The Range of Scales & Other Things

team logoAnd we thought his range was limited! Sayonara, Bobby, and thanks for the memories.

Again yesterday the Iowa Cubs had a worthy replacement for recently departed fan favorite Bobby Scales in the person of Darwin Barney. Barney, braced for impact by the contraption adorning his injured knee, logged six more full-tilt innings and pronounced himself ready to return to Chicago. He leaves behind a sizzling team that’s now won seven straight. I suppose trappings await to offset the change in barometric pressure he’ll notice as he segues from one clubhouse to the other.

Not far behind him on the road to full recovery will be Marlon Byrd who walked, doubled, homered and made a terrific gap-plugging, running catch that should have resulted in a double play except the first baseman at the other end, Tyler Colvin, failed to catch an accurate relay. No matter, the I-Cubs still advanced to 2-0 when Colvin mans that post.

The Iowa lineup started Byrd, Barney, Colvin. Apparently one of the perks that traveled with the first two to Des Moines was the prerogative to wear their pant legs at their shoetops, pajama style. Colvin, here rehabbing a swing and a psyche instead of a body part, tucks his just beneath the kneecaps like all the Cub farmhands do. Is that how he sees himself or how he is seen?

Barney intrigues me. After reaching on a fielder’s choice in his first at-bat he was doubled off on Colvin’s liner to short despite that he wouldn’t have advanced past 2nd even had the ball landed safely. So where was he off to in such a hurry? In less than three full innings his uniform was clay-caked from multiple dives and slides and as he stood on 3rd awaiting deliverance home he looked down and realized that his blouse had come untucked, something he quickly corrected before trotting home with one of the 10 runs the I-Cubs put up in support of Casey Coleman. No one would accuse Barney of mailing in his rehab assignment, but not all of his instincts are as endearing as his obvious zest for ballplaying.

Speaking of Coleman, he was efficient if not dazzling throughout his seven inning stint. Of his 86 pitches 62 were strikes. He threw first-pitch strikes to 22 of the 28 hitters he faced. I am also glad to report that his only walk came in his last inning of work and that he turned in two fine defensive plays off the mound, once starting a slick 1-6-3 DP and later rounding out a 3-4-1 that caromed from the chest of Colvin to the gloves of first Barney, then the hustling pitcher.

The shortstop yesterday was Marwin Gonzalez, recently promoted from Tennessee where he was hitting .301. Besides looking fluid defensively he stroked three hits and may bear closer inspection.

Colvin could use more work at 1st. Besides the bobbled relay and the ball he ricocheted to Barney he also short-stretched a slightly elevated pivot throw from Barney that cost Coleman an inning-ending DP. I did see him make a fine running catch in the right field corner Friday night as an outfielder and his bat is warming in concert with the weather. His 32 hits have amounted to 65 total bases, 19 of them being more than mere singles.

The other name that bears mentioning here is Scott Maine. Each of his last two outings have lasted three innings and both of them merit adjectives like dominant and overpowering. Combined they have totaled but two hits allowed against 13 strikeouts. I mean, he may be no John Grabow, but – yeah…


Ouch thanks for the report Mike...

Farewell, Doug Davis. Welcome back, Darwin Barney.

the season turnaround starts today!!!

Davis gone. PHeew! This here Cub fan feels like a ton was just lifted off his back. Or did my trailer just come loose?

It's still a shitty team.

how long for rodrigone?

Someone needs to mop this season up.

Fukudome RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Peña 1B, DeWitt 3B, Soriano LF, Johnson CF, Soto C, Dempster P vs. Lincecum

I see McNutt pitched again yesterday...poorly. 3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 0 K Flaherty with a HR and a 5 RBI night.

I wonder if McNutt is hiding an injury? Perhaps (YET ANOTHER) bullpen prospect going forward?

perhaps he just pitched poorly the last 2 games since coming off the DL

Perhaps? The 0 k's and the 4 hits in 3 sure look troubling? Especially at only 4 innings per start for the year?

I think that goes without saying.

According to BA the Cubs have signed Taiwan Easterling and Arturo Maltos-Garcia.

Submitted by Hagsag on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 3:53pm. According to BA the Cubs have signed Taiwan Easterling and Arturo Maltos-Garcia. ===================================== HAGSAG: Because he is a two-sport athlete (he also plays college football at Florida State), the Cubs could give OF Taiwan Easterling a bonus spread over five years. That would allow the bonus to be "over-slot" without having to run into the face of the Commissioner's edict. Also, RHP Arturo Maltos-Garcia (Lamar CC) supposedly had TJS last month, so he probably won't be making his pro debut until sometime late next year or maybe even in 2013.

Two good signings though...both were definitely players that had leverage to not sign.

Shocked that we pulled out the stops to sign a football player!!! Hopefully this doesn't force cheapness elsewhere, like previous drafts?

