Long Balls & Stolen Bases Lead Cubs to Victory over Brew Crew

Reggie Golden and Marco Hernandez ripped home runs and the EXST Cubs stole five bases en route to a 7-4 victory over the EXST Brewers in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Paul Molitor Field at the Maryvale Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.

Doug Davis (2010 elbow surgery rehab) got the start for the Cubs and threw four innings (62 pitches – 44 strikes), allowing one run on four hits (a triple, two doubles, and a single) and a walk, with five strikeouts (four swinging) and one WP (and a nifty pick-off, too). Davis mixed a slow fastball with a slower curve and a really slow change-up to generally keep the young Brewers hitters off-stride, although when they hit the ball, it was hit with authority. Besides the four hits (three XBH) allowed by Davis, the veteran soft-tossing lefty’s day also featured three “loud” hard-hit line drive outs (one of which required an inning-ending run-saving spectacular diving catch by LF Jose Valdez).

Angel Guzman threw an 11-pitch 1-2-3 5th inning (6-3, P-5, 2-3) in relief of Davis, as the right-hander continues his rehab from 2010 shoulder surgery.

Mixing a 91 MPH fastball with a slow curve, a change-up, and a wipe-out hard slider, Matt Loosen (Cubs 2010 23rd round draft pick out of U. of Jacksonville) followed-up his eight-strikeout performance (over 2.2 IP) versus the EXST Rockies last week with four more strikeouts in two innings of work (40 pitches) today. The 22-year old 6'2 right-hander did struggle a bit with his control, however, throwing only 53% strikes and walking two.

The Cubs took the lead in the top of the 1st inning, as Marco Hernandez (batting LH) cracked a two-run home run (his second EXST HR) over the RF fence, driving-in Jose Valdez who had reached base on a one-out opposite-field line-drive single to left. Hernandez has some pop when he hits left-handed, but is a "slap hitter" when batting from the right side. (A natural lefty swinger, Hernandez learned to switch-hit at AZ Instructs last fall).

Cubs 2010 #2 draft pick Reggie Golden clubbed a solo HR over the LF fence to lead-off the top of the 2nd, and the Cubs took a 4-0 lead after Dong-Yub Kim drew a walk, was moved up to 2nd base on a Doug Davis sac-bunt, and scored on a Wes Darvill line-drive RBI single to CF.

After the Brewers tied the score at four with a three-spot off RHP Justin Bristow (2010 non-TJS elbow surgery rehab) in the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs came right back in the top of the 8th with three runs of their own. Wes Darvill singled to open the inning, and after PH Vismeldy Bieneme and Kyung-Min Na drew one-out walks to load the bases, speedy Jose Valdez drove-in the go-ahead run with a FC, just barely beating the relay to 1st base on what otherwise could have been an inning-ending (and rally-killing) 6-4-3 DP. Valdez and Vismeldy Bieneme then pulled off a double-steal (with Bieneme scoring and Valdez taking 2nd base, and then Valdez advancing to 3rd base on an overthrow), and Valdez scored when Marco Hernandez reached base on an E-6. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, LHP Casey Harman (2010 29th round draft pick - Clemson) has been promoted to Peoria, and catcher Chad Noble (Cubs 2010 37th round draft pick - Northwestern) has been sent to Extended Spring Taining from Peoria. Harman was the #1 starter (Friday night starter) at Clemson, but the Cubs have worked him exclusively as a lefty reliever going back to his pro debut at AZ Instructs last fall (8.64 ERA – 2.04 WHIP - .359 Opp BA - 8.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R (8 ER), 3 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 2 PO, 3/7 GO/FO, 7 GAMES at AZ Instructs) and at Minor League Camp and EXST this season (8.31 ERA - 1.61 WHIP - .350 Opp BA - 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 10 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 3 GAMES at EXST). He racked-up nine strikeouts over his last two EXST games (three innings). 

Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):

NOTE: To practice his bunting, Doug Davis took an insert-AB in the top of the 1st, 2nd, and 5th innings, striking out (foul bunt) batting fifth with a runner on 1st base and one out in the 1st inning, laying down a sacrifice bunt batting third with a runner on 1st base and no outs in the 2nd inning, and striking out (bunted through pitch) batting third with a runner at 1st base and one out in the 5th inning.

