatever you want to call it, whenever his turn at bat comes up, even late in a game. There is an obvious exception to this rule in the case of lefty-lefty matchups: the defense wants to arrange this matchup, the offense wants to avoid it. But it is generally assumed that a righty hitter (yes, even Jeff Baker) can hit a righty pitcher--as was true in the instance in front of us.

I could give numerous examples of this (some of them of course involving Koyie Hill), but then you and others would say, Quade is stupid.

Speak for yourself.

Why would I do that? I'm not a manager, and am not referring to myself.

some of them of course involving Koyie Hill)

The C position is different, as many (most?) managers prefer to not ph for your catcher, as you only have one backup there.

then you and others would say, Quade is stupid.

Please do tell when I have said Quade is stupid. Just once. Find it for me.

I recall you saying that a lot of GMs are stupid or incompetent. And that business on this thread about Ricketts deserving to be flogged was a little over the top, although I suppose that had to do with alleged greed rather than stupidity. But if you have refrained from joining the "Quade is stupid" chorus on TCR then that's good, and I appreciate it.

By the way, a good example of managing not being chess was that Castro was in the on-deck circle, waiting for the pitcher's turn to bat, when the game ended last night.

I recall you saying that a lot of GMs are stupid or incompetent.

Not sure those were my exact words, but even so, I am pretty sure that Mike Quade is not a GM, is he?

And that business on this thread about Ricketts deserving to be flogged

Which has absolutely nothing to do with this specific conversation.

But if you have refrained from joining the "Quade is stupid" chorus on TCR then that's good, and I appreciate it

I have been very unimpressed with Quade, but I sure haven't said that he is stupid. I just think that he makes a lot of stupid decisions.

By the way, a good example of managing not being chess was that Castro was in the on-deck circle, waiting for the pitcher's turn to bat, when the game ended last night.

What... Castro was going to PH for Pena?

Barney hit eighth last night, same as tonight. Ramirez has moved up to #3 for the time being.

It only took Quade two weeks to recognize ARam is hot.

And, FWIW (which isn't much, considering the meaningless sample size), here are the two players' numbers with RISP:

Kosuke: 53 PAs, .333/.547/.500 OPS: 1.047 9 RBI
Johnson: 30 PAs, .400/.467/.800 OPS: 1.267 17 RBI

More relevant career numbers:
Kosuke: 467 PAs, .275/.406/.469 OPS: .875 131 RBI
Johnson: 794 PAs, .293/.355/.430 OPS: .785 280 RBI

In other words, over their careers, Johnson has been more likely to get a hit with RISP, but Kosuke has been more likely to get on base and hit for more power with RISP.

Fukudome has been pretty bad on the road this season. And at night.

Fukudome has been pretty bad on the road this season. And at night.

Well... the road/night games have a significant amount of overlap, and we also have a sample size issue. Fukudome, for his career, has a relatively small dropoff (approx. 50-70 OPS points) between day and night and home/away.

Don't get me wrong - I don't think that Kosuke is a great option unless it is May. But neither is Reed Johnson, and I would rather have a LH hitter up there facing a rhp than a RH hitter.

"Kosuke has been more likely to get on base"

You phrased that carefully: "get on base." The tying run was on second with two out. They needed a hit. A walk would put two men on but would leave the fate of the inning to DeWitt.

Fukudome is 12 for 36 this season with RISP, but his PAs number 55, and include 17 walks. So he was more likely to walk than to get a hit. No surprise there.

....I'd take a walk over an out.
Tomato, tomato.....

jeebus...

Reed Johnson is the short side platoon outfielder with a career 264/322/384 line versus righties.

The Cubs need to remember that.

Fukudome is 275/406/469 in his career with RISP (467 PA) to Reed's 293/355/430 (794 PA) and the Cubs were down 1. Throw in the rightly/lefty advantage and Fukudome has a much better shot of keeping the inning going as the Cubs needed to at least tie the game and hopefully take the lead and the same, if not better odds of getting a hit there.

