Lou's Six Man Bench

Spring training is nothing if not repetitive story lines, but Cubs manager Lou Piniella is once again hinting that he'd like to carry

Piniella admitted he doesn't have a set number of days off for
players. That won't be an issue until the regular season starts. Right
now, the Cubs have other matters to resolve. While thinking out loud,
Piniella said he'd like to carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers if
possible. The team isn't sure how to slot some players -- newcomer
Aaron Miles, for example. Piniella wants to see them on the field, and
the Cubs will have 39 spring games to evaluate the team.

It's not going to happen, it never does...but that won't stop me from taking a look at what the team might look like. And it's exponentially more interesting than where Alfonso Soriano might bat this year (hint: leadoff).

* indicates a lefty

# indicates a switch-hitter

↑ indicates out of options


C - Geovany Soto

1B - Derrek Lee

2B - *Mike Fontenot

3B - Aramis Ramirez

SS - Ryan Theriot

LF - Alfonso Soriano

CF - *Kosuke Fukudome

RF - #Milton Bradley


C - *Paul Bako

OF - Reed Johnson

OF - *Joey Gathright

INF - #Aaron Miles

INF - Luis Rivas

INF/OF - *Micah Hoffpauir

Starting Pitching

#1 - Carlos Zambrano

#2 - Ryan Dempster

#3 - *Ted Lilly
#4 - Rich Harden

#5 - Aaron Heilman


#1 (Closer) - Carlos Marmol

#2 (Set-Up) - Kevin Gregg

#3 - Luis Vizcaino

#4 - *Neal Cotts

#5 - Chad Gaudin

#6 - Angel Guzman

I ignored the players with six or more years of service time regarding their options as that is inferred. But barring a trade or some cuts, that would leave Sean Marshall off the team and you can see why it would never happen.

Now, if by some miracle it does happen, I think Rivas has the upper hand for the fabled 6th bench player because this flexibility thing has clearly jumped the shark and he's got that mystical veteran presence.  But there are other options, now available in a tidy table form. The Cubs do have an extra 40-man roster spot, so it won't be an issue to add an NRI to the team.

Player Position Bats Age
2009 Predicted CHONE wRAA
Jason Dubois OF/1B R 30 4.3
So Taguchi OF R 35 -8.4
Koyie Hill C B 30 -9.7
Doug Deeds OF/1B L 28 0.1
Richie Robnett OF L 25 -25.3
Brad Snyder OF L 27 -14.8
Sam Fuld OF L 27  -5.14
Jake Fox OF/1B R 26 0.3
Bobby Scales  INF B 31  3.9
Luis Rivas INF R 29  -11.1
Andres Blanco INF B 25 -12.3

I'm using which is based off of weighted On-Base Average) as they normalize it for the minor leagues. Here's the brief explanation of wOBA and save me the, "this is a BS stat" complaining. I'm not saying it's the end all, be all, but it tells us what we need to know here about their predicted offensive output. 

Do we really need another statistic? Yes, we do. Instead of trying to
take two statistics (OBP, SLG) and combine and correct their flaws in
the hopes of getting one number, we prefer to start from scratch.
Furthermore, by recasting the number onto the OBP scale, it makes it
much easier for the reader to get a grasp on the number. wOBA is
weighted on-base average (we call it an average rather than a
percentage). When you look at wOBA numbers throughout the book, just
think OBP, and you’ll be fine. In other words, an average hitter is
around 0.340 or so, a great hitter is 0.400 or higher, and a poor
hitter would be under 0.300. 

Then they just take the woBA and translate it to a runs value to make it even easier to understand (all this is available on their Fangraphs page). It's a projection anyway and a lot of it is based off minor league numbers and limited major league playing time, so don't get too caught up about it. Plus any player that sneaks on to the Cubs bench in 2009 will do so almost solely on their spring training performance. What we do know is that So Taguchi isn't very good at hitting a baseball and Richie Robnett had a terrible 2008 season.