X. Doug Davis, P: 0-2 (K, 3-4 SH, K)
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, BB)
2. Jose Valdez, LF: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, 5-3 SH, 6-4 FC, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (HR, F-7, F-7, E-6, R, 2 RBI)
4. Jesus Morelli, DH-RF: 1-4 (1B, K, 6-3, 6-3, 2 SB)
5. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 1B, K, F-9, 2 CS)
6. Reggie Golden, DH #2: 2-4 (HR, K, 1B, L-9, R, RBI)
7. Dong-Yub Kim, 1B: 1-3 (BB, P-2, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, R)
8. Wes Darvill, 2B: 2-3 (1B, BB, 1B, F-7, R, RBI)
9a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-2 (5-3, 1B)
9b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (4-3)
10a. Oliver Zapata, RF-DH: 0-2 (K, K)
10b. Vismeldy Bieneme, PH: 0-0 (BB, R, SB)

1. Doug Davis: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 62 pitches (44 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO
2. Angel Guzman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 B, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
3. Justin Bristow: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2 BALKS, 36 pitches (23 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Bristow’s second inning was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit
4. Matt Loosen: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 40 pitches (21 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

1. 1B Dong-Yub Kim E3 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely
2. CF Kyung-Min Na E8 – fielding error allowed batter to advance an extra base on a single to CF
3. C Johan DeJesus E2 – throwing error (overthrow) on stolen base at 3rd base allowed runner to score

Johan DeJesus: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s



Nice to see Golden hitting. Hopefully he starts to take to fundamentals at some point.

"Davis mixed a slow fastball with a slower curve and a really slow change-up to generally keep the young Brewers hitters off-stride" so...he's in mid-season form. cool. can't wait to see that 86mph fastball in cubbie blue. cheaper than brandon webb at least...

Hell, he throws as hard as Doug Jones did, and Jones only had one pitch.

he's been getting away with it for so long you gotta believe it works for him. i was shocked when MIL decided he was starter quality and more shocked he did it well enough for many years.

Submitted by crunch on Mon, 04/25/2011 - 6:05pm. he's been getting away with it for so long you gotta believe it works for him. i was shocked when MIL decided he was starter quality and more shocked he did it well enough for many years. =================================== CRUNCH: Doug Davis should get his next (and last) EXST start Saturday morning when he will probably try and throw five innings and/or 75-80 pitches, and with the Cubs in town this weekend to play the Diamondbacks, Mike Quade and Mark Riggins can go out and watch Davis first-hand, that is if they want to get up early on a Saturday morning after a Friday night game at Chase Field.

matt garza is human rain-delaying the game start with his pre-game routine...neat. that ate 4 minutes.

damn his slider is looking nasty tonight...also it took 8 pitches (sigh...) to K the leadoff hitter in the game.

only 14 pitches in the first...

Trachsel lives!

d.barney homers! haha.

Darwin is the new God of Thunder.

Barney homered to deep left, Fukudome scored. 60 mph winds out to left tonight?

it was in the basket, but 10 years from now the legend of barney will have the ball on the rooftops across the street. it wasn't a cheapie, though.

Cubs 3, Starlin Castro 3 no wonder Garza is trying to strike out everyone.

cubs 3, starlin castro 3...3 errors in 1 inning...neat. bob brenley knows that pain.

So does Dan Uggla. Castro and Junior Lake neck and neck at 7 and 8 errors so far.

Phil Humber vs. yankees through 6

A-Rod ends it with 1 out in 7th

for Peoria 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Do you mean to tell me Hayden Simpson actually exists? I was starting to doubt that.

what Soto's OBP is sans obvious pitch arounds when batting 8th?

Ask Quade since he knows that Soto is so bad you shoud hit him 8th, but according to baseball reference it's exactly the same as him batting in all other slots (.333). He's .429 .529 .786 batting fifth, so it makes sense to hit him 8th.

Lol..it's good to have something to agree on....Soto hitting 8th....yeah good call....ugh.

I predict Starlin gets a night off tomorrow.

Guess not.

The $10MM-man, Carlos Pena, who is a $10-Man with RISP, is being completely out-statted by the $5MM Lyle Overbay so far. What another great FA signing Jimbo Hendry!!

