Roster Crunch and Cat Skinning

GAME 64 PREVIEW FLORIDA MARLINS (32-30) at CHICAGO CUBS (34-29) Wrigley Field, 7:05pm CT, TV: FSFL, WGN
SP Greg Maddux SP A.J. Burnett
CF *Juan Pierre SS #Neifi Perez
2B #Luis Castillo CF *Corey Patterson
LF Miguel Cabrera 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Carlos Delgado RF *Jeromy Burnitz
3B Mike Lowell 3B Aramis Ramirez
C Paul Lo Duca 2B *Todd Walker
RF Juan Encarnacion LF *Todd Hollandsworth
SS Alex Gonzalez C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
First things first, Sergio! A wonderful performance blighted only by the return of his facial hair. And the fact no-one now can bring themselves to look past his last sixteen innings or so whenever someone has the audacity to suggest he should be traded. But you know me, though I'm one of Mitre's biggest fans, since before this time last week too, I'm audacious. And trading Mitre now makes a lot of sense. His value may never be higher, this team still has serious needs that can only be resolved via trades, and the Cubs are staring down the barrel of a serious pitching roster crunch come next year, with five or six pitchers the Cubs believe to be major-league ready (Maddux, Rusch, Mitre, Williams, a healthy Guzman and now Rich Hill too) potentially fighting over just two rotation spots behind Prior, Zambrano and Wood. It's a nice position to be in, but something is going to have to give somewhere. What a contrast in styles we'll see today. There's Maddux, of course, who hasn't thrown a pitch over 90mph in years. And then there's A.J. Burnett, who hasn't thrown a pitch over 100mph in, well, the last four days (actually, I'm not even sure of that, he's probably thrown a side session in that time). There's Maddux, who throws more pitches than you can shake a stick at (but no curve) with all the guile in the world. And then there's Burnett, who throws nothing but red-hot heat and knee-buckling power curves (okay, that's not quite true, he does once every few starts throw a change, and that change is about as fast as Maddux's fastball!). There probably couldn't be a greater contrast between two pitchers, at least short of Maddux being left-handed. And yet both at their best are as good as any pitcher in the game. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Go Cubs! And behave yourselves in the comments, or I'll send Greg Maddux over to skin your cat. And you thought he looked like such an amicable guy...


That's why I'd like to see Wood have a nice second half. He'd bring more than any one of the prospects and it would save a heck of a lot of dough in the bargain.

instead of mitre id give up wood for a left fielder. You're only doing a disservice to yourself and to mitre by keeping him out of the rotation. But before anyone can be traded - Prior has to get healthy - thank god koronka's been sent down. Whats goin on with Angel Guzman - I think wrote a piece on him but i don't have a subscription with them.

watching gamecast, but don't you think this would be a good opportunity to steal with Lee. if he's thrown out, Burnitz can still lead off the next inning?

guzman is starting to throw this week, will hopefully pitch in a game sometime in July

so then we get to wait for his next injury to take place? ;)

Would that guy Pierre be great to have or what? The biggest hole in the Cubs lineup is a solid leadoff man. I'm so jealous.

Maddux, Booo!!!!!! He's the guy we should use as trade bait to a contender

On the chat last night I put Cubs total run score at 2 after last night's offensive barage or was it a mirage? I didn't think about the Marlins run total. YIKES!!!

Juan Pierre this year: .254/.305/.325 .630 OPS 35 Runs Scored 14/20 SB Korey this year: .257/.290/.415 .705 OPS, 30 Runs Scored 9/11 SB Teams Runs Scored: Cubs: 298 (6th in NL) Marlins: 277 (11th in NL)

I'm getting TCR opinion whiplash. One week "Meat-Tray" bad while Maddux is invaluable; the next Mitre is too valuable to be traded, while we need to pray that somehow Maddux's option doesn't vest. On another note, could someone tell the Cubs and Fish that they could have made at least one of the games in the series competative. Nothing like having the game over by the 5th inning 3 days in a row.

"Welcome to the majors, Rich Hill. How do you feel about starting Sunday against the Yankees?" Hell, he can't do any worse than Wellemeyer.

You know, Wellemeyer struck out the side in his major league debut against the Brewers, recording a save. As for Wellemeyer now, it seems he has regressed a little bit after being lights-out for the past couple weeks. Don't look now, but the Phillies are leading the Wild Card. Unbelievable after the start they were off to. On to New York after a disappointing home stand. Oh well, we like playing on the road better anyways.

Marlins should have pitched Burnett yesterday and Beckett today. Would have been a couple of good games. *sigh*

at least hill didn't give up a homer. Luis Castillo is embarassing us as a team.

This was my fault and I take full responsibilty. I should have known better than to put up several post regarding how great Maddux is and that he always keeps you in the game. This is ALWAYS bad luck My apologies thought he is still my favorite player Jessica

Maddux does throw a curveball. About 2 or 3 times a game.

I see that Wilson has replaced DLee? Hopefully there is no injury here, just giving him the rest of the day off? Anyone know?

don't know for sure, but I'm almost positive they just gave him the rest of the day off since there was no chance to come back. Besides, I'm not sure he's been given a day off in his tenure as a Cub. I'm sure he has but very very rarely. We don't have sausage anymore to sub in.

Yeah that's what I thought, thanks. I understand Dusty wanting to give guys early days off and just days off in general, but sometimes I wonder what that does for team morale. Sure, it's less than likely that the Cubs will come back from 15-1, so this game maybe isn't the best example. But it seems that in other games that are closer, we pull starters earlier than we perhaps should. And then when Macias gets a start over Walker or Hairston over Patterson, damnation, I could pull my hair out. If the starters don't think you trust them, they aren't going to perform. On the other hand, with our injury history, maybe the more we play Macias and the rest of Los Matadores, the more likely we won't see them for a while.

johnny Damon is gonna be a free agent next season - perhaps we can make a trade for him - also boston's needs some pitching - so it may help them with can ship Wood to them. Imagine the defense it the outfield with patterson and damon !

I love the thought of having Damon next year (or this year) in center, but I'd be shocked to see Theo Epstein trade him this year. The Red Sox are still a WS-caliber team, and he would be giving up one of the key elements of his offense, in exchange for an injury-prone pitcher in Wood or prospects. After the Nomar trade, nothing's certain, but I can't see this one happening.

Anyone know what happend with Corey in the 9th? Gamecast says "Corey walked" and then "Corey out at 2nd on runner's fielder's choice". Did he try to push a walk into two bases?

