June 2008

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Jason Marquis SP Roy Halladay
  4-3, 4.54, 36 K, 28 BB, 67.1IP
8-5, 3.07, 81 K, 12 BB, 102.2 IP
LF Reed Johnson RF Alex Rios
RF *Kosuke Fukudome DH *Matt Stairs
1B Derrek Lee 3B Scott Rolen
DH Aramis Ramirez CF Vernon Wells
CF *Jim Edmonds 1B *Lyle Overbay
3B Mark DeRosa C Rod Barajas
2B *Mike Fontenot LF *Brad Wilkerson
C Henry Blanco SS David Eckstein
SS Ronny Cedeno 2B *Joe Inglett














Oh dear, I think Lou has the interleague schedule confused with the preseason one. I'll be the first to say it - THIS LINEUP SUCKS!

That should be good for three to four runs off Halladay. They'll probably need five with Marquis on the mound though.

A few more of the recently drafted players arrived at Fitch Park today, including catcher Luis Flores (7th round pick out of Oklahoma State) and OF Tony Campana (13th round pick out of U. of Cincinnati). Both were immediately assigned to Boise.   

And speaking of Boise, the Boise Hawks roster was posted in the Fitch Park clubhouse today, with 27 players assigned.

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SP Sean Gallagher SP A.J. Burnett
  3-2, 4.42, 31 K, 13 BB, 36.2 IP
5-6, 4.98, 78 K, 38 BB, 81.1 IP
SS Ryan Theriot RF Alex Rios
1B *Micah Hoffpauir DH *Matt Stairs
DH Derrek Lee 3B Scott Rolen
3B Aramis Ramirez CF Vernon Wells
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *Lyle Overbay
C Geovany Soto C Rod Barajas
CF *Jim Edmonds LF *Brad Wilkerson
2B Mark DeRosa 2B *Joe Inglett
LF *Eric Patterson SS David Eckstein















Can the Cubs reach 20 games over by mid-June? They have a chance by winning tonight or this series, and it would be the first time since late 2004. But they'll be on the short-end of the pitching matchups for the most part. By ERA, Gallagher is outperforming Burnett at this point, but Saturday's matchup is Roy Halladay(3.07) vs Jason Marquis(4.54) and Sunday is Jessie Litsch(3.42) vs. Ted Lilly(5.13). Burnett might also have the added motivation of trying to audition for his next team, as he's one of the names certain to be bandied about during the trade deadline in connection with the Cubs.

...the triumphant return.

- Fun with projections: At their current .642 winning percentage, the Cubs would win 104 games. They have played a considerable amount of extra home games though to this point, so if you use their current .784 home winning percentage and their current .467 road winning percentage, that comes out to (roughly) 63 home wins and 37 on the road for a total of 100 wins. If they "tank" the rest of the way and just play .500 ball, they'd still be good for 90 wins on the year. This would also be a good time to note though that the highest home win total since 2002 is 57 wins done by the 2003 A's and Giants and the 2004 Yankees.

There apparently was a change in the itinerary for the Boise Hawks, as the roster will not be announced until after today's workout, and the team will not leave for Idaho until after tomorrow's work-out.

Therefore (naturally), there was another intrasquad game today.

In addition, Cubs 1B Daryle Ward, who is on the 15-day DL with a back problem, has finally arrived at Fitch Park.

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SP Tim Hudson SP Carlos Zambrano
  7-4, 2.86 54 K, 23 BB, 91.1 IP
8-2, 3.01, 63 K, 29 BB, 92.2 IP
SS Yunel Escobar LF *Eric Patterson
2B *Kelly Johnson SS Ryan Theriot
3B Chipper Jones 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Mark Teixeira 3B Aramis Ramirez
C *Brian McCann RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF Jeff Francoeur C Geovany Soto
LF #Greg Norton CF *Jim Edmonds
CF *Gregor Blanco 2B Mark DeRosa
P Tim Hudson P #Carlos Zambrano














I believe this is what our ancestors called a pitching duel. They probably called it that in 1948 as well, which is the year they will be honoring with today's "Turn back the clock" event. Both teams will break out the 1948 uniforms in honor of WGN's 60th anniversary. I hope they had a better logo in 1948 then they do now. To keep in the 1948 spirt, the first two innings will be broadcast in black and white with similar camera angles that they used back then and minimal graphics. I believe the plan is to add more graphics and cameras as the game goes on. Len and Bob will be wearing authentic 1948 garb as well.

Thanks Transmission, you've said almost everything we need to know about Soriano's ouchie tonight (this link includes video of the injury). So I'll keep it to just a few more questions and answers and a picture.

Yes, it's broken...and yes, it's fractured. Yes, there's only minimal displacement (which means the bone doesn't need to be set or reduced by manipulation or surgery).

What can't he do? It's not his (right) throwing hand so it only afftects his glove hand for catching (which isn't his strong suit anyway) and his gripping of the bat (which is his strong suit).

Metacarpal fractures (that don't need surgery to realign the bone) heal by forming callus, which is new bone that the cells create from tissue that lines the normal bone called the periosteum. When a fracture occurs, the cells in the periosteum eventually produce new bone formation surrounding the fracture site that is called fracture callous. The earliest signs of fracture callous show up on an X-Ray at 2-3 weeks but the callous isn't solid until around 4-6 weeks. When the fracture callous is well formed, the bone at the fracture site is usually stable although the bone will continue to remodel for months.

The pain should subside in a week or two but until some callous is seen on his X-Ray and at the same time his docs find no tenderness at the fracture site, I doubt they will let him swing a bat. So 4 weeks to recovery is possible and 6 weeks is generously realistic. Fortunately the 5th week is the All-Star break, so I do believe there is a good chance he's back by July 18th in Houston (right after the ASB), unless he needs a rehab stint. I also wonder if he will have any lingering effects to his power and how long will it take to get the rust off his swing?