Most people on this board praised that signing, Pena was going to be this monster who hits 30 or more hr's and drives in a ton of runs. Maybe. But I said it was a shit signing, he couldn't make contact, his avg. has plummeted 3 seasons in a row, a huge warning sign, and to give $10 million to a guy who couldn't hit .200 was insane. I was told that batting average means nothing and I was an idiot. Batting average isn't the most important stat, but it is a warning sign. Guys who lose bat speed start to drop off in average before their power completely disappears. It's happened to every hitter in MLB history. When you see an older guy suddenly still hit hr's but the avg. plummets, the next season is usually a disaster and just about the end. Pena looks like he's reaching the end of his career at this point, not someone who just had a freak bad year. The only bright side from that signing is Pena's still a good defender, it's only a 1 year deal, and perhaps it helps Hendry get fired. FWIW, AZ Phil said Pena's bat was slow as a snail during spring training.

Most people on this board praised that signing "Most people" did? Where? I think that I remember "most people" saying "meh - low risk, high reward."

I got into several discussions that it was a crap signing, with several other people telling me I was an idiot. I will admit it's still too early to say Pena is going to suck all year, but he's shown no signs of life as a hitter, and his previous seasons have shown a decline, so it's not looking good.

several=most got it

Glad we stayed away from Adam Dunn!!!!

Actually I am. His sub .600 OPS so far would totally help this team, right. Plus he is gigantic, so he would make a cramped clubhouse even more so.

Yeah, why would we want one year of this crap when we could have had four?

Has anyone EVER proclaimed their ignorance as loudly as you?

Check out the genius from post #30 gloating about his recommendation to sign a guy who's batting .158, and who's been injured to a four year deal and get back to me.

Totally reasonable to judge a guy on 70 at bats after appendix removal. Never mind the 6000+ at bats of plus 900 OPS directly before that. Neal is always the voice of reason around here.....

Says the man who is judging Pena on 59 at bats. Never mind the 3600+ at bats of plus 830 OPS directly before that. Pot meet kettle.

Difference is that Pena has an awful 484 at bats last year also. .196 average 732 OPS. Bat speed has noticeably slipped.

Of course he also plays better defense and costs $38 million less.

First base defense and corner outfield defense are severely overrated. You can go cheap with a defense guy if you have some other boppers in the lineup. Unfortunately our best every day hitters are Aramis and Soriano. So we need every bit of offense we can find. Still thing 4/56-4/60 for Dunn is better than the 7-154 that Prince Fielder will be asking for.

First base defense and corner outfield defense are severely overrated. Or at least I'll say so when it suits my bizzarre arguments. You can go cheap with a defense guy if you have some other boppers in the lineup. Or you could spend big bucks on guys who play good defense and hit, like Pujols, Fielder, Texiera an Gonzalez. Unfortunately our best every day hitters are Aramis and Soriano. So we need every bit of offense we can find. Except for our $800K middle infield are hitting better. But if we had a .158 cleanup hitter all the problems would be solved. Still thing 4/56-4/60 for Dunn is better than the 7-154 that Prince Fielder will be asking for. Yes, if you set aside defense and offense, you're probably right, but by the same token 1/10 for Pena is better than those other options.

Did you really say that Carlos Pena is a better option than Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn? I know there is no possible way that you ACTUALLY BELIEVE that to be a true statement? I'm thinking that you are really just the biggest troll ever as opposed to someone who actually believes the crap you spew.

before this gets any further out of hand, may everyone please try to shy away from the personal attacks, insults and general douchebaggery. We don't have to agree about baseball, but we do have to agree to some level of being civil.

Apologize for getting out of line.

Three contracts in discussion here. You said that 4/60 for Dunn is better than 7/154 for Fielder, a younger and better all around player. By your own logic, the the 1/10 contract is better than 4/60 contract, an inferior player on a shorter, less expensive deal.

Nowhere in my argument or even logic is that stated?

"Still thing 4/56-4/60 for Dunn is better than the 7-154 that Prince Fielder will be asking for." Huh? Or are you saying Dunn is better than Fielder? Because he's not. He is older and worse, just like Pena is.

whu??????? Are you saying Adrian Gonzalez is better than Albert Pujols, cause he's not. And Neifi Perez makes less than Adrian Gonzalez. So Neifi should be at First. Nice logic Neal!!!!! I'm saying that Dunn is almost a mirror image of Fielder. 98% the same player. So 4/60 for Dunn is better than 7/154 for Fielder. Pena is roughly 32% of Dunn and 30% of Fielder as a player. So 10 Million for him WAS and IS a waste. Logic like you use Neal is how guys like Carlos Silva get 4/48 contracts.