Now, if by some miracle Lou manages to make this six man bench work, I have to admit I dream of a Jason Dubois/Micah Hoffpauir lefty-righty combo coming off the bench. It would be a healthy bit of power late in the game to pinch-hit for the quartet of scrap and pitchers that might be in the lineup. Of course, it's also a healthy dose of strikeouts and marginal defense at best. You should also remember that Brad Snyder is out of options, a player the Cubs picked off waivers late last year from the Cleveland Indians. For whatever reason - as Arizona Phil has explained - the Cubs didn't immediately place him right back on waivers since they had the last claim and if he made it through to them the first time, he would have likely gone through the second time. So if he does have a good spring training and the team can't find a spot for him, they'll have to DFA him and this time someone will likely grab them for themselves.

I've always been a fan of the six-man bench over carrying 12 pitchers, but the 12 pitchers has become standard operating procedure by now and when you're afraid to use a relief pitcher for more than an inning, it's understandable why. One excessive extra inning game and your bullpen is taxed for two to three days.  The only way I could see a six-man bench working is if the Cubs go with a four-man rotation early and put Rich Harden or another starter on the disabled list coming out of camp. And I guess that's as likely as Jason Dubois ever seeing the majors again.

UPDATE: I forgot about Jake Fox in my original post, but he
might be an even better bet than Dubois. He's even trying out third
base in camp .



Muskat has a blog now where you can learn... Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot are very good friends, but maybe not as much after Christmas. Fontenot gave Theriot's kids a trampoline. They had to build it in the garage because it was raining at the time and the parents were a little concerned about the kids falling off onto the cement floor. Theriot said when Fontenot has kids, he'll give them a set of steak knives.. well probably has had it for awhile, but I think MLB.com is pushing it now. http://muskat.mlblogs.com/

Holy snikies, that snuck up on me.

Does anyone know about behind home plate CBOE auction tickets? Last year the auction was mid-March, I believe.

Individual games will be available for CBOE again. Book it. The "season ticket" CBOE seats, I have no idea if they gave last year winners the option to re-up or not. I have not read or heard anything, so my guess is they did.

Piniella placed former Notre Dame football star Jeff Samardzija sixth overall right now on the depth chart for the rotation. Sean Marshall is a the top contender for the fifth spot in a starting staff featuring Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Rich Harden. Samardzija could move up, he could stay in the Cubs' bullpen where he pitched well last season or go to the minors and get in work as a potential member of the rotation. ... Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles will compete to be the starting second baseman, but both are going to be busy this season, regardless of who wins the job. Miles will likely be Ryan Theriot's backup at shortstop and Fontenot could spell Aramis Ramirez at third. Piniella said he'd like Fontenot and Miles to get 400 at-bats apiece. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/20...

1- heilman is already pecked down to 7th and not worth a mention? 2- yeah, miles is no cannon arm...but fontenot's arm at 3rd? really, now? ...really. at least he can field/throw righty, but that's about all that's going for him at 3rd.

I think it's worth saying that most of the time the 3B to 1B throw is easier than SS to 1B. Except for those plays in foul territory.

If Miles and Fontenot are going to get roughly the same number of ABs this year, and one of them is going to be the starting shortstop, the other moving around the diamond, I think it's pretty clear that Fontenot should consistently play 2nd and Miles should be the rover--he's done it a lot in the past. Don't mess with Fontenot. Just put him at 2nd where he can focus on fielding one position and hitting and won't have to worry about playing SS or 3B or any outfield.

Hell, we practically went with 11 pitchers the entirety of Scott Eyre's 2008 tenure, anyway.

based on things said i wouldn't be too fast to pencil in Fontegod as a starter... and what kind of crack ass stat says J.Dubois is a major league positive production player? maybe he'll get 40 homers to pad out the 300Ks if he plays full time? geez...

it's pretty much based off his minor league numbers, and I do think if he only faced lefties, he would probably be a positive...

I'd probably say the same about Jake Fox.

Jason Dubois cannot be a major league hitter. I know this because crunch and Rob G. told me so.

you should know it because jason dubois showed you so. if you wanna actually do your own research instead of listening to 2 dumbasses like me and rob you might want to. but what do i know? god knows ive never said anything about dubois that's been right or that i've watched him since he was a AA'r. i'm sure you got some gem of information on the 30 year old that hasn't found its way to the surface, though. btw, rob's reply said a lot about how dubois got his "unusual" stat and was...what's it called...oh yeah, useful as hell.