Muskat says Byrd likely to be back Monday, Lopez the favorite to take Davis spot on Sunday. The "top" Cubs scouts now in town to meet with Hendry to presumably discuss potential trades. also Wood threw live BP, could do rehab this weekend

Submitted by Rob G. on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 3:56pm. Muskat says Byrd likely to be back Monday, Lopez the favorite to take Davis spot on Sunday. ============================================= ROB G: The Cubs will need a 5th starter only three times between now and July 30th, so at least Rodrigo Lopez probably won't get much of an opportunity to lose too many games between now and then, and that's presuming he doesn't get released at the All-Star Break (which could very well happen). "I read some things that people assume," Jim said. "They use the word 'fire sale.' That's not going to happen. We're not interested in trading people at all that will be valuable to us moving forward. People like to float names of your better players, which makes no sense to trade. If we make moves, it will be designed to make us better for the future, and we still want see how we play the next month or so. Everybody thinks there's this big, automatic, 'You have to be a buyer or a seller or it's fire-sale time.' Well, we've got a lot of young people out there pitching and playing or some people who will be very productive for us a year from now that when you get ready to put together a team in the off-season, you certainly don't want to start out without them anyhow...We're certainly going to hold on to the people, no matter what, we feel will be major contributors down the road."

even if the cubs decided they're selling, right now there's not much to sell... kerry wood, jeff baker, and reed johnson should draw interest...pena, maybe... hendry probably doesn't want to trade s.marshall or soto for the hell of it. there's been never-ended suggestions by sports media that one of Z or dumpster might go... *shrug*

I'd be completely shocked if Kerry Wood is traded.

I would think that the list of tradables would be something like this: Likely market, likely available: Wood Baker Johnson Pena Possible market, Cubs willing to trade: Dempster Zambrano Byrd Fukudome Grabow Reed Johnson Strong market, Cubs unlikely to trade: Soto Marmol Marshall Weak market, Cubs would give away: Soriano

I don't doubt there would be interest in Wood and plenty of it, but Hendry is gonna defer to Wood if he wants to go anywhere and Wood's offseason actions don't indicate a guy that wants to play anywhere but for the Chicago Cubs. What if that involves accepting a trade that would bring the Cubs a top prospect? Besides first baseman Carlos Pena, Wood likely will pique the most interest among teams looking for bullpen help due to his talent, experience and cheap price. But when I brought up the July 31 trade deadline, Wood quickly mentioned Sept. 18 — the date of his foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year. "At this point I don't see it," Wood said, who hasn't discussed the possibility yet with his wife or Hendry. "We came back for other reasons than just baseball. I'd never say never, but unless it absolutely helps this organization, I don't think I would do it."

Doubtful he'd net a top propspect though, depending on one's definition of top prospect of course

Someone who used to play organized football?

A) Do the Cubs really draft a lot of football players? B) You've watched Samardzija this year. You still don't like him? He looks pretty good to me. C) Wasn't DeRosa a football player?

When Ryne Sandberg graduated he had the state record for passing yards in Washington.

Re: soto = ?

he's done so poorly (though not horrible) that he's affordable next year. he's probably not untouchable, but most likely a guy the cubs don't mind paying another year.

In the comments section of the Bruce Miles link he says the Cubs are not inclined to move Dempster. And Dempster has 10/5 rights and he doesn't want to go elsewhere.

"Weak market, Cubs would give away: Soriano" Sorry to keep repeating this point, but you can't just give away a player who is owed $60 million over the next 3-1/2 years and is worth $15-20. He has to be accompanied by a check for $45 million. Should be: Weak market, Cubs would pay a bundle to get rid of: Soriano

I said WOULD give away. Not COULD give away.

Skinny Dick is probably the only guy on your possible market list the Cubs could get rid of without throwing in cash - or taking back a similar contract.

Why is Marmol never mentioned for trade bait? A lot of teams would like to have him.

He SHOULD be made available by the Cubs. The only thing this Organization ever develops is relief pitchers. Might as well sell high from a point of strength?

I just don't have a feel for what we could get for him that would make a trade worthwhile. Frankly, I think he needs to be held back for use as "the closer" in a deal to get rid of Soriano. I'd give him away free to anyone who would pick up Fonzie's contract.

I just don't have a feel for what we could get for him that would make a trade worthwhile. A LOT. Marmol would be very highly sought after if were to be made available.


Marmol <- -> Michael Young. Of course, why would the Cubs add payroll at this point?

I don't know specifics about what Marmol would bring in return, but I would think that he would bring back one of the better packages of prospects of any player available, from any team, this summer. One of the best closers in the game, signed at a very affordable rate through 2013, he would have a ton of trade value.

I suggested trying for a Justin Smoak or a Matt LaPorta for him? Basically any young, cost controlled corner Bat would probably be worth it? Brandon Belt Freddie Freeman Smoak LaPorta Yonder Alonso Even a Billy Butler would be an interesting trade?

