TCR Friday Notes

...the necessary return.

- Daytona won in spectacular fashion last night to advance to the finals of the Florida State League and will take on the St. Lucie Mets in a best of 5 starting tonight. Down 3-0 in the bottom of the 8th, the Daytona Cubs plated four with Matt Szczur delivering the game-winning two out hit.

Casey Harman of Crawford (7), Watkins (4),  Cerda (5), Bour (3), Rohan (0), Burgess (9), Szczur (8), Soto (6), Noble(2) behind him.

- Smokies won game 1 of their best of 5 last night versus Chattanooga (Dodgers affiliate). After Brooks Raley put the Smokies in a  5-1 hole, the Smokies put up a 7-spot in the bottom of the 4th with the help of and Blake Lalli home runs. Game 2 is tonight with Ryan Searle getting the start. Adduci (9), Ha (8), Lalli (3), Ridling (7), Vitters (5), Clevenger (2), Lake (6), Samson (4), Searle (1).

- As for the big league club, and on the GM search. From Stark...

So one longtime friend of team chairman Tom Ricketts predicts that, in the end, he'll hire a young, creative, sabermetrically inclined executive willing to try a whole new approach to curse-busting.

Lineup versus the Mets tonight: Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, LaHair RF, Soto C, Coleman P

The Cubs currently have the 7th worst record in the majors.


Ryan Searle didn't have it either, down 4-0 heading to bottom of 2. Daytona down 1-0 after 2.

Ridling goes deep, 4-1.

bases loaded walk and a balk score 2 more 4-3 with 1 out in the bottom of 2nd for Smokies.

Lalli double makes it 6-4 Smokies after 2.

to any Epstein talk No news on Cubs GM search but I'm hearing Theo Epstein is more viable than I had thought. I'll write on Theo, etc., Monday.

looks like pena might get 30...number 27 was a nice 2 run blast.

reaches down and slams a pitch against the outfield wall I'm liking this LaHair kid more and more. (and he was safe at home IMHO)

if only the cubs could face a fastball-heavy pitcher everyday. not giving up homeruns is about all that keeps m.pelfrey a major leaguer. even though the mets have unloaded on coleman in the 4th, both have lineups that heavily feast on the fastball.

damn...pelfrey has a great move to 1st and slidestep to thwart potential runners.

I was going to list the fastball heavy pitchers here, but let it suffice to say it's the 450 pitchers in the big leagues who are not named Marmol or Wakefield.

you've had a hell of a 24-48 hours calling out everything under the sun. that's for you.

No one wants to look at your gay porn, dude.


Mets broadcast team talking about Barney's slow turn on a double play FAIL. Barney is 1/25 to go along with some shitty second base. Let's see some DJ!

DJ = Barney with worse defense.

God I hope not. DJ has proven he can hit for average, but I hope they work on getting his power stroke going. If he could hit 15 HR a year I'd be happy with him at 2B

...or Mr. Ricketts could find a GM that would hire big leaguers instead of fielding minor leaguers. In other words, winning isn't about choosing either DJ or Barney, it's about having better options.

soriano showing his DH skills in LF...again. tie game with 1 out and soriano gives up on a ball that turns into a ground rule double.

and the run scores on a bloop double... defense = overrated.

A ball he easily could have caught. Maybe somebody in the media will mention it to Q-Ball.

i really don't mind his bat even though it's far from ideal...but it's been a long time (not counting manny ramirez) since i've seen LF be a consistent liability. unless you want him at 1st there's nothing to be done about it, though.

Speaking of Ramirez, Aramis is stinking it up tonight with some really weak third base.

...well, at least he didn't stab himself in the stomach opening a DVD. "According to CSN's Jaymee Sire, Jeremy Affeldt will miss the remainder of the season after accidentally cutting his right hand with a knife while trying to separate frozen hamburgers." also, wtf...dude, you make millions...frozen burgers? really? pay the extra $1 a pound and get it fresh. man...

d.barney ties the cuts to t.ricketts giving high-5s to people.