Dear Mr. Rich Hill, Please disregard the shelling you receieved today and might receive in your short stint in the majors this year. I, at least, realize you did not pitch higher than A ball before this year, so every out you get this year is a bonus, but hopefully the shelling not detrimental to your psyche. Hendry and Baker should of just let you be for this year and waited to start your clock next year or used you for trade bait to strengthen their OF, but they are trying to set a MLB record for most different starting pitchers in one season. Anyways, good luck the rest of the season (hopefully mostly in the minors), and if you get lit up, just know you might of been rushed a bit since you haven't even faced many high level minor leaguers yet. Sincerely, Mannytrillo

Andrew- Corey stole second, and was first called safe and then called out, i think he might've come off the bag

Andrew- Corey walked. Then a few pitches later there was a ball that got away from the catcher when he was on first and he tried to take 2nd. He was safe, then got pushed off teh bag by the SS. The ump must of not seen him get pushed off and called him out. Kasper said the official scorer called it CS 2-6, but the ump clearly called him safe, then out after he fell off the bag. It might officially get changed later, but that was the gist of what happeend. The ump clearly blew the call.

"The ump clearly blew the call." There was nothing clear about it. The Ump was looking at the play from the infield side. The camera was in the outfield. Did you see the play from another angle?

1 Inning and Hill's career is over now? See what I mean about TCR being a victim to this crap. Rich Hill sent me an E-mail. He said, "Please shut up Manny and give the TCR readers a break. The act is getting old."

"First things first, Sergio! A wonderful performance blighted only by the return of his facial hair." Huh?

Anyways back to real baseball and our screwy manager. This should not be our 1st two hitters in the lineup.. .323 OBP .292 OBP Perez I cant complain about, so he gets a pass at leading off. I Still would like a higher OBP though. But yikes Patterson in the #2 slot. What house did Todd Walker take a dump in? Yee of clutch hitting, a solid career batting average and OBP, relegated to the 6th slot? Yeah that makes tons of sense. Walker is your perfect contact hitting #2 hitter, being wasted in the 6th slot in the lineup. You see Walker is a guy that can hit alot of doubles. This comes in handy with a runner on 1st base like for example if Perez gets on. Walker slaps a double and Perez is coming home to score. 2 hitters 1 run. This does not happen at all with Corey Patterson in the #2 slot as it is usually all or nothing with nothing coming up more frequent than it should. Hit and runs can also be executed with Walker in the #2 slot for which you cant trust Patterson to do. On a single Perez can reach 3rd base and then all you need is at worst a simple sac fly. Bam your team is up by 1 run. Quick effective scoring that can't be done with Patterson hitting in that slot. And it is RBI chances and runs lost for the team. But a real manager should know this. Not some Cubs fan in Iowa to remind Baker of proper lineup construction that makes your team better suited to score more runs.

MikeC, I agree with you. But Dusty would say that today's lineup is the same as yesterday's. Doesn' matter that Corey did nothing to contribute yesterday, the lineup still produced.

""First things first, Sergio! A wonderful performance blighted only by the return of his facial hair. "Huh? Posted by: Ranch" Apparently you aren't acquainted with the facial hair sabermetric.

Chicago Cubs: first in team batting average, first in slugging, first in homeruns fifth in runs scored. "In Dusty We Trusty"! Chicago Cubs: Ninth in ERA, Ninth in Runs Allowed, Eleventh in Homeruns Allowed, 13th in Walks Allowed, 10th in Saves. "We're Overloaded with Pitching, Trade Mitre for an Outfielder."!

This is in response to post 19: I understand Dusty wanting to give guys early days off and just days off in general, but sometimes I wonder what that does for team morale. Sure, it's less than likely that the Cubs will come back from 15-1, so this game maybe isn't the best example. But it seems that in other games that are closer, we pull starters earlier than we perhaps should. And then when Macias gets a start over Walker or Hairston over Patterson, damnation, I could pull my hair out. If the starters don't think you trust them, they aren't going to perform. On the other hand, with our injury history, maybe the more we play Macias and the rest of Los Matadores, the more likely we won't see them for a while. I don't know. I mean, we can claim to have superior knowledge to Dusty when it comes to statistical matters such as splits, pitcher-vs-batter matchups, the real effect of a sacrifice bunt, etc. But Dusty has been in major league clubhouses for how many years now? I'm thinking he knows a lot more than anyone on this board does about how players feel about a day off.

Well we all knew that would be a tough series. Let's go beat up on the old farts now.

Cubswin, You wrote, "Chicago Cubs: first in team batting average, first in slugging, first in homeruns fifth in runs scored. "In Dusty We Trusty"!" I assume you are making a side comment about OBP. I would like to know what rank the Cubs are in batting average with RISP.

Chicago Cubs: Ninth in ERA, Ninth in Runs Allowed, Eleventh in Homeruns Allowed, 13th in Walks Allowed, 10th in Saves. Well we were 4th in Runs Allowed in the NL before today's game, so that's insanely misleading. And as usual we're 1st in K's which makes the home runs and particularly the walks a bit less devastating.

Lee supposedly said last night his "quad" was hurting and that's why he didn't go for three. I thought today would have been a perfect day for him to rest. By the way, I was at the game last night. It was electric to say the least. My favorite Cubs game in a long time.


Babba Booey, My point about BA W RISP is that if a team has high slugging, homers and batting average but low average with risp, then they are choking when they have opertunities to score. I will be you dollars for doughnuts that the Cubs have a relativly low ba with risp. In other words, a lack of situational hitting. i.e. CLUTCH. Oh wait, the TCR does not belive in clutch.

MikeC: "Rich Hill sent me an E-mail. He said, "Please shut up Manny and give the TCR readers a break. The act is getting old." Thanks MikeC!! Very classy individual you are... Good to see you listen to the "writers" at TCR who told you to tone it down!!!

Not to mention that BA with RISP is a very flukey stat.

Cubspennant: "Did you see the play from another angle?" No I did not, bI didn't need to. The angle from CF clearly showed the SS glove tangled up with CPat's right foot and when CPat tried to bring his right foot down, he lost his balance and fell off the bag. Like I said, clearly a bad call by ump.

I don't think ba w/risp is a fluky stat. You probably don't believe in clutch. That's a clutch stat.

I'm getting TCR opinion whiplash. Oh wait, the TCR does not belive in clutch. This is really getting old. TCR is a blog of four writers and a community of dozens. Yet according the posts I've been reading over the last few days TCR is in fact an entity - like the Borg - that holds only one opinion on all things. Transmission, Ruz, and John Hill all agree on all things. Perhaps they are all Pseudonyms. All the Cub Reporter posters, like MikeC and MannyTrillo, agree on everything, and in fact it's really just a Rob Neyer column. "TCR" doesn't have anything - it is merely a collection of HTML. There is a large group of people here that have differing opinions on a lot of different things, and many of them appear to take themselves a bit too seriously.

