Gioskar Amaya, INF Jeffry Antigua, LHP Frank Batista, RHP Julio Borbon, OF Justin Bour, 1B Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Javier Castro, RHP Zach Cates, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP Pin-Chieh Chen, OF Casey Coleman, RHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Willson Contreras, C Aaron Cunningham, OF Wes Darvill, INF Michael de la Cruz, RHP Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Paolo Espino, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Luis Flores, C Anthony Giansanti, OF Edgar Gonzalez, INF Enyel Gonzalez, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Jae-Hoon Ha, OF Marcus Hatley, RHP Marco Hernandez, INF Walter Ibarra, INF Eric Jokisch, LHP Austin Kirk, LHP Matt Loosen, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP Eric Martinez, RHP Marcos Mateo, RHP Darnell McDonald, OF Trey McNutt, RHP A. J. Morris, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF Thomas Neal, OF Chad Noble, C Alan Oaks, RHP Loiger Padron, RHP Yomar Pacheco, RHP Amaury Paulino, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Carlos Pimentel, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP Greg Rohan, IF-OF Jose Rosario, RHP Victor Salazar, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Elliot Soto, INF Nick Struck, RHP Chris Valaika, INF Jeudy Valdez, INF Yao-Lin Wang, RHP Casper Wells, OF Eli Whiteside, C Oliver Zapata, OF
Gordon Wittenmyer's tweets that the Cubs will go with Carlos Marmol as closer...as expected. It's like choosing your death by slowing draining the blood out of your body versus stepping on a landmine. Good luck with that Cubs...
Ryan Theriot is back tonight....and the great scrap-off of '09 can commence between him and David Eckstein, who scrapped out a the tying run with that walk in the 9th. Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, Fukudome, Soriano, Baker, Soto and Dempster go for the Cubs.
Kevin Gregg has been relieved of closing duties according to Lou Piniella.
"I think we're going to make some changes as far as what we're going to
do in late innings," Piniella said. "We'll have some more tomorrow."
That "more" will either be Carlos Marmol or Angel Guzman most likely, and I'm sure Lou will go with experience and name Marmol the new closer. Instead of losing by home runs, it'll be by walking in runs. I know I feel better.
The Cardinals won last night leaving the Cubs six back in the division. You might as well kiss that train good-bye. Never say never and all, but it would take a NY Mets-like collapse at this point and I don't see it happening. Of course, I doubt the Mets did either. The Braves and Giants won and the Cubs dropped a half game to the idol Rockies leaving them four back and in 5th place in the wild card. What's the August equivelant of June Swoon? August Ambivelance?
I watched just two innings of last night's affair, tuning in as Micah Hoffpauir gave the Cubs the lead and turning it off right before Ryan Raburn's ball landed. The saying goes something like "a picture is worth a thousand words"...well here's my word quota for the night.
Torii Hunter crushed a lead-off first-pitch home run to ignite a seven-run 4th inning, propelling the Angels to an 8-4 victory over the Cubs at Ho Ho Kam Park this afternoon in Mesa, as the Cubs set an all-time single-season Cactus League attendance record. (It probably helped that the 2009 Cactus League season was extended by a week and a few extra home games to accomodate the WBC).
Gordon Wittenmyer "tweets" that Kevin Gregg has been named the Cubs closer to start the season. While everyone that owns Carlos Marmol in their fantasy league throws their mouse across the room, it's probably the best move for the Cubs...for now. A few blown saves by Gregg and I doubt that Lou will hesitate to flip roles.
The Indians roll into Mesa today with Mark DeRosa and Kerry Wood in tow and here's the Cubs' lineup from Muskrat.
LF Alfonso Soriano, SS Ryan Theriot, 1B Derrek Lee, RF Milton Bradley,
3B Aramis Ramirez, 2B Mike Fontenot, C Geovany Soto, CF Joey Gathright
and P Ted Lilly.
Cubs Manager Lou Pniella generally prefers to delegate pitching matters to his pitching coach (that would be Larry Rothschild), but one aspect of the pitching staff Uncle Lou believes he understands is how to get his bullpen ready for Opening Day.
