Game 61 Thread - Maholm vs. Scherzer

The Cubs are actually an almost reasonable 12-15 at home, so maybe they won't get crushed tonight. But as Cubnut noted on Twitter the other day, the Cubs record in last 22 games that didn't involve the San Diego Padres is 2-20.

Tigers Cubs
Jackson, CF
*Campana, CF
*Boesch, RF
Castro, SS
Cabrera, 3B
*DeJesus, RF
*Fielder, 1B
Soriano, LF
Young, LF
*LaHair, 1B
Peralta, SS
*Clevenger, C
Laird, C
Barney, 2B
Worth, 2B
*Stewart, 3B
Scherzer, P
Maholm, P

Big news the last 2 days out of Cubs camp is the signing of Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler and the firing of hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.  For Jaramillo, he was obviously done the moment they hired Epstein and Hoyer, but there was never a rush to get rid of him. He was under contract and it was one less thing they had to scramble to replace before spring training. And it didn't hurt anyone giving Jaramillo a test run, check out his ideas, see how well he meshes with the new group and maybe they'd learn a thing or two from each other. It's not what the new group envisions so they've put in their own guy for the time being, James Rowson. He was serving as the current minor league hitting coordinator, a job he held with the Yankees over the last 4 years (6 in total with the Bronx Bombers). Phil Rogers heaped this praise upon him in a tweet.

James Rowson, the minor-league hitting coordinator who is replacing Rudy Jaramillo as the Cubs' hitting coach, had impressed Theo Epstein & Co. with his work on prospects like Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo. He's considered excellent in helping hitters improve their plate discipline and learn to "grind out'' at-bats, and benefited from working under Kevin Long with the Yankees.

Nevermind that Baez had one walk in Extended Spring Training (he does have 4 in his very brief time with Peoria though).

As for Soler, it's a minimum 9/$30M deal that could escalate far higher as he'll have the option to go to arbitration each year he's eligibile versus whatever he's guaranteed in his contract. It's certainly not cheap, but the Cubs were desperate to add assets to their talent pool and this was one of the last times they'll be able to simply outbid opponents on prospects. So there were more forces at work here than just, "Is Soler worth that many years and that much money?" Regardless, he'll certainly shoot to the top 3-5 prospects in the system depending on who gets promoted this year and has All-Star potential with big power and a big arm. And the Cubs own his right until he's 29. Hard to complain unless he's a complete wash out.

As for the game, happy to see Campana in there just because if there's ever a team that you want to test their infield defense, the Tigers are that team. Choke up on that bat and put that ball in play Crazy Legs.

Comments

Also nice to see LaHair making a start again. I don't care who's pitching, I don't want to see Baker starting at 1B again.

meh, they're 1-0 in their last 1 games with Baker starting.

Facts!!!!

Completely agree. I can't fathom for the life of me why you would ever start Jeff Baker ahead of a guy who produces runs and who may be valuable to you in either a trade or the future.

Jeff Baker is a nobody who is hitting like one (as opposed to the above-average production vs. LHP he's given us previously).

Muskat tweets that it could be up to a week before Soler deal is official. Pass physical, visas, etc...

FYI....

outfield is allegedly torn to shreds after 2 concerts.

wind blowing in today.

Theo Epstein complimented Jaramillo on his ability to work with a hitter on his mechanics. Epstein said they wanted more attention paid to the approach at the plate.

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2012/06/12/612-sori...

Rizzo day to day with right knee contusion.

cubs pitchers still can't bunt.

Theo (paraphrase)

believes as Castro gets older, he's pretty certain he'll develop more power and pitchers will throw him less strikes and then it'll be up to him to be more selective. Not terribly worried about it right now considering his age and says most players would be figuring these things out in AA or AAA right now.

Completely agree. He does things that make me cringe, but if he hadn't been called up to save a GM's career, with his age we would all be giving him a pass for his mistakes in AAA. It just looks bad because we see it on TV, but I doubt anyone his age is mistake free.

What exactly is Tito going to say when asked about Castro? His defense sucks, he hasn't developed since he's gotten to Chicago, and he doesn't have the power to play 3rd base?

Pretty common for a Team Prez to speak complimentary about the assets on the team.

Lets see... so far this year his power has improved, his defense has improved. He does seem to have taken a step backwards in his plate discipline/patience. But overall I would definitely say that he is developing.

But hey, don't let your hate of the guy get in the way.

I don't hate Castro in the least. I think he's a solid young player.

I just think he gets WAY over hyped by Cubs fans. Largely because everyone else on the roster pretty much sucks.

He's to us what Brian Roberts used to be in Baltimore. A good player who the fanbase pretends is a franchise player.

You do know that it isn't just Cubs fans that are very high on Castro, right?

He's a good player. I like the kid.

He's just not a franchise level guy. Not unless he takes a HUGE leap forward.

Maybe he does. Sammy Sosa made the leap from good player to great player. Maybe Castro does the same?

He's 22. How can you know he's not a franchise level guy? He's among the league leaders in stats among shortstops, at 22. His worst stat, OBP, still has him at the 12 spot among MLB shortstops. He is second in the MLB in hits among shortstops. At 22. He is 7th in the MLB among shortstop in OPS, at 22, and his power hasn't even begun to really develop yet.