It wasn't Dusty terrritory stupidity, I just get annoyed by Cubs managers willingness to overlook Reed's shortcomings cause he dives for balls in the field.

Q-Ball I'm sure was thinking might as well save Fukudome for later in case he's needed, it's just the 7th, but I always find that line of thinking foolish. Take the opportunities when they come, you might not get another chance and the Cubs didn't last night.

But considering how well Q-Ball has done this year, I should just shut up I guess.

If you are looking at only their numbers with RISP and only this year, then Reed Johnson is going to come out on top every time. Of course, he only has 30 PA this year with runners in scoring position, so you're putting a lot of stock in 12 hits and 2 BBs. Johnson's had a great 126 plate appearances with the Cubs this year, largely due to a BABIP that is .064 higher than his career average despite the fact that just about all of his other numbers are in line with what you would typically expect from Reed Johnson.

big's point about the career numbers is valid. The difference between their averages is is .018 in favor of Johnson, but the difference between their OBPs is .051 in favor of Fukudome and the difference between their slugging is .039 in favor of Fukudome. If you look at it that way, you're trading a slightly higher chance that Johnson would get a hit for a more increased chance that he would make an out.

But, more importantly, since we're talking about these two batters facing Clippard, a RHP, why are we looking at RISP numbers instead of vs. righty splits? You'll find that for their careers, their AVG vs. Righties are identical, .264, but Fukudome's OBP and SLG are both higher. If you look at 2011, Johnson has had great numbers in his 77 PAs whereas Fukudome has been pretty much in line with his own averages in his 258 PAs.

Just shut up. The point is that Q-Ball and VA Phil know baseball and you don't. I don't know what's so hard to understand. Does he have a big league manager job? Then he must know more about everything in baseball than anyone who doesn't.

..except to not hit Castro in the 3rd spot?

/ducks

OH, I am alright with batting Castro third, I just think they need to tell him to stop trying to hit HR's when he does it.

For his long term development, I'd probably bat him first, just to get him more PA's and hopefully improve his strike-zone judgement, but the Cubs aren't going anywhere this year no matter where he bats.

Agreed.....this team is dead in the water.

I think the scientific term for them is teamus deadassi, according to Prof. Robert Griswald Brenly.

You phrased that carefully: "get on base."

I phrased it correctly. Not carefully.

I should have also said that Fukudome is less likely to make an out, which is even more important.

Speaking of leadoff hitters, Brett Jackson had two homers (plus two more walks) tonight in a 2-1 Smokies win.

We got the blind squirrel finds a nut farm system.
---
Too bad Ray Kroc wasn't a Cub owner, then we would really have had a McNutt farm system.

Happy 10-year-anniversary month, TCR. You've been a steady staple in my dailyish reading rotation since the best-on-paper 2003-04 offseason. I wish we could celebrate under more fortuitous circumstances.

Thanks to Rob G., AZ Phil, Mike W., and the rest for keeping it going based on the love (?) for a team that frankly doesn't really deserve it anymore.

Watching this team has become like a slow-motion ballbust, but it's still great to enjoy the banter in the comments; the differing but informed and informedish opinions; the funny shit everyone has to say; my new favorite fantasy baseball league with other guys from this place; and of course the unbeatable articles on Spring Training, the Draft, Des Moines, AFL, etc.

If I only had the opportunity to think about and discuss this team with SportsCenter-watching analysis-punters, I'd probably have lost a lot more interest a while back amid my busy life. For me at least, this blog is, without any doubt, the single best marketing tool that the sport and franchise have to me. It enhances my experience in being a baseball fan and a Cubs fan to a much greater degree because it's stimulating in a way that Muskat, Sullivan, etc., can't or won't be.

Sorry if this was weird. I just wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for TCR. Thanks again for everything, and here's to another 10 years, a better product, and hopefully getting around to snapping that pesky 8-year, 8-game playoff losing streak.

Preach it, brutha. Haven't been commenting much lately, but still reading all the analysis, insight, and, of course, the comments.

Seasons like this almost make me wistful for the likes of Silent Towel, just to stir the pot a bit.

FREE JOHN HILL!

