Warming Up the Hot Stove

The entire TCR staff is still in mourning, what can we say, we take this shit personally. A relatively decent rumor though has gone through the wires as we start prepping for the most inconsequential regular season ever for the Cubs - the 2009 season. Because even if the Cubs are  fielding an All-Star at every position, win 120 games and outscore their opponents by five runs a game, none of that shit will matter to anyone until they win some playoff games and get to the World Series.

As for the rumor, the Padres are suffering some money problems as one of their owners is in the middle of divorce proceedings that may cause him to sell his 49% stake in the club.  The Padres debunked that rumor...sort of, but nonetheless San Diego is a pretty small market and are coming off a 99-loss season with not a whole lot of talent to build upon. They did have quite a few injuries last year, but not enough to warrant that bad a season.

If they do go the rebuild process, they're best trading chip would be their ace pitcher Jake Peavy and he is available for the right price. It doesn't sound like the Padres have to move him like the Twins did with Johan Santana this last offseason. Santana was going to be a pending free agent after 2008 while Peavy signed an extension last offseason that wil pay him, $11 M in 2009, $15 M in 2010, $16 M in 2011, $17 M in 2012 and a $22 M team option with a $4 M buyout in 2013. The tricky part is Peavy has a no-trade clause so he basically gets his say on where he gets to go.

Good news is that if you have dreams of Peavy wearing a Cubs uniform next season, his agent Barry Axelrod said that Peavy has a strong desire to stay in the National League and even went on mention specifically the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and St. Louis. I don't doubt that any of those teams could make a legitimate run at Peavy although I'm quite sure the Padres will avoid the Los Angeles Dodgers if at all possible.

But do the Cubs have what it takes to land Peavy? Well, that sure is the million dollar question. The other question is if his elbow problems from last year are a cause for concern and at least one armchair pitching coach believes it will be. That's one for the doctors and trainers to discuss, or if you're the Cubs one for them to completely ignore and carry on like everything will be just fine.

The cost for Johan Santana last year was four pretty decent prospects from the Mets system, but the Twins were backed up against the proverbial rock and a hard place last season so it sounded like they took a lesser deal. I think four prospects is a pretty good barometer although the quality of them might have to be a little higher than the Mets gave up with Peavy already under contract.

If I had to formulate a guess on the type of players it might take to get Peavy in a Cubs uniform I would guess something along the lines of - Rich Hill, Felix Pie, Jose Ceda and one of Jeff Samardzija, Geovany Soto or Carlos Marmol. Now Samardzija has a no-trade clause and I doubt that the Soto or Marmol would be available, but if you're the Padres I think those are the quality of players they would want. Hill could do wonders in that ballpark with his flyball tendencies and the Padres have always had an affection for Felix Pie. But both now are on the "damaged goods" side of the equation and that's going to lower they're value. Ceda would be a gift for that Todd Walker trade that brought him here and then if you're the Padres and trading Jake Peavy, I think you need to at least get one ready for the majors now with 4-5 years of club control player and that's why I mentioned Samardzija, Soto or Marmol. I doubt they'd get moved and maybe there's another Cubs in the system that could get it done, but as I said, I think that's the type of players the Padres would ask for, even if not those individual names. 

And if the Cubs do start talking with the Padres, I hope they do a little inquiry on one Adrian Gonzalez. I do doubt that he's getting moved as he's signed to a very affordable deal over the next few years. From Cot's Contracts....

07:$0.5M, 08:$0.75M, 09:$3M, 10:$4.75M, 11:$5.5M club option (no buyout)

Nonetheless, he's the left-handed power stick that the Cubs middle of the order could desperately use. He's also two years younger and been just as good as the uber-free agent of the offseason, Mark Teixeira. You scoff at that I'm sure, but their WARP-3  numbers (Wins Above Replacement Player and factors in defense) courtesy of Baseball Prospectus.

Mark Teixeira since 2005: 9.2, 7.7, 7.8, 10.8

Adrian Gonzalez: .2, 7.5, 8.8, 8.6

Of course, that means the Cubs would have to move Derrek Lee somewhere and with a no-trade clause, a huge salary and declining skills, that's going to be a tough task.

