Sunday Funnies (sort of): Cubs watch Cardinals' ring ceremony.

I get that Dale Sveum was trying to be all high-roady (and I even admire that) having his Cubs watch the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals have their ring cememony.
But for the Cubs it had to be pretty galling.
I didn't have the tv on.
Maybe they showed it, maybe the Cubs were all perfect gentlemen..
And maybe this is what they were all actually thinking.


Cubs giving the Cars the bird ... good times. Any chance we can give them the Byrd instead?

Dejesus, Barney, Soriano, LaHair all on the bench today .... eesh. That's the kind of lineup I don't even like to see in Spring Training.

Somewhere Paul Maholm gently weeps

Reed RF, DeW 2B, Starlin SS, Bake 1B, Stew 3B, Mather LF, Geo C, Byrd CF, Maholm P

Especially after Dewitt shows off his complete lack of range on that first run.

And then Dewitt can't turn 2 double plays.

Saw the I-Cubs last night in Round Rock. Nothing special to say, really. B Jax got another homer, but it may have been wind blown cuz it seemed like a fly out at first and the wind was going at 20 mph for most of the night. He did strike out with the tying run at first in the ninth. It was a called third strike that he started to swing at but held up.

Vitters with a solid double to left. Rizzo hit into a double play with men on, but hit it hard to second, it just didn't have eyes. He also doubled on a solid liner to right. He's a good fielder, as AZ says. Made a nice pick on an errant throw by Valbuena. Also got doubled off 2nd on a liner to the 2nd basemen, seemed like he should have not been because he was almost at third when it happened. But it was a pretty good stab in the air by the second basemen and he may have been caught leaning anyway.

I think Castillo had three hits. He just seems to have a good idea of what's going on up there overall. I'd love to see him duke it out for the top job in Chicago. Geo, your window is closing.

Campana is so small his batting helmet covers half his body. He tries to bunt EVERY time up. He did manage a hit the normal way. When he gets on base, the other team tries to overcompensate and messes up. He got on, stole second, pitcher balked him to third. If he could just get on base consistently in the majors he'd be a scoring machine.

Manny Corpas pitched, had some movement on I guess his fastball, made a couple guys look pretty bad. I don't think he gave up anything more than maybe a hit.

I realized last night that the I-Cubs have 4 guys who could be playing every day in the majors in Vitters (maybe), Castillo, Jackson, and Rizzo. I see what people mean when they say Vitters has a nice swing. But he seems more like a liner type of guy, not a big home run hitter.

It's just one game, but I really liked what I saw of Castillo. I couldn't really make much out of his defense either way, but he seems like he has a good eye at the plate, and as odd as it sounds, he seemed to have a good rapport with the home plate ump. Maybe they drink together in Arizona or something.

There was a guy in the stands booing B Jax viciously every time he came up to the plate. I found this very strange, because it's just a minor league game and he was quiet for the other I-Cubs. He cheered for the Round Rock team but otherwise was not very vocal about other I-Cubs. It's like he had it out for Jackson for some reason. "You suck! BOOO!!" every pitch. It was very strange because you don't expect that kind of reaction at a minor league game, where it's as much about who can win a chicken race as anything else.

Forced to watch the Cardinals broadcast today, and boy are they bashing Castro based on his body language in the field. Apparently, the Cubs have done everything they can to impress upon him the importance of defense, but "he just doesn't look like he wants to play."

he nearly always seems distracted, but it may be his casual attitude toward setting up before the pitch.

as long as he's in a good fielding position he doesn't necessarily have to crouch hands-on-knees and have a look on his face as if there's a 100% chance of the ball coming toward him.

besides, his problem isn't getting to the's what he does afterwards.

I'm sure he could be more focused and thinking aggressively before the pitch. I'm not really quibbling with that. I just despise the tone of the broadcasters. It's total superiority, and they completely ignore that they are talking about a 22-year-old who is already a fantastic hitter for contact, is developing power, is showing more patience, has good range and can occasionally make a fantastic play, is making himself into a dangerous baserunner, and is by all accounts a fantastic player to work with--his coach-ability is frequent considered his second best attribute behind his ability to put the bat on the ball. Broadcasters need to stuff their egos when they get on the air, at least if those egos are getting in the way of them saying things that are actually smart.

yeah, he's supposedly one of the most coachable kids out there...even with the screwups.

celebrates getting on-base by running on Yadier Molina and getting thrown out.