Old school! How about Transmission just comes back?

Then, Manny can bitch about Hendry and Silent Towel can piss off Dave (et al) by equating injury with vaginal-possession.

I'll just continue being awesome.

I can live without Silent Towel. But we miss Chad!

Yeah, I hate to throw a guy under a bus like that, but silent towel was kind of tedious.

However- I do wonder what happened to Chad and Mannytrillo from time to time. I would figure Manny would be back with Hendry finally earning legitimate and somewhat consistent scourge from Cub fandom lately. It at least warrants an "I told you so" post. :(

Manny will come back the day Hendry is fired. Book it.

At the pace we're going, that's two days after Ragnarok.

Thank you for making me wiki Ragnarok. That will be useful in some future episode of Jeopardy.

You know Steve, Ragnarok pronounced backwards in Korangar.

I heard Marcos Mateo went for his pap smear! Seriously, neither he nor any other Cub has any heart, desire, or hustle, which of course means they are female. So let's trade them all for bags of infield drying agent (so done with the rakes)! You all are too stupid to see that that's what's needed, but luckily I am awesome. You can thank me later, you benighted, effeminate morons.

Contemptuously,
Silent Towel 2: Electric Boogaloo

End O' Story!!!

This. Somehow reading witty and intelligent commentary on an unerringly crap baseball team has made me a better baseball fan than I had ever previously hoped to be. I blame Barrett.

fart

glad to play a part...

Do you need any help digging out?

has the dust settled?

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-pass...

While there may be perfectly legitimate reasons Pujols returned so quickly – the break wasn’t bad to begin with, or he heals faster than most, or his pain tolerance far exceeds that of normal humans – he wants us to believe this is about a higher power. Nothing illegal. Nothing undetectable. Nothing nefarious. Good genes, hard work and faith.

In other words, "are you naive enough to believe the bullshit we're selling"?

The writer forgot "Or he had to prove that he was healthy or it may cost him $60 million in guaranteed salary".

He's played a season and a half with plantar fasciitis and a torn UCL, I won't put anything by him. Even if he took HGH, if it was proscribed by a doctor he should be able to take it.

He's also been high on acorn caps. :)

Jim Callis Chat over at Baseball America:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/chat/?1309968835

Norman (San Jose): at midseason, have any players moved up significantly in your top 100 prospects?

Jim Callis: .... I also was trying to be conservative on Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur, and I've got him No. 44 on my personal Top 50 right now...

Navin (Pasadena, CA): With Brett Jackson scuffling at AA, would you rate Szczur or Baez (when he signs) as the Cubs top prospect? Thank you!

Jim Callis: Jackson was off to a very good start before he got hurt. I'd still give him the nod over Szczur, but it's close. I'd go Jackson, Szczur, Baez for now.

Nils (Stamford): Hi Jim, Austin Kirk's no hitter this week seemed to put his already good season on the radar. Is he this good or are we looking at more a case of smoke and mirrors?

Jim Callis: Nice accomplishment, but I still see him more as a reliever in the majors. He's 21, which isn't young for low A, he's not very projectable at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, and his stuff is fringy to average. He's lefthanded and throws strikes, which helps.

Tom (Chicago): The Cubs have yet to sign any of their top 15 draft picks. What are your thoughts? Are they signing them to overslot bonuses which is holding up the announcements?

Jim Callis: I don't think it means anything--they'll sign their share of their top picks. Rumors are that Zeke DeVoss (third round) is on the verge of signing. None of the early first-rounder has signed yet, so don't worry about Javier Baez, and second-rounder Dan Vogelbach was seeking $1.65 million. Fourth-rounder Tony Zych fell further than expected, so he'll probably be over-slot too.

On Kirk when drafted: "Has overpowering fastball (at least on high school terms) that was clocked at 95 MPH in state semi-finals, as well as a sharp breaking ball and solid change-up."

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 12:34pm.
On Kirk when drafted: "Has overpowering fastball (at least on high school terms) that was clocked at 95 MPH in state semi-finals, as well as a sharp breaking ball and solid change-up."

