TCR Friday Notes

I realized my Cubs apathy reached a new height when I had no idea who the Cubs are playing today and don't really care to look it up.

- In the news, told him that the Cubs and Starlin Castro are working on an extension that would take him up to free agency and beyond. on it with a tweet today saying that it should be a 6 to 7 year deal possibly with a club option and that it could be completed by next week. If my math is right, that should take him through 2018 and possibly 2019 which would be through his age 29 season. The numbers on this should be fascinating. My prediction yesterday was something in the 6/60 range, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's higher considering inflation and factoring in the usual rise in salary numbers.

, so looks like this is just crossing the t's and dotting the i's, and hopefully doing it a lot better than Jim Bowden did during the trade deadline.

- Filed under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up", Ryan Dempster was put on the Rangers restricted list for personal reasons and won't make his start for Saturday in Toronto. Sounds terrible, until you find out that the personal reason is that Canadian-born Ryan Dempster can't find his Canadian passport.

- And in "" news, has been released by the Boston Red Sox. The 31-year old had a 3.96 ERA in Pawtucket in 25 innings with 38 K's, but 23 walks.


"I realized my Cubs apathy reached a new height when I had no idea who the Cubs are playing today and don't really care to look it up." this. we don't even have many game threads anymore and no one seems to care/notice. also, last i checked, the topic in Parachat was welcoming Rizzo's 2nd day on the team or something.

after this 4th inning i realize why people aren't watching... t.wood is making volstad look like an ace tonight.

Will Ryne Sandberg return to the big league with the Phillies? "Confidently professional" is how Phillies catcher Erik Kratz describes his former manager. "He thinks he was just a regular player who just grinded it out and tried harder than everybody else, and it just so happens he ended up in the Hall of Fame." Told of Kratz's description, Sandberg smiled. "I was," he said. "That's true. I felt like I was an average player. I was told when I won the MVP in 1984 that Pete Rose said, 'This guy did not necessarily have the best tools, but he outworked everybody else.' I think that hit the nail on the head then. That's what I did, and that's what I have always done. That's what I continue to do."

It's easy to get a Canadian passport quick. My friend was coming to the states in January, eh. He realized 5 days before he was coming that his passport was expired. He went to the passport joint and got one in 3 days. Governmental shit moves a lot faster when you only have 10% of the population of our dumb asses. Say what you want about their floppy heads and beady eyes, the goofy bastards are pretty good at life. Alas, Dumpster is in the states, so it will probably take him like 3 months to get a passport. Hoser. Link from the twitter feed...article on #22's release with an interview of his Pawtucket room mate. His K rate is still good. Why not Iowa, Mike W. needs a reason to go to the park these days.

before he got his latest injury (shocking) he was doing well enough to eventually get a call-up, even if it took until Sept. ...after he came back from injury he forgot how to locate his pitches...dunno about velocity change. either way it got ugly, quick.

Vogelbomb 3-5 with a TRIPLE Almora 2-4 and a double 7-6 win for Hawks over Dust Devils

A triple?? Wowowowow! I'll resist all the earthquake and respirator jokes and just say: Go get'em Don, errrr Dan!

I think that's his third triple, actually. It's part of his weight loss program.

Dudes: pretty impressive Soriano homer off Cueto! ... and just became like the 6th guy in HISTORY with 1000 RBI, 400 2B, 350 HR, and 250 SB. That said, the best part about the homer is watching Reds Catcher, Hanigan's immediate reaction to contact: priceless!

BTW - Glanville article front page of NYT. Nicely done, Doug!

ESPN Deportes reporting that Castro has signed a 7 yr/$60M extension.

nice. via rotowurld: "The contract covers four years of arbitration eligibility and three years of free agency, including a $16 million option for 2020. Castro, 22, was expected to qualify for "Super Two" status, so the Cubs were able to lock up one of their core players for a reasonable $8.57 million in Average Annual Value (AAV). It’s hard to see this as anything but a positive for a rebuilding franchise.?

starlin gotta pay attention to your 3rd base coach rather than watching the OF'rs. sigh....another mental blowup.

