Revenge is a Dish Best Served in Formaldehyde

I can see the Simpsons animating this one (with a guest appearance from heaven by Ricardo Montalbán).

byline, Nick Cough-fart-doo and Kent Brockman:

The Red Sox announced the completion of the Theo Epstein compensation package today.  The Cubs will receive as their PTBNL, the bone spur from Chris Carpenter's elbow in a jar of formaldehyde.

Would the Red Sox really refer one of their newest hurlers to (video link) Dr. Nick?

On a more serious note, it's not a good spring to be named Chris Carpenter. The Cardinals ace pitcher has a significant pinched nerve somewhere between his neck and pitching shoulder that has caused some weakness and discomfort. According to the St. Louis media his timetable to return to the Cardinals rotation isn't certain.

News broke out of Red Sox camp yesterday as fans were wondering why "the other Carp" had only thrown 2 innings all spring.  Former Cub, Chris Carpenter tweeted:

“Headed into surgery tomorrow with Dr Andrews to remove a bone spur in my elbow,’’  “Stayin positive and prepared to work harder than ever to come back as soon as I can this season.’’

I'm Spur-ed on to write just a little more, after the break...

Update: (Thursday noon, CST), per a Carrie Muskat tweet:

RedSox send 1B Jair Bogaerts to Cubs to complete compensation deal for Theo. Batted .288 in Dominican Summer League. He's 19.

Elbow spurs or in medical speak, "osteophytes" develop in response to localized areas of cartilage damage. If the underlying bone reparative process gets stimulated, it can lead to a mix of bone and cartilage (the osteophyte) that often protrudes beyond the once smooth cartilage surface of the joint. The elbow is a complex hinge joint and any bone prominence that develops can block movement and lead to pain or loss of normal range of motion. The elbow is responsible not only for the hinge-like flexion and extension but also forearm rotation (supination and pronation).  When symptomatic spurs occur, they can be shaved using arthroscopic techniques (video link) with usually 2-4 small incisions. Because the elbow is a smaller and tighter joint it requires a smaller scope and shaver than used in knee or shoulder arthroscopy. Once removed, a throwing athlete can begin rehab almost immediately but the timetable to full recovery is usually 2-3 months. I recall Koske Fukudome had similar surgery in August 2007 before the Cubs acquired him in 2008.

Once Carpenter tweeted his news, all the usual media jumped all over the info, including Boston's Gordon Edes (ESPN), Peter Abraham and the real Nick Cafardo (Boston Globe) as well Chicago media such as writer Carrie Muskat.

Cafardo added his usual knife twisting bitterness over the Theo Comp Caper:

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington confirmed that Carpenter is having surgery, but would not comment on whether the injury predated the Feb. 21 trade with the Cubs or when Carpenter might return.

Is Cafardo hinting at a full scale Congressional investigation based on damaged goods received? Will Theo and Ben have to go back to the drawing board for 4 more months? Did Moses really have to climb back up Mount Sinai and re-type the "final version" of the ten commandments after throwing the original tablets at the blasphemers? Surely, Nick C. still has beautiful dreams of other people's nightmares.

I recall that the "final terms" of the Theo Compensation involved sending relievers Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz to Boston and the Cubs were to get a low level minor leaguer back just to make it a "player transaction."

From the above ESPN link (Gordon Edes and Doug Padilla):

Cherington was asked why the Red Sox have to send a player to the Cubs. "This is still a baseball trade," he said. "It's satisfying the compensation issue, but it's still a baseball trade and in any baseball trade there has to be something coming and something going." Hoyer said he expects the exchange of players to be named to occur by April 15

ADDENDUM (Thursday noon, CST), per a Carrie Muskat tweet:

GM Hoyer on Carpenter elbow: "It's something we had no knowledge of. I don't think he had any elbow issues for the last two years."

RedSox send 1B Jair Bogaerts to Cubs to complete compensation deal for Theo. Batted .288 in Dominican Summer League. He's 19.

