''His arm action's good; he's throwing free and easy...He's not close to throwing off a mound yet. There's some issues
there, no question.''
No, not a reprint of a 2005 article or 2004 article or 2006 article, but rather Larry Rotschild talking about Rich Harden at the Cubs Convention on Saturday. Don't worry though, the Cubs have the spin ready.
Cubs insiders say Harden is right on schedule toward a strong, on-time
and well-conditioned start to spring training and the season.
Of course they believe that...but what about this?
But sources also confirmed Saturday that Harden has a tear in the
joint, just severe enough that some players might seek surgery but
slight enough to be in a range often treated effectively with a
strengthening program, therapy and a well- managed work schedule.
A tear you say, never had any problems with one of those.
That's more than the Cubs let on last fall, even after the
revelation that Harden had a cortisone shot for ''rotator tendinitis.''
But Harden has been working six days a week this offseason on a
program that might be the most rigorous of any Cub -- and the first of
his career to focus this strongly on his shoulder, team officials say.
In fact, the team estimates his shoulder is stronger now than it was
when he joined the team in July and started piling up 97 mph scoreless
Other things the Cubs have estimated over the years: Sosa would never become a problem with the team and will be beloved by all fans, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior would pitch full seasons in 2006 and 2005, and that they'd win a World Series sometime within the last 100 years.
''I'm on a set program, and I'm not behind at all,'' Harden said.
''I'm right on schedule and feeling great. I'll be ready for the start
of the season for sure. There's no doubt in my mind. Nobody has any
doubts whether I'll be ready or not. I will.''
If anything, that might have been the confusion with Rothschild's
comments -- that Harden isn't ready to throw from a mound by design.
He's on a deliberate throwing program to ease him up to pitching
condition by the end of an extra-long 2009 spring training.
They tried that shit with Mark Prior.
it didn't work.
Anyone have Kevin Towers phone number?
Dr. Hecht's medical take is below.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.