Well, he beat the White Sox with a homer once. That's useful.

hahah. awesome.

Jason Dubois showed me when he slugged .480 four years ago? When guys kick the crap out of AAA pitching - they can hit big league pitching. Find one example where it's not true. Just one.

set up some parameters and I'll see if I can find some...

OPS over something in Triple A with a minimun number of PA's or whatever constitutes kicking the crap out Triple A pitching...

and then what counts as "they can hit big league pitching" since I assume you'll scream they weren't given a chance....

Karim Garcia - killed AAA pitching for about 6 years. 1,400 ABs in the majors with an OPS+ of 82. Ramon Castro - over 1.000 OPS two years in a row in AAA, career OPS+ of 89 in over 1,000 Big League ABs.

Both of those numbers are hitting big league pitching. Garcia once hit .297 .314 .574 over 210 PA's, then followed it up the next year hitting .262 .302 .422 over 262 PA's. Ramon Castro had a 105 OPS+ his age 26 season. Next?

Luis Terrero?

 He had 337 PA's over a calendar year in 2004 and 2005, although over 400 in 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Let's say top 5 in OPS and given 400 MLB PA's in under a year. OPS+ 80 = hitting major league pitching.

I have to admit I'm confused, I'll need big words and some drawings.

You picked a baseline of 80 OPS+. BR showed only 253 instances that had an OPS+ of 80 or less from 2000-2008 with at least 400 PA's, 1620 instances of 81 or higher.

that gets me 13.5% that "cannot hit major league pitching"....I assume this 80 OPS+ was a approximation of replacement level, eccept that replacement level players usually don't get 400 or more chances to be that bad.

If you take out catchers and shortstops you get 148 instances of 80 and under, 1332 of 81 and over (Drops to about 10% that "cannot hit major league hitting"), but leave them in if you want to...

I quickly scanned the top 5 OPS guys in the PCL from 2000 to 2008 (btw Dubois doesn't qualify in there, nor Choi). I found a handful that were below 80 OPS+ in the seasons following their appearance on the leaderboard, but none that ever reached 400 PA's (Roosevelt Brown would be one). I find your criteria rather suspicious, a player isn't going to keep getting PA's if they just keep looking silly out there.


Interesting discussion, but you guys are leaving out the small matter of baseball being a two-way game. Let's stipulate that Dubois can produce in the majors like the average number five or six hitter. He still wouldn't have a major-league career because he's so limited defensively. I look at NL first basemen who are righty hitters and defensively challenged and I don't see a single one. The only righty first basemen last year were Lee and Pujols. Lee has been a gold glover and Pujols is decent, though in his case it wouldn't matter. The rest were lefty or switch: Berkman, Teixeira, Fielder, Votto, Delgado, Gonzalez, LaRoche, Howard, Loney, Jacobs. Aurilia played a lot of first last year but he is versatile defensively and has never made his living as a first baseman. Dubois never had a chance. If he were lefty, he might have had a slight chance to turn into someone like Daryle Ward, although Ward played more games in the outfield than at first. The Cubs used to draft people like Dubois and Dopirak and Brandon Sing. Thankfully, they don't do it any longer, because it's a waste of time.

wow thanks, is VA Phil the only one who didn't understand we were only talking about hitting?

That's very Dusty Bakerish of you. These guys need to have time to adjust to major league pitching. My criteria of 400 PA's in a year, can go over two seasons, as long as it is in a year. The point is, if a guy crushes AAA pitching, he's going to be able to hit ML pitching. He may have to make an adjustment or two, and pitchers will adjust to them, but this whole 'well he had 50 PA's, therefore he's never going to hit' is just bullshit. That's the 400 PA's. To give them time to adjust to ML pitching, give ML pitching time to adjust to them, and then see what happens. Those things don't happen in 100 PA's, no matter what you, Dusty and Lou think. 80 OPS+ was just arbitrary, but would have said going into 2008 that Ryan Theriot could not hit ML pitching?