Most of those teams don't have the need, and I have to disagree a bit on his value. There was some murmurs from Boston that they were considering not offering Paplebon arbitration this year. GM's have pretty much figured out that closers aren't all that valuable. Maybe one four star prospect and a reliever. Alonso may fit that bill. But the Cubs are not going to re-build, so they're not going to trade Marmol or Soto, unless they're really convinced that he's now a .230 hitter.

I thought the Marmol contract extension was stupid at the time it was signed. Why pay a bullpen guy 10 million bucks, when you have 8 other roster holes to patch?

GM's have pretty much figured out that closers aren't all that valuable. I am not sure that rumors about Boston making a decision is indicative of what all GMs think. And those rumors turned out to not be true, and they are paying him $12M. Boston also has a closer in waiting in Bard, and the same rumors also seemed to indicate that there were questions about whether Papelbon would continue to be effective. I also don't see the Cubs trading Marmol, Soto, or Marshall. And I don't think that they should. But I do think that there would a ton of interest in Marmol, and he would probably bring back a very good package of prospects.

We'll have to agree to disagree. I can't remember the last time a single big time prospect was traded for a reliever, nevertheless a package of them. Soriano's problems finding a contract are a pretty good indication of what the all the GM's think of "closers".

I can't remember the last time a single big time prospect was traded for a reliever, nevertheless a package of them. When is the last time one of the top closers in baseball got traded at the deadline? Soriano's problems finding a contract are a pretty good indication of what the all the GM's think of "closers". Or they were an indication that most/all of the big market teams were not looking for a closer.

So who is this mystery team that is going to give us this great package of prospects for Marmol?

You didn't answer my question. When is the last time a closer at Marmol's level got traded at the deadline? So who is this mystery team that is going to give us this great package of prospects for Marmol? I already said that I don't think that Marmol gets traded, so this conversation is pretty silly. But I still think that if were to be made available, he would be very valuable. Who needs a closer? The Cardinals for sure. Maybe Cleveland. Maybe the White Sox. Maybe the Angels. Maybe the Reds. Maybe the Diamonbacks. Maybe the Mariners. Hell - if Texas is really interested in moving Felix to the rotation, they could be interested. There are several teams that could be in a race that would like to upgrade the back of their bullpen. But again, I don't think Marmol gets traded, so its a moot point.

Well Heath Bell will probably go to one of your teams there. Let's see if he can land a single top 100 prospect.

Big difference between Bell and Marmol though. Marmol is under contract for two more years. So more of a money commitment, but also under control for longer.

There were only two current closers who were traded after they were established. Lidge , "Traded by the Houston Astros with Eric Bruntlett to the Philadelphia Phillies for Mike Costanzo (minors), Michael Bourn and Geoff Geary" and Houston Street who came in the Holiday rental package. Lee Smith was traded once for Tom Brunansky and once for Rich Batchelor. Closers don't bring packages of prospects.

yeah, there's past ones that went in good deals, though. jose valverde jumps to mind.

Mitch Williams brought a HOF slugger, a borderline HOF pitcher and some Minor league fodder.

Traded by the Texas Rangers with Luis Benitez (minors), Pablo Delgado (minors), Paul Kilgus, Curt Wilkerson and Steve Wilson to the Chicago Cubs for Drew Hall, Jamie Moyer and Rafael Palmeiro. The guys the Cubs traded were all major leaguers.

Valverde is probably as good a comp as we can get - he yielded two journeymen and guy who looked like he may be a #3 starter.

i knew i should have stayed out of this. and here i am giving a non-reply "reply." awesome. i wish i had the room to paste stupid ascii's.

That seems like a fair comparable to me.

Didn't Lee Smith net Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi? Yikes. Jimmy Donuts at least has Jim Frey to kick around.

Phills needa clser

I didn't say anything about the need to (or not to) throw in cash. But the amount of cash all depends on the level of prospects coming back in return.

In that case there's no difference between Soriano and the other guys you mentioned.

lineup...more like a lameup... K. Fukudome rf D. Barney 2b S. Castro ss C. Pena 1b B. DeWitt 3b A. Soriano lf R. Johnson cf G. Soto c i didn't think anyone could be more erratic and stupid with their lineups than lou.

the correct answer is Dusty Baker also lineup posted in comment #6 but you're excused because of the painkillers :)

10mg of Dilaudid every 4 hours...pretty damn hardcore. yeah, dusty insisted on speed leads and contact hitter must hit #2 slot, but these middle/end lineups that keep being marched out? c' god. quade has me straight up perplexed by what he does with the middle/end.

It's certainly true that DeWitt as a 5 hitter is a special kind of bonkers. I think we all need Elvis drugs to enjoy that.

