Highlights from Cubs 2012 Schedule

The Cubs will open and close the 2012 season at Wrigley next season. The opener will be Aprl 5th vs. the Washington Nationals and I presume Stephen Strasburg. They'll close against the Houston Astros on October 3rd. Interleague series include the annual home and home versus the White Sox (@ Wrigley from May 18-20 and @ The Cell from June 18-20). They'll travel to Target Field againt the Twins on June 8-10 and host the Tigers(June 12-14) and Red Sox (June 15-17). 16 of their first 26 games will be versus the NL Central. Full schedule can be found at cubs.com.

Comments

urlacher's mom passed away suddenly, has left the team. Status unknown for Sunday.

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/we...

Wells’ WHIP in August was 0.91 because one of the lowest BABIPs I’ve seen in a while: .181, which is so obviously unsustainable, it hardly bears mentioning. He induced a large amount of infield flies — a season-best 13.2 percent — a 13.2 percent increase from his July rate. Wells is a groundball pitcher at heart and that’s not going to change in the season’s last month. As he gets back to inducing grounders and his BABIP returns to non-ridiculous levels, his results should normalize as well. He isn’t as bad as he looked in July or as good as he looked in August, but somewhere pleasantly between.

gee, thanks for that.

Target is my target!

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/09/14/914-futu...

Baez, Vogelbomb, DeVoss, Zych, Dunston Jr., Maples, Tayler Scott, N. Rosario, G. Schlecht, D. Lockhart, J. Marra, R. Lopez, A. McKirahan

Castro SS, Johnson RF, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, Barney 2B, Soto C, Coleman P

vs.

Phillips 4 Renteria 6 Votto 3 Bruce 9 Heisey 7 Francisco 5 Stubbs 8 Hernandez 2 Cueto 1

Johnson against righties....it just might work!!!
Well Cueto is pretty neutral....meh....whatever.

What can you say at this point? Did LaHair and Colvin get arrested at a strip club at 3 AM or something... and really, if they did, would you blame them?

BWHAAAHAAAAA!!!!
Yep...that's about right...

I am looking forward to the promised article about "Old Man Skills" once Dunn finishes putting the bow on his sub .600 OPS season.

I wonder if the White Sox fans blame him for the team's shortcomings as much as the Cubs fans blamed Bradley.

nah, he's white

they're too busy blaming Ozzie

that promise didn't come from me, did it?

Nope, it was that bet that he'd have a better OPS than Pena this year and the Cubs first basemen next year.

19th straight losing season

didn't realize they're changing their name with the move to the new stadium.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/p...

player's poll

1. AJ
2. Utley
3. Bradley
4. Zambrano
5. Padilla
6. A-Rod
7. C. Carpenter
8. Pujols
9. Morgan
10. Youkilis
11. Beckett
12. Farnsworth
13. Fielder
14. Kendall
15. Teixeira

lol at the photos. Is that really the meanest looking picture of Farnsworth they could find? I think not.

4 Cubs/former Cubs on that list.

8 potential HoF'rs on that list too.

8? I get 5 probables: Utley/ARod/Pujols/Fielder/Texeira. None of the others have a realistic shot, barring Bautistian rebirths.

Beckett, Carpenter, Youkilis, though I thought Carpenter had more counting stats than he has.

Beckett, despite a decent career WHIP (1.22), will be 32 next year, has only 124 career wins (yeah, he was a Marlin, but HoF voters look hard at Ws) and a less-than-stellar 3.89 career ERA. His career WAR of 28.8 is only better than one current HoFer and ranks him completely out of the top 100 eligible non-HoFers (year-old list here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archiv...)

Carpenter is 36 (!) and, like you said, has sucky counting stats -- 142 wins, 3.80 career ERA -- and a career WAR of 31.4, which would tie him for 96th among Hall-eligible pitchers.

Youkilis is 32 and hasn't even cracked 1,000 hits yet, and his career WAR of 30.3 ranks him about 200th among Hall-eligibles.

They're not retiring this year.

