So this is a little strange. From Carrie Muskat's column about Michael Barrett's pinch-hitting heroics over the weekend:
John Mabry hit the Cubs' other pinch-hit homer in the second game of the season, and he was Barrett's inspiration on Saturday. What did Mabry do? "He was down here [in the clubhouse] in the third inning, getting ready for the game," Barrett said. "He starts his routine a lot earlier than most guys I've ever seen. I walked in here to get warm for a split second in the third, and I saw him getting ready, so I thought maybe I need to get ready, too. That way, when I went in to hit, I didn't feel rushed." But what is it that Mabry does? "I don't want to go into details," Barrett said, "but he was getting ready." "I can't tell you either," Baker said.
Apparently Mabry's routine is more involved than just riding the stationary bike during the early innings. Anyway, this week, the Reds come in for three at Wrigley. Know Thy Enemy: Red Reporter, We Heart The Reds Tuesday: Rusch vs. Bronson Arroyo Wednesday: Maddux vs. Brandon Claussen Thursday: Zambrano vs. Eric Milton With the Cubs facing two lefties in the Cincy series (Claussen & Milton), look for Jerry Hairston to get a start or two at second. I'd expect to see Neifi at short in Wednesday's game, too. And is it too much to ask for maybe Jacque Jones to take a day off too? Then the Cubs start a nine-game road trip against the Pirates. Know Thy Enemy: Honest Wagner Friday night: Marshall vs. Victor Santos Saturday night: 5th starter vs. Zach Duke Sunday: Rusch vs. Ian Snell As of right now, Saturday's starter is Jerome Williams, but that could change. Off-day conversation topic: ¿Quien es mas macho, Derrek Lee o Michael Barrett?
Fun with game notes: * A win tonight would give the Cubs their first home sweep against the Cardinals since June, 2001. * Sean Marshall is the 1,800th Chicago Cub in the franchise's 131-year history. GAME 5 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (3-2) AT CHICAGO CUBS (3-1) WRIGLEY FIELD 7:05 CDT, TV: ESPN WEATHER: 40 degrees, clear, wind blowing in from right at 12 MPH CARDINALS: David Eckstein, SS Juan Encarnacion, RF Albert Pujols, 1B Scott Rolen, 3B *Jim Edmonds, CF Yadier Molina, C So Taguchi, LF Hector Luna, 2B Sidney Ponson, P CUBS: *Juan Pierre, CF *Todd Walker, 2B Derrek Lee, 1B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Michael Barrett, C *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton. LF Ronny Cedeno, SS * Sean Marshall, P Jacque Jones: 4-24, 167/250/167, 3 BB, 5 K vs. Ponson Todd Walker: 4-15, 267/313/333 vs. Ponson
A win today puts the Cubs two games over .500 for the first time since last August 2nd. GAME 4 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (3-1) AT CHICAGO CUBS (2-1) WRIGLEY FIELD 1:20 CDT, TV: CSN Chicago WEATHER: 39 degrees, sunny, wind blowing in from left at 16 MPH CARDINALS: David Eckstein, SS *John Rodriguez, LF Albert Pujols, 1B *Jim Edmonds, CF Scott Rolen, 3B *Skip Schumaker, RF Yadier Molina, C #Aaron Miles, 2B Chris Carpenter, P Albert Pujols: 8-34, 235/333/471, 2 HR, 5 BB, 7 K vs. Zambrano Scott Rolen: 7-30, 233/281/500, 2 HR vs. Zambrano Jim Edmonds: 6-29, 207/361/448, 2 HR, 4 BB, 15 K vs. Zambrano Juan Encarnacion: 2-18, 111/158/111, 5 K vs. Zambrano John Rodriguez: 4-10, 400/455/1000, 2 HR vs. Zambrano Scott Rolen: 4-21, 190/296/429, 1 HR, 9 K vs. Dempster Jim Edmonds: 1-13, 077/294/077, 4 BB, 4 K vs. Williams Albert Pujols: 1-11, 091/091/364, 1 HR vs. Williams Scott Rolen: 0-9, 000/182/000, 3 K vs. Williams CUBS *Juan Pierre, CF *Todd Walker, 2B Derrek Lee, 1B Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton. LF Ronny Cedeno, SS Henry Blanco, C #Carlos Zambrano, P Todd Walker: 2-27, 074/074/185, 7 K vs. Carpenter Jerry Hairston: 4-22, 182/207/227 vs. Carpenter Neifi Perez: 3-14, 214/200/214 vs. Carpenter Carlos Zambrano: 5-7, 714/714/857 vs. Carpenter Aramis Ramirez: 4-7, 571/571/1571, 2 HR vs. Hancock
Thanks to a lot of hard work previously done by Arizona Phil and the guys at USS Mariner, I am proud to present the Cubs Org Chart! I will continue to add features to the page as the season goes on, including links to the players, contract info, etc. Let me know what other information you'd like to see on the org chart page.
