Tough Times

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Welcome back, Todd!

GAME 44 PREVIEW HOUSTON ASTROS (15-30) at CHICAGO CUBS (21-22) Wrigley Field, 6.05pm CT, TV: ESPN, CSN
SP Greg Maddux SP Brandon Backe
CF *Orlando Palmeiro CF Jerry Hairston
RF *Todd Self SS #Neifi Perez
2B Craig Biggio 1B Derrek Lee
LF #Lance Berkman RF *Jeromy Burnitz
1B *Mike Lamb 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Morgan Ensberg 2B *Todd Walker

Does Every Post Need A Witty Name?

GAME 43 PREVIEW HOUSTON ASTROS (15-29) at CHICAGO CUBS (20-22) Wrigley Field, 7.05pm CT, TV: WGN, Fox Sports SW
SP Sergio Mitre SP Roger Clemens
CF Willy Taveras CF Jerry Hairston
RF *Todd Self SS #Neifi Perez
2B Craig Biggio 1B Derrek Lee
LF #Lance Berkman RF *Jeromy Burnitz
1B *Mike Lamb 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Morgan Ensberg C Michael Barrett

Rookies Everywhere!

GAME 42 PREVIEW HOUSTON ASTROS (15-28) at CHICAGO CUBS (19-22) Wrigley Field, 7.05pm CT, TV: CSN, Fox Sports SW
SP *Glendon Rusch SP *Wandy Rodriguez
CF Willy Taveras 2B Jerry Hairston
LF *Todd Self SS #Neifi Perez
2B Craig Biggio 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Lance Berkman 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Morgan Ensberg RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF Jason Lane LF Jason Dubois
SS Adam Everett CF *Corey Patterson
C Brad Ausmus C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
They're like buses - you wait ages for one, and then two come along at once. Rookie opposition starters that is. Yesterday the Cubs got Brandon McCarthy, but they didn't manage to actually get to him. In fact, McCarthy was very impressive, striking out the first ever major league batter he faced (Hairston) and pitching a very solid five and a third innings before Guillen very cautiously lifted him. Today the Cubs get Wandy (yes, Wandy) Rodriguez, who starts in place of Andy Pettitte, and hopefully they'll at least give one of these two rookies a major league welcome to make them wish they'd never been promoted. Rodriguez doesn't have the same prospect calibre of McCarthy though, nowhere near - he's a 21, no, 25, er 26 year-old soft-tossing lefty out of Venezuela with a fastball, changeup, curveball arsenal that he throws for strikes, and at best he projects as the lefty out of the 'pen that makes up the numbers. He's going on just three days of rest and will be looking to end a five-game Houston losing streak. [Update] According to Bruce Levine at least, the Cubs are about to pull off a big trade, but that's all he's saying! Talk about keeping us on tenterhooks! Anyway, speculate away amongst yourselves. All I have to say is that I hope that Corey Patterson, whose name seems to be getting bandied around quite a bit, isn't involved. This is no time to give up on him.

Behind Enemy Lines

With a quarter of the season in the books, it's time that our foes in the NL Central got the once over.


Pos Team W-L PCT GB   RS RA Pythg   Home Away 1-run Extra
1 Cardinals 27-16 .628 --   228 187 26-17   12-9 15-7 9-7 1-0
2 Brewers 20-23 .465 7.0   188 173 23-20   11-9 9-14 7-5 1-2
3= Cubs 19-22 .463 7.0   179 178 21-20   10-10 9-12 8-9 2-2
3= Pirates 19-22 .463 7.0   161 178 18-23   7-13 12-9 3-8 1-1
5= Astros 15-28 .349 12.0   159 198 17-26   13-9 2-19 4-10 0-3
5= Reds 15-28 .349 12.0   190 253 16-27   10-12 5-16 7-9 0-1


In doing my research for this weeks organizational report, I came across this small, buried nugget at Inside the Ivy (subscription may be required to access link). Pitcher Dave Crouthers, one of the three prized players we received from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Mr. You-Know-Who, has decided to RETIRE from baseball. Reasons were not given.

