August 2005

Closers Of The Future

Well, let me introduce myself before you read my dull words, that somehow made it into this very-appreciated site. I'm Carlos Rubi, an eighteen year old high school senior from Merida, Mexico; I've been a Cubs fanatic since 1994, and will be one until... well, until I stop caring. Or until I get married. Some of you may know me from the Parachat; I'm usually there to spend every other game, classes-permitting I also run a weblog Dusty Says, along with two other people. Well, then, I shall leave you with the article. Thanks to TCR for giving me this opportunity... He has the stuff to be the Cubs' closer of the future! How many times have we heard that in the past ten years? Try to remember the number. Three, four? Wrong. The closer role is as vital as a bag of carrots; though, in the modern way of playing baseball, it must be a role well defined and set to an individual. Through the minor leagues, and even in the major leagues, several lethal pitchers with arrow fastballs and knee-buckling breaking stuff have joined the spinning wheel that is the Cubs bullpen. Guys like Myers, Gordon, Alfonseca, Veres, Remlinger all have closed games for the Cubs, but all of those were acquired by trades or free agency. This story, though, will focus on the guys scouts have labeled as the perennial closers of the future (COTF); none of them, at the time of this article, have been able to succeed at that role.

Prior Dominance

GAME 132 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] LOS ANGELES DODGERS (60-71) @ CHICAGO CUBS (62-69) WRIGLEY FIELD, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: WGN, Fox Sports West 2
Mark Prior, RHP
9-5, 3.68 ERA
147/45 K/BB, 21 HR in 132.0 IP
Brad Penny, RHP
6-8, 3.75 ERA
102/33 K/BB, 14 HR in 151.0 IP
CF Jayson Werth CF Jerry Hairston Jr.
SS *Oscar Robles

What the Future Holds

You'll be seeing a few guest pieces over the next week or so as most of the TCR staff is cruising around the world from all the money we make from Paypal donations and you guys clicking on the ads. You guys do click on the ads, right? Hope you enjoy and we'll be back at full strength in a few weeks to bring you up to date coverage of everyone of Neifi's at-bats in September. Many of you may know me already, but the guys here at The Cub Reporter have asked me to write something. If you don't know me, then let me introduce my self. I am Chris Yarbrough formally from the state of Alabama. I now reside in "The Natural State," which is Arkansas for you guys who are keeping score. I am a sports writer in El Dorado, Ark., which is right above the Louisiana border. I mainly cover high school sports, but I do get to cover the occasional Louisiana Tech football game. This was supposed to run on Monday, but a short staff and a hurricane caused me to forget as I got out of work around 1 a.m. Also you can check out my site, The Yarbage Cub Review. We try to keep things going over there. Now onto our show:

Another One Bites The Dust

The dismantlement of the 2005 Chicago Cubs continues. Todd Hollandsworth, like Matt Lawton and Mike Remlinger before him, possesses no value to the Cubs beyond this year, since his contract expires over the winter and promises no compensatory draft picks. Furthermore, any value he holds this year has been rendered an irrelevance by the Cubs' 62-69 circumstance.

Cubs Organizational Report Week 21

Thanks to Steve Holley of Inside the Ivy for helping to fill in the blanks on some of the injuries to our minor leaguers. If you care what is going on with our lil' Cubs, you'll certainly want to check out the site. Some of the best inside info you'll get. MVN also has new minor league site devoted entirely to the Chicago Cubs. Check out Road to Wrigley. Team Records updated through 8/28/05; Individual Stats updated through 8/28/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10
Chicago Cubs62-68(Div)20.5/4th
(WC)7.5/7th
4-6
Iowa Cubs62-696.5/4th5-5
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx*34-281.5/2nd5-5
Daytona Cubs30-316.0/5th6-4
Peoria Chiefs29-335.0/6th5-5
Boise Hawks29-373.0/3rd6-4
AZL Cubs8-179.0/9th4-6
Cubs Ex W/L: 65-65; (2003) 68-62; (2004) 71-59 * West Tennessee clinched the first half North Division title of the Southern League