...and the mets win. s.marshall loss...didn't pitch badly, just got outplayed. cashner looked good in his inning, btw...shame he didn't get enough rehab behind him before the minors season ended to see him get some starts.

Mets broadcasters wondering why QBall left the outfield playing in with two out and runners on first and second. Winning hit landed on the warning track. Me, I'm wondering why Quade is still around to second guess.

because there was a fast runner (pridie) on 2nd and josh turner was at bat...single scores a run anyway. were there any actual ballpalyers in the booth? it's a pretty common setup for an OF in that situation.

I am going to go ahead and bring up 130 years of baseball that says you play that defense with less than two outs. With two outs, you play the straight up defense. It's just counting.


He's going to start in the AFL. Best we can hope for at this point as far as seeing if he can cut it as a starter

Smokies win 10-4. Perfect bullpen after Ryan Searle's rough start. Boxscore: ----- Daytona Cubs ahead 3-1 going into the 9th. Had a 2 spot in the bottom of the 8th. Daytona Bottom of the 8th Greg Rohan lines out to shortstop Wilmer Flores. Michael Burgess strikes out swinging. Matthew Szczur doubles (1) on a fly ball to left fielder Gilbert Gomez. Elliot Soto singles on a ground ball to first baseman Stefan Welch. Matthew Szczur scores. Chad Noble doubles (1) on a line drive to left fielder Gilbert Gomez. Elliot Soto scores. Pitcher Change: Eric Beaulac replaces Eric Niesen. Evan Crawford flies out to center fielder Cesar Puello.

No Splainin' needed... Frank Batista locks up a Daytona save striking out the last 2 batters. Daytona 3 St. Lucie 1 Boxscore:

The new kids don't play today? no wonder it's more interesting to pay attention to the milb playoffs. Damn you Q. note to Mr. ricketts in nyc...your manager has a mess of backups starting and the prospects on the bench in case you were too busy high fiving last night. saturday: Castro, johnson, aram, baker, alf, byrd, pena, soto, wells

It'd be nice to at least get another look at Lemahieu, and LaHair certainly has done nothing to deserve the bench--though I suspect we'll see him PH today, if there is an opportunity for someone to pinch hit. The fact that we're not seeing LeMahieu, LaHair, Colvin, or Campana starting the game is a shame. At least one of those guys should be in there. We know who Byrd, Alfonso, and Baker are. LaHair, Campana and Colvin should all be playing for a role on next year's team, and LeMahieu is supposed to be a future starter.

"a mess of backups starting and the prospects on the bench" Q-ball redefining the concept of September callups.

For everyone worried they might be missing something now that the Daily Herald is a pay site, Bruce Miles hasn't updated his blog in three days. Strange isn't it, to charge $20 bucks a month and then deliver nothing?

For everyone worried they might be missing something now that the Daily Herald is a pay site, Bruce Miles hasn't updated his blog in three days. Strange isn't it, to charge $20 bucks a month and then deliver nothing? ------ Sounds like an eBay seller I once did business with.

Can someone please explain to me, what we're learning by having the backups play instead of the rookies?

Can someone please explain to me... ---

That Quade isn't a very good manager when it comes to looking out for the organization? Granted, it's a lesson we've been learning for months. Dead Horse: "Don't ever let anyone tell you the Cubs can't beat anything."

the cubs might beat him, but it would require extra innings.

I read somewhere today that Quade is planning on a prospect-heavy lineup on Sunday night in New York before they fly to Cincy for a Monday-night game. I'm guessing an outfield of Campana, Colvin and Montanez, and LeMahieu at third.

the r.wells that's showed up the past couple months is looking like a strong 2012 middle-end rotation piece...could use that.

kerry wood knows the value of a higher draft choice.

exactly what I was thinking, the guy has a better clue what's better for the organization than Q-Ball. :)

I guess Quade playing the all baker-reedjohnson lineup was a tribute to that higher draft choice too.