I would say Beckett still has an outside shot, Youkilis started his career too late in the majors and is already showing the standard bell curve in his stats.

nonetheless, 8 really damn good players, although I suppose no one would notice if Tony Campana was a real jack-ass on a players poll.

Michael Barrett fought two of them and was replaced as Cub catcher by a third.

Colorado catcher Eliezer Alonzo becomes the first big leaguer to fail a PED test twice and will be suspended 100 games.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/basebal...

This story makes Manny Ramirez want to slap his wife.

Boooo

LaHair was only 1 for 4 last night. That's unacceptable, he should be out of the lineup. With production like that we might play under .500 ball.(Tongue firmly in cheek).

Adduci9/Lake6/Ha8/Ridling3/Vitters5/Clevenger2/Samson7/Mota4/Carrillo1

moneymaking scheme and all, but that's sounds awesome

Steiner Sports offering fans to take batting practice at Wrigley on 9/25. At least 8 mins of swings for $100. Seems cheap.

try $ 1000.00, but it comes with a shower

http://www.steinersports.com/2011-cubs-steine...

I would have done the $ 100.00, and I know I could put one in left center bleachers with aluminum bat

quite a typo

Camera's encouraged but no video camera's allowed....

OK, why? What's the harm in filming your relative/spouse/friend taking BP?

Yeah if you hit one out, you want video

I'm sure they videotape it, just sell you the DVD.

They'll sell you a DVD for an extra $4000. :)

#191 to leadoff the game

#192

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

“I’d love to see some of my kids go to winter ball,” Quade said. “I don’t care if it’s a fall league or Latin America.”

is there a winter ball for managers?

i wonder if dumpster will come to quade's defense in the press once the new GM comes on board...wonder if dumpster will stick around, too...probably will at this point.

of course he will, right after they give each other reach-arounds.

“I’d love to see some of my kids go to winter ball,” Quade said.

---
What kids? The ones rotting on the bench so journeymen and never were's play daily? I hope Quade, Riggans, and Dempster are all run out of town.

with coleman...i can't remember being this "uggg" on watching a young cubs starter being marched out so much since c.marmol.

i doubt his story will end as well, though.

righty with a high 80s fastball, spotty control, hittable...awesome!

He's fine to keep in AAA next year and make an occasional spot start, but there is little to like about him going forward. He's not really a suitable injury replacement for part of a season.

There has to be someone in the organization that would benefit more, and benefit the club more, by starting these games. JJax is an easy example - needs to be added to 40 man, good run to end the year, more long term potential than Coleman.

The whole thing is inconsequential, but I'm here, I might as well share my thoughts.

Cueto may be hurt. Dusty taking him out?

jay jackson should be up instead of him...the problem is that it took j.jackson the last few weeks of 2011 to show he deserved to be called up. at this point they probably want him to go home, forget about 2011, and just be happy he ended on a mini-run of good starts with good stuff.

...not like even at his best he projects/projected for much more than a 3-5 end of rotation guy. still, when they run 400K to a couple million a year for 3-5 years they're useful. r.wells is pretty useful, imo.

I agree with all of that

Ha goes deep in the top of the first

AJ Pollock singles scores 2, Ryan Wheeler 3-run HR follows

5-1 Mobile in the bottom of the 3rd

--short night for Coleman
Is it asking to much to never have to see him in a Cubs uniform again? I would pay not to see him.

Are you reading this Ricketts? New revenue stream.

Is it me or is Castro starting to become more selective at the plate and taking more walks?

As this year has gone on, it appears to me that he is starting to mature as a hitter (developing power, being more selective, etc.) and develop more from experience than just from his natural talent.

isoD by month:
April: .027
May: .023
June: .041
July: .019
Aug: .031
Sept: .056

Maybe it's the lighting in Cincy but Soto looks fatter than usual tonight.

He has been forced to hit the bong more this year to ease the pain from the shit record the team has.

I guess its healthier than him becoming an alcoholic.

Except, when one overeats.

Smokies lose 6-3, down 1-0.

Ryno loses Game 2, their series tied 1-1.