My BR says Roosevelt Brown had two 'seasons' in MLB with an OPS+ over 115. What's yours say? Then he had his 'big chance' which consisted of 3 weeks as starter then being sent to the bench for the rest of the year accumilating 231 PA's in 111 games.

what a confusing level you've set...

190 PA's over 2 seasons means something for Roosevelt Brown, but if a player doesn't get 400 PA's over a year he doesn't count...

I was using Brown's top 5 in the PCL OPS season and the subsequent 2002 major league season...

also there's a difference between what's acceptable for a shortstop and a catcher to hit versus an outfielder...

And your criteria is differnt how? If he can't hit in his first 100 PA's, then the MLB pitchers are exposing his non-correctable weakness. If he hits well, and then struggles, well... then the MLB pitchers are finding the weakness that the AAA scouts couldn't find. If he's Cecil Fielder or Carlos Pena... then well, yeah all those scouts were wrong, but they should have known better, you certainly would have. Probably 90% of the hitters in MLB history are going to have a stretch where they bat .200 over 200 at bats. It doesn't mean that they cannot hit MLB pitching any more than it meant Brown was an All-Star candidate when he slugged .520 over 175 at bats. High strikeout - high power guys are generally going to take longer to hit in the bigs than the Paul Molitors and Ryan Theriots of the world. If that's your point, I'll conceed it.

80 OPS+ was just arbitrary, but would have said going into 2008 that Ryan Theriot could not hit ML pitching?

I would say that there's a different level of what's acceptable for hitting major league pitching for catchers and shortstops versus the other 5 positions.

The point is, if a guy crushes AAA pitching, he's going to be able to hit ML pitching. He may have to make an adjustment or two, and pitchers will adjust to them, but this whole 'well he had 50 PA's, therefore he's never going to hit' is just bullshit. That's the 400 PA's. To give them time to adjust to ML pitching, give ML pitching time to adjust to them, and then see what happens. Those things don't happen in 100 PA's, no matter what you, Dusty and Lou think.

some people - they're called coaches ans scouts and they are employed by professional baseball teams - can sometimes tell that a player has weaknesses in their swing that will be exposed by better pitchers and better advanced scouting and realize that giving someone another 350 PA's isn't going to change anything until they fix that weakness. 

Sometimes those coaches and scouts are rights, sometime they're wrong. Sometimes stat folks think a guy will hit major league pitching just based off their Tripe A numbers, sometimes they're wrong, sometimes they're right.

we'll agree to disagree, I think your criteria of hitting major league pitching is absurd so this is a pointless exercise anyway.

I look forward to your belligerent reply...


I think you establishing that 13.5% of major league hitters cannot hit major league pitching is almost as absurd as comparing DuBois to and casting Berg in a favorable light. Then you bring up defense and then belittle VA Phil for bringing defense into the dicussion. So, first you flip your opinion on a player (DuBois) from one day to the next, and then you bring defense into the argument, and condescend to VA Phil because he had the audacity to talk about defense. Very mature, very consistent.

this whole conversation is retarded. dubois's issues are his and no numbers in the past will help his swing. he has done *NOTHING* differently since he left the cubs and is doing nothing differently since he came back. dward at least has an idea of what he CANT hit and doesn't swing at it..dubois doesn't even see the ball well unless it's a high-80s/low-90s fastball. he has an amazing power swing and nothing to pad it with.

crunch, google doesn't have it, but can you go ahead and repeat you authoritavive assement on Nelosn Cruz's chances in the majors that you threw out this July?

you know when Neal calls out your maturity and consistency, it's time to go do some serious soul-searching..

I think you establishing that 13.5% of major league hitters cannot hit major league pitching is almost as absurd

you set that line, not me...

So, first you flip your opinion on a player (DuBois) from one day to the next

If you mean from 2005, then guilty as charged, I thought Dubois deserved a shot and was going to be better than he was. As from one day to the next, my position has remained unchanged. I think Dubois has power and would look okay versus lefties off the bench. I wouldn't given many opportunties besides that, unless someone tells me he's really changed his swing since 2005. But generally I'm all for young prospects getting somewhere around 400 PA's to see what they can do, but the older they get, the less chances they deserve.

