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.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.