''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.
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.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?