Like I have been saying. Most minor leaguers learn the craft without the prying eyes of an MLB audience. Castro is learning on the job, and theocorp still thinks enough of him to tie him up for 7 years. This is a good year for these kinds of mistakes. Team isn't doing shit anyway.

I can't go back and doublecheck--the game is in quarantine for a while--but during the live broadcast, the replay showed Listach giving Castro the stop sign. Brantley had already accused Castro of not watching his coach, and should have corrected himself, but why bother--right, Cowboy?

Virginia Phil has it 100% right. Went back and just watched it. Listach has the stop sign on and pointed at the bag. Castro was perfect. Also as correctly called on the Cubs broadcast, Castro's run was not the problem as it would have brought the Cubs within 1 run. Wellington Castillo COMPLETELY BLEW his job watching a popup drop with two out, representing the tying run, and never reaching 1/2 a jog, and somehow avoiding ending up at 2nd base and in scoring position. So yeah, Cowboy owes Starlin an apology as he apparently can't watch a replay very well. And Wellington needs an ass-whoopin' and likely will get one.

the announce team was going on about how listach was giving the run sign. go figure...

Yeah he was, but the advantage of watching the replay showed it was while Soriano was running, then as Castro approached the base Listach had a stop sign up and pointed at the bag. Actually just showed crappy overall awareness by Brantley, since Casro's run was meaningless as far as possibly getting thrown out at home with two outs in the ninth and down two.

yup...i was only going on the broadcasters...never followed up and just assumed.

@ESPNChiCubs: Theo says nothing finalized on Castro contract. Beyond that no comment. --- Proverbially putting horses on hold.

I'd suggest Adderal for young Mr. Castro but that just brings in another host of problems. How about using a clicker?

Game 2 lineup, omg... @CarrieMuskat: Cubs lineup for G2... Valbuena 3b, Mather lf, Rizzo 1b, Castro ss, LaHair rf, Clevenger c, Jackson cf, Cardenas 2b, Raley p

Wow... that is beyond awful. This is a big league game, right?

And in Welington's defense... @ESPNChiCubs: Sveum not down on W Castillo for not advancing to second in ninth. Castillo playing on sore right foot that nearly kept him out of lineup.

Well Sveum needs to watch the play again, because baseball awareness says, quit watching your damn ball, drop the frickin' bat, and proceed at your top speed (however gimpy it might be) if there are two outs in the ninth and you are the tying run. Anyone who watches it will see he wasn't hustling or aware of the situation (and there was no limp, he moved well when he realized the ball was kicked, sped up around first, and stopped). Sveum is probably just covering Castillo's ass for some reason.

b.jackson not only didn't K in the first game...he just hit his 1st HR (solo) to RF in the second game.

3 innings, 4 hits, 4 bb, and 1 run to show for it....which was, of course, a solo HR. CUBBIES!

Jackson got completely f&cked on his second at bat. Called strike three on a pitch at the shoulders. Ump let's a wild pitcher off the hook for no reason with one of the highest strikes I've ever seen called. Two men on of course. Cubs dugout got in a shouting match with the ump . . . He pulled off his mask and yelled "blah blah blah I didn't have it up!". Ridiculous call. NO one booted from game tho. No fun being a rookie sometimes mr jackson... Nice hr though!

he's got such great tools under the whole lack-of-mental-game or ability to actually see the ball....whatever is causing him to be so jumpy about everything thrown at him.

i can't believe there's no castro post yet...or more "OH FUCK YEAH! WOO!" posts. down year for him, but in a world where a guy who hits like castro this year can easily get $3-6m...great gamble, imo...especially when the contract is supposedly through 2019 and castro projects to do better than what he's doing in 2012.