At about the time that DeWitt drove in the only run through eight, Brenly mentioned that DeWitt owned Lincecum. What else is wrong with the lineup, other than the daily complaint that our .220-hitting catcher with 8 GDPs should be hitting third or fourth?

DeWitt: .280/.295/.385, 1 HR, 11RBI Soto: .220/.320/.403, 7HR, 18 RBI Castro hits liks shit batting 3rd...DeWitt ahead of Soriano...even though Soriano at least was hit some HR's this season...

Putting DeWitt and Pena next to each other in the lineup doesn't make much sense either.

first pitch is scheduled in 13 minutes Cubs already down 2-0.

I feel Lincecum could easily go 11-12 innings of shutout ball tonight if needed.

So long as his pitch count is over 75?

78 pitches of 8 inning, 2 hit, awesome dumpster... leadoff double in the 9th...only one run of support for dumpster in an 0-1 game sigh

holy wow crappy baseball awesome. tie game, 1 out, man on 2nd...

Campana kind of Jacque Jonesed that ball into Soto.

and he soriano'd that ball in CF awful inning. tie game, bases loaded, 1 out.

double play...phew. maybe marmol can get a win...or maybe 9-18 more innings i still wanna see jeff baker pitch

maybe marmol can get a win My fantasy team would appreciate that. And damn, those two plays by Campana were bad.

aaaaaaaaaand the cubs win. aram rbi pinch hit single. fans r happy.

Ricketts now thinks he was was just those damn injuries. Now that Barney is back, we get a win. Soon Wood and Byrd come back, we will be quite similar to the '27 Yankees :)


Not so sure Campana would have started for the CWS champion Gamecocks (see clutch throw from LF on Monday night). Definitely room for him on the Cubs though.

Campana screwed over the team with 3 bad plays in the 9th.

The Real Neal: ...I guess the real question is: What would Hendry have to do to be fired? Outside of something illegal, like harrassment or making death threats, I can't really figure it out...
I believe Hendry is as good as gone- a lame duck, as Wrongway puts it. I also think Hendry will be given the chance to resign to save some face. This coming meeting of the scouts probably has less to do with trade deadline strategy and more to do with Hendry telling his guys to spiffy up their resumes. This is the end of the Hendry era.

I'll believe it when I see it? 2002,2004,2005,2006,2009,2010 All happened with Hendry at the wheel. I'm starting to think that Hendry, Cockroaches and Twinkees are all that survive a nuclear holocaust?

jim hendry kicked muh dog and it up n died.

2004's team was better than 2003

Agreed, but they folded like a tent down the stretch. Not to mention the firing of the broadcast team, and the leaked Sosa tape. You think a Boston or New York GM 100% survives that? It's been excuses city since then. Injuries, Micheal Barret, not enough speed, not enough lefty hitting or pitching, lack of a lefty BP thrower, etc. Really that was the saddest part of Ricketts blaming 2011 on injuries? 18 months here has turned him into an excuse man too.

And then this happens.
Everybody thinks there’s this big, automatic, ‘You have to be a buyer or a seller or it’s fire-sale time.’ Well, we’ve got a lot of young people out there pitching and playing...
Yes, let's pretend there isn't a ton of bad contracts on the books.

Maybe he meant relatively young...Soriano is young when compared to, say, Ernie Banks. :) You are exactly right, though -- this is just an excuse. Dempster isn't young and the innings pitched makes Z older than his age. Ramirez isn't young, Soriano isn't young, Fukudome isn't young...yes, we have Soto and Castro and Marmol. And minor leaguers like Campana and Lemahieu. But our key players, for the most part, are either at their prime or past it. The Cubs aren't a bunch of young kids...if we were, taking our lumps would be fine. Instead, we are old and bad.

"You think a Boston or New York GM 100% survives that?" The manager doesn't for sure. Which would be the GM's fault.

Really that was the saddest part of Ricketts blaming 2011 on injuries? 18 months here has turned him into an excuse man too. ----- That's not fair to Ricketts, he very well could have been an excuse man at Ameritrade :)

Ameritrade fired Tom and the rest of the kidz. Only Daddy Joe and son Peter survive on the board. And actually, Tom only worked for them for one summer as an intern before becoming a board director.

Ameritrade probably thought there were significant offers for Tom at other trading companies and were afraid to lose him. He asked for a mid-level position, they threw a board director role to him. That's why Hendry and Ricketts get along -- both know how to outbid the market.

Well played! "Put all of that together, and you can see why the trade deadline gets built up as a big deal, but increasingly yields a paltry payoff to the sellers. Between teams loving their own prospects -- and the value of multiple years of contractual control of those prospects -- and the mediocre veterans available in trade, the "prospects or picks" choice ends up being an increasingly rare decision. It isn't all that unusual for teams looking move players to wind up with neither when trading a veteran on short time before free agency."

Of course my Doug Davis 1948 throwback road batting practice jersey arrives today.

High five.

