Clevenger and Dolis Up
The Tennesee Smokies lost in the Southern League championship yesterday and the Mobile Bay Bears take the series 3-1. The upside for two members was a call-up to the Show to watch the other Cubs players over the last 10 days of the season. Congrats and here's your steak knives.
- The Red Sox death spiral would bring about interviews with Theo Epstein and his entourage a lot sooner, so you know where my rooting interests are. Not that I needed the further enticement to root against the Red Sox.
- Some absurd rumor that Ricketts have soured on Billy Beane because the Moneyball concept is not playing that well with the fans. I don't think 99% of Cubs fans really know what the "Moneyball" concept is, not to mention it's not all too dissimilar to what about 50% of teams are currently running now including the golden boy, Theo Epstein's organization.
- It doesn't appear an extension is happening for scouting director Tim Wilken, but he was told after Sunday to continue to operate as usual and will be kept on for the 2012 season.
- Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya were named among the Top 20 prospects that played in the Arizona Rookie League.
- If Q-Ball has his say (and hopefully he won't in about 10 days), he'd consider Samardzija for the rotation but thinks Marshall is too valuable in the set-up role. Pretty much the opposite way I see it...I think trying Marshall in the rotation has a lot more upside, while I think Samardzija was more lucky than good this year.
- The Cubs still holding at the 7th spot in the draft, a half game behind the Royals for the 6th spot, but just a game ahead of the Pirates for the 8th spot.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.