Cubs Recap for April 23, 2012

9th inning dramatics at Wrigley and the Cubs have won 2 of 3. You probably don't want to go any farther back than that though.

@Cubs 3 - Cardinals 2; That certainly was an unexpected win, but let's first take a look at the expected. Garza gives up just 2 ER over 7 innings against a slightly depleted Cardinals lineup (no Berkman or John Jay). Garcia of course answers against a depleted Cubs lineup (no injuries, just by their very nature). Now to the surprises, Garza made a decent play on defense, laid down a sacrifice bunt and the team did not commit any errors. There were some adventures on the basepath, Castro getting picked off by Garcia and then 8th inning weirdness with Campana that worked out for the Cubs. Campana singled with 1 out and representing the tying run in the 8th. I missed the DeJesus at-bat unfortunately, so I don't know if he attempted to run off the lefty Garcia. But Matheny brought in the righty Boggs to face Barney and the Cardinals knew Campana would be running. He did on a 1-2 count and they called the successful pitchout and Molina delivered a strike, but Greene couldn't handle the throw and Campana ended up with the bag and then for good measure took third as well. It was all for naught in that inning, but fun to watch. To the 9th, Motte made quick of Soriano's slowing bat with 98mph heat. LaHair though battled to the tune of 12 pitches, fouling off all kinds of crazy pitches before working a walk. Soto followed with a walk of his own and Sveum went with Clevenger as the pinch-hitter for Dolis. He managed to advance the runners and now with 2 outs and runners on 2nd/3rd, Sveum lets Mather hit with Stewart on the bench against the righty Motte. Not the call I would have made, but Mather came through with the winning hit. I have no idea if Motte used up all his mojo up on LaHair's at-bat, but things certainly turned with that epic at-bat. Winning is fun.

Memphis 6 - @Iowa 2; Iowa played earlier in the day and you can see the recap in the game thread below, so no reason to repeat myself.

@Tennessee 5 - Chattanooga 4 (12 innings); This is an interesting one. Jonathan Mota started in left field, taking over for Ty Wright whom was promoted to Triple A when Campana was called up to the majors. Mota homered and then got credit for the win with a scoreless 12th inning. Mota for his minor league career entering tonight has played the following positions: 300 @SS, 130 @3B, 114 @2B, 15 @RF, 12 @ CF and 4.2 innings as a pitcher since 2008, so it wasn't completely new to him. Elliot Soto also had a multi-hit game with a double and a triple and Watkins had 2 RBI's. Dallas Beeler started and went 5.2 IP/4 ER/8 H/2 BB/ 3 K/1 HR. Justin Bour had the game-winning hit, singling in Nate Samson.

Lakeland 7 - @Daytona 2; A tough draw for Daytona as they got highly touted Jacob Turner for some reason (I presume some sort of rehab assignment as it was his first appearance of the year). Turner went 4 innings, giving up 0 hits, 2 BB's and 0 K's. Zach Cates got the start for Daytona and gave up 3 ER in 4 IP on 6 H/1 K/ 0 BB. Larry Suarez got roughed up for 3 ER in 2 innings of work to put the game out of reach. Richard Jones and John Andreoli were the only hitters to reach base multiple times.

Lansing 7 - @Peoria 3; Jose Rosario roughed up again for 4 ER in 5 innings against 9 H/2 BB/2 K. Offensively, DeVoss and Darvill were the only hitters to reach base more than once and Easterling had the only extra-base hit - a triple.

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Comments

B. Jackson's last 6 games just 1 K

also just 1 BB

5/23 with 1 BB/1 K/ and 2 2B's, 3 R, 2 RBI and 1 2B

Sveum, Hoyer, etc.: "Jackson will come up when he learns to K less."

Jackson (to self): "Swing at the first pitch every time, dummy."