We've already etstablished that you don't use logic. Over the last three years (this excludes Fielder's 50 HR campaign and Pena's MVP type Season) their weighted OBA's are .358 for Pena, .385 for Dunn and .408 for Fielder. The difference between Pena and Dunn is almost the exact same as Dunn to Fielder.

Is that Fielder's weighted OBA or his actual weight?

From a bat/money standpoint, 4/60 for Dunn is more attractive than 7/154 for Fielder, the problem is Dunn is a horrible fielder who is a classic DH. Fielder will likely get there, but for now he's more than passable at 1b.

Point is that the Cubs aren't going to win going forward by averaging 4 runs per game. At some point you have to have someone who can hit the ball. It's reasonable to sacrifice some defense at 1st base for 40 Homer 900 OPS production. I'm more willing to sacrifice defense at 1st than at SS or CF.

But why have you concluded that Dunn is going to do something he hasn't done for 3 years based on what we've seen so far this year? The jury is still out on whether either player is going to hit for 2011, but it's not out on who plays better first base. Shouldn't you wait until Dunn bats... I don't know .250 before decreeing him the 2nd coming? Regardless, the Cubs aren't going anywhere in 2011 with Dunn or Pena. If Dunn were a free agent again next year, would you recommend signing him to a 3 year, $50 million deal?

What has he not done in 3 years?

Hit 40 HR's...

Last 3 years 40 38 38 No fewer than 38 homers in every season since 2004. Averaged 40 per year since 2004.

68 plate appearances in, and you're calling Pena a bust? Are you sure you are not the same person as VA Phil?

He may be noticing a trend, if he is not calling Pena an official "bust". Spring training stats, where he was re-united with Rudy the Hitting Guru, gave him a line of: AVG G AB R H TB 2B 3B HR RBI .282 15 39 9 11 18 1 0 2 5 .462 slugging 5 RBI. Against AA and AAA pitching. Tied with Matt Camp. So, maybe its no big deal to you right? Its only ST and only $10, 000, 000. And, so far in April, we're talking a line of : .182 .313 .200 .513 Zero HR's (why he was signed) and 5 RBI. RISP? .167 .304 .222 .527 In 18 AB's he has 3 hits from the 5-hole, and a lefty, and his 5 RBI. Clutch? 2 Outs and RISP - a -20 tOPS, with 3 k's and 2 BB's in 6 AB's. Zero. Not a bust maybe yet, as he is pretty terrific with the glove, but one more black hole at the plate. I hope he figures it out. Soon.

...laser show.

EDIT: That RISP stat line in #26 above has now gotten worse after tonight for Pena.

and thank you s.castro...cubs 2 games under .500

Starting Jeff Russell once - questionable. Starting Jeff Russell twice - negligent. Starting Jeff Russell three times - criminal.


Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice...we won't be fooled again.

I think The Who said that once.... it's just silly for Quade to tell us that Russell's the best option....not ALL Cub fans are idiots...

Well after last year, I thought: "We won't be Lou'd again, no, no!" But this year it seems were Q'd instead of Lou'd and it feels just about the same. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

He's a young pitcher with some promise. So you give him three chances, so what? You're afraid they'll get five in the first, like Zambrano gave up the other day? Samardzija got, what, a million chances? Now he's on his second million, and funny thing, he's starting to look half decent.

to continue.....Samardzija is starting to look good...in the bullpen where he belongs...and he was a high draft pick who the Cubs have a shit-ton of money invested in. Russell has had 1 decent season in the minors in the bullpen. As a starter he was awful. 1-Russell struggles to get past 4 innings 2-He has struggled as a starter in the minors 3-Continuing to start him will "help" to burn out the bullpen 4- Samardzija's last 2 outings were solid...he's still got a ways to go with his command. Geez...couldn't JR Mathes or Ramon Ortiz at least give a chance at getting 5 or 6 innings?

Agreed, Doug Davis, Todd Wellemeyer, Ramon Ortiz, Austin BD, JR Mathis, Robert Coello, Thomas Diamond. All those guys are working as starters right now. Why couldn't we give them a start over punting another game?