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus three are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST, plus three are on the 15-DAY IL, two are on the 10-DAY IL, and nine are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors  

Last updated 6-7-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad
Jeremiah Estrada
Michael Fulmer
Kyle Hendricks
* Brandon Hughes
Mark Leiter Jr 
Julian Merryweather
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 
Hayden Wesneski

Miguel Amaya
* Tucker Barnhart 
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
* Miles Mastrobuoni 
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

Keven Alcantara, OF 
Ben Brown, P 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Brennen Davis, OF 
Ryan Jensen, P 
Caleb Kilian, P  
Nick Madrigal, INF 
Keegan Thompson, P 
Nelson Velazquez, OF

10-DAY IL: 2 
* Cody Bellinger, OF 
* Edwin Rios, 1B 

15-DAY IL: 3 
Brad Boxberger, P 
Nick Burdi, P  
* Justin Steele, P 

60-DAY IL: 3 
Codi Heuer, P 
Ethan Roberts, P
Adrian Sampson, P 


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents


Recent comments

  • First.Pitch.120 06/08/2023 - 06:16 am (view)

    I think crunch nailed it... MLB pitchers who can effectively work the edges of the zone are brutal on "see-ball / Hit-ball" types who haven't developed that next level discernment. Ditto the BB% being a good harbinger.


    I do wonder if the AAA robo-ump has a disparate impact on a player like NM... less guessing at what the random edges of the zone are going to be on a given day.  Not sure...


    Another thing to keep in mind when looking at AAA stats & sample sizes is that they now play the same team/park 5-6 games in a row. Potentially compounding the impact of a +/- pitching staff, park factors, and/or match-up implications (ie, I'd give advantage to Madrigal if he is seeing the same SP x2 or RP x3 in a week). Not sure if this is relevant to Nick M. right now, but it's on my mind after watching a week's worth of line drives die in the coastal night air.


  • Finwe Noldaran 06/07/2023 - 06:09 pm (view)

    Seems like they were on to something, but I'd still rather see Morel in there, he's more valuable than Mancini in the short and long term; hard to accumulate numbers against a pitcher, if you're on the bench.......

  • crunch 06/07/2023 - 06:39 pm (view)

    mancini was a numbers game.  he's like 3 for 7 off the reds starter or something something about it in some pre-game notes.

  • Finwe Noldaran 06/07/2023 - 06:01 pm (view)

    How would Morel being the DH have been worse than Mancini? The Morel doing worse at DH thing is likely an anomaly, but then just put him at 3B; not sure how people can make stuff so complicated............

  • Finwe Noldaran 06/07/2023 - 06:59 pm (view)

    That makes sense, plus, it seems like the hitting coach in Iowa is just locked in, just about everyone that goes there rakes, or at least improves in some way (less strikeouts, more walks, et cetera).......

  • crunch 06/07/2023 - 06:45 pm (view)

    probably the lack of quality control/command over offspeed stuff for the AAA pitchers leaves more in the zone for him...dunno, though.  his 7 walks in such a small about of PA is more impressive to me than his 17 hits.  his game in the bigs is nearly 100% put it in play with very few Ks and even less walks.

  • Finwe Noldaran 06/07/2023 - 06:33 pm (view)

    You think something actually clicked for him, or is he just that much better than AAA pitching? 

  • crunch 06/07/2023 - 06:31 pm (view)

    madrigal starts off the night in iowa 2 for 2 (double, single) and he's hitting .500 now...17 hits in 34ab.

  • crunch 06/07/2023 - 06:07 pm (view)

    e.rios to the 10d IL, rucker up.  left groin strain.  the bad news it's retroactive to june 4th rather than starting to today which could speed his return.

  • azbobbop 06/07/2023 - 06:11 pm (view)

    DJL…I know he had to face three batters. Two right handed after Shonei one of them being Mike Trout. Ross needed a better plan. Much better.