Scouting Report: Very strong - particularly his hands.  Raw power potential.  Should be able to improve his receiving skills quickly.  Loves to play.

...and Carpenter's Spur tracking number (783429482123) by Fed-Ex.

I guess body parts from a player will make this a new twist on those rare trades where a player is traded for himself (such as Harry Chiti and Dickie Noles).


Hiiii, Dr Nick!!!!

If Theo knew this was allowed under the rules, why didn't he keep Zambrano's body and just trade the head?

why didn't he keep Zambrano's body and just trade the head?

Countdown to Nick Cafardo crying about the evil Theo and demanding additional compensation from the Cubs in 5, 4, 3.....

R. Wells to Iowa, Clevenger over w. Castillo

@CarrieMuskat: Lalli, Parker, Maine, T-Wood, Tolbert and Sappelt also sent down. #Cubs

Add Coleman and amazega as well to the casualties.

R. Wells to Iowa

Bars in Des Moines rejoice

Ah, Kirk, my old friend. Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? ... It is very cold in space.

I couldn't resist. Star Trek and the Cubbies are my passion. Sad, I know.

Carrie is tweeting her brains out today... (another abby-normal reference?)

Samardzija pumped about starting. Says he feels he earned it.
It's Gonzalez not Amezaga who was sent down
Coleman and Amezaga also.
Lalli, Parker, Maine, T-Wood, Tolbert and Sappelt also sent down.
Looks like Samardzija, Volstad in Cubs rotation. Wells says he's disappointed
Randy Wells sent to Minors.
Clevenger gets cubs backup catcher job

Frau Blücher?

That's too generous. More like Inspector Kemp.

Wells and TWood will be the first call ups when Cashner and Wells get injured, wait...


So who is left? Lendy, RLopez, Corpas and De La Cruz (pitchers); Amezaga, Campana (hitters).

Starters: Dempster, Garza, Maholm, Volstad, Samardzija
Pen: Marmol, Wood, Russell, Dolis, Camp, RLopez and Corpas (vs. De La Cruz and Lendy Castillo)
OF: Soriano, Byrd, DeJesus
INF: LaHair, Barney, Castro, Stewart
C: Soto
Bench: Baker, DeWitt, RJohnson, Mather, Clevenger (vs. Campana and Amezaga)

Amazega was sent down today

Seems everything is settled but bullpen. Campana is in limbo depending on if they can trade someone or go with a 6 man pen, both of which are unlikely.

more Muskat:

GM Jed Hoyer says bullpen still in flux. Lopez could be long man.
Rotation order will be Demp, Garza, Samardzija, Volstad and Maholm.
Mather and DeWitt both made Cubs Opening Day roster

Always great to have your best pitcher go second in your rotation.



Right now, I'd say they are all about the same, except for Garza. In other words, yeah, I'd go with Garza first, and then it's just a toss up between the rest of them. In a way, it's not a horrible pitching staff if Shark comes through, finally, and Volstad turns out ok. I really liked what little I saw of him. I am at least a lot more interested this year than last, when it all seemed pretty hopeless to me. There are some story lines worth following, and two kids in Iowa worth waiting for, it seems.

I wonder if the Cubs didn't want to have Demp, Samardzija, and Volstad, who have extremely similar repertoires all in a row.

The more obvious solution to that, I think, would've been to go with a Garza Dempster Samardzija Maholm, Volstad rotation, which would give you: 4-seamer/curve/slider, then sinker/splitter/slider, then sinker/cutter/change, the lefty, then sinker/slider/change. Still a rotation without much variation, but at least you have your ace at the front.

Maybe Amezaga? Muskat recanted her original mention of Amezaga going to Iowa (and said Edgar Gonzalez was sent down).

Later Muskat: It's Gonzalez not Amezaga who was sent down.
Early Muskat: Coleman and Amezaga also.

not that I care one way or another really.