Pat Hughes: "and LaHair continues to do good things every day" pinch hit double in the 9th and helped a granny cross the street.

it was a legit shot out to opposite field...good to see.

apparently the Cubs aren't the only team with a dumb manager. 2 out 2 run hit by ARam.

i know it works out if the cubs lose, but i can't bring myself to root for it...heh. that said, this has been a fun series to watch. about time the cubs entertained's been thin on that in 2011.

meh, Ramirez trying to ruin things, maybe Marmol can implode

2 out man on second ninth inning one run lead Campana fucking bunts FM!

Neifi incarnate

1st pitch was 97mph fastball camp swung at, but was in the catcher's mitt before he got the bat off his shoulder (not literally, but he was way late). he was trying to bunt for a hit on the 2nd pitch...which he fouled off...96mph fastball i believe. he made contact on the 3rd pitch, but it was weak and for the out...woo.

In that situation, you have to try to drive in the run, "trying to bunt for a hit" is a open admission that you don't belong in the major leagues.

well, it is campy...he's juan pierre-lite...probably has better D. he sure wasn't prepared for a 97mph 1st pitch fastball from a guy that throws a lot of them as his go-to pitch. i know i'd rather have a colvin/lahair OF bench over a colvin/campy OF bench at this point.

What about a LaHair/Campana OF bench? Because that's where things appear to be headed. And I don't know about the bench part in relation to LaHair. Jackson will come along and put a tighter squeeze on Colvin. The nice thing about having a few prospects is that Colvin moves quickly from being a hot issue to an irrelevancy. On a related subject: while the Met manager will be furiously second-guessed for having pitched to Ramirez with first base open and Campana on deck, there must have been something about Campana hitting (or bunting) with the tying run on third that worried the Met manager. Lay off Campana, why don't you?

i just wouldn't want to see campy get 200+ab a year. he's great for pinch running, especially when subbing him in attempting late comebacks...disrupting pitching when on base...plays CF well. he's a 25th man luxury...i guess it depends on if the cubs need an extra IF or an extra OF for the 25th man. i dunno why the cubs wouldn't keep colvin around, least another season. i imagine a lot will depend on if johnson comes back or not.

Campana strikes out around 15-17% of the time in the minors, and so far in the majors 19% of the time. The amount that Campana strikes out is the single most surprising thing about him, in my opinion. Since he shows very little patience and has no power at all, he's going to need to make contact in nearly every at bat that he has to be successful. He seems at times to be overmatched by major league fastballs, too. Maybe if he can put just a little bit of muscle on his arms and shoulders he'll have some more bat control. Then he might be a 4th outfielder. Right now he's a 5th outfielder at best. There are only two ways that LaHair ends up a starter for the Cubs next year, right or wrong: #1. The Cubs go into rebuilding mode and pass on Pujols, Fielder, and Pena. #2. The Cubs have a major injury to their starting first baseman and cannot find another replacement. Otherwise he's on the bench or on another team. I would rather see LaHair get a shot than see Pena back and handed the starting job, but I understand why the G wouldn't do that.

I'm sure they were worried about a bunt with the bases loaded and an easy force at home.

Campana is kind of what you're looking for in a National League pitcher when it comes to hitting (bunting) and base running (pinch runner). If he could pitch an inning of relief once in a while he might have a career.

and KWood in line for the Phil Regan win!

I don't remember Hoffpower being this good at the plate. Good, no, massive swing, good eye. I know this is not my imagination but he hasn't been on ANYBODY's radar. Is this just a matter of a guy learning the trade the hard way? Am I missing something? EDIT: I meant 4 A guy EDIT 2: Actually, I haven't seen a cubs hitter look this good in years. If this is a 4A guy I'd like a few more. That double was huge, he went with the pitch. WTF is that about? So non Cubbery.

audio link for both games... --- Daytona, 1-0, 3rd Daytona Bottom of the 2nd Justin Bour grounds out, second baseman Jose Coronado to first baseman Stefan Welch. Michael Burgess singles on a fly ball to right fielder Gilbert Gomez. Jake Opitz grounds out softly, second baseman Jose Coronado to first baseman Stefan Welch. Michael Burgess to 2nd. With Matthew Szczur batting, wild pitch by Scott Moviel, Michael Burgess to 3rd. Matthew Szczur singles on a line drive to center fielder Cesar Puello. Michael Burgess scores. With Elliot Soto batting, Matthew Szczur steals (1) 2nd base. Elliot Soto pops out to first baseman Stefan Welch in foul territory.

