Looks Like We're Temporarily Losing our .500 Hitter

Per Paul Sullivan and Enrique Rojas of ESPN Desportes, who tipped it late last night on Twitter, the Cubs are expected to disable Steve Clevenger--yes, 11-for-22 and 1249 OPS-hitting Steve Clevenger--because of "tightness in his side." Sullivan says Clevenger felt the discomfort during batting practice before Friday night's unmerciful thrashing of Roy Halladay.

Welington Castillo, hitting .320 with 2 HR and 8 RBI at Iowa, will get the call-up.

As our resident medical man, Cubster, said in the comments to the previous post, "Not officially an oblique strain but as close as it gets."


TE Evan Rodriguez out of Temple


Emery: Right fit, right role. We see Evan as a combination of a FB and a move TE."

Lineup is the predictable one: DeJesus, Barney, Castro, LaHair, Soriano, Stewart, RJohnson (cf), Soto, Wells

Good, by all means, get Campana outta there.

Yea, Q-ball sure is acting like last year. HEY, wait a second!?!...

Soto replaced by Castillo in lineup, back problem

Are you serious? Castillo hurting too?

Edit: Oops, read that backwards. Soto hurting, Welly in. Got it!

6th round pick

CB Isaiah Frey from Nevada


Dempster back Thursday vs. Cincy

per Muskat tweet...

Clevenger flew back to Chicago for treatment of right oblique.


Castillo starts and bats 8th

per ESPN tweet (Levine or Padilla)...

Clevenger says it's a right oblique strain on the last swing of BP last night. He's headed back to Chicago now.


Soto upper back tightness. Nothing major. Castillo will start for him though.


Castillo is starting, it's Soto who's got a weak back (since oh, about a week back)


we are Castillo power squared...

Lendy approves!

DRose hurt his knee in the last minute of the Bulls win. No real info until the MRI results are in but WGN sports talk with Memolo and Koz were speculating whether it's an MCL(not real bad but not good) or ACL (bad). Looking at the replay it looks like an MCL/medial collateral ligament injury.

video link:

Wow. Torn ACL, Rose is gone. Unbelievable.

That one hurts.

dear mlb network...quit giving eric byrnes work.

for the love of f'n god...quit giving this manchild work.

...quit putting him in front of a mic.


I really can't believe you even watch that channel at all. Quick pitch is the only tolerable show, and even that is only watchable when it's straight highlights. I've seen you mentioning Intentional Talk and I really can't believe you subject yourself to that.

my love of kevin millar cannot be explained so i'll just hold back on that one...

it's nice to hear from harold reynolds (that one might be even more of a personal taste than millar).

matt vagbag is awesome...greg anslinger is matt vagbag without the emotionless/quick humor. ahmad feered is wallpaper, but not annoying.

sean casey is surprisingly fun and not an idiot. i still don't know how i feel about bill ripken, but he's getting more comfortable.

they're finding more work for brian kenney beyond his SABR-themed show (only on in the offseason and a great 1st season, though subjects debatable).

along with the fact i cannot stand what Baseball Tonight has become, i stick with the MLB Network.

This sells the network way short, IMHO. This channel is a freaking godsend, though I would agree that some (most) of their personalities are annoying. Plays of the Week, all of the Countdown shows, etc. Freaking godsend year-round.

Amsinger is the worst, followed by Vasgergian and Reynolds. Casey brings very little to the table other than laughing at Reynolds.

imo, they should give vagbag his own player interview show called "I'm Going To Make Fun of You For an Hour and You'll Still Like Me When This is Over"...he's brilliant at that. he should have a lot more enemies with his mouth, but it's almost impossible for him to piss others off (plus he takes it as well as he gives it out).

to me..."Intentional Talk" is like a what "Best Damn Sports Show..." used to be back when tom arnold/john kruk were kicking around. ESPN took kruk, gave him about 100 painkillers, and inserted a sanitized version of him on Baseball Tonight.

yeah though...if you dont like vagbag, you're not gonna like amsinger...

Len on the pre-game intro says Clevenger's oblique strain is fairly severe (hence he's heading back to Chicago), expects him to be out for awhile. These usually take 4-6 weeks to recover so expect Welington to get some real chances to show his stuff.

some stuff from the inter webs...

an article the Sun-Times picked up from Florida Today:

interview with a physical therapist who worked with the Padres (and then went into ortho):

too bad soto is in his way...i was looking forward to welly coming up to show what he's got, but i was hoping he'd get more than a partial April to get regular hacks beforehand.

If Soto is in his way, it's just barely. His kind of numbers are going to be in Castillo's way like a pine tree gets in the way of a forest fire.

barney/castro cannot turn a f'n double play...especially if the ball gets to barney 1st.

it's getting really annoying, but it's not like the cubs have another 2nd base option.

barney is mechanically good, but slow going through the motions of the mechanics...castro is haphazardly fluid...interesting combo.

and it comes back to bite them...phils lead 1-2, bottom 4

sigh...barney isn't even bad D (best on the team)...he's just slow once he has to go through the motions after he catches the ball.

and the wheels fall off...1-4, bottom 4...

Or "Rip" to the rescue for the DRose-less Bulls?

I think they can still get out of the first round. And then its over.

Bad mistake by coach Thibs to keep him In with a minute left.

This is where I disagree. As painful as it is to see Rose go out, he barely played half the Bulls' games this year--and for many that he DID play, he was less than 100%. Further, for most of the no-Rose games, Hamilton was out as well. And yet, the Bulls STILL beat up on pretty much every team in the NBA, including the Heat.

They may not get past Miami in the ECF w/o Rose, but I think they're a lock to get to the ECF in the first place. And while the odds are against, I don't think it's at all impossible to beat Miami minus Rose.

I didn't have a problem with Thibs keeping him in there. Like Thibs said, the 76ers were on a run, and that's the kind of minutes Rose needed to get back to his old playing shape. I blame the injury more on all the accumulative effects of his other injuries and the weird short season. And the way he landed on his foot, it just didn't seem that unusual. Almost like it was an injury waiting to happen, and it could have happened, and probably would have, at almost any time.

I think coach Thibs is a fucking meathead. If they have confidence that they can go to the ECF without Rose, then they should have confidence to hold off Philly for 90 seconds with a 12 point lead. He's been leaving injured guys in waaaaaay too long this year while the team has big leads. Especially Deng. Every time Deng came back from injury, Thibs would have him play like 43 minutes.

It is an interesting two sides of the coin debate.

I have tix for Game 4 at the United Center should it get that far.

From the fans point of view, don't you have to have to proctect the team's biggest asset whenever possible in this year of poor conditioning?

I think you do in a situation like that. I'm sorry, but the likliehood of a miracle ala Reggie Miller was just not going to happen. You just HAVE to have faith in the Bench Mob at that time, imo, for the fans benefit moving forward.

I made plans with a friend to go to game two. Glad I didn't buy the tickets yet. Prices on stubhub dropped like 25%. I guess people don't want to spend $100s to watch Watson and JL3.

I believe that they'll get out of Round 1. After that - who knows.

Anyway, the Playoffs are totally about stars taking it to the next level.

Without DRose...

If this were aggravating an existing injury, I might agree with you. This was a new, freak injury that could've happened five minutes earlier or in the first minute of the next game. Would I have been playing him at that point? Probably not, but I'll bet 98 percent of NBA coaches would've been.

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.