Back to Peavy, if the Cubs could somehow swing a deal you have a possible rotation that could look like this:

Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis

I would of course assume the acquisition of Peavy would mean that Dempster doesn't get resigned and trust me, I'm fine with that. I suppose it's possible that the Cubs could actually move Rich Harden in a deal with the Padres and resign Dempster, but I doubt that. And with us just at the cusp of the hot stove league and before organizational meetings have even happened, it's a bit foolish to start projecting the 2009 Cubs roster. Nonetheless, a few embers from the hot stove to keep us all warm at night.


The St. Pioneer Prees speculates that the Twins may talk to the Giants about Delmon Young.


(Offices of SF Giants)


Secretary: Mr. Sabean, Terry Ryan of the Minnesota Twins on line 1 for you.

Sabean: (face turns white, instantly covered in sweat) Fuck, fuck, fuck....tell him I'm not here.

(brief pause, hear secretary off on distance)

Secretary: Mr. Sabean, Mr. Ryan says you are here and you will speak to him now.

Sabean: (hand uncontrollably gravitates towards phone shaking) I know I shouldn't take this but I can't help myself. Hey, Terry, how' s it going?

Ryan: Hey Brian, how's it going, tough year, huh?

Sabean: Sure, it happens, I'm a bit busy though trying to land Randy Johnson and coax Willie Mays out of retirement. Can't have enough vets, you know, so what can I do for you?

Ryan: Well I know your guys offense was struggling and we have the former #1 prospect in Delmon Young available

Sabean: How old is he?

Ryan: 23

Sabean: that's a baby, I have no use for that.

Ryan: Sure you do

Sabean: No I don't

Ryan: (waves hand over phone) Sure you do

Sabean: Sure I do.

Ryan: What about Delmon Young for Lincecum, Cain and Brian Wilson?

Sabean: no way, you'll have to throw in Mike Redmond to offset the age difference.

Ryan: Done.



Outfielder Felix Pie and catcher Wellington Castillo will be playing for Licey in the Dominican Republic. Jose Ceda, who posted a 2.08 ERA in 22 relief appearances at Tennessee, will pitch for Escogido. Ceda, who impressed Cubs manager Lou Piniella in Spring Training, struck out 42 over 30 1/3 innings for the Double-A team.

Angel Guzman, Rich Hill, Justin Berg and Sam Fuld all will play in Venezuela. Hill, Berg and Fuld will play for Buddy Bailey and Dave Rosario, both members of the Cubs' Minor League staff, on the Tigres de Aragua. Guzman will pitch for Magallanes. Casey McGehee was to play for Culiacan in the Mexican Winter League.


Maybe Pie could try NOT playing winter ball this year.


you said "shit"

i'm so telling.

chris oleary is a hell of a video-guy with a lot of knowledge, but personally i feel you can't trust a damn thing the guy says about anyone who throws an inverted arm slot pitch unless you feel the same way he does. he absolutely hates them.

for xmas i think he'd like the head of tom house on a pike.

peavy throws an inverted arm slot, btw.

from his primer page



Studying Pitching Mechanics

One way to learn about pitching mechanics is to study major
league pitchers and see how they throw the ball.

Pitchers To Study

There are a large number of active pitchers who have good
pitching mechanics and who new pitchers should study and learn
from. This includes...

Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine
Roger Clemens

- Jeff Suppan
- Roy Oswalt
- Dan Haren

Justin Verlander

Pitchers To Stay Away From

There are also a number of active pitchers who have poor
pitching mechanics and who have had injury problems as a result
of their poor pitching mechanics. This includes...

Chris Carpenter

Mark Prior
BJ Ryan
Kerry Wood

Needless to say, new pitchers should NOT study the mechanics
of these pitchers.


yeah, i know who he is and he's probably one of the best video men around. he does hitting, too.

he just doesn't like inverted arm slot pitches on anyone unless they keep their elbow down. that's about his only leeway in that department.

he backs it up...and some buy into it. i buy into it, especially with extreme inverted arm slot guys like bj ryan...but one of his "things" is not liking inverted arm slot deliveries.

That 'analysis' is just about as useful as Chadball. Why doesn't he point out some pitchers who are likely to be hurt, rather than list guys who have a history of it? That would be useful information. Only Ryan and a younger Clemens on that list would be 'maximum effort guys', and Oswalt has trouble staying off the DL.

