Game 16 Thread - Wells vs. Cueto

Cubs break their 6-game losing streak on the strength of Maholm's pitching and a 2-out, 4-run rally in the 2nd. In the minors, Iowa loses 12-7. Sappelt goes yard, Rizzo goes 2/5 with 3 RBI's, Jackson 2/5 with a double and a K. Coleman pitched well enough, 6 IP, 2 ER and 7 K but 4 BB's. The bullpen blew up though, Corpas and Beliveau giving up 9 runs in 2 innings. It got so bad that Blake Lalli and Alfredo Amezaga had to finish the game. Tennessee won 4-2, N. Struck with the win (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). Antigua with 3 scoreless innings out of the pen and Hatley with a scoreless inning for the save. Ha (3/4), Ridling (2/3), Wright (2/3) provided most of the offense. Daytona won 13-2, Jokisch gets the win (5.2 IP/2 ER/3 BB/2 K). 5 doubles, 1 triple and a home run (Nelson Perez) were part of the offensive explosion. Peoria lost 2-1, but can't blame starting pitcher Michael Jensen who went 7 IP, 2 unearned runs, 1 BB, and 6 K.

Reds Cubs
Cozart, SS
*DeJesus, RF
Stubbs, CF
*Campana, CF
*Votto, 1B
Castro, SS
Ludwick, LF
*LaHair, 1B
*Bruce, RF
Soriano, LF
Heisey, LF
*Stewart, 3B
*Harris, 2B
Soto, C
Hanigan, C
*DeWitt, 2B
Cueto, P
Wells, P

Arizona Phil can of course explain this better, but Wells takes the roster spot of Marlon Byrd for today and I believe Michael Bowden is in some sort of outright waiver limbo that should be taken care of shortly. Bowden is out of options.

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Rusin vs. Memphis
(Jackson 8, Sappelt 9, Cardenas 4, Rizzo 3, Castillo 2, Vitters 5, Amezaga 7, Tolbert 6, Rusin 1)

Searle vs. Chattanooga
(Soto 6, Watkins 4, Ha 8, Bour 3, Ridling 7, Burgess 9, Apodaca 2, Samson 5, Searle 1)

Loosen vs. Lakeland
Francescon vs. Lansing

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

"It's just the plan we want to stick with and develop him," Sveum said Sunday. "He still needs to develop. He's still striking out a little too much. He needs to be more conscious and a little bit better in that situation. If you're striking out that much in Triple-A, it'll be that much more against big league pitching.

"Until you get those 500 at-bats at Triple-A, it's something the organization and Theo [Epstein] want to impress on our young guys, is [that] 'You'll stay and play and develop.'"

~snip~

"I think sometimes we rush kids too quick and it's not for anybody's benefit," Sveum said. "We've all been part of when kids have been rushed and they've done really well, but it doesn't happen very often."

I don't disagree with the philosophy at all, but for consistency's sake they better send Campana and his < 300 AAA AB's back down, then.

heh

I'm sure it's reserved for those they actually expect/hope to be long term regulars.

McNutt headed to the DL

@sahadevsharma Ugh, McNutt to DL. Was just lamenting Cubs' lack of high-end pitching in minors & how McNutt has failed to take that proverbial step forward

blister supposedly

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/4/22/2967...

thoughts from Sickles on Bowden

His major league performance has been mixed; he has a 5.61 ERA in 59 career innings with a 48/23 K/BB and 71 hits allowed, but I think he's capable of better, useful as a middle reliever at least. His stuff isn't spectacular, but he has three pitches (fastball, slider, changeup) and a good minor league track record.

He could return to starting at some point, and in many organizations he would have been given much more of an opportunity than he received in Boston. Bowden also has a local connection with the Cubs, being from the Chicago area. I think he's a nice pickup for a 34-year-old outfielder in the decline phase of his career.

Wells Houdini's himself out of the first inning without a run

as much crap as we all give Campana, it is fun to watch when he does get on-base.

Campana could be useful as a league minimum player if he didn't strike out so much.

Votto being Votto, double scores Stubbs for a 1-0 lead.

Rolen bloop single to RF scores Votto, 2-0.

“It happened in the bullpen the other day,” Sveum said, referring to Dempster’s throwing session. “He’s much, much better. He just still feels it a little bit. Just precautionary, just going to miss a couple of starts and hopefully end up with 31-32 starts when the season’s over.”