So to answer that I found a decent comparison. Chase Utley was hit by a pitch which fractured his right 4th metacarpal (which is his throwing hand) last July 26th. This mlb.com article predicted 4-6 weeks on the DL and even hinted at season ending possibilities. Utley did a 3 day rehab stint in the minors and returned to the Phils lineup on August 27th, virtually a month after his injury. His return included a 3-5 game with a HR and a double.

So are we broken? That's the question for our TCR readers to sort out.

I'll leave everone with a picture and no, it's not Soriano's but it's definitely a broken 4th metacarpal.

In the second inning of Wednesday night's game, Soriano was late to react to a high and tight fastball from Braves' emergency-starter Jeff Bennett, and got hit on his left hand. He was taken from the game to a nearby hospital, where X-rays evidently revealed a "minimally displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal."


I will leave it to our resident M.D., "Cubster," to fill in all the relevant medical details. (Any new visitors to TCR coming for Soriano information really owe it to themselves to come back and read his expert analysis, when he gets the chance.) The early report from the ESPN broadcast team indicated that Soriano might be out for at least six weeks. (Sportscenter now reporting "up to" six weeks, while the article at mlb insists "a minimum" of six weeks.)  On the local broadcast, Len also referred to several weeks on the DL.


Regardless of whether it was a direct response, this HBP comes a day after Ted Lilly threw a pitch over Brian McCann's head, the first pitch after having given up a three-run home run to Greg Norton. In the first draft of his post at the Tribune, Paul Sullivan reminded us that last year at Turner Field, Tim Hudson threw at Soriano, leading Lilly to throw at Edgar Renteria the following night, which then led to Renteria throwing a forearm at Mike Fontenot on a play at second. He also is reporting that Micah Hoffpauir will be called up tomorrow to fill the roster spot.


Six weeks from now would be July the 23rd, or 34 games between now and then. In the meantime, I would guess that Theriot moves to the leadoff spot with DeRosa being moved to LF and the two-spot in the order, with Cedeno and Fontenot covering second. (quick first update: that said, a quick review of the box scores from the last two weeks of April, when Soriano was out due to a leg injury, indicate that Fontenot and Reed Johnson split lead-off duties, with Eric Patterson also leading off once. Theriot stayed in the two-spot the entire time. While I could live with either of those two options leading off, again, my vote goes to a Theriot-DeRosa combo.)


To some extent trying to put a silver lining on this is like pissing in a river, but here are a few attempts. Remeber that Pujols looks like he also will be out for at least three weeks with a leg injury, and the Cardinals' offense is far more dependent on his bat that we are on Soriano's. (And in a complete lay-man's guess, I'd bet that the leg injury is more of a lingering problem than Soriano's finger.) The Cubs and their deep bench should be able to weather this better than the Cardinals will with Pujols out. Theriot and DeRosa won't be miscast at all as a 1-2 duo, and if anything, it should improve the defense a bit. Finally, remember how the Cubs did when Soriano was out for two weeks earlier this season due to a bum leg. The Cubs went 9-5 from April 16th, his first day out of the lineup until his return on May 1st. They averaged 7.35 runs in those games, including four games in which they scored 12, 13, 13, and 19 runs.


That said, get well soon, Alfonso.


Oh yeah - Cubs win, Dempster pitched a fantastic game.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Jeff Bennett SP Ryan Dempster
  0-3, 3.47, 38 K, 24 BB, 49.1 IP
7-2, 2.90, 64 K, 35 BB, 80.2 IP
SS Yunel Escobar LF Alfonso Soriano
2B *Kelly Johnson SS Ryan Theriot
3B Chipper Jones 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Mark Teixeira 3B Aramis Ramirez
C *Brian McCann RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF Jeff Francoeur C Geovany Soto
LF Greg Norton CF *Jim Edmonds
CF *Gregor Blanco 2B Mark DeRosa
P Jeff Bennett P Ryan Dempster














Jeff Bennett starts for the Braves, after the scheduled starter, Jair Jurrjens, slipped on a dugout step following last night's game and messed up his ankle.

I'll bet it was just like that scene in "Pride of the Yankees," where Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper) slips on a pile of bats near the on-deck circle, and a gorgeous girl (Teresa Wright) laughs at him and calls him "Tanglefoot."

Yes, I'm certain it happened just like that.

Newly-signed Michael Brenly wasted no time getting started, as the youngster slammed a line-drive opposite-field RBI single and stole a base, and RHP Chris Huseby threw three shoutout innings in what was definitely his best outing of 2008, as the EXST Cubs played a three-inning intrasquad game on Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.

Brenly, the Cubs 36th round draft pick out of UNLV and the son of Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly,reported to Fitch Park yesterday and, after meeting the guys and taking some BP, settled right in. And being one day ahead of the other new arrivals, Brenly became the first of the new Cubs to see game action, serving as a DH in today's game.

Braves rookie Jair Jurrjens, who was scheduled to start tonight's game at Wrigley against Ryan Dempster and the Cubs, slipped on a dugout step following last night's game and twisted his right ankle. Jurrjens may be headed to the DL, where he would join fellow Bravos Smoltz, Glavine, and Hampton; Jurrjens definitely won't start tonight. Instead Jeff Bennett (0-3. 3.47) will get the nod.

Paul Sullivan writes in the Tribune that the Cubs will recall Micah Hoffpauir from Iowa as the team begins its interleague schedule with three games at SkyDome this weekend. Lou Piniella's plan is to let Hoffpauir play first base and left field, which will alternately allow Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano to "rest" as they see DH duty.