Pitcher’s Duel

GAME 130 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] FLORIDA MARLINS (69-60) @ CHICAGO CUBS (61-68) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 pm CDT, TV: Fox Sports Florida, WGN
Carlos Zambrano, RHP
10-5, 3.03 ERA
159/69 K/BB, 13 HR in 172.1 IP
Josh Beckett, RHP
12-7, 3.45 ERA
128/45 K/BB, 10 HR in 140.2 IP
CF *Juan Pierre CF Jerry Hairston Jr.
LF Jeff Conine

Friday Fish Fry

GAME 128 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] FLORIDA MARLINS (66-59) @ CHICAGO CUBS (61-66) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 pm CDT, TV: WGN, ESPN
Glendon Rusch, LHP
5-6, 4.21 ERA
87/43 K/BB, 10 HR in 107.0 IP
Jason Vargas, LHP
4-1, 2.43 ERA
33/16 K/BB, 0 HR in 37.0 IP
CF *Juan Pierre CF Jerry Hairston Jr.
LF Jeff Conine

Ramirez Update

Aramis Ramirez left today's game early after straining his left quadricep muscle. On a sure double play grounder to short, Ramirez did his best attempt at hustling and then clutched his upper left leg before collapsing while crossing first base. It wasn't even a close play. It was the right quad that he's been nursing lately although apparently he has strained the left quad as well this season. After the game, trainer Mark O'Neal had this to say:

AFL Update

This from cubs.com:
[Felix] Pie will be one of seven Cubs players in the Arizona Fall League. The others include second baseman [Eric] Patterson, outfielder [Matt] Murton, first baseman Brandon Sing, utility player Buck Coates and pitchers David Aardsma and Angel Guzman. One more pitcher will be named to the Mesa Solar Sox team, Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita said.

Shirking

GAME 125 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ATLANTA BRAVES (70-54) @ CHICAGO CUBS (60-64) WRIGLEY FIELD, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: Comcast
Carlos Zambrano, RHP
10-5, 3.07 ERA
149/69 K/BB, 12 HR in 164.1 IP
Tim Hudson, RHP
9-7, 3.45 ERA
83/49 K/BB, 11 HR in 133.0 IP
SS #Rafael Furcal SS LF *Matt Lawton
2B Marcus Giles

Cubs Organizational Report Week 20

Team Records updated through 8/21/05; Individual Stats updated through 8/21/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10
Chicago Cubs60-64(Div)18.0/4th
(WC)6.5/7th
6-4
Iowa Cubs58-6710.0/4th3-7
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx*31-241.5/2nd5-5
Daytona Cubs27-286.0/5th7-3
Peoria Chiefs26-316.0/8th3-7
Boise Hawks25-343.0/3rd4-6
AZL Cubs6-137.5/9th4-6
Cubs Ex W/L: 60-64; (2003) 64-60; (2004) 68-56 * West Tennessee clinched the first half North Division title of the Southern League

You Think We Have It Bad?

Apparently over in Red Sox Nation things aren't so peachy. There seems to be some sort of front-office struggle bertween GM Theo Epstein and president John Henry, the result being a ton of roster moves that defy logic like the continual jerking back and forth of 3B Kevin Youkilis and the Millar-Petagine-Olerud three-headed monster at first.

Arizona Fall League Prospects

Six Cubs will be playing in the Arizona Fall League this year for the Mesa Solar Sox. RHP David Aardsma RHP Angel Guzman SS/CF Buck Coats OF Matt Murton 2B Eric Patterson 1B/OF Brandon Sing Not exactly who I would have expected, but I'm not exactly sure who makes a good candidate for the AFL. According to the article, the AFL is for AA and AAA prospects and only one player below AA is allowed per major league team, in our case, that would be Eric Patterson.

Adam Greenberg in the NYT

I looked up from my dissertation just long enough to notice that Adam Greenberg has made The Paper of Record. It's odd that they would decide to run an article on him now, all of the sudden. But it's a fine piece, framing both him and Dusty Baker in a very nice, sympathetic light. Sadly, it seems that Greenberg still struggles with lingering effects of the beaning. Sorry I can't write more, but I encourage you to check it out.

Must Win?