Back to Peavy though, his elbow slot doesn't bother me, it's the way his body goes towards first and his arm goes towards third when he throws that bothers me.

that "analysis" was a article about who he thinks young pitchers should try to study.

As for predictions, here's his full archives.


Don't have time to go through it myself, but one article I looked at labeled Marcum and Willis as injury risks in 2006.


you don't need an expert to guess that willis is an injury risk.

he rears up like vida blue then explodes the rest of his motion finishing up across his body. his elbow, nor his shoulder, is safe from throwing as violently as he does.

i'd like to see him break down jermain van burren. a paragraph of "HAHAHAHA. Are you fucking kidding me?" would do.

I'm in parachat, for some reason. c'mon over.

Furcal looking like a Cub already.


He's play SS for the Dodgers.

(debate joke)

Piggy out-righted off the 40-man to Iowa..........I'm for any trade/FA acquisition that adds LH hitting to the starting lineup and moves Soriano out of the leadoff spot (preferably off the roster). I wouldn't mind upgrading the rotation by re-signing Dempster or acquiring an upgrade of the 'Peavy' class.

off the roster?

Yeah! more matt murtons and less sorianos.

would you shut up with this BULLSHIT!

Grandpa McCain and his bitch is gonna get their asses beat.

not based on tonight's debate

i don't see this debate having much effect on the election.

even if obama wins in a butt kicking.

I agree with Chad that the debate is not that much of a poll changer because typically ratings drop for the 3rd debate and these debates have been doing worse numbers than the Bush/Gore or Kerry ones. Also these things are more "joint press conferences" more than debates anyways as the moderotors pretty much both let guys repeat their canned stump speech lines. They should have had Joe the Plummer moderate the debate atleast he got an answer to his tough question.

But that is the point.

This debate HAD to be a game changed for McCain, and it clearly wasn't.

And that is why is almost assuredly over.

People still have to vote.

And I have a nagging feeling they have been telling pollsters one thing and will vote another way.

IMO, this election will be 2000 election close.

Oh NO! Not another Hanging Chad controversy; although I wouldn't mind us hanging Chad. I keed.

Sorry. I retract that last remark and realize that TCR is in no way a political blog, nor affiliated with any political party. Nor will either party help the Cubs win a World Series.

you've obviously not seen the DNC vs. RNC win/loss numbers.


The best team in the NL is going to the World Series.

fuck that, I'm glad the Phils are going over the Dodgers because they're the better of those two teams. I don't buy in anyway that the Phils are better than the Cubs. Pretty damn good and close to the Cubs, but fuck the 5-game series. I hate it.

If Selig is smart at all this 5-game set up should be chucked for the 7-game. And can I also say that these playoff announcers are terrible?! I haven't been bored so much in my life. Even during the Cubs series it was excruciating to listen to them. They should be required to take viagra before each game. The best teams and the best umps make it to the playoffs, why not the best announcers too?

5 game series, 7 game series 9 game series. we weren't winning any of them.

we sucked balls

and believe me I know something about...

...wait for it...

...sucking balls

The Phils beat the Cubs four of seven in the regular season and I have no reason to believe they wouldn't have done it again in the NLCS if the Cubs had been good enough to get there. Edit: "had been good enough to get there" isn't accurate. They were good enough. They just reverted to their loser roots.

At least the Dodgers knocked around Moyer. He probably would've gone all Ed Gein on the Cubs.

What's your problem, Chad? No one else can have an opinion except you? Why don't you tell me and everyone else what to think, what to write, how the Cubs roster should be constructed, and we'll have nothing but 'Chad' posts on every article? Come on, thrill us and entertain us with your General Manager's acumen.

no. just spare me the bullshit.

i am so sick and tired of people who end up hating our best players. i saw this same bullshit with sosa and aram.

yeah, get rid of soriano. who needs him although he's ARGUABLY the best player on the team.

Chad: get rid of soriano

Sori's gonna make you live to regret saying that.

I like Soriano and the production he can put up during the regular season but post-season, when he has to go against the best of the best, he is exposed.

174 career AB's in the post season and he sports a Neifi like OPS of .526. You count on him to get you to the playoffs, but you don't count on him to win you games in the playoffs.