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

REAL NEAL: From what I have seen of Austin Kirk over the last three seasons (and I've seen him throw a lot), I would describe him as a curve ball pitcher who uses his fastball to set-up his breaking ball. His curve is definitely a plus-pitch. His fastball is OK, but it's just not a go-to pitch. He uses his change-up against RH hitters, but he is inconsistent with it.

Hopefully he can master his change-up and remain a starting pitcher, because he is a horse and has the stamina to throw deep into games. He also is a good hitter (although he won't have a chance to show it until he reaches AA), which is a plus for an N. L. starting pitcher.

BTW, Kirk is the 5th-youngest player on the Peoria roster, and if he were to get promoted to Daytona he would be the 5th youngest player with the D-Cubs, too, so don't believe it if you read someplace that he is "not young" for his league. If he had gone to college (he signed an NLI with the U. of Oklahoma) instead of signing with the Cubs out of HS, he would have been eligble for the Rule 4 Draft again for the first time since HS last month, and if he signed he would be at Boise right now.

Thanks. I wonder if his fastball is still there, or if he's permanently lost a bit.

My dad, who's been constantly frustrated with pitcher's inability to hit in the majors, and I were discussing why pitchers don't better hit this weekend. If it's merely a issue of practice, why don't they practice more?

If a team hired a special batting instructor and pitcher, and opened up their park early to get their pitchers more work, what would that cost, maybe $1 million per year. If you could get your pitchers to hit .040 higher - and compare that cost to how much it would cost to sign a .300 hitter versus a .260 hitter, it seems like a pretty good deal.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 1:10pm.
Thanks. I wonder if his fastball is still there, or if he's permanently lost a bit.

My dad, who's been constantly frustrated with pitcher's inability to hit in the majors, and I were discussing why pitchers don't better hit this weekend. If it's merely a issue of practice, why don't they practice more?

If a team hired a special batting instructor and pitcher, and opened up their park early to get their pitchers more work, what would that cost, maybe $1 million per year. If you could get your pitchers to hit .040 higher - and compare that cost to how much it would cost to sign a .300 hitter versus a .260 hitter, it seems like a pretty good deal.

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

REAL NEAL: An N. L. starting pitcher who can hit gives his team another legitimate bat in the lineup, and that's why I always give a National League starting pitcher added value if he can hit. And that's one of the reasons I have rated Jay Jackson as high as I have the last couple of years. J. Jackson may be the best-hitting pitcher in the minor leagues. And that's why J. Jackson loses much of his value if he is moved to the bullpen.

The pitchers at Fitch Park (EXST Cubs, AZL Cubs, etc) take BP about once a week even though they don't hit in games, and there's always a couple of them who can really hit. Most can't, though. And I don't see the ones who can't hit ever showing much improvement.

One element of batting a pitcher should be able to master (with practice) is bunting, and yet a lot of pitchers can't lay down a bunt even after spending several seasons in the minor leagues. There is no excuse for that.

The Cubs do have a roving minor league infield & bunting instructor, but it doesn't seem to matter.

Somebody sent me an e-mail asking me to post the list of Cubs minor leaguers who have received Drug Suspensions over the years.

This is the complete list.

CUBS MINOR LEAGUE DRUG SUSPENSIONS SINCE 2005:

NOTE: All are PED-related 50-game suspensions unless otherwise noted

E. Castillo, A. Reyes, and G. Robles are presently serving their suspensions and are on the Restricted List.

2011:
Erick Castillo, C
Amalis Reyes, P

2010:
Gregorio Robles, OF (2nd time - 100 G)

2009:
Wilson Contreras, 3B
Eric Martinez, P
Gregorio Robles, OF
Ramon Reyes, P

2008:
Carlos Galvez, P
Robert Hernandez, P
Jesse Lebron, P
Alexander Mejias, 1B
Francoris Pineda, P
Jhon Rodriguez, P
Jose Tineo, P

2007:
Scott Taylor, P (Drug of Abuse)

2006:
NONE

2005:
NOTE: All 2005 suspensions were for 15 games
Oscar Bernard, P (ex-C)
David Cash, P
Robinson Chirinos, 2B
Matt Craig, 3B
Jesse Medrano, P
Kevin Reinking, C
Carlos Vasquez, P

Chirinos failed a PED test? I'm glad he's gone. I've said for years that sports leagues should use the Spanish Inquisition for inspiration on punishment for PED cheaters. :)

or they can keep getting hired by teams as a player...maybe become a hitting coach one day.

i hope they never throw a single asterisk beside anyone's name. MLB did nothing for far too long then acted like it was a huge deal once they did.