I expected to see something, too. This is the new model, of course, as it's been since I guess the Evan Longoria contract. Rizzo's next, I guess next year? Overall I'm content with the Castro deal. I think he's going to hit no matter what. His defense has improved.

FYI: Randall Delgado has been getting lit up regularly in AAA. (tonight already 4 ER 2 HR in 4 innings so far). Cubs AND Braves may end up happy with the deal that wasn't made. I know that's oversimplifying things but Delgado has pretty much sucked at all levels this year. Might not be an accident that they were dealing him.

@CarrieMuskat: Jorge Soler homers to straightaway center in 3rd at bat, 3rd hit of game for Peoria. Very impressive.

ryan ludwick seems to have a hot bat... 8-6, bottom 7.

8-7, bottom 8...sigh.

woo...see-saw... 9-7, top 9...dejesus solo shot

cubs game. CIN was down 8-2 early...

b.hamilton (AA, CIN) is 2/2 with a SB tonight (in progress). 143...2 away from sharing the record.

We're allocated 1 fun win a month. On to September.

Angels are looking like the bust of 2012. Tonight they were up 8-0 on Rays and Carlos Pena just jacked a 2-run pinch homer in top of 8th to take 10-8 lead. Farnsworth, Fuld and Pena having great games tonight btw. Frickin' Angels about to fall 8 back of Texas in a real ugly way, if they can't come back in the last 6 outs. This could be a nail in coffin type game.

still just 3.5 games out of the WC, long way to go still.

Yes I guess last year proved a LOT can happen in September!

save that for the regular season....

We need a bears site

Maybe Soler can spare some loose change and get mr capie a toothbrush and some tooth whitener... Yikes! Oh Melky... San Francisco Giants star Melky Cabrera created a fictitious website and a nonexistent product designed to prove he inadvertently took the banned substance that caused a positive test under Major League Baseball’s drug program.

1.) Unbelievable! ... if this is at all representative of the amount of dishonesty in the doping practice, we are all in for a rude awakening when as Bud said last week at the owners meeting in Denver, "this all comes out." 2.) I'm shocked that it was only 50 games, if they knew about this deception, and all it indicates about premeditation etc. And if it wasn't fully known I wonder if the suspension can be increased in severity?

at least his agent is trying to earn his pay. i wouldn't worry about only having a 50-game suspension. in this era his career is practically over...tainted player, bad example to the kids...a horrible career-ending gamble. if history is any lesson...he's screwed. lol...not...he'll get $10m+ multi-year next season. that will teach kids not to roid. ain't that right STL's hitting -coach-?

The guy just turned 28 this month. No way that his career is OVER. He did hurt his pocketbook in what should have been a big offseason payday. He will still be in MLB during the 2013 season.

Yeah, I took it as crunch saying it won't effect him AT ALL in the long run. Sad either way ...

pretty much... i'm not worried about the impact on the records/stats as much as the players and those not on the mlb level yet. things are a lot better than they were. i'm satisfied with what's been done to address PEDs, even if it took a long time to get there.

it's been weird (though it shouldn't be, imo) watching joe sheehan "evolve" to hybridizing numbers + "eyes on the ground" type scouting when evaluating players. he's been finding a good middle-ground between those two allegedly waring camps of thought the past couple of years. there's a lot more hybrid evaluators these days...a lot less "side picking."

Can I just say, as a fan of the new regime, and a fan of Dale Sveum's, that the Cubs' baserunning is f%cking ATROCIOUS! Its a disaster. I mean these are the things we can supposedly control (as opposed to talent): The fundamentals! Soriano thrown out at second stealing before pitcher delivers, Valbuena's game changing out overrunning third, Volstad jogging to first, partway with bat and turning back to watch the play today when a reasonable sprint to first would have been safe, Castillo's space cadet romp to first yesterday. I'd be embarrassed if I was Sveum right now -- aggressive and smart is harder than it looks apparently.

they're being very aggressive with their running game...very very aggressive...with players you probably shouldn't be aggressive with. the 2nd game last night...that's a perfect time to be aggressive. dude's leg kick was so high (didn't pitch out of the stretch without a high lift to the leg) and his velocity low enough that even b.lahair made the battery seem like j.moyer throwing to m.piazza.

to the 17th...PIT/STL

PIT takes the lead in the top 17th...and STL ties in the bottom 17th... ...and now on to the 19th...

