Sweeping Those Pesky Kids Under the Carpet

Once again, Dusty has decided that in pursuit of the division title the wild card a winning record the right to pick first in next year's amateur draft, Ronny Cedeno and Matt Murton get in the way. Or rather, to quote the official line, they'll learn more from sitting on the bench watching Neifi Perez slap at the ball and Jerry Hairston turn every single flyball, routine or otherwise, into an adventure in body contortion...
Kip Wells, RHP
7-14, 4.66 ERA
117/77 K/BB, 19 HR in 154.2 IP
Jerome Williams, RHP
4-5, 4.87 ERA
40/30 K/BB, 10 HR in 64.2 IP
LF Jerry Hairston Jr 2B Freddy Sanchez
SS #Neifi Perez CF *Rob Mackowiak
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
RF *Jeromy Burnitz RF Craig Wilson
3B Nomar Garciaparra 1B *Darryle Ward
2B *Todd Walker 3B Ty Wigginton
C Michael Barrett C Humberto Cota
CF *Corey Patterson SS Jack Wilson
P Jerome Williams P Kip Wells
Jerome Williams, it has to be said, has been somewhat of a disappointment this year, from while his fastball and changeup make an solid one-two punch, his slider and curveball are both fringy and unreliable offerings, not good enough to induce too many swings and misses and all too liable to left up in the zone. He could do with finishing the season strongly, as competition for a spot at the back of next year's rotation is likely to be intense, and the Cubs perhaps ought to at least be considering the option of converting him into a reliever. The Cubs are going for a sweep today, which would be their first since they swept the Marlins in Florida to end the first half.


Hairston Perez Lee Burnitz Garciaparra Walker Barrett Patterson Williams Sanchez Mackowiak Bay Wilson Ward Wigginton Cota Wilson Wells

I think it's pretty obvious at this point that Murton and Cedeno will only be starting against lefties. That should be good for, what - 25-30 at bats each this month?

Unbelievable. Both have GREAT nights last night and both are benched the following day. Unbelievable. I don't care if they have better splits against lefties... this is unexcusable.

I can almost appreciate Dusty being loyal to his vets in the case of Neifi. Neifi is terrible, make no mistake about it, but he was actually amazing last season down the stretch and he has been better than we could have hoped this year. But what's up with the sudden loyalty to Hairston, who he refused to let play early in the year? I cannot understand the Hairston thing for one second, though if he were in centerfield I could handle it. CP is the very definition of worthless lost cause. But why take away at bats from Murton and punish him for his success? The Neifi thing says one thing to me. God, I hope it's true too. Even Dusty has to understand that Cedeno could be his starter next year and that seeing what he can do really is the No. 1 priority in this otherwise lost cause of a season. Right? He is a terrible in-game manager and stubbornly standoffish with media and fans alike who dare question him. But he can't be stupid enough to run Neifi out there over stubbornness alone. I think what it is is that he's gone. Bye bye Dusty, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. He likes Neifi so he's giving him the PT - he doesn't care about next year cuz he's going to be someplace help. Like I said, I hope this is the explanation. Oh please oh please oh please.

Does anyone think he is not playing Cedeno because he wants Furcal and if Cedeno plays good that Hendry won't sign Furcal?

Nolasco tied the SL lead in Wins at 14 yesterday. He also took the lead in K's at 173. Here's the article about it at milb.com: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/news/a... Please Jim DO NOT TRADE him in the off-season unless its for Dunn.

Does anyone think he is not playing Cedeno because he wants Furcal and if Cedeno plays good that Hendry won't sign Furcal? No. Dusty's playing Neifi because he think Neifi has carried the team this year. Its more likely Dusty's not playing Cedeno because he wants Neifi back next year.

Why did idiot pull Williams there? He was in the 90's in pitches and this is the 2nd best outing he has had as a Cub. He should have let him finish the game or at least let him go until he gives up a run.