I have an opinion on the subject and I feel strongly about it.

no doubt. it's one of those subjects i can't even politely contain myself.

Add Enyelberth Pena to 2011 suspensions.

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/artic...

Hak-Ju Lee or Zeke DeVoss?

he finally hit another homer 2 games ago...neat.

not to make light of having a guy like that around...even without the power he's a heck of a talent to have in your system.

shame he's getting CS so much. he's looking like dee gordon-lite.

Wednesday's lineup is in:

Johnson RF

Castro SS

Ramirez 3B

Soto C

Pena 1B

Byrd CF

Soriano LF

Barney 2B

Wells P

vs. Gorzelanny

I think the Cubs would be in first place if they kept him.

This is probably one of the best lineups that Quade has put together. Not so sure about Reed Johnson leading off, but the rest actually makes sense.

"Top choice Javier Baez is also expected to sign fairly soon while 2nd round choice Daniel Vogelbach may take a while. He is weighing a commitment that he made to play baseball at the University of Florida and it will take a very substantial offer to convince him to pass up college."

http://www.csnchicago.com/07/06/11/Kaplan-Cub...

Dave Kaplan article, so I don't know how much weight to give it. The article covers the three big international signings and this was at the bottom.

Still waiting for Ricketts to put his dad's money where his mouth is. Other clubs have been much more active with their wallets. The Chicago media really needs to put the kidz' feet to the fire about spending money on signing top minor league prospects here and abroad. But they don't seem up to the challenge.

wuh?

I think that article was written by the Cubs P.R. department and handed to Kaplan.

Hopefully it's all true...

The Cubs are starting to receive rave reviews from other organizations because of their commitment to spending on amateur signings which is far more more than had been committed under the previous ownership group. In fact, one baseball source says that the Cubs could end up spending more than double what the organization has ever laid out in the amateur ranks.

Other baseball execs are also paying attention to the Cubs willingness to upgrade their farm system both in players and in facilities with one current executive stunned that he saw Tom Ricketts on multiple trips to the Dominican Republic. Another executive put it this way: "The Ricketts family is sure putting their money where their mouth is. They said that they want to build a tremendous farm system and this is the right way to go about doing it. There are a lot of very envious organizations that wish they had the level of commitment that the Cubs do," a former GM who is now a major league scout told me.

Yeah... everyone wants to be the Cubs. :) I think you are correct in your speculation of the source of this story.

Interesting that Vogelbach might not sign....I was surprised by the pick to begin with (he is very much DH material), so I would assume we had gotten a good idea on what would be needed to sign him prior to the draft.

That still may be true, and because of the high demands he likely won't sign til mid-August. But if we do not sign him, that would be quite a poor job by our scouting department.

Submitted by springs on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 7:16pm.

Interesting that Vogelbach might not sign....I was surprised by the pick to begin with (he is very much DH material), so I would assume we had gotten a good idea on what would be needed to sign him prior to the draft.

That still may be true, and because of the high demands he likely won't sign til mid-August. But if we do not sign him, that would be quite a poor job by our scouting department.

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

SPRINGS: The Cubs will get a 2nd round compensation pick in the 2012 Draft (one slot lower than where they picked in the 2nd round in 2011) if Vogelbach does not sign, and the Cubs will get a compensation pick in the 1st round of the 2012 draft (one slot lower than where they selected in the 2011 draft) if #1 pick Javier Baez does not sign. And if #3 pick DeVoss does not sign, the Cubs get a compensation pick between the 3rd & 4th rounds (although DeVoss apparently has signed or will be signing soon).