from the Daytona broadcast... "a big day for weddings here, 9-10-11. I guess it's an easy anniversary to remember"

Smokies get a 3 spot to start the game, lead 3-1 after one. Adduci walks, Jae-Hoon Ha E6, Adduci to third. Lalli L1, Ridling triple to left (2 rbi's), Vitters SF8, Clevenger K. McNutt on the mound and gave up a leadoff HR to CF Silverio. ---- Daytona 4-0 and still rallying in the 3rd, on some sloppy play fielding bunts by the St Lucie Mets.

4-0 Daytona, end 3rd. Daytona Bottom of the 3rd Chad Noble doubles (2) on a fly ball to center fielder Cesar Puello. Evan Crawford hits a sacrifice bunt. Throwing error by pitcher Scott Moviel. Chad Noble scores. Evan Crawford to 2nd. Logan Watkins singles on a bunt ground ball to pitcher Scott Moviel. Evan Crawford to 3rd. Matthew Cerda grounds into a force out, second baseman Jose Coronado to shortstop Wilmer Flores. Evan Crawford scores. Logan Watkins out at 2nd. Matthew Cerda to 1st. Justin Bour singles on a line drive to left fielder Pedro Zapata. Matthew Cerda to 3rd. Michael Burgess out on a sacrifice fly to center fielder Cesar Puello. Matthew Cerda scores. Jake Opitz grounds out to first baseman Stefan Welch.

Smokies top 4th, score an unearned run on singles by Ha and Lalli then an E5 on a Vitter grounder that would have ended the inning. Clevenger rbi single to CF, Vitters to third. Lookouts pitching coach (Chuck Crim) gets ejected by home plate ump while going to mound to calm down his pitcher. Lake P4 ends the inning. 5-1 Tenn, bottom 3rd.

7-1 Smokies, bottom of 4th. Ridling 2 run single scores McNutt and Mota.

Smokies 7-2 going into the bottom of 5th --- Daytona 5-0, 2 hitter for Frank Del Valle thru 6, Juan Serrano now pitching. Szczur 3-3. Daytona Bottom of the 6th Jake Opitz doubles (1) on a line drive to right fielder Gilbert Gomez. Jake Opitz advances to 3rd, on fielding error by right fielder Gilbert Gomez. Matthew Szczur doubles (2) on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Pedro Zapata. Jake Opitz scores.

Oneri Fleita is watching the Smokies game (per the broadcast) --- Daytona 5-1 bottom 7th, Jefry Marte homers (1) on a fly ball to left center field off Serrano.

5 spot for Daytona blowing it wide open highlighted by a Justin Bour 3 run HR and Jake Opitz 2 run HR, 10-1 end 7 innings. Daytona Bottom of the 7th Pitcher Change: Estarlin Morel replaces Michael Powers. Logan Watkins singles on a line drive to center fielder Cesar Puello. Matthew Cerda reaches on fielding error by center fielder Cesar Puello. Logan Watkins to 2nd. Justin Bour homers (1) on a fly ball to center field. Logan Watkins scores. Matthew Cerda scores. Michael Burgess doubles (1) on a line drive to right fielder Gilbert Gomez. Jake Opitz homers (1) on a fly ball to right field. Michael Burgess scores. Matthew Szczur lines out to shortstop Wilmer Flores. Elliot Soto grounds out, shortstop Wilmer Flores to first baseman Stefan Welch. Chad Noble strikes out swinging.

It's striking how much offense there has been in both the MiLB playoff series. Tennessee has pretty much been carried by the bats. And Szczur seems to be hitting up a storm for Daytona.

"He doesn't even have a 700 OPS!!", said Aaron B about 1000 times.

minor league numbers...they sell false hope and false dispair on the yearly.