1. Dusty will be back unless the Dodgers offer him a big contract and the Cubs' compensation. Hendry will bring Dusty back for the same reason Corey will be back in CF at the start of next season, Jim Hendry's own ego and reputation and perhaps job are involved in both of these two guys succeeding. 2. If Hendry brings Dusty back, then he should do what needs to be done to give Dusty the best chance of success and that is to surround Dusty with quality veteran players. In San Francisco, it was fairly easy to be a great manager with Bonds in left and Kent at 2b, so get Kent from the Dodgers, sign Furcal to play SS, and lure Brian Giles away from San Diego. But it ain't going to happen as it is another Chicago sports tradition to combine stupidty with parsimony ("throwing nickels around like they are manhole covers" applies to the Cubs as much as the Bears). 3. Instead I fear that Cubs lust for Alfonso Soriano, a toolsy kind of player that Baseball Prospectus called "the most overrated player in baseball" whose defense, according to one advance scout (someone obviously not working for the Cubs) "is beyond redemption." Yes, I know Soriano is suppose to play the outfield once he leaves Texas. But he has refused to change positions there. Why will he if comes to the Cubs, especially since once he gets his big contract he will have no motivation to change? I feel the karma going in this direction, a direction to more Cub disaster, and signing Soriano to a big contract would be a disaster. Murton, if he got the opportunity to have 500 PA in a season would probably show himself to be a better offensive player than Soriano because of his .OBP, but he will never get the opportunity on a Dusty team. If Murton could help me get Kent from the Dodgers, I would use him that way. 4. It depresses me that Murton and Cedeno are not playing over Patterson and Neifi, not because they are young, or rookies, but because they are clearly superior players to the two guys taking their at bats. Playing Murton and Cedeno would improve the Cubs' chance at winning now, not hurt it. But in baseball the irrational often outweights the rational and I believe Dusty has to show the critics that he, not they or Hendry, make up the line-up for this team. 5. With Dusty coming back, unless Furcal is signed, there is a better than 50% chance Neifi will be our starting SS next season. Time to pour myself a stiff drink.

Gee If a guy who is a carrer .283 hitter who for and averages 32 HR and 91 RBI and in the process averages 35 steals a year is overrated while Damn I want the most overated team then.

Soriano's career OPS is .826 and, along with all his other numbers (BA, OBP, SLG, SB, 2B) was on a steady downward trend from 2002-2004. This year has raised his stock somewhat based on his so-so .282-.318-.532 line. Sure the power numbers are great, but he can't walk, strikes out 140 times a year, he is a stolen base threat only as much as Derrek Lee is (Soriano 23 this year, Derrek Lee 15). What may be the worst part about Soriano, though, is he has possibly the biggest home-road split in all of the majors, Coors Field included. Alfonso boasts an impressive .325-.359-.668 line at home, slugging 21 homers in just 265 AB's. On the road, however, he hits a measly .245-.283-.410, with just 11 home runs in 273 at-bats. Why that's decidedly Neifi-like, but without the glove. Speaking of the glove, his defense is awful. If you think Todd Walker is bad, try this one out: In 930 games at second base, Todd Walker has committed 76 errors and has a range factor of 4.77. In 737 games (200 fewer) at second base, Soriano has committed 104 errors (almost 30 more) and has an almost equivalent range factor of 4.76. PLUS: Soriano is making 7.5 million and undoubtedly wants much more, while Todd Walker makes under 3 million. Now, if you want to put Soriano in the outfield, that makes his value even lower. He will still be a poor defender (possibly even worse than at 2b) and instead of being at a position where offense is hard to come by, you put him in a position where there are loads of talented players throughout the league. If you want to invest a bunch of money into offensive players this offseason, go after Rafael Furcal and Brian Giles. Leave Soriano in Texas.

I am tired of people talking about the home and road splits of the Texas hitters. Look at espn.com's park factor: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor Tex is 4th. Their divisional opponets play in the 17th, 24th, and 30th hitter's park. The reason for the split differnce is they play in a homer haven and their divisional rivals play in airport terminals that the reason for the differnce. If we got Soriano his home and road splits would be more even because Wrigley is 9th, while are NL centeral collegues are 8th (Hou), 10th (MIL), 13th (CIN), 14th (PIT). That new park in STL sounds to me like it will be anther CBP. Also Soriano would be at worst an average OF.