Daryle Ward, still on the DL, took batting practice Tuesday and according to Sullivan "will report to the Cubs' complex in Mesa, Ariz., on Wednesday to get
some at-bats before going on a minor-league rehab stint at Iowa."

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Tom Glavine SP *Ted Lilly
  2-2, 4.47, 34 K, 29 BB, 56.1 IP
5-5, 5.23, 69 K, 23 BB, 72.1 IP
SS Yunel Escobar LF Alfonso Soriano
2B *Kelly Johnson SS Ryan Theriot
RF Jeff Francoeur 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Mark Teixeira 3B Aramis Ramirez
LF #Greg Norton C Geovany Soto
C *Brian McCann RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B *Omar Infante 2B Mark DeRosa
CF *Gregor Blanco CF Reed Johnson
P *Tom Glavine P *Ted Lilly














When home/road splits collide!!!!

The Cubs are best in the senior circuit with a 26-8 mark and the Braves are the worst at 7-21, and will also be without the services of Chipper Jones and his .400-plus hitting for at least today's game, if not more. The Cubs will also look to extend their 8-game home winning streak.

A quick 3-game home jaunt before the Cubs head right back on the road to start inter-league play.

Above all, there was the bullpen. If you didn't outscore the Reds in the first six innings, forget about winning. Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton and Randy Myers constituted the deadliest combination of 95-mph (or better) fastballs, swaggering attitude and occasional mullets in the game. So much so that the trio earned a nickname derived from a pre-wardrobe malfunction Janet Jackson: the Nasty Boys.

— Jonah Keri, espn.com

When Lou Piniella's Reds swept the heavily favored Oakland Athletics right out of the 1990 World Series, his trio of fireballing young relievers led the charge. After combining for 44 saves and a 2.14 ERA over a total 235.1 relief IP during the regular season, the threesome made an indelible mark in Fall Classic history by throwing 8 2/3 innings and allowing the mighty A's no earned runs on just six hits. Dibble won Game 2; Myers earned a save in the clinching Game 4.

(The Boys were no slouches in the NLCS either. Myers, the series MVP, saved three of the four Cincy victories over the Pirates, Charlton had a win, and the Nasty Boys struck out 20 and allowed just six hits and one earned run in 15 2/3 IP.)

Watching Piniella's current club at work and appreciating how his bullpen, particularly young set-up man Carlos Marmol, has contributed to the team's early season success, I thought it would be interesting to see how the three stalwarts in Piniella's Cub bullpen compare to the Nasty Boys of 18 summers ago.

As I'm sure you've all heard by now, ex-Cubs wonder boy Mark Prior went under the knife yet again last week for his troublesome shoulder. But you might have missed this little detail (emphasis added):

The Padres' right-hander stood in the clubhouse with his right shoulder
bandaged and his right arm in a sling following Wednesday's surgery to
repair a torn anterior capsule. If that weren't enough to put an end to
his bid to pitch this season, doctors also found a second injury -- one
that isn't normally associated with baseball.

Prior's anterior capsule was torn away from the humerus, the
bone in the upper arm. Team physicians Heinz Hoenecke and Jan Fronek
performed the surgery and said the second injury is normally associated
with traumatic events like a fall.

Hmm, that's an interesting little tidbit, now isn't it? I recall a time and place where our resident orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hecht/aka Cubster, speculated that not everything added up with Prior's first surgery.

If MP(Mark Prior) really did have a Bankart lesion. That usually takes a trauma of
some sort (of course he could have fallen on the pavement walking his
dog). This type of injury is typically treated with rehab in the
beginning (see my comments on Toby Hall), with decent recovery until
the symptoms become more chronic. MP’s pitching was fantastic after he
recovered from that the collison in 2003, so it took time for the
looseness/instability the tear created to lead to what occurred in 2006
and 2007.

So the Cubs wandered into my neck of the woods and I was able to go to both weekend games. Saturday's mid-day tilt was a Father's Day gift from The Angefan Wife where we took the G-Twins and Sunday night was a night out away from the kids...which we needed after Saturday's family outing with the aforementioned G-Twins.

Nothing revolutionary here, but my observations after the jump...

UPDATE: I wanted to give you guys first shot, but here's mine. 

"Just a David Eckstein short of a full set."

Game Chat | CBS Sportsline Preview

SP Jason Marquis SP Brad Penny
  3-3, 5.02, 34/27 K/BB in 61 IP
5-7, 5.45, 42/13 K/BB in 76 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
2B Mark DeRosa RF *Andre Ethier
1B Derrek Lee 2B Jeff Kent
3B Aramis Ramirez C Russel Martin
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *James Loney
C Geovany Soto CF Matt Kemp
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B *Blake DeWitt
SS Ronny Cedeno SS Angel Berroa
P  *Jason Marquis P  Derek Lowe


The Cubs are the only team in baseball this season that has not lost more than two games in a row. Both of yesterday's starting SS get the night off. Can't say I'm too surprised Theriot gets the rest. Game is on ESPN, and the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and Homeland Security had all asked LouPa to bench Theriot, so as to avoid dangerous levels of exposure to Joe Morgan's patented Grit Pontifications.