He has a .299 RISP average. At 22.

He hits to all fields. At 22.

He hits breaking stuff as well as he hits fastballs. At 22.

Fangraphs has him at the top of its list of Tier1 shortstops:

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/ju...

At 22.

I don't think this is Cubs fans overhyping a guy, unless every stats hound and sports writer has decided overnight to become a fan of one of the worst teams in recent baseball history.

I agree 100%, but the real question is how good does Castro have to be for his critics? I don't feel his fans on this board are blind to his shortcomings, but I wouldn't call him a 'franchise player'. Right now, he's a very, very good player who at 22 still has ample room to improve a number of aspects in his game. I'm more inclined to wish the Cubs could find, develop, and/or trade for a lot more Castros. We can only hope Rizzo, Baez, Almora, BJax, and Soler will be as good.

The real thing Castro needs is a manager or mentor who will push him to be the best player he can be. I hoped Baker and Pinella would fill that role, and my jury is still out on Sveum.

Maybe my distance from Chicago his muting the effect, but are people really hyping him so much? He's young and is the Cubs best player...and is good. There's a lot to get excited about. But, Are people really polishing his HOF trophy (are there trophies?) already? Seriously, I don't know, just curious what you mean be over-hype.

I'm team president? COOL

Yeah, it's cool until you're actually responsible for producing results. Then you suddenly have to show competence at doing your job. Jim Frey and Hawk Harrelson come to mind as guys promoted way above their abilities (though technically, they were only made GMs, not team presidents). In my mind, I saw Hawk saying, "I'm GM? COOL!"

I know you were just making a joke -- and I laughed, but it also got me thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know).

I bet GM is a much more difficult position than team president. Could just be my perception, but I think the team president's job is to set an overall strategy and then hire the right people to execute it. The GM's job is to actually execute the strategy.

It's probably pretty easy to be a GM when the team president makes all the decisions a normal GM makes.

Yeah I'm not sure what's going on with the Cubs' situation. What is Hoyer responsible for?

Don't fuck this up.

pick up the ball fat ass

And soriano is still an idiot.

He actually bailed out crazy legs on a play. That's a first.

this DET infield is epic.

cubs take the lead.

scrubbies win! s.camp save.

21-40

fwiw, first error by Peralta was a bad call.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=...

Second error looked like a bad call as well. Tigers got screwed. Of course, if Peralta makes those two routine plays looks routine, they wouldn't have been screwed.

Campana's 3 steals gives him the major league lead with 21 now.

Castro is tied for 5th with 16.

9th as a team in majors, 4th in NL though.

Offense 14th in runs scored in NL/27th in majors.

cubs have the 2nd best winning streak in all of the NL and the best overall in the NL Central.

it's a 2 game streak, but this is a season of small victories.

Now, let's reward those efforts by keeping him on the bench for a week. Epic losing streaks aren't easily accomplished with guys who can steal first base playing every day.

Hey, when you can get a bat like Joe Mather into the lineup, you've got to sit Campana right?
I mean...

ugh...

As long as the fat drunk is playing 3b for the Tigers, Campana should be starting and bunting every single ab.

Mission First Overall Draft Pick.

Now that the Cubs can't overspend in the draft, losing becomes even more important.

"Now that the Cubs can't overspend in the draft, losing becomes even more important."

Ironic and Brilliant.

Out of curiosity, who exactly are we tanking for? Are there any guys in the 2013 draft we should actually be pining for?

Way too early to tell. There isn't a Bryce Harper/Strasburg/Prior who has been hyped forever. Potentially Mark Appel (or anyone else who doesn't sign, but Appel seems the likeliest). Early thoughts are not much on college pitching, good college hitting. Some good HS hitters being discussed, including a few catchers being talked about as top 5 picks.

Will become clearer after summer showcase tourneys and, of course, much clearer as next year's fall and spring baseball occurs.

A shame that hard throwing NC State lefty ace Carlos Rodon not eligible until 2014 draft - a true frosh this past season, will turn 20 on Dec 19th. Be nice if he'd transfer to a JC school in the off-season ...

i wouldn't call him "hard throwing" but he gets results.

fastball, curve, lefty...he's already 3/4 the way to the bigs. =p

i guess i should say...he CAN throw hard, but it's one of those things where he hit 99mph, but works more in the low/mid 90s range.

and yeah...shame he's not available any time soon.

Feel a bit cheated that Rodon's start against the gators was rain shortened in the super regional. Fluff piece article from earlier this month, but like the David Price comparison: http://fayobserver.com/articles/2012/06/01/11...

he's a guy that was a "fringe" top 10 player in the state working 90/91mph in highschool who became a guy that could bring it low-mid 90s regularly. he's hit 98/99mph a few times.

if he showed this a year earlier he would have been a high pick or at the very least made a better college baseball program. NCSU is a good program (with great facilities), but it's not a powerhouse.

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 5 hours 34 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 8 hours 32 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 8 hours 53 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 8 hours 58 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 9 hours 17 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 9 hours 53 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 10 hours 11 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 10 hours 12 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 10 hours 30 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 10 hours 37 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 11 hours 33 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 11 hours 51 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 11 hours 55 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 13 hours 5 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 13 hours 44 min ago view