AKA: The Cubs way

I love that you guys are giving shit to the first GM in my lifetime to come in with a frickin organized gameplan. (I started watching in '69). It seems like a lot of people here preferred the "spread shit on $1,000,000 bills, throw against the wall, and see what sticks" strategy . . . It's easy to make fun of people and plans in their infancy, babies are awkward but can grow up to own your smarmy asses. Let's let these guys get through the awkward stage, huh? "but, bro it's already been 17 games, bro, huh huh, I've seen enough bro." At least Theo has the guts to stand up to the moronic Cubs' culture and try a "Cubs Way" as stupid as it may sound to you. Anyone remember the flurry of sarcasm when apple announced something called the iPad? It was doomed because it was named after a feminine hygiene product line. I think apple did okay. Go Cubs!

Ok.
Do you really think that Dallas Green, or Jim Hendry, or even Larry Himes really had no gameplan? That they just showed up and said" Well..I wonder what's going to happen today?"

I like Theo's plan. It's 2012, not 1980...using sabremetrics, using a uniform model throughout the organization, jettisoning dead wood where he can.
Eh...fans will always criticize...it's in out nature.

Dallas definitely had the best from the ground up - plan. Hendry had a nice gutsy win now, trade deadline movin and shakin thang, which I actually liked until last few years - the no trade clauses and other probs caught up a little to say he least. But Theo is the first to ever gut the place and basically say "we cannot win as things stand. let's rip the vinyl off this old furniture." to criticize the current lineup etc, is basically like shooting ducks in a barrel (mixed metaphors baby)!

Agreed. Time to rip it up and start over.

I'm tired of watching minor league baseball at Wrigley, personally... and more to the point, I think this is exactly the problem with the current team. We're seeing minor league players trotting out there every day pretending they are big leaguers. And Castro's fucking .900 batting average and 7 million OPS is just wonderful, but what about him regularly giving the opposition 4 fucking outs to score in an inning? Somehow defense is still a back-burner issue to most people.

I'm looking forward to this changing under Theo- He asked me to be patient, so I will be patient. I will also continue to bitch about shitty baseball.

Is the anger about Castro a desire to see management make some kind of change or is it frustration with the rest of us not talking enough about his defense?

I for one love Castro and his bat (though I'm hoping to see him develop 20+ HR power so that he can be something more than an exceptional ability to make contact, which is nice, but not as valuable as it is impressive), but I am definitely frustrated with his defense. I just don't think there is anything to do except for management to keep coaching him and hope that his throws get more consistent. That and I'd like to see him improve receiving the ball from the catcher.

My asshole tenses up a little bit every time he has to make a throw--and I don't think there is anyone here who wouldn't like to see him improve. Garza's throws actually bother me a lot more, though, because that seems like something that ought to be easier to fix than Castro's much more difficult throws from multiple times the distance.

If you could write job requirements for a shortstop, what would it look like?

Bare minimum requirements:

Field the ball nearly every damn time the ball is hit to you
Make a good throw nearly every damn time you throw the ball
Hit a nice, patient .270
Take some walks

Obviously, the ideal candidate would exceed some of these requirements, but this is the bare minimum. Castro doesn't do two of these very basic requirements.

So to reiterate a question I've been asking for at least two fucking years: Have the Cubs found a real shortstop yet?

No.

So here I go bitching about the only guy that will make the all star team. I'm an idiot... whatevah.

I wouldn't mind the Cubs giving him some time at 2nd base. It's traditionally been the landing spot of Shortstops who never get the hang of fielding that position.

Not like he is being blocked by anyone of note over there.

He just turned 22. I'm hoping that he'll gradually get better at those two things you're talking about.

Who's on your list of shorstops you'd rather have instead?

Jack wilson.

Uh...seriously? Jack Wilson of the career 76 OPS+

There's nothing wrong with Jack Wilson, though, if I were putting a team together, he wouldn't be my first choice. I reject that you have to choose between defense and offense.

Well if the Cubs got Jack Wilson from 4 years ago.

I really am curious who you would like to have a short stop instead of Castro. Someone that is playing now, I mean. I also wonder if you're suggesting moving Castro to 2B.

I don't really know.

Is there any precedent for a team bringing in a special coach to develop a skill for an up-and-comer? Like give Castro his own defensive coach to teach him how to do it right. Maybe he'll learn it.