I would like to see him traded. I know a great many people would like to see him hitting lower but hitting lower in the lineup isn't going to make him any better, he is still going to be exposed by good pitchers.

Give me Manny Ramirez in LF regardless, he hits no matter what.

I wouldn't mind seeing Derrek Lee traded either, he really is nothing more than an over-paid version of Mark Grace. Guess what though? He actually hits in the playoffs. But 13 million a year for a guy with 1 career 100 RBI season after 11 years in the pro's. He averages 87 RBI a year, Mark Grace? 83.

Give me Mark Teixeira and his 5, 100 RBI seasons, in 6 years.

If you sign those 2 free agents, then you can shop Soriano and Lee. Maybe get some prospects back, maybe some pieces for RF, CF, SS, or 2nd.

My way to reshape the Cubs would go like this, sign Manny and Tex. Trade Lee and Soriano. Call up the Pirates say we got a young scrappy SS in Theriot and will take your 6 million dollar man Jack Wilson. You want defense? He is the best in the game, plus he hits a tad better.

Now since we got Jack Wilson i will bookend him with Orlando Hudson who is the best defensive 2nd baseman in baseball. This pushes DeRosa to RF or back to the super-sub role depending on what we get back in trade of Soriano and Lee.

Let Dempster walk, not going to pay him huge sums of money based on 1 career season. Remember its still Ryan Dempster, he has never posted back to back good on anything. I would replace him with Derek Lowe for his post season experience, and his ground ball ability. I think that works perfectly for Wrigley Field and our new SS and 2nd baseman.

Finally I would like Harden dealt, he is great and all, but sorry 5 IP and being treated like a priceless vase between starts isn't good enough. I would target the Padres and use a combination of Harden and prospects/or Soriano to get Peavy.

No execuses for being out of the playoffs after 3 games.

The only thing that i could really see happening though is Theriot being replaced by Jack Wilson. I think we could easily get him from the Pirates if the team wants improved defense from the position. The other stuff takes a shit load of wheeling and dealing.

Why stop there? Lets go ahead and get Johann from the mets. Sign Krod to close. Trade Rich Hill and Ronny Cedeno to Pittsburgh for McLouth. And see about getting Longoria, Upton, Kazmir and Shields from Tampa. Then we can start Spring training.


So we are going to get Manny, Tex, Lowe, Wilson, and Hudson?

Nothing too difficult.

BTW, anyone notice the Dodger's crowd's reaction to last night's game? BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The whole stadium was ready to run them out of town, beginning from Rollin's homer to Furcal's errors.

Let's not have any more discussions of how "negative" Cubs fans can be on the poor players - if the laid - back Dodger fans can be that vicious, then all bets are off.

Some similarity in the fans' predicament. We thought we were good because we beat Milwaukee in the Central. They thought they were good because they beat us.

We thought we were good because we beat Milwaukee in the Central.

No... we thought, and knew, that the Cubs were good because they were the best team in the NL all year.

NO they weren't.

The offense and pitching both tanked in September. Team Batting: 10th in OPS, 11th in Runs. Team Pitching: 13th in ERA.

Sweep material.

yup... because one month is a better indicator than the full season.

Good grief, I can't believe I'm saying this. Navigator's right here. It's not just any month, it's September. Trends like that are important heading into the playoffs.

Don't worry Dave, he's still a cunt muscle.

Apparently not, big. Sometimes one has to adjust one's opinions and hopes to reality.

For a couple of days, we might have thought the Dodgers had really improved toward the end of the season, but the Phillies handled them like it was July.

Before the playoffs I had trouble identifying Cub weaknesses, but reality has set in and I can think of three of them.

1) No real ace. Zambrano too wild (look at his 1.81 K/BB), Harden too fragile. Dempster apparently doesn't have the right makeup. Lilly could be our best pitcher but nobody thinks of him as a #1 or even a #2.

2) Lefthanded hitting. Against tough righty starters, Phillies trot out Rollins, Utley, Howard and Victorino. We had Edmonds and Fukudome.

3) We had better lefty hitters than we used--our best was probably practicing in Mesa--but the guys with the fat wallets usually get to play. In that sense, I guess you could say that overpaid players are a weakness, because they limit a manager's options.