Speaking of class... The garbage post about Rich Hill is real classy about a guy who has 1 major league inning and your already writing his death sentence basically because of that outing. What kind of fan are you? I look at that 1 inning and see nothing. I watched Mark Mulder his rookie season (that one year I happened to watch alot of A's games for some reason) post a 5.44 ERA with 191 hits given up in 154 innings. By outside accounts he was rushed and shouldnt of been in the majors. He had a bad year. But he was a joy to watch on the mound and you knew something was special. I have yet to see Rich Hill pitch but he has progressed rapidly through the minors and in case you didnt know the average figuring out period for pitchers is around 4 years. You might be spoiled by the success of Z and Prior who are instantly pretty good out of the minors. But the majority are like Jason Schmidt who take 5 maybe even 7 years for the whole package to fall into place. 1 inning is nothing for the life of a pitcher and indicates nothing. For you to rant like a 2 year old about it shows how little your baseball knowledge is and it shows how impatient you are with anyone who doesnt produce right away. The most important thing is if the Cubs are more worried about starting the clock on a player than actually finding someone to help them win, then winning is not the 1st priority of the Cubs. John Konorka is not the answer because he has only 1 pitch. Rich Hill has 3 pitches. Mitre has 3 pitches. They give this club a better chance to win. That is why Hill is with the club now his clock be damned. Yes he will be expected to help in some form but this is also what is called prospect development. Not everyone blazes out of the gate. I am not too confident in Mitre, I know John Hill is. But he keeps doing what he is doing and I will change my tune quick. And Mitre sure as hell didnt produce right out of the gate. Finally any savy baseball person would quickly know this and for which you Manny are not is that Rich Hill is a starter. He is not used to warming up quickly to come in as a relief pitcher. I would expect him to perform much better in a starters role, and even if he gets lit up in his first start the dogs and cats will not fall from the sky.

okay, i can understand not worrying about "starting the clock" on a 25 year old pitcher...but putting him above mitre in any scouting respect except for "quality of curveball" based on 1/2 season of sudden way.'s what pro/con'd me outta what i saw outta hill...and i have ONLY seen that 1 performance...before this spring i had never heard of him... great curve, fastball was spotty and straight, changeup was decent but slow...but most allarmingly, he hung that curve at least 2-3 times and put a few of those fastballs in bad places. looks like a good set of tools to work with, though...that curve was nasty at points.

"Cubspennant: "Did you see the play from another angle?" No I did not, bI didn't need to. The angle from CF clearly showed the SS glove tangled up with CPat's right foot and when CPat tried to bring his right foot down, he lost his balance and fell off the bag. Like I said, clearly a bad call by ump. Posted by: mannytrillo" No manny you could not see if the ump made a bad call. He was on the infield side and had an entirely different view than you and the rest of us did. This reminds me of the other day when so many people were *sure* they saw Gregg Maddux's homerun just make it into the basket in left.

MikeC- Your post #45 only shot 4-5 personal attacks at me, seems like you are improving. Keep up the good work!!

This is something that cant be explained through stats. Sure his stats have looked good lately, but Rich Hill is not one of our top prospects I believe. Like Crunch I have not heard of him till this year. His rapid progression may be Dontrelle Willis like or it could be nothing. A position on the roster is available to find out and that is what the Cubs are doing. Bringing up Hill by no means hurts the team in the long run. It is a no lose situation. You could find that Dontrelle spark/future star or nothing. But you have to look and give those minor leaguers a shot. That is what the Cubs are doing. And if Hill suddenly took off and shows he has the goods to stay then it makes other pitchers with large contracts trade bait. Like Kerry Wood. Mitre keeps putting up games like that and Wood becomes expendable real quick. Because now your getting the production Wood put up for a fraction of the cost, thus time to trade Wood for a bat or bullpen help. You get the idea of taking our strength and spinning it off for pieces we need. Nothing but positive can come from Rich Hill starting. At worst we have the same old rotation. At best we have so many good pitchers it is time to start wheeling and dealing. Jim Hendry knows the market will be tight with so many teams in contention that other teams will be looking for players who can play right away in the majors. And every team is looking for pitching down the stretch.

CUBSPENNANT- I know what I saw and I have Tivo, so I can slow it down too. In my opinion, the ump blew the call and I went into great detail as to why I thought so. If you don't agree, cool.

"But the majority are like Jason Schmidt who take 5 maybe even 7 years for the whole package to fall into place." >>MikeC In support of your point, Sandy Koufax didn't become a good pitcher much less the Hall of Famer he would become until his 7th season. He was 36-40 after six years with an ERA around 4.00. In his fourth season with the Dodgers he struck out 131 but walked 105!

Manny, do you have Maddux's homerun on Tivo? If you do, watch closely the flight of the ball. You'll be surprised.

CubsPennant: "Manny, do you have Maddux's homerun on Tivo? If you do, watch closely the flight of the ball. You'll be surprised." His HR from the Fri BOS game? Nope don't have that one. I don't recall ever talking about his HR, don't understand how it has anything to do with me. Oh well....

"Like Kerry Wood. Mitre keeps putting up games like that and Wood becomes expendable real quick." Ab so loot ly. Of course if Maddux keeps putting up games like he did today, then all bets are off.

"Everybody" says that Maddux's home run just reached the basket, but in fact he hit it into the seats.

Eric (PaytonRules), When people make a generalization about the people who frequent this site, we use the short hand of saying "TCR". For the most part there is a majority opinion on most topics here at TCR. If you are a regular poster/reader of this site (which you are) AND if you have been paying attention (I don't know if you have) would know the majority opinions of this site. Here they are, the top five MAJORITY OPINIONS at this site: 5. OBP is a VERY VERY important stat 4. The title "Proven Veteran" doesn't mean much 3. There is no such thing as clutch 2. Sosa HAD to go 1. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CLUTCH

San Fran is making Alou avaible. What ya say?

I guess I am not "everybody" as I did not say that... If I recall it went into the 1st or 2nd row and then fell into the basket. Actually if you go to teh game recap on you can upload the replay and it clearly show going into the 2nd row.

Jacos- If the giants are willing to pick up a good chunk of salary, I say go for it. i wanted the Cubs to pick up the option on him in this offseason.

"I guess I am not "everybody" as I did not say that.." Who said YOU did? And thanks for backing me up.

denver and chicago papers today both say the cubs/rockies have had discussions involving wilson... bleh. we already got a p.wilson clone playing CF and he's much cheaper with similarly developed tools and his last name is patterson... that said, if it can be had for next to nothing, why not...decent enough LF option...if it somehow involves going going and him coming in...i can see a slight pump in production, but not enough for an impact. i dunno...part of me just wants something to happen to end all the speculation...a pimp bullpen arm (HELLO CLEVELAND) or something to plug up that LF hole.