PIT takes a 4-3 lead ... on pitch #553.

6-3 now...wheels coming the bottom of the 19th...

Cubs claimed LHP Alex Hinshaw off waivers from the Padres. Cubs transferred RHP Arodys Vizcaino to the 60-day disabled list.

Would be a serviceable lefty in the pen but he walks way too many.

astros have lost 40 out of their last 47. epic.

It's like beating a dead horse but were gonna call up someone awesome to pitch soon.... Cubs manager Dale Sveum mentioned Chris Rusin as a good candidate to be called up to start Tuesday at Milwaukee. The 25-year-old left-hander has never pitched in the big leagues. He's 8-8 with a 4.59 ERA over 24 starts at Triple-A Iowa to go with a 87/52 K/BB rate over 133-plus innings. Chicago needs a Tuesday starter because of Saturday's doubleheader. Yikes, Hendry left a lot of good talent behind.

I'd rather see Rusin...Nick Struck, or even Eric Jockisch rather than Casey Coleman or Rodrigo Lopez again.. oof..

What really sucks is that I really got duped into thinking Hendry was good for at least pitching even if not so much position talent. I don't know how much of it was Hendry because I'm not a walking encyclopedia like others here, but at one time the Cubs had going through their system and to the parent club or other teams, Z, Wood, Prior, Dontrelle (who imploded as expected but was still good for a few years), Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and I'm pretty sure there were others. He even did some good stuff roster-wise early on, like the Miracle at Home Plate (getting rid of Todd Hundley for Eric Karros and Grudz if I remember right), and getting Ramirez. Then it's like he turned into a semi truck on a hot Texas highway blowing out his tires and crashing into flames.

Juan Cruz, Renyel Pinto, Rich Hill, Todd Wellemeyer, Scott Downs and Kyle Lohse all had some MLB success. We also had a lot of really highly hyped Pitching prospects (suspects) that never panned out due to injury. Bobby Brownlie Ben Christiansen Chadd Blasko Luke Haggerty Matt Clanton Mark Pawelek Were all 1st round picks over a 5-6 year period that were felled by a combo of injury/cubbery.

Thanks, Dr. A. I guess I sort of attribute the list of busts as really pretty typical for an MLB team, rather than Cubbery. Although it's safe to assume at least one of them had some sort of freak injury.

Losing 6 first round picks in 6 year to injury is REALLY unlucky. Not even counting Mark Prior who was a 7th 1st round pick of that same 6 year time span. Not even counting guys like Grant Johnson and Donnie Veal who were 2nd rounders.

Unlucky? Cubbery? Stockstillery, you mean. Did Lou Mantanez and Ryan Harvey have sore arms, too? They were Stockstill's non-pitcher first-rounders. Not late first round, either: Montanez was 3, Harvey 6. A lot of recent Cub pitchers have had arm problems and are still standing. We traded one of them for Rizzo, and another for Epstein.

I think Montanez was a Hendry as scouting director pick? Harvey might have been Stockstill's first pick. Prior Brownlie Christensen In particular were thought of as "can't miss" types. Tough to fault a Scouting Directer completely for injury problems. The training and development people employed by the Cubs share much of this blame.