Apparently not, big. Sometimes one has to adjust one's opinions and hopes to reality.

Sorry... but my "reality" is bigger than three games.

Three games are not a better indicator of a team's ability and talent than the previous 161.

1. Who's the Dodger's ace?
2. Who were the Dodger's left handed bats?
3. Can agree here, though RF defense cost us a run in game 3 and Hoffpaiur wasn't exactly tearing up ML Pitching in September.

Who were the Dodger's left handed bats?

Furcal, Ethier, Loney and DeWitt

BA: .234 (11-47)
OBP: .383 (7 walks!)
RBI: 9
R: 10

7 of those 10 RBI were the result of 2-out hits.

Some of that boooooing was for Shane Victorino when he came up to bat. Playoff tickets ain't cheap and to see your team piss away its chances justifies a boo or two. Not all of us want to be Ned Flanders/Cards fans and their so-called "perfect behavior." MEH.
DLowe would be a good acquisition provided you can keep him sober, which seems to be the case in LA. Boston? Not so much. I just hope and pray Hendry doesn't get Dunn for the lefty bat. No, a thousand times nooooooo.

"My way to reshape the Cubs would go like this, sign Manny and Tex. Trade Lee and Soriano"

Reminds me of the George Costanza line. "I think I've figured out a way to get Bonds and Griffey and it won't cost us that much either."

I don't always love Hendry's moves, but it ain't that easy. I know this kind of stuff is what the hot stove league is all about, but let's at least get into the county next to reality.

Maybe we could put together a package of minor league players to get both Bonds and Griffey from 1998.

With 97 wins, I'm perfectly happy taking another shot with the team we had versus these crazy schemes to dump some of our best players.

The fact that we talk more about Soriano and Lee than Center, Right, 2nd or short is pretty amazing. (not that I think we need changes at all of those positions)

The playoffs sucked, but I still believe it's a crap shoot....I'd happily take my chances with the same team and expect them to win each time.

repeat after me:

I hate the 5-game series.

I hate the 5-game series.

I hate the 5-game series.


DeRosa and Co. started calling game 2 a do or die win and they played like retards in it.

teams are 15-22 that have the better record in a 5-game set, 19-21 if they have homefield advantage.
That ain't right.

I haven't found the 7-game numbers but I do think it goes up drastically in favor of the teams with the better regular season record.

the good news is that even if the Cubs win 116 games during the 2009 regular season, the expectations to win even one playoff game next season will be so low that there can't be any more downside (keep that playoff winless string going...0-9 and counting)...that is, unless they don't make the playoffs.

At least my fantasy mostly involves signing free agents to improve positions and trading away our current ones. Don't have to work out crazy trade scenarios, just got to offer cash to get what we need.

I already admitted it was a long shot.

At best I would like a Hudson, Wilson Infield with DeRosa shifting full time to the OF.

I'd be happy with Hudson/Furcal up the middle.

according to Bruce Levine. I wonder if they have to get the OK from the Ownership bidders before giving these extensions to Jimbo and Lou "I dont know how to manage in October" Pinella or if they get golden parachuttes like Investment Bank heads from Zell. As for Jimbo's extension, I think he is OK, I mean he is a 100x times than a Jim Bowden or Steve Phillips but on the other hand if they let him go and brought in a Jed Hoyer or David Forst I think it would be an improvement.

Hendry had his own option for 2009. There was a report that he wanted a long-term extension and wasn't interested in being a lame-duck GM. Kenney already said they were planning to up payroll next year, so clearly Trib can still call the shots until the sale is done...which sounds like it'll easily drag into next season now.


Mariners are the only team looking for a GM this offseason and did ask to speak with Hendry and were turned down.

Sounds like a 3-yr deal...not sure if it's tacked on to 2009 to put him through 2012 or replaces 2009 and puts him through 2011.

He didn't hit every ball out of the park the last two years, but whatever he did, led to the best Cubs team most of us have ever seen and the best team in the NL...on paper.

I know everyone involved with the Cubs like him and he seems very well-respected and liked by almost every other GM. He seems comfortable dealing with big budgets now that the purse strings have been loosened since McFail left and can scrounge for bargains as well.