It's failing to sign a #4, #5, #6, etc, that really hurts, because a club doesn't get a mulligan for those picks if they don't sign, and you can usually find some decent prospects (albeit maybe with a wart or two) in the top 20 rounds.

I think I read that Vogelbach's family sent a letter to all 30 teams with a dollar amount required to sign him.

Ricketts needs to sign all his top picks since Wilken said he picked them based on Ricketts willingness to pay for them.

I reread that a couple of times and I think it makes sense.

At any rate, if you have an owner who says he's committed to building the organization thru the draft instead of free agency and Wilken says, "Oh Boy, now I can draft guys other teams could never sign," and then those guys don't get signed...

where are we?

Ricketts needs to sign all his top picks since Wilken said he picked them based on Ricketts willingness to pay for them.

Huh? Just because Ricketts wants to sign all of them doesn't mean that they will all sign.

There are many more factors than Ricketts' willingness to open up the checkbook.

what do you mean HUH?

According to Wilken, he drafted differently this year than before based on assurances from Ricketts that he would be there with the money to sign their top picks.

It makes no sense to draft unsignables when you have also said that you are no longer planning to build the team with free agents---and Ricketts is on the record saying just that. So if they fail to sign these players, it means THE PLAN just hit the toilet.

Exactly...following Ricketts plan doesn't mean drafting players who said they will not sign for any reason, but rather paying higher than slot for players. Of course, because of MLB, this likely would mean a slew of players signing around August 15th.

Submitted by springs on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:55pm.
Exactly...following Ricketts plan doesn't mean drafting players who said they will not sign for any reason, but rather paying higher than slot for players. Of course, because of MLB, this likely would mean a slew of players signing around August 15th.

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

SPRINGS: Exactly.

Last year the Cubs signed four draft picks on the last day (Ben Wells, Kevin Rhoderick, Casey Harman, and Brian Smith), and I wouldn't be surprised if they end up signing twice as many as that on or just before the 8/15 deadline this year.

A number of the Cubs draft picks will likely require an over-slot bonus to sign, and the Commissioner has supposedly asked clubs to not sign draft picks to over-slot bonuses until most of the players who are willing to sign for essentially "slot money" have signed.

In the case of Taiwan Easterling, although he got a reported $200K bonus, it can be spread over five seasons because he is a two-sport guy. So it's really a $40K bonus as far as this year is concerned.

While it's good to get a player's pro career going as soon as possible, having a player make his pro debut at AZ Instructs is actually not a bad thing. He can get intense instruction from the minor league instructors for about a month without developing any additional bad habits at Boise before he gets there.

"Taiwan Easterling"

sounds like a sex act

According to Wilken, he drafted differently this year than before based on assurances from Ricketts that he would be there with the money to sign their top picks.

I am well aware of that. But that still doesn't mean that every player will sign.

He is weighing a commitment ...how much weight to give it... big...signings and this was at the bottom.

Hey! We only gave up 2 runs in the first inning tonight.

Rangers designated Dave Bush. His numbers aren't that awful compared to most of the guys on the Cubs roster. He's making $1 million this season. The Cubs should try and pick him up. His K/BB ratio isn't bad, and his BABIP suggests he might have been a tad unlucky. (Career BABIP is .291, it's .333 this year). But to be honest, if he just pitched like he has for Texas this year it would be an improvement over some of the stiffs we've been running out there.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/b...

He was drafted by Toronto in 2002, does that mean he has ties to Tim Wilken? If Bush was once seen eating pie in New Orleans I would say there would be an excellent chance we go after him.

David Bush seemed to always have a good K/BB ratio, but could never get anyone out.

so it has been and so it will always be...

same shit as Lopez, Ortiz and anyone else the Cubs are gonna throw out there the rest of the way imo.

Well it would at least create some interesting possible promotions. Baked Beans Night. Alternative Gas Night. Talking Dog Night.

I say the next time a Cubs starter gets knocked out in the first 2 innings, Quade should have to pitch the rest of the game.