Game Chat | CBS Sportsline Preview

SP Carlos Zambrano SP Derek Lowe
  8-1, 2.51, 57/28 K/BB in 86 IP
3-5, 4.17, 52/22 K/BB in 77.2 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
SS Ryan Theriot RF *Andre Ethier
1B Derrek Lee 2B Jeff Kent
3B Aramis Ramirez C Russel Martin
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *James Loney
C Geovany Soto CF Matt Kemp
2B *Mike Fontenot 3B *Blake DeWitt
CF Reed Johnson SS Chin-Lung Hu
P #Carlos Zambrano P

Derek Lowe













This is a pitching rematch of the May 28th game in Wrigley, which the Cubs won 2-1 in 10 innings. May we see more of the same, today. The game is on FOX.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Sean Gallagher SP Hiroki Kuroda
  3-1, 4.55, 25 K, 10 BB, 31.2 IP
2-5, 3.93, 37 K, 23 BB, 71 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
SS Ryan Theriot RF #Delwyn Young
1B Derrek Lee 2B Jeff Kent
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *James Loney
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Matt Kemp
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B *Blake DeWitt
2B Mark DeRosa C Danny Ardoin
C Henry Blanco SS Chin-Lung Hu
P Sean Gallagher P Hiroki Kuroda












A win tonight and the Cubs are the proud owner of a winning road trip. They will aslo be the first team to 40 wins this season, a seemingly insignificant milestone that reader "JohnBeasley" shows is at the very least, a marker of good things to come.

First in the majors to 40:
2007: 6/9 - BOS (won World Series) and LAA (made playoffs)
2006: 6/11 - DET (won pennant)
2005: 6/8 - CHW (won World Series)
2004: 6/13 - NYY (made playoffs)

Source: BaseballRace.com

ROUND #7:(221) Luis Flores, C (Oklahoma State)
R/R, 5'10, 200, 21 years old
COMMENT: Outstanding defensive catcher with a strong, accurate arm and well above-average receiving skills... Hit 298/425/447 with 39/30 BB/K in 37 games at OSU in 2008... Transferred to Oklahoma State from the University of Houston, where he was a Freshman All-American... Was both a baseball All-American and an All-State QB in HS in Texas...


ROUND #8 (251): James Leverton, LHP (Texas Tech)
R/L, 6'2, 200, 22 years old
COMMENT: Lefty reliever with 88-91 MPH fastball and a plus-slider... Played mostly 1B first two years at Tech... Became full-time pitcher in 2008...


ROUND #9 (281):  Jay Jackson, RHP (Furman)
R/R, 6'1, 195, 20 years old
COMMENT: Low 90's fastball, with both an above-average slider and spike-curve, and a decent change-up... Was the #1 starter at Furman, but played CF on days when he wasn't pitching... Hit .336 with 8 HR...


ROUND #10 (311): Alex Wilson, RHP (Texas A&M)
R/R, 6'1, 215, 21 years old
COMMENT: Had Tommy John surgery after suffering torn elbow ligament while pitching in Cape Cod League in Summer 2007... Missed the 2008 season, but reportedly threw 94 MPH in a bullpen "showcase" session last month... Transferred to Texas A&M from Winthrop, where he was rated a top pro prospect prior to his elbow injury...


ROUND #11 (341): Toby Matchulat, RHP (Wabash Valley JC)
R/R, 6'6, 185, 19 years old
COMMENT: 3.00 ERA, 30 IP, 18 H, 27/33 BB/K at WVC in 2008...


ROUND #12 (371):  Jake Opitz, 2B (Nebraska)
L/R, 6'0, 180, 21 years old
COMMENT: 339/434/568 with 11 HR and 50 RBI in 58 games in 2008... Four-year starter for the Big Red...First-team All-Big 12... Outstanding defensive second-baseman with plus bat speed...


ROUND #13 (401): Tony Campana, CF  (U. of Cincinnati)
L/L, 5'8, 160, 22 years old
COMMENT: Hit 338/405/441 in 2008, 28/29 BB/K in 296 PA with 44 SB (11 CS)... College teammate of Cubs 6th Round pick, Josh Harrison... Transferred to Cincinnati from UNC-Asheville... 


ROUND #14 (431): Dan McDaniel, RHP (Chabot JC)
R/R, 6'3, 220, 20 years old


ROUND #15 (461): Casey Coleman, RHP (Florida Gulf Coast)
L/R, 6'0, 180, 20 years old
COMMENT: Became full-time pitcher in 2008... was the FGCU starting shortstop in 2007... went 7-3 with a 4.11 as a rotation starter in 2008, with 70 IP, 71 hits, and 35/58 BB/K... Third generation pitcher, son of RHP Joe Coleman Jr (1965 3rd overall pick in first-ever Rule 4 Draft, followed by a 15-year MLB career with WAS, DET, OAK, et al, including 2-8 with a 4.10 ERA in 39 games for the Cubs in 1976) and grandson of RHP Joe Coleman Sr (also a lengthy MLB career, mainly with the Philadelphia A's in the 1940's and 50's)...


ROUND #16 (491): Ryan Keedy, 1B (UAB)
L/R, 6'3, 220, 22 years old
COMMENT: 5th year senior who will be 23 in August... Hit 423/519/675 with 29 doubles, 10 HR & 69 RBI, in 60 games, and 46/32 BB/K in 287 PA ..


ROUND #17 (521): Jonathan Nagel, RHP (Independence CC)
R/R, 6'4, 230, 21 years old... Is presently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery...  


ROUND #18 (551): Jeff Beliveau, LHP (Florida Atlantic)
L/L, 6'1, 195, 21 years old
COMMENT: Transferred to FAU from College of Charleston after 2007 season... Had MAJOR control problems in 2008, allowing 77 BB (78 K) in just 76.2 IP... Overall went 5-4 with a 4.62 ERA in 14 GS for FAU in 2008, with a .233 OBA...


ROUND #19 (581): David Macias, CF (Vanderbilt)
B/R, 5'9, 185, 22 years old
COMMENT: Gold Glove quality CF... Hit 356/424/519 as Commodores lead-off hitter in 2008... Not a good base stealer (6 SB/6 CS)...