...if it somehow involves patterson going and him coming in... yeah, that's how it should read =p

From the Sun-Times >> Looks like they're giving up on Bartosh and Hill is going to be the 12th man mop-up guy. I wonder if he goes back down when Wood comes back or if it will be JoeBo that gets the boot. I also saw some comments from Dusty yesterday that he wasn't concerned about Joe's velocity, it's not velocity it's location, blah blah blah. They sounded eerily similar to the comments he was making last year right before Joe was shut down for the season. I think I would still much rather let Hill stay in Iowa and get regular work starting.

Oops. I meant to include this paragraph at the beginning of the excerpt from the Sun-Times in my post above: "Hill's entrance was just the start of a pitching shakeup. Right-hander Jerome Williams is expected to be recalled from Iowa soon and start Tuesday in Milwaukee."

JJ- If what the Sun Times is printing is correct, I think bringing Hill up makes even less sense. If he is not coming up to start, but instead be the 12th pitcher for mop up duty, I just don't understand. I agree with you JJ, I think he should just of stayed in Iowa and continued to work as a starter. But if this nets out Bartosh, being gone, then not all is bad...

Interesting conversation with Todd Walker on WGN radio last night. Walker spent some time hanging out with his friend, Johnny Damon, when the Sox were in town. Damon told Walker he had a great time in Chicago and loved Cub fans. Walker then added that Damon's a free agent after this season and that he'd be a great fit. When told Damon's a center fielder and we already have won, Walker said, "We can move things around. No problem making room for him."

I'm not sure how many years or what price Damon would come at, but I have heard it mentioned places before that he would eventually need to move to an outfield corner. Damon playing center for a year or two then shifting to a corner when Pie is ready sounds pretty good to me.

********FLASH******* The consensus at TCR has been completely wrong about who was responsible for the trade of future Hall of Famer, Dontrelle Willis. I've done my best to correct the DISINFORMATION here but to no avail. That doesn't change the fact that-> IT WAS HENDRY!! as today's Chicago Tribune AGAIN confirms: While Cubs President Andy MacPhail also was the general manager at the time of the Willis trade, **it was current Cubs GM Jim Hendry who engineered the deal with his former team.** Though the Willis trade is the one major blot on Hendry's rÈsumÈ, Willis said Wednesday he hopes Cubs fans cut Hendry some slack. Don't worry about the fans cutting Hendry some slack Dontrelle, some of them will die insisting he didn't make the trade.

I'm not usually a fan of getting other team's high-priced players rather than gettint talent from your own farm system, but the thought of having a true leadoff hitter sounds great. Plus I don't think Damon is that old yet, is he? I'm thinking he's 30 or something.

CUBSPENNANT- "future Hall of Famer, Dontrelle Willis" Don't you think that might be going a little far? The guy is only 2.5 years into his career. He is having an outstanding year so far, but each of the last two years he started out great and tailed off dramaitcally. Before we wend Willis to Cooperstown, let's see him put a few more years under his belt.

Ryno- Damon will be 32 in November.

Bluewater Boats, interesting quote. This is the first actually piece of evidence you've given showing that McPhail let Hendry make the deal without getting his permission. bravo.

Bleeding Blue- Oh, is CUBSWINTHEPENNANT the former Bluewater Boats?? Interesting.... Why the name change?

Trade Sergio? With Maddux pitching like Ray Burris? AHHHHGGGG!

I don't wish any one to get hurt but with his awkward delivery, Dontrelle should start making installment payments for his Tommy John surgery.

Not to mention other injuries. I had a friend who pitched through little league to college with a very high leg kick a la Dontrelle, and he ended up completely ruining his back. He initially pulled his hamstring and glute, and then, trying to compensate, ended up wrenching his lower back and dislodging some vertebral discs. I'm not saying that will happen to Dontrelle, but with his awkward delivery, one has to be a little worried.

Manny, I just assume Boats got sick of having his many, many contradictions pointed out. Its kind of like the Blog version of burning the evidence: Now that he's Cubswinthepennant he can take a whole new set of positions without having it be noticed that he said just the opposite a month ago.

I know this will not change the way anyone thinks or writes on the TCR, and what they do write will give me a chuckle even if it is not intentionally humorous, but I just want to remind you all that baseball is just a little kids game played by adults. Down the road from where I work, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, they do the serious stuff of keeping guys and gals alive who have been blown apart by IEDs. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the game is bit more serious, the stakes are a little higher. Dusty not getting the line up right may be exasperating, but when someone blunders downrange and bodybags come back, that is what I reserve for my outrage. I read this blog for fun and to think about something else for a few moments. I just want to provide these thoughts to give a little perspective to others in the community. Speaking of exasperating, I note the discussion of Corey Patterson being called out a second that came to an end apparently at post 42. Doesn't it strike anyone that getting called out on the bases, just taking the chance on getting called out, (even if it was a bad ump's call), is a terrible bonehead move when your team is down by 10 runs??? You only have 3 outs left and you need a huge inning with lots of baserunners, so I think a good baseball player is ultra cautious to give his team that chance. But perhaps I am wrong and I await to be enlightened? I guess Preston would fit the Cubs ideal of an outfielder, since he has the traits their scouts appear to like: low OBP with power. We can at least lead the league in solo home runs even if we can't win the pennant. I mean they have been seeking guys like this out for thirty-five years. Preston(I am another Bad Colorado Contract) Wilson, is a problem, not a solution. Finally, I would be reluctant to trade starting pitching. First, right now, the Cubs don't have a fifth starter and are doing auditions. Second, pitching is very up or down, and, if anyone has not noticed the last two years, subject to injury. Its not an original idea, but a team should really stock itself with at least 7 major league quality starters and then go with the five best and keep two in reserve. As for the value of starting pitching, look at what journeymen starters like Jaret Wright, Kevin Millwood, Derek Lowe, Carl Pavano, not to mention outright stiffs like Eric Milton, got last year in contracts. So I hope Hendry will be slow to move starting pitching for a short term fix. Despite the sarcasm in the preceding paragraph, I like Hendry. Despite a couple of mistakes, he has been doing the best job of acquiring talent for the team since John Holland, post Lou Brock, in 1965-67 when he acquired Jenkins, Hundley, Beckert, and Bill Hands. Of course before and after this Holland was pretty idoitic (see this article in the Hardball times:, and he let the farm system go to pot as well as John Hill discussed a few days ago. Hendry has not demonstrated any such weaknesses to date. The bullpen is where we need help and bullpen help is what I expect he will get.