But if he is moved, I would also throw 3B into the mix, not just 2B. The throw from 3B is easier than the throw from SS... is been my experience from playing ball many moons ago. And anyways- Castro hits as well as our prior 3b.

I think that SS is probably the most important defensive position in Baseball. Followed by CF and Catcher IMHO.

I'd be fine with a so-so offensive performer and a Gold Glove defender there.

I'd probably start giving Castro some reps at 2nd. His scatter arm won't be a liability over there like it is at SS.

I think your list of important defensive positions is fine except that it's missing third base. But then you're a Cub fan. So am I, but I remember Santo. And I live in a town where they have Ryan Zimmerman playing third.

Castro had 29 errors as a 21-year-old last season. Shawon Dunston, one of those eighties players you are probably nostalgic about, committed 32 errors at age 23.

It looks like Dunston missed a lot of games in many of those early years, but when he played 140 or more, his errors were in the twenties. Out of 1657 games over 18 seasons, Dunston played 25 games at second, 11 at third. He did play some OF but not till he was 34.

I think a glove is nice at 3rd base. However I think a bat needs to be equally important there.

The thing that always got he on these blogs were people bitching that Adam Dunn would have a bad glove at first base. Yet mentioning anything negative about Castro's 50 errors at Short stop would make you a pariah.

Uh...seriously? Jack Wilson of the career 76 OPS+

turn on the sarcasm detector.

thanks Rob....man...asleep at the switch..

Anyone remember the flurry of sarcasm when apple announced something called the iPad? It was doomed because it was named after a feminine hygiene product line. I think apple did okay. Go Cubs!
---
AAPL down 11.30 to $560.40
down $83 from 52 week high of $644.00

oh wait, I bought those shares in 1994 at what turns out to be a split adjusted price of $5.06.

So being a long term shareholder of Apple before the second coming of Steve Jobs has been a hugely good thing. It can be often very tough if you look at the stock price every minute.

There have been better times looking at the Cubs stock price, just not lately. Still, I keep paying attention (obsessively).

Guess I'm an idiot...well not completely, cause I'm an AAPL shareholder too.

Actually, being a Cub fan is more comparable to being a Johns Manville shareholder. That was a former Dow stock (from January 29, 1930 to August 27, 1982) but when they found out in the 1980's that Asbestos causes cancer (Mesothelioma, cancer of the lung lining) it went bankrupt.

Eventually they emerged out of bankruptcy in 1988 (comps with Dallas Green?) and in 2001 were bought by Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet)...hopefully that comps with Theo coming on board with the Cubs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johns_Manville

"moronic Cubs' culture" is a little strong but I do think there is a flawed Cub culture and since it is never mentioned, I responded to your characterization.

Three examples:

1) a contempt for minor leaguers. That's not true at all any more among Cub fans on TCR, which I consider a very positive development.

2) a disregard for what are key defensive positions, particularly third and catcher, where the glove is at least as important as the bat.

3) a distrust of speed on the bases and the aggressive use thereof. Sometimes a runner is thrown out, just like sometimes a hitter swings and misses.

(By the way, did you see how quickly Soto made it to home last night? That's not an accident, it's Sveum harping all the time about leads and jumps.)

What I would emphasize about this year's team is that it is not bad in the usual ways and should, therefore, improve.

Sveum is the Koyie Hill of baserunning apparently

(or it was 2 outs)

3) a distrust of speed on the bases and the aggressive use thereof. Sometimes a runner is thrown out, just like sometimes a hitter swings and misses.

apples meet oranges

The Cubs have zero speed except little Tony.

If they ever make apple orange hybrids, I'm buying

Tony is that hybrid; he strikes out and gets caught stealing sometimes.

I really REALLY would love an AppleOrange right now!

/buzzkill

genetic incompatibility aside...because of chilling hours (aka, cold nights) that apples need to produce fruit you may never see such a plant, even as a grafted hybrid.

the "Anna" variety of apple would be one of the few apples out there with low chilling requirements.

citrus hates cold/chilling.

/buzzkill

That's good info crush! I would rather not get my hopes up.