ROUND #20 (611): Jericho Jones, RF (Louisiana Tech)
R/R, 6'5, 215, 20 years old
COMMENT: Two way player, but will play RF in pro ball... Was the Bulldogs #1 rotation starter and played RF on days he wasn't pitching... went 5-5 with a 5.80 ERA and 85 hits allowed (305 OBA) in 68 IP as a pitcher.... Hit 364/416/611 with 13 HR & 46 RBI in just 54 games, but struck out 45 times (only 14 BB) in 219 PA...


ROUND #21 (641): Logan Watkins, SS (Goddard HS - Goddard, KS)
L/R, 6'1, 170, 18 years old
COMMENT: Played SS but also was his team's closer... Also was star QB on the Goddard football team... Has signed NLI with Wichita State...


ROUND #22 (671): Tarlandus Mitchell, RHP (Alto HS - Alto, TX)
R/R, 5'8, 170, 18 years old
COMMENT: Star QB-CB (2nd team All-State) on two-time state 1-A champion Alto HS football team... also #1 starting pitcher and DH on Alto baseball squad... Has signed NLI with Navarro JC..


ROUND #23 (701): Ryan Sontag, LF (Arizona State)
L/L, 5'10, 195, 22 years old
COMMENT: Was Big Ten Freshman of the Year at Michigan State before transferring to ASU... Hit 390/482/526 for the #3 ranked Sun Devils in 2008...


ROUND #24 (731): David Cales, RHP (St. Xavier U.)
R/R, 5'11, 200, 20 years old
COMMENT: Played HS ball at Mt. Carmel (Chicago) where he was a three-time all-Catholic League performer as a 3B-RHRP (closer)... Red-shirted in 2008 after transferring to St. Xavier from UIC... Was the Flames closer and also played 3B in 2007... Transferred to UIC from Missouri where he was a 3B-RHRP in his freshman season in 2006...    


ROUND #25 (761): Rebel Ridling, 1B (Oklahoma State)
R/R, 6'4, 230, 22 years old
COMMENT: Hit 321/382/621 with 18 HR & 67 RBI, with 17 doubles, 28 BB and 60 K in 284 PA (62 games)... Teammate of Cubs 2008 7th round pick, Luis Flores...


ROUND #26 (791): Josh Whitlock, RHP (West Virginia)
R/R, 6'1, 175, 22 years old
COMMENT: #1 rotation starter at WVU... Went 7-7 with a 5.69 ERA in 14 GS, 90 hits in 93.1 IP, 47/70 BB/K in 2008...


ROUND #27 (821): Sonny Gray, RHP (Smyrna HS - Smyrna, TN)
R/R, 6'0, 185, 17 years old
COMMENT: One of the top 10 or 12 HS pitching prospects in the nation with a mid-to-upper 90's fastball and an 84 MPH breaking ball, Gray slips to the 27th round because of what is considered a strong commitment to play college ball at Vanderbilt... Suffered a season-ending ankle injury in April... To get Gray to forget about Vandy will probably require "1st round money"...


ROUND #28 (851): TeWayne Willis, OF (Lincoln Memorial U.)
R/R, 5'9, 165, 23 years old
COMMENT: Former football player (CB) at the University of Kentucky hit 343/496/427 with 42 SB (7 CS) for the Rail Splitters of LMU in 2008...


ROUND #29 (881): Sean Buckley, 3B (King HS - Tampa, FL)
R/R, 6'4, 205, 18 years old
COMMENT: Signed NLI with the University of South Florida...


ROUND #30 (911): Cole White, RHP (Paris JC)
R/R, 6'2, 200, 20 years old
COMMENT: Throws 95 MPH fastball... Will be transferring to the University of New Mexico if he doesn't sign with Cubs...


ROUND #31 (941): Kyle Wilson, 3B (Hill JC)
B/R, 6'0, 195, 21 years old... Will transfer to NC State if he doesn't sign with Cubs...  


ROUND #32 (971): Kurt Calvert, CF (Missouri)
L/L, 5'9, 170, 22 years old
COMMENT: Was a 4th OF until his senior year.. Hit .302 with 10 SB (2 CS) in 2008... .


ROUND #33 (1001): Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B (Central Michigan)
R/R, 6'1, 220, 23 years old
COMMENT: 5th year senior... Hit 310/415/620 with 16 HR & 61 RBI and 19 doubles in 56 games for the Chippewas, with 35/46 BB/K in 260 PA...   


ROUND #34 (1031): Bubba O'Donnell, RHP (High Point)
R/R, 6'2, 210, 22 years old
COMMENT: Theater major...2nd team All-Big South... went 4-4 with a 3.71 ERA and 8 saves as the Panthers closer in 2008... 22/58 BB/K and 50 hits allowed (.219 OBA) in 63 IP and 31 games.. .


ROUND #35 (1061): Ross Vagedes, RHP (Wright State)
R/R, 6'2, 215, 23 years old
COMMENT:5th year senior... The Cubs (apparently) drafted Vagedes as a pitcher, but he hasn't pitched since 2007... His career numbers as a pitcher at WSU are 5-5 with 5.40 ERA, 93 IP, 102 H, .277 OBA, and 47/61 BB/K... Conversely, he hit 322/377/518 as a full-time outfielder in 2008... I guess you can never have too many outfielders-turned-pitchers...


ROUND #36 (1091): Michael Brenly, C (UNLV)
R/R, 6'3, 210, 21 years old
COMMENT: Son of Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly... Was drafted previously by the Cubs (43rd round in 2005), but did not sign... Hit 307/378/434, with 3 HR and 34 RBI in 56 games, with 21/22 BB/K in 225 PA for the Rebels in 2008... Bears a strong resemblance to Bill Cowher's son... 