Doug Davis batting practice jersey is a redundancy. When he's pitching, someone is always taking batting practice.


Mr. Nice Guy (aka the Cubs GM), by putting Dud Davis on the Cubs roster (not to mention having him start games) got Davis to qualify for the mlb 10 year service time pension. I heard that by age 62, those who qualify get around $100K annually. It's one of the best funded pensions in the US. Not absolutely sure of the data's accuracy but the reported this on wscr yesterday and found this link consistent with what I heard. That even beats what Blago will get for being a former congressman.
As of 2002 (updated figures here), 411 retired members were receiving benefits under CSRS at an average rate of $55,788 per year

Will Blago get his "On his commissary"?

Not sure how the average pension is related to Blago. He'll get a little less than 15,000 a year for earned congressional pension.

Bruce Miles comments in his blog on the pension: ... Doug Davis was vested in the pension a long time ago. The 10-year thing went out the window a long time ago. Posted by Bruce on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 20:19

they get medical for life from day 1, too...adam greenberg approves.

per muskat... K Wood will come off the DL friday. Fukudome, Barney, Castro, ARam, Pena, DeWitt, Campana, Hill, Z

160 PA's .230 .256 .329 and dropping fast

I don't need no steenking stats...mumble...grumble...

When I saw that Castro is third again with Barney back, it made me wonder what Quade would say if a reporter asked him "did you realize that Castro average is .300+ at 1 or 2 and .230 at third?"

If there is a problem with him hitting third, and to my biased eye it looks like he may be trying to hit home runs - or trying harder, that's all on the coaches. Just tell him to use the same approach he does when batting leadoff... it's really not that hard.

Well, the same is for every "spot" in the lineup, right? For instance, why bat Z 9th? I'd prefer him as a 6 hitter some days, and certainly want him to get more AB's than Koyie Hill. Of course with a team comprised of several "6" and "7" hitters, not much flexibility for many managers - least of which Q-Ball. Why Soriano "couldn't hit" anything but lead-off for two Pinella years is a mystery.

Mysteries that aren't: Castro bats third because he's the best Cub hitter. Ask around the league if you don't believe me. Z bats 9th because, while it would be fun for him to hit 5th or 6th and he could probably handle it, a position player would have to bat 9th in his place and would be insulted. The manager has to treat everybody like a professional. Soriano hit leadoff because they paid $18 million/year for a 40-40 player. (He only did 40-40 once, but he came very close two other times when he topped 80 in HRs+SBs.) The minute you admit to yourself and to other teams that Soriano's legs are shot, he loses half his value and more than half of his value-add compared to other slugging LF-DH's.

I knew the Cubs were bad, but I didn't realize they are so bad our "best hitter" is hitting .229 .259 .325

Castro's BABIP: Batting 3rd = .263 All Others = .415 FB/GB/LD %'s: Batting 3rd = 30% - 57% - 13% All Others = 26% - 49% - 25% Expected BABIP: Batting 3rd = .250 All Others = .370 Hitting 3rd, Castro has hit 4% more fly balls and 8% more ground balls, at the loss of 12% fewer line drives. That accounts for some of his loss in BABIP when batting third, which accounts for some of his loss of average. But you can also see that the 25% line drive rate he has batting elsewhere is probably not sustainable. League average is 18%. And even with that insanely high LD% his expected BABIP when batting in other slots is still only .370; and Castro's actual BABIP was .415! So he has been a poor hitter this year hitting 3rd, with a low line drive rate, largely because he has been hitting more ground balls. So perhaps some of this is due to a different approach. But it's really impossible to know. And batting elsewhere Castro has been unsustainably good and also extremely lucky on top of that. Looking at the gamelogs, the most likely explanation for the difference in his performance by batting order position is simply timing. Castro starts the season hitting leadoff and gets hot--abnormally hot with lots of luck--and is hitting .408 on April 18th. The next day Quade moves him to 3rd in the order. He was due to cool down, and he does over the next couple of weeks, while hitting 3rd a lot. He then hits .358 over the next 2+ weeks hitting mostly THIRD. He had NO problem hitting third in early to mid-May. But he then hits .250 for 2 weeks hitting almost exclusively 3rd in the order. He has then hit .355 for the last 2 weeks of June hitting mostly 2nd, with a couple games hitting 3rd. He's a very streaky hitter, and those streaks have fall oddly along his batting order positions this season so far, that's probably it. The sample size is too small so far to draw anything meaningful from it. A bad 2-weeks stretch batting in a particular position can throw it all out of whack. But perhaps it's something to keep an eye on over the next couple of years. If he consistently gets hot and cold in particular batting slots, then we might say that something more is going on there with his approach. But right now, there's just not enough to go on.

