January 2012

Tues Funnies. Just...sharing my Cubs angst.

Edgar Gonzalez, Matt Tolbert, and Trever Miller all in the same day?
Yeah, it's just the beginning of price-paying for you and me as our favorite team attempts to claw out of their 104 year old hole.
Seriously though, everything's gonna work out just fine, right?
Just a little angst now and then.
I'll deal with it by drawing.

Cubs Sign Trever Miller, And Yes, That Is The Most Exciting News of the Day

The Cubs inked soon-to-be 39 year old Trever Miler to a minor league deal. He'll earn 800K if he makes the team. He'll get a non-roster invite to spring training and I'm sure we'll get the full list of those invitees by the end of the week. It being a minor league deal, hard to get to worked up over it, but Miller has done absolutely nothing other than see his K rate get cut in half over the last two seasons, while still maintaining the ability to walk the stadium.

Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA G GF SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP WP ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 36 STL 4 1 .800 2.06 70 9 0 43.2 31 11 10 5 11 1 46 2 1 199 0.962 6.4 1.0 2.3 9.5 4.18
2010 37 STL 0 1 .000 4.00 57 3 0 36.0 30 17 16 2 16 0 22 2 4 98 1.278 7.5 0.5 4.0 5.5 1.38
2011 38 BOS-min 0 0   2.70 3 1 0 3.1 2 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0   0.600 5.4 0.0 0.0 5.4   PAW · IL
2011 38 TOT 0 1 .000 3.80 48 5 1 21.1 25 9 9 2 12 2 12 2 2 106 1.734 10.5 0.8 5.1 5.1 1.00
13 Seasons 18 17 .514 4.18 694 133 11 523.1 521 264 243 54 237 28 434 43 22 106 1.448 9.0 0.9 4.1 7.5 1.83
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/30/2012.

Spring training roster filler at its finest.

The Current NL Central Lineups

I'm using the MLB depth charts, the Bill James projections for wOBA on Fangraphs and their 2012 playing age along with a few assumptions like Dusty isn't going to play Devin Mesoraco or Chris Heisey over veterans. Let's see how the NL Central offenses stack up. Obviously the actual order of lineups and players may vary, and there's no accounting for expected playing time due to injuries or sucktitude.

The Yoenis Cespedas video. What an athlete!

You guys heard about this superstar Cuban outfielder guy, right?
Yoenis Cespedas?
And I'm sure you read that the Cubs are Yoenis Cespedas' leading suitor.
Anyway, the other day I was driving around listening to The Score, and heard about this legendary Cespedas video.
Dan Bernstein was saying that it apparently showed what an amazing, freak athlete this Cespedas guy is - that he reminded people of Bo Jackson.
But also that mysteriously, You Tube had taken it down.

And After The Holiday Weekend...

...a whole lot of nothing.

- An article in a Dominican paper says the Cubs (so far) have been the most aggressive at pursuing Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

- No real news out of the Cubs convention beyond the Kerry Wood signing ($3M with a $3M option for 2013) and the new patio deck in right field with the LED scoreboard.

Thursday Cubs Headlines

After Kaplan claimed Kerry Wood was close to moving on, he then took credit that his story spurred the Cubs to up their offer for Kerry and that he should be signing with the Cubs soon. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports broke the news saying it's likely to be a one-year deal with some sort of 2013 option.

Maholm Means 5th Starter in Hawaiian

The Cubs have signed Paul Maholm to a one year deal for $4.25M with a $500K buyout on a 2013 option worth $6.25M. Pretty cheap for a guy that for his career has been about league average with a career 96 ERA+ (94, 87, 114, 94, 79, 105 counting up from 2006). His walks are a little high for a contact pitcher (3.0 BB/9) and he doesn't strike out too many (5.4 K/9) but keeps the ball in the park (0.8 HR/9 helped surely by PNC's large left field). His good years coincide with his better BABIP seasons.

My 2012 Hall of Fame Ballot

"Small Hall" ballot: Barry Larkin, Rock Raines

"There Are Worse Players in" Ballot: Barry Larkin, Rock Raines, Alan Trammell, Lee Smith, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Edgar Martinez.

"Let the Roiders In" Ballot: add Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, subtract Edgar Martinez.

I'm a bit buzzed writing this, so I'm sure I'm missing some names. I've flipped a bit on Martinez, Walker and McGriff from past years.

Have at it...

My secret Cub Fan reason for loving the Anthony Rizzo for Andrew Cashner trade

So the Cubs traded flamethrowing Andrew Cashner for a real first base prospect, Anthony Rizzo of the Padres
Sure, young Andrew has tremendous potential.
Last year, he was one third of the whole reason we were supposed to be excited about the Cubs.
The other two thirds... well one got traded and the other accused of sexual assault (but that's another story or a hundred, just wait).
The point is the Cubs got a seriously fabulous chance at a real first baseman, and I no longer have to worry about Cashner's shoulder.

Damn, Lack of Patience Strikes a Cubs Hitter Once Again

(thanks to aaronb for the headline, now enough with the jokes)

The Cubs shortstop phenom Starlin Castro has been accused of sexual assaulting a woman last fall. The event occurred on September 29th, right after the Cubs season ended and Castro flew back to the Dominican Republic.

Requiem for a Zombie

My acquaintance with Carlos Zambrano goes back to his teenage days when he would sit near our seats behind the plate charting pitches between starts for the I-Cubs. He wore stiff new jeans and his hair was oiled to a sheen. Over the years he exhibited an almost womanly fussiness about his hairstyle, as unsure apparently about that particular aspect of himself as he was about the whole.

Ding Dong, Z is Gone

Well the big bad Zambrano has finally been traded away from the Cubs. Paul Sullivan and far too many Cubs fans may bust a hip at the grave dancing party. While I understand the move from the Cubs perspective, it's unfortunate that a player with such a great Cubs career had to end his Cubbie days like this. He may have been off his mental rocker, but he was damn good on the pitching mound and at the plate over 11 seasons to a tune of 125-81, an ERA+ of 122 and 3 Silver Slugger awards. The more recent down years, injury hiccups and temper tantrums may burn the brightest in our memories, but Z was doing the heavy lifting all those years the Cubs were waiting for Prior and Wood to get healthy. Could he have been better these last few years? Maybe, but I'm not gonna preach from the safety of my Internet connection on how an adult should behave himself so that it satiates my moral compass. He was what he was and part of what infuriated us, may be the same parts that helped him be so good on a baseball field. I for one will greatly miss watching him play, because it was clear he was having a lot of fun out there.

But his time with the Cubs has passed, if for no other reason that JedStein wants to start fresh and it did seem that his last episode not only pissed off the fans, but even his teammates. His days of a 200 innings a season have faded with the memories of 2007 along with the velocity on his fastball. I certainly could see him still putting up some decent seasons, but a fresh start with a new club and a new manager is probably the best setting for a career rejuvenation at the moment.

So enough about the old Cubbie, meet the new Cubbie - Chris Volstad.

Recent comments

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  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 52 min 31 sec ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 53 min 9 sec ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 59 min 36 sec ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • QuietMan 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 25 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 12 hours 13 min ago view