Daytona 10-4 final, ahead in the series 2-0. One more win out of 3 to clinch. Jae-Hoon Ha flashes big leather twice including an 8-3 double play to end the 6th and a great catch to end the 8th, Smokies still ahead 7-2 going into the 9th.

uht!, er! waitaminute Nineteen and eighty four! Two thousand and three-uh!! Slowly I turned, inch by inch... AAAAArrgh!

Niagra Falls!

Rays call up former Cubs prospect/minor leaguer Russ Canzler.

wow...former O's 1st round pick and legit pitching prospect adam loewen played for TOR today. he hit a homer and played CF. i didnt even know he's been out there for 3 years trying to re-invent himself as a hitter...and doing a pretty decent job of it judging by his minor league numbers this season (though it took a couple years for him to warm up). this was his 1st start, 3rd overall game.

Ryno takes the Iron Pigs to their first ever International League Championship series

yeah, they didnt get to lose to the durham bulls (TB) this year like in years past...durham lost to columbus in a bit of a shocker.

s.bouroughs may have quit the drugs, but he's in the ARZ dugout bumming chaw off someone. cute. oh well, it's not painkillers, crack, and heroin i guess.

lahair hitting 3rd today with protection by pena...should be a decent look at him. unless you're a barney's 5-8 should make a cy young appearance out of batista.

With my commentating luck, LaHair will go 0-4. That would actually surprise me. He's got a nice bat, and Quade give him props in how he said they have to find a way to get him into the lineup. Also, is Quade doing a little better lately? I am not watching as much as you guys but it seems his idiocy has dropped a notch.

lahair and pena both get "almost homers" off the wall. both pitches in similar places, the middle of the plate. lahair loves to pull...short/compact swing.

He goes both ways, though, just like most of you guys. EDIT: is parachat still around? That was totally a parachat comment.

parachat seemed to fade out around late may/early june when it was clear 2011 was going to be a wash. also, that was a totally parachat comment.

IKR, right? Well, I think you know me pretty well. I don't get all snotty so when I make a statement like that you know it's all good fun.

yeah, totally...

Lahair- Pena combo 2B-3B off the wall xtra bases and a run.

I'm taking LaHair seriously. At least until they work a little harder to find the inevitable holes in his swing. But I'm wondering if he is a new type of player. A guy who learned to fucking hit in the minors. I haven't been this excited about a guy since Hee Seop, and yes, I'm serious here. I thought he was a can't miss, so you know now what to do with my opinion. I was too influenced, though, by that bent fence home run.

it's hard not to take him seriously...they do set him up to pull...guard the lines. so far, even with some "luck" hits, he's still hitting well and getting some good contact. he gets a lot of quick power out of his swing which lets him start his swing a little late. i'm not sold on him as a starter, but he could make the 2012 offseason interesting.

...and with that 2nd double on national TV bringing his average up to .500 (9 for 18, 6xbase hits)...lahair fever with the casuals should begin about right now.

Well, I've seen a lot of bad players but what I actually like is his patience at the plate. You're right about the pull hitting, that could be his undoing, but I did see him go to the opposite field the other day, didn't I? Anway, The Hair is Here. Until he's not.

LaHair had basically a perfect day.

I just fear the Neifi Perez effect with LaHair. He is doing awesome in Sept, we dont need a Pujols or Fielder! Then when June rolls around in 2012 were scrambling to trade for Lyle Overbay to fill the 1b void and kicking ourselves in the ass for trusting a 29 year old lifetime minor leaguer. Sorry don't care how impressive his minor league totals are or how awesome he is doing now, never roll the dice on a 29 year old who has done nothing in the majors. You sign your big time free agent and you make LaHair continue to prove himself. If LaHair was 23-24 doing what he is doing then i would be all for him going into 2012 as the 1b man....but i don't trust him one bit. He might be that one in a million player who might actually be good but history says no way in hell. Sign the free agent cover your ass and if LaHair is good then you got the Luxury of dealing with that.

