Plus Five MPH is Back

Like a bad penny, the Cubs can't seem to catch a break. Here is the list of the broken catchers:

Steve Clevenger -Oblique rib cage strain. He is scheduled to return to the batting cage this weekend and might be ready to come off the DL by next weekend in Pittsburgh.

Geo Soto - Went on the DL with a knee meniscus tear and had it repaired/ trimmed on Friday. Out at least 3 weeks.

Welington Castillo - Had an MRI of his knee this am and has a mild medial collateral sprain. Out of action about one week if things go well.

So who is left, you ask? Hint: Blake Lalli isn't in the starting lineup tonight...

Blake Lalli?

He was brought up when Soto went on the DL. Hitting only .178 in 20 games in Iowa, he was supposed to be a warm body off the bench but not really expected to start.

Per this Carrie Muskat article (http://t.co./TxaA2klP), ol #55 is back to bring his replanted fingers to the catching corpse (pun intended). Remember that Hill had almost amputated several fingers in his throwing hand on October 16, 2007 in a table saw accident. His surgeon had him hold a baseball to put the fingers and thumb back, so that even if they wound up stiff, he'd be able to hold a ball. Switch hitting Hill is a stiff from either side of the plate. Career line  in 833 AB is .211/.275/.298/.573, but if it was possible to believe,  he is worse vs left handed pitching (.091/.167/.091/.258). 

In honor of the Kerry Wood retirement, the Cubs new braintrust wanted  to splurge but after a quick scouring of the minor leagues they settled for "cash considerations" to purchase the contract of Koyie Hill from the Reds. we all know Koyie can't hit and he continued to prove that with a .195 average in 14 games for AA Pensicola.

He's in the lineup tonight catching ol' pal Ryan Dempster, and to complete the Cubbery, he's hitting against a lefty starter (Danks).

Tonight's lineup: Johnson CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Baker RF, Mather 3B, Hill C, Dempster P vs. lefty John Danks, 2-4, 6.46 ERA

And Randy Wells is reported to be back from Iowa taking Kerry Wood's roster spot. I'm still not quite sure how Hill gets on the roster unless Castillo is going on the DL, but we  haven't gotten confirmation of that yet. It is possible that Casey Coleman will go back to Iowa as Travis Wood is scheduled to start Tuesday vs. Houston (in Volstad's spot) and Muskat tweets that Wells is supposed to be used in long relief this time around.

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Epic post header/headline.

*golf clap*

Sorry I couldn't embed links. Wrote this on my iPad as I'm away this weekend and it's much harder to craft the article this way.

(p.s. thanks Cubnut. Koyie Hill getting two TCR articles in one day would be legendary Cubbery)

Ok. CAstillo gets the lion's share of time behind the plate...Hill spells him twice a week until Clevenger or Soto is healthy.
Great.

Pathetic Cubs. Really..

cast is injured and svememem has already said k.hill will get most starts.

didn't see the Castillo injury until after i'd shot my mouth off..lulz

i imagine that would be the case if welly wasn't injured, but hill wouldn't be here if he wasn't so it's kinda moot.

they needed someone fast, but wow...k.hill? maybe dumpster put in a personal call.

But when Castillo is able to play again next weekend and/or Clevenger is ready to be activated off the DL, Hill will be outrighted to Iowa?.............Right?..............right??????????????

sadly (or not) it'll probably be blake lalalialilaili unless k.hill is totally inept.

They better not be starting Hill over any of these guys whenever they return. I would expect the rotation to be:

6 starts by Castillo vs. 1 start by Hill
6 starts by Clevenger vs. 1 start by Hill

Until then, the other guys need to step up in generating offense to fill the offensive void created by both Hill AND a pitcher both being in the batting order.

i imagine...hope...khill will be on backup duty (if lalialaili isn't the chosen one) once one of the other 3 come back.

barring lasting injury, i expect k.hill to be putting in significant AAA time (at least until Sept, if then).

Un. Fucking. Believable.

After watching all these Wood 20K highlights, I wonder what Sandy Martinez is up to these days. Couldn't possibly be worse than Hill.

Just looked it up for fun. He's only 41 years old, and had a .363 OBP in 1998. Despite being retired for 8 years, I'd still take him over 3-Finger Hill.

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 2 hours 38 sec ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 2 hours 32 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 2 hours 59 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 8 hours 17 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 8 hours 58 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 9 hours 2 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 10 hours 57 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 12 hours 45 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 13 hours 19 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 13 hours 33 min ago view