Missed the recant. Still need a trade or 6 man pen for campana or amazega to make it

it will be interesting to see what they do with Lendy Castillo though

Discussing Amezaga reminds me that when I was in my teens I called a talk show to ask Leo Durocher whether Cleo James was going to make the Cub roster (circa, 1970). I don't remember what Leo said but it sure was a marginal thing to be taking the effort to call a radio program about. Last man on the roster? Zzzzzzzz.

Oh, by the way...Az Phil, can you give me a scouting report on Cleo James?

Careful what you ask for. You may even get his contract status on the last day he played.

Theo Comp redux via Muskat:

GM Hoyer on Carpenter elbow: "It's something we had no knowledge of. I don't think he had any elbow issues for the last two years."

RedSox send 1B Jair Bogaerts to Cubs to complete compensation deal for Theo. Batted .288 in Dominican Summer League. He's 19.

...and Carpenter's spur tracking number (783429482123) by Fed-Ex.

our long national nightmare is finally over...

More Cafardo on Theo-Gate:

The Red Sox had complete access to Chris Carpenter's medical records, and the pitcher had passed both his Cubs physical and also his Red Sox physical after he was dealt to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo Epstein, according to a source familiar with the situation. The Red Sox will likely not receive a different player from the Cubs because everything was up front and out in the open.

Of the eligible names the Red Sox had to chose from, Carpenter was the pitcher Sox GM Ben Cherington wanted because they had scouted him at Kent State and liked him then. In some of Carpenter's early outings, Carpenter had major control issues, but that's been his history.


De La Cruz supposedly waived.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 12:26pm — Rob G.
More roster cuts

De La Cruz supposedly waived.


ROB G: If Frankie de la Cruz was placed on waivers today, we won't know if any clubs made a claim until Saturday at 1 PM (EDT). If no clubs make a claim, the Cubs can outright de la Cruz to the minors.

However, de la Cruz is an Article XX-D player (he was outrighted previously in his career), so if he is outrighted to the minors, he has the right to refuse the Outright Assignment and be a free-agent immediately (but receive no termination pay), or accept the Outright Assignment and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the 2012 MLB regular seaon (unless he is added back to the 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season).

Another possible outright candidate (Marcos Mateo) cannot be placed on waivers if he is injured. He could be placed on the 15-day DL, or on the 60-day DL if the Cubs need his slot on the 40-man roster.

John Gaub (who has not thrown yet) is another candidate for the 60-day DL, but the Cubs would have to recall him from his Optional Assignment before they can place him on the 60-day DL, and if they do that they would have to pay Gaub at the MLB rate ($480K), versus his minor league split salary if they don't ($78,250).

And then there's Rule 5 RHP Lendy Castillo, who would be removed from the Cubs MLB 40-man roster if he isn't kept on the MLB 25-man roster. If the Cubs decide that Castillo isn't ready for The Show, MLB Rule 6 kicks in.


Castillo first goes on Outright Waivers (where any of the other MLB clubs can claim him for the Rule 6 waiver price of $25,000 and asume the Rule 5 roster obligations), and if he is not claimed, he must be offered back to the Phillies for half the Rule 5 Draft price ($25,000).

The Phils would have 72 hours to decide, and if they do opt to re-claim him, he is automatically sent outright to AAA Lehigh Valley (the AAA club from which he was drafted). It's at this point that a trade could happen. If a trade can be worked out, the Cubs could send L. Castillo outright to the minors without any restrictions.

Seems like Wells deserved more of a shot... 7.1 IP 4H 0ER 0BB Only appeared in 3 games. did he get hurt or something? He went 10 days between his last two appearances... Is there more to this story? Did he bang someone's wife or something?

Probably nothing more sinister than the fact that he had an option left.

It's hard to argue that Wells should take the place of Dempster, Garza, Samardzija, Maholm or Volstad in the rotation. And if they want to have him ready to replace anyone that goes down, he is better off starting in Iowa than pitching 3 innings a week in the ML bull pen.

No argument really. It just seems that he didn't get to pitch much in ST. They gave just about everyone they were considering for a roster spot more appearances than he got. Just curious why he only got into 3 games, with 10 days in between...

