June 2009

The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 6 PM ET tomorrow (Tuesday) and will continue Wednesday and Thursday. The first three rounds (plus supplemental rounds) will be televised “live” on the MLB network Tuesday night (round #1 on the MLB cable channel and the other two rounds and supplemental picks on mlb.com TV), with the balance of the draft to be conducted via conference call (rounds 4-30 on Wednesday, and rounds 31-50 on Thursday). 

The Cubs will have the 31st pick in the 1st round, followed by the 79th overall pick (2nd round), pick #109 overall (3rd round), and #140 overall (4th round), and then every 30 picks (#170, #200, #230, #280, etc) after that until the 50 rounds are completed. More than 1,500 players will be selected by the 30 MLB clubs before the drafting is finished.

Arizona's Dan Haren was lifted from Sunday's start at San Diego after the seventh. He held the Padres scoreless for 6 2/3 innings before allowing a solo blast to Kevin Kouzmanoff. In all, Haren was charged with 1 run on 4 hits. He fanned 5, walked 1, and at one point, retired 13 Padre hitters consecutively.

He was deprived of his fifth win of the season, however, when the Arizona bullpen failed to protect a 6-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. (The Diamondbacks eventually won, 9-6, in 18 innings.)

So MLB.com is doing a minute and a half "previews" for each team leading up to the draft on Tuesday. You can find the Cubs version by following this link (Mlb.com has something against embedding video files). If you don't want to waste that minute and a half of your life, let me summarize the "preview" portion of the video.

"This year's first pick falls at number 31 overall and with a deep pitching crop, the Cubs will likely take advantage."

The other 1:22 of the video is reviewing the ineptitude of the past Cubs drafts.


Soriano, Theriot, Fukudome, Lee, Fontenot, R. Johnson, K. Hill, A. Blanco and Wells go against Hairston Jr., Willie Mays (aka Chris Dickerson), Phillips, Nix, Hernandez, Gomez, Gonzalez, Hanigan and Arroyo in today's series finale.

 

Tags: 

I didn't get to see all of Saturday night's loss, but the portion that I did catch was more than enough for me to get the gist:

The Cubs' woeful offense—over the last two nights, for example, the team is 0-for-17 with RISP—offers no cover for defensive mistakes and boneheaded baserunning.

If the starting pitching weren't so good, the Cubs wouldn't even be competitive.

Before the game, I wondered what problems Lou Piniella was creating by stationing a defensively challenged rookie in rightfield. Turned out that having a second baseman butchering the third baseman's job was problem enough on this night.

Randy Wells, who has been mostly brilliant but mostly without support from his bullpen or his team's bats, pitches Sunday against Bronson Arroyo as the Cubs try to escape Cincinnati with a series win.

The Cubs take a nail-biter from the Reds to open their series, winning their second road game in a row.

Tags: 

Luis Rivas singled, doubled, and homered, scored twice, and drove-in four runs, and Ryan Freel reached base four times and scored three runs, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the EXST A's at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.  

This little news tidbit brings some warmth to my baseball heart:

"Aramis Ramirez will begin baseball-related activities this weekend in Cincinnati."

Aaron Miles got four at bats and reached base twice, and four Cubs pitchers combined to throw a four-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts, as the EXST Cubs blanked the EXST A's 5-0 this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 under mostly-cloudy skies. 

Although there was a slight incident preceding Cub right fielder, Milton Bradley's calf MRI, it apparently showed he has a mild calf muscle strain.

The patient in the MRI tube before Cubs right fielder Milton Bradley's appointment Wednesday broke the machine in a claustrophobic fit, forcing Bradley's test into the late afternoon.

Fortunately it wasn't Mr. Bradley that had the claustrobic meltdown. It would be interesting if it was one of the mlb umpires that are targeting him for his history of histrionics.

It took 11 innings, but the Cubs walk away with their first road victory in almost a month.

Tags: 

The EXST Cubs and EXST Giants split a simultaneous doubleheader played at Fitch Park this morning, one game on Field #1 and one game on Field #3. Both games went seven innings.  

I will leave these questions open for voting for two days, and we'll revisit them at games 100 and 150.

How satisfied are you with the performance of the Chicago Cubs ball-club?

How satisfied are you with the performance of Lou Piniella?

How satisfied are you with the performance of Jim Hendry?

How optimistic do you feel toward the remaining 2009 Chicago Cubs' season?

The EXST A's defeated the EXST Cubs 6-1 in Extended Spring Training action at Field #2 at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.

Alfonso Soriano - still projected to hit 41 HR's on the season despite a .657 OPS in May. Also on pace to strikeout 184 times which would be a career high. Since his public flogging at the hands of the WWE, a .376 OPS with 19 K's and 0 HR's (hat tip to reader Romero for keeping an eye on that).

Ryan Theriot - .340 BA and .993 OPS at home (5 HR's will help that), .241 BA and .667 OPS on the road. Little Ryan Theriot gets homesick. .903 OPS with runners in scoring position has been a bright spot.

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