 Then you bring up defense and then belittle VA Phil for bringing defense into the dicussion.

I never brought up Dubious' defense, only that you may want to consider an adjustment, particularly for catchers and shortstops. I also said leave them in if you wish. On other hand, you getting offended that I belittled VA Phil (and apologies to you VA Phil if you felt that way) is the hands down winner for the pot calling the kettle black in the history of TCR.


jason dubois.

Roosevelt Brown

Felix Pie

Felix Pie's OPS's in AAA 2006 .792 2007 .981 2008 .820 Based on the .981 you could certainly call that a dominating period. But lets throw a couple of extra stats in there. Year OPS AB's BABIP 2006 .792 556 .342 2007 .981 221 .415 2008 .820 339 .321 Hitting (particuarly line drives) and BABIP aren't independent, and Felix hit his most line drives during his stint in Iowa for 2007 (but at a lower rate than he has in the majors), but if you take out 'luck' he's actually gotten better every year. If he had the same BABIP in the majors that he had in Iowa in 2007 then his career line would be: .308 BA and .369 OBP. Would you consider that good enough? He also hit .300 .391 .450 after his Setepember call up last year, but again that's got some BABIP luck in there.

Karl Pagel. That's one.

impressive memory...


39 Home Runs in AAA in 1979, ended up with 67 PA's in the majors...

His story is probably a good microcosm of how the Cubs manage to dodge the World Series for 60 years.

Felix Pie. Done.

Kevin Orie

Orie hardly was tearing up the minors... 10 HR and 66 RBI..hitting .298 at AA.. C'mon..at least Orie had a decent rookie season..

"Find one example where it's not true. Just one." ______________________________________________ You should know better than to pose a challenge to this crew. Seriously.

nothing like a straw man argument...

I don't think he'd be much of one if he saw regular playing time. But give 200 AB's just versus lefties, never put him out in the field and he'd probably look pretty good. Of course, Craig Wilson could never stick as a right-handed pinch hitting option, I doubt Dubois will.

I always figured Craig Wilson would figure it out

Pet peeve... When someone disagrees with an opinion, they act like a douche and make snide remarks instead of saying that they disagree. I think most do this because it's easier than a substantiative dissenting opinion. I'm not of the opinion Dubois will be much help, only because he hasn't proven consistent production at the big league level. I think a team like the Chicago Cubs with well over a $100/mn payroll shouldn't take chances on "less than b-list" players.

Paul Bako and Aaron Miles agree!

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090... The Cubs may be looking for additional help in the infield, especially if they're not comfortable with their candidates to back up third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

well at least that's another source calling fonte the 3rd base backup...i still dont understand that one, though. he was lifting weights in the offseason and got some muscle...maybe it's helped his arm.

I'm sure they were all at the same press conference...

i was just confused at where that USA Today article earlier was going... that just leads me to ask...how the hell did heilman go from possible #5 to 7th on the depth chart?

O-Dawg! O-Dawg!

or however I'm suppose to write it out chooses the Mariners... http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/400612...

Comments at: http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/news/article.... "commenter wrote: 4 years, 40 HRs per, the record is in sight. 2/18/2009 8:56:07 PM" Needs less decaf.

That's about 20 homeruns per month after figuring in DL time. ^.^

"or however I'm suppose to write it out" At one time everyone called him Junior Griffey.

"Griffey" or "Ken, Jr." Unlikely it is Ken, Sr.

I love Ken Griffey jr..also Gary Matthews jr.....also desi arnaz jr, and any other junior.... Time to drop that billy. Even if it's wrong, in this country, if you ask about Ken Griffey...you will get a Griffey jr. comment.

So Taguchi.

So on the days the Cubs face a lefty SP and Johnson starts in CF and Miles at 2B, as the roster would stand now there would be no right handed hitter on the bench. Ignoring the remaining FAs like Hudson, O.Cabrera and Crede that will likely get a starting job that pretty much just leaves Nomar and Damion Easley for right handed hitters who can play some INF though Easley is a poor defender at 2B let alone being the answer as Aramis' replacement should he go down at 3B. Hate to say it but the Cubs need Nomah.