Fuck it MIKE C. If the Cubs had an Albert Pujols in the minors, you would still complain and say how they have a shitty farm system. Just "how you roll". I don't think anyone is annointing him a guaranteed starting job for the Cubs in 2012, but it is completely conceivable that at his age, he has figured some things out. Ryan Ludwick finally figured things out enough for 300+ AB's at age 28. Had a monster year at 29. His 2nd year in the majors. LaHair could be a very nice, inexpensive option for a team that is rebuilding - either as a starter (if he earns it) or on the bench. The team ain't going anywhere next year, so why not give him a chance. Or is it too tough for you to consider a Cubs farmhand could actually not suck?

"The team ain't going anywhere next year, so why not give him a chance." if you want to be a PIT or ARZ or KC fan, that's where stuff like that happens. this incarnation of the cubs don't punt. mets don't either...yanks don't...detroit don't...yanks don't... this line of thinking doesn't exist. they spend too much to punt for the hell of it. if lahair shows something he might get a shot at RF...if they can manage to shift soriano he might get LF...if they decide to blow loot on SP/RF/etc next year lahair might get 1st. that's about it. the cubs won't punt, though. that's off the table.

"this line of thinking doesn't exist. they spend too much to punt for the hell of it" Well sort of is when they have to eat $ 19 million of Z's contract and still figure out what to do with the black hole in LF for the next three years.

I am actually one of the biggest farm system supporters on this blog, i just don't fall into the fantasy world that our farm system is good or the people who run it are good at it. We have a shitty farm system its a known fact. In case you didn't notice our rotation was filled in by guys named Doug Davis, and Ortiz. Pitching is about the only thing we can develop in the last 30 years and the cupboard was bare in talent. And when Blake DeWitt is running around your OF, the cupboard is bare as well. And that's because last years "could be a very nice, inexpensive option for a team rebuilding" fell flat on his face. His name was Tyler Colvin. People tended to forget about his glaring flaws and put him the role that LaHair is now being put in. Starlin is the only legit prospect talent i did like, i just can't stand his defense. All i am saying is go out and sign the talent, and if LaHair is good enough he will find a spot on this team. God knows we got holes all over the place. He will get AB's. But don't be naive and pass up great FA talent because a 29 year old minor league prospect "could" be good. That would just be a very cub like action .

If Pujlos or Fielder want to sign 5 year contracts I would do it. Otherwise have fun in the AL.

I'm kinda falling into the LaHair/Soto/Castillo handling the First base and Catching chores in 2012 camp. If we can get Pujols or Fielder for 6 guaranteed years or less than you do it. However I don't think either guy signs for less than 8/160. I'd rather the team invest heavily in draft, Latin and Pac Rim signings. Hopefully Ricketts will use the savings to pay down the debt service. Maybe buy some revenue stream viable land around the park. Then maybe we can shoot for a window come 2013.

Pujols *starts* at $200 mil. I would pass on Pujols & Fielder, resign Pena, send Lahair, Castillo, Barney, Campana, Colvin, Coleman, and Wells to AAA and get some big league players. I would focus on the bullpen and fielders that can play their position and get after the ball. Boring? Yep. More winning? You betcha.

Enough to win next year? Nope.

I'd bet Wells will get a shot at the rotation at the very least in 2012...if just by attrition if Zambrano isn't back. His last 8 starts he's got a 3.02 ERA, and is 5-0. Of course, he sucked in June and whatever. Garza Dempster Wells/? ? ? Ugh...may as well play LaHair at 1B and try to find a couple of good starting pitchers....and an OF.....and a 2B....and...and...

Resigning Pena is the worst possible way to go forward. Paying 10 Million plus for a below average first baseman in his age 34 season. I'd rather roll the dice on LaHair making MLB minimum over the next 2 season's. He should be entering his prime right now. Pena's best days are already past.

now he's below average?

Other than 2007 has he ever been more? Most ranking systems have him in the high teens early 20's. So by definition I'd say he's a average to slightly below average MLB first baseman. I'd like him more if he wasn't 34 or 8 figure salaried going forward.

fair enough...he's certainly declining. 2nd, 6th, 15th, 20th, 14th in Fangraphs WAR since 2007 out of qualifying 1b-men. I'd call that average at worst since qualifying at a position means staying healthy and that's worth quite a bit. I'm not really pining for him to come back, but if he does and depending on the other moves, it wouldn't terribly upset me, depending on the cost of course.

at this point i wanna know who's pitching for the cubs besides m.garza and r.wells... dumpster could opt out, but probably wont...Z is good as gone. cashner is in the mix with very little competition except his own potential failure to show he can be a starter this spring.