Doug Davis, Todd Wellemeyer, Ramon Ortiz, Austin BD, JR Mathis, Robert Coello, Thomas Diamond. Doug Davis - in EXST, safe bet he's not ready Wellemeyer - hasn't pitched yet Ortiz - I am surprised he's not starting today Austin BD - 6.63 ERA at the moment, 5 HR's i 19 IP JR Mathes - seems like the older version of Russell Coello - 9 ERA in AAA at the moment including 5 BB, 2K start his last time Diamond - shelled by a AAA lineup the same day Russell made his first start, 9.92 ERA in the moment I don't how anyone thinks any of those guys would be reasonable bets to do better. As for saving the bullpen, they're not wasting the good pitchers. It's not like Mateo or Grab-Ass should be coming into games that matters. Ninja's been absurdly lucky to this point. The start over the Astros was understandable and the Padres offense is so bad, you hoped to sneak anyone by. I will admit tonight's start is a head scratcher.

Mathes might be the older version of Russell, but he is a starting pitcher, has had well...some success in the minors? You wouldn't have to worry about starting his service clock, but he could at least maybe give you 5 innings..or 6 if he's lightning in a bottle? Ugh....

If a guy cannot get by James Russell and Casey BP Coleman to crack the top 7 of the Cubs rotation candidates, you have no worry about starting his arbitration clock... with the possible excpetion if he hits like Rick Ankiel.

exactly right TRN.....no worries there!

Mathes has been in AAA since 2007 with one good season. Why would that scream, he's clearly a better option? The Cubs presumably have scouts that watch these guys more than any of us do (except maybe AZ Phil), I just don't think catching lighting in a bottle is that much better with any of them at the moment. Although tonight's start I'd probably have tried Ortiz by this point. Shame Jay Jackson was hurt to start the year and Carlos Silva must have said or did something unforgivable.

Because he is a starting pitcher, who has been a starter. He has not been a bullpen pitcher. He has been a starter. He may come up and get bombed. Sure.....but he might be at least have been able to go 5 or 6 innings, since he's been a starter his whole career and not a bullpen guy. Good point Rob, on Jackson especially stupid injuries...

see my previous point about who are they actually burning that everyone is so worried about?

So better to play russian roulette with the bullpen, and hope that Samardzija, Mateo, Grabow..etc can handle the workload, and that running the Iowa shuttle doesn't do any damage this early to Stevens, Berg, Diamond..and a cast of thousands.... Not to worry about....but if you run out of arms? Wouldn't you rather at least have a pitcher out there who has been training to be a starter, and could go 5 or 6 innings?

well if they just thought Mathes would get shelled anyway, no matter what his pitch count was up to, it wouldn't matter. but generally I don't care much about disposable bullpen arms. Stevens 89 pitches was a Coleman start, wasn't it? The other 3 you mentioned are as important to the bullpen as Russell is to the rotation. There were other options, none clearly better, just different colors of grey. It's a coin flip the Cubs have lost twice. The third flip, I'd probably try a different coin though just to change it up.

Just heard Len Casper on WSCR. He stated much of the obvious, but one thing was interesting in that Quade may just be leaning towards a straight platoon with Pena until he starts figuring it out at the plate. As I intimate above, $10MM just doesn't buy what it used to!

I say play Baker if he's the one hitting. It's bad enough to routinely trot out Pena when he can't do shit, but it's made worse when it means that Soriano and Soto are stuck behind him. Soriano is the only player hitting for power and he's never further up than 6 or 7. Meanwhile, Byrd hits 3 or 6. It's not like the Cubs have enough stars to just write down a lineup and stick with it. Play whoever's hitting. If that means Jeff Baker is hitting 4 or 5 then fine, just don't run out Byrd because he most resembles a 3 hitter in a uniform. We're not selling jeans!

"So, if you're inclined to start drawing conclusions from early season run differentials, here's my advice: don't. If the Cubs wind up the season with two-fifths of their starts from Russell and Coleman, that's a different matter, because then, yes, they'd have a very real problem on their hands, one that converts an early-season run differential into a full-season disaster." http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/9...