Isn't Dave Bush Doug Davis' twin?

Alright, way to pimp that trade value, A-Ram.

So much fail

Sounds familiar. 18 games under and a long half-season to come.

Speaking of underproduction, Hayden Simpson started at AZ tonight -- 2.1 ip, 5 H, 5 R, 2BB, 0 K.

Perhaps he will recover and become a good pitcher, but what a terrible 1st round pick. I know its extremely early, and I am frustrated from this season at the major league level and lack of development for key minor league players (along with the Garza trade), but Wilken has yet to prove to me that he knows better than others with regard to players. Rather than have Wilken make a first round selection, from now on I'd prefer we just pick a reputable ranking site like Baseball America and select the highest remaining player.

Word is that Cubs manager Jim Quade is safe but GM Jim Hendry's fate seems not to have been decided. Some in baseball don't blame Hendry for some of the Cubs' bigger contracts, saying he may have been under orders. Owner Tom Ricketts is seen as cautious, which may help Hendry, as well.

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

Heyman is rivaling Phil Rogers on the being wrong scale, so don't much stock into it.

I would think if a new GM comes in, he would bring with him his own manager.

Since Randy Wells is not scheduled to start again until after the All-Star Break, the Cubs should option Randy Wells to the minors (doesn't matter which affiliate, because Wells would not actually leave the team) prior to Thursday's game and recall a bullpen arm (maybe give John Gaub a look) for the last four games prior to the ASB and the first three games after the ASB, and then "recall" Wells to start the game on Sunday 7/17. (Even if Dempster can't make his next start on Saturday and is placed on the 15-day retro to 6/30 with Coleman getting recalled to make the start in Pittsburgh, Dempster will be eligible to be reactivated from the DL on Friday 7/15, and Zambrano will be eligible to reactivated from the DL on Saturday 7/16, with Lopez, Coleman, or Ortiz available to start the game on 7/15 if Dempster can't pitch, and the same three available to start on 7/16 if Zambrano isn't ready to come off the DL).

By optioning Wells and recalling a reliever, the Cubs would not waste a roster slot with Wells for the next seven games when they could have an extra bullpen arm around to help out, and being on Optional Assignment for ten days won't affect Wells' MLB Service Time since he would not be optioned for 20 days or more (players who are on Optional Assignment for less than 20 days in a given season get credit for a full season of MLB Service Time).

AZ Phil, you've suggested moves like that before, but the Cubs seem to not want to send down any "established" player for a fresh arm. I remember last year there was something like this, must have been around the all-star break then, too, perhaps? Or maybe it was at the beginning of the season. Hendry doesn't seem to know how or want to manipulate the roster as best as possible to help his team. They sure could use an extra arm in the bullpen the way things are going lately, and how Quade keeps using his relievers and claiming he sees nothing wrong with it.

This makes absolute sense which is assuredly why Hendry and Quade won't be doing it.

With a chess piece, you wouldn't have to worry about it, but Wells might feel demoted even if he didn't have to report anywhere else. I assume he would not be allowed on the benches in the bullpen or dugout.

Esprit de corps--is that in the manager's or GM's purview, or do they just look at stats?

it would make more sense if the Cubs were playing for anything other than their draft pick spot...

What was Matt Camp suspended for doing?

Too many walks

hahaha...

LaHair hit his 24th in one at-bat last night, pinch-hitting in the 9th. Very efficient.

Refresh my memory... the scoop on LaHair is he's a below-average defender at 1B?

I don't think so, that's what AZ Phil said recently about Bour.

LaHair also hits lefty pitchers, which Bour may not.

The rap on LaHair is that he is 27.

28.

He's been in AAA since 2006.

Visions of Scott McLain dancing in my head.

if they trade Pena, might as well give him a shot the rest of the year.

Pena also had trouble sticking in the majors... worked out OK.

for Pena

Prospect Ratings by Baseball America:
Pre-1999: Rated #93 Prospect
Pre-2001: Rated #11 Prospect
Pre-2002: Rated #5 Prospect

for LaHair
...