I believe Ray Durham is also available. I think either make sense with a 6-man bench and I also think either makes more sense than Joey Gathright. Some may disagree on the Gathright bit. If the Cubs haven't made an offer yet, I don't know why not. I could certainly see Nomar or Durham not being interested in as limited a role as the Cubs would likely offer, but that shouldn't stop the organization from talking to them.

So, a couple of years ago the Washington Nationals signed this 16 year old high school kid, a second baseman, out of the DR. They gave him a $1.4 million signing bonus and nurtured him for a couple years in the rookie league. Baseball America ranks him their 8th best prospect. Baseball Prospectus has him at #9. Just about everyone has him in the Nationals Top 10. Last year he hit .343 .431 .475 .906 at age 18. His name is Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez. But there's a small problem, his name is actually Carlos David Alvarez Lugo and he's really 23! Of course the Nationals are really pissed.... but you have to wonder just how many more Smiley Gonzalez's are out there. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090219/ap_on_sp_...

welcome to no-longer-a-prospect...awesome.

This reinforces my theory that it's time to fold Latin America into the Rule 4 draft.

I know that TCR has their own fantasy keeper league, but since I never think of this during this time of the year, figured I'd throw it out now.... Anyone interested in starting up a keeper league?

I'd be interested in a dynasty league if the demand is there.

I'd be interested as well.

I'd play

I'm in.

I'm terrible at fantasy leagues. But I'd play also

I don't believe Theriot started it, but he talked a lot last year about "inning management" from the defensive angle. If I get it, it's like pool (ahem, pocket billiards) where you think 3-4 shots ahead. How many teams are there that make it imperative that Aramis is at 3rd as opposed to Miles? For example, when the killer B's were in their heyday in Houston, you just had to have your best defense out there all the time since they could do a lot with the bat. 1st and 3rd would cheat in. They would and they could test the defense each inning, or at least every two innings. Just a thot...since Nomar probably would be booed before he got on a plane. And is Miles getting the ex-cards factor treatment here just a little? Sorry I have more questions than answers, 'tis the nature of baseball.

Maybe ya'll could start another web site about fantasy baseball. Don't care for it myself and ya'll seem to drift off topic. Please?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball... Hendry declined to discuss his off-season conversations with other clubs. But a major-league source said teams approached the Cubs about trading for Fukudome, although only in trades where Hendry would have had to take back bad contracts. The Seattle Mariners, shopping pitchers Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard and catcher Kenji Johjima, are believed to have been among them.

It's hard to make the argument that if Hendry had swapped Fuku for Bedard and either traded or released Harden that he wouldn't have had the money to do some other things, not least of which might've been retain Wood, DeRo or make a run at someone else. Maybe that's not the best move, but the point is, the option was there should he have chosen to pursue it. And now everybody has more ammunition against him should the ship hit an iceberg. =)

not that it matters, but what would the point be to take on Bedard's injured shoulder and dump Harden's injured shoulder? Both are free agents after this season either way.

The point would be essentially to free the Cubs from the Fucku contract. If you trade him heads-up for Bedard and then deal/drop Harden, you're essentially status quo in the rotation but have an outfield that's suddenly $10 million cheaper. Also, pure speculation, but you have to figure Harden's worth at least one useful piece.

So obviously things look pretty grim as of right now, but I don't quite understand the pessimism toward Harden already. I mean the guy was outstanding with us last year. He's a high risk, I get that. But that's all it is right now, is a risk. The point of a surgery is to increase strength and flexibility. I think he's gotta be considered healthy until proven hurt. In the same sense, I'm prepared to have this post shoved in my face two months from now...

I'd be interested in a keeper league.

I'm booked for fantasy leagues so you guys will have to organize it on your own. If you need a good set of rules and point scoring system, we do have that going for us.

Happy to share...

I wouldn't mind commishing/spearheading the league if there are no other volunteers, but I can't set anything up until tonight. Rob, if you don't mind sharing your points system, that'd be cool. Is there a Web site that's preferential for the keepers formatting?