Wells makes a nice play on a safety squeeze to get Bruce at home.

judging by the way Dusty is talking to Bruce, it was meant to be a suicide squeeze. Soto then throws out Harris trying to steal 2B.

So much for the good defense, Soto throws away a sac bunt.

Wells done after 5 IP, 2 ER.

not bad for an emergency start I suppose.

For Randy Wells at Wrigley during the day, it's downright masterful.

Just curious, was there ever more than that 1 outing where he basically admitted to not being "prepared" and it's just a joke that keeps giving. Or is he actually a really well-known partier like Soriano, Grace and Pie.

Hell if I know, but his 2009-11 day/night ERA splits are 4.65/3.39. Some people just aren't "morning" people.

That's not particularly dramatic. A lot of hitters say they prefer to hit during the day because they can see better anyway.

League-average, probably not a huge difference.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Again, I'm not saying Wells is a lush, just that he actually does perform notably better at night.

from the scuttlebutt here in chicago, he was farnsworthian partier

reds try to give the cubs two outs, cubs politely refuse

The more things change the more they stay the same. Cubs went into today 26th in BB drawn and 5th in BB given up. Today's game only increases the spread.

By the way, could Soriano be more of a void in the middle of the line-up?

Why does Sveum think that LaHair is a hitter that you double-switch out of the lineup? Lately he's the most productive hitter on the team and it's entirely possible he could end up leading the team in OPS. Campana, DeWitt, and Soriano are your double-switch guys today, Sveum. Now you don't have your best power hitter for the rest of this game that you are losing, and instead you have Mather in there batting behind guys who couldn't buy their way on base lately and the pitcher's spot following the top of your lineup.

Aw shit.

Don't be broken, please.

*Wipes forehead*

looks like the cubs might need a bird/noise cannon for the OF as the season drags on.

there's about 2-3 dozen birds sitting in the OF waiting for that giant piece of popcorn the pitcher keeps throwing to the crouching dude.

Walmart BB gun day. First 10,000 fans get a long range BB gun rifle.

they better do it while they can still get 10K into the park.

im actually kinda surprised they're still putting 30K in the park for games.

im actually kinda surprised they're still putting 30K in the park for games.
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that stat is tickets sold when they announce attendance around the 8th inning.

I was there friday and sunday (ouch, nothing like two losing games of mid 40's baseball with the wind blowing in from LF). Didn't go saturday, needed a day to thaw out.

Headcount of fans in the stands was closer to 18-20K max.

From what little I saw of today's game, there were lots of empty seats, and it was middle innings.

Ted Williams took care of pigeons in the OF at Fenway with a shotgun. Different time.

16 games into the season...8 games out of .500...tied for last in all of MLB with SD.

neat.

...and SD wins giving the cubs sole control of last place.

that's not as much of a big deal to me this early compared to the 8 games out of .500, though...ow.

Lefty Chris Rusin pitched 8 innings of 2 hit, no walk (4K) baseball and the I-Cubs beat the Memphis Redbirds 2-1 in Iowa. Broke a 5 game losing streak.

Rizzo 1-3, a run scored and a walk
WCastillo 1-4 and a rbi
Cardenas, 2-2 and a walk
BJax 0-4, now down to .239. He's leading off now that Campana is up.

Well, none of you told me that HoyStein's Big Picture Plan is to have the team finish dead last so that we can get the #1 draft choice in 2013.

Genius.

Well they did say that this year the plan was to "field a team that will compete (for the number 1 draft pick)".

the last part was a fill in the blank.

Allowing the most runs in the NL is a pretty quick recipe for losing. Only BOS and MIN have allowed more.

Hard to believe, but this team is actually 9th in the NL in runs scored so far.

This looks like a below-average lineup, but not a piss-pour lineup (unless Stewart and LaHair become useless or something along those lines). It's the rotation and a few bullpen arms that have the potential to move the team out of the cellar or way down into it.

So far I'm not very impressed with them. It's awfully early to judge the front office, but I don't like giving up on a season so early, and I have definitely done that. I realize they were given a pretty horrific situation, but they also haven't made any trades that have opened my eyes. The things that are going wrong are already starting to pile up:

Travis Wood for Marshall looks like a dud, so now the success of the trade looks to be depending on how Torreyes pans out. They appeared to be favorites to land Cespedes, but lost him to a small market team that may not even be in that small market in a few years. It doesn't matter to me why they lost him, just that they did. He's doing pretty well so far in Oakland - we'll see how a second trip around the league treats him, though. Crunch looks to be spot on with Ian Stewart. The guy really just doesn't seem to be a very good hitter at all, although he is a pretty slick fielder. I can't tell about Sveum yet, but he's inconsistent with his "performance" claim, leaving Soriano in the middle of the lineup, leaving Soto in for Clevenger and his daily doubles.