ROUND #37 (1121): Erik Hamren, RHP (Saddleback JC)
R/R, 6'1, 195, 21 years old
COMMENT: Hasn't pitched much in his college career... Transferred to Saddleback from the University of the Pacific... Saddleback is the JC Mark Grace attended before he transferred to San Diego State...  


ROUND #38 (1151): Sean McNaughton, OF (BYU)
R/R, 5;9, 190, 22 years old
COMMENT: Was a Freshman All-American in 2005... Hit 347/389/623 with 14 HR & 53 RBI, 23 doubles, and 15/39 BB/K in 289 PA and 58 games for Cougars in 2008... Spent 2006 & 2007 seasons on an LDS mission to Washington, D. C.... Last year the Cubs drafted a player from BYU who had spent two years on an LDS mission to Siberia...


ROUND #39 (1181): Jordan Brown, RHP (LSU)
R/R, 6'0, 185, 21 years old
COMMENT: Was LSU's "Saturday" (#2) rotation starter in 2007, but was demoted to the #3 slot in 2008... 4-0 with a 5.32 ERA, 83 hits in only 64.1 IP, with 28/56 BB/K in '08... Throws a 93 MPH fastball, a curve & a change-up... was previously drafted by TB (2005), ATL (in 2006), and CIN (in 2007), but did not sign... (Probably SHOULD have signed)... Transferred to LSU from Meridian CC...


ROUND #40 (1211): Jared McDonald, SS (Pima CC)
L/R, 6'00, 180, 20 years old
COMMENT: Hit .467 with 11 HR for PCC...  Played shortstop in JC ball but will likely move to 2B as he moves up the ladder.. Will transfer to Michigan State if he doesn't sign with Cubs...


ROUND #41 (1241): Jordan Petraitis, SS (Miami University)
R/R, 6'2, 210, 21 years old
COMMENT: Was 2nd team All-MAC in 2008, after being named 1st team All-MAC in 2007... Hit 352/460/588 in 2008, with 19 doubles in just 54 games... 33/32 BB/K in 262 PA...


ROUND #42 (1271): Derek Riley, RHP (Chandler-Gilbert CC)
R/R, 6'4, 200, 20 years old
COMMENT Went 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA at CGCC in 2008.. will transfer to Arkansas State if he doesn't sign with Cubs...


ROUND #43 (1301): Jesse Ginley, RHP (Dunnellon HS - Dunnellon, FL)
R/R, 6'3, 180, 18 years old
COMMENT: Will probably attend St. Petersburg CC if he doesn't sign with Cubs... Brother Kyle pitches in Toronto Blue Jays organization...


ROUND #44 (1331): David Doss, C (South Alabama)
R/R, 6'1, 190, 21 years old
COMMENT: Was Jaguars everyday third-baseman in 2007, but was converted to catcher prior to 2008 season... Played in all 55 USA games in 2008, either as catcher, third-baseman, or DH... Hit 325/429/550 with 10 HR and 45 RBI, and 33/29 BB/K in 260 PA...


ROUND #45 (1359): Ashton Florko, LHP (University of British Columbia)
R/L, 6'3, 220, 20 years old 


ROUND #46 (1386): Tony Zych, RHP (St. Rita HS - Chicago, IL)
R/R, 6'3, 185, 17 years old
COMMENT: Has signed NLI with the University of Louisville...


ROUND #47 (1413): Chad Cregar, RF (Western Kentucky) 
L/R, 6'3, 221, 21 years old
COMMENT: Big-time power hitting 1B-OF... Hit 360/420/680 with 21 HR and 82 RBI in 60 games, with 24/51 BB/K in 283 PA for Hilltoppers in 2008, and was named to All-Tournament team at the NCAA Stillwater Regional last weekend...


ROUND #48 (1440): Dylan Moseley, RHP (Louisiana Tech)
R/R, 6'4, 185, 21 years old
COMMENT: Brother of Angels RHP Dustin Moseley... Was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2007 but did not sign... Has been Tech's "Sunday" (#3)  starter for the past two years, but really struggled in 2008, going 1-5 with a 6.43 ERA, allowing 71 hits in only 49 IP, with a 16/23 BB/K... Teammate of Cubs 2008 20th round pick, Jericho Jones...


ROUND #49 (1467): Hunter Scantling, RHP (Episcopal HS - Jacksonville, FL)
R/R, 6'8, 235, 18 years old 
COMMENT: Has signed NLI with Florida State... Big dude but he apparently needs a lot of polishing and probably would cost more than he's worth right now...


ROUND #50 (1494): Pete Levitt, RHP  (Pitt CC)
R/R, 6'5, 235, 19 years old
COMMENT: Went 3-0 with a 5.34 ERA at PCC in 2008, allowing 20 hits and 20 runs (19 ER) over 32 IP, with a 15/41 BB/K...


So that's it. Now the Cubs just need to sign 'em!

Last year, the Cubs signed 33 of their 50 draft picks (about 2/3), so I would expect a similar percentage this year.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Ryan Dempster SP Chad Billingsley
  7-2, 2.75, 63 K, 33 BB, 75.1 IP
4-6, 3.29, 71 K, 34 BB, 65.2 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
SS Ryan Theriot CF Matt Kemp
1B Derrek Lee RF *Andre Ethier
3B Aramis Ramirez 2B Jeff Kent
RF *Kosuke Fukudome C Russell Martin
C Geovany Soto 1B *James Loney
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B *Blake DeWitt
2B Mark DeRosa SS Chin-Lung Hu
P Ryan Dempster P Chad Billingsley














And so, here we are:

The final, deciding game in the Cubs' and Dodgers' best-of-2,021 game series.

Who'd have thought it would come down to this?