None of that shit matters to most of us until we win a World Series, but I think the Cubs will be in a good position, i.e. making the playoffs just about every year, to eventually overcome the hump.

if for some unseen reason Hendry isn't back I'd be content with Mike Rizzo who was instrumental in rebuilding the DBacks. Chicago native I believe as well.

What about Sol Rosenberg?

I'd go for that personnel change, but if Hendry stays on that's fine by me. He did all he could to improve the team for '08, not his fault his high - priced guys went into the tank...again.

'"Not all of us want to be Ned Flanders/Cards fans and their so-called "perfect behavior."'

Uh, that was exactly my point - our fans are no worse than what you see at every other ballpark these days. Enough with the pleas for Kumbaya when the team is sucking the big one, that's all.

'"I dont know how to manage in October" Pinella...'

I agree that Lou had a lousy series - but his "genius" counterpart in LA didn't exactly bolster his legendary status over the past week, either. He took Lowe out too soon, left Furcal in after it was obvious he hurt himself, and managed for a seven game series - just like Lou.

I don't like the thought of Zambrano, Peavy and Harden all in the same rotation, nor am I crazy about selling low on Hill. If we trade for Peavy I would think that Harden is in the deal, because they would want someone to trot out as their 'ace', it would save the Cubs some money, he's closer to FA' and he can bring back some nice draft picks for the Padres and talent wise, it lowers our chance of having 40 to 80% of our projected rotation on the DL at a given time, and I don't think those other guys get it done (if Marmol and Soto aren't available.)

I would be OK with letting Marmol go, like I said last year, trade him when he's at his highest value. That's one trick Hendry hasn't learned yet. He likes to depreciate his assets (Barrett, Sosa, etc) before trading them.

Yeah, it would really suck having 3 of the best pitchers in the game on one staff.

It would suck the way having Johnson and Schilling sucked in 2001.

Good point, except, of course, it was by you, so totally wrong.

Zambrano is not one of the best pitchers in the game, unless you mean 'best 50 pitchers'. Remember 2004, when we had our '5 aces'? How did that turn out? What about 2005, when we had four of them? 2006 same four? I guess I was being greedy hoping the Cubs would win another World Series this year when we had just one those three recently.

Luckily, Hendry has shown some ability to learn from his mistakes, and he won't be filling up the rotation with $80 million worth of shoulder risks.

except of course he is one of the best. and even if you want to bring up better pitchers like Peavy or Oswalt, that's who we compare him to.

He is a top tier pitcher and the ace of many teams.

Who the hell is 'we'? Is that like the 'royal we'?

These are the facts: 43rd in ERA in 2008. 40th in 2007.

Here's who 'we' should be comparing him to:

Gil Meche
AJ Burnett
Joe Blanton

129 and 64 with an ERA+ of 139, he had his worst ever year this year, and still his ERA was almost half a run better than Zambrano's.

98 and 61 with an ERA+ of 128

No one compares those two pitchers, unless they're doing it between swigs of Cubs Kool-Aid.

Sorry but you completely wrong. Zambrano may be the weakest of the top tier pitchers in the league but he's still top tier.

Meche Blanton and Burnett are second tier.

Plain and simple.

How is 'top tier' defined? Zambrano's manager doesn't even think he's the ace of the staff...

Its one thing to sell high on a player with obvious flaws that may or may not be exposed down the road.

Marmol is none of that. 87 IP, only 40 hits given up, and 114 strikeouts.

Now sit back and think about that for a minute.

Marmol's control problems and gopherball problems, do those count as obvious flaws?

Think about this for a minute:

70 IP's 48 hits, 110 strike outs
Followed up by 42 IP 34 hits 49 K's (and a 6.48 ERA)

What could you have gotten for Rob Dibble after 1991? What could you have gotten for him after 1993? A good GM knows it's better to make a trade a little too early than a little too late. And if you're talking about getting the guy who's probably the NL's best pitcher, you don't let someone who throws 80 innings get in the way of that (if you think that Peavy is going to be healthy).

A healthy Peavy is a 10 extra win player. A healthy Marmol is a 5 extra win player.

Marmol has control problems? Him of a .135 BAA last year? or a .169 last year? Thats a hell of a control problem.

I really dont know what your talkin about Real Neal when you say 70 IP following up by 42 IP. He only pitched 87 innings last year.