Thanks for putting things in persepctive, CubFaninGermany. I think it is easy to lose sight of the important things sometimes. I agree that Preston Wilson would not be a good trade (unlike one for Helton) and that Hendry most definitely will seek bullpen help. But I also think we have to find a solution in LF. Dubois clearly isn't cutting it, and Holly will in all likelihood not keep up his hot streak. As I've said before, I would love to trade for Helton or Carlos Lee, even if that means giving up some prospects in pitching, and I think these trades are not outside the realm of reason. Who else should we look at (besides Huff, who I'm not sold on) as a target for the LF spot? And what should we be prepared to give up in return? Replies welcome.

Andrew- I just don't see Helton getting done. His contract takes him to like 2011. Hendry does not sign players for more than 4 years, so I don't see him wanting a guy with 5-6 years left on his deal. Also he hasn't played OF in years.

Excellent post Germany! Except, I think the bullpen is fine and the biggest hole is a solid leadoff guy, but that's jut my opinion.

Cubfaningermany Thank you for your input and perspective. I too find that the game does not rate as high in importance, but my perspective has come from years of frustration and raising 4 children. As for how we can improve the offense, instead of adding low OBP king Preston Wilson, instead what about adding Alou instead. Not only is he hitting at a fair clip, but he has shown remarkable strike zone judgement thus far in 2005 : 29 BB and 11 Ks His OBP is .413, which I don't expect to continue, but nonetheless, is an attractive contrast to what we are getting from Holl and DuBois. His contract might be a tad pricey, especially next year at $8M, and the Giants need pitching, so it may be a stretch. Still, the time is now and he may be the best fit, given the Cubs need and the Giants plight in 2005

No on Helton! That would be terrible at so many levels. The Cubs would need to make a splash, how many times do we have to see if we put square peg in round hole and hope it works. (belhorn at 3rd) Get a quality corner outfielder who can get on base and have some speed. Cubs enough power, improve the team with proven players not hopes.

Trading for Helton would be wacky. He's massively overpriced, too many years left on the contract, and he seems to be in decline. Throw in the fact that neither he nor DLee would be optimal in LF, and it's a fait accompli. I also am in the court that favors not trading a starting pitcher. Yes, when Wood and Prior come back, we'll have six starters. But the odds of no other starters getting injured seem to demand keeping someone in reserve.

Yeah, I agree Ranch on the pitching. And I would tend to agree with you about Helton too (he does seem to have dropped off, although there's no evidence he won't return to form if he's traded, and he hasn't played OF in a while) -- however, I don't know what other options are out there. Carlos Lee would be ideal, but the Brewers probably won't move him after just getting him. Reacquiring Alou would seem a highly suspect move considering we just turned down extending him, and he is always an injury threat, something we don't need more of. Juan Encarnacion is apparently avaialable, but he is more of the same of what we have, as is Preston Wilson. The Reds will have an outfielder up for trade, but it won't be Dunn, and I doubt they trade within the division. The reasons I go back to Helton is because: 1) He clearly wants to be moved, and there is a good possibility (yes, I know, a possibility) his production would increase if he were moved. His career numbers certainly suggest it. 2) The Rockies have plenty of holes that we could help them fill. 3) Helton's contract could be restructured, as Rob G. said before, especially if the Rockies take a chunk of his contract. 4) While Helton clearly has lots of power, he is not a typical "power hitter" -- he is definitely a guy that hits for average and has awesome plate discipline PLUS power. In other words, not Adam Dunn. 5) As for concerns about his defense, he is a good enough athlete to be decent -- he certainly isn't going to be any worse than Dubois, Holly, or God forbid Hairston. It's not like playing LF is trying to play SS or C or something. He should be able to pick it back up. Those are my points. I understand he isn't the perfect fit, but I think he would definitely make us a better team, and most certainly a more dangerous offensive team, as we wouldn't have a hole in the lineup to kill any rally. I'm willing to hear other names, but I just haven't heard anything else that is that good yet.

Why the sudden dislike for Bartosh anyways? He's got a funky delivery that batters have tough time picking up. He's been pretty good (

Bartosh' ERA is 5.30, his WHIP is 1.77. Those numbers SUCK! Anymore questions? :-)

Truth is, his funky delivery just hasn't been getting it done. Add his WHIP to the number of dingers he's given up lately, and you can see he needs to go.

Andrew, re Helton, I pulled this from CNN.SI FWIW. Helton maintains he wants to win as a Rockie and ownership has repeatedly said he's off-limits. "Helton is a dead issue," GM Dan O'Dowd said. "There's nothing going on there." -- Denver Post

Not many of you watched the game Dontrelle pitched against the Cubs. The announcers talked for an entire inning about the adjustments that Dontrelle has made to his delivery. He doesn't leg kick as high and does not lean back as far as he did when attempting to throw. The mechanical adjustments have been low key and he has lost nothing on his pitches. These changes also may keep him fresh for the entire season.

Interesting, Ranch. He apparently has communicated interest lately (see Bleed Cubbie Blue) about moving positions if he gets traded to a contender. And I can't believe that O'Dowd wouldn't try to get out of Helton's massive contract (even eating some to much of it, in the process), considering how bad the Rockies are. But that statement is interesting. How old is it?

Cubfaningermany, I speak only for myself but I believe that we here at TCR all take baseball very seriously. We get over excited and over dramatic but that comes with the territory of being fanatics. Having said that, I doubt highly that anyone really feels that a losing season or a bad trade or a frustratingly underperforming centerfielder, compares to what the brave men and women of the Armed Forces do everyday. Also, there is a lot of craziness in this world today and I think we all come here as a distraction from life's problems. Sure we bitch and fight at each other but this sort of 'blowing off steam' is part of our coping mechanism for getting through the hard parts of life. I can only say that I think we know real heros from the fake overpayed, steroid injecting babies that we, for some un-Godly reason, can't stop talking about.

Andrew- I don't mean to keep going after you, but Helton was a college QB 10 years ago, to call him a good athelete today would be saying the same about Sammy because he stole 30 bases 10 years ago. And with all the compromises with a contract why not ask for A-rod instead? He's consistent and he can play SS and not get killed at third which he seems to butcher. But no Helton.

Jacos- No worries, I can take it. Of course, Helton isn't one of the game's better pure athletes-- Abreu, Texeira, Pujols -- but I don't think he has to be either. I mean, he's definitely no David Ortiz, and all we're looking for is an average -- heck, even a little below average would be fine with me -- fielding outfielder. So, I see your point, but remember, we're just trying to replace Holly and Dubois. And obviously A-Rod would be awesome, but do you really think the Yanks are going to trade him? No, I can't see that; surely, you were just being sarcastic. He's the offensive power right now, and there's no way the Boss is going to phone in this season yet. Again, I don't mind admitting Helton isn't the best candidate for the job. But are there other names you guys can come up with? That can make a sizeable offensive contribution?

