Jim Hendry Close to Extension with Cubs
The sale of the Cubs is still up in the air, delayed due to the economic crisis and Joe the Plumber trying to figure out what net income means. That isn't stopping the Cubs from doing business though. They already extended Piniella before the playoffs started and it looks like Jim Hendry might get three more years or at least three more years worth of paychecks from the Chicago Cubs.
Kenney has previously said only that he would put his recommendation of
a Hendry extension "on a tee'' for new ownership. But sources indicate
that position has changed, possibly because the worldwide financial
crisis may have devalued the franchise while making it highly unlikely
the team will be under new ownership before the start of the 2009
One source indicated that a three-year extension is being discussed and could be completed soon.
Nothing is official yet, but the link above goes on to say the Mariners, the only team searching for a GM this offseason, asked the Cubs for permission to speak to Hendry about their vacancy and were turned down. Hendry had a an option he could exercise for 2009, but was a little weary of being a lame-duck GM with the pending ownership change.
The Cubs being in a state of prosperity on the field and I'm sure on the accounting books, probably couldn't be happier with Hendry right now, thus the extension.
I know Hendry has his enemies around here, I mean 2005 and 2006 were bloody awful, but I'm all for the extension. He didn't hit every ball out of the park the last two years, but
under his watch and with the people that he's surrounded himself with, he's responsible for the best Cubs team most of us have ever seen
and the best team in the NL in 2008...at least on paper. And while that seems like a hollow achievement, it's actually the one every GM should strive to accomplish - to put together the best team out there year after year and make the playoffs. As the playoffs taught us all this year, anyone can win or lose a 5-game series, no matter the tremendous difference in talent, so just get there and hope the cards flip the right way for you. The Cubs are now in that position and a large part of that is due to who Jim Hendry has traded for, signed, listened to and hired.
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.