He pitched 52 innings in the first half where he could be labeled over worked while some of the rest of the bullpen was trying to buy a clue. He posted a 3.61 ERA.

With the bullpen more settled and with a little more rest Marmol went on to post a 1.29 ERA in 35 innings to close out the year for a .103 BAA.

Marmol is K-rod good as a reliever.

Now if you can predict the future and say he is going to suddenly turn into a pumpkin i will agree with ya. But you don't know the future.

This team needs good reliable bullpen arms, Jake Peavy only goes once every 5 days for 7 innings...who is going to bridge the gap and shut down teams in close games? Samarz? Howry? Wuertz? Cotts? Any of those guys you gonna trust with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs and get out of the jam without giving up any runs?

Our 97 win season was built on the arm of Marmol. Alot of games we lost in the past due to shitty bullpen arms was erased by him, and a good part Wood as well not screwing it up like Dempster did.

Teams without decent bullpens don't make the playoffs too often.

a good part Wood as well not screwing it up like Dempster did.

Heh. If you say so.

Him of a .135 BAA last year? or a .169 last year? Thats a hell of a control problem.

Batting average against doesn't measure control--it only accounts for At Bats, not Plate Appearances. It only marginally measures strikeouts and doesn't account for walks. Kerry Wood always had a good batting average against and he had plenty of control problems as a starter--much better as a closer, though.

But as to Marmol, consider his K/BB ratio. Among qualified pitchers, he settled in at 2.78, good for 106th in baseball. Hardly stellar. But it doesn't mean he can't be successful. Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy rank 101 and 103 respectively. But Webb walked 65 in 226 innings (.287 BB/INN). Peavy walked 59 in 173 (.341). Marmol walked 41 in 87 innings (.471).

Of course, Marmol doesn't pitch like Webb or Peavy. Marmol is dominant because his Ks offset his BBs. But with a little more control, he could be a lot better.

Marmol is K-rod good as a reliever

That's not a compliment to Marmol's control. K-Rod has a K/BB ratio of 2.26 (188th ranking). He walked 34 in 68 innings (.500 BB/INN).

Imagine if both pitchers had better control. Goodness.

Bob Howry has excellent control. I don't see anyone drooling over him.

"Any of those guys you gonna trust with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs and get out of the jam without giving up any runs?"

Well, Smardypants has the same talent level as Marmol, but his control is even worse. It's definetly not out of the question that he could replace Marmol as the 8th inning man in 2009. But, if I were to trade Marmol, I would see if he couldn't be replaced. It doesn't necessarily have to be a guy quite as effective as he was, because if you're talking about the difference between a Peavy start and a Marquis start, then you're talking about an extra 1 or 2 run lead in the 8th inning. Maybe you turn Marquis into Justin Speier if your scouts think his control problems are correctable.

But going back to your point about predicting the future, it's quite Ironical that you bring up Weurtz, Howry and Cotts, because all of them have been pretty damned good at stranding runners in a given season. Then their GM's made the mistake of thinking it would last forever and held on to them too long, instead of trading them when the iron was hot, and now they have practically no value. This happens to the vast majority of relievers, due to things like injuries and sample size issues. If you can get a HoF calibre starting pitcher, you never let a reliever stand in your way of doing it. It's just common sense. How good an 8th inning guy would Peavy be? Better than Marmol, for sure.

I'm starting to consider Zambrano something of a bust. It's unusual for a pitcher's control not to improve over time. But I would hesitate to trade serious young pitching talent before at least trying something much less drastic. How about a new pitching coach?

Pitchers don't thrive under Rothschild. Often they go backwards, like Wuertz and Ohman. Dempster was a mature pitcher already. I'm talking about young guys, Zambrano, Hill, etc.

Look at what Dave Duncan was able to accomplish with Todd Wellemeyer, who today is about the equal of Zambrano, or maybe just a bit better, at least according to these four criteria (ERA, K/BB, K/9, WHIP):

Wellemeyer 3.71 2.16 6.29 1.25

Zambrano 3.91 1.81 6.20 1.29


I think that's called 'Cherry Picking'.

Zambrano is two years younger than Wellemeyer.

Dempster had his best ever season under Rothschild. Who gets credit for Marmol? What about Kerry Wood's newfound control?