Andrew, I copied that Denver Post piece off of CNN.SI today. Caveat - it was in the Rumors section. But a direct quote doesn't seem like a rumor, not that that means it's true. On to speculation. What would it take to get ARod? Probably ARam and Wood for starters, and throw in any second basemen we have that they might want. Plus another pitching prospect. And then we'd still have a hole at 3B. This hurts, I'm done speculating.

1. While his power is product of Coor's, Helton is a fine player and would probably be adquate at LF, but I would not want to be tied up with him for five years. And that is not Hendry's style either, so I simply do not see it happening. When the Sosa contract is off the books for the Cubs next year, Hendry will have a substantial chunk of cash to go shopping with -- the Damon in CF, Corey in LF, then shift Damon to LF when Pie is ready is the best use of $10 million a year I can think of... 2. There were some postings earlier on the Willis-Clement trade and who was responsible. I don't care who made that trade, but I would do it again in the heartbeat. Any time you can trade a prospect with mechanical issues for a solid, No. 3 starter in the prime of his career, you do it! We got great years out of Clement -- the fact that Dontrelle Willis now looks like Juan Marichal is interesting but means nothing when you put yourself in the mindset of March 2002. For the same reason, I would trade Rich Hill for a healthy Jason Schmidt or Danny Haren or Cliff Lee in a heartbeat. 3. Calling up Rich Hill now for mop-up work does have me wondering whether HE, not Mitre, is being showcased or evaluated for a trade. Any team talking trade with the Cubs has for sure plowed through the minor league stats and must have seen Hill's amazing numbers. 4. Andrew has asked for other suggestions at corner OF. Without using the words "Aubrey Huff", here are a few that would be serviceable for half a season that do not have long-term contracts and that are currently playing for teams that should be sellers -- Matt Lawton, PIT (OPS of .824 this year and can even bat a little agent after this year but currently expensive, so a likely Pirate dump) Luis Gonzalez, ARI (I think Arizona is about to fall off the table...if so, Luis could close out his career with the Cubs) (signed through 06 with mutual option for 07) Randy Winn, SEA (mutual option for 06...serviceable, other options on this list are better) Brian Jordan, ATL (yes, I think the Braves will fold this season and see if they can get prospects for Jordan...personally, I don't want him and his career OBP of .336, but he's only signed through this season and I could see him being moved.) Rondell White, DET (surprisingly serviceable this year...signed through 2005) Frank Catalanotto, TOR (signed through 2006) or Vernon Wells, TOR (signed through 2007) (Reed Johnson is ready so the Blue Jays would be served to move one of these two.

Ranch, thanks I tried to find that, but couldn't. Yes, that's why I don't think A-Rod is a good match for us, even if he is available. Even though we would have Derrek Lee x 2 (!), we'd have to presumably give up Wood, ARam, Walker, and a top pitching prospect like Mitre. No way Hendry would do that. One other thought. Since it looks like Lou Pinella is leaving Tampa, perhaps there would be some kind of shake up by which we might acquire Huff cheaper than expected? I'm just bored at work, and trying to think of other LF options.

I certainly in no way believe a trade is imminent for Todd Helton but to address a few points... 1) Besides being a QB "ten years ago", he's been the Gold Glove first basemen, 3 of the last 4 years. We're not talking Bill Buckner or some other stiff. I have no idea if he can play LF, but if he's willing to move, the Cubs should be inquiring if it's feasible. 2) The contract is ridiculous and the only way the trade would happen is if a major restructure or payoff by the Rockies happens. 3) Have you ever heard a GM say, "No, you're right, we want to get rid of this guy". Every GM instantly turns down every trade rumor. I think once a GM signs their contract, the chip is installed in their head, the same one that makes them say that "our manager has our fullest confidence". O'Dowd might not want to trade, he might, but I don't buy what he says in the media. Anyway with that contract, unless they are willing to pay a good chunk of it, Helton isn't going anywhere. That being said, if he is available and the Cubs brass can get the deal they want and are confident he'd be a reliable outfielder, how could you not want him? He's certainly struggling so far this season, but he's been one of the elite players in the league for a long time, taking out the Coors Field effect. I have very little doubt he'll return to his lofty numbers in the near future.

...In other news today, Lou Pinella looks to be attempting to settle his contract with the Devil Rays so he can leave. I smell the work of Steinbrenner. Who wants to bet that this will turn into Joe Torre being fired, Pinella managing the Yankees, and the Yankees compensating Tampa Bay with someone like, say, Kevin Brown? (this is somewhat relevant to the thread because Steinbrenner will never trade A-Rod...Steinbrenner never rebuilds for the future, he collects toys...)

Some other corner outfielder options.... Austin Kearns Ken Griffey Jr. The Reds are going to be making some moves soon and I'm sure can't wait to get rid of Griffey at this point, Kearns just got sent back to AAA Kevin Mench The Rangers have a surplus of OF's and still need pitching. Carlos Lee Geoff Jenkins Doubtful about Lee, but he won't be around by the time the Brewers become relevant again; I'm sure they can't wait to get rid of Jenkins Cliff Floyd Mike Cameron The Mets wouldn't mind moving one of those guys at some point this season, especially if they continue to hover around .500 Manny Ramirez Johnny Damon I'm sure the Red Sox would love to be rid of Manny's contract or at least some of it. I wouldn't be too surprised if they traded Damon and got something more then a draft pick for losing him. Hideki Matsui Gary Sheffield Moves will be made in New York and I think Jeter and A-Rod are the only untouchables Eric Byrnes No one is untouchable in Billy Beane land Moises Alou We did get rid of him; don't see why we'd bring him back. Preston Wilson I can't tell you how much I don't want him on the Cubs Aubrey Huff Sure does suck so far this season; but there's that whole change of scenery thing

1. Todd Helton is a FANTASTIC athlete. Is and was. Have you ever watched him play first base? Then you call Albert Puljos a great athlete? He's a monster with the bat but I have never seen anything that would lead up to believe that he could play quarterback at the collegiate level OR even a pickup basketball game for that matter. 2. Let's get something straight. Clement was a throw in. He was over priced (at that time) and under performing. The deal was for Antonia Alfonseca. A knee jerk reaction to not having a closer. (You think that trade is one of the reasons Hendry hasn't dealt for a closer?) We wanted to dump Julian Tavarez as well. It was a horrible trade HORRIBLE. Whether it was his trade or not, Hendry was around when that happened and I know he feels the pain of it everyday.