ROUND #1 (19). Andrew Cashner, RHP (TCU)
R/R, 6'6, 180, 21 years old
COMMENT: Was drafted by the Cubs in the 29th round of the 2007 Rule 4 Draft out of Angelina JC in Texas, but he did not sign, opting instead to transfer to TCU where he was arguably the #1 closer prospect in college baseball in 2008 (43.1 IP, 14 H, 24 BB, 65 K, 2.08 ERA, .104 OBA, 0.95 WHIP), ... Throws a 96-98 MPH fastball that runs in on right-handed hitters and moves away from left-handed hitters. but what made him the pitcher he is now is when he junked his mediocre curve in favor of a 84-85 MPH power slider... Power arm would profile very closely to that of Jose Ceda, one of the Cubs top pitching prospects...  


ROUND #1-S (41). Ryan Flaherty, SS (Vanderbilt)
L/R, 6'3, 210, 21 years old
COMMENT: Good defensive player but with below-average range for a SS...Played 2B for Team USA, which is probably the position he will ultimately play in pro ball... Had 35 game hitting streak at Vanderbilt, and improved his power stroke in his junior year... Hit 324/411/543 with 14 HR and 63 RBI (led team) with 39/46 BB/K in 303 PA, 10 SB (2 CS), in 2008... Nickname is "Flash"...


ROUND #2 (65). Aaron Shafer, RHP (Wichita State)
L/R, 6'4, 205, 21 years old
COMMENT: Rotation starter with an 88-91 MPH fastball (down from 91-94 from before he suffered strained elbow in 2007), a "12-6" curve, and a solid change-up..


ROUND #3 (97): Chris Carpenter, RHP (Kent State)
R/R, 6'4, 215, 22 years old
COMMENT: Had Tommy John surgery in 2005 and additional elbow surgery in 2006...Power pitcher with 92-96 MPH fastball that has touched 98, a hard, tight curve, and OK change-up...27/74 BB/K with only 49 hits allowed in 65.2 IP in 2008...


ROUND #4 (131): Matt Cerda, SS (Oceanside HS - Oceanside, CA)
L/R, 5'10, 175, 17 years old
COMMENT: Hit 542/647/1.075 with 16 HR in just 139 PA at Oceanside HS in 2008... Signed NLI with University of San Diego... Was the catcher on the Oceanside Little League team that advanced to LLWS in 2001
... Will likely move to 2B at higher levels...


ROUND #5 (161): Justin Bristow, RHP (East Carolina)
R/R, 6'4, 213, 21 years old
COMMENT: Throws 90-92 "straight" fastball, a cutter, and a "filthy" curve... pitched two CG shutouts in 2008 season... Transferred from Auburn, where he was a teammate of Josh Donaldson... Played 3B at Auburn, before moving to the mound in 2007...  


ROUND #6 (191): Josh Harrison, 2B (U. of Cincinnati)
R/R, 5'8, 177, 20 years old
COMMENT: 2008 Co-Big East Conference Player of the Year... Hit .378 (.433 OBP) with 22 doubles, 25/20 BB/K in 282 PA, and 32 SB (8 CS) in '08... Well below-average defender (19 E in 59 G)... Nephew of ex-MLB OF John Shelby...


Quick Update(Rob G.): Scout.com has a live blog going for the draft and they'll be answering user questions. The writer running it is hearing that the Cubs will not pass on Casey Kelly if he's available. Also, Parachat is (always) open if you want to chat amongst yourselves.

The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 2 PM ET today, with the 1st round and Supplemental 1st round to be televised "live" on ESPN2. The draft will continue tomorrow (Friday). Last year, the first five rounds of the draft were completed by the end of the first day, and the remaining 45 rounds were completed by the end of the second day.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Ted Lilly SP Greg Maddux
  5-4, 5.54, 61 K, 21 BB, 65 IP
3-4, 3.69, 38 K, 12 BB, 70.2 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano CF Scott Hairston
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Edgar Gonzalez
1B Derrek Lee RF *Brian Giles
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adrian Gonzalez
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
CF *Jim Edmonds SS Khalil Greene
C Geovany Soto LF Justin Huber
2B Mark DeRosa C Michael Barrett
P *Ted Lilly P Greg Maddux












The Cubs go for their tenth (10th!) win a row, a feat they haven't done since 2001 when they strung together 12 wins in a row. It would also be their third straight series sweep. Oh, it's fun to be a Cubs fan these days.

On the mound, it's Ted Lilly still searching for his 2007 form. Things started looking up for him in May, that is until he met a 20 mph wind flying out of Wrigley last Friday. A wind the Cubs offsense used to pull off one of those miracle wins that it seems every good baseball team has at least once a season.

Nelson Perez went 2-3 with a triple, an RBI, a walk, and two runs scored and 17-year old Dominican LHP Jeffry Antigua pitched four strong innings, leading the EXST Cubs to a 9-4 sinking of the EXST Mariners in a Beat-the-Heat "Rush Hour Special" (9 AM start) at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.

We've had a few draft history pieces over the years, a 3-part series I did back in 2005( the third part is particularly gruesome) and one by reader "Real Neal" last year. Reader "Wiscgrad" has put one together for this year and I'll be adding it to the "TCR Junk Drawer" as soon as I get a moment. Unfortunately, I'm having some issues getting it translated to HTML (particularly the pictures), so the PDF file is down below for your reading and viewing pleasure.

Chicago Cubs Draft History (PDF File)

Nine and Counting

Marquis (3-3), Cat O' Nine Tails, Seven of Nine, Title IX, Nein!, Revolution No. 9, 3^2^1

Corey (1-1), inefficient starters on west coast night games

S- Wood (16)

Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game

1. Ugly work by the starters

Marquis just melted down in the third, with among other things three walks, a balk and an errant pickoff throw at first. It all led to two runs. At least he made it through five with only giving up three total, to "earn" the win. Ledezma threw 99 pitches in 4.2 and walked five. The big AB in the bottom of the fifth was Theriot, who coaxed a walk with the bases loaded to bring the score to 3-2, with Lee tying it up on an infield grounder, after him.