I'm back and will be hanging out.

Luis Valbuena with a grand slam, Iowa up 6-3 bottom 2nd. Rizzo and Cardenas with 2 hits. Randy Wells pitching

and a lead off the 1st HR by...

Tony Campana!

(the legend builds)

That's one hell of a bunt!

It was probably an inside the park home run bunt.

and Randy Wells ERA goes up to 8.36

6-6 ballgame.

and why do the I-Cubs get to face Mark Hamburger and his 14.40 ERA weekly?

Maybe the reason Hamburger's ERA is so high is the I-Cubs.

Then again, with a name like that, how could we expect him to pitch well against anybody? He's doomed to always be throwing meatballs up to the plate.

My views on Paul Sullivan have changed over the years like when I realized that sometimes-funny wise-ass from high school was really just a dick.

Ha! Well said!

I have seen him up close at Wrigley a few times.

He reminds me of the AV nerds in high school.

Or, a weasel with round specs.

I-Cubs battling into the 12th, 10-10

glad to see we have some pitching on the way

back to back walks to BJax and Valbuena to start the 12th...Rizzo up

I was out all day and put on the radio on the way home. They were way down when I put the game on and I figured they took out the regulars and put in the scrubs once it got out of hand. Boy, was I surprised to find out this was the lineup from the get go. I'm trying to give Sveun (sic) the benefit, but I don't like what I'm seeing so far. Without getting to the bullpen, there are 2 guys that shouldn't even be on the roster, Mather and DeWitt. I'd rather see Cardenas and Campana. We don't know what they can do, but we know what DeWitt and Mather can do and that is nothing. If Baker is worth something because he crushes lefties, trade him while he has value. I'm trying to see the big picture, but am being blinded by these stupid (in my view) short term moves. Turning short term assets into long tern assets makes sense, but keep doing it by getting rid of Baker for a youngster, eating as much of Byrd that you have to and dumping some of these no asset guys.

I'd even throw Reed Johnson into your list. It's really just not necessary to have a guy like that, even though, like a lot of other fans, I like the way he plays. Reed Johnson belongs on a team that has a chance to go into the playoffs, where he actually might make a small difference. To me, the roster shouldn't be filled with a bunch of journeymen. This team is obviously going nowhere. I'm not going to tune in to watch the Bakers, Byrds, Mathers and Johnsons of the world play. I just don't care about a team like that. If that's the kind of crap Theocorp is throwing at us, that's their right, I guess, but I'm not going to be tuning in much to watch if that's their idea of rebuilding.

There's a few guys they can't dump yet, and a few guys that are here so we don't waste options/ future free agency status for our AAA studs. Sveum and cubs FO know what they have. I respect Sveum keeping guys involved who are on the Roster. That's all that is going on.

Oh. The other thing that's going on is: Paul Maholm SUCKS ASS!

Sun, 04/15/2012 - 5:54pm — superjimmer

There's a few guys they can't dump yet, and a few guys that are here so we don't waste options/ future free agency status for our AAA studs. Sveum and cubs FO know what they have. I respect Sveum keeping guys involved who are on the Roster. That's all that is going on.


SUPERJIMMER: FWIW, the Cubs gain an extra year of club control over Rizzo if they wait until at least June 23 to bring him up (so that he could not be a FA until post-2018), and they would have to wait until about August 1 if they want to avoid him being a Super Two post-2014.

Thanks Phil! What are the consequences of bringing Jackson up this year again?

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 3:41pm — superjimmer

Thanks Phil!

What are the consequences of bringing Jackson up this year again?


SUPER J: The Cubs already would get the extra year of club control over Brett Jackson if they bring him up right now. They just had to wait until the 12th day of the MLB regular season, and that's already past. So they can bring him up anytime now if that is their only concern.