And Mike Piazza was drafted in the 52 round.

and took a lot of 'roids...

but LaHair, like a few before him, may buck the odds and become a regular major leaguer, but history is not on his side.

I wish him the best and if they do trade Pena, might as well give him the shot.

Funny thing how the 1500 ball players who got drafted before Piazza didn't have a chance to take steriods.

Funny thing is, if it was just Virginia Phil touting LaHair, you'd be lecturing him on why LaHair has not shot, etc. But since Rob took the opposite stance, you jumped in on that side of the debate just, well, because that's what you do.

Pena became a full-time player in his age 24 season (2002 - 115 games, 443 PAs). Yes, he got sent down in 2006, but his journey to the bigs is hardly comparable to the track that LaHair is on.

So when Pena got 37 PA's in 2006 he was a full time player?

Yes, he got sent down in 2006

Umm... did you not read this: "Yes, he got sent down in 2006"

Pena had almost 1900 MLB plate appearances by the time he was 28. LeHair has 150. Yup - they are kinda' similar.

Therefore Ronny Cedeno is an all-star.

It's not just how you play at AAA that gets you a chance to play in the majors, but you know that, it's just more of your typical douchebaggery.

Therefore Ronny Cedeno is an all-star.

WTF are you talking about? How is Ronny Cedeno relevant to the conversation?

It's not just how you play at AAA that gets you a chance to play in the majors,

Yup - I am well aware of that. And how is that relevant?

but you know that, it's just more of your typical douchebaggery.

Look - you made an absurd comparison, implying that Carlos Pena's mlb experience is somehow similar to Bryan LaHair's experience. They are not remotely similar. But you already know that, but it's just more if your typical douchebaggery.

But go ahead and keep defending the indefensible.

"Visions of Scott McLain dancing in my head."

I don't think they'll trade Pena, he has star appeal and moves the turnstiles.

But when they don't go after Pujols or Fielder, and don't reach agreement with Pena, will the guy they bring in be better than LaHair?

Visions of Casey McGehee dancing in my head.

"I don't think they'll trade Pena, he has star appeal and moves the turnstiles."

Bit of a reach there.

What do you mean? I'm going to be bouncing my grandkids on my knee and telling them about the time I saw Carlos Pena go 1-5 with a double.

Anybody know the chances of Ryan Dempster qualifying as a Type B free agent at the end of the year?

Anybody know the chances of Ryan Dempster qualifying as a Type B free agent at the end of the year?
------

I don't think it would matter, he has something like a $14 million player option that he will almost certainly exercise.

exceptional?

he has a $14M player option, do you think he's not going to exercise it?

He'll probably be an A or maybe a B, but he probably won't be a free agent.

Damn. Forgot about the massive player option.

Currently looking like a type A, but that can change.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/07/elias-r...

As I have mentioned before, there are a number of "4-A" players over the years who got a chance and developed into a decent (or sometimes even better) MLB player. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen.

A couple of recent examples of note among 4-A position players are Ryan Ludwick and Garrett Jones, who were minor league 6YFAs when they signed with MLB clubs (Ryan Ludwick with STL post-2006, and Garrett Jones with PIT post-2008).

Ex-Cub RHRP Alberto Alburquerque was a minor league 6YFA when he signed with the Tigers last off-season. Any club could have signed him.

The most-famous Cub example is Hall of Famer Hack Wilson, but there have been many, many others over the years who had shorter and less-significant (but still decent) MLB careers after being labeled "career minor leaguer."

Again, it doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen often enough that it shouldn't be discounted.

One problem with a 4-A guy who fights his way to the big leagues and becomes an established player is that often-times the guy has a relatively short MLB shelf-life. Also, it's serendipitous, so you can't plan for it to happen, and then if it does happen, there is no way to know if what the player does after getting a chance is a fluke or will continue into the next season and beyond.

In the case of Bryan Lahair, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he comes up to the big leagues and plays OK. And if he does he will probably be the off-season roster "place-holder" at 1B (as Micah Hoffpauir was last off-season) until the Cubs acquire a 1B via trade or free-agency (presuming they do).

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