There's no way he commands less money than he did this year, right? Or do teams shy away because of his age? I just wonder, what is Pena's value in this free agent market? If he's going to cost $10 million or more, it seems like a waste of resources to me, particularly considering the quality of the 2012 ball club.

it just takes one team... I don't think he'll get $10M next year, $8M tops and I could see him getting a multi-year deal in the 2/14 range. That seemed to be what he suggested when he signed the 1-year deal is wanting to rebuild his value for a multi-year deal. I can't say for sure if he did, but at least his BA is over the Mendoza line.

$7 million would probably be a pretty fair value for him next year at least.

Even at 2/14 over two years. I think I'd rather take my chances with 400K in 2012 and 400K in 2013 with Bryan LaHair. Similar ML numbers and he should be entering his 27-31 Career Peak arch. Much rather see the extra 7 Million per season in other areas.

I have to agree with the Dr. here on this one. It's been suggested around the internet that Marmol at $7M is a luxury on a non-contending team (when he doesn't blow saves). Well, then what is Pena at $7 to $10M/yr? With a rotation having at least 1-2 spots to fill, a need for a run-producing LF or RF, and upgrades in the bullpen/bench, I would roll the dice on LaHair for 2012 and spend that money elsewhere.

where is this Soto/Castillo playing 1b coming from?

It's actually having LaHair and Soto split first base. Soto and Castillo would share catching duties. Figured it would break down something like: LaHair 130 starts 500+ at bats Soto 100 starts at Catcher and 30 at First. 500+ at bats Castillo with 60-70 starts at Catcher. Should see about 300 at bats All three guys get a chance to contribute. Should be enough rest to keep everyone fairly effective.

got you, you're just wishcasting them to play 1b next year. well I wish that Pujols plays 1b for the Cubs next year. i think both our odds are similar.

It's not THAT far out of the realm of possibility. Soto played a lot of 1st base in the minors. Cutting his behind the plate duty would surely save on some wear and tear. I'm totally fine with having Soto's arbitration 2 and 2 MLB minimum guys locking down those spots. Especially if we can somehow use that saved money at a better time.

Passing on Pujols and Fielder will not have anything to do with LaHair. If the Cubs are serious about Pujols or Fielder, a guy like LaHair will never get in the way. If they pass on those guys it'll be because of money or concerns about the number of years, which are both legitimate reasons to stay away.

Bullshit, Brian Lahair could win the world series by himself. He's the greatest thing ever. I mean I really like Pujols as a baseball player, but with Brian lahair around... would Pujols even get playing time?

They could platoon.

Daytona swept their series with the PSL Mets, winning the third game tonight 4-2. Florida State League Champions! 13 hit offense (Szczur had a hit and 2 walks, Rohan 3 hits) and solid pitching between Rhee, Kurcz and Batista. boxscore: It was 2-2 going into the 6th when the D-Cubs scored a pair: Daytona Top of the 6th Abner Abreu singles on a line drive to left fielder Pedro Zapata. Matthew Szczur singles on a fly ball to right fielder Gilbert Gomez. Abner Abreu to 2nd. Elliot Soto singles on a pop up to second baseman Jose Coronado. Abner Abreu to 3rd. Matthew Szczur to 2nd. Logan Watkins singles on a line drive to center fielder Cesar Puello. Abner Abreu scores. Matthew Szczur to 3rd. Elliot Soto to 2nd. Michael Brenly out on a sacrifice fly to center fielder Cesar Puello. Matthew Szczur scores. Elliot Soto to 3rd. Logan Watkins to 2nd...then two more outs.

by my count, Daytona has been the team to win the last 3 Cubs organizational championships (2004 as did Boise, 2008 and 2011)