Furcal -- .279, 11 HR, 51 RBI, .344 OBP, 39 SB, .768 OPS in 524 AB, 12 errors, great range, sometimes a little crazy with the throwing arm in the past. Neifi -- .279, 9 HR, 47 RBI, .304 OBP, 7 SB, .701 OPS in 469 AB, 10 errors, good range, good positioning, steady hands, accurate throwing arm. Furcal -- probably 4 yrs., $30-32 million. Neifi -- 1 yr., maybe $2 million Surprising, isn't it? Their seasons aren't that far off. Are the steals and the 40 points of OBP worth $6 million more a year and the risk of a longer-term deal? Hendry for one is not going to think so. I don't want Neifi back at short. But Furcal is not an elite player. You can probably bring back Nomar AND Neifi for close to what Furcal will cost and have the chance at a superstar year from your shortstop. Best case: Nomar is a stud. Worst case: Neifi produces only slightly less than Furcal except in the noted areas. Neifi can play shortstop on a winning team. It's just a matter of plugging all the other holes for 2006.

Should say, worst case: Nomar gets hurt and Neifi . . .

Neifi = Furcal + 40 Points of OBP + 20 Points of SLG + 32 SB - 5 years of age. No, those aren't minor differences. Yes, that's worth 6 million and a long term deal.

Wild Card Watch CUBS 6 BACK IN WILD CARD I think we traded Holly and Lawton to make the team better! WC Contenders records needed to get to 85 wins. Philly 12-13 Florida 13-13 Houston 13-13 (Need to go 1-6 against the cubs) Washington 14-11 NY Mets 15-11 Brewers 18-7 Cubs 19-7 Prior on the mound tomorrow. Could go to needing 18-7. If we could just put together a 10 game winning streak......

Justin, This is a down year for Furcal and a up year Neifi yeah I would take Furcal bewteen the two. Yes and the steals are a big thing. Furcal has 2/3 of the Cubs team total for the season by himself.

What you were probably trying to say: Neifi + 40 Points of OBP + 20 Points of SLG + 32 SB - 5 years of age = Furcal

I have a dream: Furcal - SS Giles - RF Lee - 1B Ramirez - 3B Nomar - LF Walker - 2B Hairston - CF Barrett - C Pitcher. I know...just a dream. But a healthy Nomar is one of the best hitters in baseball. And he could play left. Center, as someone mentioned earlier? No way. But I would take Nomar in LF over pretty much anyone else available.

Nobody has mentioned the story in the Sun-Times this morning? "Speculation around the Cubs is that general manager Jim Hendry and manager Dusty Baker will receive two-year contract extensions next spring." http://www.suntimes.com/output/sports/cst-spt... If that's the case, we may as well trade every promising minor league position player at AA/AAA because Dusty will never play them.

This organization is fucking hopeless. The talent on the Cubs' roster will never be maximized under Dusty Baker, as we learned this year. Hendry will have his hands full Dusty-proofing the Cubs roster this winter and I guess we'll also be seeing Rothschild's magic for 2 more years as well.

"Hendry will have his hands full Dusty-proofing the Cubs roster this winter " We all sit here and talk about how Hendry needs to in one way or another "Dusty-proof" the lineup, but maybe Hendry doesn't see it that way at all. Maybe Hendry agrees with the way Dusty handles his lineup, there certainly isn't much to show otherwise. Whenever Hendry has been given a chance to criticize Baker, and there have been many opportunities this year, he declines and gives him unwavering support. Remember, Dusty isn't manager/GM, so Hendry ultimately has the final say in player aquisitions. By picking up players that fall right-in-line with the stereotypical "Dusty favorite", it seems likely to me that not only is Hendry not trying to "Dusty-proof" the lineup, he is a Dusty puppet who falls right in line with the direction Dusty wants with his players.

Guys -- I'm not saying I think Neifi = Furcal at all. But I don't think Furcal is an elite player either, and I think Hendry is going to look at the numbers I posted (including potential salary) and consider Furcal's character issues and think the same thing. And for those who said this a down year for Furcal -- that's not right at all. Check out his career numbers. He essentially had the exact same year in 2004 as he's having this year. 2003 was marginally better, and 2002 and 2001 were marginally worse. Furcal's 2005 numbers are pretty much the player he is. Is he better than Neifi? Sure. Is he worth $6 million a year more than Neifi, particularly when we have so many holes to fill on our team? I'm not so sure, and that's all I'm saying.