HOME OPENER IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (3-0) AT CHICAGO CUBS (1-1) WRIGLEY FIELD 1:20 CDT, TV: WGN-TV WEATHER: 40 degrees, overcast, wind blowing in 25 MPH CARDINALS: David Eckstein, SS Juan Encarnacion, RF Albert Pujols, 1B Jim Edmonds, CF Scott Rolen, 3B So Taguchi, LF Gary Bennett, C Aaron Miles, 2B Jeff Suppan, P CUBS Juan Pierre, CF Neifi Perez, 2B Derrek Lee, 1B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Jacque Jones, RF Michael Barrett, C Matt Murton. LF Ronny Cedeno, SS Greg Maddux, P Albert Pujols is 10-24 with 3 HR lifetime versus Maddux Jacque Jones is 11-31 with 4 HR and 9 BB lifetime vs Suppan Derrek Lee is 12-25 with 4 2B, 2 HR, and 7 BB lifetime vs Suppan
In the second in a series of team previews of N. L. Central clubs, we present the Cubs Home Opening Day opponents (some of you may have heard of them), the St. Louis Cardinals.
In addition to the Chicago Cubs playing the Reds on Opening Day in Cincinnati on Monday and the Home Opener at Wrigley Field on Friday versus the St. Louis Cardinals, four of the Cubs minor league affiliates start their regular season schedules Thursday and Friday. Here is the current state of the Cubs organizational pipeline, with the Opening Day rosters for all affiliates now in place:
The Associated Press has obtained the 2006 MLB player payrolls. The Cubs' 2006 player payroll ranks third in the N. L., behind the Mets and the Dodgers, and just ahead of the Astros, Braves, and Giants. NATIONAL LEAGUE: 1. NYM - 100.9 2. LAD - 99.1 3. CUBS - 94.8 4. HOU - 92.5 5. ATL - 92.4 6. SF - 90.8 7. STL - 88.4 8. PHI - 88.2 MID-POINT 9. SD - 69.7 10. WAS - 63.2 11. CIN - 59.4 12. AZ - 59.2 13. MIL - 56.7 14. PIT - 46.8 15. COL - 41.1 16. FLA - 14.9
GAME IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (1-0) AT CINCINNATI REDS (0-1) GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK, 11:35 CDT, TV: ESPN & CSN Chicago Temperature in the 50's with the wind blowing out.
Glendon Rusch, LHP 2005: 9-8, 4.52 111/53 K/BB, 14 HR in 145 1/3 IP Ryan Freel, 2B Felipe Lopez, SS Ken Griffey, Jr, CF (5/21, 238/320/714, 3 HR) Rich Aurilia, 1B Adam Dunn, LF (7/21, 333/333/952, 4 HR, 7K) Edwin Encarnacion, 3B Austin Kearns, RF David Ross, C Bronson Arroyo, PBronson Arroyo, RHP 2005: 14-10, 3.52 100/54 K/BB, 22 HR in 205 1/3 IP Juan Pierre, CF Todd Walker, 2B Derrek Lee, 1B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Jacque Jones, RF Michael Barrett, C Matt Murton, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS Glendon Rusch, P
Dunn owns Rusch, and Griffey has hit the Cubs left-hander well too. Rusch usually has a WHIP around 1.50, so he better keep the ball in the park or it's going to be a short day for the lefty. Arroyo was acquired by the Reds from Boston for OF Wily Mo Pena during Spring Training. He has been the Red Sox rubber-armed swing-man the last couple of years, with a spot start here and a long relief job there, but now he has a chance to be a full-time full-fledged top-of-the-rotation starter on a team that (like his former club) scores a lot of runs. Arroyo has been more effective against right-handed hitters (228/281/366) than he has been against left-handed hitters (275/338/455) over the past three seasons, but today's Cubs starters are an aggregate lifetime 13-25 with two BB and three K versus Arroyo. Heck, even Glendon Rusch is 2-3 with a BB. Arroyo hit 14 batters last year and surrendered 22 HR in just over 200 IP. Arroyo mixes a four-seam fastball (cutter) that tops out in the low 90's with four other pitches, including a two-seam fastball (sinker), a slider he likes to use as an "out" pitch against right-handed hitters, and a curve he throws mostly when he is behind in the count. He rarely throws his change-up, because he has difficulty throwing it for strikes. He has a quick move to home plate with runners on base, so it is hard for opponents to steal bases when he is pitching. In his last start in Spring Training last week, Arroyo shut out the Red Sox on three hits (and seven Ks) over seven innings, so he appears to be ready to go.
Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune and Mike Kiley in the Sun-Times are reporting that the Cubs and Jim Hendry will begin negotiating a contract extension for the GM today or Wednesday, with a deal expected to be in place possibly as early as Thursday. Kiley believes the first question Hendry will be asked at the expected Thursday news conference is whether he plans on giving Dusty Baker an extension, but I would be a lot more interested in asking Hendry: 1. Does he think he is--or is not-- going to be able to get Derrek Lee to agree to a contract extension past 2006 in the next few days, and if he can't, does that push the issue to end of the season? and 2. Does he plan on approaching Aramis Ramirez about giving up his player option for 2007 (possibly in return for the Cubs guaranteeing the club option part of the mutual option for 2009, plus tacking on another year worth somewhere around $13-$14mil at the end of the contract)?.
...but even a triple's OK. GAME ONE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (0-0) AT CINCINNATI REDS (0-0) GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK, 1:10 CDT, TV: WGN
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 2005: 14-6, 3.26 ERA 202/86 K/BB, 21 HR in 223 1/3 IP 2B *Tony Womack (2-12, 167/286/250 vs. Zambrano) SS #Felipe Lopez (2-13, 154/214/385, HR) CF *Ken Griffey Jr. LF *Adam Dunn (4-23, 174/321/435, 2 HR, 5 BB, 8 K) 3B Edwin Encarnacion 1B *Scott Hatteberg RF Austin Kearns (2-13, 154/389/231, 4 BB, 4 K C Javier Valentin P Aaron Harang Aurilia: 7-17, 415/545/371 vs. Dempster Dunn: 6-13, 462/462/692, HR vs. Williams Griffey: 6-16, 375/412/1063, 3 HR vs. Eyre Womack: 9-24, 375/500/625, HR, 6 BB vs. DempsterAaron Harang, RHP 2005: 11-13, 3.83 ERA 163/51 K/BB, 22 HR in 211 2/3 IP CF *Juan Pierre 2B *Todd Walker (4-19, 211/250/211 vs. Harang) 1B Derrek Lee (8-22, 364/364/682, 2 HR) 3B Aramis Ramirez (3-14, 214/267/429, 1 HR) RF *Jacque Jones C Michael Barrett LF Matt Murton SS Ronny Cedeno P #Carlos Zambrano Lee: 1-16, 063/348/063, 6 BB vs. Weathers Lee: 2-13, 154/214/385, 1 HR vs. White Perez: 7-18, 389/389/500 vs. Mercker Perez: 5-13, 385/429/615, HR vs. Weathers
Here we go! Pitches get thrown in anger, and the runs count, for the first time in six months. The Cubs try to get off on the right foot and put last year's disappointing results behind them. Our boys in blue have new faces at shortstop and across the entire outfield, with Juan Pierre giving them a classic leadoff man (you know the type: hits a lot of singles, fast, no power) for the first time in years. De facto (and de jure) staff ace Carlos Zambrano takes the hill in what could be a long-ball-laden contest, as the forecast calls for winds of 20+ mph blowing out to left. Derrek Lee currently holds the record for longest homer at GABP by a visiting player -- let's see if he can overtake Wily Mo Pena for longest homer by a right-handed hitter.
In the first in a series of team previews of N. L. Central clubs, we present the Cubs Opening Day opponents, the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cubs have been busy this past week, making final roster cuts that pared their Spring Training roster (originally 58 players in February) down to a 25-man roster on Opening Day. The 25-man Opening Day roster limit and clubs having to cut players the last week of Spring Training to get down to the limit is one of the ìRights of Spring Training,î in some cases the ìlast riteî (so to speak) for a player. But the 25-man Opening Day roster is actually a fairly recent invention.
