August 2010

AZL Cubs Conclude 2010 Season With Victory

Scoring a run in the bottom of the 7th to take the lead and then seven more in the bottom of the 8th to put the game away, the AZL Cubs closed out their 2010 Arizona League season by coasting past the AZL A's 11-4 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa Sunday night.


The Lee-Ramirez-Zambrano Cubs

Reader dcf (he of the Ron Santo for the Hall pieces from a few years back) stops by with a guest column on the Lee-Ramirez-Zambrano years


The August 18th trade of Derrek Lee to the Braves for three minor league pitching prospects represents not only the end of an era, but also the end (and to some extent the failure) of a long term strategy. For some time, the Cubs have built their team around three core players, Lee, Zambranoand Ramirez, allocating a large percentage of their available salary dollars to these players in long term contracts. This strategy has not yielded the results anyone would have hoped for.

Mike Quade Era Starts With A Bang, Will Surely End with a Whimper

The Cubs came out thumping last night for their new manager knocking out 15 hits and taking 6 walks, 3 of them by Soto as they pitched around him in the 8th spot. The last time the Cubs had an interim manager it was 2002 and the job went to Bruce Kimm (with Rene Lachemann getting one game before Kimm took over). The Cubs responded well that first game for Kimm, winning 7-3 over the Braves, but he ended up going 33-45 on the year, nearly identical to Baylor who was 34-49 before being fired.

You have to go to 1991 for the next mid-season firing, when Don Zimmer got canned after going 18-19 and once again a one game gig was given to bridge the gap, but this time to Joe Altobelli before Jim Essian took over.  If my math is right, the Cubs won that game as well for Essian, a 5-2 win over the Mets thanks to Greg Maddux, but Essian didn't fare much better than Zimmer did for the rest of the season finishing with a 59-63 record.

Some other interim manager results since 1970 for the Cubs.

Medical Sabermetrics

MAJOR NEWS UPDATE:

Lou Piniella will resign after today's game vs Atlanta. His mother's health has not improved and instead of going the medical leave of absence route again, he's handing over the managerial chores to...THE FORMER IOWA CUB MANAGER... drumroll, please...[[[Mike Quade]]]. Pfffft.


There is a segment of the news reporters who actually cover medical meetings and try their hand at using medical lingo on their readers. I found this article online (and several other sources picked it up including the LA Times) but it originates from a news feed that the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine provided after their 2010 annual meeting from Providence, RI.

This is clearly an epidemiologic study. I'm thinking medical sabermetrics is a better term.

The study was based on data from MLB's disabled list published online data from 2002-2008, so it didn't really need a doctor to do this, it probably was done by a doctor who is a baseball junkie. Hmmm.

Dr. (and Major) Matthew Posner took the raw information and tabulated the frequency and distribution of injuries by anatomic site, position, AL vs NL and time of season (before or after the All-Star break). Nicely done. Clean and simple.

"Even though baseball is a passion of many people and our national pastime, there is very little information about the epidemiology, characteristics or distribution of injuries in Major League Baseball,” said Maj., Matthew Posner, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. “This study attempts to evaluate Major League injuries over the period of six years.”

On to Dr. Posner's findings after the jump...

The Derrek Lee Era

With Derrek Lee's departure to the South and front running Braves, the Cubs lost one of their finest players over the last 30 years. But just how fine was he?

I think we can agree that since 1980 (arbitrary cutoff by me, live with it) that Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa are your top two Cubs depending on how much you want to dock Sosa for his alleged indiscretions. That leaves a quartet of Cubs vying for spots 3-7 among position players: Mark Grace, Andre Dawson, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee.

Let's go to the HTML table:

2010 Rule 4 Draft Deadline Update

The deadline for signing HS, JC, and college players (other than seniors) selected in this past June's Rule 4 Draft has past, as the Cubs announced the signing of four draft picks (RHP Ben Wells, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, LHP Casey Harman, and LHP Brian Smith) prior to the midnight deadline on Monday.  


In total, the Cubs signed 29 of their 50 draft picks, just about the usual number they sign each year. In addition, the Cubs signed four Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) to provide depth at Mesa and Boise.


Here are the 2010 draft picks and Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) who were signed by the Cubs, and those who the Cubs were not able to sign. The highest draft pick to get away was 6th round pick OF Ivan DeJesus, who will be attending UAB.

Braves Targeting Aramis

That's the story on NBC Sports citing Talking Chop of SB Nation, which isn't what I'd call a go-to news source. But alas it's out there and if the Braves do put in a waiver claim, I'd like to hope Hendry just lets him go to the Braves and saves the money for the rest of this year and most likely next.

Game Preview: Cubs (48-67) @ Cardinals (64-49)

Derrek Lee is back, Hoffpauir gets sent back down...okay, why not?

With Soto on the DL, Aramis still out, Colvin in the penalty box and Soriano incapable of moving spots in the batting order without the Earth's magnetic fields being reversed, we get to witness the following lineup featuring Blake DeWitt batting 5th.

Fukudome, Castro, Lee, Byrd, DeWitt, Soriano, Barney, Hill, Diamond

vs.

F. Lopez, J. Jay, Pujols, Holliday, Rasmus, Molina, Schumaker, Westbrook, Ryan

Brewers Beat Cubs and Suddenly, Ron Santo Seems Quite Articulate

Things have gotten so bad with the Cubs that Ron Santo's heavy sighs and plaintive wails and exclamations of "C'mon!" and "No!" actually capture precisely the way I now feel while listening to or watching the action.

Tuesday night the Cubs fell to a season-worst 15 games under .500, losing their seventh in a row, 4-3, to the Brewers. (Lest we forget, the Brewers had lost five in a row before this series began.)

Lilly Declining? Wallach Decent? Looking at the Deal

Now that the trade deadline is behind us, what are Cub fans supposed to pay attention to? The games?! I tried that earlier tonight, and I'm sorry I did.

— I heard a recorded interview with Derrek Lee on WGN Radio early this evening in the run-up to the Cubs/Rockies game. David Kaplan asked Lee about Ryan Theriot, and Lee described him as "a grinder." In that moment, I came up with my own definition of a grinder. It's a guy who plays hard enough to occasionally make you forget that he's not very good.

Recent comments

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  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 8 hours 18 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 9 hours 55 sec ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 9 hours 18 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 9 hours 21 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 9 hours 33 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 9 hours 54 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 9 hours 55 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 12 hours 46 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 15 hours 18 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 15 hours 51 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 15 hours 53 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 17 hours 50 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 20 hours 9 min ago view
  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 21 hours 5 min ago view