And a big part of this preparation is Piniella's belief that each of his relievers need to throw on back-to-back days once or twice during the last ten days of Spring Training, and each reliever needs to throw two innings one time, too.
That's where Minor League Spring Training games can really come in handy.
While Ryan Dempster, Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells, and Kevin Hart made the two-hour bus trip to Tucson to pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Hi Corbett Field, Kevin Gregg, Chad Fox, and Luis Vizcaino took the 20-minute van ride to the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix (a former WWII POW Camp) to get their work in versus the Oakland A's AAA squad in a minor league game.
I recently purchased a copy of the Bill James Handbook 2009...I know, a little late to the party...but it does a great job of presenting information that isn't readily available, information I'll pass along as they become relevant throughout the season. I'm also going to get a subscription to BillJames.net to update everyone as the season progresses.
But thumbing through the book they have all kinds of stats on relievers and let's see if any of it will help Lou pick his closer on the year.
UPDATE: The Miami Herald says it's for 4-star prospect Jose Ceda. Shiite. Too much, way, way too much. And since Ceda was one of the possible names going to San Diego for Jake Peavy, you have to think that ship is about to sail.
Double check my work if you wish, but I believe Gregg is set to be a free agent after 2009 and is arbitration eligible for this year. He made $2.5M last year.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cubs have acquired Marlins relief pitcher Kevin Gregg. The 30-year old pitcher was the Marlins closer for the better part of two seasons racking up 61 saves and ERA's of 3.54 and 3.41 respectively. He strikes out nearly a batter per inning but walks a few too many guys for my tastes. I'm sure the first reaction will be that Kerry Wood is definitely a goner, but my guess is that it's just a possible back-up plan as Gregg could certainly slide into a set-up role. Even if Wood goes, I'd rather see Carlos Marmol in the closer role.
Of course, whenever a Cubs trade goes down, the first question is who do the Cubs get and the second question is what did they give up? Rosenthal don't have the answer on the second part yet, but I'll update as soon as someone finds out.
It was that kind of season for the Daytona Cubs, who had two no-hitters, a four-homer game, the most prospects in the franchise’s 20 years as a Cubs affiliate, and oh by the way, a run to the high Class A Florida State League championship.
You're right about the Zell demand - I forgot about that. Somebody should erect a Zell statue in front of Wrigley that has replaceable balls that can get cut off by the people as they go through the turnstiles.
the debt you speak of was a demand by Zell to lower his tax burden. Any owner that bought the team would have the same issues.
I don't doubt the Ricketts are now using at as an excuse to get the Wrigley improvements they want now and TV deal they want, but I also have little doubt that if the Cubs were any good, they'd be bigger players in the free agent market.
What puts Tanaka in play for the Cubs — who often are forced into mid-market decision-making because of debt-related restrictions — is that the often-exorbitant posting-bid price isn’t subject to restrictions on player spending that have been in place since the Ricketts family’s highly leveraged purchase in 2009, a source said.
I have to agree with you O & B. I was all giddy when the Cubs signed Soriano. Many here - "the Wise Ones" - pointed out just how asinine that decision was. But I was shell-shocked that any Cub team I followed actually signed the #1 FA of the time. It never happened before. I suppose Fred McGriff at the deadline was close - but he was WAAAYY past his prime and sucked balls for the Cubs, of course.
And such is the problem with complaining about the Cubs not burying themselves into the free agent market. I'm not saying complaining about it is wrong -- after all, I do it, but most of the posters here are really smart about baseball and would be all over TheoCorp for a signing like this. Even if this team finds a revenue source to help unleverage the team some, this kind of money for a player like this is insane. The reports say Ellsbury is injury prone but collisions - the basis of the two biggest injuries I remember, happen.
But some top Cubs baseball officials privately doubted they would be any more successful than they were in failed bids the last two winters for Yu Darvish and Hyun-jin Ryu, who went to the cash-flush Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.