Party pooper. Most of the shit we eat today is lab created anyway. Do it inside.

TGI Fridays Potato Skins snack chips...

they're very solid and crisp.

the #1 ingredient and the most abundant ingredient in the chips is vegetable oil, not potatoes. not bad for a solid food. SCIENCE!

Like Xanax and Whiskey?

"apples meet oranges"

Sometimes I feel like an apple, sometimes an orange. Apples are meatier and more filling, oranges are juicier and more thirst-quenching.

So what's the problem?

"So what's the problem?"

the difference between a strike and an out

I could have said, Sometimes you swing and hit a popup.

Never swing at a 2 and 0 pitch, and you'll never be out.

(Fukudome could get behind that rule.)

Is Theo really the first GM in our lifetime that decided he wanted to have a Minor League system? Did you forget the Dallas Green era, or the Uber-Hyped 1998-2003 wave of prospects?

I think Dallas and Jim were actually fine for their team/era. Everything I've read and remember says Dallas got cut a little short in his plan as well. I just actually find this rebuilding/ethos building period exciting and just want to point out how easy it is to rip on people like Theo who are trying to be transparent about trying something new. Maybe the fact that The Cubs Way sounds trite is not his fault. He believes and we don't yet. Glad to have him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hajZazYPkGQ&fe...

above 1992 video, uncovered by BP writer, Larry Granillo...music video includes Bob Uecker, Greg Maddux, Ricky Henderson and Dennis Eckersley. Dreaming of a Cubs World Series, song is "Take this Heart"

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

Cubby Blue hits another bullseye...

http://www.cubby-blue.com/my_weblog/2012/04/p...

unicorns, nessy, double rainbows, UFO's, Raffi Torres helping old lady...what is this world coming to.

Brutal. :) Love it.

Anyone notice the commercial during the cub tv broadcast last night with the parent teaching her little girl the alphabet with flashcards? About the 4th card that comes up is a "W" and the little girl says, "Cubs Win."

Now that's my kind of parenting.

I can't find it on u tube yet.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

ESPN/Doug Padilla gets this Sveum quote:

“If he clears waivers and everything, we want to keep [Lopez] in the organization and put him in the rotation down in Triple-A,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Hopefully that happens and he elects to go down there as well.”

Rod Lopez, kind of like gum on the bottom of that proverbial shoe?

I'm not a fan of small sample sizes, but in this case I'll make an exception:

In four outings this season, all in relief, Lopez was 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA over 6 1/3 innings with five walks and two strikeouts. Opponents batted .320 against him, the highest mark of any Cubs pitcher.

Again, I gotta say, that was an amazing at bat by LaHair, and if THAT doesn't tell Sveum the dude belongs in the batters box every day, I'm gonna pull out what remains of my hair. That's the kind of AB that commands respect from other teams and players.

OMFG, Garza got a hit! That brings his Cubs average up to .096.

Peoria has an early game today. Burke cruising through 5, 2H, 0R, 4K.

Peoria announcer just mentioned that Concepcion is starting for Peoria tomorrow, I missed who was going up to AA, I think they said it's a reliever.

Props to TCR for making it into the Peoria Journal Star article about Concepcion's work in Extended Spring.

http://www.pjstar.com/news/x787567862/Cubs-pi...

I hope some royalties are headed your way!!

cool, thanks for the heads up.

shame they don't mention Arizona Phil specifically though, he certainly deserves the credit.

early starts for Iowa, Tennessee and Peoria

Shelby Miller vs. Iowa and Travis Wood; Jackson 8, Sappelt 9, Valbuena 4, Rizzo 3, Castillo 2, Cardenas 6, Gonzalez 7, Vitters 5, Wood 1

Dae-Eun Rhee started for the Smokies and gave up 7 R/5 ER in 5 Ip, they're down 7-2 in the 6th. Ha is 2/3 with an error.