If they want to be as sure as they can be to keep B-Jax from being a Super Two post-2014, however, they need to let about 60 days pass. So figure around June 1st, and then they can bring him up.

BTW, Welington Castillo is only four days short of Rizzo as far as MLB Service Time is concerned, so when they bring up Rizzo, it would be equally "safe" to bring up W. Castillo at the same time, too.

Thanks again Phil. I would say, then, that without question we will be waiting until June for Jackson / Castillo and August for Rizzo (as long as LaHair stays healthy and bats .250 with 3hr a month! Even so Baker would hold down the ship to the dismay of many.) Then they will kick into gear for the build up to 2014 & 2105 championship push seasons! It's the smart play...

SUPER J: As far as Brett Jackson and Welington Castillo are concerned, their timetables fit very nicely with the July 31st trade deadline, when the Cubs will probably look to trade Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto (presuming they can approach their career norms by then).

When Anthony Rizzo gets called up probably will depend on how Bryan LaHair is doing at the All-Star Break. If LaHair is raking, the Cubs might just leave Rizzo at Iowa until September, and then maybe he'll come to Big League Camp in Mesa next February as the reigning PCL MVP.

BTW, I also expect Rizzo to get a slot in the AFL post-2012.

I'd be okay with having 1 or 2 of those guys taking up roster spots, probably Mather first and then maybe Johnson, if for some reason other teams just don't want him. But to have all four of them is obviously redundant. The Cubs don't have a ton of other guys who need to be on the roster, but I'd be okay with having Cardenas, Campana and/or Sappelt on the active roster instead of some of Baker, Byrd, Johnson, and DeWitt. Plus, maybe we'd actually see LaHair starting a game or two against lefties. Since the Cubs aren't going anywhere, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to actually give him that shot.

I have to figure that Marmol, Soto, and Byrd will all be traded this year, and that might get some value back. Baker, Johnson and Mather will all be candidates to be traded to teams looking for bench bats, too, though the Cubs will likely only be able to minor league bullpen arms for each of them (and hard to imagine there will be a market for more than 1 or 2 of them). I suppose LaHair and Soriano could each end up traded as well, depending on the years they have and what they Cubs might be looking for in return (and whether Rizzo continues to hit in AAA). It is frustrating to see so much roster filler in a rebuilding year, but I don't think there is going to be room for four Byrd, Baker, Mather, Johnson types in after 2012.

I think they kept these guys around because they are at their lowest value now. If they were non-tendered there's no chance for any return. Letting DeWitt and Johnson build some trade value makes sense. They're also decent utility guys. Not great, but you'd have to fill that spot somehow anyway and maybe this is a dual purpose move. Mather earned his 25th man spot in Spring Training, and if the Cubs had passed another team surely would have given him a shot. Reed Johnson? I got nuthin

now that MLB minimum wage is so close to $500K, paying a guy $1m isn't that much of a big deal anymore...well, unless you have a small payroll.

Rizzo infield popup on a 3-0 count.

Goes back to the dugout to read past page 3 of "the cub's way" manual.

on to the bottom 12, 10-10.

this is going to take awhile (metaphor for the entire franchise)

Lots of both interesting and funny stuff from many of you today.

Thanks for making me laugh CUBSTER and the rest of you.

I guess Maholm is not Tweeting right now?

Man, what a pile of SUCK.

Odds they see .500 ever this year?


Rapidly approaching 0.

Worse than the odds that attendance at Wrigley is 50% capacity in September

Nice to see the New York Yankees on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. They haven't been on national TV since ... yesterday.

the worst managerial hiring since dave miley in CIN continues...

"Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, on WHDH's Sports Xtra show Sunday night, said Kevin Youkilis isn't as into baseball as he has been in the past.

"I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Valentine said."


Good old Bobby, never his fault

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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 1 hour 4 min 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 1 hour 12 min 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 40 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 2 hours 2 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 2 hours 8 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 2 hours 37 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 31 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 3 hours 34 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 7 hours 11 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 24 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 48 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 53 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 53 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 13 hours 40 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 14 hours 14 min ago view