In what was one of the better performances by a Cubs starting pitcher at HoHoKam Park in quite some time, Jeff Samardzija showed Top-of-the-Rotation stuff while throwing six innings of shutout ball (67 pitches - 43 strikes), allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out five. Three relievers followed with three more shutout innings, as the Cubs blanked the Cleveland Indians 2-0 in Cactus League action this afternoon in Mesa, AZ.
(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.
totally random trade thought if baseball was run on a PS3...
If you were the newly minted gonna-be-totally-awesome-and-do-everything-my-way GM, would you trade Starlin Castro for Jason Heyward? (Heyward is 7 months older than Castro).
I'm about 40/60 on that idea with a slight preference to keep Castro.
But what about Castro/McNutt for Heyward/Teheran?
the plot thickens...I'd have to say yes as Cub GM, although I imagine some romantic Cubs fans couldn't part ways with Darlin' Starlin.
Unless Starlin Castro goes 0 for the rest of the season, he'll get his 200th hit sometime over the next 6 games and when he does, he'll be the 10th such major league to do it before their age 22 season.
The Savior knocked out 3 hits including his 9th home run last year and is up to 190 hits. That's 10 hits shy of the magic 200 mark for the math impaired. He has 15 games to do it, which I don't believe will be a problem unless Q-Ball decides he needs another life lesson on the bench. By my back of the envelope calculations, if he stays healthy, he's on pace to reach 3,000 hits by age 36, sometime during the 2026 season.
- Baseball America took to some list making and recently rated the Cubs 2005 draft as the worst of the lot. A look at the 2006 draft, the first under Tim Wilken sees them moving up 5 spots.
$11.5 million investment in Tyler Colvin (1), Jeff Samardzija (5) has yet to pay off.
That year the Cubs lost their 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks by signing Bob Howry (Type A), Scott Eyre (Type A) and Jacque Jones (Type B). Their 1st round pick was protected since it was in the top half of the draft. Other notable (notorious?) picks from that draft were Steve Clevenger, Jacob Renshaw (traded to Orioles for Trachsel), Chris Huseby ($1.3M bonus, released by Boston in August), Marcus Hatley, Matt Camp and Blake Parker.
- Quade has named his Opening Day starter and it won't be Zambrano's 7th straight start which would have tied Ferguson Jenkins for the Cubs record. Instead it will be Ryan Dempster, followed by Z and then Matt Garza. Z will get the road opener start against the Brewers. Presumambly the last two spots are still open with Randy Wells and Carlos Silva likely occupying them with James Russell and Andrew Cashner on the outside looking in.
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.)
"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.