H. Simpson goes against Lakeland tonight.

K. Burke getting the start for Peoria and 5 IP/0 ER/2 H/0 BB and 4 K so far; 0-0 in the bottom of the 5th

1st inning in Iowa:

T. Wood: FO-7, 2B, 1B with runner advancing to third and batter thrown out at 2B by Sappelt, K

off Shelby Miller: BB by Jackson, SB, BB by Sappelt, K by Valbuena, Single by Rizzo to load bases, K by Castillo in 10-pitch AB, FO-8 by Cardenas

0-0

2B by Z. Cox, FC 1-5 gets runner at 3B, FO-8, K

LO-5 (Gonzalez), FO-7 (Vitters), FO-3 (Wood)

K, K, 2B by Cox, FO-3

1B (Castillo), FO-8 (Cardenas), FO-8 (Gonzalez), 1B (Vitters) w/ Castillo going to 3rd, 9-pitch K (Wood)

BB, 1B, HBP, 2-run 1B, GIDP, BB, GO 4-3

K(Jackson), LO-3 (Sappelt), 2B (Valbuena), FO-5 (Rizzo)

2-0 Memphis

Chiefs rally for 6 in the bottom of the 9th to win 6-2. (Darvill 2-run 2B, Hoilman Grand Slam).

I wonder how long Hoilman's power (and to a lesser degree his patience) will keep him around if he doesn't drastically improve other aspects of his game.

Nobody wants to give up on a minor leaguer who can hit jacks with consistency. But he's obviously behind Rizzo, Vogelbach, Shoulders, and probably even Bour just in terms of Cubs first base prospects.

when your delegated to DH in lo-A, things aren't promising.

Well with Cuneo there...and if they are trying to get them both at-bats?

I think Cuneo missed some time to start the season and Hoilman did get some first base time, but now it seems Cuneo's getting all the first base time. You'd figure they'd split duties if they had much faith in Hoilman.

Or perhaps Cuneo is a better fielder? Eh...we'll see I suppose.. I'm too giddy about LaHair's dinger off a lefty.

K (Cox), K, 1B, 1B, K

6 IP, 2 ER, 8 K, 7 H, 2 BB for Wood today - 95 pitches so far

Shelby Miller is out so I'm done with the updates

I really didn't enjoy Levine's opinionated chat today. I think I'll skip that little bit of Tuesday reading from now on. Many of us could have answered the same questions with the same degree of expertise. I liked him better when he had people in the front office returning his calls.

I do appreciate that the new FO keeps its own counsel and does not scratch any media backs.

FO-8, K, FO-9

K (Jackson), K (Sappelt), 1B (Valbuena), GO-3 (Rizzo)

Smokies cut it to 7-5, Adduci bases clearing pinch-hit double

Burke goes 6 IP/4 K/1 BB/3 H

of course the other team has compiled 10 K's between 3 pitchers and a shutout so I'm thinking it's a favorable ump

@R_Andrew1981I'm hearing the #Bears are offering Matt Forte and their 19th pick to the Browns for their 4th and 22nd picks. Do it!

I'd do it perhaps for Forte and our 2nd round pick.

I don't know, $9M in cap space means you can sign Mike Wallace possibly plus the 4th pick of the draft and get Richardson for cheaper and more years than Forte.

I wouldn't be upset about it depending on who they'd draft and use the money on.

DeJesus rf, Campana cf, Castro ss, LaHair 1b, Soriano lf, Stewart 3b, Barney 2b, Soto c, Samardzija p

Mather 1.215, LaHair 1.065, Clevenger 1.056, Barney .965, Castro .915 (Campana 1.267 in 5 AB's)

Baker .625, DeJesus .470, DeWitt .333, Stewart .297, Johnson .273, Soto .269, Soriano .085

not a home run among the bunch...

Anytime Soriano wants to go on a hot streak....well that's ok by me....just sayin'.

2007 OK by you?

"Anytime Soriano wants to go...well that's ok by me...just sayin'"

Fixed.

+1...for a bag of balls, and a fungo

what's this "home" "run" you speak of?

as the Steve Goodman song goes, Go Apple Go...
---

At market close: $560.28 down $11.42

Earnings: $12.30 per share
On $39.2 billion of revs (blows past analyst expectations)

After hours quote: $602.55 up $42.27 (7.5%)

Geico pigs can fly?

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