You ignored the issues of his K rates going up and his HR rate being 0 when batting third. One K per 7.5 PA's batting 3rd, one per about 12 in other places. It could be vagaries of sample size, but it sure looks like he is expanding his zone and swinging harder in that three slot. That also jives with the batted ball data, since "sluggers" tend to hit more fly balls and be more succeptible to doing what the pitchers wants them to do, i.e. pull grounders to short.

His HR rate is 0 batting 3rd? LOL. You ignored the issue of him having TWO homeruns. He has 157 at-bats hitting 3rd, and 184 hitting elsewhere. It is statistically meaningless that he has hit both when not hitting 3rd--which is nearly 55% of his total ABs. And you know this, so I don't even know why you would try to argue that. And you can find a dozen other stats like K-rates to show what I have already shown, he has hit much worse in the 3-hole. But no stats will somehow increase the sample size. We simply can't tell anything yet, and you know this too. You are the one constantly preaching sample size on here (when convenient). This discussion is done, at least for my part.

I hope it's done until you pull your panties out. After doing that read comment #89. 3 plate appearances is too small a sample size to judge anything. When you start talking about 200 PA's and observation matches the statistical trends it's OK to start thinking "hey, maybe something's up."

Somebody with the time/inclination can look this up, but anecdotally it seems like Castro batted third for mostly an extended stretch. Couldn't that just have been a normal cooling-off period rather than related to batting third? Meaning, he could've possibly hit poorly during that time regardless of where he was in the lineup. He probably wasn't gonna hit .350 all year.

Tito for GM.

Not sure what this means, though I'm guessing it's some kind of slam. I was really just asking a question. People seemed to be implying that Castro's poor perfomance batting third is based solely on that, and if he'd continued in a spot other than third, he'd never have gone through a slump. I was just wondering if he was in the third slot for an extended period, which is what it seemed like to me. Obviously, I could be wrong.

I think any amount of logic or reasoning would be a welcome sign from our GM, hence the comment. From what I recall, Castro spent various periods hitting third, but I don't know. hitting 1, 19 games, 369/398/524/922 hitting 2, 22 games, 370/402/489/891 hitting 3, 36 games, 230/256/329/585

It was no slam. You seem more sensible than Jim Hendry, albeit he sets a low bar.

I'm inclined to agree here. The difference in batting 1st,3rd or 5th shouldn't really matter all that much? 8th in the NL is the only really disadvantaged spot in the order.

Well, he's hit better in June than he did in May, so that pretty much shoots that theory down. He's also striking out more frequently batting third than first or second. It's all small sample sizes, but observation and statistics seem to back up the different approach theory.

No room for that kind of logic on this board.

wrong anecdotes=logic ??

The Cubs have signed 23-year old 6'8 FA RHP Dan Berlind and assigned him to Peoria. The Cubs drafted Berlind out of Calabasas HS in the 44th round of the 2006 Rule 4 Draft (June Draft), but he was considered a tough sign (he had signed an NLI with Cal Poly) and so he didn't sign with the Cubs that summer (which is why he fell to the 44th round). But then he changed his mind about going to a four-year school, and opted to attend Pierce JC instead of Cal Poly, making him eligible for the 2007 June Draft, and also making him a prime "Draft & Follow" (DNF) guy for the Cubs in 2007 while he was attending Pierce. (Prior to the 2007 draft, MLB clubs retained the rights to a drafted player until one week prior to the next June draft, as long as the player was eligible for selection in the next draft). I remember hearing his name at Fitch Park back in April-May 2007 as a pitcher the Cubs were hoping to sign before the old DNF deadline (one week before the next year's Rule 4 Draft), but they couldn't come to an agreement (Berlind was Pitcher of the Year in his JC conference). He had a good repertoire of pitches at the time (92 MPH sinker, hard slider, and a change-up). The Cubs did spend about $325K to sign three other DNFs before the 2007 June Draft (Marcus Hatley, Jordan Latham, and Jovan Rosa), but they couldn't get Berlind. As it turned out, Berlind got selected in the 7th round of the 2007 draft by the Minnesota Twins and signed for $80,000 (while J. Rosa signed for $180K and Latham got $100K as DNFs), but stalled out in "A" ball, and then was released by the Twins at the end of Minor League Camp 2010. He pitched (poorly) for Sussex in the CanAm League (indy ball) last year, and was released by Worcester (CanAm) this past April. Because he has been previously released by an MLB organization, Berlind is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA after every season, but a club can (if the player agrees) sign a previously-released Rule 55 minor league FA to a multi-year minor league contract for as many seasons as the player has left before he would otherwise have been a 6YFA (which the player reaches after he has spent all or parts of seven separate seasons on a minor league Active List and/or DL). So because Berlind spent three seasons (2007-09) on minor league rosters in the Twins organization, the Cubs could have signed Berlind to a minor league contract covering either one season (2011), two seasons (2011-12), three seasons (2011-13), or four seasons (2011-14).

