Gameday Open Thread / Cubs @ Angels

The Cubs travel to Tempe today to face the suddenly depleted Angels. Carlos Zamrbano's final tune-up before Opening Day and he'll be opposed by Jered Weaver. The game is on MLB.tv.

The Cubs also settled on their position players to start the season, choosing the lefty bat and infield abilities of Mike Fontenot over the superior righty bat of Matt Murton's. A difficult, but understandable decision on the Cubs part. While Murton is the better hitter, the addition of Fontenot gives the Cubs two lefty bench bats and someone besides Ronny Cedeno to back up the middle infield. The bench will consist of Henry Blanco, Daryle Ward, Ronny Cedeno, Reed Johnson and Mike Fontenot. I can't say I'm thrilled, but I do hope that if Soriano or Fukudome go down with an injury that Murton is still the top choice to replace them on an everday basis. The Cubs also released non-roster invitee Alex Cintron.

Finally, a loyal reader has four tickets for the April 2nd game at Wrigley versus the Brewers. I'm not too interested in becoming a ticket exchange or broker, but he's offering them at below face value, so I thought I'd pass along the note. Drop me an email and I'll forward it to him if you're interested. They're in Aisle 434, Row 2 and retail for $23 each. He's willing to break them up into pairs and is only asking $20 for each ticket. In other words, $40 or $80 instead of $46 or $92. I take no responsibility for their authenticity and don't think I'll do this for everyone.

Comments

we'll see if they play the game...

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/preview08/columns/st...

Neyer's Top 50 players for the next 5 years...no Cubs.

...no Cubs

...no surprise

We're gonna be awful old in 5 years. But we've got a nice window for the present in our little division.

CHAT IT UP!!!

I'll be there throughout my lunch...

Cubs vs. Angels on FSW in LA. Felix Pie (pronounced like Apple Pie by the LA announcers) just singled sharply through the right side.

Soriano hitting 3rd.

only the play-by-play announcer is pronouncing it wrong.

weird, huh?

and now he's doing it right as well.

Someone musta told them.

a late scratch
What's wrong with him?

Looks like he's got it in shape! 2nd inning assist that was a bullet.

DeRosa apparently scratched with sinusitis.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

DeRosa apparently scratched with sinusitis.
=========
So what was his sin?

Fancy name for sinus infection. Unfortunately I know that one well. :(

...and lol @ Cubster

Roberts Deal is off according to McPhail

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

(STANDS UP AND APPLAUDS!)



B.S.!!

Phil Rogers said this deal was done in February!

Well, great -- if DeRosa misses the entire year with sinusitis, then where will we be?

i live with it.

i have to take steroids once or twice a year to shrink tissue growth in my sinuses.

yeah, fun stuff.

at least he can easily afford the $200 a month in meds he may need if its chronic.

wildflower season in arizona is in its best flush in almost a decade. i think its the best flush they've had out there since 02/03 or so. the desert is alive. they have to get a concentrated amount of rain over the winter or there's little to no wildflowers at all.

What will I have left to obsess over?

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

"If Matt's not here with us, I hope we can find a Major League job for him, because he's a good player, and he deserves that," Piniella said. "I'm sure that, if he's not going to be here, that Jim will try to accomodate him as much as possible."

i can believe it...but i can't.

as much as i'd like to keep murton around...wow...he is absolutely done with AAA. he's not going to gain arm strength suddenly by playing the bus-leagues in RF. he's not going to suddenly turn into a defensive wizz in AAA. and unless there's some part-100 of tinkering with his swing (which i doubt at this point) i definitely dont see what his bat is doing in the minors.

even with floyd injured 1/2+ or so of the season it was nice having the R/L bench power option (for the first time in a long time) of murton/ward.

wish your opening day tickets post had been up a week ago, i paid $50 each for about those same seats...knew i could do better if i waited but didn't want the anxiety since i'm flying back into town specifically for opening day.

Rob, any chance that we could have some sort of section of TCR where people could post extras/needs for tickets? i have a mini-season ticket plan and will have some tickets that i would be happy to dump for face value. this would be awesome if possible.

also, sad that murton won't be on the opening day team but i guess it makes sense, i still would have taken him over fontenot.

those tickets aren't for Opening Day and no, not getting into being a ticket exchange forum or anything like that. Just doing a favor for someone....


Bleed Cubbie Blue has one if you want to use that...

kerry wood comes in with men on to relieve marmol (pitching unsuccessfully into his 2nd inning of work)...wild pitch...then retires the next 2 to escape the inning.

neat.

-edit-

wood going for another inning after .2ip (both fielded outs) the inning before.

groundout to 1st, K (swinging), and K (looking)

1.2ip 0h 0bb 2k

Murton was basically doomed the moment that Soriano moved from CF to LF last year.

He would a great fit for the A's, who would value his OBP and low cost.

murton would be a great fit for a lot of clubs.

question i have is why these clubs dont have him yet.

at least it *seems* like hendry doesn't want to give him away just for the sake of moving him...so far...

either way, if he tears up AAA and gets another callup he could move into that easy-to-get-hard-to-maintain cubs fan cult status. kerry wood could get 1/2 of wrigley to give him a standing O just getting up off the pen bench during a game to take a leak.

ah yes, not for opening day indeed. my bad.

i'll check over at the blog whose name shall not be spoken for ticket stuff. thanks for the heads-up.

Pie!

Pignatello for MVP!

What is Lahey's status?

any real discussion of it, but man, do I wish the Cubs had taken a longer look at Josh Hamilton in 2006's Rule 5 draft. He's hitting .455/.492/.818 this spring and apparently playing a very good outfield.

a lot of people were looking at the reds when they wanted hamilton...they've done this before with players obviously not ready (willie mo pena), but hamilton was a guy many years and many drug related suspensions away from even playing organized ball.

i dunno what's more amazing...him or ankiel (even with known PEDs in ankiel's case).