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 1:27pm — Jace

No argument really. It just seems that he didn't get to pitch much in ST. They gave just about everyone they were considering for a roster spot more appearances than he got. Just curious why he only got into 3 games, with 10 days in between...


JACE: Randy Wells threw five innings & 75 pitches in a "B" game versus Cleveland at Goodyear on 3/19. The Cubs sent an entire squad of players out there in shuttle vans, even though they were playing an MLB Cactus League game that same day in Peoria vs SEA.

I thought it might have made more sense to have Wells stay in Mesa and just throw in a Minor League ST game at Fitch Park (as Maholm, Dempster, Volstad have done), but the Cubs decided otherwise.

Perhaps the Cubs were showcasing Wells for the Indians?

Well, the long-standing rumor is that Wells is a bit of a glug-glug, maybe the new regime doesn't cotton to that kind of thing and are trying to send a message?

If he wasn't going to make the rotation, the choices are to sent him down or convert him to a long man. In the long run, it may be in his interest (and the Cubs') to start at Iowa.

If Samardzija comes through, and Volstad is OK, the starting staff will be quite good, rather than merely "not terrible".

Chicago Cubs
Signed: RHP Shawn Camp
Released: RHP Colin Richardson, LHP Brent Ebinger, LHP Trever Miller, C Mario Mercedes, 3B Jacob Opitz, OF Mayke Reyes
Elected free agency: RHP Andy Sonnanstine
Optioned to Triple-A: 1B Anthony Rizzo, 2B Adrian Cardenas
Removed from 40-man: RHP Andy Sonnanstine (outrighted to Triple-A)
Outrighted to Mexican League: RHP Oswaldo Martinez (Mexico City)

Thanks ROB G.

Shawn Camp is better than some of the rag-armed RH relievers with ERA+ of:
the last three years in the AL East.

This is significantly better than Rod Lopez (70's and mid-80's), as well as the usual recent inventory of Silva, Coleman, T Diamond, Grabow, Berg, The Fabulous Mitch Atkins...etc.

Hopefully he will have a nice year. Low risk. Cheap price.

he was pretty bad last year though, WHIP up to 1.5 range, hits allowed way up, never struck out guys, most his numbers in decline and he's old.

I'll remain skeptical since he just got waived as well.

Yeah, I suppose you are right. However, it is the MO of HoyStein to embrace the "Throw-it-Against-the-Wall-and-See-What-Sticks" GM philosophy especially with the collection of players coming off down years they have on the squad now.

It is not gonna matter much in the long-term, and short-term for that matter.

Dang, Richardson was released. Granted, not surprising, as he hadn't really developed. I was hoping that we'd get another intriguing arm or two from the 2010 prep class (Wells ... with Reed/Hartman and the aforementioned Richardson).

Wait what happened!

i was just responding to the Collin Richardson waiver and noting how I hope another intriguing arm develops from that 2010 prep pitching class (Ben Wells, Austin Reed, and Ryan Hartman are what's left ... wait ... Brian Smith would be a prep arm from that year I think). Nothing big.

check the username

oh, ha. didn't even pay attention to that.

some X. Nady rumor

let the Marlon Byrd rumors begin, doubt they want to pay starters price tag though for a bench bat.

Indians looking for an outfielder as well, guess Canzler isn't the answer.

Once again, can't imagine they're paying starter prices.

Never mind on Indians, about to trade for b. abreu

2-run single, 4-0 Cubs

DeWitt and Mather with RBI's as well.

C. Richard pitching.

BR page
He is the twin brother of well-regarded shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts.
In two minor league seasons, Jair has played catcher and first base. Through 372 plate appearances, he’s belted four homers and 47 RBIs while batting .227, well short of the numbers Xander amassed as a shortstop.
Scouting Report: Very strong - particularly his hands. Raw power potential. Loves to play. Poor defensive player.

I'm simply glad this idiotic thing is over with. I don't expect much from Bogaerts, although he might be a semi-intriguing catcher conversion. At least, he has some power potential.

gives up a 2-run HR to Jason Bartlett...ugly.

per Paul Sullivan tweet...