In 2010, the Cubs got 37 starts from guys outside of thier starting five. In 2009 they had a relatively healthy 5 man rotation and still had 22 starts from outside of that. The Cubs are seeing the results of going into the season assuming that a 6th and 7th starter will never been required, and not understanding that you can't survive in the big leagues with Coleman's pitch&pray philosophy.

Ridling is king of the hill today among Tennesseans. Leads league in average (.436) and OBP (.508), third in SLG (.764), second in OPS (1.272). Second in HRs with 5 (tied with Flaherty and one other). Ridling would have the leader board mostly to himself were it not for Paul Goldschmidt, Mobile (D'backs).

paul god-3/44. yeah, he's gonna K a ton, but it's time to quit calling the guy a pure mistake hitter, imo. 2010 was last year.

Great, except Ridling can't field any position well. Dee Aitch

fwiw, one of AZ Phil's post said he was a very good fielding first basemen. I'd be more worried that he's been a bit old for his leagues and put up extremely uninteresting numbers. Smells like Jake Fox with less defensive versatility. But maybe he continues to start putting those doubles over the fence as he gets older.

JAKE FOX btw .167 /.250 /.444 1hr 1 rbi

20 PA's.

If I wanted to defend Ridling--and I would like to see the org produce a legitimate 1B prospect--I would point out that whatever his age, he has only had two full seasons as a pro. His only screw-up, age-wise, was to finish college. Twice he's been named a postseason all-star--i.e., the best 1B in the league. I believe that that sort of peer review provides useful scouting info, which is pretty scanty otherwise. And like you said, AZ Phil has praised his defense. I saw him make a nice scoop in ST, too, but that was a very small data sample. Bottom line: Wilken doesn't draft Jake Foxes!

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Tue, 04/26/2011 - 4:12pm. If I wanted to defend Ridling--and I would like to see the org produce a legitimate 1B prospect--I would point out that whatever his age, he has only had two full seasons as a pro. His only screw-up, age-wise, was to finish college. Twice he's been named a postseason all-star--i.e., the best 1B in the league. I believe that that sort of peer review provides useful scouting info, which is pretty scanty otherwise. And like you said, AZ Phil has praised his defense. I saw him make a nice scoop in ST, too, but that was a very small data sample. Bottom line: Wilken doesn't draft Jake Foxes! ================================================== VA PHIL: Rebel Ridling is an above-average defensive first-baseman with above-average power. I would describe him as a RH version of Micah Hoffpauir. I had rated Ridling at #16 (as one of the five who "Just Missed the Cut") in my 2010 Top 15 Cubs Prospects (post-2009), and I think that's about where he belongs. The thing about Ridling is that last year he had an appendectomy (with complications) during Minor League Camp and spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, and once he got back on the field at Extended Spring Training he was weakened and out-of-shape, and he never really got totally back to where he had been in 2009 at Peoria and AZ Instructs. I do think Ridling is an MLB prospect, probably behind only B. Jackson, Vitters, W. Castillo, Ha, Flaherty, Lemahieu, Alcantara, Silva, and Szczur among Cub position player prospects.

nice outing for jay jackson this morning/afternoon in memphis; 6+ w/ 1 run allowed & 3/3 @ the plate w/ twice as many doubles as fukodome has all month...

he's a hell of a hitter. if he didn't have a fastball in his arm he would have probably been drafted by someone as a hitter...though lower in the draft, most likely.

Only 1 K in six innings, though. Did you get to watch today, Mike? Any idea on his velocity? Gaub blew it in the 9th.

Lay off Kosuke! I like the new zero-power Fuk who just slaps line drives in front of outfielders for hits. (FWIW he credits Rudy J for giving him a new mental approach at the plate)

You can count on two things hitting in April- Tax Day and Fukudome.

Seems I sold him short with that .529 OBP yesterday. .571, third all time, and fist if you take out the IBB's is what I am now expecting for 2011. That .500 slugging will be .061 higher than his previous best too!