2. Who can't hit homers at Petco?

Soto and DeRosa hit a couple of very impressive home runs in the sixth. Soto's solo shot was well out in center, and DeRosa's two-run job just got one out over the wall in deep left-center. But the real shot of the night was Soriano's three-run homer, an upper-decker just left of center, in the eighth.

3. Defensively...

Barrett still isn't any good. Just in case you had any doubts.

4. Relief

Eyre pitched a solid 1.1 innings, and Howry got out of a big bases loaded jam he inherited in the 8th. Nice work from our premium-priced middle-reliever duo. Wood gave up a double to Adrian Gonzalez, but otherwise looked dominant closing it out.

The "I would be annoyed if I'd stayed up to recap a loss" details, below.


Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Jason Marquis SP *Wil Ledezma
  2-3, 4.98, 32 K, 22 BB, 56 IP
0-2, 4.50, 31 K, 21 BB, 26 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Jody Gerut
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Tadahito Iguchi
1B Derrek Lee RF *Brian Giles
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adrian Gonzalez
C Geovany Soto 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
CF Reed Johnson LF *Paul McAnulty
RF Mark DeRosa C Michael Barrett
2B Ronny Cedeño SS Khalil Greene
P *Jason Marquis P *Wil Ledezma












The Cubs seek consecutive win number nine tonight versus the generally punchless Padres. While the Giants offense gets mocked for their futility, it's the Padres(3.66 R/G) and Nationals(3.74 R/G) currently battling for the bottom rung of the NL offensive ladder.

The EXST Giants smacked 14 hits off four EXST Cubs pitchers, en route to an 8-2 stomping of the Cubs at Indian School Park Field #2 this morning in Scottsdale.

I haven't kept up with the Cubs Hits of the Week lists the past couple weeks, but thought it was worth noting, Fan Graphs-style, Jim Edmonds' apparent revival from a near-death state.

Starting with Friday's breathtaking comeback win over the Rockies, Edmonds has gone 7-for-11, and six of the hits have been EBH's (4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR).

By Fan Graph's reckoning, here are Edmonds' five biggest offensive contributions since Friday:

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Carlos Zambrano SP Cha Seung Baek

7-1, 2.33, 55 K, 24 BB, 81 IP
1-1, 5.23, 18 K, 13 BB, 31 IP

LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Jody Gerut
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Tadahito Iguchi
1B Derrek Lee RF *Brian Giles
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adrian Gonzalez
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
CF *Jim Edmonds C Michael Barrett
2B Mark DeRosa SS Khalil Greene
C Henry Blanco LF *Paul McAnulty
P #Carlos Zambrano P Cha Seung Baek












The Cubs try to extend their winning streak to eight as they travel out West to face the struggling San Diego Padres. As Dr. Hecht mentioned earlier, the Cubs will get emergency starter Cha Seung Baek instead of Shawn Estes, who broke his thumb tripping on the way to the dugout. You can leave the Cubs, but Cubbery follows you everywhere.

For the Cubs, it's Carlos Zambrano, fresh off a 130 pitch effort against the Dodgers last week. Lou has already mentioned that he'll likely be on a shorter leash than usual. Hopefully it's not too short, as you'd like to keep his .316 hitting bat in the lineup.

Josh Vitters went 3-4 with a single, a double, and a triple, a walk, one RBI, and two runs scored, Kyler Burke went 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored, and Carlos Perez had four singles, as the EXST Cubs banged-out 19 hits en route to an 8-6 victory over Team China at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.

Although life is grand after a 7-0 homestand that saw sweeps over the severely injured Dodgers (Furcal, AJones, Garciaparra, LaRoche and 3/44) and the severely injured Rockies (Holiday, Hawpe, Tulowitzki and Barmes), I'm sensing strange karma that may be responsible for some weird happenings that are in the news.

To quote Ricardo Montalban, "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold."

Former Cub, Shawn Estes got his only win so far this season as well as the Padres only win against the Cubs. He was slated to open the upcoming series in San Diego vs the Cubs monday night until he fell going from the clubhouse to the dugout friday in San Francisco, breaking the thumb on his left pitching hand. He will be replaced by Cha Seung Baek a 28 yr old Korean and former Mariner minor leaguer.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Ubaldo Jimenez SP Sean Gallagher
  1-5, 5.37, 48 K, 33 BB, 58.2 IP
2-1, 4.50, 17 K, 10 BB, 26 IP
LF *Scott Podsednik LF Alfonso Soriano
CF *Cory Sullivan SS Ryan Theriot
1B *Todd Helton 1B *Micah Hoffpauir
3B Garrett Atkins 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF *Seth Smith RF *Kosuke Fukudome
2B *Ian Stewart C Geovany Soto
SS *Omar Quintanilla CF *Jim Edmonds
C Yorvit Torrealba 2B Mark DeRosa
P Ubaldo Jimenez P Sean Gallagher












How do you top a 7-1 homestand and an 8-2 homestand? What about a 7-0 homestand? And let's not even think about that the Cubs would be going for the tenth straight win if it wasn't for those two unfortunate blown ninth-inning losses in Pittsburgh.

All this home-cooking might be needed, as the Cubs head out for a West Coast trip that will see them on the road for 23 of their next 32 games.

Today's lineup features Micah Hoffpauir in the three spot. I wonder what Lou had to do to get Derrek to take a game off? 

Game notes fun after the jump...


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