Catcher Jason Jaramillo signs with Brewers after being released. Not sure why he even showed up.

he showed up to cubs camp and got promptly injured...been wondering what his status was.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 3:06pm — crunch

he showed up to cubs camp and got promptly injured...been wondering what his status was.


CRUNCH: Jason Jaramillo was healthy and playing for Iowa in Minor League ST games up until a couple of days ago.

Releasing Jaramillo might finally give Blake Lalli a chance to be the back-up catcher at AAA after spending four seasons at AA. It's between Lalli and Apodaca for the I-Cubs back-up job. The loser goes to AA Tennessee.

Cool Jamie Moyer profile by Passan.

lot of hits given up by pitching in almost every ARZ based spring game today...wind doesn't seem to be a factor, though...unless it's a lack of wind.

also, d.barney is 4/4 (in the 5th inning) with 3 singles and a double...batting .450...ha. joe mather is 2/3 bringing his average up to .426 (slacker).

CHC/SD - 34 hits
KC/LAA - 32 hits
CIN/MIL - 23 hits
CLE/ARZ - 21 hits


yet another team with better commercials than the Cubs

Cubs get Strasburg on Opening Day.

good luck with that...

i think its gonna be hard until they get to other teams 4 and 5 pitchers.

That would give them about 65 wins. Which sounds about right, unfortunately.

Under the knife, TJ surgery.

...the Red Sox do not consider the talks to be officially over, said a Red Sox source this afternoon.
Cubs on the verge of acquiring Brian Roberts from Baltimore.

Speaking of annual trade rumor traditions- I think this is the first year I didn't hear an Adam Dunn rumor for the Cubs.

That's wickid cool.

Jose that's another flashback.

Kevin Greg. Slowly I turned and step by step, inch by inch...

CLTV website with a 1970's spring training video narrated by Jack Brickhouse and towards the end, Lou Boudreau and showcasing Leo Durocher with cameo's from Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Jose Cardenal. Herman Franks among others.

That's old Scottsdale Stadium in the video. It was rebuilt about 20 years ago.

Back when I first moved out here and started going to Cubs Spring Training, that's where I spent a lot of my time.

from BP's transaction analysis on Shawn Camp:

You have to credit Camp for hanging on this long. Drafted in the 16th round in 1997, Camp is a small righty with a high-80s sinker and platoon splits to back it up. Pitchers with that profile are common, making Camp’s survival after a rough start in the majors (230 2/3 innings and a 5.27 earned run average over his first four seasons) all the more puzzling, but he has turned things around since landing with the Jays in 2008 (257 2/3 innings and a 3.63 earned run average). Camp can frustrate when his groundballs bleed through the infield or his manager neglects to micromanage his appearances, but he has a place in a big-league bullpen so long as the sinker keeps working.

that high-80s sinker worked a lot better with a 90mph fastball...last i saw he was struggling to keep in the 85-88mph range.

New John Grisham book, Calico Joe. I suggest Rob G. bid on the movie rights ASAP.

Whatever happened to Calico Joe?

It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a twenty-one-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz.

In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.

Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…

Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cubs looked into re-acquiring Tom Gorzelanny from the Nationals earlier this month.

Morris, Hicks and Burgess can probably go right back.

Gorz's peripherals seem to always be better than his performance and he's not too good at staying healthy. Get him back and we're a Zach Duke away from that historical mid-00's Pirates rotation.

Honestly, with today's blogosphere I don't see how it is remotely possible to keep any trade or deal hidden.

Sometimes I like this.

While I would rather things not return to Pre-Watergate disclosure levels, sometimes there is just too much information on the rumor level.

The cardinals with their SS Carlos Beltran- good for them.

Recent comments

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

    Hagsag 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 12 hours 8 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 6 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 18 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 27 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 33 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 51 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 27 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 16 hours 45 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 47 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 he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 17 hours 5 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 17 hours 12 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 7 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 18 hours 25 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 30 min ago view