Top 10 BP Comps Griffey Jr., Helton, Teixeira, Dunn, J. Mayberry, Bagwell., Thome, K. Daniels, F. Thomas, B. Bonds sure wouldn't mind that guy for his age 28-32 seasons even if it means having to bear through the 33-36 years. I'll also add that Fielder seems to care by most accounts and plays hard, same can't be said about Dunn. Top 10 Dunn Comps for fun Hafner, Ortiz, C. Pena, Lee, Giambi, Delgado, McGriff, Thome, Burrell, Sexson

I'm not sure exactly what this number is, but "Upside by Year" (I think it's they're VORP ceiling). 2011 is first and so forth: Fielder: 64.5, 61.9, 67. 60.6, 64.8, 53.8, 45.2, 32.3, 36.1, 32.7 Dunn: 60.6, 38.7, 41.9, 36.7, 46.3, 35.5, 20, 15.5, 12.5, 1.8

I'm fine with getting Fielder. I hope he is the target for the Cubs this offseason. My point is we could have avoided paying 20-22 million for him by getting Dunn. And it wouldn't have required that we punt the 2011 season in the process.

luckily BOS/NYY already have a 1st/DH crew...also luckily, the dodgers are broke. if fielder is traded this year (if...) whoever picks him up might not be in shape to actually re-sign him.

I love that Adam Dunn means 2011 playoff appearance. He's got nothing on the legend of Sam Fuld.

Having a 900 OPS bat in the middle of this lineup wouldn't help the offense? Not saying it guarantees a playoff appearance. Just likely enough to get us 85 wins or so?

I don't feel like looking it up, but I believe most projections had Dunn at about worth 1 more win than Pena and that's him as a DH, thus meaning his defense is not negatively affecting things. pointless discussion with you since you think defense, no matter how bad will not negatively effect Dunn's value with his aging bat. I doubt anyone here would complain about Dunn in 2011, just not worth being tied up to him for 3 more years and staying out of the Fielder/Pujols and at that time Gonzalez sweepstakes. The fact that no other NL team was interested is all you need to know.

Wins over this guy isn't really a literal stat IMHO. If you put the right guys together you could end up with 170 wins.

Not really, no, because you should adjust it for playing time.

let's see, top WAR guy in 2010 at each position. It's something like 30 wins for an all replacement team (give or take), so you add these totals to 30. a replacement level team McCann 5.8, Votto 7.4, Cano 6.4, Tulo 6.4, Zimmerman 7.2, Bautista 6.9, Hamilton 8.0, Holliday 6.9 = 55 Starters Lee 7.1, Halladay 6.6, Verlander 6.3, J. Johnson 6.3, U. Jimenez 6.3 = 32.6 Bullpen would all be closers around 2 -3 wins each but that wouldn't work because of leverage and innings, so let's say 4-5 wins at most for the very best 7-man bullpen and bench you could put together. That's 122 wins, not far above the 116 record which were teams not composed of the best player at each position.

I think replacement level is 40 wins - and you have no bench on your team. If you add 5 for your backup catcher, Mauer, and 7 for your backup first basemen etc it goes way over, which is what Aaron doesn't get. Even if you adjust for playing time, at some point the math is going to break down, because a team with the 25 best players is probabably still going to lose 25 or 30 games, just due to luck. But for the argument of which first basemen to use, it's a perfectly valid stat (conceptually at least). We're not debating 25 man rosters versus 25 man rosters. Classic Onion article on the same subject. http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/ya...

After watching a 4-error Cub game, I'm not all that thrilled about the idea of Adam Dunn. I want to see the Cubs focus their efforts on assembling a more pitching-defense-centric team. If they don't score and lose, at least they won't be embarrassing to watch.

I would sign Pena to a 2 or 3 year contract if he would take it.

I think you can find plus defense at first base a lot cheaper. I'm pretty pessimistic about Pena on offense. His swing looks pretty poor to me.

at least they won't be embarrassing to watch. I've seen the Astros shut down by pitchers so often that I was sort of embarrassed when Z no-hit them. There are pretty equal opportunities for embarrassment on both sides of the ball, a fact that Ronnie Cedeno and Alfonso Soriano have illustrated on numerous occasions.

travis hafner...the patron saint of baseball prospectus...a god amongst men and a he doesn't even have to use a glove to be the best.

vs. a lefty I believe Castro6/Barney4/Byrd8/Ramirez5/Baker3/Soto2/Soriano7/Johnson9/Russell1

wind blowing straight out to left according to sullivan oh boy

34th birthday today, gets to sit after a 5/5 day...

I guess you could say don't mess with what's working (batting him against righties), but dang... Fuku is dialed in, I'd just let him hit, personally.