I'm glad atleast Andrew saw my sarcasm about Arod. (nice attempt to knock catcher down last nite, he hit Arroyo harder last year in playoffs) I would like to see Vernon Wells who actually played outfield. To stick a guy out in left at Wrigley with wind, day games, and play off atmospher and no experience is a recipe for disaster. I actually liked the rumor back in winter for Sosa, Lee for Helton. After seeing their seasons so far, sometimes the best trade is the one not made. GO CUBS!!!!

What about Alex Sanchez?

Rob G, Good additions. I had missed Byrnes in my review. I did some editing on my list, leaving Wilson, Floyd and Geoff Jenkins off because I simply don't want them. I think the Mets will be in the chase this year, so I don't see them moving Cameron (though he is only signed through this year with club option for 06). Mench is a good possibility, though I'm sure they'd rather move Hidalgo, who is struggling. If the Rangers trade an outfielder, they would then have to take Dellucci out of his platoon. But a trade with them would have to be an "established" pitcher for the pennant drive, so it'd probably have to be a three-way deal.

Chad, I know, it seems hard to believe that Pujols is a great athlete, but believe me, he is. After having spent 4 years of college in St. Louis, and seeing more than my fair share of Cards games, I realize just how damn good Pujols is. Of course, he has a great eye and is pretty much pure muscle, but he also has above-average speed and very quick reflexes. He moves well and has great range at 1B -- the rumors of him being a threat for the Gold Glove are not unfounded. Pujols is a top-notch athlete and I have no doubt he could play any skill position in football except for maybe defensive back, and that includes tailback, QB, tight end, whatever. The man is a golden god, and it pains me to say that. DCTom and RobG, Thanks for the names! I'll have to keep the ol' eye on these guys. After looking at the numbers, I actually like the idea of Gonzo, if it weren't for that contract. He's actually putting up pretty good numbers this year in AZ (47 RBI, 40 BB/42 SO, .304 AVG, .899 OPS) and they are numbers that are pretty consistent with his career numbers. He's having a better year than Shawn Green, and I can't believe I didn't think of him. Good stuff.

Well I'm not sure I want a lot of those guys, but I think they could all be available for the right price. I read at that the Orioles will be looking for a veteran pitcher for the 'bout Maddux for Sosa? btw, Grant Johnson pitched again last night for Peoria... 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

I think the D'Backs will be buyers not sellers as the trade deadline approaches, but hey I could be wrong. They're ExWL record is 29-38 compared to their actual record of 35-32, so they could be due for a drop in the very near future. They are only 1 1/2 games out and no one in the West is going to run away with it, though

As for equating a good athelete and winning gold gloves I present to you Mark Grace, who could not win a foot race against Paul Kornerko, who walked from second base to home on a shallow single to left last nite on the withered arm of Luis Gonzalez. Scratch LGon from the list. Palmerio came up a left fielder, no go put him to first. Pujlos became defensive liabilty put him at first. Frank Thomas first base. Bad arm go to first-THome, Bagwell. The last step before Dhing is first base, Dlee plays a good first base (grounders and picks) but watch him on foul pops. He let a few fall behind him or made them look like an adventure.

Who knows what the Diamondbacks are thinking most of the time? But that division is there for the taking this year, so you could be right, Rob. The Giants are clearly sellers. In the spirit of Jacos, why not trade for Bonds at the All-Star break? He has decent OBP numbers. (Is this truly inconceivable? The team can't be happy with the way he has handled his rehab and Dr. Ting or whatnot.)

I dont know why Carlos Lee's name keeps coming up. Milwaukee is under new ownership who is willing to spend money. This is why Milwaukee dealt for Lee, and why he will be in Milwaukee for a very long time. And don't kid yourself Milwaukee is getting very good very fast. With more prospects on the cusp of hitting the majors. They have the huge bat in he order a stud ace. They need a few more pieces and suddenly they are contendors. The Brewers are not going to be a lousy team for the next 5 years.

that would be awesome, bring in Bonds, and we thought the Sosa situation was a circus last year. Seriously if that happened, they really should just go all out and make the coaches wear clown outfits and place a big top in front of Wrigley (or maybe on top of it). Anyway Bonds is a 10/5 man, I'd guess he'd retire before switching teams. I'm not really sure him and Baker ever got along that well anyway.

And get Jeff Kent too!11111

I don't think the Brewers are going to be a lousy team either for much longer, but it will still be about 2-3 years before I think they can contend. Lee's deal ends after this year with a club option for 2006 of $8.5 million. While I don't doubt they'd be willing to pick up his option for next year; resigning him to another deal after that, is another story. And if they can turn Lee into two or 3 players, I'm sure they'll consider it. I don't think they'd trade him either unless we blew them out of the water with a deal and we all know Hendry isn't one to give up too much.

Aaahhh! Can you imagine him as a Cub though?! The guy completely MASHES at Wrigley -- I think his BA is like .500. Add that to what he's already done this year, and damnation, that would be beautiful.

For some odd reason those players that love hitting at Wrigley suddenly become bad players when they actually do get to be a Cub.

I'd take my chances....

You know why MikeC? Because they don't face Cub pitching.

Every time I think about Milwaukee, I get depressed. There's a reason they started the option clock ticking on Prince Fielder -- these guys expect to contend as soon as next year. Doug Davis is signed through 2006, Sheets through 2008. That said, from the Brewers's perspective, they are getting fair value for Lee, and trading him now would require them to actively pursue an OF this off-season. Brady Clark is a free-agent this year. They are stuck with Geoff Jenkins through 2007. If I am the Brewers, I don't bend over backwards to sign Lee to an extension, but since he is earning his keep now, I would have to be overwhelmed with a can't miss pitching prospect and replacement-level OF before I consider trading him this year.

Dubois and Rich Hill

on willis: no matter what the announcers said, willis still throws across his body worse than almost anyone in the league and torques his elbow/shoulder on his slider quite violently...his main tweak is his leg kick isnt as high which is helping him pitch out of the stretch more efectively. on trades: while everyone is dreaming of a magic trade, at least keep in mind who's dealing to win and who's dealing to rebuild...and what's available that has complimenting parts. the very idea of sheffield or damon coming over this year is amazing at best unless someone throws a bad temper tantrum. on your mom: bwhahahahhaha. she wears combot boots. f'real. hahahahhahah.

Cubs BA with RISP is .279 which ties them for 6th in the league. Their OBP of .331 ranks 9th. BA with RISP is .204 ranking 16th. BA Close and Late is .244 ranking 11th. So like most scouts vs. stats or old school vs. new school debates the answer for the Cubs so far is somewhere in the middle. Their scoring chances are relatively limited by not getting on base and when they have scoring chances they are generally not coming through.

