July 2007

A Look at Cubs ‘08

2008 will be the 100th Anniversary of the last time the Cubs won a World Series. This past off-season (post-2006 season), the Cubs went on a $300M+ spending spree, hoping to win a World Series (or at least maybe get into the playoffs) before the Centennial Celebration commences. But with the new owners of the Cubs yet to be decided (apparently until further notice), it appears that the club's executives may take a passive approach toward the future, as evidenced by failing to sign Carlos Zambrano to a contract extension, taking the risk that he will walk away after the 2007 season. So here is what the Cubs might look like in 2008 should the sale of the club remain in limbo, and if the Trib decides to continue taking a more passive approach to player retention and acquisition during the next off-season:

Rest Of NL Lets The Cubs Down

In Tuesday night's 78th All-Star Game, the American League beat the National League 5-4, the tenth consecutive ASG victory for the AL. The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano brought the NL to within a run with a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, but after J.J. Hardy, Derrek Lee, and Orlando Hudson walked to load the bases, the Angels' Frankie Rodriguez retired Aaron Rowand to secure the win.

Linking

I apologize for the lack of original content the last few days, weeks, etc. We should have had some extraordinary first half review or second half look-forward for all our wonderful readers. Unfortunately real-life and a lingering family emergency has sapped my time and motivation these days. I do hope everyone understands. In the meantime, some Cub-related links worth reading. Baseball Prospectus Free Talent All-Stars

Might Right Make Might?

In the aftermath of Friday night's loss at Pittsburgh to Pirates LHP Paul Maholm, Cubs manager Lou Piniella called for another right-handed bat, mainly to hit off the bench. Stating the player will almost certainly have to come from within the organization, the candidates named in Paul Sullivan's article in the Chicago Tribune are (alphabetically):

TCR Friday Notes

A few quick tidbits for your discussion... - Bruce Miles with some news and notes heading into the break. The cliff notes version is that Hendry reiterated to him that he'll have the resources to add payroll for the stretch drive, Piniella is smart and Dempster wants to be a starter. At least that's what I got from it. - Neifi Perez suspended 25 games for using a banned stimulant. Reader (CA) Phil had the best line:
Now we know what put the ! in Neifi!

Will the Three Men in a Two Seat Boat Mess with our Success?

Dr. Joseph Hecht takes a look at what's troubling Henry Blanco and the possibilities to our roster if he does return ------ Henry Blanco remains on the DL after getting three cervical (neck) epidural cortisone injections for his disc herniation. The latest from this Sun-Times article says he’s going to start testing how improved he is by throwing to second base. If his rehab progresses he might be ready after the All-Star break. If not he’ll probably opt for season ending cervical fusion surgery. If Hank White can return, it seems odd to say but his bat will be considered an upgrade compared to Koyie Hill and Rob Bowen. Based on the small sample size of Bowen and Hill’s play this year compared to Blanco’s play from 2006, it might be. Blanco’s defense this year was affected by his disc problem, which pinches a nerve sending pain down his arm as well as possibly creating some weakness. So which Henry Blanco that shows up after the All-Star break is anyone’s guess. Improvement from cortisone injections doesn’t imply complete resolution of the problem. If Blanco’s defense isn’t up to his previous standards, I’d rather we keep our defensive catchers and not mess with the chemistry they’ve brought. Who gets moved off if Blanco can play?

We’re Half Way There

Livin' on a prayer Take my hand and we'll make it - I swear Livin' on a prayer We've got to hold on ready or not You live for the fight when it's all that you've got We're half way there Livin' on a prayer Take my hand and we'll make it - I swear Livin' on a prayer Where have you gone, Bon Jovi? A (Cub)nation turns its lonely eyes to you. 81 games in makes projecting stats pretty much 3rd grade math - which makes it right up my alley.

Soriano and Lee Named to NL All-Stars

Scott Eyre though is still waiting for his phone call. Soriano got edged out by MLB public relations in the final vote as Bonds surpassed him. As the MLB.com article states:
He trailed Soriano 1,332,581 to 1,213,423. In the final vote total, Bonds had 2,325,391 to Soriano's 2,202,513.
Hmm, two-plus months of voting results in a million-plus votes but in the last week they doubled their vote total? Okay, sure. Richard J. Daley approves.

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  • so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.

    paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.

    crunch 2 min 38 sec ago view
  • Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!

    Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.

    billybucks 1 hour 14 sec ago view
  • jeebus... that's terrible.

    Ryno 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • *clap* *clap* *clap*

    Brick 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Thanks AZ. If you like him, I like him.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 56 min ago view
  • Awesome report, and good to see Beeler on his way back.

    I'm also very happy to hear about the bi-level bump for Daniel Lewis. In the Name of Theo, he was the Last of the Full-Season Cuts, and There Will Be Blood for those who unnecessarily slow his development. Sure, he might end up in independent ball pitching for Lincoln. But if everything breaks right, he may even have a shot at joining up with the Gangs of Chicago. I wouldn't bet My Left Foot on it, though.

    John Beasley 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • CHARLIE: The Cubs did the same thing with LHSP Eric Jokisch last month, and it has nothing to do with needing the player's 40-man roster slot. 

    The hope is that another MLB club will claim the player, so that you aren't on the hook for any termination pay (which you would be if you release him) AND you pick up $20,000 from the claiming team, all for a guy you don't want going forward anyway.  

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 26 min ago view
  • Moosetacos, I like it. All I can think of is a bearded lumberjack dude operating a Mexican style taco truck with a Canadian accent.

    Sonicwind75 6 hours 1 min ago view
  • How strange is this for May? Is it insignificant, or does it suggest some sort of trade might be in the works?

    Charlie 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • The Cubs have sent LHRP C. J. Riefenhauser outright to Iowa. 

    Cubs MLB 40-man roster now stands at 37 (three slots open). 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • yow...the a.gordon/m.moustakas collision now makes the schwarb collision look minor in scope.

    gordon broke his wrist, expected to miss 4+ weeks...and today moosetacos has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. fun times in KC.

    crunch 8 hours 23 min ago view
  • dodgers calling up julio urias for tommorow's game. neat.

    fernando-mania might have a new heir...dude is 19 (turns 20 in august) and he's got a legit argument for being MLB-ready.

    crunch 9 hours 14 min ago view
  • jacos 10 hours 34 min ago view
  • Happ was the #9 pick last year, and he moved from OF to 2B in the same offseason that Castro was traded.

    Gleyber also in the picture at second.

    VirginiaPhil 14 hours 3 min ago view
  • jacos 14 hours 22 min ago view
  • Co-sign

    Ryno 14 hours 23 min ago view