I tend to agree with them that there is no real reason to bring up Jackson and/or Rizzo right now, but partly that's because this team is so God Awful that there simply is no point. They'll have no impact.

It would be fair to ask what I expected from these guys, given the circumstances. I guess I would say at least a decent trade, since you can't do much with the minors yet but wait. Landing a decent free agent would have been nice, too. These are the things they're paid to do. This is a big market team with a nearly furious fan base. There's a real call to action here. I don't really sense any urgency on their part.

A lot of this is my frustration at knowing I've got yet another year of watching bad baseball. Or, not watching it, actually, in my case. As I get older in life, I find myself turning into a bit of a fair weather fan. I've really got better things to do that watch a crappy product on the field. I don't sit around the house watching B movies, and I don't sit around watching minor league teams disguised as major league ones.

I was going to tell you, "Wait O & B! Their starting pitching has been very good. If they could only hit!"

Then I looked it up.

14/16 in the NL, 4.74 Team ERA

"Well, what about fielding, then? With the Cubs Way, surely they are helping the pitchers out, right?"

Next to last in the NL with 16 errors (last today is a tie with the two NL Sans' - Diego/Francisco)

Just a big pile of shit. And, selfishly, I would like to look forward to seeing SOMETHING at Wrigley when I go other than Joe Mather, Chris Volstad, Soriass, and company. I would like to see some of the prospects and not have to go to Des Moines to do it.

Hey, I owned Bulls tickets when Jalen Rose and Eddy Curry were on the team so I know things can get better.

But this is really going to be the longest Cubs year I have experienced since 2002.

But then again, they all run together after a while.

I haven't watched this team in years and I can say it makes your life much better than getting angry over it. I still think the long term future for this team is better than under Hendry and Lou though. We got pretty good starting pitching #1-3. A star SS. A 1B hitting everything that will bring us some possibly quite useful piece. A possible star 1B in Rizzo and a possible really good OFer in Jackson. We have some pretty good catchers it seems waiting to take over for Soto once we can trade him. Vitters might not be the star people were hoping for him but he should still hit well and with Rizzo and Castro might not have to be a star.

Overall it seems we're gonna have a very good top half of the lineup top part of the rotation. Relief pitching is bad but generally seems to be something you just can't spend money on to be successful with. This year might suck if you have any hopes for competition but for me I'm enjoying seem some players do well, seeing a consistent system put in place bottom to top and having some hope that with the team being built on young players if Castro, Rizzo and Jackson all do pan out we could be a very good team for a long time.

Ha, I gave up on being angry about the Cubs during my inauguration year, 1969.

I think you're giving up on Stewart a little early. His numbers are ugly, but I actually think he's looked decent at the plate. He's not a candidate to turn into a star or anything, but he's looked in control and like he can hit the ball. His numbers, granted, don't show it yet, as his slash line is hideous.

When I say that his BABIP has been low, nay-sayers are likely to point to his BABIP last year and call it a trend instead of bad luck. Certainly, his BABIP last year (.224) was even worse than it has been so far this year (.244). But both are way below his career average (.295).

And when we talk about BABIP, we should also take his type of contact into account. In 2011 he had a horrendous line drive rate of just 11.9%. If you hit that few line drives, you'd better jack a lot of fly balls out of the park. In 2011, he definitely didn't. 0% HR/FB (no homeruns). In 2012 Stewart has a much, much healthier line drive rate of 22%. With one HR, his HR/FB is a mere 6.7% (for comparison, Blake DeWitt's percentage in 2011 was 6.8%).

Meanwhile, his K% and BB% have been pretty consistent throughout his career.

So, it seems to me that as the season progresses if we want to draw conclusions about whether Stewart is returning to the player he once was or whether he's staying closer to what he was in 2011, we need to pay attention to the following things in addition to his slash line and his HR total: Is his line drive % closer to 10 or 20 (or over 20)? When he hits a fly ball, is it leaving the park 10-15% of the time, or is it leaving the park 0-5% of the time?

