Tuesday Cubs News Round-Up
Some bits of news from the latest news cycle, most of it mentioned in the comments in the thread below.
- I admit missing out on this rather crucial piece of information, but apparently Aramis Ramirez 2012 option is a mutual option. Technically, if the Cubs exercise the $16M option, he can void it and forfeit the $2M buyout, and his agent suggests that with Hendry gone, that's looking more likely now.
I'm not sure if that's good or bad news yet. $16M for one season is a bit expensive for Ramirez, but there's not a lot out there to play the hot corner either.
- Tracy Ringolsby goes after Cubs team president Crane Kenney today over on Fox Sports.
You've got to love Ricketts saying Kenney is absolved of all blame for what transpires on the field because Kenney is confined to business matters. Yeah, business matters like overruling Hendry on more than one occasion because Kenney felt outside pressure to reel in high-priced veterans.
Veterans like Alfonso Soriano, who Hendry had declared would not get more than a five-year guarantee only to have Kenney's business sense overrule him and provide an eight-year sentence to the organization with its obligation to Soriano.
It was pointed out on Twitter that then president John McDonough took responsibility for the extra years on Soriano's contract, which Ringolsby acknowledges, but also claims to "trust his sources".
- In the same link as the Aramis article, prospect Dillon Maples says Hendry was a big reason for him signing.
- Yet another prospective GM list, this time from Tim Brown at Yahoo.
- The Astros put Wandy Rodriguez on waivers and he was claimed. Doubtful it's the Cubs with a captainless ship at the moment, but I wouldn't have minded adding him(it's not, it's the Rockies). He's owed just $10M next year, $13M in 2013 and a $13M team option in 2014 with a $2.5M buyout. He's put up ERA numbers of 3.54, 3.02, 3.60, 3.31 since 2008 and will be 33 next year.
- Andrew Cashner has a rehab outing for the Tennessee Smokies tonight, allegedly can be watched for free on MILB.tv.
- Speaking of the Smokies, Eric Jokisch in his second start since being promoted from Peoria went 6 innings, struck out 10 against 2 walks and 3 hits, while giving up just a run. Vitters went 3/3 with a double in the same game. Brett Jackson keeps going with a 2/4 night for Iowa. Zeke DeVoss went 4/6 for Boise with a double.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.