We use Yahoo and they have really improved their keeper and league tracking. $125 for the league if you want live scoring. 15-team league comes out to $8.33 a person. We all throw in $30 and divide up the winnings at the end of the year.

I'll email you the files we have and rules and you can go from there and then of course modify anything you want to...

I'll just say that I stole most of it from a STATS league that went away a few years ago (which I think they recently restarted) and it's 100x more satisfying than roto league categories.

I would join a keeper league if there are enough spaces.

I'll pass along the email address you have on file with us to John Beasley so you all don't have to expose it here.

We appreciate that!

PS - you have 8 so far, you probably want at least 10.

Rockies Jeff Francis to have shoulder surgery next week. Jason Marquis just swallowed some more innings http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_11740039

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/02/th... Just so there's no confusion, Lou Piniella says he's sticking with Alfonso Soriano as his leadoff man. That's for the regular season. You may see Soriano hitting elsewhere in the order in Cactus League games so others can try out for the No. 1 spot. Wittenmyer with the same story http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/... In fact, he suggested Thursday he’ll move regulars in the order during the spring less to see how Soriano looks in the middle than to see who will be best suited to fill in for Soriano in the top spot when he gets a day off.


It's great that Lou says he's sticking with Soriano in leadoff BEFORE the try out during spring training. That's weak sauce.

E-mails have been sent to Q, Little Nate Lewis, kmokeefe, Ryno, Dr. Aaron B, CPH2133 and SJS. Anyone else who wants to play a keeper league, e-mail to [email protected].

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=39... Nice premise giving MVP awards to players who were not implicated for steroid abuse, but he gives most of the awards to guys who are just as questionable. Pujlos? Luis Gonzalez?

wow, I mean, wow...

not only to write Luis Gonzalez but to not have an editor question if he might want to go with a less suspicious name...

Wowwww... What a jackass. I mean, even if he turns out to be right...

Yeah, Sammy's dirty and Moises is clean. I buy that.

At least Moises' hands are clean.

or at least sterile also, looks like he was pissing on himself for all the wrong reasons: http://www.slate.com/id/2100652/

This pre-supposes that there is a right reason.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball... Bradley likely to bat 4th, Lou can't wait to talk to Ricketts for stock advice lineup guess? Soriano, Miles or Fontenot, Ramirez, Bradley, Lee, Soto, Fukudome, Theriot, Pitcher

I'd probably flip Bradley and Ramirez because MB has had a significantly higher OBP the last couple of years. 50 points higher last year. 40 points higher in 07. 20 points higher in '06. Think I'd like to see him get on ahead of Ramirez than have it the other way around.

was going with the Bradley to bat 4th idea....

probably Lee and Ramirez flip anyway...

my personal vote is

Soriano, Lee, Bradley, Ramirez, Soto, Fontenot, Theriot, Fukudome

until we see what we have for 2009...

Balls. Fontenot, Lee, Ramirez, Bradley, Soriano, Soto, Fukkakedome, Theriot,

Yeah I know, I was just saying. I wasn't disagreeing with you, I was disagreeing with Lou.

Scott Boras Able To Get Manny Ramirez $20 Billion In Economic Stimulus Money <excerpt> WASHINGTON—After a series of closed-door talks, Scott Boras, the agent known for representing the highest-paid players in baseball, set another record for the game's largest contract when he finalized Manny Ramirez's $20 billion agreement with the United States federal government on Thursday. "Manny's .396 batting average last season with the Dodgers, as well as his playoff performance, proved that he is as important to this country as infrastructure projects, health care, and renewable energy development," Boras said...

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  • Charlie 4 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.


  • crunch 6 hours 41 min ago (view)

    RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists


  • bradsbeard 10 hours 37 min ago (view)

    Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 26 min ago (view)

    There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 21 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

    He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 


  • bradsbeard 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me. 


  • KingKongvsGodzilla 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!


  • crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    jim hickey new nats pitching coach.


  • bradsbeard 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there. 


  • tim815 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.


  • crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.

    big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.

    too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).


  • bradsbeard 4 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability


  • Hagsag 4 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?


  • tim815 5 days 6 hours ago (view)


    Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.



  • crunch 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    yup, they're gonna try.  starts in about a month.