Right, and one of the main reasons it worked for the reds was because of that coach that had had a strong relationship with Hamilton. But man, the guy has talent. He would have solved our RF problem before Fukudome.

it's a bit too early to make the call on hamilton, but as of right now it would have been one of the biggest coups in cubs history if they had the foresight and willingness to risk the roster space.

it was a hell of one for the reds, and it though it got what most perceive to be an under-market return on hamilton...they turned it into a nice crop of prospects.

We did have Hamilton if I am not mistaken. His drug problems were/are serious. Yes, he's talented, but he's older and has to have a fulltime babysitter (Johnny Narron) with him most of the time. A guy whose sobriety is that tenuous, might be considered too much of a risk and expense for many teams. The Narrons have worked for the Rangers in the past. Not to mention he is injury prone and our outfield wouldn't be too kind to him I imagine.

Interesting. At least Theriot would be moved down.

So the left-handed Fukudome will lead off against lefties, and the right-handed Theriot will lead off against righties. What's wrong with this picture?

i hope lou (or carrie) is getting L/R mixed up there somewhere...

Any movement in the lower ranks ?

Is Iowa Daytona Tennessee and Peoria set ?

ACE

Pie with 3 more hits today.

Isn't he hitting like .988 since the Cubs "clearly soured on him" about a week ago?

Why didn't they think of this sooner?

A couple thoughts:

Pie hitting .356, leading the starters in hitting. Who saw that coming? Large.

Will someone please tell Lou to shut it about trading Murton? Even if we are going to trade him -- no, ESPECIALLY if we are going to trade him -- no one associated with the Cubs should be making public announcements about the fact that we don't need him anymore. It's another frustrating case of minimizing the trade value of a pretty good player who should fetch something useful in return.

I'm as excited as anyone for Pie to break out this year but let's not give him the batting crown yet. Remember these games still don't mean anything.

-Debbie Downer

Brian Dopirek released today---remember when he was such a hugh prospect

Where did you hear this?

I was rooting for a Dopirak comeback.

pie has been balls out since
that testiculer torsion was fixed

gerut and estes make the SD 25-man...

buck coats makes the TOR 25-man...

So the BJs got rid of Reed Johnson and Buck Coats makes their 25-man. What do you make of this?

and my deepest condolences to everyone who drafted Jarrod Saltalamacchia for their fantasy team.

made the Blue Jays as well, he was a Rule 5 draftee from our organization. We'll see if he sticks all year though.

Well, I was for getting Roberts mainly for what he would bring to the top of the lineup offensively. As long as the price was reasonable (e.g. Veal, Gallagher, and 1 of EPat, Cedeno, Murton), OK. Asking 4 or 5 players for one slightly above average second baseman is McPhail just being baseball retarded. My guess is Andy will regret not making this move by July when the O's are 25 games out of 1st, dead in the water, and it's a buyer's market for his expensive castoffs.

Nonetheless, the bright side is Hendry still has all his top and mid-level prospects from which to deal with between now and July 31st. My guess, again, is that Jimbo's going to need them for his starting rotation and LH hitting off his bench and middle infield. The 'pie in the sky' hope is that Gallagher, Samardzija, and/or Veal could be ready to step into the rotation and/or bullpen by mid-July.

Until then, I hope Angelos and McPhail choke on Roberts.

Couldnt have said it better myself. I have a gut feeling that negotiating with McFail would be like negotiating with the IRS or a Skilled Tax attorney. Or a petulant 5 year old for that matter.

March 23 San Diego North County Times
"Prior will continue to pitch every five days and may face live hitters soon. He hopes to rejoin the team in May"

March 27 Padres put MP on 60 day DL
"The flame-throwing Prior is not expected to pitch until June at the earliest."

I think everyone would be much MORE surprised if he actually started the season healthy.

Then May roles around...

Prior looking to throw off mound after All-Star Break

Kevin Towers Quote 6-15-2008 " Mark is really progressing nicely. When we get him back at the first of July. It will really be like making a deadline trade. Only we won't have to give anyone up to do it."

"flame throwing"?

Wasn't he down around 89-90 the last time we saw him. Even Padres' beat writers are more concerned with sun/surfing than baseball. Prior could be throwing towels on the PCH and no one in San Diego would even notice.

He struggled to hit 86 on the gun last time I saw him pitch. It was ugly. That maybe wasn't his last outing, that was just the last time I saw him.

I've been running a Home Run Pool for the last 5 years. You pick 11 players from 4 groups of players similar to this pool. But, you also get to write in 4 players that aren't on lists - a lot of people really like this strategic aspect. There is a total of 15 players selected plus 1 tiebreaker. It costs $20 per entry and all money is returned to the pot. Last year there were 80 participants. The 4 highest HR totals payout. I expect the same level of participation this year but am always hoping for more! If you're interested send me an email at [email protected] and I'll send you an entry form. The deadline to submit picks is March 30th at 11:59 PM CST so act quickly!

So the BJs got rid of Reed Johnson and Buck Coats makes their 25-man. What do you make of this?

Coats is a left-handed hitter.

Q: Who pitches first in an MLB game, Mark Prior or Angel Guzman?

A: None of the above.

Recent comments

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  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 7 min 6 sec ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 8 min 55 sec ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 31 min 14 sec ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 31 min 42 sec ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 40 min 31 sec ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 41 sec ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 2 hours 24 sec ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?

    And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?

    chitownmvp01 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.

    Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place. 

    CTSteve 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout)  he was seen as a long-term project.  

    I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 22 min ago view