Why would Hendry be concerned with Furcal's character? It doesn't bother him with Dustbag.

Hairston, LF Cedeno, SS Lee, 1B Burnitz, RF Garciaparra, 3B Walker, 2B Blanco, C Patterson, CF Prior, P Eckstein, SS Nunez, 3B Pujols, 1B Edmonds, CF Walker, RF Grudzielanek, 2B Rodriguez, LF Diaz, C Suppan, P

"Why would Hendry be concerned with Furcal's character? It doesn't bother him with Dustbag." BJS, DUI's are worse than tax envasion. You think with Blanco playing he would put Murton in their not to have 2 weak bats in the line-up. Why not put Nomar in LF and Neifi at 3rd. Why have Cpat in the line-up, I would rather have his brother in their at least he might get a walk!

I don't know if Hendry feels like I do but Nomar is definitely wooing me back to being a fan. IF he is healthy he is a great ballplayer and I think Furcal is a HUGE mistake as would be Soriano. Next Year (a realistic dream?) will be: Hairston CF Giles RF Lee 1B Ramirez 3B Dunn LF Garciaparra SS Walker 2B Barrett C Rotation: Zito, Maddux, Zambrano, Prior, Wood Bullpen: Dempster, Ohman, JVB, Hill, Williams, Wuertz, Novoa Bench: Neifi, Blanco, Macias, Brandon Sing

CHIFAN3887, if HellFrozeOver's post can't convince you that Soriano is fools gold, there is not much else I can say. But please don't complain about how the Cubs have a low .OBP and are mediocre at scoring runs, pour at baserunnng (its not just the number of steals, but the times caught stealing or thrown out on the bases), and unsound defense when the Cubs keep collecting players who are poor at fundamentals and are not professional in their approach to hitting, but just hack away. The only Cubs that are really professional in their hitting approach is Lee and Murton when he plays. The rest, to varying degrees, including Walker, Ramirez, and Barrett, to frequently go up there hacking. Reference Hope Train and other TCR contributors who think Cincinnati is going to trade Dunn to a division rival. I would like to know 1) why (in what have your read and heard) that makes that at all a possibility; and 2) would you trade Mark Prior for Dunn, because I expect it will take a stud starter to pry him away from Cincinnati? Re Hendry and Dusty and the roster. Hendry and his scouts like toolsy players, Dusty likes toolsy players. Both Hendry and Dusty like veterans on the bench who can play a bunch of positions and who make contact (even if it is ground balls to the shortstop) when they pinch hit. It is my impression that Hendry and Dusty think they did a fine job putting this team together. It just did not work out. This reason, along with the balloon going out of the farm system hype I had accepted as gospel, was why turned so pessimistic after the McPhail and Hendry interviews two weeks ago. Rotschild coming back is another reason for another stiff drink. The Cubs have no more accountabilty for screw-ups then the Bush administration. By the way, reference the Sun-Tomes article, who is Mr. Consensus and when did he start working for the Cubs?

CFIG, On Dunn: I think your refering to post 6 where I was talking about Nolasco. What I was saying is I don't want Nolasco traded I threw in the unless Dunn part to stop the 10 posts about well you wouldn't trade him for player X. On Dunn for Prior I would do that in a heartbeat. Dunn is a 50 Homer guy who has a .400 OBP who can run pretty well for a guy with those skill sets. Prior is on the Kerry Wood track and if I had the chance to trade him for an elite player I would do it. The only "Ace" on this staff is Z and he gets 5% of the pub Wood and Prior do. On Soriano: We have 3 position players coming back (Lee, Ram, and Barrett). Lee and Ram are our 3 and 4 hitters. Barrett is a 6-8 hitter. That leaves the OF and MI to fill the 1,2,5, and of 6,7,8 spots. We need OBP guys for the 1 and 2 spots. For the 5th spot we need a guy that will make pitchers throw to Ram. Let's look at the candidates () is their SLG% the last 3 years. Dunn (.530) Is not going to the Cubs and would cost the farm to get anyways. Giles (.496) Too old and why would he want to leave SD he is from there and its the most beautiful part of the country. Matsui (.480) Despite having the worst SLG of the bunch would be my personal chioce because of how clutch he is. He ain't leaving NY though. Soriano (.513) The 2nd best SLG of the group and the most avialble of the four. At RF where I think he would play with the Cubs with his speed and arm he would be at least an average OF that with his bat you can get away with. Here are the ST stories: http://www.suntimes.com/output/sports/cst-spt... http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-k...