This makes up for losing Archer.

things are looking up for archer...he only gave up 12 runs in 30ip in june and got his ERA below 5.00 (4.98) going into july. what a crap season he's had...suddenly hittable, too. if he stays hittable his control is going to be more important than ever. he may end up getting marmol'd into the pen if he can't maintain. he's at least putting in regular 6ip+ starts the past month, too.

He really only had the 1 ML season where he was really good. Maybe 2010 was the Archer peak?

Do you ever look stuff up or just go by memory?

Did I miss where he was a top prospect before last year? 2009 in Low A ball was a decent year. Although a 1.32 WHIP in Peoria isn't really the stuff of legends?

When you throw a lot of groundballs, WHIP isn't such a concern. 2.81 ERA seems like "really good" to me.

His problem is that he went from giving up groundballs to fly balls... Otherwise he's essentially doing what he did last year in AA. I suspect that Tampa tampered with his delivery to try to get his control further improved, and just wound up fucking it up, but I'd really like to know. Anyone know of a Tampa minor league blog?

And Berlind took the loss tonight at Peoria...welcome to the Cubs!

What happened to Zambrano?

Z out of the game with "lower back soreness"

Thanks. I was hoping it was an ejection. At least it's not his arm.

He wanted to beat that 4th of July weekend traffic.

Adam Dunn hit two homers yesterday...(wait for it) a simulated game against two minor league relievers. Good news was he hit them with a towel.

Mateo seems to have it going today... over/under on pitches is 80.

I was going to ask Mateo good or Giants sucky? or a little of both?

5ip 6K with 56 pitches is pretty epic...especially considering he threw 2ip not even 48 hours ago (which he got done with 19 pitches).

A pity the offense couldn't get him a win - this should be the last inning for Cain, he's at 101 starting the 6th.

Cain, he's at 101 starting the 6th
That's amazing for the Cubs.

The Giants offense has been awful this year, I believe they've scored the fewest runs in the majors. But Mateo has had a few decent appearances and today is one of them.

it's been a great yet crappy nice to turn it great with a bottom 9th win...or a tie...something...keep it going or end it nice.

tie game. hells yeah.

aram's game tieing solo shot off b.wilson was wilson's 1st given up this season and his 1st given up since june 6th 2010.

If they win this one, I will officially give them until the last week of July to play like they're in contention. The division, just as we expected, really is shitty.

no biggie anyway...rehashed in another thread, but the big trade chips the cubs have given the market (practically no one wants to spend/add $$ in any large amount) are guys like jeff baker, reed johnson, etc. nice guys imo, but they're nothing but roster filler for anyone looking a playoff push.

Good teams and bad teams both go through good streaks and bad streaks. Good teams have so-so bad streaks and really rake in the good streaks. Bad teams look like dirt in a bad streak and only so-so in a good streak. Cubs fall under the latter category. Sure, it's a crappy division... but c'mon. This team is going nowhere. I'm just being a negative nelly, I know, but I don't want anyone getting their hopes up. :)

Exactly...when a team is bad, they should rebuild. If rebuilding means shedding contracts and receiving non-major league prospects, fine -- it provides an opening for other prospects in the system to see how they perform at major league level. If rebuilding means getting any prospect who performs at the majors, great! Either way, the veterans aren't making you a contender, so if you are planning for the future, it will often be beneficial to trade vets for youth and some extra cash.

bravo k.hill.

What did he do? Just says "throwing error" on GameTracker

threw a ball into RF trying to throw to 1st


Glad we have his defense in there.

I really try not to have thoughts like this, but if Hill, Hendry and Quade were to let's say share a cab, and that cab was to "accidentily" swerve into a fire hydraunt... well we're just talkin hypotheticals, right?

Very dangerous, Koyie's mere presence would have the cab moving 5+ mph faster.



Fun game, and great day from the bullpen, 12 innings and 1 run.

12 innings and 1 run. Not only that, but they had 9+ innings of hitless ball, from the 3rd into the 13th. Wow. That is a helluva' day from the bullpen.

2 awesome games in a stuffs.

against the punchless dwarves, let the record show...

I don't care. Over 9 innings of hitless ball is impressive against any team.

GEO!!! send

late to the closer party discussion... deadline trades I can think of... Jeff Shaw to Dodgers for Konerko/Reyes, of course Dodgers thought Konerko was a failed prospect at age 22. Matt Capps last year, got the Nats Joe Testa and Wilson Ramos Testa has nice numbers: Ramos was a pretty big prospect I believe. Jon Rauch from Nats to DBacks in 2008 although he got demoted from the closer roler with the tradde. DBacks got Emilio Bonificio in the deal. Wood last year to Yanks, once again demoted after the trade, but got Matt Cusick and Andrew Shive, whom I assume are nobodies. Dotel in 2004 was part of the 3-team deal that sent Beltran to Astros, prospects to Royals. Francisco Cordero in 2006 traded to Brewers along with Nix, Mench, some minor leaguer for Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz. Gagne in 2007 to Red Sox from Rangers for K. Gabbard, David Murphy and E. Beltre personally I think Marmol is too expensive a reliever at this point for the Cubs to get something of value back.

