Len Kasper Chat Wrap

There isn't a whole lot going down today. The last-ever Hall of Fame game was to feature the Cubs versus the Padres this afternoon...and was poetically rained out. That'll save the Cubs from a freak injury at least.

To hold us over until the big Cubs vs Rays series tomorrow (imagine that, an IMPORTANT Cubs vs Rays series), reader Carlos sent me a link to a Len Kasper chat wrap on Baseball Prospectus from last week. He touches on his love of sabermetrics along with a bit of inside info on the personalities on the team. It's certainly worth a read.

I also would like to mention that the Cubs reached 20 games over .500 with the win yesterday. This is the soonest they've reached that mark since...1906, which is still the record for highest team winnng percentage in a season. Lou's 2001 Mariners did tie the 116 win mark, but had ten more games to do it (162 versus 152).

Some minor league info and run differential update after the jump...


Iowa(AAA):
The Iowa Cubs had to cancel a few games last week due to flooding around Principal Park. They made some of that up with a double-header on Sunday. They've also added Ben Broussard (recently cut by Texas) and P Greg Reinhard (acquired in the Jae-kuk Ryu deal last year).

Tennessee(AA):
The Smokies ended their first half on Sunday with a win that ended an 8-game losing streak and finished the first-half of the season at 27-43.

Daytona(Hi-A):
The Florida State League All-Star Game was played this weekend at Space Coast Stadium (not a typo) and all five Daytona Cubs saw action: P Casey Lambert, P Alex Maestri, OF Jim Adduci, 2B Tony Thomas, C Welington Castillo (was replaced by Mark Reed because he was promoted to AA),

Peoria(A):

Finished the first half of the season at 30-38 (7th place) with manager Ryne Sandberg being ejected four times. Pitcher Blake Parker and 3B/1B/DH Jovan Rosa will play in tomorrow's All-Star game.

And the Boise Hawks announced their roster last week and will begin play tomorrow.

Run Differential Leaders:

Cubs +108

Phillies +90

Red Sox +70

White Sox +60

Athletics +55

Braves +39

Comments

Dempster vs Kazimir

Z vs Sonnastine

Gallagher vs Shields

 

Kasper had mentioned yesterday something involving one of the Cub's minor league teams that was unprecedented -apparently, the game was played without any spectators present, only players on the field. The town in which the game was played had issued security orders (due to flooding) that prevented any citizens from attending.

Yeah... sadly that was Des Moines. All of Iowa is getting messed up by the floods, and you can guess (by my handle) that I am a bit bummed about it.

Here is to hoping that it dries out quickly...

Rob G-- unless I misread you check out June 1977

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/1977_s...

June 28- 25 games over .500

i heard it on the game yesterday, and must have heard it incorrectly. I think it's this soon in June, rather than all of June.

you get the point... 

Rob G. --

Actually, the infamous 1969 Cubs reached the 20 games over .500 on June 6th after only 52 games:

"1969: On June 6th, the Cubs completed a six-game winning streak at home, trouncing the Reds 14-8, and reaching the 36-16 mark, a .692 record."

Check out this article at the Baseball Think Factory about the history of the post-WWII Cubs reaching the 20 games over .500 mark: http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/gonfalon...

Bah...blame Kasper...he said it.

Murton on the inactive list (grandmother's funeral)
Ascanio on bereavement list

Hey, what ever happened to the Rob G. name change contest? My vote was for Throb G. Let's make it happen.

"Murton on the inactive list (grandmother's funeral)
Ascanio on bereavement list"

Ascanio must have really loved Murton's grandma.

And while I'm happy this site is getting money from them, I wonder if before settling on a company name, the good people at SEATROCKET didn't kick around a few less disturbing monickers.

The flooding in Iowa has been just insane.

I live in a town that lies high above the nearby river and my basement is just starting to dry out after a month. I'm just glad I don't live in any of the cities really affected by the floods (Des Moines, Iowa City, Mason City, Cedar Rapids). It's going to take a long time to clean up those cities and get back to normal.

I remember traveling to those areas on business during the '93 floods, so sorry to see another repeat of those terrible events. But Iowans are tough when the crap comes down, and just like that year they'll come out of this with their heads held high.

Hank on Chien Mang Wang's foot injury:

"My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century," Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. "They need to grow up and join the 21st century. Am I [mad] about it? Yes," Steinbrenner added. "I've got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He's going to be out. I don't like that, and it's about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s."

Maybe instead of blaming NL rules, he might want to ask his manager and strength and conditioning coach to get their prized starter ready for being in the line-up in the future and why they did not this time.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=344685...