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  • crunch 2 hours 55 sec ago (view)

    he's back out in the field in the top 3rd...must be okay, but he sure doesn't look confidently healthy.  *shrug*  off-day tomorrow...


  • crunch 2 hours 11 min ago (view)

    p.wisdom seems to have injured his right leg/knee swinging a bat...


  • crunch 2 hours 33 min ago (view)

    “It did not feel good to take Javy out of the game,” Ross said. “I never feel comfortable doing that at all. That's a pit in my stomach and it was in my stomach the entire game.”


    “I blame it on myself. I lost the count of the outs,” Báez said. “We talked about it. We're on the same page. I'll be there tomorrow to help the team.”


  • First.Pitch.120 4 hours 9 min ago (view)

    The thing that gets me is that she cheated with the guy providing religous-based pre-marital counseling. Hmmm... this guy is abusing his (quasi-)professional couseling position to pursue an intimate relationship; forgot the parts of the Bible about lying, cheating, & doing dirty by the 2016 WS MVP; and clearly has very conflicted feelings on the marriage construct... yep, I'm blowing up multiple people's lives to ride-or-die with THAT guy. 


  • Hagsag 4 hours 45 min ago (view)

    I am with my hero Zo.


  • crunch 6 hours 47 min ago (view)

    whole zobrist thing got fleshed out (no pun) in public now...



  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 48 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed C Harrison Wenson (ex-LAA) to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to Hi-A South Bend. Wenson spent five seasons in the Angels organization, and he got an NRI to MLB Spring Training as an extra catcher with the Halos this past spring. 


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    69 (nice) pitches...goes 4.2ip and leaves with a man on 1st

    4.2ip 3h 1bb 5k, 3r/er (2hr)

    alzolay continues to have the HR screw him over.  12 given up in 62.1ip


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    d.ross pulls baez for alcantara for what was either a mental mistake forgetting the outs or totally not hustling by baez in the bottom 4th running the bases.

    cubs are down by 1.

    hell of manager power play.  hope this plays out well...expect it will.


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    nico expected back in early july...duffy had a "setback" and is in limbo...bote has started baseball activities, but nowhere near a return time.


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    haha.  ump checked alzolay's hat and glove between innings and declared it all clear.

    stuff so nasty they wanna make sure you're not on that "sticky fingers" bandwagon.


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    11 pitches, 2 Ks and a hard ground out to start things for alzolay.

    i wonder how many pitches he'll be allowed to throw if he can keep the game under control.  velocity and movement looks great.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: The only way this makes sense is if the Cubs promised Ryan when they outrighted him in May that he would be added back to the MLB 40-man roster within a certain number of days or by a certain date (June 20th). Otherwise, it makes no sense.

    Ryan did have the right to elect free-agency when he was outrighted, but he accepted the assignment. 


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    alzolay activated, k.ryan down.  ryan was brought up less than 24 hours ago and not used yesterday.  he was already earlier optioned to AAA and the cubs DFA'd r.stock to add ryan to the 40-man yesterday.  odd use of the roster, kinda...


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Exactly what I needed - thanks AZPhil!


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 35 min ago (view)

    I doubt that whatever changes are made in the new CBA regarding compensation draft picks for losing a Qualified Player will be implemented in the 2022 draft. They might, however, remove the penalty of losing a draft pick after signing a qualified player, and that could easily be implemented in the 2022 draft. That would seem to be a demand the MLBPA would make that the MLB owners could accept.