Soto is under the protection of this blog, for some reason. I guess it's because he draws a few walks, but still, he has to do more with the swings he does take. He's back in an old habit of trying to pull everything. His .220 BA is, after all, only eight points better than K. Hill's lifetime average.

In any given week I feel like I can see Soto get thrown out at second, third and home.

Soto has been very disappointing this year. But with that said, your comparison of his batting average to Hill's is just plan silly, as it ignores several things, including:
- Hill, career .285 babip, Soto, 2011 babip: .278, career .303 - in other words, Soto appears to at least somewhat have been unlikely
- Soto, 2011 OBP: .309, Hill, career OBP: .277
- Soto, 2011 SLUG: .392, Hill, career SLUG: .300

(and yes, I know it is somewhat silly to compare Soto, 2011 to Hill, career, but just following VAPhil's comparison)

So even in a down year, Soto still has a 124 point OPS advantage over K. Hill's career numbers, and even more if you compare 2011 numbers.

What most worries me this year about Soto is that he striking out more and walking less. But again, even in a down year, he still is significantly better than Hill has been over his career.

He's really struggling with curveballs this year too, according to both my observation and Fangraphs pitch type values. That hopefully is an adjustment thing that our million dollar batting coach will fix.

He does seem to be pulling the ball more often, and it seems like a high number of his line drives have ended up left fielder's gloves.

When you say down year, that suggests some sort of outlier, but Soto hit .218 the year before last. That's two down years out of four.

I'm obviously not comparing Soto to Hill, but to people's idea of Soto, particularly on this blog.

I think Soto's pretty good. I'm not really talking about Soto as much as about the kid-glove treatment he gets around here while other players who--oh, let's say, DON'T WALK AS MUCH--get constantly hammered.

the combo of having 2 very good years in the recent past, being cheap, his age and there clearly being no better option also have a lot to do with the "kid gloves" treatment.

I also personally feel he's improved his defense a bit this year.

but with the down year, his value is probably at a low point (or lower than a year ago) and don't think a trade makes a ton of sense right now, especially since the only heir apparent in the system can't stay healthy.

So Soto/Vitters for McCann/Freeman probably not in the offing? (j/k)

Nice 2nd half power surge for Matt Wieters, hitting 20th HR last night. Up from 11 HRs to 20 this season, and all-star game appearance to boot.

he's quite the dichotomy

after 2 years of not being able to hit LHP, he did so in 2011 but stopped hitting righties.

still young enough that you can see him putting it all together

Yep - Heading into age 26-27 years for the next few seasons, hopefully will avoid injury.

soto's cheap and carries legit power potential...when it's time to pay him 5+ million a year then people will care more. i've never been on board with the "let him play 1st" line of thinking, but i don't mind him.

Submitted by crunch on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 9:07am.
soto's cheap and carries legit power potential...when it's time to pay him 5+ million a year then people will care more. i've never been on board with the "let him play 1st" line of thinking, but i don't mind him

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

CRUNCH: Geovany Soto should be at or very near $5M after this season.

I thought Gaub would be tentative and skittish when he finally got a chance to throw some pitches in the majors, but he's looked terrific so far. Far from being wild, he has looked sharp, throwing several unhittable strikes at the knees and on the corners. Getting comfortable in the majors would be a big deal for him.

Reds' analyst Jeff Brantley has said this about Gaub in both of his appearances this week: "We're going to be seeing him for a long time, barring injury."

The Cubs have three young lefties who should join Russell in the Cub bullpen sooner rather than later: Gaub, Maine and Beliveau. Russell is a control pitcher while Gaub and Maine are strikeout pitchers--both had K/9s over 12 this season at Iowa. Beliveau is a little of both. His K/9 was 10.9 this season, mostly at Tennessee, while his BB/9 was 2.3. Russell's BB/9 is an enviable 1.9, while his K/9 (5.5) is nothing to write home about.

I think Beliveau will be the best of the crew, but in any event, all this lefty talent should tempt the Cubs to stretch Marshall out next spring and make an honest pitcher out of him.

I guess the good thing about Coleman pitching is that we get to see these long (OK one batter) outtings by the pitchers who got called up... at least the game was compete... oh nevermind.

One out and one at bat for the kids, whoohoo!

all this lefty talent should tempt the Cubs to stretch Marshall out next spring and make an honest pitcher out of him.
----------

I hope that is right. I wouldn't mind seeing Marshall and Samardzija get a shot at the rotation next year. I still hope to acquire a top starter over the offseason, but who knows if that's possible.

Garza
Demp
--
Wells
Cashner
Marshall
Samardzija

An extra incentive to try Marshall out as a SP is that if he is successful you can offer arbitration and try to keep him year to year instead of forking out a long term contract. He may be past his arbitration timetable, too lazy to check

i think his main problem is that even when he was a starter he could barely go 80-100 pitches without losing stuff.

he may just be one of those types of arms...don't help the cause of moving him when he's such an effective reliever, too.

but yeah...he's a guy you don't fear facing a righty or lefty over the long haul. i wouldn't be against it, but i dunno if they'll do it.

Submitted by Jumbo on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 10:16am.
An extra incentive to try Marshall out as a SP is that if he is successful you can offer arbitration and try to keep him year to year instead of forking out a long term contract. He may be past his arbitration timetable, too lazy to check

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

JUMBO: Sean Marshall is signed through next season (he gets $3.1M in 2012), and then he will be a free-agent after the 2012 season.

I think Marshall would welcome a chance to go back to being a starting pitcher in his "walk" year, since free-agent starting pitchers make more money than free-agent relievers (even good ones like Marshall). And if the starting rotation doesn't work out, Marshall can always go back to the bullpen.

With some combination of Russell, Gaub, Maine, and Beliveau available to provide lefty bullpen arms, the Cubs should be able to move Marshall to the starting rotation in Spring Training next season.

So barring injuries, that would probably make the rotation Garza-Marshall-Dempster-Wells-Cashner (presuming Dempster opts to return, Zambrano is gone, and Cashner is moved back to the starting rotation).

Yay!!! Let's bring back 4/5 of this year's rotation...wooohoo!!!!

....blah =)

photos of Boise Hawks

unfortunately they don't caption them

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boise-Hawks/23...

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1106588.html

I asked some Cubs questions

Re: LaHair
'll say this, I had people telling me this guy would hit in the big leagues this year. I didn't think much of it but he sure is doing it. Whether it lasts I don't know, but he has the ability to really hit until the league adjusts. We'll see if he eventually survives that league adjustment.

see if he answers the rest...

Re: B. Jackson

Frankie Piliere:
He'll be a very solid defender I think. I'm a little concerned about the strikeouts as they do seem to be trending upwards but the production hasn't been too shabby.

Full disclosure: it was me telling him.

i don't buy that...the league is already pitching to his weaknesses...there's no adjustments to make that i know of.

pound him inside, you can fool him outside and rarely goes for power if contact is made. his power is inside, but he also misses there a good amount.

if lahair has any undoing, i think it will be his own doing...imo.

I concur, just imagine the advanced scouting the Reds and Mets have done on LaHair so far in these crucial series.

fwiw, i like FP's work, but everyone seems to be pitching and setting him up the same.

lahair has a quick/compact swing, but his hands/grip pull the bat toward his body as he swings. it may generate a hell of a lot of power, but unless his hands/wrists catch up to movement inside he's going to have a higher chance to miss...and he's not going to make as much power contact on the outside. he'll murder stuff left on the plate, though...you can't make many mistakes.

double post. oops.

Former Chiefs Brett Jackson & Jeff Beliveau named to Team USA for 2011 World Cup (Oct 2-15 Panama) & Pan Am Games (Oct 20-25 Mexico) #fb

heh

Leon Durham is the hitting coach

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/09/15/915-jack...

Recent comments

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  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 42 min 25 sec ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 51 min 8 sec ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 40 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 3 hours 10 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 8 hours 2 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 8 hours 26 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 8 hours 31 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 12 hours 31 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 13 hours 18 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 13 hours 52 min ago view