Stockstill was 2001-2005 Hendry 1996-2000 Hendry: Noel, Garland, Patterson, Christiansen, Montanez Stockstill: Prior, Brownlie, Harvey, G. Johnson (2nd round pick), Pawelek Wilken: Colvin, Vitters, Cashner, Jackson, H. Simpson, Baez

There are conflicting stories around the web about who was scouting director in 1999-2000, like this one from
Cubs: John Stockstill (1999) First-round picks under Stockstill: Ben Christensen (99), Luis Montanez (00), Mark Prior (01), Bobby Brownlie (02), Luke Hagerty (02), Chadd Blasko (02), Matt Clanton (02), Ryan Harvey (03) Best pre-2004 players drafted: Steve Smyth (99-4), Dontrelle Willis (00-8), Mark Prior (01-1), Brian Dopirak (02-2), Ryan Harvey (03-1) Steals: no 1999 steal, Dontrelle Willis (00-8), Brendan Harris (01-5), Adam Greenberg (02-9), Sean Marshall (03-6) The longest tenured NL scouting director, John Stockstill has both success stories and blemishes on his resume. Most consistent in his ideology is the tendency to draft players that have slipped due to economic concerns, using the Chicago market to his advantage. Stockstill also tends to spend late-round picks on players generally seen as hard to sign, and many are names that tend to pop up again: Khalil Greene, Taylor Teagarden, Jeff Larish, etc. Stockstill was unfortunate to come right before the Corey Pattersons and Kerry Woods were drafted, and also is likely bummed that Jim Hendry chose to include Dontrelle Willis in the Matt Clement trade. I'm not sure that Stockstill will have a lot more drafts with the Cubs at this pace, but expect more of the draft-the-undraftable strategy to continue in 2005.
But I think you're right about Hendry. This quote from Phil Rogers in 2000 clinches it for me:
"We thought Montanez was the best player for us in the country," Cubs scouting director Jim Hendry said. "He's a lot like the [Alex] Gonzalez kid who plays for Toronto. His bat at 18 is probably farther along."

The best part about that quote is that they drafted a kid 3rd overall WITH THE HOPE that he might be Alex Gonzalez at some point.

You mean a long-term starting ss in the big leagues? That is a pretty high ceiling.

Alex Gonzalez of the Toronto Blue Jays, aka, the Cubs starting shortstop in 2003, he of the NLCS error and .220-ish batting average. (I really liked watching him play and rooting for him, but you never hope a 1st round pick turns into him.) The Alex Gonzalez you're thinking of was with the Marlins.

Nope- I knew exactly who he was talking about. Again, he started at SS in the big leagues for several years. He wasn't great, and arguably wasn't even good. But not many prospects, even those drafted in the first round, become everyday starters for several years in the big leagues. Not quite sure when the Hendry quote was said, but Gonzalez was also a top ten prospect by BA in 1994 and 1995.

Yikes....well the Cubs sure set the bar low. Our #3 pick in the whole draft can become as good as a 13th round pick that cracked an OPS+ of 100 or greater exactly 1 time.

Apologies. Your description sounded to me a lot more like the other, more successful Alex Gonzalez. I guess as realistic projections for first rounders, that makes sense. But usually when we talk about first-rounder ceilings we compare them to Gary Sheffield or Jose Reyes or Chris Carpenter or something. A draft selection with a ceiling of Alex Gonzalez the lesser shouldn't go in the first round, if that's really what you think of him as a scouting director. But Hendry obviously thought pretty highly of that Alex Gonzalez.

"the other, more successful Alex Gonzalez." You made me look up for on B-R. Cub A-Gonz played 13 seasons and amassed 8.7 WAR for his career, topping out with 2.0 WAR twice. (over $30M career earnings) Marlin A-Gonz in in his 14th season and has 8.1 WAR for his career, with his two best seasons being 3.3 and 2.0 WAR. (over $27M career earnings)

Point was more the projecting the Ceiling of your 3rd overall draft pick to be a replacement level big league player. I'd be akin to hoping Mark Prior would have the ceiling of Jason Marquis.

Well Christensen, Brownlie, and Pawelek also just sucked. That was part of the issue too. Clanton? Oof....