Joel Piniero, Anthony Reyes, Jason Isringhausen... these guys all prove that Rothschild is a superior pitching coach.

If we can get Peavy and his 09 salary is just 8 mill we should jump on it. When his salary jumps we will be free of Marquis. Peavy, Big Z, Harden, Dempster, Lilly...who could top that??? It looks like it may take Pie, Marshall or Hill, and one other good young arm....that is fair as long as Marmol isn't in the deal.

it's $11 M next year actually, but still quite cheap for his abilities.

If the Padres trade Peavy in a deal that centers on Pie and Hill, then their GM is a fool. I'm not saying those guys couldn't turn out to be good, but for Peavy they could get a lot more, and with fewer questions.

I don't think anyone has suggested the Cubs would get Peavy without trading:

or Harden

If they have suggested that, they should have just saved their fingers the effort of typing, because it's not going to happen.

Crazy Uncle Lou just suggested it would be Pie plus one of Marshall or Hill and a pitching prospect. Thus my reply.

But I completely agree with you, Neal.

Didn't read that close enough. Yeah, Crazy Uncle Lou is aptly named.

I said a good young arm, and as long as it isn't Marmol I would be good with that. If it has to be Samardja then oh well. They want to dump salary, so Harden is not in the equation, and they are not asking for major league starters like Soto. Look what the Braves offered....mionor leaguers ready for the bigs. The Padres have been enamored with Pie for the past couple years so a Pie, Marshall, Samardja package may get Peavy.

Sorry for making the assumption that an integral part of our most recent playoff run (Samardzija) wouldn't be an unnamed pitching prospect.

I still think those three would be far from getting it done. And I'm sure the Padres would love to have Soto.

If Smartypants, Pie and Hill or Marshall could have landed Peavy, we would have just done that at the the trade deadline. It doesn't make any difference what the Braves offered, it's what the Padres are going to accept.

Harden is on contract for $9 million.
Peavy is on contract for $62 million.

It's been a little while since I took a math class, but I am going to hazard a guess that this would qualify as 'dumping salary'.

If the Padres are still high on Pie, which is unlikely (see previous comments about Trader Jim knowing how to sell high) then I could see Cedeno, Marshall, Smardizjia (if he waives his NTC, also unlikely) and Pie for Peavy and Greene.

I think Peavy's arm is more likely to land in the home dugout than to accept another Cy Young award, so I wouldn't do that trade, but if you think you can keep him healthy that may do it.

1) Wasn't Harden's option worth $7M and not 9?
2) Peavy has a better health record than Harden.

Yes... Harden will make $7M next year, not $9M.

And Peanut butter tastes better with jelly. What's your point?

The point is I'm correcting the wrong information.

Where did I say Harden was a lesser health risk than Peavy, again?

Bob Howry has excellent control. I don't see anyone drooling over him.
Here is the Howry Drooler's Dozen (13 with HR's off Howry in 72 IP for 2008):

Ryan Braun
Carlos Lee
Jeff Francouer
Russel Branyon
Jeremy Hermidia
Cory Snyder
Albert Pujols
Jeff Kent
Jason Bay and Doug Mientkiewicz (same game)
Mike Riviera
Wil Nieves
Ryan Doumit

Wasn't Cory Snyder the RF on the '87 Indians team that SI liked for the World Champs?

Marmol's list

Nate McLouth
Nate McLouth
Scott Podsednik
Adrian Gonzalez
Carlos Quentin
Ray Durham
Rich Aurilia
Joey Votto
Jolbert Cabrera
Prince Fielder

Fewer but a higher total stinker ratio

And then there was the ace of the bullpen:

Jason Bay
Geoff Blum
Ryan Ludwick

For a quick lesson in how BABIP and sample size affect a reliever's ERA:

Kerry Wood's BABIP: .331
Carlos Marmol's .185

Those two numbers pretty much define the term 'non-sustainable'.

oops on Snyder, I got distracted trying to spell "Frenchie" correctly

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  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 6 hours 40 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 6 hours 41 min ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 6 hours 52 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 6 hours 54 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 6 hours 54 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 7 hours 1 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 7 hours 52 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 8 hours 4 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 8 hours 22 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 8 hours 43 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 11 hours 44 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 11 hours 56 min ago view