Time for the readers opinions; into the gauntlet are Andrew, Mike C., The Real Neal, MannyTrillo, Chad, Shawndgoldman, Nickelnights and Crunch. Donít fear, weíll get some other faithful readers the next go-around. Stay tuned for a historical look of Opening Day Rosters later today and a preview of our first NL Central opponent, the Cincinnati Reds, tomorrow before the big game. --------------------- Rate the Cubs off-season acquisitions and maneuvers? Did Jim Hendry sufficiently address the teamís needs or was he left in the cold holding a bag of donuts? [MannyTrillo] I would give him a C+. He finally went out and addressed two of the GLARING holes from last year after many of us fans were screaming for him to get a leadoff man and a better bullpen, but he has left us still with too many question marks in the starting rotation. He did not properly prepare for the very likely injuries to Wood and Prior. [Chad] Huge improvements in the HORRIBLE bullpen from last year. I feel that we might win a game with a lead in the 7th if our starter has to come out. Outfield is another story. While I really like Juan Pierre, I don't see any upside to Jacques Jones over Jeromy Burnitz. [The Real Neal] I like the Pierre trade, even though I don't like Pierre - it was nice to see the Cubs trade two birds in the bush for a real ML player. Probably a bit of overkill with Howry and Eyre signings (even more-so with the way Ohman has pitched in the spring), and I like everyone else would have preferred a $12 Giles to a $5.5 Jones - but the outfield defense should be top-rate. [Nickelnights] Overall, I'd give Hendry a C-. It was a baron offseason, and what was available came at an extremely steep price. He did do a good job of fixing the areas he targeted, particularly lead-off and bullpen, and those things will help the team this year. However, I'm concerned that the signings could be costly 2 or 3 years down the road. We've seen what happens when you sign veteran relievers to long term contracts, and multi-year deals to the likes of Neifi Perez and Glendon Rusch are will pretty darn stupid. [Mike C.] Offensively the Cubs fell short again for a third straight year. The organization is still hell bent on winning 2-1 games than 5-2 games. Pierre and Jones are not going to produce any more runs than the guys they replaced. The only upgrade is that hopefully Pierre gives Lee and Ramirez more RBI chances. In the bullpen Howry was an OK signing but Scott Eyre was just plain stupid. The man is situational pitcher who might appear in a lot of games but rarely ever pitches a whole inning. For the money he is making he will be expected to perform more than that which could lead to trouble. [Crunch] Cubs took care of LAST season's issues. I'm not thrilled with 3 years of Dempster. RF came down to J.Jones vs. J.Encarnacion and I'm happy the Cubs chose Jones. Pierre and his cost was taken on at the expense of 2 pitchers, the highest of which was 4th-6th on the minor league depth chart depending on just how much you like Nolasco...I like the move. Eyre/Howry I am happy to have around in the pen for years. W.Miller was a hell of a signing and a stable gamble, imo. [Andrew] Of course, it's a bit premature to judge any offseason until you see how the new team peforms that next year. But, alas, I guess Christian can't wait that long to post our analyses. So, what were our needs this offseason? Leadoff hitter, bullpen help, and a lefthanded slugger, and Hendry was up to the task. He acquired the leadoff man (although he gave up Ricky Nolasco to do it, which is a crying shame and might have been unnecessary). He shored up the bullpen (although he gave too many years to Dempster, Eyre, and Howry). He signed a left-handed outfielder with some pop (albeit one with poor OBP skills and who should be platooned). Did he accomplish the main goals (more or less), without blowing a ton of money or minor-league talent to do it? Yes, more or less. That in itself probably deserves a grade slightly above average. Still... *yawn*. Forgive me for being unimpressed. There seemed to be no urgency to Hendry's moves, no drive to think creatively and work to construct trades that could benefit multiple teams. Instead, we signed or traded for the obvious players, which, while not bad, isn't terribly exciting or encouraging. So, adding points for his commitment to Cedeno and Murton and for the Wade Miller signing, call it a B minus. [Shawndgoldman] I don't think Hendry sufficiently addressed the team's needs, but i also don't blame him for not doing so. The biggest problems Hendry faced were the best potential acquisitions - B. Giles, Furcal, Tejada, Ryan, and Burnett - all turned out to be somewhere between undesirable and impossible. Giles gave San Diego a home town discount, the O's wanted too much for Tejada, and Furcal, Ryan and Burnett signed contracts I wouldn't want the Cubs to top.
Cubs Roundtable Questions (Spring 2006) Yesterday we got the opinions of the TCR powers that be, we now pose the same 11 questions to some of the finest Cubs bloggers out there. Former TCR writers Scott Lange(Gonfalon Cubs at Baseball Think Factory) and Derek Smart(Cub Town) once again grace us wtth their fine written word. Bleed Cubbie Blueís Al Yellon, Ivy Chatís Chuck Gitles , The View From the Bleachersís Joe Aiello, and Baseball Prospectus & The Juice writer Will Carroll round out this whoís who of Cub fans and writers. Thanks for their time and see what they have to say about the 2006 CubsÖ --------------------- Rate the Cubs off-season acquisitions and maneuvers? Did Jim Hendry sufficiently address the teamís needs or was he left in the cold holding a bag of donuts? Mmmmm....donuts!!!

Pages

X
  • Sign in with Twitter