I think we could get something of value, just not a windfall of prospects (like say a Garza package). But then we'd have no closer, unless Cashner moves to that role, and then we'd need another starter.

Cashner could close, as you already said. Marshall could obviously close.

Of course these are valid points...if Cashner was anywhere NEAR ready to pitch.

I meant for 2012 and later.

Ok...I could see that. If Cashner has closed since college, or had some success as a reliever...or as any type of pitcher. I woke up on the cranky side of bed. I just hope Cashner pitches again, in some role this season.

In case you missed Big z's pitching yesterday, here's a highlight.

i put the whammy on maine; gave up a 9th inning slam last night...lahair rages on like a california @ 3rd...

Mike, do you think it's time to give Lahair his shot? Can he make a like a corner outfielder or would they have to trade Pena first?

only 5 games in OF this year where he's a bit of a lumberer @ 6'5"/240 but he's even raking @ .342 vs. lefties & his overall slg. pct. is .696! he's really only had 1 cup o' coffee w/ m's a few years back but he's 28 now so who knows? maybe the o's could use him? he's becoming hoffpauir redux...

And Gaub makes PCL all-star team along with LaHair and Castillo.

Guyer and Canzler named to IL all stars, representing Durham Bulls(/Rays) along with Desmond Jennings.

Per Miami Herald, DeVoss is scheduled to fly to Chicago tomorrow and should be signed over the weekend.

Marmol can bring back a chip (and probably should be used in such a way). Soto is the bigger get and should be shopped. He can command a strong package of young talent. This organization has never properly valued him imo. Time to cut ties and assist in the rebuild. By the time the Cubs are ready to compete he'll be a high-7-figure player with oldish knees.

I think it would be smart to shop them... though they would be missed.

Instead we'll pay lip service to shopping Grabow, Kosuke, etc., waste another years, squander more resources, and then try to spend our way out of it. Yay Cubs.

I'm a pretty big Soto fan, and I think he probably has a fair number of fans, and I would want a solid return for him, probably some good cheap pitching. How many more years of control of him do the Cubs have? Seems like he could be the starting catcher or the starting first baseman for a few more years. 2013 looks like the earliest the Cubs ought, realistically, to hope to compete, and I could see Soto still in his prime at that point. I agree that the organization undervalues him, though.

I'm no AZ Phil but if my math is right he'll be a free agent at the end of 2013 and heading into his age-31 season.

this board sure doesn't & i'm not sure why...

yesterday notwithstanding...

Not sure about what? Why we value Soto? Probably because he is one of the better hitting catchers in baseball. This year he has has an abnormally low babip despite hitting line drives at a higher % than he has in his career. He has a slightly higher GB/FB rate, but definitely doesn't explain the drastic drop in BABIP. In other words - he's been unlucky this year, and it still one of the better hitting catchers in baseball. being one of the better flying penguins

Do you not agree that players have value based on the position they play?

do you agree that his supposed value would be lessened if he were moved to 1B as some suggest?

Of course - his value would be different, and less than now. But that doesn't mean that he wouldn't be valuable. There are also many people (well, maybe many people not named VA Phil) who would say that Soto may be the best hitter on the team and that maybe they should find another slot for him.

if he is best hitter on team, see earlier comment re: flying penguins...that fact, if it were provable, would say more about the cubs' lack of hitters than soto's prowess as one...oh well, have a great holiday weekend!

Since 2008 Soto has been the 3rd best hitter (based on wOBA) on the Cubs (behind Lee and Ramirez). I didn't count Edmonds or DeRosa because of the low number of at-bats, but they would also be higher. If you go by wRC+, Pena would move above Soto as well. Soto is a damn good hitter who has had bad luck this year. He also has looked much better behind the plate this year. And if he were to be made available, I think that there would be many teams interested and willing to give up a lot for me. In terms of trade value, I would say that Castro would be highest, and after that would be Soto, Marshall, and Marmol.

that zambrano ain't much of a pitcher, but hey, he sure can hit!

Not sure how that is relevant.

[email protected] and no one gives a damn. neat. what a season.


Recent comments

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  • Cubster 25 min 10 sec ago (view)

    "in normal times..."

    It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.


  • Cubster 34 min 54 sec ago (view)

    "Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

    I blame Pete Ricketts


  • crunch 11 hours 7 min ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.


  • crunch 15 hours 26 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.


  • Jackstraw 15 hours 53 min ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.


  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.


  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.


  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.

    the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Depends on who you are.


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.


  • Hagsag 2 days 57 min ago (view)



  • Cubster 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    speaking of Trump's trained rats...


  • Hagsag 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!


  • BobbyD 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace.