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.


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


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!


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


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?

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.


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.


This story makes Manny Ramirez want to slap his wife.


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).


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


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



“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.


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



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


Leon Durham is the hitting coach


Recent comments

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 12 hours 12 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 15 hours 10 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 15 hours 23 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 15 hours 31 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 15 hours 37 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 15 hours 55 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 16 hours 31 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 16 hours 49 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 16 hours 51 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 17 hours 9 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 17 hours 16 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 18 hours 12 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 18 hours 29 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 18 hours 34 min ago view