GAME 124 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (60-63) @ COLORADO ROCKIES (46-77) COORS FIELD, 2:05 pm CDT, TV: WGN, KTVD
Jeff Francis, LHP
11-9, 5.80 ERA
104/55 K/BB, 19 HR in 141.0 IP
Greg Maddux, RHP
10-9, 4.40 ERA
101/28 K/BB, 21 HR in 163.2 IP
LF Jerry Hairston Jr. 2B Luis Gonzalez
2B #Neifi Perez

Video Game Baseball

GAME 122 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (59-62) @ COLORADO ROCKIES (45-76) COORS FIELD, 4:05 pm CDT, TV: CSN, Fox Sports Rocky Mountain
Byung-Hyun Kim, RHP
3-9, 5.33 ERA
82/50 K/BB, 10 HR in 103.0 IP
Mark Prior, RHP
8-4, 3.70 ERA
130/39 K/BB, 20 HR in 119.1 IP
LF *Matt Lawton 2B Luis Gonzalez
2B *Todd Walker RF *Jorge Piedra
1B Derrek Lee LF Matt Holliday
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Todd Helton
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 3B Garrett Atkins
SS #Neifi Perez CF *Larry Bigbie
CF *Corey Patterson C Danny Ardoin
C Henry Blanco SS *Omar Quintanilla
P Mark Prior P Byung-Hun Kim
Games at Coors Field always make me think of video game baseball. It seems playing here is like playing one of EA's video games on the Rookie Level, where you could hit a HR pretty much anytime you needed it. Just push up on the joystick and swing, Voila, 3 run blast! To keep the optimism going around here, I took a look at the Cubs upcoming schedule. Here's a quick breakdwon:

Don’t Believe the Hype

I don't like to give credence to rumors by putting them on the site, but since this one is pretty pervasive I'll make an exception: Roger Clemens. I don't believe it, and the people I asked who know about these sorts of things don't believe it. Of course, that doesn't mean it isn't going to get talked about, or that people aren't going to jump to their own conclusions. One person said to me yesterday that Clemens "fits the profile" of the kind of person who uses PEDs. Does he? How many older power pitchers have tested positive? None.

Day Off

It's a day off for the Cubs, so it's basically a day off for the Cub Reporter writers. There are still things to talk about though, like: * Who will get sent down when Jerry Hairston is activated tomorrow? Is it the end of Matt Murton's stay in the bigs? It doesn't seem likely that the Cubs will go to 11 pitchers on their way into Coors Field.

Don’t Be Fooled

Now is not the time for irrational exuberance. The win last night raised the Cubs' post-season chances from 1.10% to 1.72%. The optimist in me points out that the Cubs improved their chances by 56%, while the pessimist in me wonders how there can possibly be an optimist in me after 30 years of following the Cubs.

Rooting Interests

GAME 120 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (57-62) @ HOUSTON ASTROS (64-54) MINUTE MAID PARK, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: WGN, Fox Sports SouthWest
Andy Pettitte LHP
10-8, 2.62 ERA
116/31 K/BB, 11 HR in 154.2 IP
Greg Maddux, RHP
9-9, 4.54 ERA
96/26 K/BB, 21 HR in 156.2 IP
RF *Matt Lawton CF Wily Taveras
2B #Neifi Perez

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  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 8 hours 30 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 9 hours 1 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 9 hours 23 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 9 hours 55 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 10 hours 5 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 10 hours 16 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 10 hours 25 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 10 hours 31 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 10 hours 40 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 10 hours 40 min ago view
  • a.soriano new OF fielding coach?

    crunch 11 hours 44 min ago view
  • Why is Almora jumping up on catches?

    jacos 11 hours 46 min ago view
  • "Tommy La Stella (hamstring) will remain on his minor league rehab assignment through at least Friday."

    should be an interesting roster shuffle once these guys trickle back in. i imagine patton or peralta are on the hot seat for la stella's return.

    crunch 12 hours 5 min ago view
  • 6 pitches, 2 run lead.

    neat.

    crunch 13 hours 14 min ago view
  • So am I. Point remains.

    Old and Blue 23 hours 4 min ago view
  • Not certain why the site has been slowed. Worked much of Wednesday on it and will continue today. Sorry for the inconvenience. I will probably take it offline for a while, but it will be up before the game against the Mets.

    WebAdmin 1 day 7 hours ago view