Everything else has been pretty consistent for Stewart in his career. I suspect the power is going to take a little bit longer to come back, if he is on the way to returning to his career averages, due to that wrist injury. If he comes all the way back, you might have a guy who can play decent defense at third, pop 20-25 HRs a season, and walk enough to get on base about 32% of the time or so. We might even expect him to improve on that, a bit, since he's in the prime of his career right now at age 27.

I haven't seen him as much as you, I think, and I trust your judgement based on your posts. Right now his LD% rate is at 22%, about the only decent number I could find. I like his fielding enough to be patient and hope the rest will come.

Overall I'm trying to be optimistic, but this season looks like toast already, and it's awfully early to be saying that. We knew it was toast before it began, of course. I was just hoping for .500 mediocrity for awhile to make things interesting, not .300 pukeage.

my casual observation is that he seems to be hitting a lot of hard hit balls right at people so far this year.

Oh, the season is toast. I've come to terms with that already, I think. I'm watching for the future now (which isn't necessarily making the experience more pleasant in the early going).

why not give up on him early when he swings a bat like he does?

as some know...i would be impressed if he hit .250/.330 avg/ob% with 15 homers...that's the best i think he's capable of and i doubt he'll do it.

crap contact on a rigid swing.

Crunch, that's pretty much what I'm saying we might expect from him if his line drive rate and home run rates get back close to his career averages.

It's April 23 and he seems to be hitting the ball at people, as Rob said.

I haven't heard anyone claim he's going to be an all-star. I'm guessing your describe what he did last season as "crap contact." His contact this season, so far, has been fine.

a guy with an uppercut swing like his not elevating the ball...that should say enough.

to me, he's a pure mistake hitter at this point in his career. a guy that swings with his power and his stroke should be able to square up the ball more than he's getting under/on top of it. part of that problem has to do with how little he can move/adjust his bat once he starts his swing.

he's hitting a lot of really hard line drives and hard grounders that should be elevated a lot more with his kind of swing.

Iowa already playing and down 4-0 headed to bottom of 3rd. Jay Jackson bringing the suck today.

Did Ty Wright get promoted to replace Campana?

Lineup w/ BA:
B. Jackson .236, Sappelt .234, Valbuena .340, Rizzo .377, Castillo .317, Cardenas .361, Wright .250, Vitters .255, J. Jackson .000

Wright was hitting .429 in AA

That is correct.

Rizzo 2/3 with a 2b and a BB
Jackson 2/4 with a run scored and a SB
Castillo 1/4 with an RBI

Vitters with an error

J. Jackson 5 IP/4 ER/0 K/1 BB

DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Baker 1B, Soto C, Johnson CF, Mather 3B, Garza P

vs. J. Garcia

Free LaHair!

LaHair aside - and it's not like it would do a ton to help - but this is just one of the worst lineups I've seen in quite some time.

You know, I don't know if LaHair is going to be some great shakes, but with his numbers, especially compared to Baker's, at least let him play until his numbers come down. It's asinine to keep him on the bench with the kind of hitting this team has, even if he has had 5 strikeouts in 6 PAs against lefties.

It's asinine to keep him on the bench with the kind of hitting this team has
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What? And possibly win a few more games. Not gonna happen in project 2013 cause the goal is to get that #1 draft pick.

2012 marketing: Baseball IS better when you get the #1 draft pick

nothing says 'awesome' like a last place team getting to pay a few million bucks to a guy that might make in impact in 2-4 years.

cubs just got marginally better...

"Cubs designated RHP Rodrigo Lopez for assignment."

...also, m.byrd playing CF and batting 9th (lol) for RSox

Note to JedStein:

You're suposed to release the guy before you have to pay him the $100,000 bonus.

Cubs designated RHP Rodrigo Lopez for assignment
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My guess he'll be a Yankee soon, Jim Hendry has been scouring the rosters for someone just like him. Now he can get the original.

on another front...

BJax 2-4, no strikeouts
Rizzo 2-3, double and a walk

Iowa and JJax loses 6-2.

Bowden vs. JJax, compare and contrast, an experiment we'll get to say meh about soon I expect.

per Muskat:
New Cubs Bowden says fave player growing up was Ryne Sandberg

Cubs pitcher Michael Bowden is at Wrigley Field, taking part in pitchers fielding practice and wearing No. 43

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#43? let the Michael Wuertz comparisons begin too.

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