Jim, you stated: "Cubs BA with RISP is .279 which ties them for 6th in the league. Their OBP of .331 ranks 9th. BA with RISP is .204 ranking 16th" You quoted the BA w/RISP twice. Which is it? But thank you for posting cause I was the one who asked in the first place. Either way, I would like to see the teams who rank higher in runs scored BA w/RISP. I maintain that OBP and runs scored have a mild relationship while BA w/RISP has a strong one. OR if you can direct me where you got those stats, I'll crunch them myself.

NL Runs Scored (Rank in OBP, Rank in OPS, Rank In BA w/ RISP) 1. St. Louis (333) 3/4/3 2. Cincy (323) 7/3/12 3. Philly (320) 1/2/2 4. Arizona (315) 5/6/13 5. Cubs (303) 9/1/6 6. Dodgers (302) 4/7/10 7. Padres (298) 6/13/11 8. Rockies (294) 8/8/4 9. Braves (291) 15/15/15 10. Marlins (288) 2/5/1 11. Mets (281) 14/12/14 12. Brewers (273) 12/11/16 12. Giants (273) 10/10/5 14. Pirates (271) 13/9/9 15. Nationals (268) 11/14/7 16. Astros (232) 16/16/8 Seems the first two numbers correlate closer to the rank in runs scored then the last. I should really use a team's GPA (weighs OBP as 1.8 times greater then slugging) rather then OPS but that requires math that I'm not willing to do at the moment and I don't know of a site that lists it up-to-date. I have no explanation for why the Marlins or Braves rank where they do.

The Cubs are 55-for-269 (.204) in BA with RISP and 2 outs, Chad. Since they're 163-for-585 (.279) in BA with RISP overall, that means they're 108-for-316 (.342) in BA with RISP less than 2 outs.

Just go to ESPN's stats page and click on team batting, there's a filter drop-down menu near the upper right that lets you sort by a bunch of different criteria.

2. Let's get something straight. Clement was a throw in. Actually Chad it's even worse than that. Clement was the deal maker/breaker. The Marlins insisted that the Cubs HAD to take Clement if they wanted Alfonseca. Whether it was his trade or not, Hendry was around when that happened ... Whether it was or not?? It was HENDRY'S TRADE !! There's no question about it. Where did this loopy idea that Hendry didn't make the trade come from????

In 2004, the Cubs went 147-for-619 (.237) with RISP and 2 outs. Since they went 351-for-1321 (.266) with RISP overall, that means they went 204-for-702 (.291) with RISP and less than 2 outs. In 2003, the Cubs went 137-for-626 (.219) with RISP and 2 outs. Since they went 349-for-1350 (.259) with RISP overall, that means they went 212-for-724 (.293) with RISP and less than 2 outs. In 2002, the Cubs went 140-for-663 (.211) with RISP and 2 outs. Since they went 324-for-1346 (.241) with RISP overall, that means they went 184-for-683 (.269) with RISP and less than 2 outs. There's a trend there, actually. I wonder how that compares to all of baseball. I'll get back to you if I can find it.

All of Major League Baseball this year is hitting 1929-for-7841 (.246) with RISP and 2 outs. Since it's hitting 4451-for-16540 (.269) with RISP overall, that means it's hitting 2522-for-8699 (.290) with RISP and less than 2 outs. In 2004, MLB hit 4897-for-20078 (.244) with RISP and 2 outs. Since it hit 11118-for-42093 (.264) with RISP overall, that means it hit 6221-for-22015 (.283) with RISP and less than 2 outs. I can't get team stats prior to 2004, but there seems to be a disparity across all of baseball, albeit not quite as pronounced as it is with the Cubs.

Cubswin, I am not entering the arguement over whether or not it was his trade. I sure may have been. I was making a point about the trade in itself and how terrible it was.

Sorry, I forgot to add the with 2 outs on the second RISP#, thanks to John for clarifying. I would think that part of the disparity between RISP and RISP with 2 outs is that the bottom of the order probably gets a disproportionate amount of at bats in 2 out situations, I have no idea how to look that up, but it seems somewhat intuitive that that would be true.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 50 min 25 sec ago (view)

    The fact hat the Cubs have not run him through waivers by now tells me the Cubs know Duane Underwood Jr is a lock to get claimed and so they are hoping to find a club that would be willing to give the Cubs something more than the $50,000 waiver price in return for Dunderwood (either more $$$ and/or a player). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 32 min ago (view)

    Today's pitchers, most of them the same guys who threw last Tuesday: 

    Alec Mills:
    FB: 89-91 
    SL: 81 
    CH: 81-82 
    CV: 67-70 
    COMMENT: This just in: Mills heater now sitting at 91!!!!... had two easy innings and looked very good... threw only a handful of his "Bugs Bunny curves" but they are fun to watch because hitters don't know how to deal with it... ... 

    Craig Kimbrel: 
    FB: 93-96 
    CT: 87-88 
    SL: 82-84 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 6 min ago (view)

    DJL: Jason Adam sustained a right elbow fracture a few years ago and missed two full seasons, and when he returned to action he started using a "short-arm" delivery. 


  • crunch 2 hours 6 min ago (view)

    baez "soft tissue injury"'s spring.  he'll be back in a day or 2.


  • crunch 4 hours 16 min ago (view)

    kimbrel...K, single, HBP, 3 more hits...inning called due to pitch count.  4 earned.

    also, baez removed after being HBP on the hand.



  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Cotton McKnight: In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter La Fleur has actually blindfolded himself.

    Pepper Brooks: He will not be able to see very well, Cotton. 


  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Yes! Exactly... I'd love to be able to watch coverages in football or just key-in on a great WR to watch them work.


  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 32 min ago (view)

    Wow... this is the most engagement I have ever received on any topic on social media platform. Please stay tuned for my opinions on the Oxford Comma, the APA Style Manual for Academic Writing, and the auto-correct on my iPhone.  

    I am an awesome guy at parties.... 


  • bradsbeard 20 hours 56 min ago (view)

    I watched some of the Puerto Rican Winter League games that Miguel Amaya played in this winter. At least one broadcast had a super wide shot for balls in play that let you see the OF and the baserunners at the same time. It was awesome. 


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 2 min ago (view)

    3 dots on this evening's Cubs-Dodgers game - makes sense & they do color in the 3rd dot as they're going to commericals (Spectrum Sportsnet).


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    3 dot crew represent.  i didn't have an opinion, but now i'm 100% on board.


  • Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    I agree on most of this, but I especially support three fillable dots for the outs--and fill in the third before cutting to a commercial!

    Not doing homework on the players in a Spring Training broadcast is pretty forgiveable, but ESPN is really bad about it pretty much all year. It would be nice if they made a habit of picking up a local color commentator and sort of interviewing them throughout games.


  • George Altman 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport,  to learn something from the broadcast crew.

    Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't,  and I know about NOTHING about football. 


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3.  If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #.  eg - OUTS: 1  It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.