This doesn't change much. Any fan of anything NL-related already hates the Yankees. :D

who knew steiny jr. could be more of an annoying jackass than his father?

my god...we got how many decades of this jackass giving the media crap to write? ugg...

this piece of pissy childish crap isn't his first...emphasis on childish.

THE KERRY WOOD of the JAYS -

I had contemplated how A.J. Burnett might perform in a Cubs uniform.

That is, until I read this comprehensive injury & rap sheet, via the "rumor" site. NO THANKS, Dude...:

1999: Made Major League debut. 162 innings.
2000: Penciled in for Marlins' rotation, but ruptured thumb ligament pushes season debut to late July. 95 innings.
2001: Broken foot pushes season debut to May. Pitches nine-walk no-hitter in second start. 182.6 innings.
2002: Ranks second in baseball in Pitcher Abuse Points per start (thanks to Jeff Torborg). Threw 122 or more pitches nine times. Late in year, has DL stint for an elbow bruise. 204.3 innings.
2003: Burnett goes to arbitration with Marlins and loses. Forearm tightness leads to a cortisone shot in the elbow in March; starts season on DL. Has Tommy John surgery April 29th. In November, Larry Beinfest says the Marlins will be able to afford to retain Burnett after shedding Derrek Lee. 23 innings.
2004: A setback pushes his season debut to June 3rd. Says arm is stronger than it was before surgery, but elbow inflammation surfaces by September. Included in December trade talks with Yankees, D'Backs. 127.3 innings.
2005: Burnett's last year before free agency. He sought a three-year, $21MM deal, but the Marlins offered $16MM and no agreement was reached. Has laser eye surgery in offseason. Elbow inflammation in May, misses one turn. In June-July, trade rumors link him to Orioles, Jays, and White Sox. Burnett's unwillingness to sign an extension and the Marlins' insistence on packaging him with Mike Lowell nixes all deals. September: Burnett rips team and Jack McKeon and is asked to leave the team. 209 innings.
2006: Pursued as free agent by Rangers, Tigers, Mets, Cardinals, Nationals, and five other teams. Signs widely panned five-year, $55MM deal with Jays. Starts season on DL with elbow soreness. Makes a few starts and is placed back on DL. Returns in June. 154.6 innings.
2007: DL stint for shoulder strain in June. Makes one start and returns to DL. 170.6 innings.
2008: Broken fingernail prevents curveballs in spring, but it doesn't become an issue. Mockingly doffs cap while Jays fan boo after poor start. Admits he wouldn't mind playing for Cubs.

Except that Kerry Wood has been the consummate professional and a class-act all the way, while Burnett has apparently been an immature prick with a loud mouth.

But I see your point about the injuries.

*insert vajayjay reference here*

Time to showcase Murt.

That's gotta be it, I guess.

To me, the last series would have probably been the one to do it since Toronto was so lefty heavy in the bullpen. We see Kazmir today and then Danks on Friday, but those are the only lefties we face in the next two series. Plus, neither Tampa Bay nor Chicago is heavy on lefties in the pen, either.

Woohoo!

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  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 50 min 39 sec ago view
  • The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.

    That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!

    Eric S 10 hours 52 min ago view
  • KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.

    Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?

    Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.

    billybucks 11 hours 8 min ago view
  • Down a run. Fowler on first. Nobody out. KB singles to left, Fowler makes it to third, perfect throw from Cabrera nails KB trying to stretch for 2nd.

    So, instead of 1st & 3rd and no out, you have 3rd with one out. It was a perfect throw, but why take the chance with 3-4-5 hitters coming up?

    billybucks 11 hours 22 min ago view
  • Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.

    billybucks 11 hours 23 min ago view
  • Splitting hairs, but Jake's pitch was poor execution, while KB's play was a poor decision (and the 2nd time he got thrown out trying to stretch in the game). Poor execution happens. Poor decisions are preventable. Speaking of poor decisions -- Baez's steal of 3rd made absolutely no sense.

    billybucks 11 hours 23 min ago view
  • Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?

    The E-Man 11 hours 37 min ago view
  • Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?

    The E-Man 11 hours 38 min ago view
  • Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.

    billybucks 11 hours 42 min ago view
  • Can we un-do the Montgomery deal? Please?

    billybucks 11 hours 43 min ago view
  • THAT WAS TURRIBLE.

    crunch 11 hours 45 min ago view
  • Who is this Arrieta guy? Can I get the old one back please?

    The E-Man 12 hours 54 min ago view
  • Well, this is, once again, the whole season for the Sox.

    billybucks 12 hours 58 min ago view
  • ...and the Bryant RBI jinx continues in the 3rd....crap.

    billybucks 14 hours 30 min ago view
  • bryant's in the dugout filling a police report BECAUSE HE JUST GOT ROBBED.

    f'n cabrerra...

    crunch 15 hours 8 min ago view